Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)
TITLE: The Secret Room
By Vince Martella
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Diego ran past the corner bodega, down an alley and thru a doorway next to Mr. Chang’s restaurant. He loved this afternoon ritual with his friends. Being latchkey kids, they had a glorious hour or so of freedom until their moms came home. They were, for this precious short time, the masters of their destiny.
Manny was “it” today. Diego had spent the entire school day thinking about this game and his special hiding spot. He had found it last week while running errands for his mom. He had never seen the door before; he figured there must have been something in front of it that was recently removed.
Diego carefully turned the knob and slipped inside. At the end of a long corridor was a set of stairs leading to a basement. A small door stood at the bottom of the landing. Diego crept down the stairs quietly, opened the door quickly and stepped inside.
The room was dark and damp. For a moment Diego felt a tingle of fear, like a cold, clammy hand, rise up his spine. A small, darkened window let in a weak shaft of light; just enough to cast an eerie shadow or two. Diego gulped hard and quelled his fear. He sat quietly until he could hear nothing but silence.
“Welcome to my humble abode,” said a voice in a darkened corner.
Diego screamed and jumped back into the door. It creaked closed and latched with a deafening “click”. He grabbed the handle and pulled frantically, but the door was locked. He began to shake and cry and pull with all his might, but it wouldn’t budge. He spun around and tried to pinpoint where the voice came from. Three sides of the room were in complete darkness. Diego huddled in the shadowed corner and spoke at the room.
“Stay away from me. Don’t come any closer.”
“Well, that’s no way to treat a man in his own residence," the stranger said. "I don’t remember inviting any guests, but I’m glad you dropped in. Make yourself at home.”
Diego could feel the hair stand on the back of his neck. The voice sounded distant and to his left. It was calm and soothing, yet sinister.
“My name is Malcolm,” said the stranger. “You might as well get comfortable, because you’re going to be here for a while. There’s no way out. Just relax. You and I are going to have a good time together.”
Diego jumped up and began to scream for help.
“Listen to me”, Malcolm said sternly. “If you don’t shut up and sit down right now, I’m going to come over there and things are going to get ugly.”
Diego slumped to the ground and whimpered quietly.
“That’s better,” Malcolm said softly. "Now, why don’t you come closer so I can get a better look at you?”
Diego shuddered. His eyes desperately searched the room for a way of escape. He began to panic as fear gripped his chest and he struggled to breathe.
“Didn’t you hear me?” Malcolm’s voice was raspy and agitated. “I want you to take your shirt off and come over here now, or I’m coming over there after you. If you make me come get you, you’re going to make me very angry.”
Diego was paralyzed with fear. He couldn’t move if he wanted to. He heard Malcolm begin to stir. He shut his eyes tightly and prayed. A Scripture verse suddenly came to mind, “Whatsoever things you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever things you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
With his eyes closed and with as much desperation as authority, Diego cried out, “In the Name of Jesus I bind you, you evil spirit and I loose this door right now.”
The room went deathly quiet and Diego opened his eyes.
“That’s it?” howled Malcolm. “That’s all you’ve got? I’m coming over there now and I’ll show you some binding.”
Diego spun around toward the door and caught a glint on the door frame. A silver key hung from a nail! Diego grabbed it and unlocked the door.
As light flooded in from the hallway Diego could see a chain link fence framed the left wall, and Malcolm was on the other side.
He realized Malcolm was indeed bound and he remembered another Scripture: “The devil is a liar...”
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