Chapter 10: Enter the Darkness

Things that go bump in the night…

The last bit of steam drifted from the top of the coffee cup. It dissipated into the air in the same manner as Jackson’s patience. Except for the period naps he has taken since Chambers disappearance, Jackson has been pouring over numerous missing persons files and Chambers case load looking for the smallest clue that might help with identifying what happened to him and who might be responsible. Throughout his notes and organized chaos on his desk, he kept referring back to the cases where the missing persons disappeared from their captor’s custody, and then failed to show up later.

He noted that in some of these cases, the footprints in the area all came from the investigators and neither from the kidnapper nor the victim. If the victim escaped there should have been some sort of evidence of them leaving the area, but the lack of footprints and fingerprints at the exits perplexed him. “Just how did they disappear,” Jackson asked out loud, hoping someone somewhere would answer. A few seconds of silence passed as Jackson seemed to be listening in vain. He shook his head and chuckled to himself and then reached for the phone.

“This is Sergeant Jackson,” he said into the phone. “I need to have a list of crime scene evidence turned over to me, and I need some locations re-examined for evidence. Footprints, to be exact.” Knowing how strange the request was, the reply was already anticipated. “I know that some of these locations have already been contaminated, but I need this done.” He ran off the list of cases where the missing people vanished, knowing he was hoping for a miracle. “Just one clue,” he said to himself. “Just one clue.”

Slowly and deliberately, Chambers stepped into the darkness. The dust at his feet swirled as he entered the structure at Babs request. Somewhere in the building was this mysterious “Father” she kept referring to. All he was looking for was some answers, especially where he was and how he got there, but first he would settle for a flashlight. The hallways were dark except for a few beams of light that cut through the walls from somewhere. Thanking the fact that he was not afraid of the dark, he would use his foot to explore the ground before him with each step, while his fingers were flared out, searching for any wall or furniture that might be in his path.

As he progressed down the hall, a soft humming noise as if made by machinery echoed off the walls. Chambers ducked his head into various rooms as he discovered them, but could not identify the source of the sound, so he continued his trek. Turning around a corner, he noticed a faint glow coming from a room down the hall. As he approached the opening, the soft humming noise increased but was still seemed “distant.”

Wrapping his fingers around the edge of the doorframe, Chambers peeked around the corner to examine the room. Near the door, he saw a few metallic boxes which might have been a part of a computer system, the far wall had a series of windows, and in the middle of room was a dark figure standing on a platform with a small lighted console in front of him. Chambers stood there, watching the figure for a few minutes, investigating his actions.

Chambers watched for what felt like an eternity. The mysterious figure just stood there, like a stature, staring at the dark windows. What was he looking at? He seemed so intent, almost as if he were listening for a distant sound rather than looking. Chambers felt apprehensive while watching the figure. He didn’t know if this figure was the “Father” Babs referred to or someone else. Chambers was imagining a man wearing robe, smoking a pipe, and sitting in a large leather chair, not someone standing in what looked like a dimly lit control room.

Feeling that he was overstaying his welcome, or at least that was what he was telling himself to mask his fear of being caught, Chambers decided to back away from the door and continue examining the structure for other signs of activity. Just as he thought about letting go of the doorframe, the mysterious figure quickly turned around and stared right at Chambers. Panicked, Chambers quickly released the door and started running down the hall, and ran into the wall in the darkness, causing him to stumble to the ground.

He scrambled to get onto his knees and start running down the hall again when he heard the mysterious figure call out from the other room.

“Bill.”

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2 Responses to Chapter 10: Enter the Darkness

  1. ilikeverin says:

    Ooh. I like what you’re trying to do with the steam and Chambers’s patience, but I think the phrasing is a little off. Improve it and you’ll have a good metaphor.

    “Except for the period naps” -> “except for the periodic naps”

    It’s pleasant that something’s happening with Jackson, though. But I wonder why he didn’t take that “re-examine everything” step earlier.

    I like your writing in the second part. Was this the most vivid part of your dream? There are a few small issues, though: in “cut through the walls from somewhere.” “from somewhere” isn’t necessary, “a soft humming noise as if made by machinery” should be refined, “‘distant.'” doesn’t deserve quotes. But I think these are because your writing flowed more quickly, and it shows. Read things through again, and you’ll see things you can improve.

  2. Ethel says:

    1st paragraph, 2nd sentence: change to short naps or cat naps

    3rd paragraph, last sentence: how about this instead: “Gingerly, he used his foot to explore the ground before him with his hands extended in front of him, searching for obstacles that might be in his path.”

    As he progressed down the hall, a soft humming noise echoed off the walls. Leave out “as if made by machinery “. Really not needed.

    . . . humming noise increased but still seemed “distant.” – you don’t need “but was still”

    Paragraph 7, first sentence: I think omit this sentence. Seems out of place and doesn’t add anything.

    Paragraph 7, last sentence change end to: “not someone standing in a dimly lit room.” Control room doesn’t fit . . . no blinking lights, switches, etc.

    Paragraph 8: change to “Just as he was letting go of the doorframe . . .”
    change to “Chambers quickly turned and started running down the hall. He ran directly into a wall and stumbled to the wooden floor.”
    The ground is outside. 🙂

    “As he scrambled back to his feet, he heard the mysterious figure call out from the other room.”

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