Read Part One Here
It’s been about three months since my whole incident with The Expanse. I had been seeing my new therapist. Tiffany, for pretty much that entire length of time.
She was on the younger side and had only really been working in the field for a few years, but she seemed to know what she was doing and actually listened to me. I told her a lot of stuff and experiences in my life up to that point, but I mostly veered away from the topic of The Expanse. Wasn’t trying to get myself committed, I don’t really know how that whole thing works.
Just feels like the more I went into it, the better the chance I would have of her thinking I was legitimately insane. Hyperbole aside though, I just thought it would be better for the both of us if I didn’t bring it up much.
That is, until one day she insisted that I talk about it. She wasn’t authoritative necessarily. But, said everything she could to guarantee I would feel okay with going into detail about it. After all, me trying to tell others about it is why I was here in the first place.
“Alex, you can trust me. I’m here to help you, not judge you. If I was, then I wouldn’t be in this chair.” She said softly, leaning forward in her chair and looking at me with almost maternal instinct.
“I won’t force you to talk about anything. But I promise you don’t have to feel like a prisoner in your own mind. I’ll bet I can relate a lot more than you might think.”
I perked up upon hearing that last sentence. My eyes shifting in her direction with a look of intrigue and curiosity. She returned the eye contact before delivering a slight smirk, confirming her implication.
“You’re not serious.” I accused. “Listen I get you wanna help me but you don’t have to lie to do it.”
“This isn’t necessarily the most professional of me and I really shouldn’t say this, but that place you’re talking about. It’s not as insane as you might think. I believe your story, every word of it.” She continues, suddenly stopping her hand gestures as she waits for my response.
“I really don’t appreciate you making a joke out of my experience.” I snarled. “You’re supposed to be helping me, you’re supposed to be different than all the other people who won’t listen and ridicule me. I’m nothing but a punchline to everyone. Even before any of this happened.”
After my little fit, I then got up out of my chair and began to walk to the door. Only to be stopped once she announced something that made my heartbeat nearly cease upon hearing it.
“The thing with all the legs.” Came her calm assertion.
I turned, looking over to her with wide eyes and mouth slightly ajar. I had never told her about the creature, not once. In fact, I hadn’t told anyone about it. Let alone any of its anatomical features.
So I stood there, looking like a complete moron while she got out of her chair and approached me. Taking a quick glance to her left at a long curtain on the side of the room with no windows and then directly back at me.
“It tried to kill you, didn’t it?” She inquired rhetorically. “It tried to kill me too.”
Still, I stood there stunned. Not even knowing how to form words for a response.
“Alex, you gotta believe me. I’m sorry if you thought I was trying to discredit you. That wasn’t my intention. But I know what you’re talking about. And I know you’re not the only person who’s gone through this. Now, will you please sit and finish our session? I don’t want you leaving this room upset.”
She kept her gaze locked hard on me. And I took a deep breath, internally kicking myself for not keeping my cool when I had always been a person who prided myself on doing just that.
So with a bit of hesitance, I turned and headed back over to my chair, sitting back down and cupping my hands together as I waited for her to continue speaking.
“How did you get in? Like how did you get there.” She asks, a sympathetic undertone present in her voice.
It took me nearly a full minute to answer despite knowing precisely what I wanted to say. But Tiffany’s body language gave me no doubts that she was entirely prepared to listen.
“A wall.” I croaked out. “This wall in my basement, it was like it wasn’t even there. Like things could just… Go through it. It was so weird, I’ve only seen things like that in video games.”
This didn’t seem to shock her, not in the slightest. Instead, she only nodded slightly while staying silent. Allowing me to elaborate.
“My parents wouldn’t listen to me, I tried telling them about it but they never wanted to hear it. All I know is that I wanted some proof, ya know so I could show someone, someone who would do something about it. Or at least someone who would believe me.”
“How did you feel while you were in there?” She asked, prompting me to take another several seconds of silence as I thought of my reply.
“I- I really don’t know to explain it. It’s not a feeling you can describe. I don’t think anyone’s felt it. Besides you, is there any chance… you could tell me… About what you saw in the walls?” I solicit. Only to prompt a look of hesitance from Tiffany.
