Gnarled Hollow by Charlotte Greene

Gnarled Hollow by Charlotte Greene

Author:Charlotte Greene [Greene, Charlotte]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781635552362
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Published: 2018-08-09T16:00:00+00:00

WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE

She nodded as vigorously as she could but also raised her shoulders. How could they get out if the only door was locked?

He raced over to a window and struggled to raise it. She could have told him it was useless—she’d never been able to open any of the windows—but there was no point. He’d never be able to hear her. He tried every window in the room, pushing and pulling as hard as he could. The edges of his hands were bloody from pounding on the door, and he left little smears of red on every window.

After he’d tried to open the last window, he whirled around, his eyes crazed, not looking at her. He peered around the room, his head and body jerking with his gaze, and focused on one of the smaller chairs. He raced over and picked it up, and before she could even react, he heaved it at the largest window. The chair bounced back as if it had hit a rubber wall, and the window remained completely untouched. He picked up the chair again, and this time, rather than throw it, he swung it like an ax. His body absorbed the impact, and he dropped the chair, clutching his hands to his chest and doubling over. She dropped the notebooks and ran over to him. When she put her hand on his shoulder, he flinched away.

He stared up at her, his face wild. A second later, he touched her nose, and when he showed her his fingers, they were dabbed with blood. She could feel the wetness around one of her nostrils, now. Her nose was bleeding.

They both crouched down near the floor, and she covered her ears with her hands as tightly as she could. He followed suit, and both of them sat there, squatting on their feet, grimacing against the sound.

It was so loud now it seemed to be echoing through her. She could feel it in the air behind her—a deep bass-drum beat of noise that shook the room between breaths. She pressed on her ears more tightly and felt blood dripping down her chin from both nostrils now. She and Jim made eye contact. He seemed one step from losing it. Any second now, she thought, he would either start screaming or crying.

Fighting against the pressure of the noise, she struggled to stand and stumbled over to the window, hands still pressed against her ears. Outside by the lawn, she saw Mark’s car parked in front of the house. He had returned at some point and left it by the front door. She tried to see if she could spot him, but no one was on the lawn. The sight of his car, however, gave her hope, as he would no doubt come up here. He’d left for Plattsburgh on Friday, two days ago, so it would be strange if he didn’t at least stop by to say hello, even when they were working. Any second, he would knock on the door, realize there was a problem, and get help.



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