Contains my story, Deeper Underground.
A collection of sexy, intelligent erotica from the delegates of sex writers’ conference Eroticon 2013.
“So, where are we going again?” Emmy said as she and her friend Charis exited London Bridge Tube station.
“It’s called The London Bridge Experience and The London Tombs. It’s basically two attractions in one, designed to scare the shit out of you.”
“Fair enough,” Emmy shrugged as they crossed the road, heading for the aforementioned attraction. “Though I can’t imagine it’ll be any different to the London Dungeons.”
“Probably not, but it’ll be a laugh.”
“That it will.”
They reached their destination and got into the queue, grinning as the costumed, made-up actors and actresses got the soon-to-be punters in the mood by walking up and down the length of the line, being all moody and menacing and trying to make people jump. It was too much for some, it seemed, who left the queue without even going into the building.
“Wimps,” Charis said, nudging Emmy and pointing at the family that had scuttled off, much to the dismay of the creepy-costume guy who’d frightened them. “I don’t think he’s supposed to scare customers so much they leave altogether!”
Emmy sniggered. “No, I’m sure he’s not. But at least it means we’re closer to the front of the queue now. I hope we don’t freak out before we get there.”
Snorting, Charis replied, “I doubt it. We’re made of sterner stuff than that, aren’t we?” She linked arms with her friend as they shuffled forward.
“Yeah, we definitely are. Hard as nails, and all that!”
Suddenly there was some commotion in the queue in front of them and they could hear shouting, though not make out the words. Then the people in the line started repeating it. Finally, they caught what was being said. “Oh, they’re looking for two more people!” Emmy looked around, and nobody else appeared to be answering the call. “I guess we should go—nobody else is. They must all be bigger groups.”
“Okay, let’s go.” The two women made their way up to the front, where one of the ghoulish-looking staff indicated they should enter the building. They headed into the gloom, paid their money at the counter, then joined the back of the group that had already gone in. After a little preamble about health and safety and the fact that “the live actors will not touch you, so please do not touch them” they all filed into the next room, and things really got started.
In the darkness, Emmy and Charis stayed close to each other as the actors and actresses told spooky tales of London’s bloody and unpleasant past—Queen Boudicca and the legions of Rome, King Olaf the Viking, William Wallace, the Black Death, the Great Fire of London, the Great Stink, Jack the Ripper and much more. They were told that London Bridge’s gatehouse displayed the heads of traitors, and that the Tombs were formerly a plague pit. As she exchanged a worried glance with her friend, Emmy came to the conclusion that the place, although just as theatrical as the London Dungeons, seemed to have an edge that made it creepier, somehow. This wasn’t just stories—it was stuff that had really happened, on that very spot. And they hadn’t even been into the actual Tombs yet.
“Okay, everyone!” said the member of staff currently in charge of freaking them out. “We’re at the end of the first part of the experience now. Next, we’re going into a room where you’ll be divided into two groups, ready to begin your journey into the London Tombs. A journey from which you may never return!” A maniacal laugh filled the space, a door banged, and after a couple of shrieks, the group herded forward.
It turned out that the room was the last point at which someone could change their mind if they didn’t want to go into the London Tombs. A member of staff would lead anyone out that didn’t want to go in, to wait for their friends and relatives in the gift shop. Emmy held back a snort—of course they’d be made to wait in the gift shop, in the hope they’d spend some money while they were there.
A few of the younger patrons immediately asked to be led out, and it was only when the rules and regulations were explained that Emmy’s arm suddenly exploded in pain. Turning, she saw Charis’ pale face reflected in the few lights in the room. “I’ve got to go,” her friend whispered. “Single file, hands on shoulders—sounds like it’s going to be claustrophobic. I can’t be doing with that!”
“Oh, okay hon, let’s go then. Hang on!” she called to the man that was leading the others from the room. “Two more here!”
“No, no,” Charis said, shaking her head. “You stay. I don’t want to ruin it for you. I’ll just go back to the hotel and chill out for a bit. Figure out where we can go for dinner. Somewhere delicious.”
“Don’t be silly, I’ll come with you.”
“Seriously, I insist. Stay. And then you can come back afterwards and tell me what a wimp I was.”
“Only if you’re sure.”
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