Never Ending Lullaby

Todd yawned, "I could, I suppose." He stretched a bit, looking at the bed and the wooden slats. It seemed inelegant to use a weapon. Todd was not one for weaponry, he had never really had to use one - Cor was more into weaponry than Todd would ever be, hardly surprising given Cor's nature. The blonde man bit his lips. He wished Cor was here, he would murder his way through this building and its inhabitants faster than the speed of sound. Todd was much slower than Cor, but just as impatient. Impatience was a definer of his character, in fact.

He rested a boot on the frame of the bed, examining the wooden slats for a moment. He kicked them harshly, reminding him of the first time young Billy Corrigan had slammed his sneaker against the ribcage of a hapless victim. He kicked at the slat again, relieving the moment when the ribcage gave way, splintering into the lungs. His smile curled up his face as his black cigarette hung limply from his lips. The wood proved to splinter as easily as bones did, and Todd and his compatriot were left with several slabs of pointed wood. Stakes, maybe, but there hadn't been vampires for century, so Todd was at a loss for what good these fragments of wood could do.

Stepping away from the bedframe, Todd dusted himself off. He spat out his half finished cigarette and crushed it with his boot. "Wot's yer profession, Presto?" He asked, finding a pet-name for his companion, "I'm an enjamber. I cause enjambment. End-stoppin', to put it bluntly," Todd grinned, "Don'tcha worry your pretty little head, I'm not gonna endstop YOU. You're not due for enjambment for somewhile still. Maybe not at all."
Prestal picked up a large splinter and swung it a few times to test the weight and balance of it. "I make coffee." he answered, and then slotted the slat into his belt loop. "A small place just by central park. I inherited most of my money." With the now weakened structure of the bed, he managed to detach a leg with relative ease, tossed it for weight and then held it in his left hand. He then slammed down as hard as he could on another slat. it didn't shatter or splinter, but merely snapped in half, each end still attached. He ripped one off and replaced the splinter with it, then rested the leg on his left shoulder and walked out. As he was leaving the room, he added, looking back over his other shoulder "And you're not the only person in the room that's killed"

OOC: sorry it's a short one, I've gotta go out. also, I'm really liking Todd and Prestal as an odd couple type of duo.
Kwan's attention to the castle's detail was interrupted by the sudden grasp of his hand. He instantly looked to his side, where she so boldly linked fingers with him. Normally, he'd snap his hand back and toss an insult at anyone who dared hold his hand so randomly. This time, though, he was actually grateful for the kind gesture. Smiling sheepishly, he gave her hand a reassuring squeeze, letting her know that he too was there to make her stay here less... Terrifying. "Yeah, I'm scared for my life, but I won't run away. Promise," he said to her. If she at all thought he was a coward, he'd never live it down.

Suddenly, he heard a voice ask if he was lost. Before he could ask Angel if she could hear anything, the voice continued on. It was echoing in his mind, like they were in the presence of a spirit. Kwan swallowed nervously, his eyes blind in all the darkness of their surroundings. The room ahead of them was beckoning, this eerie voice almost hypnotic to him.

"I guess we're going.. In there?" he whispered, not quite as scared as he should have been. Actually, he wasn't surprised by the ghostly words... This place was haunted, after all. Kwan just hoped there wasn't anything in that room that wanted to devour them or something.

