The House in the Woods – Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5:

F3: KNIVES, MIRRORS, SNAKES, AND FROGS

mirrorroom

(From the game, the mirror rooms)

As soon as Prussia reached upstairs, he found a small, dark hallway

So, are you ready? The voice calmly said, again.What lies ahead may be stinging.

“Ja,” he replied, “Doesn’t look like I have a choice but to move onward, do I?”

He walked through the door, and before him was another dimly lit hall.

“Well, looks like things are getting pretty normal,” Prussia exclaimed, then walked cautious steps along the way, in case there are cracks on the floor.

As Prussia was walking half-way to the end of the hall, he suddenly heard a swift sound behind his back. He turned back immediately, only to find a knife being thrown at him. He quickly dodged the sharp object, not without letting out a yelp of surprise.

“Who was that?” Prussia turned to face the wall, only to find no-one there. He let out a sigh of relief, and continued walking. Another 3 knives were thrown at him, but this time he swiftly avoided all of them.

I told you so, Prussia-kun. The voice spoke.

“Yeah, yeah, you told me so.” Prussia waved one hand into the air, as if he was chasing several flies. “But I was able to elude harm, wasn’t I? I’m awesome, and both you and I know it.”

Hmm. The voice breathed out a sarcastic sigh. Be careful, who knows what may lie ahead?

“Yeah, yeah. Now get lost. I have to keep going after all, right?” Prussia sighed at the thought. He kept walking until he made it to the end of the hallway, only to enter a darker one. This one looked a little like a small maze, with many doors at the sides. He continued to walk straight ahead.

“Yo!” the albino heard a cocky voice to his right. He turned to the side only to see the black cat there.

“Hey,” he smiled blandly.

“By the way, this is a sorcerer’s house,” the cat continued. “You should have known that by now, ain’t I right? Right.”

“Yeah…” Prussia sighed, looking vaguely at the other side of the hall. “I don’t really think that’ll help, though.”

“How so?” The cat, for once, sweetly asked the former nation.

“Oh, so you do care, do you?” Prussia smirked sarcastically. “Is Russia doing all this? All the traps and stuff?”

“Seems so.” The jet-black cat replied simply. Prussia let out a weary sigh.

It was not too peculiar to think that Russia could perform dark magic. No, it would be derogatory to think he couldn’t. Other countries, most of whom were capitalists, spread rumours about him being a Demon sent from the depths of Hell. Another one was that he sold his soul to the Devil in order to gain his super-power under the name of a nation. Judging from Prussia’s state, as someone who had stayed in a certain Communist’s goddamn house for 40 years and currently trapped in the same house for such dreadful hours doing nothing but wandering around trying to find the way out, Prussia thought to himself, that maybe, just maybe, the rumours were true after all.

Prussia sought to the door on his left, hoping to find somewhere to rest for a while. Instead he found a small pond, its sides were paved by layers of limestone bricks. A lifeless, boring little pond, which coincidentally fitted with the whole house itself. Only a small frog, sitting in the middle of the pond, remained its liveliness.

“A frog eh…” Prussia smiled for a while, “Russia used to have some certain affection for frogs when we were on a field trip to Kiev. And he really gets along with France too, as I remember.”

Prussia shuddered slightly at the thought. He only hoped his friend hadn’t been badly injured, or even choked, by Russia’s so-called… affection.

He later noticed a small note taped on the wall.

DO YOU LIKE FROGS?

Prussia turned to the small frog and nodded. “Ja. I mean, I don’t really like frogs that much, but I rather like you.” The small creature happily jumped into his arms and croaked joyfully.

Prussia carried the frog out of the room and walked to the end of the dark, eerie hall. Looking across, he saw a small “island” from afar, on which was a small lever. The island was connected to the hall with a tiny, thin bridge.

Prussia began to inspect the small bridge. It was too thin to walk even on his tip-toes, and made of a material so light that it would snap any second under his weight. That would mean he had to find some critter light enough to cross the ever-so-small bridge.

He thought of the small frog chirping cheerfully on his arm and smirked slightly. He then let go of the small creature; as he did so the frog quickly jumped across the bridge and pulled the lever. After that, Prussia heard the sound of a door’s opening. He went back to where the cat stood still, at which moment he saw a glimpse of a pink scarf, beige coat and a pair of deep violet eyes. He turned around but saw no-one. He exceeded to the destination and found the door was open. He made his way inside.

What he saw were two rooms connecting to each other, with the same size and same furniture. There were some notable differences, as he could see. There was a small note at the end of the first room, as Prussia noticed, so he came forth and read it:

MAKE A MIRROR IMAGE

“The point is, I have to make the two rooms reflect each other, right? Well fine then, as you wish, you bastard.” Prussia sighed slightly.

He seated the small frog on the middle chair in the first room.

He pushed the button on the two pictures so that they faced in opposite directions.

He rearranged the tea boxed and canned sweets so that they were symmetrical to each other.

He took the cake from the small cupboard, where all the silverware is arranged in a symmetrical order. After that he placed it at the right corner of the table in the second room and took the beautiful red rose on the table.

He pushed the redundant plant in the middle of the second room, and placed it on the right of the table in the first room. Then he placed the rose gently into the vase.

