The Keeper (Part 7)

Mona had no other choice but to wear the teal dress. After all, it’s not like she had had time to pack her own clothes. Not that clothes meant anything in hell. For all she knew, everyone could be simply walking around in their birthday suit. Mona couldn’t do that, no. Hence the dress. Her only option besides the red gown she’d been wearing last night. Unfortunately for her, her cafe uniform was still back in the slab room. She would have happily gotten back into those if she could.

She was famished, so she finished the breakfast too. What the hell? It’s not like she could really escape the place. At that moment, the room had no other doors but the one to the attached bathroom. Almost as if reading her mind, a tall, ornate door appeared as if a mirage right in front of her eyes. Mona leapt to her feet. Was she meant to leave the room, or had it just read her mind and given her something she’d hoped for? Curious, she tiptoed to it. Her hand shakily reaching for the handle when she suddenly stopped. She could hear whispers of people talking outside in the hallway. There were others! Other people like her maybe. Maybe other passengers waiting in the subway. Perhaps a train had derailed and they’d all died. Perhaps, the reason nothing made sense was cause she was in a coma in a hospital somewhere, and she was unfortunately having very lucid dreams. Perhaps.

Mona slowly pushed the handle down and pulled the door slightly open. She could hear a group of voices. At least three different individuals she figured. Two male, one female. She dared pull the door open wider and poke her head out, hoping to catch a glimpse of the people and determine if they were friendly or otherwise. As soon as Mona spied the corridor, the voices stopped. Mona looked both left and right of the corridor. To her surprise, the corridor was no longer a mile long, but held only a handful of doors. There was nothing in the corridor but for two lamps hanging either side of the wall near her door, and a maintenance broom leaning against the wall opposite her door. Nothing there that had a voice, let alone speak. Unless…

The thought send a shiver down her spine. Unless there were ‘ghosts’ Mona finished her thought in a shaky voice. Just like her. Another lost soul in Lucifer’s beautiful but crafty home.

‘Hello?’ She inched her head further out into the corridor. ‘Anybody there?’

She swore she caught the broom right in her line of sight give a short shake. So there were ghosts, Mona concluded. Ghosts that could make brooms shake and the lamps swing ever so slightly on their chains.

Mona swallowed and locked herself back up again in her room. She needed a plan. A way of getting out of wherever it was that she’d suddenly ended up.

Mona paced and paced the length of the room so much so that she knew it took her exactly 35 steps from the fireplace to the bathroom. She had continued hearing the voices for about an hour after having locked herself back in the room. But since then and now, hours had passed, and she was beginning to loose patience.

‘What is this place?’ She mumbled, her hands balling into fists. ‘And why am I here?’

‘Its my home,’ suddenly, Lucifer was standing right in front of her that she had so little time to stop her marching. She bumped into him with enough force for her to be pushed back a step. He smiled. Not a smug smile, but a warm one. Not that Mona could keep looking at him. In this room, with it’s plenty light, Mona was terrified from the sheer size of him. ‘And you are here because someone traded their own life for yours, Mona Belle.’

Mona’s jaw dropped. ‘How do you know my name?’

‘I told you earlier. I know much more than that.’

‘And where is here?’

Lucifer stared at her a while. ‘Why aren’t you asking who traded your life instead?’

Mona swallowed. She hadn’t really had a peachy life and knew bad luck tended to follow her where she went. ‘Because, it’s not like I can do anything about it here and now.’

Lucifer considered her. ‘You’re not scared?’

Mona shook her head defiantly but couldn’t look him in the eye to make it convincing. ‘You haven’t harmed me yet.’

‘I don’t intend to.’

Mona suddenly looked up. What did he mean? She wanted to ask him, but she couldn’t form those words. Besides, he’s probably already read her thought. At this, the beast smiled. ‘Why do you sneak up? Why not use the doors like a normal per…’

‘Person,’ he finished her word. ‘I’m not really a person. At least not now.’ He took a step back. ‘But if it bothers you, then I shall use a door from now on.’ He waved his hand and the door to the corridor appeared once more. He walked over, opened the door and stepped out. ‘This house will do what you ask of it.’

‘Will it let me out?’ she couldn’t help herself.

He turned and bowed his head ever so slightly. ‘I’ll be gone for a few days, so make yourself comfortable.’

Mona took that as a no. A moment later, the door was closed, and Lucifer gone. But so was hope.

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