Writing Group: I Locked Myself in Here (PRIVATE)

Don’t let me out, Anchorites, Submariners, and Escape Artists!

Welcome to my cell. Oh, no, that really isn’t necessary. I know you think you’d be rescuing me but…well, I don’t think your human mind is quite ready to understand. I’m just fine. Because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

I Locked Myself in Here

Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

This prompt is deliciously angsty, and one that I am quite excited for. Usually being locked in is an unwanted fate. But what happens when someone puts themselves in a cage? My mind spins with many possible reasons one might do so, and that is where the fun begins. 

You could write about a werewolf-type situation, where a character knows they will transform somehow and, to protect their loved ones, they lock themselves away. This could be something that happens for a single night beneath the full moon, it could be for a week (perhaps someone who asked to become a vampire knows they can’t control their cravings), or it could be for longer if someone knows they will permanently become a monster (such as a zombie). This transformation doesn’t necessarily have to be violent, though. Think of Hermoine, when she accidentally used cat hair in the polyjuice potion. Even a terrible villain might have a cuteness spell cast on them, and they lock themselves away so their henchmen won’t see them. 

That idea of not wanting to be seen doesn’t just apply to magical situations. A child who cut their own hair, or did their own makeup for the first time, might hide away, not wanting anyone to see them. Or perhaps they lock themselves away because they broke a rule and don’t want to be punished. A teenager might lock themselves in the school bathroom after getting pantsed in front of the whole cafeteria. Even an adult might hide in the broom closet at work because they don’t want their coworkers to see them cry. 

Another, more realistic, take is mental illness. There is a wide variety of possibilities for why a mental illness might cause someone to lock themselves away. Someone in a manic or psychotic episode might lock their office door and rave to themselves. Someone who regularly experiences dissociative fugues might lock themselves away so that they don’t wake up and find themselves in another town over. Someone with a particularly intense anxiety disorder might lock themselves away because they’re afraid of the world outside. Someone with depression might lock themselves in their room, unable to do anything but lay in bed. 

There is an idea that “Hell’s gates are locked from the inside.” You could play with this idea in many different ways. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, uses it well. The ghost of Marley says: “I wear the chain I forged in life…I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” This could be an interesting direction to take the prompt. What choices of ours symbolically lock us away? Sometimes you might feel as if you are watching this happen from the outside—anyone who knew Scrooge could see he created his own chains through his miserly living. Perhaps you could write about what it’s like to watch someone lock themselves away…even though they don’t see the spiritual prison walls they’re creating. 

You could go even more literal than that. Oftentimes we lock pieces of ourselves away that we are afraid will get hurt. You could write about how someone locked a part of themselves away in their own heart—they don’t let their creativity shine, they hide their sensitivity, they don’t let themselves pursue their true passion in life. 

Even an event could count as this. It makes me think of the Sanders Sides episode where Thomas wants to go to an acting callback…but he promised his friends he would go to their wedding, and can’t back out now. He “locked” himself into that event. There are lots of plans I could see someone feeling like they’re locked into that they can’t get out of. 

Even simply a promise can be a locking mechanism, regardless if it’s tied to a calendar date. A character will often want to get out of a promise, but they can only blame themselves for making it in the first place. The Unbreakable Vow in Harry Potter is a particularly strong example of a promise you might lock yourself into. A contract is another type of promise that is particularly binding. Like how Ariel signed her life away to Ursula if she didn’t get Eric to kiss her within three days. Watching it, we know the agreement is ridiculous…but people still choose to make ridiculous agreements like this all the time.  

Even though I do love me some angst, I also love me some comedy, and this prompt has some great opportunities for that as well. A character might accidentally lock themselves in somewhere. Maybe a locksmith, while trying to fix a broken lock, ends up trapping themselves in the room. A character might build a maze…only to trap themselves inside it. Maybe someone locks themselves away during a party for some peace and quiet. A group of friends could ‘rescue’ their friend from a cage…only for the person locked inside to look up placidly and ask them if they want tea. 

