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Haunted

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Luka hit the ground hard enough to taste metal. He was bruised, exhausted, and utterly lost. The labyrinthine hallways made the house they were trapped in seem so much larger. He got back to his feet and grit his teeth when he saw that a sizable splinter had lodged itself in the exposed part of his shin. He bent down to examine the damage. That will teach me not to wear ripped jeans in haunted houses, Luka thought and shook his head at the absurdity of it. All he and Marinette had wanted to do was borrow a telephone to call a pick-up truck. Now, here he was, wandering through a haunted house that wanted him dead and wanted who-knew-what from Marinette.

The splinter wasn’t as deep as he initially feared, it would be easy to pull out and bandage with another piece of his tattered hoodie. With that done, he got back to his feet and glanced at the walls for markings to see if he had come this way before. Of course, the house – or whatever was inhabiting this house – was clever. Luka was unsurprised to find that the wall to his left was completely covered in his markings. He rolled his eyes, it had been a long shot to try and literally mark his progress but he hadn’t expected the house to move every panel to one wall. It was ugly as well, it looked like a wall assembled from scrap wood – all different colours and grains.

Wait, he thought. He walked closer and ran a hand against the mocking wall. It wasn’t an illusion – the wood was really there. He stepped back and fished his phone from his back pocket. There was no signal in this hell-house, of course, but the camera function still worked and he snapped a picture. A small corner of his mouth lifted – the house had just unwittingly given him the best map. All he had to do was examine the paneling to get around. Luka fought off a larger smile, unsure whether the house could just sense him or if it was capable of actual sight. No matter what, he was loathe to give away his newly discovered advantage.

I’m coming Marinette.