Chapter 17: Twists and Turns

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Don and Bella squeezed through the narrow opening between the dissolved bars and wandered down rows of empty cells As they made their way down the corridor, Don shared his theory that the spiders had been stolen from FSL. “Dead end,” Don said as he came to a brick wall.

“Literally,” Bella laughed. “I’m glad we didn’t get too close to your eight-legged friends. I think this is the way. There are no doors, have you noticed? I think we are in an old holding center for the Stalkers. A place where they kept their meals.” Don shuddered at the thought.

Bella pushed on the skeleton’s sternum. As it crumbled, the bricks behind it crumbled as well. leaving a sim-sized gap. Bella put her hand in the opening, then peered in. “No breeze, but I think we’re on the right track.”

“Breeze?” Don questioned, following her carefully through the hole in the wall.

“Yeah, signs that we are getting closer to the surface.  “Shhh,” she whispered as they walked into a large room. Chills ran up and down Don’s spine. She motioned for him to follow.

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Two large wooden boxes stood on the floor in front of them. Don felt a draft of air, but it seemed to be coming from a vent on the floor. He hoped Bella wasn’t going to open one of the boxes and quickly pointed to a door. He couldn’t get out of that room soon enough. The door squeaked loudly when he opened it. From what he had read, those Stalkers weren’t kept out by doors, but he still closed it behind him.

They walked down a winding corridor until they came to a large room.

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Don wanted to find a different way, perhaps retrace their steps, but Bella walked boldly into the room. “This looks new,” she whispered. Don nodded in agreement and followed her into the candlelit room.

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He felt drawn to the profoundly sad scene before him. Fresh flowers lay on top of the ornately embossed coffin. A golden plaque caught his eye, and Don read the epitaph. As he read the words again, and then again, Don’s heart shattered. “Don,” whispered Bella, “What is it?” Don stepped aside as Bella approached the coffin.

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Bella stood silently. Don knew she was trying to absorb what was engraved on the plaque. It seemed an eternity, frozen time. Then Bella slowly turned around, and Don saw the steely look, the set jaw. But while his eyes filled with tears, Don noticed Bella’s filled with fire. “Let’s get out of here,” Bella whispered, pointing to a closed door.

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They found themselves in a small room with stairs leading up; Don could feel fresh air. They had found a way out. He filled his lungs, willing himself to reign in his emotions. Bella grabbed Don and pulled him close. As she hugged him, Bella whispered, “It’s not your fault. She has hated the Goths longer than she hated you. We will find a way to bring back Cassandra. I promise you we will.”

[The lot used was “Vampire Tudor” by UnusualPeach]

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