Dark, menacing, the face of the crumbled Mansion tranquilized her thoughts. Her eyes enveloped in awe and paralyzed fear that resounded in a brain shaking echo, screamed in her ears, down her throat to punch her heart. It pounded violently, seeking the order to run. Gastric juices exploded in her gut like an erupting volcano. It’s bubbling lava rose under pressure towards the surface, spewed into her dry mouth and coated her tongue with the acrid mix of red wine and taco’s. A haunted house!  Her trembling hand stretched, fingers twitched towards the door. It’s deep screeched moan pierced her thudding ears as it released into the darkened hallway. Moon beams danced ahead  along the crusty flaked walls as she forced her stricken leg muscles to obey her brains commands. Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! A dust encased transparent glow shimmered in the moonlight. A mirror? Clang! Clang!  Clang!  Mesmerized, shaking, seeking, fingers, reached out. Touched! Clang! Clang! Spears of icy chill raced through her. Clang! Clang! Clang! It was Midnight!

Her squinting eyes straining, peering into the depths of the long, dark, paint splattered hallway. The sinews in her shaking legs threatening to release their feeble hold on her straining joints, to drop her to the ground. Unsteady feet, seeking sure footing amongst the strewn trash and debris littering the gritty, musty boards. The dragging weight pulling at her shoulder, stretching sinews to the bone, sending searing spasms of electric energy throbbing along her jingling nerves. Her brain racing like a whirling wind storm, tossing and turning over the events of the day. She stumbles hard against the wall, her heavy burden crushing against her ribs, forcing the breath from her lungs, pinning her rigid crumpling form to the trash spewn floor. A deep chested moan trembles from her cracked blood dried lips as she forces her screaming lungs to inhale the musty, damp, cold vapors, choking down her throat, like a thrusting gnarly fingered fist.  The sweet and sour blend of decayed flesh and stagnant water grips her lungs in it’s gasping strangle hold. Her dazed mind floats, as though it were no longer part of her. Repeating the question, “how did it come to this”?  She strains to escape her incarceration, dragging her heavy burden along with her. Face deep in the filth, elbows sinking into the sodden scum, knees sliding and grinding like a beached grotesque beast seeking it’s lair.  The mirror! She had to reach the mirror before her past and present became her future! Before the chimes of time strike midnight! Her fumbling desperate hand jars to a surprised halt against solid, coldness. Excitedly, tentative fingers jitter  their nerve driven path upward, squeezing flesh, seeking entry into the deep scars of the wood carvers chiseled path. The mirror! An atom bomb of adrenalin explodes sending shock waves through every cell of her body. Clang! Clang!  Echoing, bone chilling, thought destroying chimes vibrate their way around, and around her head. The weight on her shoulder moves. Eyes! Her own haunted glassy eyes link with hers.

A Dare!  A stupid peer pressured dare! Now, here she is rescuing herself from her own past. Clang! Clang! Her pounding heart crashes with the tempo of the life sucking echo from inside the transparent glass. Clang! Clang! Clang! Counting away the precious moments of her life.  Eyes lock in a shared bowel twisting understanding of agony. Clang! Clang! Clang! United, in a soul crushing desperation, like a stricken dreamer screaming to wake up. Clang! Linked hands collide with unnatural frigid glass. Clang! It was Midnight !

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