They watched, basking in the warmth of the flames, as Mary's portrait transformed into nothing more than burned paper in a frame. The feeling of relief spread throughout the room, touching both Ib and Garry. They hugged as the glass shattered in the picture frame and the last of the flames started to die. They stared at each other for a second, wondering what to do next. Finally, they started towards the door. Towards freedom.
As their footsteps echoed across the empty hallway, something seemed off. Ib turned to look back behind her. All of the doll heads were turned towards them, their cold eyes beckoning them their way. She shuddered, were they doing that before? She quickly looked away. Mary was gone, her magic no longer controlled the museum. Ib took a deep breath, steeled her nerves, and attempted to match her pace with Garry's. All was well, and there was nothing to worry about.
At least that's what she thought, until the lights flickered. Darkness enveloped the two people desperate for a way out. Terror rose up in their throats like bile. What is going on? Is Mary back? Ib thought, panicked. The blackness of the room was enough to consume everything. Nothing could be seen. Even Garry, who had grabbed her hand and was standing right next to her, was not visible. With their sense of sight gone, the other senses kicked in. Especially smell.
At first, everything seemed normal. There was the same deafening silence, unnavigable darkness, and Garry's slightly shaky and sweaty hand grasping Ib's. But then, the scent changed. A sweet aroma filled the hallway. Is this…roses? Confusion replaced the ever-growing fearbudding in Ib's chest. What would roses be doing here all of a sudden? Where could they have possibly come from? Her mind was riddled with questions.
The lights turned back on, slightly dimmer than before, yet they still provided enough light for them to see. As it turned out they were only about three feet from the door handle. Garry released his grip and slowly walked towards the door. Just as he was about to place his hand on the door, a sound pierced the silence. It sounded like a muffled, scratchy yelp. It then proceeded to turn into gibberish that sounded as if it came from the throat of someone who hadn't spoken in hundreds of years.
"Wa…y…uuh," the thing croaked out. Ib knew it was coming from behind them, but didn't dare turn around to face whatever terrible creature was producing that sound.
However, Garry was a little braver, or more reckless. He swiveled from the door to look behind him. He let out a scream filled with pure horror. Ib knew deep in her heart that it wouldn't be worth it to look at the thing, yet she did it anyways.
Through the gaping black hole that was surrounded by the picture frame, there was a girl climbing out. Her light lavender hair was caked in blood and her empty eye sockets were pouring out blood. She was crawling on her hands towards them. Ib thought this was strange, until she saw the body ended suddenly at the hips.
Blood was now gushing out of everything. The half of the girl, the eyes of the dolls, even the walls were oozing. Ib stepped towards the door in horror. "Garry!" she cried. He turned towards her, fear flickering in his eyes. They went to the door and tried to turn the handle, only to find that it was locked. They backed up, flattening themselves against the door, hoping that she would ignore them. The girl was scuttling towards them, increasing speed. Ib thought for sure she was done for, even after all they had gone through in the gallery.
"Ib, on three run for the picture frame. Obviously the girl had to come from somewhere, maybe we can escape," Garry whispered in her ear. She nodded and grasped his hand. "One…two…three!" They both sprinted towards the picture frame. They hopped over the girl and ran for their lives.
"Uuugh...way…nuh…dun...tuh," the girl wheezed as they got to the picture. They both shot the girl one last look as they dove into the picture frame. She was holding her hand out, as if trying to stop them. Then, everything went black.
They were falling. Ib couldn't even manage to scream, her throat was closed up with fear. Garry, however, yelled enough for the both of them. After a few seconds of tumbling through the air, they landed with a loud thud. Ib stood up, grabbing her back in pain. She saw Garry reaching for his head. "Owww!" he moaned.
Because of the shock of landing on a hardwood floor and the blinding pain that followed, they didn't even notice the black cat circling around them. It stared at them and then licked its lips. "Good day, children," it said.
Ib and Garry were stunned. Did that cat just talk to us? Though they were shocked, it wasn't completely out of the ordinary. They just figured that they had fallen into another floor of the museum and that this cat was just a sculpture, ready to kill.
"Uh, hello, cat. Where exactly are we? Is this another one of Guertena's exhibits? If so, I don't remember reading about this one," Gary said.
"No. I haven't the faintest idea what you're speaking about. This is the witch's house. And you're here to stay…forever. Welcome, my new witches."