INK STAINS

Better to be safe than sorry. You stay still, keep your breathing slow. The forced inactivity makes your side cramp, the muscles twitching impatiently. A pulse jumps in your throat. Easy, easy. Stay still, quiet.

That’s when you hear it: a tiny scrape of noise. Then footsteps, the drag-drag of a tail. The creature is still in the theatre.

The steps come closer, pause right near you. There’s a soft snick as the door to the cubicle is closed. You can see its feet now, through the glass and the gaps in the chairs. The hem of the cloak conceals all but the tips of dark, sharp claws. One more step and it’ll see you.

The feet move, turn away from you. No — not away from you — towards the secret door.

The creature’s tail lifts into the air, flicking side to side. It moves to the door, quietly now, barely a sound against the floor. When it reaches the door, you finally get a good look at it: very tall, the concealing cloak doing little to mask its muscular figure. If it turns around now, it’ll see you.

The creature reaches out and pulls the door open slowly. The passageway inside is even darker than the theatre, an inky stain against the wall.

Then the creatures steps through and vanishes into the darkness.

Now what?

* Follow the creature through the secret door.
* Close the door and lock it inside!