Sara and the Puzzling

Ancient Secret

by e.b. kowal




Strange Happenings in the Night




An unheard moan.  A silent scream.  A soundless shriek.

Help me! Help me! Get me outta here!  I’m gonna drown!

“I was terror-stricken and panicky.  I let out a bloodcurdling wail.  No sound came out of my mouth.  I was kicking and flailing.  Nothing worked.  Trapped.  I couldn’t save myself.

“I was shaking so badly my teeth shivered.  I was cold with terror.  My heart thudded in my chest, my ears pounded.” Sara said, stopping for a breath and pushing her wild, wavy, dark-brown bangs across her forehead with a flourish.

 Sara paused for dramatic effect. 

Ashley chewed a fingernail, her blue-green eyes opened wider, as she listened to every word. 

Sara continued after an extended breathing spell.  “Funny thing is that I remember every detail.”

“Come on.  Tell me more,” Ashley exclaimed, spellbound.  “What happened next?”

“Okay, okay.  I knew I was definitely under water, curled up inside a small wooden barrel-shaped contraption weighted down with rocks in the bottom.  I could feel it sinking, sinking…plunging, down, down…”

“Oh noooooooooo,” Ashley grasped the bed pillow, pressing it over her face.  “How awful.  Even if it wasn’t real, you thought it was and that’s what matters.  Poor Sara,” she said, sympathetically.  “Were you claustrophobic?  Could you breathe?  How baroque.”

“There was this pipe-like-hose-thingy sticking through the side so I guess air must’ve been coming in because I was breathing.  There was also a tiny window and a periscope-thing-a-ma-dooly that I could look through.

“But I don’t know how I got there in the first place.  On one hand, everything was logical.  On the other hand, some things are jumbled and don’t make sense.  Maybe I don’t remember the entire nightmare.  Maybe my mind blocked out parts that were too terrifying.”

Ashley gasped.  “Bizarre!”  She bit her fingernail down to the skin, almost making it bleed…………………………………………….


To be continued