Chapter 6

The atmosphere within 01 was strange. The air was cold… clammy and foreign. It was thin; deep breaths were impossible. I cautiously followed the professor, glancing at the doors as we walked by. They were not numbered here; little symbol and pictures of all sorts indicated which room was what. It seemed that they were all closed, and we did not run into anyone in the halls. If it weren't for the lights, I would have considered the place abandoned.

We stopped in front of a door that looked no different from the rest. A triangle was painted at eye level, except it wasn't a triangle. In the center of it was something that looked like a malicious bird. It glared at me with its beady eyes, which, unlike everything else on the doors, was painted red. The eyes seemed to follow me no matter where I stood. I moved back and forth, feeling spooked. It was watching me. The professor hesitated before opening the door, and he looked at me strangely, waiting for me to be ready to enter. I scrutinized the symbol. Something about that bird… and the object encasing it. It was very odd, and somehow familiar.

The professor saw me looking at the symbol. "It's not an optical illusion," he muttered under his breath, "it just looks like one."

I looked at him with an expression of confusion on my face, which he found somewhat amusing. He grinned maniacally, "Good luck." And with that, he pushed the door open, motioning me in. I entered, and he closed the door behind me.

The door apparently only opened inward, as when I turned back I saw nothing but a seamless, white wall. Actually, no matter where I looked, that was all I saw. White. I turned about, looking around in my dazed state. I thought I heard a faint buzzing sound, seeping into my ears like waves of vapor. I couldn't tell which direction it was coming from; it was overwhelming. Soon, I did not even know which direction the door was. My breathing became my clock, a noise in the background that I tried focusing on as I nervously looked around me. It felt like hours passed, and gravity was the only thing keeping me from completely losing it. I didn't know how the place was lit so brightly, or how they managed to blend the door in with the walls so well, but the way the room was made was…

Wait.

In the midst of my turning, I seemed to have overlooked something in the vastness of the room. I didn't think it was possible, seeing that there was literally nothing else in the room but myself… but… there it was. Watching me the entire time. On one of the walls there was a red splotch. It wasn't big, but it was definitely visible from where I was standing.

I didn't understand how it got there, but I didn't want to go up to it and see what it was. There wasn't really a point in that though, because there really aren't many red liquids out there… right? My hopes that it was paint were unrealistic, but as long as I didn't kill the last bits of uncertainty…

I stopped letting my eyes wander, and I looked at the splotch, not wanting to take my eyes off it in case I'd lose it. It was scary, but it was also my sanity. It was now a distinguishing feature, a single point on a blank map. Time continued to run, but the whole room was frozen… and I refused to blink. I wouldn't lose it. I wouldn't lose…

My breathing quickened and grew ragged. I was really losing it, wasn't I? There was something about this room… that made me… That couldn't stop me, though. I wouldn't let it. I wouldn't lose my sanity.

I at least thought I wouldn't, but I did. From the corner of my eye, I saw movement. My heart jumped out my throat in a silent shriek, and I turned.

Another splotch, almost identical in size.

No. What? No. This can't be happening. Am I really…

I told myself it was just a figment of my imagination. It was my mind playing tricks. Then, from behind, a faint whisper slithered into my ears, "You really are going crazy, aren't you…"

The vocal ambush practically took my life; I nearly fainted. I checked over my shoulder of course, but no one was there. But if no one was there… where had the voice come from? I thought that there could have been a door concealed in the wall, but then I disregarded that idea. One, the voice seemed too close to have been from the wall… and two, if it was from a door, there would have to be someone behind it. Just the notion of that scared the living shit out of me, so I tried my hardest to block the thoughts.

But when I looked back to the wall in front of me, my fears of strangers behind doors were immediately forgotten. Before me, the splotches now littered the walls, the ceiling, the floor… there were far too many to count. I did not think they were bloodstains anymore, because there couldn't have been anything that bled that much…

unless…

…and then I realized, the red stains weren't just appearing. They were growing. The splotches spread outward; they dribbled down to the floor and pooled. Redness began to flow towards me, and I shakily walked as far back as I could. There really wasn't much I could do, though. It slowly engulfed all traces of white in the room, and my mental stability with it. I shut my eyes tight.

Then, just when I thought it was finished… a quick burst of static sound erupted, and the room was swallowed in darkness.