It felt like completely waking from a groggy state.
‘Don’t drop the fucking box,’ someone hisses next to me and as he says this, it startled me and I almost drop the damn box.
‘Fucking moron.’ he mouths.
We are traversing across the wooden floor, trying to keep the creaks and squeaks to the minimal. Some of us are carrying wood, some are carrying specific things like odd shaped rocks. The woman in front of us signal us to halt and pointed us to go down the staircase.
We went past five or six flights of stairs – I honestly lost count because it felt endless and I felt as if I was drowning in the silence. When we got to the bottom of the steps, there’s a door which required a particular key. One of the men carried a set of keys in a large ring but they didn’t look like your regular keys. It was out of shape and it seemed to keep changing shapes as you stare at it. We manage to open the door which was completely dark inside and we slowly moved in one of the wood crates one of the men was carrying.
As we closed the door, we listened for movement.
Before we could move, I told someone my pressing concern.
‘What do you mean you don’t know who you are?’ one of men with a pockmarked nose asked me in confusion. I can barely hear him and then his face suddenly filled with dread. He whispers to a man next to him and another man tells another until it got to the woman in front. She signals everyone to squat on the floor, half of the group to watch top and the other half to look out below. She goes towards me directly and takes out a notepad on her left pocket and she starts to write. She held up the small notepad for me to read.
‘It’s normal but rare to lose your memory. At least you didn’t lose your mind.’
I took the notepad from her and wrote that I don’t remember anything – not even my name.
She scribbled quickly and held up the notepad.
‘My name is Jenkins. Yours is Diel. Move slowly and quietly. When this is over, you’ll be fine.’ She waits for me to finish reading the note, gives me a thumbs up and goes back to the front without waiting for a reply from me.
That was comforting.
We go back to the same formation, start ascending the staircase and not stop until we get to another door. Jenkins didn’t signal for the guy with the keys to open the door and took out a key from one of her many pockets. She tried to turn it but it wouldn’t budge. You can feel her frustration as she tries to turn the key again. She tried to take the key out of the keyhole but it won’t dislodge. She looks back at us and start scanning us. Nobody was carrying anything else – I wasn’t even carrying my box anymore.
We heard a loud thud, as if walls were crashing below us.
‘We did the formation correctly,’ someone says.
‘There is no time,’ Jenkins interrupts, ‘Diel, you’re the fastest runner. Take each person back to the exit and then come back for me.’ She starts running to another direction and I instinctively took a person by their shoulder and ran to wherever my feet took me.
When I went back for Jenkins, I know I lost her. I went everywhere but couldn’t find her and I found the place was shrinking slowly. I remember a main door and ran towards the direction of where it could be.
I found Jenkins kneeling in front of the door, like she was praying.
‘We have to go, I’ll take you to the e-‘
‘All they need is you and everything will be alright.’
‘We have to go Jenkins.’
‘You need to stay here and we’ll all be safe,’ she swoops a large knife towards me, ‘you don’t need to understand it – you just have to let the house take you.’
I ran. I ran towards the door we could not open. It was the only thing in my mind. I turned the key and when it turned, it clicked.
But that is all I remember.