Inside the Palau – A Short Story

antrikshnewsmall

ACT I

(0:00) INT. HALLWAY

(0:08) ‘Hahaha, this sounds like fun, lets go further!’ said Max pacing through the hall. ‘Come on, let’s go!’ He beckoned. They were in the middle of a long hallway with several doors. Claire was hesitant. ‘I don’t know Max, you know we could get lost and we aren’t supposed to be down here. Maybe we should go back.’ ‘No we’re either going together or I’m going alone.’ Max stated with a sense of blunt resolution. Carpe diem. Now or never. This was it. She decided to take a chance and follow Max. They soon came upon a red door on the right.

(0:22) “You first” he said. “Are you serious? I’m scared shitless and you’re being chivalrous. Is this for real?” Claire said exasperatedly There was a flicker of the light. “Woah, what was that?!” Claire thought to herself and consoled herself thinking it was just another power outage, or maybe another one of those stupid power malfunctions that had been plaguing the Palau recently.

 

 

ACT II – DOORWAYS

(0:32) She opened the door. Another long corridor, another long winding passageway of doors and lights, much like several they had encountered before. She wondered if things were starting to get strange and there definitely seemed to be some amount of confusion sifting through her head. She and Max had been walking for the past two hours through every door, passage and hall they could find in their strong attempt to get out of this massive architectural marvel. But somehow, it seemed that the further they went, The more difficult it got.

Claire took a deep sigh and walked into the hallway. The door slammed shut. “Max, is this your idea of joke, It’s not funny!?” Silence. no reply. “I swear I’m going to kill you, stop playing around!” There was still no reply from Max. “Fine! I’m going ahead. I’ve had enough.” She hesitantly tried opening the door that had just shut behind her to no avail. She had no other choice but to walk ahead. There was a slow comedown, a realisation. fear had slowly started to wrap itself around her and she wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Had Max disappeared? or maybe another one of his pranks? Little did she know that it was neither.

 

 

ACT III – BLACK

(0:48) Pitch black. Nothing to see, no eyes to be able to navigate. No cue to let him figure out which way was forwards or backwards. Max could sense a fleeting state of anxiousness taking over him. Purely guided by his ears and the tempo of his heartbeat which seemed to get faster with every second, he paced around trying to sense the entire hallway with his hands. As soon as he started moving, he heard a distinct sound like the one of a lever being pulled and something being set in motion.

Suddenly, the whole room was shaking and rumbling beneath him. It was alive, and breathing. Maybe he was going upwards, or maybe he was going downwards. It could have been either or neither. He had no idea.

ACT IV – WHITE

(1:10) Stark white and shiny, the room was. Claire wondered what she had got herself into. Perhaps travelling halfway across the world to Valencia to study opera music and violin had not been the brightest idea. But then again, adventure had always been her middle name.

This, however was different. The fear here was more menacing, more insidious ­ something she had never felt before. She whipped out her phone with the ridiculous sense of hope that there would actually be a signal. There wasn’t. 19% battery. She had to figure something out. and fast. She had an idea. She would open every door, see what’s behind it and eventually manage to figure out an escape route. Claire was going to find something very strange and unpredictable.

 

 

ACT V – INERTIA

(1:29) The room rumbled and screeched to an eventual halt. Max got thrown by the inertia, landing face down a few steps ahead within the hallway. This place was indeed getting stranger by the minute. Where was he and why did that door shut on him before the lights went out? There were so many questions but no answers. He decided that the priority would be to get out of this place as fast as possible. Composing himself and standing back up, he decided to again start by feeling for the walls and finding a door. He was very sure that finding a door would perhaps bring him easier to an escape route.

(1:40) Max put his hand on the wall and started walking sideways. In some time, he realised that it was not just the room that had changed but perhaps what surrounded it. There were no doors anymore, or so he thought. Frantic and losing composure, Max sat back down and started wondering if he was ever going to get out of this place.

 

 

ACT VI – REPTILLIA

(1:50) Suddenly, there was a click. He looked around but he clearly could not see anything. Must be a figment of his imagination, he wondered. A slow creak on his left alerted him to the distinct possibility that maybe he was not alone in the room anymore. ‘Who’s there? Show yourself!’ He shouted half­-expecting to hear a reply. There was none. ‘Goddamnit!’ he muttered to himself and punched the wall with all his strength. There was no movement for a while. And then he heard them ­ the footsteps.

The ticking time­-bomb of realisation would eventually hit him. They certainly didn’t seem to be human footsteps.

 

(2:30) An earth­-shattering, shrieking roar followed.