13 April, 2010

twinkle 5

Tobe started upright from his bed. Something was wrong.

"Tobe? ... what's going on? ... Tobe? Tobe!"
"Something's wrong."
"What is it?"
"My machine. Something's wrong."
"There can't be anything wrong. Don't worry about it, you can fix it tomorrow."
"Lina, somebody's turned the machine on. Something's wrong."
"Oh, go to sleep, man."
"I have to go find out-"
"And who would be in there at this time? Who would bother to go into your stupid shed and touch your junk? Tell me that!"
"But somebody's in there..."
"Go back to sleep!"
"I have to go save them."
"You're just imagining things. Go to sleep."
"Just go back to sleep. Come on... Look. There's no one in the shed. You closed it behind yourself, didn't you?"
"I never lock the shed."
"Because of your little elf that goes in every night and cleans the place up for you?"
"Yes, but... I have to make sure..."
"Can't you do that tomorrow?"
"But they're in danger now."
"Fine. Fine. I'm awake now. We'll go take a peek. And if nothing's happened, can we come straight back to bed?"
"Yes, yes."

The door was locked.
"I thought you said you never locked the shed."
"I don't."
"You must have forgotten. Here, let me try."
"I never forget. It's not locked from the outside."
"Probably some homeless person sleeping in there for the night."
"What? No! It's too dangerous. We have to open the door and get them out before something happens!"
"You mean before they touch your machine or steal your brilliant ideas on recycling old junk?"
"No, no. Nothing like that. We have to get them out before they get hurt."
"So... How do we open the door?"
"Shh! Wait."
"What is it now?"
"Did you hear that?"
"Look, the windows. Someone's turned the machine on. Turn it off! Hey, turn it off!"
"Tobe, you'll wake the neighbours."
"We have to break in. We have to stop the machine."
"What sort of a machine is it that it's so dangerous?"
"Open the door! Open the door! Turn off the machine!"

A wisp of air escaped out the bottom of the shed door with a hiss. There was a click and a thud. The door swung open.
"Lina, you stay here. Don't come in."
"Tobe, what's going on?"
"Stay there. I'll go in and turn on the light. Keep the door open. Don't let it close. I'm serious."
"Ok, ok. I'll keep the door open."

Feeling his way with his hands and feet in the dark, Tobe made his way to the light and turned it on.

12 April, 2010

twinkle 4

Sparks flitted up into the fluorescent tube lights. Fleur squinted in the direction she'd heard the noise before hesitantly picking up the glass and nails. The feeling that something was creeping up on her didn't help.

What was wrong with her? She wasn't normally this jumpy and nothing in this cluttered shed had ever caused her to feel so frightened. It had to be nerves. She was tired. It had been a long day, after all. Just her imagination.

A soft swish of moving air made her start again. Fleur gritted her teeth and finished cleaning up the glass and placing all the nails in another jar. It was just her imagination... but a cold feeling was creeping up her back. Was somebody breathing down her neck?

Whirling around, Fleur stared at... nothing. It was nothing. Surely. But again, the breath on her neck denied the fact that she was alone. Fleur made for the door, only to find the creaky old thing shut and she couldn't pull out the rusty bold. She hadn't locked the door. It had been left ajar.

"Who's there? Who are you?"

Silence mocked her wavery demand.

"Show yourself!"

The lights went out.

Fleur backed her way around a bench and into a corner, where she hoped whoever or whatever it was wouldn't be able to see her. A soft wind blew by her, so that a lock of hair tickled her nose. Tobe's machine started up and Fleur crouched in the dark trying to remember which side of the machine she was at.

Sparks of light flickered throughout the shed, giving a soft blue glow here, green there and yellow elsewhere. Something metal twinkled. Assuming that whoever it was had possibly forgotten about her by now, Fleur edged out a little way. She looked first to her left and then to the right - into darkness.

She couldn't scream. Breathe came in hyperventilating gasps as panic overtook her and the darkness enveloped her.

... ... ... ...

It was warm. It was comfortable. Warm air brushed across her face. The sound of moving water murmured in a rushing gurgle not far away.

"Tagun? Lomi-ella?"

Heavy eyelids felt gummed together. Swollen. Tight. Her lips felt dry and she shivered, despite the warmth.

"Rakakeki. Si-poler-inimi."

A large gentle hand cupped the back of her head and lifted it up. Cool liquid swelled against her lips, from the rim of a cup.

"Lama-lama... Yiyi... pola lama-lama."

Having taken a few sips of the sweet clear drink, Fleur presumed was some sort of juice, a wet cloth was brushed over her eyes.

Bleary, blurry colours merged and fuzzed. She couldn't see properly. What was wrong with her? Struggle as she might, she still couldn't speak and she was tired. So tired.


And the beckoning darkness returned. Why couldn't she scream?