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The Telephone

By Michael Berry All Rights Reserved ©

Other

Chapter 8

Sarah awoke into an endless swirl of mist that totally enveloped her, she could feel her goose-bumps rising as the chilling cold of the mist touched her skin. She rubbed her arms vigorously to get the warmth back.

She looked around for any sign of whoever came up behind her, but saw only the surrounding mist. She began to grow increasingly nervous and afraid as she realised, she couldn’t see anything at all, no buildings no structures or anything, nothing human anywhere. Beyond the mist, she could only see pure and perfect white spreading out into eternity. She looked down at the floor and saw the same empty whiteness, she stumbled as for a brief moment she thought she would fall through whatever she was standing on.
What the hell’s going on here, where am I, what is this place!
She tried running straight ahead and hopefully find something, her footsteps gave off a strange echoing sound, none like she had heard before, as if the sound wasn’t tuned properly.
After what was probably a good ten minutes of running around, searching for an exit, she stopped and gathered her breathe. She looked up and saw only the same exact thing she had seen before she started running. She started to grunt as the terrified irritation inside her grew to bursting. She sank down onto the floor and pounded it hard with her fist. She hardly noticed the fact that what seemed like the floor didn’t really feel hard to the touch, and she could hardly feel the touch itself.
Tears ran from her face down to the white featureless floor.
Where am I, am I going to get out of this place?
Her silent thoughts stopped as she noticed a shadow suddenly appear in front of her. Slowly, she started to look up and flinched as she saw a human shaped black shadow hovering above the ground, its arms hung limply by its sides and its head fell downward over its chest.
Sarah forced herself up onto her feet and stood back a few paces. She noticed then in that moment . . .the smell, how could it be, it weren’t possible?
She refused to believe it, but it was there, as powerful as it ever was. The strong and familiar smell of leather from her father was coming off of the hovering figure in front of her.
She narrowed her eyes to see any recognisable details on the figure, but, apart from the abyss of blackness that covered it, she couldn’t see anything.
Her lips began to tremble as she began to form the words that forced their way through her throat. “Fath . . .er?” She said in a timid and quiet voice, surprised that she could still speak after so long. She shook her head, denouncing herself. How the hell could that be him? He’s dead, dead, dead, dead!
Somehow, though, she suddenly felt calm, all frantic thoughts of escaping suddenly left her like a great burden on her shoulders. As if the strong smell was there to give the exact feeling to her.
A sound began to emanate from the hovering shadow, a sound like a very low voice or whisper. It gathered in volume as it continued.
‘. . . was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there.’
Sarah listened hard to the voice, it wasn’t a voice she recognised, and definitely not her father. The words it spoke struck a spark of memory in her mind. She scanned her memory, knowing she had heard those words before.
A rhyme I heard once, when I was young. ‘As I was . . .going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, I wish, I wish he’d stay away.’ Yes, that’s it, it was a poem about schizophrenia. What the hell has that got to do with this shit that’s going on?
‘Search hard and listen well,’ the voice continued. ‘The scholar is beyond the chaos.’
As mysteriously as the shadowy figure emerged from the cold fog, it disappeared exactly the same way back until it vanished, the swirling fog again embraced the spot it once hovered.
‘The scholar is beyond the chaos,’ “what the hell does that fucking mean?”
Sarah’s mind began to swirl, as if a great powerful ocean wave rocketed in her mind. Her body began to sway from side to side, she began to feel light headed, her eyes started to close shut as tiredness swept over her. She fell on the floor unconscious, the mysterious fog embraced her whole body until she finally disappeared.

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