Angel noticed Kwan smile sheepishly and squeeze her hand as if being great full
"Yeah, I'm scared for my life, but I won't run away. Promise," he said to her. "And I promise the same to you." She replied with her friendly smile. But her smile faded when she heard a voice, it seemed very real and Angel looked around as if trying to make out where it was coming from. "Do you know why you're here?" the voice spoke to her and then she looked at the room ahead which was at the end of the hallway and even though her heart was pounding she was curious to see what was inside, taking steps slowly, the cold wind sent a chill down her spine. Further she could hear the voice again. "Are you lost?" The voice inquired without emotion. "You seem lost. Others have come before you." Each sentence was followed by another "The others were lost too." Angel could have sworn the last lines spoken came from inside the room. "And like them I have found you." Angel was inches away now with Kwan right behind her and saw a broken padlock on the floor with the room's door cracked open, she pushed open the door, it creaked and opened wide enough for them to enter. Angel made her fist step inside and sighed, it was just a dark room, all dusty filled with cobwebs and she instantly turned to Kwan, she realized even though she acted curious and bold she had the weakest heart, she could tell even though Kwan was scared he was still stronger than her. She was breathing heavily as if she was terrified. "Did you hear the voice?" she asked Kwan. Her hands holding his were all sweaty and she let go and wiped them against her dress.
The voices were getting louder, Ellie thought as she and her dog ran through the corridors of the house. Adrenaline coursed through her veins as she hoped to find other people. When she turned the corner she practically plowed into a girl in a hauntingly beautiful dress that was beside a neatly dressed man. "h-hello?" not being able to think properly now. She studies them through the dark veil of hair that is usually in front of her eyes.

Ellie's dog's tail was wagging madly as he tried to lick the others. She shushed him with a stern "hey." and he tilted his head curiously, as if he were asking what he did wrong. Ellie looked at the people in front of her apologetically and straightened.
"s-sorry, d-do you k-know where we a-are?" she mentally chided herself for stuttering. She realized she was still holding the dagger so she slid it back into her pocket.
Todd held up his hands in a defensive gesture, palms out and open, elbows bent. He grinned brightly, though the gesture clearly said, 'not me'. He followed Prestal out the room, silently mocking Prestal's sense of melodrama - as the tossed words over the shoulder indicated. This could be quite fun, he realized. Quite fun if he played his hand right, and was dealt a few more aces, "I didn' say nuthin' 'bout killin' anybody. I said 'stoppin'. How you got 'killin' from that is rather disturbin'. Enjambment means nuthin' other than the breakin' of a syntactic unit." Todd rooted around, pulling out another of his black cigarettes and lit it up with yet another of his sleight of hand tricks. He blew a cloud of the blue smoke in Prestal's face, and laughed as he did so.

"Is it yer policy to accuse everybody yah meet of murder? Can't imagine that gets yuh laid, but..." Todd smiled, and began looking down the hallway to and fro, "My coworker, Cor, is Murder yuh see? I'm just Todd." Todd ran a hand through his blonde hair, cigarette hanging from his lips precariously. "I'd explain more, but yer utter lack of curiousity is actually astonishin'. It boggles the mind."
Ellie's intrusion perhaps only served to frighten the pair who had their attention focused so intently on the room ahead. For now the voice which had beckoned them fell silent as if the girl and her dog had severed the connection between them and the unknown presence. Unearthly quiet now descended upon the room beyond the door that left only the sounds of breath from the living and the beating of their hearts audible. Daggers were certainly capable of severing things. . . cutting them. . . stabbing. . . slicing. Weapons made by man were not always useful in this castle against certain foes. But the group of three did not know that just yet.

Time was granted just enough for the girl to ask her question before a dusty old candelabra sitting on a table in the hallway suddenly ignited each candle individually. As if someone unseen had lit each one. Burned away were quite a few cobwebs covering the ancient but simple device. Flames did not spread any further only due to the fact the table it sat upon was of a brass tabletop. Now it sat there, the only source of light in the hallway that they could take with them into the still shadowy room.

"You are lost. . . but no longer in the dark."

Perhaps now Ellie would understand what had made her new companions so jumpy as the voice echoed out into the hallway with a haunting whisper each of them could hear. Would the dog take well to everything going on? Probably not.

If they were to work up the courage to enter the room, they would find it to be of somewhat large size and containing a few items within. One of these items was the amount of skeletal remains within scattered along the floor. Certainly not amassed from any Halloween party store. Next were a number of overturned candelabra stands. In all, four of them were laying about on the floor randomly.

Finally was the most imposing piece of the entire room:

A chair.

In the back of the room, it would still be enshrouded quite well in darkness even if they entered the room with the lit candelabra. Light that it cast could only reach so far and spread out across this room would leave it very dim indeed. Something inesacapable would impress itself upon each of their fragile minds addled with fright: the voice had certainly come from the chair.

