The House on Ambrose Street

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Chapter 14- Alarm

I staggered back, almost losing my footing on the stairs. My leg complained with a sharp pang in my knee and a tight hiss escaped my lips. What the hell was going on? Why had that just come over me like that? I stood there for a few seconds, trying to get my bearings, rubbing circles in the spot that was tender. I hadn’t been thinking about the sewers. Well, I had earlier in the library, but it was only a fleeting memory. An off-hand thought. The way it had just threw me off balance, totally obscured my vision like I had been there, reliving it, like I was running from the cops again in the damp, soggy air… I had never felt that before.

And then that time at the bank. I hadn’t even gone through the whole damn memory. It just started…and then stopped, like a rug had been pulled out from underneath it. Or a light had been extinguished by the bulb shattering.

Taking a deep breath to clear my head, or at least to get my breath back, I rounded the corner and was met with another set of stairs, just as tightly constructed as the first. There was only eight carpeted steps, a wood railing on the right wall—which, like the left, was painted a dull yellow—and a platform at the top just small enough to make a left turn to go up the next flight. Holding back my groan of annoyance, I began to climb the stairs again.

I didn’t think the lift would open again if I went back. It hadn’t after it’d closed the first time. Something was going on. There was definitely something going on. I looked over my shoulder. I felt like someone was watching me again. Maybe not someone. But something. It felt like there was a gust of wind always at my back, like a constant breath that was whispering for me to keep going. And I didn’t like it.

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