Pete crawled out of his nightmare with a dry and painful throat, as if it were scratched by desert sand. His entire body dripped off so much sweat that for once Pete thought that he might as well be thrown under the toxic blazing sunlight. His hands shook, and tried as he might, he couldn't get them to stop. His faithful Duke must have heard his heavy breathing and heartbeat, as he whimpered by his side. Pete gently petted Duke's head and swung his head violently, wishing that he could threw what he had seen in the dark night away just as easily as a child disposing his time.
"Time to get to work," Pete whispered to Duke, who followed him quietly out of the smelly shelter he had stumbled upon at the River Docks. He straightened up his grey shirt again and turned into the street. People marched by him, with their eyes blank and soulless, their stride mechanical. Pete felt that he was lost in the faceless crowd, and he had to struggle to get out of it. When he arrived at the meeting place, he had a bad headache eating at him. He looked around and saw Miss Stanley, Mr Drake, and Mr Jack before locking eys at Miss Stanley.
Miss Stanley looked into him, making Pete feel uncomfortable, as her stare seemed to be able to pierce his mind and exposed his thought to sunlight. Pete told himself that he had nothing to fear: Miss Stanley was just another woman that he could overcome with the help of Duke, but he couldn't shrug the thought away. Mr Drake still looked his arrogant self, and Pete was satisfied to knew that as much as Mr Drake hated to mingle with drifters like him, he'd had to deal with it. However, Pete learned to hide it away as who knew what evil trick Mr Drake had in his sleeves. Mr Jack wasn't someone Pete wanted at his back either, but people had to settle with what they could have in a sink or swim time. There was safety in number, maybe just a bit of safety, but still.
"Let's go," Mr Drake said.
"Where?" No way would he blindly go somewhere.
"Black Cave. There was rumour hinting about the possibility of a gate there. We needed to get to it as soon as possible."
Pete nodded. He heard rumours about Black Cave too. Dark rumours, dripping with blood and screams. But he couldn't back down now. Nothing would be more horrible than his nightmares.
Pete was the last to enter the Black Cave. Just after then, he heard the loud sound of rock and sand dropping from behind. He turned to look and found that the entrance was now blocked. They had no way back now. He could feel the tension emitted from the others.
Mr Drake's flashlight waved, and in a moment Pete thought that he could see runes carved on the cave wall, but then... Was it a trick of the light, or were the walls dripping silver? He memorized the shapes of the runes and felt a thrill of lightning in his blood.
Suddenly there was an attack.
The... thing rolled and bubbled malignantly, eyes appearing and vanishing on its skin. A scream died in Pete's throat as he tried his best to not turn into a corpse under the thing's hand. When the thing grabbed Mr. Jack, he screamed and Pete would have found it amusing if he hadn't been too busy beating off the monster to help Mr. Jack escape. Finally they managed to run away from the monster.
"It's there, the gate," Miss Stanley whispered.
Pete nodded and cautiously went into the other world, trying to hide his hesitation from others - it was bad to show weakness. He never liked this. This other world was too unnervingly bright and eerily colourful to hurt his eyes. There also too much running and fighting. Everything seemed to be lost when a thin dark shadow launched an attack at them. Then words that Pete couldn't understand left his mouth, and the monster was still. Mr. Jack took the chance to shoot it. The monster fell, gave the chance they needed desperately to finish the ritual to close and seal the gate. Although they finished it, It had been too close though, always too close.
"Thanks for saving us," Mr Jack said reluctantly when they finally found another way out into sunlight again.
Pete only nodded, not daring to trust his voice. He could feel himself being pulled into the darkness further, and he knew that this night would be even more horrible than ever.
Good deeds didn't pay.