Scenting musty odours of rotting wood and dust,
I shuffle along the dark hallway.
As I fight through darkness, I tread on something; I cannot tell what it is.
Feeling my way up the creaking staircase,
the walls are damp, wallpaper peeling.
My cold fingers fumble for the lighter in my pocket; I pull it out and, click, the wheel turns.
In dim light only, shadows surround me, sucking me in.
A face materialises as I turn the corner. Canvas portraits line the Walls.
Old looking men stare me down.
One flight up, a landing. From the top of the stairs,
I hear scratching, scuffling.
Quickening my pace I reach the top of the staircase.
The noise grows louder.
I head on through the corridor. More portraits adorn the Walls,
surveying me from all angles.
A door. Behind it the noise, louder than ever;
I sense danger, a strange, almost supernatural presence in the air;
slowly my hand reaches for the rusty door knob.
My flesh touches the metal. Noise ceases. The door opens, soundlessly.
In the room, just one thing: a single guttering candle.
The penny drops. I am not alone.
by Tom Murphy