“This is about you Alex, not me. I’m here to hear your story, not to tell you mine.” She rebuts, cupping her hands together.
“I know, I know you are. But I wanna hear yours. Maybe… just maybe it’ll help me be able to find some closure with mine.” I fire back, more insistent than previously. “I just wanna know there’s someone else out there who understands.”
Tiffany exhales, looking to both her right and her left only to return her gaze back over to me as silence swallows the room. I knew that in the back of her mind she did wanna tell me. That despite her training and education she was still human at the end of the day.
“Screw protocols, screw procedures, screw all of it. Just please, please tell me.” I beg. Leaning forward in anticipation.
Tiffany keeps eye contact with me. Still appearing unsure about her next move, I widen my eyes and let her know just how desperate I was to hear about her experience.
“Okay.” She sighs. Still hesitant.
“I was ten, It was my birthday and my mom had invited several of my friends over to the house to celebrate. My dad had taken me out to the shed in our backyard so he could grab tools to finish working on my birthday present. He refused to tell me what it was until it was finished.
You see, my dad never really let me into the shed very much, not unless I was close to him. Said he didn’t want me messing with grown-up stuff in there. Stuff that could hurt me.” She paused, allowing me to interject with a question.
“What was your dad’s job?” I inquire. Surprisingly prompting her to smile.
“He was a carpenter, he was always very good with his hands…” Tiffany trails off, an expression of guilt creeping onto her face. “Alex, are you sure you want me to do this? It just doesn’t feel right.”
“Yes, I need this,”
“Okay… Well, we went into the shed. And it was a very small shed, could barely fit three people inside there at once. And yet, there was a door on the opposite end of the entrance door. It looked like it would lead you somewhere in the back of the shed, but there wasn’t any more physical structure behind it to give the door a real purpose for being there. It was about as pointless as a window on the floor.
Dad grabbed some of his tools and I just kept staring right at that door the whole time. I had seen it a couple of times before but on this particular occasion I just really wanted to know why it was there. So I asked him.
He told me he was gonna add onto the shed and that he wanted to have the door built ahead of time. Of course, me being ten with not much comprehension of how carpentry works I took that answer at face value. Yet, there was also this part of me that felt like he wasn’t telling the whole truth.
After the party was over that night and I had gone to bed. I couldn’t sleep, I laid awake all night thinking about that door. I don’t know why, even at the time I knew it was an odd thing to focus on. Nonetheless, it didn’t leave my mind.
I tossed and turned, I had a long day with a lot going on and yet I was still wide awake. And it was all because of that damn door.”
There were another few brief moments of silence as Tiffany turned to look at that curtain on the side of the room again. Causing me to do the same as she started speaking once again.
“At one point it got to be too much, I was just way too curious about something so mundane. Like I said I don’t know why, but I got out of bed, grabbed my flashlight, and made my way out to the shed. I made sure to not wake dad up, not even sure how long I would’ve gotten grounded for if I ended up getting caught.
I make it to the shed regardless and walk over to the door. And with the only other sound in the immediate area being crickets, I was able to hear… Something on the other side of it. Which logically should’ve just been more crickets. But it wasn’t.
Instead, it sounded like electric buzzing if that even makes any sense, like the buzzing of ceiling lights. Even at that age, I knew that something wasn’t right. I recognized the sound from the lights in my school at the time, and I knew there was no reason for me to be hearing it coming from there.
I let my curiosity get the best of me, as a lot of kids do. So I opened that damn door, god… I just wanna kick myself for even saying it now.
But I opened the door and there it was, The Expanse. I remember it just like how you described it, ugly yellow walls, a damp and old-looking carpet. And the buzzing, oh the buzzing. It was twice as loud now that I had opened the door.
I didn’t know what to think, I knew that I was scared, part of me was anyway. But I was mainly in shock, this wasn’t possible. I had only seen things like this happening in the cartoons and movies I watched.
I told myself I wouldn’t go far, that I would only take a few steps inside just to see what the place was, and to make sure it wasn’t just my imagination. That I wasn’t just dreaming.
