“Mr. Patterson wants me to help him find the map, so we’ll find the map,” Ellyce said, standing in the middle of the hallway. Following Al’s instruction, she and Jessica were waiting for a sign or for someone else to show up and lead them to where they needed to go. She followed Jessica down the hallway, jiggling doorknobs as they walked.
“Look,” Jessica said, pointing to the doors. “These doors aren’t as intricately painted as the ones in Patterson’s hallway. They’re just simple, plain wooden doors.”
Ellyce froze. “Did you hear that?” she asked, not really sure if she had heard a voice calling out to her, or if it was her mind playing tricks on her.
“Hear what?” Jessica asked, craning her neck to the side to listen.
“Never mind,” Ellyce said, and continued strolling down the silent hall. The hallway was eerily silent. There were absolutely no sounds, not even the hum of an air conditioner.
To their left at the end of the hallway, they were greeted by a black, padlocked door. It was uninviting, so they ventured right. With each step they took down the hallway, the walls and floors lit up—changing and shifting colors.
The two jiggled a couple more doorknobs, but those, too, were locked. Halfway down the hall, they reached another crossroads. This time, the hallway on the right was completely blacked out, while the hallway on the left was lit up with lighting fixtures that resembled giant octopus tentacles or locks of Medusa’s hair, flowing outward and downward from the middle of the ceiling.
“Ellyce,” a gentle voice called out again. This time, Jessica heard it.
Holding her index finger to her mouth, she pushed Ellyce behind her as she glanced up and down the quiet hall. The voice rang out again. This time, it was lyrical, reminiscent of the wind blowing across an open field. Ellyce’s heart raced as Jessica led them back to the other, darkened hallway—the one that looked rather ominous. She clutched Ellyce’s hand tightly. “It’s coming from here,” she whispered, but Ellyce shook her head, refusing to go any further.
She closed her eyes and swallowed hard. “We should go back the other way. I don’t like this.” She started hyperventilating. “Oh my gosh, I can’t move. I can’t do this,” she said frantically, shaking her head.
“Elle,” Jessica said softly, trying to sooth her. “Breathe. Look into my eyes and listen to the sound of my voice. It’s gonna be okay.” She spoke slowly and rhythmically. “I’m here with you. You’re not alone, and we’re gonna be fine.
“Someone’s calling your name, and we need to find out why.”
“No, we don’t. I don’t care why,” she said frantically.
Jessica started to speak, but at that moment, the sound of soothing waters washed over them, cooling and calming them both. Ellyce sniffled, then stood up straight and stepped into the dark, dreary hallway. With each step she took, glowing yellow and green flowers unfolded before her, creating a trail that led her to the fourth door on the right.
Both women stopped and studied the door. There was nothing special about it, yet the flowers surrounding it extended across the wall, creating a dazzling firework show that literally announced to Ellyce that she had arrived at her destination. After the final canon sounded, exploding colors across the wall, a loud knock rang out from behind the door.
The handle glowed a brilliant bumble bee yellow. Ellyce hesitated to take hold of the knob, but when she did, it clicked open with little effort.
Discover what Ellyce finds behind the door when you pre-order A War and A Wedding today.