Or rather. . . the man sitting in the chair.
Ellie's breath gets caught when the light turned on. The air was heavy with tension as her heart pace speeds up dramatically. A low, throaty growl emerges from her usually friendly dog. As each light flicked on, the heavy feeling of being watched grew. When the voice spoke those Chilling words, the great Dane barked rather loudly and harshly.

The dog's owner felt lighheaded when she saw the ghastly man in the chair as she brought her hand down to her dog for comfort. The other two people beside Ellie looked how She felt, terrified. As the man sat there, Ellie seemed to gain confidence, probably from the adrenaline and questioned,

"who are y-you?" she was a tad pissed at herself for stuttering that last word.

The dog began to shift and whimper now, Ellie pat her dogs head murmering words of care. Gale calmed down slightly to just an occasional whimper now and then.
"Yeah, I heard it," Kwan replied to Angel, when she asked him about that voice. He was relieved to know he wasn't the only one who could hear it. For a moment, he thought he was losing his sanity. When she let go of his hand, his arm fell against him, his own palm sliding against his hip to rid it of the sweat. That was the least of his worries, though.

Another girl then showed up, her voice stuttering with inquiries. There was also a dog with her... He and Angel had no idea where they were, so he spared the 'We have no idea where we are' answer. Instead, he just flashed a quick smile and continued forward with his two new companions. Introductions could wait, he thought. There was something mysterious at the end of the room they were pulled to, by curiosity more than anything.

What caught his attention the most was the chair just feet away from them. There was a dark aura there and something almost... Human. Kwan observed from where he stood, refusing to take another step forward. What if when they got closer, something terrible happened? Plus, he had no clue what was going on. The masculine image on the chair reminded him of a projection done in a haunted house, or just something transparent from a dream. Whatever it was, it couldn't be real! Could it?

The room was dim and there were skeletal remains on the floor. 'Talk about CREEPY,' he thought to himself. Kwan's heart raced with terror, yet he didn't turn back. He promised this girl he wouldn't run away, after all.

"Ne, we are lost," he said aloud, a bit of shakiness in his bold statement. "I don't suppose you can tell us where we are?"

"Yeah, I heard it," Kwan replied to Angel and just then the two were bumped in by yet another survivor, a girl and surprisingly her dog. Angel smiled as the girl stuttered and inquired, "s-sorry, d-do you k-know where we a-are?" Angel was about to say something when a light flickered somewhere and Angel gasped as her heart raced to see a candelabra light up. The voice spoke once again, "You are lost. . . but no longer in the dark." Angel made an attempt for she wanted to see clearly what was inside the room and she picked up the candelabrum with both hands and held it out toward the room only to retreat a little out of fear of those horrible skeletons, her eyes moved to the chair that was there and she could see slowly a figure of what seemed to be a man and making it obvious the source of voice. Angel could not imagine how fast her heart was beating and eyes wide. "who are y-you?" The girl stuttered but demanded and so did Kwan then, "Ne, we are lost," he said aloud, a bit of shakiness in his bold statement. "I don't suppose you can tell us where we are?" Angel took some time but asked as well, "Can you help us.....sir." Angel was being polite but inside, her mind told her that he barely seemed human then what was he?
"Fine. you haven't intentionally k-killed." Prestal actually was curious, but he didn't want to be tempted by Todds words. He couldn't afford to fall into sin. Not again. "Explain to me though," he started while turning and walking backwards into the corridor. "What is 'enjambment'? And who wouldn't interpret 'prematurely ending a line' combined with y-y-your demeanor as at least violent?" he paused and raised a hand, index finger pointing up, as if to say 'wait just a moment'.

He could hear something, a faint squeaking? He turned away from Todd and began to walk slowly and silently. "shhh" he added quickly "I hear something." he followed the noise to a t-junction in the maze-like hallway. Peering round the corner he saw it was a dead end, but now he could hear it clearer. it was an occasional whimpering noise. And voices. they were faint and he had no idea where they were coming from, except somewhere down the corridor. "Allies," he whispered "or opponents?" he turned to Todd. "At least 2 of them, they're talking. Plus an animal. One of the doors down here must go to another h-hallway. they'll be somewhere along there b-but if they're foes, C-can we take them yet?"
"Who I am is not important right now."

