Mark David The Elements:

Labyrinth 2: 1.02

The Elements - an epic mystery-thriller series debut by Mystery Thriller author Mark David

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by mystery-thriller author Mark David, imaginator of The Elements on Mark-David.com. For pre-release news on The Elements sign-up for occasional newsletter


Something really strange was going on at Lethragard

Too many people, too many names. Too many violent deeds, swirling around her like so much smoke, she lying here on the pavement, her face and arms cut from the thousands of pieces of glass falling around her.

‘I can’t stand the loneliness,’ a voice said, interrupting her thoughts.

Ahead, an endless corridor, vanishing to the sound of… words echoing, around, distantly, as if listening to something from under the water.

There are many secrets behind these walls

She looked up. White doors left and right, staggered at irregular intervals. Walls of alabaster, there being no apparent design or order in their being.

The war divided this country

She looked down, the only light from her flashlight, the only direction that taken by her feet, cold lonely feet on a path of black stone, leading nowhere.

I hate being alone with my thoughts

She tried another door. It was locked. She tried a third and a fourth and more, first to one side, the to the next, all with the same outcome:

They were all locked.

The radio is my only comfort, the voice said.

She continued forwards, bare feet stopping at a cold draught moving over the surface of bare basalt slabs. Another door, as so many of those that had gone on before, white in black, shining with a new gloss of fresh paint.

I try to understand

Reaching out, she opened it, a cold wind blowing in her face. Beyond, a tunnel, carved of rock, so vast the light failed to reveal any surface, other than the dim edges of rough-hewn walls and the cavern floor at her feet; the wind so cold and so powerful it numbed her.

But it is difficult

She closed the door and closed her eyes, looking ahead into darkness. She tried the next door on the right; to her surprise it was open, a bedroom.

I try to stop myself descending, into those dark recesses no one really wants to know

Within, three women, all of them were naked. One sat in a chair, like a throne, golden and glimmering in the light of three oil lamps suspended from a ceiling unseen above them. She had long dark hair, cut like an Egyptian queen. She raised her hand and beckoned to her.

Tha échoun chatheí.’ You are lost, she said, in a voice smooth like butter, though she did not open her mouth to speak.

Nai, eíche chatheí. Yes, she was lost, she realized that now, seeing the two other women. They were blonde, exceedingly tall and each of them, so very, very beautiful, smiling at her, holding her in eyes like a clear crystal lake. Then they looked at each other and leaning forwards, one kissed the other on the cheek.

Poú thélete na páte?’ Where do you wish to go?

It was beautiful.

Wake up.

Quo vis ire? Another one said, reaching out towards her.

Hvar vilt þú að fara?

Where did she wish to go?

She stepped backwards and closed the door, forgetting the words, forgetting how she even came to be here at all.

Wake up. She turned to return, behind her another door. Of glass. Beyond, light, daylight. The sound of shattering, fragments of glass falling, hitting the ground around her.

Wake up. A face, a man’s face, familiar.

Erik used to be, still is … a very strong, proud person

Wake UP! She raised her hand to the door, carried forward on a rising tide, weightless, riding a wave, of flame. It was made of heat and smoke.

Please try to understand…

She smiled openly and warmly at him. ‘We need to review certain files, before declassifying them, making them available to the public.’

Erik looked at her, his face half burned, the old-new skin smooth and waxline relaxed, caught some place between cognition and recollection, just looking at her as if trying to make up his mind. ‘That is why you are here.’

They had called it The Farm, the home for veterans; a place with many secrets behind its walls, most of them dying with those who were the residents; and Erik was one of them no longer, having disappeared as he was another fading memory.

So she closed her eyes and told herself not to be so stupid… that she had no one else to turn to. Adam had cut her wings.

Adam was a prick

She could leave, there was still Sara’s car; she could leave, now. But where? She went through the options, arriving back at her starting point. By then, her mind had sunken into drowsy-think, that lightest of sleep, on the edge, looking down… as she fell she thought about breathing. Breath, breathing; in, out.

‘So that is why I am here. Yes,’ she said. It was a feeling, her ear; nothing more. Replaced by… nothing. No, not she he, he said.

‘That is why I am here… he tried to kill me.’

He was standing in front of her now, yet his face was still obscure. Afterwards… she went back. She was chased. She was shot at.

And then he was gone, replaced by the memory of the only person who had showed her any kindness here at all; a convicted criminal with a taste for dirty women and fast drugs. Ash. And a name: Karl Oskar Eklund.

Eklund, the dead archaeologist who had a lover and had stolen something that hadn’t belonged to him.

Eklund, the man whose apartment had nearly exploded in her own face.

Eklund, who worked for a Count.

They had some kind of relationship during the war…

Erik’s face returned, wearing the worried look of concern. ‘Wake up, wake UP — you are in danger you stupid bitch!’

Eklund.

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