The walkway had remanants of ice creeping round the edges, climbing out of the water and trying to reach me. Each step took a huge amount of effort to stay upright. It took even more effort to keep going forward.
The water itself was calm. It was as pristine as a mirror, completely without blemish. Not a bird flew in the sky, not an insect chirped out of the nearby reeds. No wind wrapped around me although I was so very cold. As my boots touched the wood below, the boards groaned and creaked with protest, or perhaps warning. I had no choice. I needed to face what was in the cabin.
I began to count each step. It was the only way I could fous and stop meyself from running screaming in fear. Ahead of me was a monster I was not yet ready to face.
87, 88, 89… I was close enough to touch the door. At that second, a breeze erupted from nowhere. It pulled at the dark, damp-eaten door. My hand twitched, reaching for a weapon that wasn’t there. I was alone and unarmed. My eyes closed, my head lowered. I took a deep breath and listened to the air escape my lips as I released it. As the last remnants left me, I reached out and pushed on the door, knowing it would be unlocked.
It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the light. I stepped forward, only just in the threshold, still holding the door. A form soldified in front of me, my vision finally registering a person sat against the wall opposite me. Their head was down, behind the arm which was draped across their hitched knee. It was a comfortable position. They clearly did not feel as threatened as I.
The monster spoke, its voice chilling me to the core, “You took long enough.”
Slowly, the monster raised its head. Although it had a human face, I knew the evil it was capable of. But still, upon seeing the familar expression staring back at me I recoiled. It stood, its eyes the same level as mine.
When it smiled, I almost broke. I thought of everyone relying on me. If I lost, and this got free.
“Only one of us leaves here you know,” it said, as if seeing my thoughts, “and I have no intention of staying. You’ve left me here long enough.”
In that moment, I honestly had no idea how this would turn out. I stepped into the cabin and studied the face staring back at me. My own face. Only one of me could leave.
Written in response to week flash challenge 119 on Finding Clarity by Miranda Kate https://purplequeennl.blogspot.com/2019/08/mid-week-flash-challenge-week-119.html