Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Prompt - Yellow

This is a continuation of my last The Prompt post, prompted (excuse the pun!) by all the kind words and wanting to know more. So buckle up, here we go!

As Tom stepped into the lounge he was aware of a chilling cold. The room felt as if the window had been left open on the coldest night of the year; it cut him to the bone and he wrapped his arms around his torso. The darkness seemed solid here, far darker than it ought to have been with a lamp burning in the hall behind. Tom stared hard into the darkness but couldn't make out anything in the room. The drum beat was still here although it seemed to be coming from far away.

Suddenly the door slammed shut behind Tom and he spun round in surprise. He reached out for the handle but it was no longer there. There was nothing solid for his fingers to touch, no handle, no door, no wall. Tom knew that he'd only taken a small step into the room so the door should have been right behind him. But it wasn't. How was this possible? Tom moved forward one step, expecting to bump into the door but he didn't; another step, still nothing. Even though it was impossible to do, he walked forward by five or six steps. He should definitely have banged into the door or wall by now.

This was silly. The room was the darkest place he had ever been. He closed his eyes, then opened them and the effect was the same. Not a glimmer of light anywhere. He turned slowly round but there was no light, nothing he could see which gave him a focal point. Tom felt totally disorientated, he had no idea where he was in the room or where the door was to get out. Why hadn't he flipped the light switch when he opened the door?  And still the drum beat on.

Tom spun round, groping around him for anything solid, anything that would help him work out where he was. The drum was beating in time with his heart, just half a beat behind his heartbeat. The faster Tom's heart went the faster the drum beat, as if it was synchronised to his heart. His breathing became faster and shallower and Tom realised he was on the verge of a full blown panic attack. He'd never had one before but he had seen it after an ill-advised visit to the reptile house at London Zoo with a snake phobic girlfriend. He made a conscious effort to slow his breathing and his panic soon began to die down.

The drum continued to beat in tandem with Tom's heart. It seemed to be coming from behind him but Tom knew from experience that this wasn't reliable. As slowly as he could he began to turn to his right ; the drum beat moved with him. He stopped and slowly turned left; the same happened, the drum beat moved to the left too. Tom was chilled through, blind as a bat and disorientated. It was time to take control. He had to get out of the room.

Tom knew that the room wasn't that big, he should be able to cross it in no more than ten paces. If he could stride out confidently he would hit a wall in a few steps and then he could follow it round the room until he found the door frame. Then he could turn the light on, see what was making that awful drumming and put a stop to this nonsense. Taking a deep breath he strode out into the darkness, one step at a time, arms extended in front of him. He was reminded of childhood birthday parties playing Blind Man's Bluff with his friends. This time, however, there was no childish laughter and no prize at the end.

After twenty paces Tom stopped. This was silly. The room wasn't big enough for him to have done what he had just done. Standing completely still, Tom strained his ears to listen once more to the drum beat. It was steady, just like a heart beat. Just like his heart beat. All the time it seemed to be behind him, as if it was following him across the room. Tom could think of nothing in his house that could make a sound like that. In fact, he couldn't think of anything at all that would sound or behave like it.

More worrying was the lack of any other sound. No traffic, although he lived close to a busy road; no household noise; no voices of passers-by. All he could hear was the drum beat, his ragged breathing and the blood pulsing in his ears. No sound, no vision. Tom felt alone and frightened.

In the corner of his eye Tom saw a faint yellow light. He closed his eyes, the light was gone. Opened his eyes, the light was there. He repeated this several times and each time the light was still there when he opened his eyes. Tom realised that he'd been holding his breath so took a few deep breaths to steady himself.  He turned his head towards the light and it was still there, front and centre. Hardly daring to believe what he was seeing, Tom slowly moved towards the faint yellow light. It remained steady, it got closer as he walked but stayed faint and fragile.

Tom hoped that it was the light seeping round the edge of the door but as he got closer he saw that it wasn't like the edge of a door. The light was hovering at eye level and seemed to be floating above the floor. As he drew nearer Tom could see that the light was splitting into several parts, two, three, four distinct lights hovering in front of him.

Tom gasped as he realised what he was seeing. Picked out in pale, flickering yellow light was the word 'HELP'. 


  1. Argh! The tension mounts from last week's post! What will happen next?! Scary!

    1. If only I knew what was next; this story seems to have a life of its own! Thanks for reading on, Maddy.

  2. Oh, this is great! You're going to have to work out what happens next, you can't leave us hanging like that :) Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

    1. Thanks for all your support and kind words, Sara. I'm plotting the next move as we speak but how I'm going to get poor Tom out of that room ... who knows?

  3. ooo what happens next lol I need to know !!!

    1. Keep an eye on this space ... there is more to come soon! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.