A character like Houdini would be a great use of this prompt as well. Houdini would often lock himself up in order to break himself out and amaze his audience. You could write about all sorts of magicians, escape artists, and the like who intentionally lock themselves up to break themselves out. You could also write about a character who purposely allows themselves to be imprisoned because they know they can get out. Maybe they are planning to help their previously captured friends escape, or they want to steal something from the palace, and the best way to do that is by letting themselves get thrown in the dungeon. 

My technical challenge to you this week is a result of one of our conversations during the “Under the Monster’s Bed” stream. I challenge you to use either asyndeton or polysyndeton in your story. (Bonus points if you use both). 

Polysyndeton is when you repeat conjunctions (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet), like so: I think I want ice cream, or cookies, or brownies, or waffles, or cake. Your brain focuses more on the conjunctions than the actual words, so it is often used to overwhelm the reader, and/or convey a character’s excitement, and/or convey their anxiety. (Eh? See what I did there?). 

Asyndeton is the opposite, the lack of conjunctions, including where there ordinarily would be one: I like ice cream, cookies, brownies, waffles, cake. (Note, there is no “and” before that final “cake” even though there ordinarily would be). “Veni, Vidi, Vici.” (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”) is perhaps the most famous example of this device. Asyndeton often really makes you pay attention to the specific words being said, with nothing to detract from them, and/or it can create a faster pace to the sentence. (Think about if the sentence was “I came, and I saw, and I conquered.” Can you see how the “and”s make the meaning of each individual phrase pop less, as well as slow down the sentence?) 

My content challenge also comes from a stream! (The “I Wasn’t Aiming for You” stream). This prompt lends itself well to introspection, and/or a character monologuing. If you do want to write one of these types of stories, my challenge to you is to intersperse the introspection/monologue with action to capture audience attention. Instead of being stuck in a person’s head or being “talked at,” add character bits that tell us more about who they are and who they’re talking to. Bonus points if the action of the story mirrors well the introspection! You can also do this in reverse: if you plan to write a more action-heavy piece, try interspersing it with some introspection! 

Remember, these challenges aren’t mandatory! They are meant to be a fun bonus if you’d like to have a little extra challenge. But, if you don’t want to use them, please don’t feel obligated to!

You see, little hero, reality is the true prison. I let them put me in here. That key in your hand is worthless. There’s another sort of key much more difficult to procure, and a lock hidden in the furthest reaches of your mind. When you unlock that door, well, you’ll realize these metal bars are nothing. 

—Kaylie & Pearce 

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
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    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
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    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
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  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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jesse fisher
jesse fisher
1 month ago

Locked inside
by Jesse Fisher

Some wonder why we build cages around us? Some have been burned by the world and just having a single part of it that could not affect them. Others point to laziness that we choose the things that could affect us the least.

I, myself, move from one cage to another because I play different roles. However there are nights where the world is still and the bars around me aren’t there, yet I feel them. The long nights start there, my mind brings up things I should have gotten over. Yet, the bricks began to build up and I’m spiraling,

The cage goes away and more solid walls surround me, the self negativity seems to draw more of it towards the walls. By the time I had stopped the building process the space was dark and it felt like a tar soup that was so thick I could barely move.

Negativity begins to cloud my judgment, slowly the cages of safety begin to decay. Once polished and well kept turned into jagged rusted metal. I could not see that as the walls hide this as it closed in on me.

Then the nails fall on me and the walls have stopped, the light has faded and the ignorance is gone. The only thing that was left was the body of the person I lied to be.


“They are just staring out the window again.” A nurse on duty commented.

“Anything is better than them just laying in bed.” A doctor doing their rounds replied. “They were shut in their room for god knows how long.”

“By their choice?”

“I would say so but the parent that lived with them just used it to control them.”

