Today is our stop on the Creepy Blog Crawl!! The amazing Kate Ellis writes our piece and gives you your letter! Tomorrow head to Book Mood Reviews for the next stop and once you have all five letters, visit http://www.piatkusbooks.net/halloween-blog-tour/, submit that word and you’ll be entered into their competition to win a bundle of Piatkus books and special Halloween sweets. Good luck!
ROOM TWO Kate Ellis
My heart thundered in my chest as I hesitated in the corridor. Which door next? I had to make some sort of decision so I stumbled towards the first door to my right. I turned the handle and when the door swung open all I could see beyond the threshold was a heavy darkness. But somewhere beyond that door I knew there’d be a second clue. I stepped forward and the door slammed behind me.
I stood there quite still, my legs weak with fear, and suddenly I realised I wasn’t alone. Something was in there with me. Breathing. Watching. The air felt dank and I could smell decay; the smell of the grave. There was a faint rustle, like dry dead leaves blown by a fetid breeze, and a light appeared in the far corner; the flickering flame of a tall candle lit by an unseen hand. Then I heard a sigh, like air expelled from the lungs of a corpse after death.
With a huge effort, I summoned the courage to take a step forward. Whatever was in there with me, I needed to find that clue.
In the dancing flame I could just make out a shifting shape in the darkest corner. And, as I stared, the candlelight reflected off dark, glossy plumage. Feathers. Crow black. Shining like wet blood.
It slithered slowly across the floor towards me and my body tensed. It was a thing of evil – half-bird, half-serpent – and I forced myself to watch as it glided over the splintery floorboards. It breathed. It moved. I couldn’t see its form but there was a sour odour of decay, growing stronger as it drew nearer.
As I backed away the candle guttered and in that moment of brightness I saw something terrible. It was a doll with staring eyes and rosebud lips, open to reveal a set of sharp white teeth. It wore a cloak of black feathers and it was standing a few feet away, watching me. I could hear its rasping breath and I knew it lived. Then I heard a voice, like a child singing softly to itself.
‘Here comes the candle to light you to bed. Here comes the chopper to chop off your head.’
The voice was brittle, sweet yet knowing. The thing had me trapped and it was gloating. The rhyme was repeated again. Then again. Each time a little louder than the last.
‘ To chop off your head.’
I tried to scream but no noise emerged. The candle was burning dimly now and the creature was still watching me with its cold glass eyes. I shuffled back and stooped to pick up the candle, hoping its feeble flame would guide me back to the corridor.
I could see a light beneath the door. If the thing didn’t strike at me I thought I could make it. As I clutched the candle I could hear it moving again, still singing, stalking like a predator.
I reached the door and fumbled desperately for the handle. To my relief it opened and I fell on my knees into the corridor, twisting round to slam it shut behind me. To shut out that evil thing and its terrible rhyme.
I was still holding the candle. The hot wax had dripped onto my hand but terror made me oblivious to the pain. Then I noticed something drawn near the candle’s base; a dark, malevolent bird – a raven with a human face. And just above it I saw the letter R carved into the wax. I had the second clue.
If you need a reminder of all the stops and dates, you can see them here.