My watch ticks. It’s the only sound I can hear. There is a fragrance of musty dampness in the air.
It’s funny how your senses become heightened in the dark.
Time is ticking away but it doesn’t matter. Not to me. I have nowhere to go. I’m tired.
I don’t like being tired.
There was a discarded newspaper in an out of the way bus stop. I took it. I pull it from the pocket of my trench coat and stare at the large printed image of my face. A long-winded story about my life is underneath my photograph. My entire history laid out for the world to see.
I laugh to myself at the knowledge that I have made the news. People all over the country have been alerted to keep a look out for me but nobody has found me yet. They will never find me. I’m invincible. They say I’m crazy.
I’m not crazy. I’m clever. Crazy people get caught.
Not me. I’m not crazy. I fold the paper and place it on the table in front of me, listening again to the silence. Silence is funny. It makes me want to shout to make it go away but I can’t risk someone hearing me down here.
Quietly, I stand up to explore my surroundings again. Was that lemonade bottle really there when I got here? I don’t remember seeing it there before but it must have been because I haven’t had lemonade since….
I’m not crazy.
I look around the room again, my eyes well adjusted to the darkness by now, and count the obscure objects which lay on the ground just to prove to myself that I’m not mad. In the far corner is an old, worn chair. Looks like a rocking chair but the rockers have big dents in them and the whole thing is covered in cobwebs. Beside the chair is a collection of marbles, as if someone used to play down here. A pair of blunt scissors had been left to rust on top of a pile of grey slate and a dirty chocolate bar wrapper is on the table I was sitting at. And I was sitting on a desk chair.
Satisfied that nothing has changed, I wonder how many other people have hidden down here. Those items had to get here somehow. Scissors, rocking chair, food wrappers, marbles, slate, drinks bottles, a table and a desk chair. Strange things to find in a church basement.
I open the newspaper, knowing it will soon be another thing added to the clutter in the room, and begin to read the familiar words.
“Alison Charles was found shaken but unharmed on the edge of Lattimer’s Woods after being abducted while at the Aquarium with her parents a week ago. The nine year old was separated from her parents in the crowded Aquarium gift shop and was seen being bundled into a car by a man in his late thirties.”
I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I let her go.
I’m not crazy.