A pause was given as the others seemed to stutter out their own questions to the figure who's chair was practically pressed up against what must have been the farmost wall from the door of the room. Beckoning them into the room with a wide gesture of his hand that could be noticed even in this light, he waited. The door creaked open on it's own out of weakness, looking to be as flimsy as cardboard from age right now. While he seemed so mysterious and unnerving, he still seemed just as tangible and real as the bones or the six-foot steel candelabra stands with their tops broken off scattered across the floor. Certainly not a hallucination brought on by the terror this place inspired in even a resolute heart. Did he mean them any harm?

"Where you are is inside a castle. A vast one with many hallways, many rooms, many mysteries. . . and many, many dangers."

Even if he did, he was their only source of information right now.

For those brave enough to work up the courage to enter the room, they were rewarded with the massive door slamming shut behind them. Great strength would be needed to open it up again and appeared their combined might would barely budge. Had they been decieved? It was now one of them would realize they had stepped on a pressure sensitive stone in the floor as the figure seemed to be looking directly at them though the dim light was not enough to illuminate his face.

"I can help you traverse much of this castle. But my assistance comes at a price. One that must be paid right now."

Just as he finished speaking a great shaking noise came from above their heads as though a mechanism were coming to life. Kwan or whomever had the lit candelabra would have been smart to hold it up. Lighting the peril above their heads would reveal an originally eight foot cieling descending down upon whoever was inside at a speed of an inch every five seconds.

Moving while they were distracted by potentially impending death, the figure had gone missing from the chair. Now when he spoke again his voice came from behind the piece of furniture. Or from behind a doorway hidden by it?

"Prove your worth by surviving the trap you have triggered. I will assist the ones that were not only brave enough to enter. . . but cunning enough to survive."

Running to the door across the room they would only find it locked. Surviving meant finding a way to stop the cieling from descending.
Ellie stood with furious eyes as the man spoke. no one, puts anyone in danger, especially her dog. She turns to the others who have been wide-eyed for quite a while now and said, " 'Kay, we better get out of here pretty quick eh?" she grimaces at her Canadian accent, she hates it when she says eh.
Ellie casts a worried glance at Gale and walks the perimeter of the room, searching for something, anything, At all. Once she comes back to the others, she quickly mutters, "I'm Ellie, thought I'd just tell ya for the heck of it." she smiles weakly at them both and looks up at the slowly descending ceiling above them. Frowning, she takes her dagger out of her pocket and stabs it into the door with all her strength. She repeatedly stabs it, leaving only the tiniest mark. After a minute of nothing, she steps away from the door. "any ideas?"
Todd laughed lightly, "Enjambment is nuthin' of the kind. It just means 'to end'. 'Ow we end depends entirely on our client." The blonde man, blew out another cloud of blue smoke from his stub of a black cigarette. They burnt up quick, it seemed, far quicker than normal cigarettes. Todd spat out the butt of it, and stomped on it until it was a pile of ash and black paper. He adjusted his sunglasses on his face, "I neveh said it wasn't violent - just that it ain't murder." He grinned, his white teeth still unstained from the nicotine.

He stopped chatting so loudly when Prestal began to whisper at him about the other guests and pet in the mansion. Todd, contrary to popular belief, did not know everything. He only knew everything about somebody that he was close to - Cor always knew more than he did since more people were inclined to do what his coworker did rather than what Todd did. The point was - Todd did not know everything, and was quite confident that he never would. He didn't know that there were others in the house until Prestal had mentioned it, "I'd say allies at this point. Well, maybe not allies, per say, maybe just 'we're not plannin' on killin' you'," Todd began to walk down the hallway, "What's the worse thing that can 'appen? We die?" Todd smirked, tossing the look over his shoulder, "I'm notoriously 'ard to kill."
Prestal chuckled at the last comment. "My father would say the same about me, But that would mean complimenting me." his father was the only surviving member of Prestal's family. He was the only one that had managed to hide from him long enough. Making a minor assumption, he went strait for the door at the end of the hallway and opened it. I came out into another hallway, where the voices were slightly clearer. "They're coming from in there" he said, pointing at another door. There was a sudden rumbling.

