Monday, 23 February 2015

The Haunted Typewriter (part 4)

Applade and Nightingale wheeled Vivien out of the room and quickly began to make their way back to Applade's classroom. The door swung open and revealed the same classroom they had left, except for one factor: the candles had all been blown out. The typewriter had typed so madly and quickly that the paper sheet it was accustomed to printing on had exploded from it's roller and flapped away through the air. Now, the black inked words were being printed into the windows and the walls.
As Applade walked forwards to the nearest window, watching the flexing of the glass as invisible keys carved words into it, and felt a sinister chill pass over her. The clunk of fingers pressing down the keys was ever constant, and shrill dings cut through the air as the typewriter got to the end of the line. There was a slipping noise like a throat being slit and then the clunking continued. The windows bulged with the impact of every extra letter and then suddenly the windows shattered all at once. A swarm of screaming letters swarmed into the room and buzzed through the air, scrawling across desktops and the floor, staining them with inky smears.
"Run!" Applade cried, noticing Vivien and adding, "And roll!"
As they exploded from the room and into the corridor, Vivien looked at her and said, "In the future, I'll just accept run as an instruction!"
Applade grinned. "Sorry about that. In this current world, everybody has to be so politically correct, I wasn't sure whether to include it or not."
Nightingale, who was just in front of the two of them, turned and said, "Can we talk later and run some more?"
Nightingale didn't hear the answers, just concentrated on what was happening at the end of the corridor. The text had oozed from the doorway and into the passage, seeping over the walls and irritating the light fittings. The globular fitting suddenly exploded as the dark words seeped in and the walls broke away into themselves. He heard the roof crumple as the shrill ding screamed ever louder, and then they ran out into one of the courtyards. They turned to watch as the words oozed ever further from the windows and consumed the west wing of the university when they heard a life threatening roar and the darkness of the ink seeped over their eyes.

Susan Applade awoke in a hospital with a drip stuck in her arm and nothing but a mere blue curtain separating her bed from Vivien's and Nightingale's. A nurse noticed she had woken up and came to tell her that it was all the fault of Doctor Tryan. His architecture lesson had found a depiction of a type of fish called the Sarpa Salpa in a building they were studying. Naively, they'd gone to find one of the fish and brought it back to the University, only to realise that it had been commonly used as a hallucinogen. Somehow, that hallucinogenic chemicals had infected Derren Banks, herself, Nightingale and Vivien, meaning what happened to Jenkins and the thing with all the letters and the typewriter was all imaginary. Disappointing but relieving.
A few days after being released from the hospital, Professor Vivien decided to have a look at the fish. "Sarpa Salpa." He mused to himself.
"Something curious about the species?" Applade asked.
"Yes. As a marine archaeologist, I know lots of things about fish, and I'm sure I'm not mistaken in this. The Sarpa Salpa needs to be eaten to be hallucinogenic."
Nightingale's eyes widened. "So how could we have been affected?"
"My question indeed." Vivien replied. "Very curious."
Applade remained silent, because she'd been suspecting the very same. For, beneath her desk at the front of the room, she'd found a piece of paper with words printed over and over again in rapid typewriter font. There was a greasy stain running alongside the paper, alongside several small cuts from where it had been forced from the typewriter, but no one else had entered the room.
It must have been the typewriter that forced it out.

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