At first, I honored what I told myself, I only took three steps inside before staring at the empty hallway in front of me. The fluorescent lights flickering above only helped to unease me. But my curiosity was overpowering my gut feeling. The feeling that something was wrong. And not just with what I could see.
I finally began listening to my instincts at that point, because it wasn’t long before I decided it was really time to go. And that I had already overstayed my welcome.
When I turned around to go back the way I came? I saw nothing. Just a flat, ugly yellow wall like the rest of them. Any sign of the door being there just up and vanished.
I went up to the wall, pushed on it with all my weight, threw myself against it over and over. Thinking I’d get some sort of different outcome. But no, I was just a scared little girl trapped in a place I knew nothing about.
I banged on the wall and yelled as loud as I could for my parents, wasn’t long before I started to cry in a desperate panic. All I did was stand there, continuously throwing my fists on the wall over and over and begging for my parents to come save me from this place.
And it wasn’t long before something heard me. Something that knew I was invading its territory.
I heard its screech when it was coming for me. It was awful, don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more horrific than the sounds that thing made. It was like someone had put a screaming baby on a distorted megaphone.
So I did the only thing I could do at the time. I ran. Ran as fast as I could to the right because the screeching was coming from the left.
It felt like… I don’t know, like I wasn’t even moving. I just passed yellow wall after yellow wall, I knew in the back of my mind I was going somewhere. But the rest of me felt deceived. It looked endless, and maddening.
Eventually, I came to a stop, feeling like I had put enough distance between myself and whatever it was that had been pursuing me.
What I felt wasn’t just fear. This wasn’t looking down a dark flight of stairs or a creepy basement or seeing a spider in your room. No, this was existential on a level I can’t put into concrete wording.
I still hadn’t seen the thing, not up to that point. So I went and hid behind a wall. Placed my back against it so softly I couldn’t even tell if I had actually made contact with it.
It was around ten seconds when I was able to work up the courage to peek my head over the edge of the wall. I was shaking, holding in sniffles, had silent tears going down my face. I didn’t dare make a sound. I couldn’t afford to.
At first, there was nothing. It kinda looked like something out of one of those old playhouses from the 2000s, just cold, empty. No life present at all. It was uncanny.”
Tiffany pauses, inhaling and shifting her gaze over towards that curtain once more. Prompting me to finally point it out.
“What’s going on with that?” I asked as politely as I could.
“Oh nothing important, just more wall.” She laughed off dismissively.
For the first time since she started her story, I felt a bit uncomfortable. But I mainly chalked it up to her being invested in what she was saying. So I went back to just listening.
“There I was, staring down that yellow void until I hear it screech again as it rounds the corner all the way down the hall and spots me peeking. I knew it saw me because we both froze for a second. It’s like it wanted me to know that it knew I was there, and that my fate was sealed.
All those legs, god those legs. They all moved in this grotesquely perfect unison as it started running towards me. So I turned and bolted, hugging the wall to my left which was a dead end. Just my luck.
Did I mention I don’t like spiders? Or really, anything with more than 4 legs for that matter. So it wasn’t exactly on my bucket list to encounter a man-sized, mutated centipede.
Didn’t think my little legs could carry me so far and so fast. Everything around me was a blur, like I was on a high-speed rail train or something. But it still wasn’t enough, that thing was hot on my tail and there was a small part of me that knew I couldn’t outrun it.
I pulled away from the wall to my left, took some turns to try and confuse it. But it knew what I was doing, probably because everyone who ran from it before tried the same thing and failed. God have mercy on them.
I knew it was closing in on me when its footsteps got louder, death was practically knocking at my door. I still remember how it sounded when it ran… Makes my skin crawl to this day.
The yellow walls, the hum buzz of the lights, the old, moist carpet. It made it that much worse, knowing I was probably going to die young in such an alien environment. I wasn’t getting out, not alive anyway, or so I thought…” She trailed off.
You said the wall in your basement was how you entered it right? The Expanse?” She inquiries, catching me off guard with the sudden question.
“Yes…” I trail off, unsure of what to say next.
“Why didn’t you try to show anyone?”
“My parents, they built a wall of wood panels in front of it. Told me they were tired of my ghost stories and my obsession with that damn wall. So they said they’d get it out of my sight and out of my mind.
