An icy crash of doubts splintered across my mind as I considered the nothingness in front of me. A looming promise I had to break. I only had this chance because Michael found me and offered me a chance to save Trevor’s soul, to repent for my mistakes. But I have just one chance.
My name is Serisa. But until I could rescue the ones I love, I was only a number on the roll call of Hell.
I felt the heavy grip of the rough harness around my waist as my feet moved against the unforgiving steel beam beneath the molded rubber of my boots. I remembered to breathe and pulled frosty air into my lungs. Looking down I saw the scurrying pinpricks of light heralding the presence of Vegas traffic more than twenty stories below me. I adjusted my mask once more for luck and vaulted out into the void, orbiting back to blast through the window.
In that moment of shattering, I was forever changed. I had begun my quest and there was no looking back.
Shifting my boots in the broken shards that littered the burgundy carpet, I unclipped the rope and looked around. A sickly fire crackled in a fireplace, poisoning the room with a glow that cast a chorus of shadows off of the ornate tribal masks adorning the scarlet walls. The clinging stench of cigarettes and alcohol drifted through the air like a damning mist, triggering memories that made my stomach clench.
How frighteningly appropriate.
I secured my escape line to a mahogany monstrosity of a desk. There were no shrill protests of alarms, Michael had done his part. I just needed to do mine.
I strode to a thin floor lamp and moved it aside. Underneath hid a small gap in the floorboards that might have meant a careless worker, but to me it signaled my only chance for salvation. I slipped a thin silver key out of my pocket and fingered the delicate scrolling for the last time. I had carried it for almost three years, never before guessing its significance. I slipped the head into the crack. After a quick twisting jerk, I heard the snick of a defeated lock. The trapdoor opened on noiseless hinges. I yanked off my glove and my trembling hand descended into the tiny void. My fingers closed on the small velvet box I knew to be the color of the sea in December. Who would have thought a human soul, once cheated away, could be so easily contained? I held my sacred parcel up to the flickering light and pushed open the lid. An all-too-familiar whisper whipped out, brushing my ear, as Trevor’s soul flew out the broken window to return to its rightful owner.
I clumsily wiped tears with the back of my glove and fumbled the rope back into my harness, I had begun my quest and had to move quickly. Trevor, the first of seven, was saved and the heavy dread inside me was beginning to dissolve into a new, brighter feeling. Hope of redemption.
~ Whitney Gibbons, West Jordan, Utah