(For a little more explanation on story cubes, read this post. The following is what I wrote based on the cubes above.)
Stephen ran through the streets of the empty town, looking behind him constantly. There could be no natural explanation for the monster he had seen. Not one to believe in the supernatural or extraterrestrial explanation, that left only one explanation—science. He found himself in an alley with no way out but the way he came in. He tried every door he could find, but they were all locked.
Could he risk backtracking? Was the monster even following him? He didn’t know for sure. He hadn’t seen any sign of it since first encountering it.
He decided he didn’t really have a choice and darted back out of the alley. Then he stopped to think. At least he wouldn’t be trapped if the monster came, and he had to figure out where he was going. He had seen an old map of this place once. Obviously he didn’t remember it very well, though, or he wouldn’t have run into a dead end.
“Hello,” he heard behind him and spun around.
I’m dreaming. I’m sure of it now. This is a dream.
In front of him stood a little girl—she looked no older than seven or eight. She had dark hair and a red dress, but what Stephen really noticed were her eyes. They were bright and entirely too innocent. She didn’t fit here in this deserted town where a monster was on the loose.
“Are you lost?” the girl asked in a melodic voice.
Hey, isn’t that my line? Stephen wondered. He said nothing, only continuing to stare at the girl.
“Come with me,” the girl said. “We’ll figure out where you’re going.”
She walked past Stephen and turned down the alley he’d already been trapped in. He hesitated a few seconds, but decided to follow her. Nothing about this made any sense anyway.
The girl walked over to the first door in the building to her right and knocked lightly. It was then that Stephen noticed the girl’s shadow. A streetlight that he hadn’t even seen before cast a shadow on the wall, and he stared at it, paralyzed with fear. His mind told him that he was hallucinating—it was physically impossible for that little girl to make that shape in the light.
He took a few steps backwards and watched in further disbelief as the shadow morphed before his eyes. Then there became two identical shadows—his and a second one just like his that seemed to be cast by the girl. As she rapped harder on the door, Stephen removed his glasses, cleaned them on his shirt, and put them back on. Now the girls’ shadow correctly resembled her own size and shape.
Yes, because it’s perfectly natural that dirty glasses can morph shadows.
“Nothing around here is perfectly natural,” came a deep voice from nearby.
Stephen whirled in all directions looking for the voice, certain that the monster had found him. Down on the ground near the wall, a rat stared at him. Stephen stared back, as if daring the rat to speak again.
“You’re looking in the wrong direction,” the voice said again. Stephen slowly looked up. A bumble bee slowly buzzed by him. He watched it fly out of the alley and around the corner. Forgetting all about the little girl, he followed the bee. When he turned the corner, he had to stifle a scream. There on the street stood a small plane. A door on the plane was open as if it were waiting for him.
Why not? Stephen thought with a shrug. At least this is less freaky than that alley and everything in it.
He climbed through the door and into the plane. Next to one of the seats inside was a cart. On the cart sat a goblet filled with what looked like water.
Stephen picked up the goblet to examine its contents more closely.
“Noooooooooo!” the voice of the little girl cried mournfully from outside. He saw her running toward the airplane door. “Don’t drink it!” she yelled. The door pulled up before she reached it and latched itself.
Stephen didn’t know if he should trust the little girl. There was certainly something disturbing about her. However, he hadn’t had any intention of the drinking the mysterious liquid. He only wanted to smell it.
As soon as he brought it close to his face, though, he found that he was compelled to drink it after all. It was drawing him in…
“Stop!” The little girl was inexplicably next to him. She put her hand on his arm and guided him to put the goblet back on the cart. “This isn’t the way out for you.”
She took him by the hand and led him off the plane. Soon they again stood outside the door she had been knocking on.
“I got it open,” she said, pushing it in to show him. Inside was only darkness. “You have to go through alone. If you want to get out of here, you have to go through. Promise me you will.” She look at him with her bright green eyes, and an image flashed in Stephen’s head. Someone else with green eyes—happy at first, then turning scared and concerned.
“Promise!” the girl screamed, stomping one foot on the ground.
Stephen nodded and the girl looked cheerful again.
“Here, take this.” She handed him a machete. “There might be…stuff in there that’s hard to walk through. You know—bushes, cobwebs, stuff like that. Don’t let them stop you.”
When she was satisfied that he would be okay, she stepped away from the door. He took a step inside and the door started closing behind him. He turned around and watched the girl wave at him as long as he could.
The last thing he heard before the door clicked was, “See you on the other side, Daddy!”