Prestal ran to the door and put his ear to it. "...get out of here pretty quick eh?" came the voice of a canadian girl. There was silence for a few moments, followed by the same girl continuing. "I'm Ellie, thought I'd just tell ya for the heck of it." There was then some thudding on the door for a moment, and Prestal moved away and rubbed the side of his head. "any ideas" came the muffled voice again. Prestal tried the handle. nothing.

"Somone's locked in there!" he said at Todd, rather than to him, then shouted through the door. "I've got one, Ellie and anyone else, stand away from the door." He took the bed leg in both hands and swung it at the door as hard as he could. There was a loud bang, but no damage was done. "Never mind" he turned to Todd. "She seems worried, she's probably alone and scared." he said, completely forgetting that he'd heard other voices. "We need to help her." he'd always had a soft spot for damsels in distress.
Todd yawned, and looked at the door. He twirled a piece of his blonde hair around a finger. Helping people was not something he was particularly good at, or cared very much for. He was not the sort to help people randomly - at least, he didn't help people in the way that they might like. Having to help people usually was against the entire principal of his job and what he was. He was an enjamber, for chrissakes. Enjambers didn't help innocents. Todd yawned again, and idled by the door, and though Prestal couldn't see it from behind his dark glasses, his look was languid, unhurried.

"We 'ave to 'elp 'er?" He said, folding his arms across his narrow chest, "Why?" He began to pace, something he did whenever he was abpout to have a rather long discussion - with himself or with his coworker, Cor, "I mean I'm not driven by so-called ethics? Why would I 'elp somebody without due reward?" He smirked, and brushed a piece of his blonde hair away from the lenses of his glasses, "Then again... I need you, and yuh need me. I need anyone I can get to get out of 'ere. Maybe she knows sumthin'. Knowledge is power, so they say, Presty-Boy."

With that, the odd man slammed his full weight against the door. And again. And again. The loud pounding of his body against the door rang sonorously through the halls and corridors of this never-ending house like the beat of a terrible never-ending lullaby. As he slammed his body against the door, he hummed something to himself, cheerful despite his situation. It was a tune from some time ago, that Todd had learned from one of his clients. Todd enjoyed collecting bits and pieces from his clients. Gave him something to remember them by. His humming gave way into quiet singing; Abra-abra-cadabra....I want to reach out and grab ya....Abraabra-cadabra....Abracadabra.

With the final, 'cadabra', the door splintered open.

"Who I am is not important right now." spoke the man who seemed so ghastly yet very real, Angel's mind always drifted off to horrifying stuff, 'was he a demon' she thought. "Where you are is inside a castle. A vast one with many hallways, many rooms, many mysteries. . . and many, many dangers." His words stung Angel, 'was there no escape' she wondered to herself. All of a sudden the door slam shut itself and he continued, "I can help you traverse much of this castle. But my assistance comes at a price. One that must be paid right now." with that said a noise came and Angel looked up holding up the candelabrum she noticed something horrific and her eyes went wide in shock. The ceiling was coming down, Angel put back the candelabrum in its place and turned to look at the young girl Ellie she was in a rather good state than her was she not scared or just trying to motivate us. Angel realized after seeing Ellie try to unlock the door that it was shut tight. "Everybody look around there has to be a way out, it's a maze it must have another way out if not then all fore towards the door." Angel spoke out loud and looked at Ellie and then Kwan, she felt as if it was her fault, she led them here and there was an apologetic look on her face with teary eyes. She rushed around the room tossing things aside, the man had vanished he was definitely not human. There was a bang at the door and a voice addressed to Ellie. More people she thought and the door kept banging from outside. "Prove your worth by surviving the trap you have triggered. I will assist the ones that were not only brave enough to enter. . . but cunning enough to survive." When Angel heard this she felt as if the voice was coming from one of the walls. She pushed aside the old cobwebbed sofa and stared at the wall. She ran her hands all over and then put her ear against it. She moved back a few steps and slammed herself against it, the noise made by it gave her the feeling there was something behind it, it sounded hollow. She looked at the main door which now was just cracked. "Ellie, you and Gale try to get the door open and Kwan we need to try to break this wall." It was an odd thing to say but all of a sudden she had a feeling there was a way out but when she glanced at the ceiling coming down she panicked. "What ever happens let's at least die trying." she said to Kwan
Ellie nods and calls over Gale, who barks and wags his tale eagerly. She casts a slightly worried glance at the ceiling which is getting closer and closer. She feels bad for the girl, she must think it was her fault, nothing was her fault, we are all stuck here anyway. The voice of the man echoes forever in her mind, she begins thinking about Gale, he might die in this world. While she thinks about this, she starts to stab at the door, the ceiling almost to their heads. Her breathing quickens and she turns her head to the sound of the crack that the girl had made in the wall.

