top of page
Intro Round Finalist

Cracks in the Divide


You step into the narrow alleyway, sunlight streaming down between the old brick buildings on either side. The uneven ground of dirt and worn paving stones shifts under your feet as you walk forward, casting jagged shadows across your path. Up above, small wrought iron balconies hang from the second story windows, empty flower boxes swaying slightly in the breeze. 

There is little sound except for the scuff of your own footsteps. An unnatural hush seems to hang over this hidden corner of the old European city, as if the space itself is holding its breath, waiting. The alley curves ahead out of sight, beckoning you onward, but each step fills you with a sense of mounting dread. 

You know she is here, somewhere up ahead, beyond the turn. You saw her silhouette on the cover of the old book, the woman in the dress standing in this very alley, her short hair swirling around her face. But in the flesh, she is no mere image. She is real. Ancient. Dangerous. And this secluded lane is her domain. 

You press forward, the dusty brick walls closing in on either side as the alley narrows. Your pulse pounds in your ears, nerves tingling with both fear and macabre fascination. All the stories said she had power over life and death, over fate itself. That she could grant wishes, for a price. Your wishes. 

Around the corner, you can just make out the end of a dark dress billowing faintly in the shadows. You lick your lips, mouth dry. Whatever happens next, you know there will be no going back. But you have come too far to turn away now. 

You round the bend and there she stands - still as a statue, watching you with eyes as dark and bottomless as the old stone well at her feet. Waiting. Now it is your turn to choose. Will you speak? Or has this alleyway lured you to your doom?

bottom of page