THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL

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The Test

The edges of my vision was hazy to say the least. I could could barely see a few feet ahead of me. I let out a deep breath I didn't realise I had been holding. I was in a dark room, the only source of light was the narrow skylight on the ceiling. The room greatly resembled a prison cell. My stomach growled, interrupting the hollow silence. I suddenly noticed how hungry I was. I felt like I hadn't eaten in days. The overwhelming nausea rose up to my throat. Suddenly a plate with a small piece of bread and a hunk of cheese was slid in through a tiny slot in the door. I hastily grabbed the plate when suddenly, a moan in the far corner of the room caught my attention, a small boy, barely ten years of age sat down, huddled in the corner. He trembled with fear and cold. Forgetting my own hunger I stared at the boy, his shirt was ripped along several places and barely hung on his starved body. He obviously required the food more than me. Swallowing my own hunger, and much to the protest of my growling stomach, I slid the plate towards him and gestured him to take it. He looked at me with a small, grateful smile as he took the bread and bit into it quickly. The nausea hit me again. Before the room blurred around the edges and was replaced by a different scene.
The in front of me was oddly familiar. The faded wallpaper and scanty furniture and alcohol bottles littered around the room brought back unwelcome memories. This was the room my mother and I had lived in for several years before she died. I looked down to see myself in my old skin, the one I'd spend years of training, trying to shed, my strong lean arms were skinny and bony once again. The scent of alcohol and stale food still hung in the air. I couldn't stifle my gasp when the door opened and my mother stumbled inside in a drunken haze. The nostalgia hit me like a truck, I couldn't forget this day even if I tried it haunted my dreams often which made
me wake up in a fit of terror. My mother stumbled in, knocking over a half empty wine bottle on the already filthy rug, the red stain grew on the carpet. She weaved through the furniture and threw herself on the couch. Within a few seconds, the building's fire alarm blazed into life, a few years after the accident I'd learnt that the fire was a result of a short circuit in the neighbouring flat. The flames lapped against the door, hot with hunger to devour everything in its part, I could feel the intense heat As beads of perspiration formed on my skin, the flames would soon consume the wooden plank which was the only thing keeping us from becoming a crisp piece of toast.
I had replayed this memory over and over in my head for nearly six years, that night, I had barely managed to get myself out of the room and shimmy through the window, the three storey drop had severely broken my leg in nearly three places, I had tried to drag my mother along with me, but in her disoriented state she had barely managed to make it off the couch before pushing me away in a coughing fit and refusing to let me near her. I had always wondered whether I could have managed to save her, maybe my life would have had a very different outcome.
My surroundings replicated that night six years ago, the flames creeping beneath the crack of the door and the red-orange feathers of death swallowing the edges of my vision, bidding all my common sense and instincts goodbye, I hastily grabbed onto my mother throwing all my negligible weight towards the open window I knew was there, but I could barely see anything because of the thick grey smoke which was like a blanket over my line of vision.
Feeling around hopelessly I finally found the window and shoved myself out of it with ease, my mother's own limp form was like a dead weight to haul over the ledge I found myself instinctively falling first, hoping my body would absorb the impact as I clutched the woman's body tightly. My stomach lurched to my throat, I felt myself falling and falling but failed to hit the ground. I was one hundred percent sure the fall would kill me in an instant, but I suppose a dead person, couldn't possibly die again. I blacked out completely mid-fall. When I woke up again I found myself in the same white room I had been in earlier.
My head hurt like hell and I collapsed into the couch, exhausted.

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