I think they know there’s something wrong with it. Kinda like how your dad did, but they don’t want me messing with things I don’t understand, or they just didn’t want our house to become a government research site. Both seem just as likely.
I wish they would at least acknowledge my story as true. Their own son went to this horrific place, survived being attacked by a dangerous monster. And they just pretend like I’m crazy. That I’m just desperate for attention. I hate it, and I almost hate them for it. But they’ve raised me, fed me, and given me shelter. Maybe one day they’ll come to their senses.”
Tiffany’s stare became a bit more cold, as if I had just told her what I ate for breakfast that morning. I hadn’t seen her ever look at me like that before now. I didn’t like it, it was unsettling. Especially considering the gravity and context of what I had just said.
“Why don’t you finish telling me about your experience, we’re kinda getting off-topic don’t ya think?” I interject, hoping that she would agree.
“Right.” She began, bringing me a bit of relief. “It’s about as straightforward as a situation like that could be. I was running from something that I truly couldn’t escape in a place I was never meant to be.
Eventually, after going for so long, my lungs began to give out, I simply couldn’t muster the strength or energy to run anymore even though I knew I had no choice. And I think that was the worst part of it all, knowing that I couldn’t even do the bare minimum of running away to save myself. Sure as hell wasn’t gonna try and fight that thing.
Soon enough I came to a dead end, boxed in by walls on either side of me and the creature behind me. I somehow mustered the courage to turn around as it closed in.
I could’ve sworn it had even tried to smile at me before it prepared to kill me, like it knew what it was doing was going to make me suffer, and that it was going to take pleasure in the agony of my slow, painful death.
But something in me snapped, and I honestly shocked myself when this sudden shouting roar emerged from within me and I directed it right at the creature, I thought it would be completely pointless. But to my surprise, it hesitated. Like it was caught off guard by a violent outburst of what it saw as prey.
“Leave me alone! Leave me alone you stupid ugly monster!” I shouted while flailing my arms. I noticed that it had been taken aback and I wanted to keep it that way.
“You’re a stupid, weird, and ugly monster!” I continued screaming, baring my teeth to make myself look less docile.
It wasn’t long before the beast had realized who was really in control, so it began crawling forward again, despite me throwing my various insults at it.
I was desperate, saying every nasty thing I could think of as it closed the distance. But like I said, my dominance was short-lived. I wasn’t in control any longer.
So I tried something else… I- I proposed a deal… To it.”
Tiffany then pauses, not even making a sound as she looked at the floor with mannerisms that almost resembled guilt.
“What… What did you offer it?” I grilled demandingly.
“That’s not important, but what is. Is that it spoke to me, told me it was hungry, in this gross, hoarse, and nightmarish voice. Like an elderly smoker who had his throat filled with a thick syrup. I didn’t even know something that alien could even possess the ability to speak in the first place. Its voice really contrasts with all those horrible screeches it makes, I’ll tell you that. But I eventually made it out, found a wall that was darker than the rest, and fell right through. Ended up right back up in-.”
“Woah Woah wait. What did you offer it?” I said, less patience present in my tone. “And don’t say it’s not important. I wanna know why it let you live.”
But Tiffany doesn’t respond out loud, instead, she goes looking at that freaking curtain again. Giving it an intriguing stare before standing up out of her chair and moving towards it.
That’s when I decided it was time to leave.
“I think this session is over,” I pronounced as firmly as I could at the time. Only for her entire demeanor to shift once the words left my mouth. I stood up, attempting to go over and grab my cell phone from her table.
“Sit.” She snarled, giving me a look that said she was not in any mood to argue.
“Tell me what you offered it!” I erupted, my voice echoing off the walls.
She didn’t respond yet again, prompting me to lunge for the door. I got my hand on the knob and fumbled turning it, so I threw it on there again. Only to be stopped mid-turn by the sound of a click coming from behind me. I already concluded the obvious.
“Stop. Turn around slowly. Don’t make this any harder than it needs to be.” She growled. Presumably waving the gun she had pointed at the back of my skull.
“You know, I’d rather die than get sent back there.” I rebut.
