(excerpt from) Phantasmagoria (cliffhanger)

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Eric watched, doused in sweat, from around the corner as the translucent apparition of a man paced hurriedly back and forth a few feet away. Leaning against the wall for support, Penelope poked his damp, doughy back and whispered, “Is he gone?”

“Shut up!” Eric whispered back harshly. “I don’t know if he can hear us.”

When he peaked back around the corner, the apparition suddenly looked up and stared in Eric’s direction as if on cue and began darting towards him at breakneck speed. Eric screamed and tripped backward over his own feet as the apparition ran right through him and faded off into the distance. Penelope screamed, alarmed by Eric’s reaction, and he just lay there, trying to calm his own rapid breathing. Penelope approached him slowly and knelt down next to him. “You… you think he heard us?”

“I don’t fuckin’ know,” Eric wheezed. “I just want to find Zack and get the fuck outta here.”

“What if we never find him?” Penelope was crying now. “We don’t even know how to find our way out of here, so even if we did find him, what good would it do?”

“I dunno.” Eric sat up. “Maybe he’d know something we don’t.”

Penelope stood then, tears still streaming down her face, and limped back to the corner. “He could be anywhere.” She swallowed what felt like a lump the size of a golf ball. “Mina could be anywhere. You think they’re still both still, you know, alive?”

After a minute or two passed by, she spoke again. “Well, look, I think the hall is clear. I don’t see anything. Think we should go?” She waited for a response.

“Eric, you think we should go?” Penelope turned to where Eric was sitting and found empty space.

“Eric…?” There came no response still.

“Eric, god damn it, this is not funny!” Nothing.

"Shit." Penelope ran her fingers up her forehead and through her fringe, breathing hysterically. "Shit, shit, shi-i-i-i-it. What do I do now?"

Created: Jul 22, 2012

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