It was dark, everything around her was impossibly dark, making it difficult to tell which was the right way to go. She had a flashlight with her, a small one in her pocket, but she knew if she used it, those things would find her.
Biting her bottom lip, the woman grasped her notebook closer to her chest. She had been hiding in the tunnels for what felt like days even though it had only been around three hours.
Her dark brown eyes looked to her notebook. Originally, she came here in the hopes to locate a close friend. But now, all of that seemed miniscule in comparison to what she had discovered here in this place. The truth of the matter. If she could get this out to the public, then the truth would be known.
That is, if anyone were to believe.
Even now a part of her still didn’t. After everything that she had seen and discovered, she still couldn’t believe it, even though the evidence was clearly in front of her.
Thinking about it, it all made sense, everything. Now it was just trying to let others know. If she could get out of here alive that is.
“Ai…” she whispered to herself as she fought back the tears of sudden regret. Ai, I’m so sorry. In the end, I could never find you. Perhaps, one day. But that’s not today…
Her thoughts soon came apart within an instant, shattering like glass when she heard a sound. The sound of something squeaking, like hinges on an old door. Normally, it would only be seen as a faint annoyance, but this, hearing it echo around her made it all the more chilling for the simple fact of what was the cause of it.
Fear escalated in her mind as a feeling of knowing dread crawled over her like a spider creeping up her skin. Her teeth chattered as her brought a hand around her mouth.
She needed to be quiet. Fearing that if she let out even the smallest of sounds would make it easier for them to find her. No, not them, him. If he were to find her then death was all that awaited her.
The sound was still far off thankfully, giving her the chance to further the distance between them. Clamping her lips into a thin line, she steeled herself before running off as quickly as her tired feet could carry her.
Her clothing covered in dirt, as her long black hair that matched with the darkness that surrounded her was now matted with blood from a blow to the head by a man who seemed trustworthy. But soon, when she kept trying to find out what happened to her friend and soon found signs of something far worse, he showed his true colours. Yet thankfully, with his own ego and desires, he did not bother to search her. It was why she was able to escape from a cell she was locked away in and managed to free herself by lockpicking. Something she learned on the job as a freelance journalist from a yakuza turned informant. It was something, that if she were to get out of here alive, she would have to thank him for.
Her lungs now burned from running nonstop as she began to see a faint light in the distance. Upon reaching it, she came to the realization of it being an underground room. Almost the size of an apartment. With amenities for someone to live here for a rather long time. There was a bed, and several chests of drawers of clothing. Kimonos, she vaguely was aware of, as well as several other things.
But it mattered little at the moment. From what she could tell none of this looked remotely familiar. It made her feel a bit relived, for this meant she was not going around in circles. A good sign.
If only it could stay that way.
As she looked around her new surroundings, her ears constantly remained in listening to every sound she could hear. She was about to move on when she found herself stopping short when something crossed her eye.
An old photograph.
She wouldn’t have noticed if it she hadn’t realized the significant of it. More evidence that could be used in the long run. Taking it, she placed it within her notebook.
When she realized the truth, she had taken a precaution, leaving several of her notes, hidden around in areas that others would find. So that if she were not able to escape, then at least, her notes would at least be of use to others who may be trapped like she was now.
Yet it was because of this distraction that would be her downfall.
For the sound had returned.
It was closer than before. Right on top of her even, he was closer. And soon right behind her. She saw a shadow, looming over her as the sound scratched at her eardrums.
There was no way out now, even if she tried to run.
Taking her journal, she placed it with the photo underneath a nearby dresser that she was kneeling at. She could only hope that no one would find it, or at least that if someone did then it would be an outsider. And then maybe, just maybe that person could get out alive.
She would not survive. Her soul was content with that reality, much better off knowing then allowing the fear which had enveloped her only moments before. If she were to die. Then it would be looking at the monster that was the cause of this.
With one final breath she turned to face it. At the being that was no longer human, but that of a doll. Or perhaps calling this a demon was better. Either way, she would engrain this image in her minds eye, remember even in death.
She would not allow herself to forget.
And as the candles began to die out around her one by one, one last thing came to mind.
Ai, if I were to ever see you again. Then let it be in the next life. Even if, I become nothing more than a doll…
Her last thoughts before all had once again been shrouded in darkness as the faint sound of that same squeaking could be heard, piercing one’s ears like nails on a chalkboard before all returned to deafening silence…