Extended Tuesday Tales
The Glitter Lady and her extended Tuesday Tale contest is here.
The Blackbird hovered over the tower as Alex stared down at it, a small grin curling his lips. It was luck that he saw it in the distance and had his men fly closer.
There were whispers behind him. He raised his gaze to see several of the sailors, hardened men who had seen and done many things, pale and sweating.
His brow rose. Granted, the hairs on the back of his neck rose up as well, but he pushed it aside.
Sailors were a superstitious lot.
“If’n you don’t want to go down with me, that is fine. Make your decision now.”
“I don’t know, Cap’n. Don’t know if this is a great idea.” Flench, his first mate, eyeballed the dark tower as if it was going to reach up and grab them.
“Everything is worth the money. The jewels are rumored to be huge.”
“Same as the fountain. That was nothing but a fancy way to spray water. I got a bad feeling about this one, Cap’n. I think we should take a pass. The men feel the same way.”
Alex snorted. “Fine, I’ll go in myself. You better be here when I come back up. I’ll be nice and share. Get me a lantern and a bag.” He pulled the flintlock and checked it before tucking it back into his belt. It didn’t take long before a bag was given to him and the rope ladder was lowered so that he could go in through the trap door on the top.
Alex ignored the whispers as he went down, the engine drowned them out. He wasn’t letting them unnerve him when there was treasure to be had.
His feet hit the roof and he stood there, listening to the silence. There weren’t even the sound of crickets in the trees. No sounds of the nightlife in the brush around the old tower. It was him, the sky, wind and the ivy winding up the sides.
He looked up and saw white faces staring down at him. With the lighting, they looked like ghosts and ghouls.
Alex made a face. “Now they’re spooking me.”
He pulled on the metal ring of the trap door. It stuck, the wood warped from age. Another tug had it opening up, the hinges creaked. He held down the light and peered down at the set of steps.
The smell of dust wafted up and he could see cobwebs hanging from the light of the lantern. It did give the place a creepy look.
He dropped down inside. The beam of lamp went down towards two bends of the stairs before the darkness swallowed it up.
His footsteps made hollow noises. The tower was tall and he resisted the urge to skip steps. He didn’t know the condition and it wouldn’t do to fall and break his neck.
There was a whisper of sound back up by the trap door. He spun and put a hand on the flintlock as he stared up. He could see the stars through the opening. Then the door slammed shut.
“Sonofabitch.” He wasn’t going to let that spook him. It kept getting colder and colder as he went. His breath came out in ghostly clouds. The only warmth was the lantern, hard-pressed to go far into the shadows.
The next step was muffled and he glanced down. Carpet covered the stone floor. As Alex adjusted the light, it showed paintings still on the walls, uncovered furniture.
He looked into the next room and it was the same. Alex’s brow furrowed as he stepped up and ran a finger along a table. No dust. No more cobwebs. Nothing.
It was as if it was still lived in.
Maybe the rumors were true about the place being haunted. He wasn’t a coward. No spook was going to chase him away.
There was another whisper, like the one he heard before. The movement of clothing as something moved. He could feel something watching him.
“Man up, boy. Those jewels aren’t going to find themselves.” Ignoring the chill that kept running down his back, the increased heart beat, he pushed through. It was just part of the excitement of getting rich.
Doors to the left of the foyer were locked. As the place was empty, he gave a kick at the door. It rattled on its hinges but withstood the blow. He gave another kick and something snapped. The door flew open.
In the middle of the desk, waiting for him, was a ruby the size of his fist under a glass. His lips curled up. “Hello there, beauty.”
He walked over and picked up the glass covering, the lantern light flashing spectrums of red across the wall. “You’re coming home with me.” He slid it into the pouch and tied it around his belt.
The lantern flickered and went out. The hair on the back of his neck rose. He spun around to see a shadow leap on top of him, pushing him back on the desk. He heard a hiss and yelled as needle teeth sunk into his shoulder. The thing stunk of rotting flesh and dirt.
Alex got his arm between them. He could feel bones beneath tattered clothing.
“Miiiine.” The thing bit him again, one palm covering his face and pushing his head back, arching his neck.
There was a bright light that shown into the room. There was a curse at the door as the skeletal creature hissed at the intrusion. It snapped its head around and stared down at Alex, red eyes glowing. A taloned hand raked across his face, leaving blinding pain on one side before it disappeared into nothing.
Flench grabbed Alex and pulled him up as blood flowed down his face.
“Cut that damned door down. We’re leaving this cursed place.”
Alex shook his head and felt the pain. Black dots danced in his vision. He He couldn’t focus his gaze.
“Don’t worry, Alex. We’ll get you out of here.”