“Oh it won’t be that simple, I’ll just put a bullet in each of your knees and then throw you in there, so your fate is up to you. Do you wanna die slow and painfully, or have a chance of running away for a while?”
I put my hands up and slowly turn around, and right there is the sight of Tiffany standing next to the curtain with a Glock in her right hand pointed directly at me.
“Good.” She muttered. Just before reaching with her free hand to grab the edge of the curtain and yank it to the side.
And behind said curtain was a door, just a simple, dark red door. Like one you’d see in someone’s home. That alone isn’t usually very sinister, but in this context… It was beyond bone-chilling.
I knew what was on the other side of it, and that I didn’t have much longer before I ended up there, back in The Expanse.
“Come here,” Tiffany demanded Using her gun to point to the door.
With no choice, I did as I was told. Marching over to her and stopping just a meter in front of the door. My hands still in the air.
“It’s hungry, I’m sorry Alex. But it’s hungry.” She said, all the sympathy exiting her tone. “When I saw your story, I knew that I needed to find you.”
“So you can kill me to continue to save your own skin. How do you know the creature could even make it out of The Expanse? What do you have to fear? It’s nothing but an empty threat when you’re out here”
“Oh… It- It can.” She stuttered. “You see, you got lucky. You fell into a public place where it didn’t wanna reveal itself by continuing to pursue you. But most people, even those who fall back into reality. Aren’t so lucky.”
“How would it even know where you are when you’re not in The Expanse? You don’t have to bend to this thing’s will. I promise you.”
But instead of rebutting, she simply waves the gun toward the door. Signaling for me to open it and step through.
“I can’t take the risk, I need to look out for myself. People were never meant to discover The Expanse, and we’re both paying the price for treading somewhere we don’t belong. Plus, if I don’t hold up my end of the bargain, I’m not the only one in danger. Far from it, this goes beyond just me and you.”
“Seems like you’re getting a bit of slack compared to me.” I barked back.
“Hurry up and stop stalling.” Tiffany snapped.
“There’s no need to do this, there’s gotta be another way. I bet you haven’t even tried to use that gun on it once. Have you?”
“I said go, Alex!” She commanded violently, now moving closer and placing the barrel inches away from my skull.
I turned slowly, giving her one last look. A look that told her that I was desperate for her to come to her senses. All I wanted was for her to realize the madness of what she was doing, and that there was a way out.
But alas, I was hoping for an outcome that was impossible at that point. So I took a deep breath, looked ahead, and lifted my hand up, guiding it over to the doorknob.
“You’re gonna get what’s coming to you,” I said, maintaining my forward gaze despite my defeated tone.
I then slowly pulled back, the door creaking as it inched across the distance of the floor.
My eyes widened as I saw it, the place I thought I’d never see again. All my fight-or-flight instincts went into high alert as soon as I heard the buzzing of the fluorescent lights.
Everything that happened came right back to me, in a way that made me feel like I never truly left The Expanse. It was like getting a greeting from my own personal hell. Welcoming me back home.
I took my first couple steps forward, the all too familiar but subtle squelch of the moist carpet manifesting as my foot made contact. I felt goosebumps form around my arms and legs, The Expanse was a bit cooler than what I had previously remembered.
“It’s for the greater good.” Came Tiffany from behind.
I don’t turn around, not at first. But once I hear a heavy slam, I take a look back, seeing nothing but more of the ugly yellow wallpaper. It was just like Tiffany’s experience if she was even telling the truth. The door that leads in, does not lead out. But just like that, I was right back in the place I dreaded most.
But I wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did last time. The first thing I wanted to do was begin searching for a wall, a wall that I could fall through in order to get out of here.
I also wanted to pinpoint wherever the creature might’ve been, that way I could take steps to avoid it. I needed to keep quiet, to not panic like I did the first time around, and if I was careful enough, I knew I just might survive long enough to make it out once more.
I then started walking in a crouched formation, turning right, and heading down a corridor that led to a dead end. Only to turn and take another left once reaching the end and immediately feeling off-put by the sight I had laid eyes upon.
At the end of the hall was what looked to be a four-way intersection of rooms, which by itself was nothing new. I had seen things like the first time I was here. However, there was a strange, bright light being emitted from something in the opening of the hallway on the right.