Finally, he tore down the note on the wall.

The left and right rooms were mirrored. The objects in each room reflected the other’s. Prussia then heard an unlocking sound somewhere. He then picked up the frog and moved on.

He saw a small working desk at the end of the room. Dim lights lit up the dark and eerie atmosphere. A small notebook is placed on the very desk.

Another page of RUSSIA’S DIARY.

Prussia opened it and read:

Broken trust, broken love.

Broken Union. (*)

They never truly loved me anyway.

So I X them. One by one.

I’ve been alone in this house ever since.

“I suppose this was written after the fall… And what the hell does X mean?” Prussia mumbled. He still failed to understand what Russia thought in mind, even after 40 years of observing the man. Why the hell did he watch the large man from afar the first place? Prussia still found that odd. Not to mention he was supposed to feel like a prisoner in this house.

The letter X could be anything, Prussia thought. As for Russia, he only thought of one word: kill. He still remembered the day the Slavic man murdered dozens of German guards in Auschwitz – Burkenau. His usually-clean beige coat was covered in red, the dagger he carried still had blood on it. The worst part was his face. Exceptionally emotionless and absolutely inert. Just a light smile and still violet eyes. Russia then was as cold as ice.

Prussia shivered at the memory. It proved too much for him at the moment.

However, hardly anyone was brutally hurt during the dissolution. To put it more correctly, by that time Russia was too bed-ridden to be able to stand up on his own feet. He’d sworn he would kill anyone who betrayed him; when they did, he was in such a helpless situation that he could even move a muscle, not to mention pick up any piece of weaponry.

X shouldn’t mean kill in this context. So what?

And how did the house get this awkwardly eerie and mysterious atmosphere, Prussia wondered.

Prussia tried to restrain himself from thinking such nonsense. He then saw a small note taped on the wall, next to the desk.

THROUGH THE NEXT DOOR

AND LET NOTHING DISTRACT YOU

You should know what to do in this case, I suppose. The voice came to Prussia’s ears once again.

“Ignore every single tiny thing along the way, I guess.” Prussia answered. “You seriously think I’m THAT easy to become distracted, do you?”

It seems so. Came the reply. Especially when you see a stuffed animal you like.

“Shut up, ghost.” Prussia spat. “You should realise that those things are really, and I mean REALLY cute and cuddly. All the crap in this house only sends me chills to the spine, you know.”

Right. The voice sighed. I hope you know what you are doing, Prussia-kun.

“Yeah, yeah. Just go away, please? I need time to myself.” Prussia took a heavy breath, then slowly proceeded to the next room.

Before him was a long hallway, more brightly lit than other hallways he walked past. “Walk straight through this hallway, and I’ll past the test. Ha, the awesome me can definitely get through this.”

As Prussia made his way through the hall, a small knife aimed at him, but it went right through his body as if it was penetrable. “Man, it was like an illusion or something. Weird.”

In the middle of the hallway, he saw a desk with a notebook on it, possibly another page of Russia’s Diary. To the right was the cat, with its usual ever-so-friendly-and-creepy-at-the-same-time smile. Prussia tried not to let himself become agitated, and proceed forward to the next door.

He then entered a dark hallway, unlike the last one. There was a note left on the floor.

HE’S HUNGRY.

“Who?” Prussia asked, upon which moment he heard a rattling sound. He noticed a small door to the left. There was definitely something on the other side, but what?

He looked through the viewing window, which was the size of his palm, and saw only slimy black scales. Listening closely, he could hear something big crawling. He thought of a giant snake, but then again, Russia was not the type who was fond of slimy creatures. He was more of a fur lover, forever praising the beauty of the animals’ warm coating and wrapping himself in layers of that soft and warm beauty during the freezing winter.

Prussia examined more closely. Yep, definitely a snake. A big, big snake. He couldn’t possibly get through with this kind of obstacle.

He thought of the small frog. Perhaps it could help him get through this time?

“Alright, listen up.” Prussia told the small critter. “You’re going to cross that door no matter what. Understood?”

The frog was reluctant. It shivered in sheer terror.

Prussia felt bad for the small frog, but then again, he really didn’t have a choice. Either he got out of this mess, or he would waste his life here. Alone. He closed his eyes tightly and pushed the frog inside.

“I’m sorry.” He murmured, tears slightly forming at the corner of his eyes.

There was a loud thud, and everything fell into complete silence.

Prussia listened closely and heard nothing. He looked closely and saw nothing. It was like everything was just and illusion.

He then opened the door. In front of him was a dark small room, which reeked of fresh blood.

The floor was wet. It was like there had been a murder. There was a large fissure on the wall, probably the snake’s doing.

So the frog was supposed to die after all…

He stood there silent for a moment to mourn for the lovely frog and give the creature his final blessing, wishing that it would make its way to Heaven.

Then he went on to the next door.

-o0o-

A/N: (*) is from Albilibertea’s RusUK fanfic, “Retaliation”

Read the story here

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One thought on “The House in the Woods – Chapter 5

  1. Pingback: [MASTERPOST] FICTION | THE WITCH'S HOUSE

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