Chapter Thirteen: Seek The Secrets
The dull throb of dread tightened in Michaelangelo’s chest as he inched his way forwards, blood pounding in his ears, his face was beginning to flush and his skin prickled slightly.
“Oh my God, oh my God.” He whispered breathlessly as he urged himself to continue.
Shadows clawed their way across the floor, scratching up the walls. Darkness oozed from every crevice virtually blocking out the light. Noise became strangely exaggerated; constricting passage walls distorted even the resonating sounds water slowly dripping from the high arched ceiling, contorting them into unearthly whispers. A low rumble of thunder rolled over the distant hills somewhere outside the castle walls, warping as it echoed through the corridor. Michaelangelo swept the flashlight beam before him, chasing the shifting shadows; occasionally catching a movement just out of sight before it vanished in the torchlight.
“You can do this, you can do this. You’re doing great, that’s it, just a little further.” Suddenly his flashlight started to flicker. “No, no, no!” panic cracked his voice as suffocating darkness closed in. Michaelangelo desperately shook the wavering flashlight in his hands, he watched with cold helplessness as the incandescent beam slowly faded before finally extinguished altogether.
His misty breath obscured his vision as he squinted up the shadowy stairwell, shafts of pale moonlight streamed through the tortured glass of a small window, cutting lines across the floor. Serious doubts started to nag at the back of his mind. One thought after another, but one thing he was sure of, something was wrong. Leonardo paused, listening to the sound of his own heavy breathing he tried to clear his fogged mind. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he should continue down the uninviting corridor, onwards to what ever lay ahead. Once again the strange noise peeled out of the darkness, pulling him onwards. When finally he came to his senses he was surprised to find he was several steps away from his original position, taking a fleeing glance back he continued to follow the noise into the black heart of the castle.
His face creased with concentration, straining all of his senses Leonardo slowly moved in the direction the sound was beckoning him. His whole body ached, each nerve end tingled, every muscle taught. Silently he crept along, alert, waiting. The further away the sound drew him, they more he could begin to make out. Leo stopped; allowing a hazy sigh to escape from his lips, the sound was gone. Closing his eyes, he listened hard, absorbing every sensation around him. A garbled sound forced upon his awareness, a babble of voices each fighting to be heard. Squeezing his eyes tight, Leo tried to concentrate, filter the chaos. Mournful voices echoing screams, the walls rung with the sound of gruesome piercing cries.
Leonardo’s eyes snapped open, a jolt of fear raced through his body rushing the air from his lungs. He spun on his heels, gripping the flashlight with both hands he darted the beam around the choking passageway. The damp walls and floor glistered in the stark brilliance, but revealed nothing. His heaving chest slowed as he lowered his arms slightly. There had to be someone there! He had heard them! Hadn’t he?
Rain had begun to lash relentlessly against the castle walls, depressingly drumming, invading his every move, filling his mind with its torturous rhythm. A bolt of lightening illuminated his palled features, before the black skies shrouded everything in darkness. Only the buzzing blue-ish light seeping from the plasma screen remained to console him. So many twists and turns tumbling in his mind perplexing his way, Donatello sat bunched up in a dank corner, pulling his knees in tightly to his chest he shied from atmosphere embracing him. The wind screeched far beyond the castle walls, slamming the rain harder into the skin of the castle. The whole structure seem to live, breathe all around him, creaking and groaning with each laborious breath. Cold biting into his hands and face, protected from the cloak of shadows by his bubble of blue light Donatello looked on desolate as the low battery indicator began to blink intermittently.