Maggie and Danny ©

Chapter 6

Written by: roseyn

Maggie hurried across the concrete floor towards Danny, her clicking heels resonating sharply against the dimly lit walls. When she reached him, she crouched on her haunches and cautiously checked out the air vent.

The opening was no bigger than a regular toilet window. Inside, the space was dark, narrow, filled with fetid odours and a low, constant drumming noise like lots of tiny sledgehammers. Visions of sticky, thick cobwebs, scurrying rats and large well-fed cockroaches crossed her head. She shivered and immediately pulled back.

“Don’t be such a girl,” Danny grumbled.

Maggie didn’t much care for his condescending tone. She shot him what she hoped was her best indignant expression and crawled in. She leant against the uneven wall, huddled her knees close to her chest and tried to think of happy things. The scratchy sound of the vent’s cover, an old-fashioned grille, finally sealed them in.

“You ok?”

Maggie nodded, quite certain that she wasn’t. But she wasn’t about to acknowledge it. What had possessed her to do something so crazy? She glanced at Danny and found her answer.

She was here because of him.

“Need to be quiet,” Danny whispered. “Air vents aren’t like that whole Hollywood stuff. Any sound in here echoes out there.”

Maggie decided she could do ‘quiet’ well. Surrounded by a dank, smelly wall, one rusty grille and two endless black tunnels kept her suitably frozen.

From beyond the grille, a door whooshed, footsteps padded. “I don’t understand. She was here a moment ago.” Undoubtedly the broad-shouldered nurse.

More footsteps, heavier, moving closer until someone, wearing khaki pants tucked into a pair of brown steel-capped boots, stopped short of the grille. “Well, she’s not here now,” a man replied. His voice was strong, gravelly with a hard edge to it. He began tapping his steely toe, quick, impatient taps. “Stone’s going to have our heads for this. He specifically wanted this Maggie woman confined if she returned… her and that blasted trouble-making kid.”

Maggie instantly wrapped her hand across her mouth. Why the hell would Morgan want them confined?

“I did everything I was instructed to do,” said the nurse. “As soon as I recognised her skulking in the corridor, I pretended she was one of the ‘rehabbers’ and locked her in.”

Another male voice called out. “Her car’s still here.”

“Then so is she,” grunted the first man. “And the boy?”

“Missing.”

Footsteps thundered, curses flew. And then everything went dark. In the distance, a door slammed shut.

Maggie blinked successive blinks, tried to adjust to the rapid blindness. But even black had its varying shades;  their new blackness the darkest shade of all.

“Maggie, I’m… scared,” Danny stammered.

“It’ll be ok. I promise,” she said. She ferreted inside her jacket for her torch, pulled it out and flicked it on. It caught Danny’s surprised but relieved expression.

She then shone the torchlight onto the grille.

Her blood automatically chilled.

Staring back at them was a smiling, spectral-like face.

Morgan Stone.

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