Fog Wall
Fog Wall
1 month ago

Making An Entrance
~Fog Wall

Veivaun stood firm on a high branch of an elder tree, these trees easily stood over two hundred feet high and this one allowed for a view over the wall. The city that sprawled behind the transparent dome was incredible, brightly lit against the night sky, no stars were visible.

It never occurred to her that they’d be able to fly. The lights were dazzling, almost hypnotizing. Signs in a foreign language were huge, standing tall over buildings or floating between the wide avenues between them. Those inside were like ants on a hill. Everywhere she looked were lines of flying lights, small things floating seamlessly as if the dome were filled with water.

She sighed and looked up at the starless sky above. Not a sound escaped the city and the sound of wind torn branches broke the summer’s peaceful silence. No one lived near this wall. It has and will always be a cursed place. No magic dwells within’, or so the stories go. Few, if any, have been inside and come back. Legends have it that those inside are centuries ahead of us, capable of magic beyond that of even the elder gods.

“I’ll prove them wrong. With this magic of mine.” She murmurs as she opens her hand. A ball of magma materializing from thin air. Veivaun held the ball out as it grew. Giving it all the magic, she could spare, she moved her hand from palm up to palm out and launched the orb at the glass just above the black wall.

The magma she channeled easily melted the dome, giving her an entry point. Stepping off the branch, a disk of floating ice gripped the bottom of her boots as she crossed the gap and into the city. With each step, the ice from the previous step disappeared behind her. Once inside, she turned and conjured ice over the hole, making sure it would stay at a sub-zero temperature.

“Now that I’m in, there’s no going back.” Sadistic laughter overtook her composure as she descended. “Let’s let the Gods decide!”

1 month ago

He Needs His Alone Time (Chronicles of the Dragon: Caitlyn)
By: Makokam

Caitlyn pulled her bike up to the gate and took her helmet off.

The train yard was all but abandoned. Every once in awhile, an engine would come through and drop some cars off, or pick them up. For the most part though, it was ignored and had fallen into disrepair. It had gained a reputation for being a place frequented by delinquent teenagers, drug dealers, and hobos.

Jonathan enjoyed coming here. He said it was a quiet place where he could think. Once he brought her there, she had to agree. While it was still full of rusty, dangerous equipment, she hadn’t seen any sign of anyone besides Jonathan there.

She suspected its reputation was people trying to scare kids away.

The gate was hanging off its hinges and she squeezed through into the yard. “Jonathan! Are you here?”

It wasn’t unusual for Jonathan to disappear for a day or two, but he usually made some sort of excuse for where he was going, and he’d never been gone this long before.

Searching for Jonathan among the cars yielded nothing but wild animals.

Until she noticed the closed car.

Jonathan had told her to NEVER close the doors, because the locking bar could fall and you’d be stuck. It was hard to believe he’d have let that happen to him, but it would explain where he’d been.

She jogged over, calling his name. There was no answer, but she figured she should open it just in case. As soon as she started to lift the bar, his voice roared from inside, “DON’T OPEN IT!”

Relief overcoming shock, she yelled back, “Jonathan! You’re okay!” and she started opening the door again.

“STOP!” A bang shook the car. “Don’t… open it. I… locked myself in. Okay? Don’t- Please leave.”

Caitlyn stepped back in confusion. Then she shook her head. “No. This is dumb. You can’t stay in there.”

He shouted for her to stop again, but she’d already lifted the bar and was opening the door.

The impact sent her spinning to the ground. She looked up and Jonathan was gone.

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

by Lee Strangely

Edward never sleeps. In fact, he has never slept. Sure, he goes unconscious once and a while, but one can hardly call that slumber.

“Henry?” Edward groaned.

As his eyes adjusted to the sunlight pouring through the window, the site of his cramped little apartment began to draw his attention. He had grown quite used to his gray, barren, and yet still dingy room. It was one of the few things he could really call his own… even if Henry still paid for it.

