So I’m a week late getting this posted. NaNoWriMo does tend to eat the rest of my life in November. I chose to do the image of the arch and gate from St. Paul’s in Dundee, Scotland as my image prompt for this twenty-minute sprint. I hope you enjoy it.
Dancing Blue Light
Amber walked past the Episcopal church every day on her way home. She liked the architecture. The spires, the arches, and the stonework. There was an arched entryway in the wall off to one side with a gate. There were stairs leading up on the other side of the gate and Amber always wondered where they led. In the dim light of autumn evenings, it all looked mysterious and intriguing. On cold winter nights when it was already dark as she walked home, she could barely make out the stairs on the other side of the gate. There were no lights on that side of the church, and the wall the arch was set into blocked the light from the street lamps.
It was early December when she first saw the light on the stairs. It was a blue-tinged light that seemed to flicker and shift as she gazed through the arch, trying to get a better view around the bars in the gate. She couldn’t figure out where the light was or what was making it. When her fingers started to get stiff from the cold, she headed home.
Every day for the rest of the week, she stopped to try to see what the light was. It never seemed to be in the same place twice, but she could never quite figure out where it was coming from. It wasn’t stable enough to be a lightbulb. It was too blue to be a flame. It fascinated her.
On Friday night, when she stopped to see where the blue light was, she noticed that the gate wasn’t latched. Amber chewed on her lip as she tried to decide whether she should go in. It was a church, so she figured as long as she wasn’t hurting anything, they weren’t likely to press charges for trespassing.
Amber carefully slipped through the gate, making sure it didn’t latch behind her in case that would lock her in. She walked carefully up the stairs by the strange blue light. The stairs took a circuitous path, going up, then right, then left, then left again. The light’s source still wasn’t visible, but now seemed to be coming from everywhere. Her shadow was cast in several different directions and she still couldn’t find a source for the light.
The stairs continued up along the edge of the building and became narrower and steeper the further she climbed. When she reached the corner of the church building, the stairs leveled off and as she rounded the bend to find a straight path along the side of the building. It wasn’t at the same level as any of the floors and seemed to bisect some of the windows. She’d never seen it before when she was approaching the church from the back.
The blue light was still there, but when Amber looked back, the stairs behind her were hidden in darkness. She almost couldn’t make them out. Was the light moving?
Amber turned back to the path in front of her and kept walking. She had to know what the light was and where it came from.
Three steps down the back of the building, Amber’s foot slipped. The path before her tilted, and she grabbed for the stone wall on her left, but missed and fell on her butt. The path continued to tilt and Amber began to slide. She tried to grab at the wall on her left or the side of the building on her right, but she couldn’t get a grip on anything.
Ambers stomach lurched when the path leveled out. She only slid a few more feet. She gasped for breath, her heart racing as she carefully stood up, clinging to the wall on her left to make sure she wouldn’t go anywhere.
What she saw over the wall didn’t look like Dundee. In Dundee there were other buildings behind St. Paul’s. Amber was looking at rolling hills with the occasional tree. There were little bobbing blue lights scattered around the area. They flickered and moved like the light she’d been seeing each night.
Amber looked back the way she’d slid and found nothing there. She was at the corner of the path. There were stairs leading down. But there was no building on her right. No St. Paul’s. She was standing on a stone pathway with a waist-high stonewall on either side that appeared to be floating in midair.
There were more rolling hills, more densely covered in trees, on that side of her.
“This can’t be good,” Amber murmured to herself.
“Good, good,” a voice whispered behind her.
Amber turned, but there was no one there.
“Hello?” Amber called.
“Hello, hello,” came the reply.
“Is there anyone here?” Amber asked, her voice quivering slightly.
“Here, here,” the voice called.