“Thomas, Thomas!” a voice beckoned.

Whispers crawled down the corridor of the ancient, grim-coloured stone castle like a shadow stretching at the glimpse of moonlight. It reached for him. It searched every room for him. Each step the boy took he could feel the shadow of the voice creeping closer. He could feel his heart beat, and swallowed the saliva rising in his throat.

“Where are you, boy?” the voice demanded.

Thomas dared not look behind him. He just kept trying each and every door as he crept through the dark corridor. The only light being that of the moon, piercing the gaps of the ceiling. Thomas could not open a single door. He carried on going, hopelessly pulling the handle of each door. Tears began rolling down his face, and his hands shook. He hit a red door to his right so hard with his fist that he broke two of his knuckles. he let his hand lose, and it dangled beside him.

“I can’t do this anymore, I can’t keep coming here… Why do you keep bringing me here?”

A faceless man stood in the shadow ahead of him. What Thomas could spot was that his face was bandaged. The man stood silent, distant, and something about him brought a feeling of insecurity, despair, and disgust. Something wasn’t right about this man. He lifted his bandaged hand up, and bent his fingers back, making a palm sign with his hand. It caused Thomas to step back. In a whim Thomas tried the red door he had hurt his hand on, and it opened. When the door creaked open, another faceless, bandaged man, stood there, looking at him, with a crooked spine, and smelt of death.

Thomas stepped back. He no longer knew what he was running from. The faceless man stepped out of the door and crept towards Thomas like a disease. Thomas stepped back, and came closer to the shadow…

“Come to me, I’ll protect you. Thomas, where are you?”

Every door in front of Thomas, the ones that stood in the direction he had been running opened. The same, faceless, bandaged man came out. The red doors, the blue doors, the black doors… Every one spewed the same disgusting creatures. Some had holes in their face, other had blood dripping from their body.

Drip… drip… the squelching of footprints through the now bloodied floor was a prominent sound, though they moved silently. Thomas sweat in panic. He stepped into the shadow behind him, and kept going. With each door he passed, another faceless, creature reared its ugly, rotting head.

They walked closer, breathing breath that intoxicated the air, so foul that clouds of gas seemed to dissipate as they exhaled.

“Let me in, Thomas… I’ll protect you…”

Thomas shook his head, as he stepped further back. Before long, he backed into something he could not pass. He dared not look behind him. It felt like a wall, but he was sure that nothing was holding him there.

“Let me in, damn you. I will save you from this. I will protect you.”

Thomas shrieked, letting out an exasperated cry for help, but no help came. They came closer, and closer, and with each step he felt his heart rising, and his breath getting heavier. Before long, he felt his chest pound, his eyesight blur, and there were so many hands. They all showed that same palm, blood seeping through the bandages. They were coming for him.

Thomas closed his eyes as he heard the voice one more time. “Thomas, let me save you!” It cried.

He took one final gulp, and agreed. Everything came crashing towards him, the faceless men started running, but something took over… something stopped them. Thomas blinked, and they were all cut down in front of him. He stood at the end of the corridor with a beating hand in his heart. He observed the ripped limbs, rolling heads, and other pieces of their bodies that were still twitching, and moving in the darkness.

Thomas woke up, he sat against the root of a tree, and gazed up at the moon. He looked down at his bandaged hand “What have I done?” he asked. His hand was covered in the blood of the ghosts from his past. “What have I become?” he cried. Though he crouched, his shadow grew long, and watched silent.

It grew still. When the wind blew, he heard the giggling of a child, “You became me.”




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