So, this week I've chosen picture prompts again. Uzzy's having a bad time as his two rescuers struggle to get to grips with the fact that nothing is as it seems.
“Please be careful, Pasha,” Gabri’el warned with a hand on Pasha’s shoulder. “This smells like a trap.”
“It’s Uzzy,” Pasha said, his voice tormented. He ran his hand over the box, looking for a catch, an opening, anything. When he reached the place where the hands pressed against the lid, he laid his own over them and closed his eyes. He could feel nothing…except…. Somewhere on the very edges of his consciousness was a tug he hadn’t noticed before. It was faint but strong and, now he’d acknowledged it, it grew stronger. “I can feel him,” he said excitedly.
“Don’t jump to conclusions,” Gabri’el said sadly. “Remember, nothing is as it seems. We need to keep that in mind at all times.”
Pasha looked up at him. “You don’t understand. I feel him.”
Gabri’el gave him a tight smile and nodded, then his face grew serious. “Something’s happening. Get back.”
Pasha turned to find the mist in the box was getting thicker and had started to swirl. “What the…?”
“Get back.” Gabri’el’s grip on his shoulder tightened and he pulled back as the lid of the box flew off and the mist billowed out. “Be careful. It’s not….” Gabri’el’s voice sounded weird. Pasha looked up and reached out as Gabri’el swayed and sank to the ground. Before he could speak or still the panic that fluttered in his breast, his vision darkened and the world winked out.
Pasha opened his eyes to darkness. He blinked and reached out his hand. It touched something. “Gabri’el?”
Gabri’el groaned and his fingers found Pasha’s and curled around them. “Where are we?” Gabri’el asked.
“I don’t know. It’s too dark to see.” As he spoke the darkness began to lighten rapidly until they found themselves in a brightly lit room lined with doors.
“Where the hell is this place?”
“I don’t know. Be careful.”
“What should we do?” Pasha looked at Gabri’el and found it strangely upsetting that the warrior angel seemed confused and uncertain.
“I suppose we should try a door.” Pasha nodded and headed for a door. “Wait. Be careful. It’s bound to be a trap.”
“We don’t have much choice.”
“No. but we can still be careful.”
Pasha nodded, then looked down in surprise when Gabri’el took his hand. “We have to stay together.” Pasha wasn’t about to argue. He found the contact reassuring. He smiled and Gabri’el smiled back.
Something fluttered in the back of Pasha’s mind. “I can feel him. He’s behind one of these doors, I know it.”
“I have a feeling you’ll find him behind all of them.”
The door opened easily and swung inwards on silent hinges. Holding tight to Gabri’el’s hand Pasha stepped through into the darkness beyond. Instantly, the room lit up.
“Uzzy,” Pasha cried, surging forward.
Gabri’el yanked him back. “Wait,”
“It’s Uzzy,” Pasha cried, trying to break Gabri’el’s hold.
“We don’t know that.”
“I know it.” Pasha fought to free his hand from Gabri’el’s. Across the shadowy cavern a figure stirred. Whoever it was, was chained to the wall, suspended from a set of handcuffs above his head. Groans echoed in the cavernous room. “Let me go. I have to go to him.”
“I know. Just don’t rush into it.”
“I…” Pasha looked up to tell Gabri’el to get the hell away from him, but stopped. Gabri’el’s face was chalk white and his eyes flicked between Uzzy and Pasha, with the same expression. It hit him suddenly that Gabri’el actually cared about him. He knew Gabri’el loved Uzzy but he didn’t think Gabri’el even liked him.
Pasha found himself smiling and was rewarded by a lessening of the stress on Gabri’el’s face as the dark haired angel smiled back. “I’m sorry I’m being such an idiot,” Pasha said.
“I understand. It’s not easy for me either. I see Uzzy and want to run to him , but I don’t trust these people. We need to be careful.”
“I know. Thanks. I’ll try to be more careful.”
Gabri’el’s smile brightened and Pasha felt a sharp pain in his hand, which was still linked with Gabri’el’s. It was as if Gabri’el had shot a bolt of electricity into him. Gabri’el snatched back his hand and looked at it.
“What was that?”
“I don’t know. It hurt.”
Gabri’el frowned. “Keep alert.”
Pasha nodded and began to edge towards Uzzy, his eyes on his mate who seemed to be unconscious, hanging in his bonds. “Uzzy,” Pasha cried. There was no response.
“Pasha. Look out,” Gabri’el hauled him backwards. Again, the shock of electricity shot through his arm.
Gabri’el nodded to the floor. Pasha shuddered when he realized the darker patch of rock in front of him was a gaping hole into which he’d almost fallen.
“Shit.” Again, he looked up at Gabri’el and was shocked at the expression in the chilly blue eyes.
“I’m not going to lose both of you,” Gabri’el ground out and Pasha stared at him, stunned.
“You’re not going to lose either of us,” he said at last and straightened. As he did so there was a rushing
sound and the floor crumbled under their feet, dropping them into the chasm.
Pasha opened his eyes to darkness. He groaned.
“I’m okay.” He sat up and, as he did so, the room around him lightened, illuminating the doors.
Standing up, Pasha strode purposefully towards the door. It was locked. He tried the next one. It opened easily and bright light spilled out.
“Careful, I know.” Pasha edged into the room and let out a cry. Gabri’el grabbed his shoulders and steadied him.
In the center of the sterile, white room was a piece of medical equipment. It looked like a giant punch, the jaws open ready to slam down on the helpless, victim restrained on the table between. On this occasion the helpless victim was Uzzy. Even worse, the red line of a lazer sliced down to a red spot in the middle of Uzzy’s forehead.
Now go check out the rest of the wonderful writers of this week's flashes.