Rain Redfield was the only one brave enough to enter to abandoned mansion. Her and several friends had previously researched that no one had inhabited it for at least twenty years, and had become curious as to investigating the inside. Rain had never held a belief in ghosts or other paranormal scares, and armed with a flashlight and her phone, entered through the imposing front door with an air of professionalism.
There was no sound inside the foyer, aside from the cautious footsteps once Rain began to walk. She could see well in the light from the ceiling, and noticed two staircases came up from either side of the front wall. After a moment's deliberation, she picked the left one. She considered talking to herself, but thought it would not be useful in case anyone did happen to reside here.
The hallway that came next had numerous doors and flickering candles. Rain tried several of the doors, but all of them either contained empty rooms or were locked. The minutes passed by quickly in this manner. There were no signs yet that anyone had ever lived here- all of the beds were bare, and there were no contents within the cupboards or drawers. Still without speaking even to herself, Rain walked further into the mansion. Her light was proving to be useful, as the only other source continued to be just candles and a singular lantern over one door. The atmosphere remained tense. When a mouse skittered past her foot Rain let out a small cry that was like a peal of thunder in the silence, and had to calm herself with before continuing. By now, she had made a soundless promise to never take jobs such as this one again on the future.
Walking further around the next corner, Rain peered into the next hallway. No candles lit this one. Becoming worried, Rain felt a twinge of anxiety once she realized that she no longer recognized her surroundings. She brushed the flashlight over every surface to ascertain this, and the truth washed over her slowly. Indeed, she no longer knew where she was within the mansion.
"I don't remember the way back...?"
For the first time, Rain had spoke, and her own voice startled her. Quickly she turned around to view the other turn in the hallway, yet didn't recognized the doors lined along this wall either. The one she stood in was totally dark; another person might have been standing three feet in front of Rain, and she wouldn't notice them, even with her feeble flashlight. Suppressing a gulp of fear, Rain whispered, "I can just turn around, I'll find my way..."
There was a response to her voice this time. Lower than Rain's breathing was a tiny sound coming from the black hallway, far too faint to discern what it might be. A shudder ran down Rain's back. The urge to run away came instantly, but she had to discern what it was at least- she could be running away from the mansion's owner, after all. Listening as hard as she was able, Rain walked a few steps down the hall.
Her foot struck something on the floor, making her trip and fall onto the dusty carpet. Crying out in shock, Rain jumped back to her feet, but knew she could no longer endure being alone in this eeire house. Using her last resort, she withdrew her phone from a pocket and checked the lighted screen for a familiar name. Her hands slightly unsteady, she flipped open her phone and dialed Sean's number.
"...Rain? Why are you calling me?" came Sean's voice, mellow as always. "Did you get hurt?"
"Sean, I'm completely lost." Rain blurted, her words spilling like an avalanche. "I'm in this hallway, it's so dark I can't see anything, and I have no idea where I am. I don't know where to go. I need someone with me."
"Hey, slow down, I can hardly understand you." Sean answered, but he felt his stomach tighten. "So you said you're lost...?"
"I need you and the others to come in here, Sean. I'm really scared that someone else might be in here. I can hear something, but I can't see anything."
"Rain, calm down, please!"
"I can't... Just..." Rain's voice was breaking. "...Please, get here right now, Sean. I feel so unsafe."
"We'll go in, then. Stay right where you are, Rain and keep your light on so I can find you."
Reluctantly hanging up, Rain sank down against the wall and covered her eyes. The shrouding black made little difference as to whether she could even see or not. She fervently hoped Sean would be able to relocate her. Until then, Rain would just have to wait here at the end of the hallway. Feeling a little more confident with this resolution, she leaned against the sturdy wooden wall and tried to steady her pounding heart.
Anyone less brave than Rain wouldn't have managed a minute in the corridor. Aside from the persistent- but extremely weak- sounds she had heard earlier, the sheer silence was paralyzing to Rain. She had always been used to some sort of noise, whether it was people talking, a fan whirring, or television programs playing. Adding to the fact that she would be stranded if her flashlight ran out (her phone provided very little light), she therefore couldn't keep still for long, and shivered persistently despite her jacket. What if there was someone watching her just a few feet away, with intent to harm her?
Waiting longingly for Sean, Rain attempted to pass the minutes. The noise she had heard earlier was no louder, but somehow refused to leave her ears. Finally too curious to remain still, Rain started to walk closer to it, her whole body hesitant, almost holding her breath to listen harder. She couldn't bear the suspense any longer.
Eventually, she arrived at yet another door. Light spilled from below it, and the source was definitely with that room. Now that Rain was closer, the noise sounded like more of a gentler action than footsteps. It could be mere water sloshing about. But her hands still trembled as she gave the door a knock, hoping that the occupant would not take issue with her visitation.
No answer came. The sloshing continued. More frightened than ever, Rain stood rigid, her heart pulsing blood with great force. She knew Sean and the others could still be a long time retrieving her, and she couldn't bear the torment anymore. Wishing silently that she would not regret the decision, Rain turned the golden doorknob and looked into the room.
It was an ordinary bathroom, well-lit, and apparently empty. Suspicious, Rain approached the bathtub cautiously, her fear at last starting to fade. Yet unfortunately, once she looked inside the full bathtub, she wanted to panic all over again.
The bathtub's drain had been almost entirely blocked by the foot of a lifeless girl, and the noise that had so haunted Rain was only the water gradually draining away. Rain pressed shaking fingers to the girl's neck and felt no sign of life. The girl's whitened skin and bedraggled clothing were enough to identify her as dead.
Jerking her hand out of the water, Rain ran from the room in revulsion. With the image of the lifeless corpse emblazoned into in her mind, she ran from her ghastly discovery, as far as she could get. Her flashlight lay abandoned on the damp marble floor. She had to get to Sean, Serena, anybody now, before that thing could get her.
Finally, the pain in Rain's chest forced her to stop running. She knelt on the floor in exhaustion, frantically glancing all around her. And suddenly, the mistake in her conclusion hit her then. That girl was dead; it would be impossible for her mere body to hurt Rain in any way. Because it could do no harm to her, there was no logical reason to be frightened by a corpse that she had not taken the life of previously. And as much as Rain felt sorry for someone to have died in such a lonely place, whatever suffering the stranger might have endured was long over by now.
After minutes of mulling similar thoughts over, Rain stood up and faced the spill of light coming from the open bathroom. She would remain in there until someone came for her- it was better than the hallway, and she wanted to remove the body from its sad prison anyway. Rain was safe, and had been so all along, and there was no longer a tangible reason to believe otherwise. Wiping the sweat from her face with a sleeve, Rain allowed her breathing to relax for the first time in what had felt like eternity.
Written by Grizzly Bear