The Telephone

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Chapter 16

Sarah awoke and found herself plunged into perfect darkness, she was already standing as she awoke, she could feel the floor beneath her. The incredible pain in her head had ceased, as if it had never been there in the first place.

She looked around her in every direction for any kind of light or feature, but found only unrelenting darkness. She spread her arms and waved them around in the hope of touching something she would recognise. But, no matter how far she extended her reach, all she could feel was cold empty air. She didn’t like the idea of walking around, and chose to stay in the spot she was now. Wherever she was, she didn’t want to get lost. Yet, for some reason, she didn’t really want to move, some kind of force told her to stay where she was.
A strange, yet recognisable feeling overwhelmed her. She recognised it almost immediately. It was the same groggy and bizarre sensation she got inside the room with the organ. Now, in this unusual environment, she could analyse the feeling more closely.
She felt as though she weren’t all here, as if only part of her was standing here and her other half was somewhere else. She felt half asleep, as well as a feeling of hovering a little in the air, almost like being light headed. Also, again, she felt no fear of the situation she was in, merely a little concern.
Her eyes suddenly became aware of some kind of light in front of her, seemingly above her as well. Her head darted to the source of the light. As her head moved, she heard a strange and weird kind of singing, seemingly devoid of words and merely a strange sound in the form of a song, possibly how a mental patient would sing.
She saw a shimmering and ghostly image in hovering in the air, she could make out a few human-like features such as the arms and what were probably legs. The figure moved hauntingly and slowly through the air in what looked like a patterned movement. It glided from one side to the other in a sort of unearthly dance, similar to that of a trapeze artist.
Sarah slowly lowered her head back to the ground as she heard something. She listened closely, realising that it was a voice.
‘. . .strid . .sk there.’
Something was there, something she recognised. She listened closer.
‘Astrid . . .there.’
The voice, the same she heard on the tape machine in the Town Hall. It was one of the voices they had recorded years ago. She could hear it now in front of her.
She stopped her train of thought and focused her blurred vision on an image appearing through the darkness in front of her. She blinked repeatedly to get rid of the blurriness and discern the image. It was like looking at an image through frosted glass. Slowly, the image came more and more into view, certain features became noticeable. Arms, heads, torso’s. Whatever it was, it seemed human.
The image finally came into view. Sarah stepped back a little with a gasp as she saw what was in front of her.
Two young girls dressed in black dresses were sat crossed legged beside each other on the featureless floor. Their eyes were black and ominously threatening in appearance, large black shadows could be seen under their eyes. Their skin was pale and dead looking, like the skin of a corpse. Their hair was straight and long and messy. Sarah looked at them closer, not knowing what to expect from them. She glanced constantly at the flying figure in the air.
The girls were perfect twins, no distinguishing features were apparent in either of them.
They held something tight in their hands, something they spoke their haunting and ghostly voices into. Sarah peered closer. It looked like an old fashioned microphone. Most of it was made from silver coloured metal, as well as the part that covered the microphone itself. They spoke the same words repeatedly into the microphone, continuing over and over like a broken record.
‘Astrid, as there’ . . .‘Astrid, ask there’ . . .‘Astrid, ask there.’
Rather than be afraid of what she was seeing and hearing in front of her, Sarah was unusually confused and a little sad, not knowing why at all. She looked on at the figures as one would look at something strange and surreal in a frightening film, repelled by its strangeness and at the same time fascinated.
She watched the flying figure in the air with reverence as it twirled round and round in the air in indescribable mannerisms. She looked at the seated girls, incessantly speaking their haunting words into an ancient microphone.
Slowly, the figures began to merge back into the darkness as they did when they first appeared. A mist-like blackness began to consume their figures, drawing back into the endless and unknown darkness. After a few moments, the figures were gone, leaving Sarah alone again in the permanent blackness. She looked down at whatever served as the floor and sighed, the grogginess in her began to increase before she again fell into a deep sleep.

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