The hallway was illuminated by nothing more than thin candles that were mounted on the walls. The crushing darkness smothered my eyes, the toxic silence poisoned my ears, and my suffocating loneliness chased away any courage I clung to. Part of me wanted to run back to the room in which I woke up and hide in a dark corner, but I knew I would be discovered in time. The only way to survive was to move forward. As I passed an open doorway to my right, a loud clang exploded from the darkness, immediately followed by profanity. I recognized the voice, it was Scarlett. At first, I was overjoyed to know that a friend was nearby, someone who I could trust and rely upon. Could I rely upon her, though? I remembered that everyone in the mansion would desperately be searching for me, craving to end my life so they could continue theirs.
I stood as still as a statue, waiting for any sound, hoping for any sign that Scarlett didn’t possess the eye of the hunter. For a few seconds, I heard nothing, but then Scarlett asked, “Are you almost finished?” Someone was in the room with her, but I couldn’t see who it was.
“I could finish what I’m doing a lot faster if you’d stop making such a racket,” a deep voice said. I immediately recognized the voice; it belonged to Jacob. My heart sunk. If Scarlett and Jacob were working together, then they were surely searching for me. The threat that Obasi had made on my life were legitimate; everyone was desperately trying to kill me.
“It’s not my fault there’s a bunch of useless junk in this creepy, old house. It smells worse than my grandmother,” Scarlett shot back, irritated by Jacob’s scolding.
"Just try to be more careful from now on. We're never going to find Maddie if we keep on banging and crashing into everything. Some of us would like to continue our lives." Scarlett ignored Jacob's scolding remarks and continued searching for me throughout the room.
While I listened to Scarlett and Jacob finish filtering through the room, I turned around and leaned my back against the wall. The stress of my entire situation summoned tears on the borders of my eyes, but I held them back. Denial flooded my mind like a monsoon. I couldn't believe that this was happening to me, I couldn't believe that my life was in imminent danger. The mansion felt like a horrible dream that I needed to wake up from, but I remained in the nightmare. Before I arrived at the mansion, I was only days away from returning to college and seeing all my closest friends once again. That was nothing more than a lost remnant, though. Now, I needed to remain invisible, I needed to stay in the shadows just to survive. Obasi had successfully turned everyone in the mansion against me, he had corrupted their minds and morphed them into predators. If I encountered any of the other guests, there would be nothing I could say or do to stop them from killing me. My only hope was to escape.
"I don't think she's in here," Scarlett said, discouraged.
Jacob let out a loud sigh and then said, "I suppose you're right. We should probably move on to the next room, then."
Knowing that Scarlett and Jacob would find me the second they walked out of the room, I panicked and darted through the door directly across the hallway. The room was pitch black and I could barely see anything. Praying that I didn't knock anything over, I tiptoed through the room until I found a door that led me into a dark closet. I silently closed the door and hid behind a wall of coats that hung from wire hangers and dropped all the way to the floor. Only seconds after I settled into my hiding place, I heard Scarlett and Jacob walk into the room and begin searching through every crack and crevice. They were just as clumsy, if not more so, as they were in the room before, knocking over books and trinkets in the process. Then I heard a noise that stopped my heart. It was a sound that I feared I would hear, but was praying that I wouldn't. It was the sound of the closet's doorknob turning. The door creaked as it slowly swung open and the light of a flickering candle peeked through the coats. They had found me and I was about to meet my demise.