Coming back to her door, she takes a few steps back and slams her body into the door, she repeats what the man had said in her mind dozens of times. "Prove your worth by surviving the trap you have triggered. I will assist the ones that were not only brave enough to enter. . . but cunning enough to survive." She charges the door again, her dog sitting curiously watching. She remembers when she first found Gale, he was around two months old, the mother got hit by a car. Ellie had taken him in and cared for him, he was a aggressive dog, but she had tamed him pretty well. Now, he's a very lovable dog.

Bringing herself back to reality, she takes out her dagger again and stabs at the door to no avail. She sighs and wonders how she is ever going to get this damn door down. as she thinks this, there is a loud bang on the other side of the door, she listens closely and hears, "Nevermind." a pause, then "She seems worried, she's probably alone and scared." a boy, she scoffs at what he says, scared? pfft. nonetheless, she bangs on the door and shouts, "hey, get this fucking door down." letting out her anger on the boy on the other side.

Ellie looks over at the boy, was his name Lawn? whatever, and the girl who are trying to get the wall down. She calls to them, "Someone is on the other-" She is cut off by a deafening noise as the wood of the door splinters.
At the very least, their not quite so benevolent benefactor could hear the ruckus going on which threatened to remove any need to solve the puzzle of the trap. Explosives were hard to come by here, to say the least.

It appears there is game changer in their midst. . .

Words were suddenly carried as though in the wind only to the ears of the three who had been in the room. It was meant for them alone, as the intrusion of Todd and Prestal had changed the situation. Now there were five newcomers. The isolation was ruined and the chance to witness individual intellect forestalled. Very soon the five would turn back to three and two. Something altogether different was likely in store for the ones who had disrupted the test of wit and cunning.

"What you need lay at your six feet. Steel your minds and focus on your surroundings. Enlightenment to the solution is at hand."

"Hey, get this fucking door down." letting out her anger on the boy on the other side.

Ellie looks over at the boy, was his name Lawn? whatever, and the girl who are trying to get the wall down. She calls to them, "Someone is on the other-" She is cut off by a deafening noise as the wood of the door splinters.
Kwan looked over panicking around, he was moving the furniture aside trying to find an object to break the door or wall with it. "What you need lay at your six feet. Steel your minds and focus on your surroundings. Enlightenment to the solution is at hand." This was the voice of the same man, Kwan felt as if it was a mock or a tease. "Whatever he was he definitely wants us dead." Kwan spoke to Angel but noticed she was lost thinking. She looked around and tried to figure out what he had spoken, what if it was the only way out. "Ellie, Kwan you heard the voice right, we need to figure out what it meant."
"Does it look like we have time to figure out this stupid quiz." Kwan questioned feeling weird by what Angel had said. "What if it's the only way." She replied and the tried to figure out, what lay at their feet, there was furniture, skeletons a few and broken candelabras. Something related to light would the candelabras but at hand. Angel started looking around the broken candle stands, some of them were heavy some a bit lighter only to be moved. Kwan kept throwing himself at the wall, he could feel it too a gate way behind the wall and since Ellie was at the door they needed to work at both ides just in case any one opening opened. "I can't figure it out." Angel spoke as she fell on her knees near the candelabras, with teary eyes. She looked up and felt death was awaiting her. Kwan's heart was beating faster now but he didn't want to give up hope and so he kept trying