"I have some lantern oil in my backpack!"
"Jesus Christ, don't scare me like that! There could be monsters anywhere! And where in hell did you get that?"
"I found it."
"In here? Okay, why would there be a backpack down here, in bloody dungeons?"
I grunted heavily. "I wouldn't know. It's not like we can ask anyone, unless you want to go up to Mr. Monster and say, 'Why are there school supplies down here, exactly?'"
Daniel just glared at me, then took the oil jar I held out and poured it into the unlit lantern in his hand.
I gave him an equally scathing look. I was sure glad I wasn't alone, but at least I could have someone less serious. Hadn't Daniel ever heard of sarcasm?
My eyes hurt a little as a sudden dim light filled the corridor. I could see mold growing on the old bricks that made up the walls, and a few barred doors at each side were covered in red-brown rust.
I glanced at each one, listening for a sound other than our footsteps. Never knew if one door hid a monster.
That had happened a few times, actually. We had been walking down a hall almost identical to this one, and suddenly pieces of stone and metal flew in all directions. The door had collapsed with an earsplitting crash, and out came one of the most disgusting, hideous creatures ever to walk the earth.
At that point I had lost it and screamed like a banshee, running for my life.
"I think there's a torch ahead. You can use that," Daniel's voice broke apart my thoughts and brought my mind back to the humid corridor.
I snorted. "Sure, give the younger one a dangerous object that may or may not spontaneously combust the moment we light it."
He turned his head to look at me for a second, then spoke in a calm manner. "If you want the lantern then, that's fine by me."
I just returned the gaze.
"Nah, you'd drop the torch when you saw a monster and set this whole place on fire."
Daniel's jade-green eyes hardened, then his whole body whipped around to face me.
He towered over me, at least a foot taller, and suddenly I felt five inches off the ground.
"Look, I'm just trying to help. If you can't take being with me, then you can go off by yourself. But you do NOT need to be so... So... So obnoxious!"
My heart plummeted, and I stared down at my feet.
I guess I had taken it a little too far. I was just naturally tempted into teasing when it wasn't needed. I wished a hole would open up in the floor so I could jump into it.
"S-sorry. I'll take whatever you want me to, Daniel sir," I don't know why, but whenever I felt guilty or somber I addressed anyone older than me as "Sir" or "Madame". I suppose it was a way to make someone less annoyed at me. As if it ever worked, though.
I glanced up, but he had already looked away.
If I had looked closer at his face, I would have seen the beginnings of a smirk twitching at the edges of his mouth. But I turned my head away as soon as he noticed I was looking at him.
He stood on his toes for a moment, stopping and reaching up with one abnormally long arm. He grasped a torch in his hand, and I heard the wood in the center of it splinter as his grip tightened.
He leaned back again, holding the charred item, and looked it over curiously. He ran his thumb over the top of it, brushing away some of the black soot onto the floor.
Daniel looked up at me, a slightly puzzled but expectant expression on his face.
"Would you happen to have any gloves in that bag of yours?" he asked, motioning to the strap over my shoulder with one hand.
I tilted my head a little. "Don't know. I'll check. Hold on."
I slid the strap off of my shoulder and onto my forearm, opening it carefully.
Inside were a few crumpled old pieces of parchment, an empty glass jar, a ragged piece of greenish cloth, and a small tinderbox.
I searched through the backpack again with my free hand, hoping for something more interesting. Some of the parchment had writing on it, one was an old letter to Alexander, Baron of Brennenburg, whoever that was, and another a few notes from a scientist apparently studying the biology of starfish, next to that two unreadable papers that were too old and faded to make the words out correctly.
I shook my head wearily. "No gloves, but will a piece of fabric do?"
I looked up at my companion, who was peering anxiously over into the bag as well.
"Is it large enough to cover a hand?"
I grabbed the cloth again, and it draped over my fist like old curtains would over a broken window. It was big enough to fit over a dagger and wrap twice around it!
I nodded. "It's more than just big enough. Why do you need it?"
He gripped the torch tighter. "I want to clear off some of the soot, and too much on my bare hand will numb it."
I nodded once more. "Oh, okay. Here," I put the strap just beside my neck again and held out the cloth. It was burnt around the edges, like it had been part of a shirt thrown into a fire and was the only surviving piece.
He grabbed it without hesitation and put it over his hand, clutching the unlit torch even tighter.
A soft scraping sound filled my ears as he cleared away the burnt substance, under it a blackened piece of wood surrounded by a handle of steel showed.
The torch looked much like a large chunk of charcoal at the top with a tight metal necklace. I didn't expect it to even hold a small blaze and keep it going, in it's pitiful state.
Daniel screwed his eyes tightly shut as some of the soot wafted into the air, resisting the obvious urge to sneeze.
I glanced anxiously behind me, listening for any sound other than that of Daniel and the faint patter of dripping water somewhere up ahead.
"Aaah, god. This-this is very unpleasant of a scent. Ugh. C-could you take a look at the turn up ahead? I-I think I heard something," Daniel asked quietly, stuttering as he turned his head away from the dark gray specks in the air.
I looked at him again. "What did it sound like? I think I hear water dripping. Was it that?"
He shook his head jerkily. "No. It sounded like some scuffling sounds."
I breathed in. "Could be a mouse. There's lots of them down here. I've seen at least fifteen or so, I tried counting."
He grunted "no".
"Okay. Hang on."
I walked forward, my foot splashing into a shallow puddle of muddy water.
I drew my shoe out of it, scrunching up my nose in disgust. This place was very moist in the air, it would take forever to dry.
I sighed, and headed towards the turn at the end of the corridor again.
Along with the sound of the water growing louder, another sound joined in.
I recognized it immediately, having heard it multiple times before. It was a soft but ragged scratching sound, but at the same time smooth and sudden.
