(a/n: OMG almost 700 hits! o.o I so happy! ^_^ Thank you so much everyone who had read so far and a special thanks to Jaz-147 for the continued encouragement.) (Disclaimer: I...nevermind...)
"So, Masako, any idea what it is we're looking for," I waited for her response. We had been searching the halls for the room harboring the spirit we had sensed for what seemed like hours. Though, in truth, it had probably only been thirty minutes. I watched anxiously as our Medium placed her hand on another door-I lost count of how many-only to lower it back to her side and say, "Empty."
I gave a heavy sigh, "Is it possible that the spirit has vacated the building?"
John glanced at Masako in uncertainty as though he were beginning to wonder the same thing but then, "That's very unlikely." He continued to follow the corridor.
Masako sighed as we slowly trailed after him, "He's right. They're still here." She shuddered and then wrapped her arms around herself.
John stopped and glanced back as though he could sense her distress, "Ms. Hara…? What's wrong?"
Masako stopped as well, her eyes widening a fraction, "I-I can feel their fear. They've been trapped here for s-so long…"
"T-trapped…in this creepy run down hotel?" I nearly dropped the mic when the lights on this floor started to flicker and buzz; the same creaking sound from before soon followed.
Masako shook her head, "No, not here…the city. Something…won't let them leave."
I glanced at the current door we had stopped at and bit back a gasp. It was starting to ice over. The other two noticed this as well. The sudden appearance of the soft crying from this morning had my heart nearly pounding out of my chest. Slow scratching sounded from the other side of the door.
"It would seem we have found the room we were looking for," John's eyes echoed the grave unease I felt about this news. As he reached out to touch the door he was seemingly thrown down by some unseen force and a loud knocking echoed all around us. The Camera rolled from his arms but was unharmed. I set down the mic and grabbing Masako's hand ran to where John had landed.
"I'm okay," John rubbed the back of his head. "Are y-"
Suddenly the lights came the rest of the way on and the hallways once again were silent. I glanced back at the door; it looked normal again. Fast approaching footfalls had us all looking down the now lit corridor. Great… Now what's after us? A familiar voice called out, coming quickly nearer.
Monk came rushing around the corner and upon seeing us, "Hey! You three okay?"
I shivered; I hadn't noticed till then that the temperature had actually dropped. I slowly rose to my feet and looked at the door to the room in question. Monk followed my gaze, "I see you found the room our spirit's in." He stepped forward and reached for the handle. John and Masako both jumped to their feet, "Don't try to open the-" But Monk was already entering the room. We all stared in wide eyed shock. Monk flipped the light switch and the room became bathed in light.
"Monk?" I cautiously followed him inside and shivered again. It was even colder in here. Once we were all in the room it quickly became clear that we had made a serious mistake entering this spirit touched room without a plan.
The temperature began to drop even further as the windows slowly iced over and then the lights in both the room and the hall snapped off and the very wood that held the room together seemed to creak and groan in disdain. The curtains draped in front of the windows billowed in an eerie without-wind way. The soft sound of crying returned to the room. Masako gasped and we all followed her gaze to the bed nearest to the windows. The spirit, a young teenage girl dressed in Priestess-like clothing, was sitting on the bed holding her knees up to her chest, rocking back and forth. She didn't seem to notice we were in the room with her.
Monk slowly took up his chanting stance but Masako stopped him by gently placing a hand on his arm, "Monk…wait." He glanced at her in confusion but did as he was told.
The spirit girl continued to rock herself as hysteric whispering spilled from lips.
"Please don't let them find me
I know I can't undo my mistake
But I didn't know what would happen
They said I could go if I apologized
But that was several years ago
This city is a place of death
That was all I said
Why am I being punished?"
The young woman's eyes widened a fraction as they shot toward the doorway.
They're coming… oh my god…how did they find me…?
Her already glowing body began to emit a red tint. The door began to shake…violently.
She looked right through us at something we couldn't see.
"I SAID I WAS SORRY!"
The door then slammed shut with enough force to shatter it into hundreds of fragment that sprayed across the room. We did our best to shield ourselves. The woman looked back at the floor, lowering her face into her hands.
"I-I don't want to die…"
The lights suddenly came back on, blinding us momentarily. But when we looked back to the bed it was empty.
After several moments of stunned silence, Monk turned to us with a nervous grin, "Well, at least the power's back on so I guess that means the elevator is operating again."
However, after contemplating whether this was truly a good thing, we all agreed that it would still be better to stick to using the stairs. The very thought of encountering a spirit in the elevator caused a chill to rush up my spine.
John sighed, seeming tired, "I suppose we should start setting up so we can begin monitoring this room." I echoed his tired sigh as we left the room to retrieve the equipment.
After everything was positioned-this didn't take very long since were using wireless-Monk did one last scan of the immediate hall before finally leading us back to the stairs.
Upon returning to base we saw Lin carefully watching the monitor tuned in to the camera in the second floor room. Once Naru regarded our presence, I explained everything that had happened. At the finish of the report, Naru rose from his chair and went over to an open box on the floor and carried it back to the table. He reached in and pulled something out that looked like some kind of high tech wristwatch. He handed it to Masako, who looked at it quizzically. He then handed one out to the rest of us, "These are Thermo Watches. They will continuously monitor the temperature around you…never take them off. Should the surrounding temperature start to drop it will alert you." Everyone seemed relieved by this as they all strapped the devise to their wrist, well, except for me, I couldn't seem to get it on.
Naru seemed to find this amusing and decided he would help me, "Here, hold out your wrist." With kind gentle hands he quickly fastened the Thermo Watch to my wrist and as he moved his hands away his fingers softly brushed against my skin. His eyes lingered on mine for a moment before he finally veered away and joined Lin by the monitors.
I breathed out, only then realizing I had been holding my breath. I stared at him in confusion, silently wishing he hadn't looked away. Had I only imagined it…that had to be it…why else would have looked at me like that…like I was important.