I kept quiet and glanced around me, looking for any signs of the creature’s presence as I considered moving to investigate whatever was causing the disproportionate light effect. And in that moment, I discovered nothing.
However, I did hear something. Something that completely threw me off.
First, it was a sudden slam. As if a heavy door had been opened and closed in quick succession. Then, that same slam was followed by the sound of footsteps and human voices. Both male and female.
I turn back and hug the wall to my right for cover and get down as low as I can, getting all the way up to where it ended, and laying on my stomach while peeking over to see whoever these people were.
Just in front of the now invisible door, were three individuals, all of which looked like they just walked straight out of an episode of some shadowy government conspiracy tv show.
There were two women and one man, the three of which were dressed near head to toe in black. With all sorts of body armor and gear to go with it. Each of them held a rifle in their hands with a pistol on their utility belts. Along with various other non-firearm weapons like grenades and knives.
The man then puts a hand near his left ear, fidgeting with what appeared to be some sort of earpiece for communication. Becoming visibly frustrated as he struggled to get it to function properly.
Believe me, I wanted nothing more than to run up to them and tell them everything. Tell them to help me find a way out of this god-forsaken place and show them the horrors these walls hold. And who was responsible for putting me in here.
But I don’t think they were there to help. Considering the fact that one of them had Tiffany’s Glock strapped to their side, with a bit of blood sitting on the side of the barrel. She was nowhere to be found. And I pondered as to whether or not she was dead or incapacitated, but it wasn’t long before I got my answer.
“The body’s getting picked up and taken to Site Seven. Their Director Of Operations said so.” Came the man. His voice soft, but low in pitch.
“Why not take it back to Site Twelve, then they can feed her to that blue freak they got locked up in there.” Rebuts one of the women in a sarcastic tone.
“He’s got a talent for killing, I’ll give him that.” The other woman chimes in. “But man, West wasn’t kind to him in the looks department.”
“I bet you’ve never even seen him fight.” The man jokes. Smirking as he clutches his rifle.
One of the women opens her mouth to form a reply, only to be suddenly cut off by a bloodcurdling, ear-shattering screech coming from somewhere to the far left of us. The three of them all immediately snapped to attention and raised their weapons. Ready for a fight.
The creature, it knew we were here. And it was coming.
The man quickly lifts a hand to his ear again, resting two fingers against it before saying…
“This is Agent Creed with team X-5-Dash-Two, we’re at the location and the witness has been terminated and pinged for pick up and disposal. May or may not be cryptid activity present as well. Should we keep moving?”
The three… “Agents” all stood at attention as they received their response. One that I myself was too far to hear coming from the communication piece. I arrived at the conclusion that it was now my time to leave, so I got to my feet as quietly as possible, still hugging the wall as I slowly backed away.
I turned and refocused my attention to the corridor, peering down at the intersection and setting my sights on the bright opening to the right.
I kept myself in a crouched position as I hastily made my way towards it, the horrid screech of the creature once again echoing through the walls of the expanse.
“Down here!” One of the two women shouted, immediately making my heart sink as I had hoped and prayed they weren’t referring to the hall that I was currently occupying.
But of course, my hopes and wants meant nothing here. I immediately picked up speed, which was nothing in comparison to how quickly I began moving after hearing one of those female agents shout in my direction from the end of the hall behind me.
“Hey! Get back here!”
I of course had no intentions to obey her demand. Instead, I broke into a full-on sprint, not taking even a moment to waste on trying to convince them of my situation.
I made a mad dash for the intersection as the woman began to open fire, several bullets whipped by and missed me by mere inches. Only causing my adrenaline to skyrocket. Making me pump my legs like never before.
After what felt like an eternity, I finally made it to the end and made a sudden, and hard right turn. The woman had stopped firing at me but cried out in a fury of both horror and rage. Gunfire then erupted through the walls as I heard the creature’s dozens of footsteps as it closed in on the three agents.
“What is that!” The man shouted, just before letting out an agonizing cry, I didn’t dare look back. But all I know is that things likely didn’t go his way in the midst of encountering the beast up close.
