Edmund tried to breathe shallower as the sound drew closer, until his lungs began to burn from the lack of breath. He didn’t dare move lest he scare the Thing away; he peeked as best he could out of the corner of his eye. Faintly in the dark, he could barely see something white moving towards him in the gloom. It moved like a ghost, its feet shuffling slowly as it crept towards him.
It looked almost human, but its limbs were long, if indeed they were limbs, and Edmund had trouble seeing whether each moving part was an arm or a leg, or in fact both. He couldn’t hear the thing breathe as it approached and Edmund had to bite his lip to keep from gasping aloud and accidentally scaring it off.
Then, just before the thing reached him, it paused. Edmund could see the white wafting in front of his hands, a thin pale fabric. He heard something that sounded like a faint rapid sniffing, like a large rat or dog. He shut his eyes, hoping the thing wouldn’t notice him and run.
His hopes were to no avail. With inhuman speed, the thing suddenly turned and ran back the way it came, scratching and scrabbling on the wooden walls to get away. Edmund pushed himself up as quickly as he could, and took off after it, hoping he wouldn’t trip over anything in the dark passage.
He was closer to the thing than he had ever been, but the darkness kept him from seeing what he was chasing. He ran as fast as he could, but somehow the thing was faster, and managed to out pace him as they ran through the dark and cramped halls.
Suddenly, there was a burst of light from ahead, and Edmund stumbled as he shielded his eyes from the painful brightness. Within seconds the light vanished again, and Edmund pulled himself up shakily, his eyes now without their acclimation to the dark. He staggered forward, his hands outstretched, until he found the hidden door and pushed out into the hallway.
Edmund found himself in front of the large Elevator on the forth floor in the middle of Moulde Hall. He looked around, making sure he knew where he was, and noting at the same time that the Thing had vanished again.
It could have gone anywhere, Edmund realized. The elevator itself was missing–it could have gone down to any of the lower floors, or down either corridor towards the east and west wings. For all he knew, the thing could have even ducked into one of the many doors and ran down another hidden passage.
Disappointed, Edmund pressed the call button for the elevator. He wondered if he should resign himself. The Thing would always run from him, and he simply wasn’t fast enough to catch it. Unless he could trap it somehow, he would never be able to actually meet it. His wandering thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the elevator descending into view.
Edmund stared as the elevator slowly ground to a halt in front of him. That was where the thing had vanished to, Edmund realized. So there was a fifth floor–and he could get to it with the elevator!