Monday 12 May 2014

Return To The Lane Of Bells - Part 2 - Who Knows What It Was But It Couldn't Be As Bad As This. Could It?


Silence was all around!

Seconds before there was noise and wind and the sound of George's heart thudding in my ears and then there was nothing.

I opened my eyes and turned to look at George.

Are you OK? I asked

He nodded.

In front of us was a great oak door about 5 meters tall, a curve at the top that fitted perfectly into the stone wall surrounding it, slats of wood with ancient old knots ran from top to bottom emitting a musty smell, three semi-circle stone steps led up to the door, ivy crawling over the base and up the wall.

I'd never been here before but had heard tales, somehow I'd never imagined it would look like this. I asked George if this was how he remembered it, he nodded and took a step forward. It was appropriate he took the lead, I was only here to support him after all but now that I was here I was very curious to finally see what The Lane of Bells was really like and it didn't take a genius to work out the direction we were heading.

George moved up the steps and knocked once and sat back down.


I suggested knocking again but he shook his head.

I looked up at the sky, dark grey clouds rolled over rapidly but I felt no wind and they made no sound. It was strange, the sky although not exactly pleasant was a little hypnotic and I didn't mind just watching it tumble around while we waited.

I got lost in their rythum trying to make out shapes like I use to do in the back garden on a Summers day but was brought back from my half day-dream doze by the sound of the door swinging open inwards. George stood and I jumped up the steps to join him and we both peaked in.

Ahead was a large corridor, the size of the inside of the biggest cathedral you could ever imagine, the floor covered in uneven cobble stones, a variety of shades of grey. No roof adorned the corridor, the grey tumbling clouds out here could still be seen flying around over head, it was silent within.

Along each side were a serious of stone arches with still bells, the size of cars and mottled in colour, hanging from the top of each arch. Bells like that you would expect to be polished and shiny brass but those days were longer gone, these bells were old, as old at cat time itself.

I looked at George, I wanted to take my lead from him, he had been here before after all. He looked at me and tried to put a smile on his face but I could tell he was scared and to be honest even though I know nothing much could happen to me I was bricking it a bit too.

We both went to the edge of the doorway and stepped in together.

As soon as we entered the bells nearest to us slowly started to move, a slight sway back and forth. I looked at George who hadn't stop but was walking slowly. It hadn't put him off and I was guessing this was what had happened to him before.

I ran a couple of paces to catch him up so we stood side by side, by this time we were maybe 10 or so meters inside and I heard the door close behind us. I turned to look over my shoulder to see who had closed it but no one was there. Turning forward again I noticed the bells were beginning to pick up their swing, the metal rod in the middle starting to move back and forth but not yet hitting the sides. Peering into the darkness through the arches and beyond the bells I sensed a stirring but it was too dark to see what was there and the grey sky above provided no assistant.

The corridor seemed to go on forever, as did the lines of bells and arches into the distance, away and beyond. There really was only one way forward, there was no way was I going to deviate off this path and step into the shadows behind the arches.

George's eyes were firmly fixed forward, unlike me he wasn't trying to see what was going on behind the bells. I was surprised, us cats can see in the dark but for some reason my cat sight wasn't working here and although I could sense something was watching us from within the shadows I just couldn't make out what. If I had known then what I know now I wouldn't have been so keen to try and work out what it was.

We were about 500 meters in when I heard the first rod hit the side of the bell behind me. I turned to see the bells at the start swinging the most wildly, back and forth, left and right. They were like a wave gathering speed, the bells by the door, then the second, then the third, once one had started reaching the required swing the next followed, catching up with us closer and closer, all the time picking up speed and swing.

I looked to see how George was but he wasn't there. Quickly scanning the corridor I spotted him about another 100 meters or so ahead, his pace had picked up, still staring straight ahead. The noise of the bells behind me getting louder and louder I turned back to find the bells swinging and making noise had progressed to only about 100 meters or so behind me still gathering speed.

I started to run to catch up with George, who himself had now broken into a run, the sound of the bells mixing with each other, no sign of a tune, just ringing and ringing.


From behind the bells, somewhere in the darkness came a screeching, that chilled and almost made me trip. The first quickly followed by a second, then a tenth, then a hundredth. I had now caught up with George and we were both running together as fast as we could.

Arcccccckkkk. Errrrrhhhh. Hahahahahahah. Roaaaaaaaarrrr, Hiyayayayayay.

To the left, to the right, behind the bells into the arches, the most horrific screams and cries were competing with the bells, still getting louder and louder, swinging more and more widely.

Orarrrghhhh, Woppwopp. Errrrhhhhh, Hahahahahahaha.

Thousands upon thousands of calls and voices coming at us from every direction. The sounds were now coming not just from behind and at the sides of us but in front, the speed and ferocity of the bells swinging had caught us up and was overtaking us, there was no escape from it all.

I was petrified and couldn't hear myself think through all the noise, George still at my side somehow had managed to run even faster than before, I could hear his heart pumping and see the sweat dripping from his nose. I don't think either of us had run that fast ever before, I know I hadn't.

I couldn't help myself but turn to see how far we had come. The door we had entered through no longer in sight, as far as I could see the bells swinging into the corridor back and forth, the screaming coming from every direction.

I hadn't stopped running and turned forward, in the distance I could see a shape begin to form out of the darkness, right at the end. It spurred us on and we ran faster and faster towards it, who knows what it was but it couldn't be as bad as this was. Could it?

We were now about 200 meters from the end of the corridor and the end of the line of bells and I could just about make out a large box sitting in the middle of a large open space, doors all around the side of the room and a dome ceiling above.

Just a few more seconds and we would be there but the sound of the noise everywhere was terribly, terribly loud by now so loud that I felt my head was about to implode.

5 bells left, 4, 3, and I lept I just couldn't take it anymore and into the room I flew, past the last bell and... silence!

I turned around, the bells were still and the noises from the arches, well it was like nothing was there. I turned to look at George, spread out panting on the floor, unable to speak, barely able to breath.

So you've come back have you?

A deep voice boomed around the dome. I spun around to see where the voice was coming from but the sound gave me no sense of which direction it was coming from.

And I see you've brought a little friend to help you this time!