Posted in Short Stories

The Window

(based off a writing prompt on @awriterslifeforme on Instagram!)

The first thing that caught their attention was the window at the end of the room. It had broken blinds and a plastic seal, but that wasn’t what made it interesting. It was the light that shined through and lit up the whole room. Everyone knew it was dark outside.

“That’s…. weird.” Joe said hesitantly, and Dylan rolled her eyes dramatically.

“Well done Sherlock, I hadn’t figured that out yet.” Her voice was dripping with sarcasm, and Joe instantly retreated back into his shell. Emily sighed. Joe had just been beginning to come out of his shell of introvert-ness but every time Dylan spoke it was like a step backwards, him retreating behind his shield to block himself for her wrath being forced upon him.

“He was just stating a fact, Dylan. It’s not like there’s much else to say, is there?” Emily came to the taller boy’s defense, knowing that if she didn’t then Dylan would start getting cocky again and think that she was the best.

“It wasn’t necessary for anything to be said at all” Dylan snapped back, but she didn’t say any more, and Emily gave a slightly smug smile, knowing that she’d taken the older girl down a peg or two.

“So what do we do now?” Gabe asked the rest of the group, having stayed silent the rest of the time. “The wisewoman told us to come here and “travel beyond”, so it has to have something to do with the window, right?” That was the kind of person Gabe was: he didn’t speak much, but when he did speak, he actually said something productive, unlike everyone else.

“I reckon we look to see what’s on the other side of the window for starters.” Dylan said, rolling her eyes again to show how stupid she thought all the others were. It was a good idea, but it was quite obvious that no-one wanted to go anywhere near the strange glowing window from the fact that they were all standing at the other end of the room, as far away as possible.

“Go on then Dylan, you do it.” Emily said, knowing full well that the older girl didn’t want to as much as the rest of them didn’t. Everyone looked at her expectantly.

“No, I’m not doing it. Why doesn’t Joe do it – he’s the one who doesn’t matter so much if something does happen.” She snapped, pushing the lanky boy forwards. Joe stumbled slightly and began to shuffle forwards obediently, but Emily grabbed his arm and pulled him back, sighing loudly. She hated it when Dylan pushed Joe around like she was the queen of the world – it really just wound her up the wrong way.

I’ll do it.” She took a bold step forward, trying not to notice the fact that the other three took a simultaneous step back. Taking a deep breath, the mousy-haired girl strode towards the window and reached it in a few long steps, squinting through the glass with her eyes half closed because of the golden light that was pouring onto her face.

“It’s-” she began, but as her mouth opened she suddenly tumbled forwards and disappeared, almost as though she’d travelled through the glass to the other side.

Dylan, Joe and Gabe stared open mouthed at the window.

“Where did she go?” Joe asked, his voice quiet and trembling slightly. Dylan’s head whipped round to look at him, a menacing expression on her face.

“If you have nothing useful to say, then just keep your mouth shut, got it?” Joe looked down at his feet, silent. Gabe stepped forwards slightly and stood on his tiptoes to try and see out from where he was, but not daring to venture any closer to the glass.

“It’s obviously dangerous, whatever it is. I reckon we don’t get any closer until we know what it is.” He concluded, stepping back again. Joe looked up again, his expression pained.

“But we need to find out what happened to Emily!”

“Well why don’t you go have a little looksie, hey?” Dylan’s tone was fake cheery, as though she was talking to a three year old, but the boys could almost taste the venom behind her words. It was at this moment that Emily would normally step in and stick up for Joe, but Emily was gone, and so Joe realised he had to stand up for himself.

“I will do.” He announced, his chin set determinedly as he strode towards the window.

“Joe, stop-” Gabe started but before he could finish his sentence Joe too was sucked into whatever was beyond the glass. Gabe and Dylan stood in dumbfounded silence, both unsure of what to say or do. After what seemed like years to both of them but in reality was only a few moments, Dylan turned to Gabe.

“So what do we do?” She demanded, as though she expected him to know the answer.

“I dunno… I guess we follow them, we can’t go back on our own, we have to rescue them.” The boy replied, eyeing up the window that had swallowed two of his friends.

“Okay… do you want to go first?” Dylan asked.

“Nah, I think you should go first.” Clearly neither of them wanted to be the first one.

“Please Gabe…” Dylan said, her eyes pleading and her voice quiet. “I’m scared.” She admitted in a small voice, allowing him one insight into who she really was beneath the snarky outer shell. He sighed, knowing that her showing him her real vulnerability was a very special thing and he couldn’t say no now.

“Okay then – but promise you’ll come through the straight after?” Dylan nodded and Gabe took a step forwards. He was still a metre away when the window sucked him in and he disappeared from sight, leaving Dylan alone in the room.

A malicious smile crept across her face as she turned away from the light streaming through and strode back out of the door they had entered through.

“Not likely.” Came the snarl as the door clicked closed behind her.

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