Their screams were haunting, and that coupled with the gunfire and the screeching of the creature made the situation all the more horrible. The sounds of flesh tearing didn’t help, but at this point, I couldn’t tell who was killing who.
It was only when I was more than a couple hundred feet away and my heartbeat slowed to a more reasonable speed, had I realized that my surroundings changed significantly.
Instead of the soft thumping and squelching of moist carpet, my feet were hitting solid, and dry tile. I slowed myself and looked down, only to now see a bright, white-tiled floor.
It was pretty much what you’d find in your average public school building, and speaking of. When I glanced ahead of me, the hallway was no longer yellow. Instead, the walls to my immediate left and right consisted of tall blue lockers. Above those, was a simple, white painted slant of wall that ran up into an equally boring and flat tiled ceiling.
There was a gap in the lockers on the left wall around thirty feet in front of me, so I went towards it, only to discover that said gap was actually a door. You’d think by now I’d have had my fill on anything to do with those.
The door itself was made from a light, polished wood, with a tall, vertically thin window running up the middle. I peered into the glass, laying eyes upon a classroom, one that looked to be abandoned.
Had I made it out? Had I escaped The Expanse a second time by some sheer dumb luck?
No. Because I looked back behind me and saw the way the yellow walls slowly faded into this new structure. The cutoff was sudden and easy to distinguish, dozens of feet of yellow wallpaper suddenly becoming a solid white and stopping right where the blue lockers began.
It was obvious that this was a school, or at least. An imitation of one, but I wasn’t back in reality. I was still in The Expanse, but obviously, this was some sort of different layer or section.
Regardless, I don’t know who actually left the encounter alive between those agents and the creature. I couldn’t hear anything anymore with the distance I had put between all of them and myself. But I knew whoever survived would come looking for me. And I wanted nothing to do with either.
I didn’t wanna keep standing out in the middle of the hallway and leave myself as an easy target. Part of me was forgetting the creature might not be the only one in here and the gunfire going on earlier didn’t help.
So I put my hand on the doorknob and turned it, to my surprise the door swung open with a slight creak. I stepped in and shut it behind me. I didn’t see a lock of any kind though. So instead I went and pushed a couple of the student desks up against it, hoping it would provide me with just a bit more peace of mind.
While I could tell this place was abandoned. Most of the supplies and actual material still looked mostly intact. Save for the dust and little bits of moisture.
Over on what I assumed to be the teacher’s desk, was a black cover notebook, and a mug full of pens and pencils next to it. I went to approach it, only to stop dead in my tracks by the sound of sudden movement taking place just outside the door to the classroom.
My heart froze, and I kept still. This movement wasn’t a constant, abundant pitter-patter like the creature, and it was far too heavy to be human footsteps. So it had to be something I had yet to encounter.
Once the initial terror passed over me, I immediately dropped low and maneuvered my way underneath the teacher’s desk. Letting my back rest against the thick, metallic tower of drawers that doubled as a support leg.
I was fully hidden, I knew whatever it was wouldn’t be able to see me. And yet, it didn’t ease my nerves in the slightest. But how could it? Especially when I could pick up the faint, yet potent sound of its heavy breaths coming through the door.
It was looking through the window in the door. Waiting for the slightest noise or hint of movement to occur. I had no idea what this thing even looked like, and I didn’t want to.
I kept holding my breath despite not needing to, every second felt like an eternity. I got to a point where I thought my heart would explode.
But then I heard its monstrous footsteps once more as its heavy breath faded away. Allowing me some emotional relief as I finally exhaled. It was leaving, losing interest after failing to pick up on my presence.
I slowly peeked my head around the support of the desk and glanced over at the window of the door. Only to see that whatever it was, was longer there. But I still didn’t wanna leave the room, not for a while. But I knew I’d have to eventually.
I slowly slid out from underneath the desk and stood up, grabbing both a pen and the notebook placed on top of it before returning underneath the desk.
I’m gonna write all of this down. I need this to reach someone, somewhere. I need to continue getting my story out there.
If you all don’t hear from me again, then I guess that means I didn’t make it. But this needs to be exposed, and the world needs to know. Be careful where you step, remain cautious of where you go. Because there are fates a whole lot worse than death. And falling into The Expanse is one of them.
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