"Sissy," I said softly, "where are you?"
The malignant darkness pressed against me. Absolute silence, cold and menacing.
"Shut up," she hissed from somewhere to my left.
I moved a step toward where I'd heard her voice. Her fear hit me full force, the fear of being alone in a strange dark place. It matched my own growing sense of terror.
"You feel that?" I whispered.
"The air- it's moving."
It was more than that. It felt like the room was breathing.
Something grabbed my shirt sleeve and I almost screamed.
"That's you, isn't it?" I asked.
"Who else?" she said in a tight voice. "We're the only people here."
"I don't think so. This doesn't feel right," I said.
The room grew colder, and once again I smelled ozone. All around us, tiny pinpoints of red light began to sparkle like electrified snowflakes. I looked toward Sissy, and could see by the light of the tiny sparks that her lips were clamped shut to keep from screaming.
In the corner of the room farthest from us, a tiny ring of angry red-purple light appeared and began to distend and widen. Within its center I saw an undulating deeper depth of darkness. A blast of distorted static crackled from it. I remembered the eerie, twisted lights that had preceded the terrifying creature in the forest. I held my breath.
"We've got to get out of here," I said as I grabbed her arm and pulled her behind me.
"Let go of me," she said.
I kept pulling at her.
"We'll die if we don't get out of here," I said.
"There's nowhere to go except down and I ain't going down."
"What's coming out of that hole is going to be really, really bad, Sissy. So get moving."
I'd pulled her three or four steps behind me when she dug in her heels.
"No. Not til you tell me what's going on."
"Oh shit," I said, looking past her.
Sissy turned and saw it, too.
Beyond the angry sparkles of light, a hideous face glared at us from within the twisting oval of purple-red light.