Bella sat in a corner of a dark room. The air was still. All was silent except for the sound of her heavy breathing. She could feel her heart thumping against her chest. Each beat brought on more and more pressure as she pondered deeply on what to do. The decision was a hard one to make. The two words were fresh in her mind. Life. Death. A voice materialised out of the darkness. “Think quick girl. Your time is coming to an end. Choose an option.” The girl shuddered as she heard the cold, frightening voice. What must she choose? She started to think about how this all started. Then the dreaded words came back to her. Life or death…
It began on a dark, gloomy, cold winter day as the girl walked along a snowy path back to her house. She had been on a long walk outside to see if there was anything interesting about. Finding nothing, she walked back home leaving deep prints in the snow as she dragged her feet slowly and miserably.
As she stepped into her house she was greeted by the welcoming smell of freshly baked chocolate muffins. Her mom was an expert at baking and Bella could always count on her to cheer up the family with her amazing baking on gloomy days like this. Inhaling deeply, she took off her shoes and rushed into the kitchen. She gave her mother a warm hug and asked her, “What’s for dinner Mom?”
‘How trivial the questions was’, Bella realised as she sat in the dark room. ‘I’m such an ordinary girl’ she thought. How she wished she could be back in her warm cozy house, with no worries at all.
After a satisfying report on what she was going to eat that night, she walked into the living room. Her father was sitting in the comfortable armchair and, as usual reading the newspaper. This was something most people would do in the mornings but Bella’s father was often at work by 7:00 and the morning paper came at 7:30; her dad had no time to read it in the mornings.
She said hello, they had a quick conversation on how the day was and she walked up the stairs to her room. Her desk was colourful, as usual and her books lay there untouched. This was because it was the winter holidays and Bella, not one for procrastination had already finished her homework and left her books on the table. Her family had decided to stay at home this holiday while all of her friends went to visit all sorts of places with their parents and siblings. This explained why Bella was so lonely while she should have either been building snowmen or splashing about in the pool with her friends.
After a few hours of reading a book and lazing around, Bella went downstairs to have dinner. Her parents asked her the usual questions. How was the day? What did you do? How’s Rocky doing? Rocky was the family dog but since no one else had much time for him, she ended up feeding him cleaning him and cleaning up after him. She was then tucked into bed by her mother and she fell asleep with Rocky next to her.
‘It was an ordinary day. But a very very extraordinary night.’ Bella recalled, now trapped in her relatively extraordinary room.
That night Bella experienced lots of dreams. These weren’t normal dreams. No, these were very strange. These dreams made her wake up at 2:00 in the morning and deliberately walk into the dark room she was now waiting in.
What happened in these dreams are not known for if Bella lived, she had vowed to herself not to tell anyone what they were about before making her decision just in case they might influence someone else to do the same thing she did. And if she died, then there would be no chance of anyone finding out what happened and how she died because she would be dead with no chance to speak to anyone ever again.
She walked quickly, careful not to leave any tracks. She entered the room. She had walked quite a long way to get there but didn’t notice even a bit of it. Scarily enough, her eyes were closed and arms extended as she walked there. She placed her hand on the doorknob. The door creaked. She opened the door, and stepped in.
Inside, she saw a boy. He was crying. Then, she saw a ghost-like figure slowly drift out of his body as he slumped on to the floor. He was dead. That was when she first heard the voice. It was laughing. Not a fun-filled laugh but an evil one. Evil and frightening. It spoke.
“Would you like a fate like that Bella?”
Mary was trying very hard to keep her teeth from chattering but managed a slight shake of her head.
“Then make your choice. Either you die or you live a life of torture and pain. Your family will certainly be worried but, they will never be able to find you and so, will live a life of sorrow an misery if you choose to die. If you choose to live, they will die instead. Under neither circumstances will you be happy but if you die, your soul will join a great movement to take over the world and you will come back to life later. On the other hand, if you choose to live, you will be immortal but suffering due to being tortured all day long. We would like you to now that our great movement is not a good cause. We are proud that we are evil and the Master feels that you could be too. If only you would let us unleash the Devil within you. All the people who have come here before you have given up their lives for this cause. You have twenty minutes. Decide.”
He recited the same speech five times a day and was proud of himself for being chosen for such an important task. Throughout his career, he had seen tens of thousands of souls being taken by the Master and especially enjoyed watching the children make their decision.
Twenty minutes later, the room was empty. There was no sign that anyone had been there in the past few weeks.There was just a small addition to it’s bare walls. In one corner someone had a scratched a message on the walls:
“Bella, we’re coming to get you. This isn’t the end.”