His squinted at the colors and bits of elegant furniture that now inexplicably lined the room, “I see you’ve, redecorated…”

He shifted around in his bed until finally sitting up… only to feel something pull his arm. Yanking away the bedsheets, a chain poked out from the framework and to a cuff holding his wrist.

“This is not how you treat those close to you Henry… especially as close as me…”

Edward yanked the chain.

“What did I do? Is it about the kid? Come on! It wasn’t my fault; he shouldn’t have been out that late… It was an accident! I didn’t mean to trample the little rat- RASCAL. I didn’t intend to harm the little, rascal…”

He turned to the window, “I can’t be held in here. You know why? Because you can’t either…”

“You, have a life. People would wonder… Which means you can’t afford to throw away the key further than arm’s length.”

“Can’t just call for someone to open the door for you, can’t risk them seeing… us… I know you have a way out.”

His eyes drifted, eventually falling a mirror next to him.

Edward jerked the chain and the bed connected to it hard, “HENRY! I will NOT be CHAINED like an ANIMAL!”

He sulked, “I never locked you out. Never tried to bury you… Never left your side…”

“Yes, I’ve always been there with you,” he faltered, “And yet you, are never here with me… and somehow, I’m the one called Hyde.”

1 month ago

Tiger in a Cage (Bureau of Public Safety setting)
By MasaCur

“The prisoner has arrived, Warden.”

Waden Sinclair looked up to Watson, a senior guard at the prison. “Thank you, Watson.” Sinclair stood up, straightened out his jacket, adjusted his tie, and took a deep breath. He was about to meet the most notorious prisoner Newgate would likely ever see.

Down in the admitting bay, a cage had unloaded from a transport wagon. Inside, manacled and chained, a middle aged man sat, his thick grey handlebar moustache making it clear to Sinclair who he was dealing with.

“Dr. Van Nilsson,” Sinclair greeted. “I understand you can speak English? Correct?”

Van Nilsson smiled, a predatory sort of smile that unnerved Sinclair. “Yes, of course. You must be Warden Sinclair.”

“You will be staying here with us in Newgate Prison during your trial for crimes of treason against the Crown. As I understand it, the evidence against you is overwhelming. And once you are found guilty, you shall stay here until your day of execution, where you shall be hanged by the neck.”

If mention of Van Nilsson’s fate was meant to wipe his smile away, Sinclair’s efforts failed miserably. The manic grin widened. “Is that so, Sinclair?” He lurched forward toward the bars, causing Sinclair to back away. He came short as the chains holding him to his seat were pulled taut. “Did it not occur to you that I was captured a little too easily? And now, I’m in the very symbol of law and order in the whole of the British Empire. Your prison, and the Old Bailey attached to it.”

Sinclair looked at Van Nilsson, and swallowed nervously. “I want him out of this cage and in his cell in five minutes, Watson.”

“Aye,Warden,” Watson replied. He summoned a few other guards to him, and one had unlocked the cage, while another hooked a catchpole onto the manacle around Van Nilsson’s neck.

“Warden, I must thank you for your hospitality,” Van Nilsson said, as he was released from the anchor within the cage. “I can’t wait for you to see what I have in store for you.”

1 month ago

“A Job I Could Handle” (Shadows of the Stellar Age Setting)

By: Arith_Winterfell

I quietly shut and electronically seal the heavy steel door. How had I gotten myself into this one! I shake my head. I probably shouldn’t have taken this job in the first place. I stare at the glittering piece of tech. A prototype of a new computer architecture. The last treasure of the destroyed colony, Outpost Beta-9.

A low growling emanates from the other side of the sealed door. “Biiiitttcchh,” it breathes, “where are you?”

I shudder at the thought of that thing. All that remained of some poor colonist, their half-rotted corpse reanimated by alien fungus. Skull half exposed, as glittering filaments slid about under their skin, and it shambled through the corridors. I thought I knew what I had been getting myself into when I’d accepted the job. But . . . running into them. Seeing them. Smelling them. That damp moldy smell, the translucent slime clinging to their skin. This was all so wrong.

