Warpt Factor – Installment 18

The air in the haunted house was overbearing, stale, and stunk like a crypt. This sudden shift from the fully climate-controlled amusement park attraction did not go unnoticed.

“Stinks something awful in here,” Professor Everest said.

“Makes me grateful I have reduced olfactory senses,” Fontaine chirped.

Curian shook her head. “You must be a godsdamned delight at parties,” she said. “That’s assuming you get invited, anyway. This stinks like something familiar, though. I don’t think we’re…Wherever we were anymore.”

The track was missing, but the trappings of the haunted mansion remained. The cobwebs that pervaded every surface and the skittering of hidden spiders, however, seemed substantially more real.

“What do you mean?” CMO Carter asked.

“Better press on, my newly acquired friends,” Curian replied. “And let’s hope that whatever fel magics caused this didn’t have a sinister intent in mind. I’m good in a pinch if someone needs stabbed, but quietly procuring items and leaving unnoticed is more my speed.”

Fontaine gasped. “What you’re saying, then, is that you’re a thief?”

Curian sighed. “Nothing gets past the one-man plague here. How’s this place supposed to play out, anyway? Maybe we’ll get answers that way.”

CMO Carter nodded. “Not a bad idea,” she replied. She pointed towards a staircase that followed the wall ahead. It branched off a number of directions, the stairs a multitude of bridges overhead in ways that routed to multiple rooms.

“We’re in a sort of central hub, so the ride comes back here after each room would be completed,” CMO Carter explained. “Maybe if we play this out like it’s the ride, we’ll be able to set things right.”

“Loathe as I am to say this, perhaps that will get our Captain back and rid us of this delightful gargoyle,” Fontaine said.

Curian snapped her fingers. “That wasn’t a terrible insult, Chadley Cricket,” she shot back. “CMO Carter, was it? Can you lead the way?”

“I certainly can,” CMO Carter replied. “This is my favorite attraction here, after all.”

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