Sasha felt a shiver ripple down her spine, she really did hate this place.
Walking in further, she continued talking into the tape recorder, cutting herself off when she realised she was rambling.
‘Oh, hey. I’ve found… I’ve found that table you were talking about. Don’t really see what all the fuss is about. Just a… basic… optical illusion. Nothing special… just… just a… wait…’
Fuck shit she wasn’t alone.
She tore her eyes away from the table, and tried to prepare herself for whatever was coming.
She could hear, something, something wrong, and she was afraid, so very afraid and alone. The shiver had turned into a full body tremble and she felt the hot cold wash of fear.
The wrongness she could feel permeating the room wasn’t like Michael, they were different, they were all bright colours and hard turns and spins and headaches and a feeling of being lost.
This, this was different. This was the slow creeping feeling of hopelessness that rooted her to the spot, she couldn’t move, she could barely breathe, she wanted to cry but couldn’t even do that, she was helpless.
All of a sudden the door burst open, bathing the room in light.
Standing in the doorway was Prentiss.
And strangely Sasha felt relief.
The wrongness seemed to flinch back, but it quickly turned back to coalesce around Sasha.
Prentiss seemed to surge forward, eyes, or what Sasha thought were eyes, locked on a spot behind Sasha.
‘Help! Please please help!’ Sasha managed to cry out, feeling her legs begin to buckle.
Prentiss was face to face with her now, still looking behind her. A worm wriggled it’s way out of one of the many holes on her face, and fell onto Sasha’s shoulder. She should be afraid, she knows this, Prentiss could kill her so easily, but all she feels is relief.
Relief that Prentiss is here and that she’s not alone anymore.
‘Thank you.’ She whispered.
Prentiss at first didn’t respond, but then, for what felt like a split second, smiled.
And then they thrust their hand out, and seemed to strangle someone behind her shoulder.
The wrongness spiked, and Sasha could swear she could feel fingers scrape down her back, trying to dig in but finding no purchase.
And then there was nothing.
Nothing but Sasha and Prentiss.
Sasha smiled, and then laughed as her legs finally gave out and she fell to the ground.
As her vision began to dim she could see Prentiss smiling down at her and above her, flickering here and there, a moth.
When Sasha woke up, she was still in artefact storage, and a horrible sound felt like it was piercing into her very being. She sat up as quick as she could, and swung her head around looking for the source of the noise. What she was was a lump writhing on the floor across from her.
With a jolt she realised it was Prentiss, screaming. And she remembered what happened, and how Prentiss saved her, from what she doesn’t know, but she knows that she has to help them now.
Scrambling towards them, she carefully placed a hand on their shoulder, and when they didn’t react, slowly pulled them up and into her lap, cradling their head and stroking their hair. Trying to give any sort of comfort.
Prentiss just kept screaming, a horrible, horrible sound.
Sasha doesn’t know how long they sat there, but eventually the screaming stopped, and Prentiss was limp in her arms.
‘Are, are you ok? Prentiss?’ Sasha asked, seeing them so still was unnerving.
Leaning over them, Sasha swept her eyes across their face, trying to find any sign of life.
Then something fell from her shoulder right into their chest, where their heart would be.
It was a worm, still alive but very slow. It found a hole and slowly wormed it’s way back into Jane’s body and Sasha couldn’t take her eyes away.
It disappeared from sight, Sasha’s breath hitched, what was it doing?
What seemed like a lifetime passed, when suddenly Jane woke up.
‘You, you saved us.’ Jane rasped.
‘Well you saved me so I guess we’re even.’ Sasha couldn’t believe the relief she felt.
Jane simply nodded and got up, moving so they were sat across from each other.
Sasha didn’t know what to say or do so they simply sat in silence.
Except it wasn’t silence. Sasha could hear, could feel, a buzzing, a itching under her skin, in her bones, and yet she wasn’t scared. She should be, she knows this, but somehow it just feels right.
Looking up she could see that Jane was smiling at her and she smiled back.
And that’s when she saw it.
That same moth from before, lazily fluttering it’s way across to her and alighting on her cheek. And she knew. She knew what this meant. And it comforted her.