I hear disgusting huffing from behind the door. Quick heavy breathing. Like some manner of excited pervert hunting me. My own thoughts are making this worse. A low growl again, then the hard crash of the thing slamming into the heavy steel door.

I have got to find a way out of here! I can’t end up like them! I begin visually searching the room I’m in. Large computer screens showing scenes throughout the complex. Numerous figures lurching through the darkened halls. Some of those halls even blocked by large fungal masses holding half submerged figures in cloudy slime. I’m in a safe room. These are all consoles to various systems. Looks like the power core melted down some time ago, so there is only the longer lasting backup power still running through the base. Strange, someone had turned off the automatic defenses. Who would do that during an outbreak? It doesn’t matter. It looks like it still works! I activate the autonomous combat drones and watch the spider-like forms begin patrolling the halls. They should be able to kill these things, but will it be in time.

1 month ago

I Wanted This, Right?
by Carrie (Glaceon373)

I wanted this.

I whispered the words to myself as I opened another “aptitude” test, the fifth this week, on a hunt for answers.

I breathed in the words as I got behind the wheel of a car with only a permit and a parent, clearly failing at hiding pure terror, in the passenger seat.

I saw the words when I blinked, an almost-refreshing change of scenery from the grids of desks and ugly blank walls and the constant scratching of No. 2 pencils (no exceptions) on hundreds of copies of the same standardized test.

I wanted this.

Well, I needed it, really. Because food. And surviving. I’d been lucky enough to have options, though. Hundreds of open doors to choose from.

The problem now is that I’d picked one, went through it, and then it slammed shut behind me.

But I wanted this.

I heard it in my head all through orientation. Which was a waste of time, by the way. Before we could show up, they made us sit through hours of online videos, and guess what they played when we got there? The same stupid videos.

The only new thing they told me was that we “won’t have enough time to write that novel that’s been bouncing around your heads,” and expected us to laugh.

Of course THAT was the joke they decided to make.

Thanks, guys. Super helpful. By the way, you said we’d have enough free time for part-time jobs, right? And to hang with friends? Sleep? Party, maybe? Breathe?

I wanted this.

I really thought I wanted this! I really did! And now the door’s stuck shut behind me, and I’m supposed to be happy on this side of it.

Maybe I will be. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll change majors. Maybe I’ll drop out and work minimum wage for the rest of my life. That would be an expensive way to break down a door that was already incredibly expensive to open in the first place.

I don’t know what I want anymore.

I just know it was supposed to be this.

1 month ago

To Annie O’Brien of 19 Monday Avenue
By Green

Realizing the sketchiness this letter finds you and how it relates to my mission, I must deeply implore you as one of your neighbours and a predominant member of Monday Avenue’s community not to reach out to any authorities.

Not police, not local government or, for all that is holy, the post office and their increasingly rare and inactive agents, postmen.

I am reaching out to you, even though our previous interactions have been as brief as a nod or wave, from the postbox at the corner of our street. I’m sure, Neighbour, that you can already see the great importance of my mission and what inexhaustible frustration has caused me to lock myself up in this temporary home of bills and packages.

If you don’t, I ask if you have been getting any of your mail.

If you have you are the luckiest soul on our street. I haven’t received even a Chinese takeaway advert in seventeen weeks!


Mrs Knolls who lives three blocks from you hasn’t received anything in twelve. The Carpenter family are still waiting on a pack of Christmas photos to be delivered, from two years back! It’s outrageous! Inexcusable! Disgraceful!

As such I have locked myself away, in order that I might revenge myself upon the bane of dogs and every homeowner on Monday Ave. I have already endured a dozen papercuts and relieved myself in such a cramped position that my spine might never recover, unfortunately ruining a package destined for a poor lad in Brisbane, Australia.

