The Darkness

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Five

She was sitting in the corridor with her back against a door.

She had wanted to go downstairs and get out of the house, bang on the neighbours' door, go wherever, but when she'd come to the top of the staircase, there was nothing for her to go down. It was dark, dark coming right up to the edge of the top step, like a pool of black water. She'd shone her torch into it, but its beam had disappeared under the surface as thought it had been cut with a knife. It had even looked, for a moment, as though the darkness had started creeping its way in little tendrils up the light.

She'd abruptly turned around and walked back up the corridor, to sit where she still was now, turning and turning the wind-up crank on her rechargeable torch, keeping it going round and round.

She knew the door behind her, of course. It opened into another hallway, white, long, and narrow, with a glass door at the end of it. Behind that door, after a sharp turn to the left, there was a carpeted stairway with sixteen steps which, after another sharp turn and four more steps, led into a small room with a washing machine and a drier. The door between this little room and the downstairs hallway had been closed before she'd gone upstairs, and if it still was, then that place might be safe for now. If so, there was a small window in there. If she stood on the washing machine, she'd just be able to squeeze through it, and escape.

She got up, opened the door, and entered the corridor.

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