A frightening ritual
I was blinded by the bright red light. A long dark hallway stretched out in front of me. I appeared to be deeper and deeper in the hallway, and I was being absorbed by the ruby light more and more. "This place looks like hell," I spoke, looking at the mighty columns and huge pictures of grumpy lions.
Heavy stairs rose up in front of me, and the stairs led to a more enlightened-with-this-mysterious-light hall. I took one step towards the stairs. They were hot, hot as hell. There would be nothing left of my legs, if I hadn't have my fluffy slippers on.
The hall was almost empty. On snake-shaped steel torches on the columns, red lights were flaming. They also smelled like caramel. That was very strange.
Suddenly,I heard a strange noice. It appeared to be a hysterical, raucous cry. It became more and more disgusting, butI couldn't find the source of the noice anywhere. The hall was empty. "Who's that?" I shouted, hoping that the creepy creature would answer any other way than in that painful cry.
I tried walking through the hall, hoping to find any signs that could tell me the nature of this creature. Strangely, I didn't find anything. I was ready to give up and simply shut my ears, but a pale girl in a grey torn mantle with a mask on her face appeared. Her appearance made my feeling of being in hell increase. Wonderful, I have always dreamt about this encounter. At that second, I decided to leave behind the questions, why am I here and what is this place. It was more appropriate to find out why this creature was crying so piteously. I assumed that the strange girl is supposed to know.
"Hello..Do you happen to know what these sounds are?" I asked nervously, examining folds on her mantle.
"Follow me," answered this person without any emotion. I followed her. To my surprise there were... Stairs, waiting for us! They were the same heavy, frightening and hot.
"How is she capable of going barefoot here?" I tried distracting myself from the anxiety of not coming back to the human world again, of being trapped among weird girls, frightening monsters and endless hot stairs...
The next hall was even more gloomy, and the light was coming not from the torches, but from a small red statue of a Japanese shrine in the middle of the hall. The shrine was wooden, torn in some places. It was framed with a metal tree, and on its branches, sakura flowers of pink quartz were shining.
"In this temple a spirit of a cherry is kept. It is furious now," said the girl coldly.
"But why is it furious? And how is it connected with my arrival?" I was confused.
"I don't think you are the reason. His cries are a prayer for help. You are his savior. You have a foreign power in you, I suppose, which is able to free him from his sufferings, received as a result of being obsessed with demons.
I looked at her, scared and even more confused. This was hardly an explanation as to why am I here and what is this place, but apparently I'm already some spirit's savior. "But how can I help? I don't understand a thing," I responded.
"You are from the human realm. Haven't you noticed yet how this place lacks sources of usual light? This place is surrounded with darkness. Only death, pain and darkness reigns here."
"Then how did I appear here?" I don't understand.
The girl seemed not to hear what I said, so she continued, "But there is a lot of light in your realm. You have the sun.Your soul is filled with the sunlight, which can be given to the spirit. It will heal him from the demons."
None of this fit right in my head.
My soul is filled with...light? What? This is the first time I've heard of it.And why didn't this lady explain anything to me? Everything is too strange.. But there is a possibility of receiving the answers as soon as I do what she wants.
"How do I do that?"
"It is pretty simple. You just need to touch it," she responded.
She really finds it simple? Nothing is simple here.Something is definitely wrong here. I am sure this thing is going to kill me! But deep inside I understood that I could never ever find out anything, or even get out of here, if I refused. My friend was waiting for me in my realm, so I had to agree to do this strange ritual.
"Fine...This thing won't kill me, I hope?"
"Don't worry, nothing bad is going to happen,"the girl said with an annoyed tone. She's not as friendly as I thought... Who is she?, I wondered inwardly.
I attached my arm to the shrine. A hysterical cry could still be heard. I didn't feel anything for a moment, but then the shrine suddenly started shining with white light, which became brighter and brighter. The strange lady smiled, pressing her hands to her chest and looking at the shrine. The shine in the room wasn't ruby anymore, the floor became freezing, and the hall turned white.
"The spirit is saved! Thank you so much, outlander," the lady said emotionally, which surprised me. The part of mantle, that covered her hair, fell, and white pretty long curls could be seen.
"Wait a second.. Are you human, too?" I was shocked. I didn't get any answers, instead, everything I could see became blurry, and a strange noise could be heard from the shrine, as if someone shook it from the inside. Less and less details could be seen. The girl disappeared. "Did the ritual go wrong? We made the spirit more furious?" I closed my eyes. I couldn't handle such a bright light.
In a few seconds, I could finally open my eyes. There were no halls or shrines in front of me, no lady. I was sitting on my bed and the room was lighted by the sunlight. It was incredibly hot and suffocating. But the sound kept coming. I looked away and saw a cage with chinchilla, which was temporary sheltered by me, as my friend was in the other city. The fluffy ball lost its mind and shook the cage with all his strength, clawing at it with his teeth and paws.
"Ah, you, foolish pet! That's the demon... You scared me so much! Why aren't you sleeping?"
As a response, he only stood on his back paws, pressed his front ones to his chest and looked pitifully in my eyes, squeaking.I had no other choice than walking away, taking the pet for a stroll around the era.
Varvara Sorokina, 16 years old, lives in the capital of Ukraine. She has always enjoyed writing different stories of different genres, long and short, funny and sad. Most of them were inspired by her dreams, no matter how surprising it might sound. She has been attending writing club by Halyna Tkachuk since twelve years old, back when members were meeting offline, participicating in different club projects, that included writing a book together, or a big story, where each person had to write a fragment of it. No matter what the task is- if it is about writing, Varvara is in.
"DPAC red hallway" by steveburnett is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.