Hollow wood being scraped against a knife, a fairly blunt one at that. The wood was slightly splintered, but not to the point where you could hear it breaking apart. Possibly scuffed down by sandpaper. It was almost identical to the sound a wooden table made when you took a river stone and tried to scrape the paint off of it every five seconds in light strokes.
Along with that, a sickeningly sweet voice accompanied it.
"It's okay, love. You have to go, we don't have enough time. Listen, dear, you must go find help. I can't come, for we don't have enough tools to make the hole any wider. Only you can go through, love. Please, please bring someone to set all the innocents free."
I narrowed my eyes. The voice sounded nice enough, but when you spent time in here you learned to trust nothing but yourself. Daniel himself had told me that. I remembered the conversation, it was just a few days ago.
"Don't let anything get within range of hurting you, there's no way to fight back. Don't let anything suspicious out of sight, and trust nothing."
I had looked curiously up at him.
"Then why bother trusting me? For all you know, I could be a spy for some evil being, here to accompany you until I fear you have gotten too close to your goal."
He had returned the look, his green eyes showing a sort of loneliness along with confusion, like he hadn't understood my question.
"A dark spirit wouldn't have young girls on their side, and you wouldn't do that. You're too curious and rebellious. He would have murdered you."
I had deliberately sounded defensive. "Mind you, I might be a dark spirit in disguise."
Daniel's eyes had softened at that. "I suppose. But I doubt you would have it in you to do that."
That was the time I had decided that I liked Daniel. My best friend, despite our very different ages.
The scream made me jump; I stumbled backwards in a futile attempt to regain balance while getting away from the sound.
"NO! Please, please... Stay away..."
My eyes widened to the point they felt like they were going to fall out of my head. That voice, high and frightened, it could only be one of a young girl. Younger than me, probably. Was this another echo from the past? It seemed like it was too intense to be one. It sounded like it was happening just in the next room.
Another sound, one like the sharpening of a butcher knife, and a soft gasp, closely followed by the gut-wrenching, splatter-like sound of an object cutting flesh and bone, and a disgusting dripping sound.
It struck me. The dripping wasn't water, it was blood.
I was so frightened that I couldn't move, I couldn't scream.
I fell back, arms flailing around, and landed with a muffled THUD. Pain shot up my body to my head.
"D-Daniel..." I whispered. "Daniel!"
I got up halfway, and turned my head. He was still standing there, except he wasn't moving. The light of the lantern wasn't flickering. It was like time had frozen in place.
A voice, scratchy and deep, and this time a man's I didn't recognize.
"She-she was only trying to escape, Alexander. She was just a child. D-do we really have to do this? To all of them?"
My breath stuck in my throat as I heard the second voice. It was so familiar, it burned in my head.
It was Daniel's.
"If you want the Shadow to stay away, yes," the one apparently called Alexander responded.
"But so many have to die... I'm only one person, Alexander. Is it really worth it?"
"You value your life, don't you?"
"Not if it means the death of so many..."
"Daniel, I cannot stop you from thinking this. But this is worth it, believe me."
Alexander's voice faded, and suddenly I was surrounded by silence.
Daniel was a murderer...
The already-dark atmosphere of the corridor grew darker, the faint gray mist at the ceiling grew grayer.
I got up fully, and glared with anger and fear in his direction.
Everything resumed moving, the lantern had grown dimmer, Daniel was walking in my direction.
He reached me before I could say anything, and curiosity gleamed in his eyes.
"Is there anything here? You've been over for quite awhile now."
I shook my head, then backed into the stone wall behind me.
He tilted his head, a questioning look on his face.
I shook my head again, and grimaced. Daniel didn't seem like a killer...
He frowned. "We don't have time for this. We're being followed, remember? We need to keep moving," his voice was more stern this time.
I gave him a scathing glance, in hopes of telling him without words, "I know, but I'm not coming."
He narrowed his eyes, returning the look.
"What's on your mind?"
I breathed in. Should I tell him? Tell him I knew that he was a killer? To a little girl?
I turned my head away, and pressed harder against the wall. Telling him might be a bad idea. He might attack, and I was cornered without a weapon except for an old backpack and my hands.
My trust for the man wavered. Perhaps I would be better off alone...?
No. When I was first here, I had nearly died. I can't even remember anything except being dragged in here by my feet by a shadowed something. My memory had been wiped clear, I had no information to help me, no past advice from allies.
Daniel had found me in the corner of a small, dark room, unconscious and bleeding badly. He had woken me up and took care of me until I was fit enough to go on. I had no idea where I was, who I was, and I still didn't. I didn't even have a name. At least Daniel knew a bit from his past, he knew his name, his heritage.
I had no choice but to continue on with this monster.
Rage made me tighten my fists. Oh, he better believe when this was over, I would do the world a good deed. I'd paint his blood across the floor in an artistic pattern to show how much I disrespected and hated him. I'd kill him in such a horrific way that it'd make any onlookers sick.
When this was over, I'd avenge the little girl.
When this was over, I'd show the world who I was.
I was Beatrix of Manchester.
Found this lurking in the depths of my computer somewhere. Just goes to show what happens after I watch too many Amnesia playthroughs on YouTube. Not sure whether to continue it or not, I'll guess I'll see if I gain some random inspiration for it somehow. If I do, I'll add another chapter.
Beatrix was originally supposed to be me if I was in the game with Daniel, but once she stopped teasing it became a whole different person. Tell me if you want it to continue or if you find mistakes, please.
UPDATE: So, I had a dream about this and got an idea to continue. But I probably won't put another chapter up for a few days, or maybe a week. I'm still a little fuzzy one the whole new concept of it. So, will be continued. Just, not immediately. I'm working on other stuff for school, and a few other things.