But I feel no shame for any action more than when I discovered packaged cookies you sent to family members who are feeling unwell.

They were delicious…

It saddens me, to imagine that they will never reach your Meemaw or Bro or Pa or Sis. So I offer you this mission, prepare another two batches of those choc chip delicacies.

Accept it and I shall make sure at least one is delivered to the loved ones you so deeply care about.

I’m sure you will execute it with vigilance, The man in the postbox.

1 month ago

Beauty and The Beast
By Marx

This won’t end well.

I know this.

She knows this.

We have no choice but to know this.

We are diametrically opposed in every conceivable way.

From the physical to the spiritual to everything in between, anything that happens between us is fated to end in the destruction of one if not both of us.

Given that even the mere idea of her destruction is agonizing to me, logic would say to avoid this by any means necessary.

And yet…

We don’t.

I don’t…

This is all new to her, but I have no falsehoods about what this is.

This pull…

This yearning…

This need…

I’ve felt love’s entrapment before. I’ve felt its glorious inferno. That unquenchable flame that burns and binds. Drawing you into its orbit. Leaving you weightless and exposed and utterly vulnerable to its overwhelming power.

I’ve also felt its loss…

I’ve felt how empty and meaningless the eternal void of existence is without the face who becomes your every breathing moment.

How could I possibly allow myself to feel this way again?

It’s inconceivable to even imagine it.

And yet…

I did…

I tried to ignore it.

I tried to fight it.

But when it all comes down to it…

I love her.

I love her so much that I’m willing to ignore how her holy light and my demonic darkness corrupt each other in a swirling storm of chaotic disarray.

Her perfection is agonizing for an infernal beast like me to behold and not only do I not care…

But with every beautiful smile…

Every warm embrace…

Every chaste kiss…

…I crave that pain.

I allow myself to be swallowed whole by love’s pull once more, regardless of the consequences.

Yes, I know this won’t end well.

Fate has a way of… punishing those who foolishly spit in its face.

But regardless, I choose happiness.

I choose to be with my perfect angel.

I choose to enslave myself to love’s siren call once again.

And whatever may come of it, I know we’ll face it together.

From now until the end.

1 month ago

Never Take a Vampire on an Exploration Mission

Helena and Astrea wandered the abandoned laboratory, cautious of broken beams and crumbling floors and ceilings. They still hadn’t found the exit.

“I’ll check down this way,” Helena said, nightborn eyes already seeing a door down a darkened hallway. “Why don’t you continue forward and contact me if you find anything?”

“Sounds like a plan,” Astrea said. She hadn’t liked any portion of this laboratory. It looked too much like home, and nothing like it at the same time.

Helena worked her way down the pitch-black hallway. Her red eyes absorbed every square inch of light they could, giving her only the briefest warnings of debris on the floor, until she reached the distant doorway.

Looking in, she only saw blackness, but a faint, red glow on a distant wall. None of her heightened senses felt the presence of anything living, but the room still felt like she should not be there. She took a deep breath and entered anyway.

Working her way around the wall, she discovered that the red glow was a faded sign that read “EX-T.” Their way out.

Just as carefully, she made her way back to the doorway, to find it had shut behind her. She tried the handle, but it did not turn. There was no locking mechanism on her side, either.

“Astrea,” Helena called through their mental link. “I found an exit, but the door locked behind me.”

“I’m on my way,” Astrea replied, although Helena thought she heard the hint of a snickering laugh in her mind.

She tried the door again, but it would not budge, but she did feel a prick on her finger. A splinter.

As she removed it, she recalled the curses of her condition. Stakes, garlic, silver…


She tried pushing the door this time, only to find herself toppling over into the hallway, finding Astrea laughing over her.

“I was here the whole time, but holding the door shut on you was just too funny!”

Helena picked herself off of the floor, punched Astrea in the shoulder, and the two continued to the EXIT sign.