* As a brief kindness to the reader, it may be valuable for you to read the following “A Very Very Very Very Short Story” first. It is ultimately your choice, but they are directly connected. Regardless, enjoy this miniature tail of the macabre. *
A cold deluge of water blasted Lisa in the face, rudely waking her from a slumber that she could not remember taking. The sound of a bucket hitting the ground could be heard as footsteps receded and a door at the other end of the nearly pitch black room was closed. Lisa hadn’t quite wrapped her brain around her circumstances yet, but she had picked up enough cues to be sufficiently scared out of her gourd. She picked herself up off of the ground and squinted her eyes to glean as much information about the room as possible. As a small amount of the room came into focus, graciously lit by the tiny line of light that shone from the bottom of the door frame, it became apparent that the room was completely barren, bereft of any items at all, save for the color black on the floor, walls and ceiling. Slowly she walked towards the door and with much hesitation she turned the handle, fully expecting the door to be locked. To her surprise the door opened, and a hallway was revealed. Going in both directions, the hallway presented Lisa with 2 options: an unlit route to the left, or a lit route to the right. Favoring what she could see, Lisa grabbed the bucket that was on the floor and chose the path to the right.
About ten feet down the hallway was an open door to her left, she peered inside but realized that it was a room exactly like the one she had just left: tiny, dark and with no items to collect. 15 feet down from that door was where the corridor split into a “Y” shape, again presenting Lisa with 2 choices. She noticed that the path to the left had a slight bit of staining near the bottom of the door, the lighting was poor so it was hard to make out the color but it was either a very dark crimson or possibly a variation of grey. The path to the right was free of any such markings, and for that simple reason alone she chose to go to the right once more. She turned the knob and kicked the door wide open, waiting for the light from the hallway to give her a glimpse of the room in front of her. A blade dropped from the top of the doorframe and would have almost certainly mortally have injured Lisa had she not been so keen to stop short of entering and take a look at what was in the room. Having jumped back nearly 2 feet, Lisa inched her way towards the door and looked up at the upper section of the doorframe to see the enclosure where the blade had been perched, ready for the kill.
She could not see any other visible traps and believing that she was safe, took a step into the room. Only the light from the hallway gave any measure of visibility at all, and from what she could see it appeared that the room was significantly bigger than the previous rooms, and also there were items in the room. Desks, decorations, chairs and similar such room fodder were catalogued in her mind. Immediately to her left was a light switch, finally hoping to catch a solid glimpse of the room and also have a chance at a proper bit of lighting, she flipped the lever on. A slew of fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling mounted ballasts lit up the room and gave way to a bizarre floor design that seemed to be reminiscent of a circa 1930’s Nazi German inspired study. Her eyes were drawn to a distinct statue of an owl with its beak askew and wings wide open. The owl was in the middle of the room, perpendicular to the door she was coming in from and another door directly behind it. She wondered how difficult it was for a taxidermist to capture the essence of this majestic bird so skillfully, but it was a fleeting thought as a single arrow bolt flew from the owl’s slackened jaw and into Lisa’s heart. The bucket hit the ground once more as she followed suit. A hand reached into the room from the lit hallway and turned the light switch off, as the blade retracted back into the frame. The door closed and another victim was added to this cruel experiment.
Lisa had valued trivial curiosity over the importance of her own safety.