The Key

The Key

Status: In Progress

Genre: Horror

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Status: In Progress

Genre: Horror

Houses:

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Summary

inside the box holds a special key that opens the dungeon to a small town's best kept secret
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Summary

inside the box holds a special key that opens the dungeon to a small town's best kept secret

Content

Submitted: February 21, 2017

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Content

Submitted: February 21, 2017

A A A

A A A


Late one night I fell sleep snug in my bed. I'd left the window open to allow in the night's cool air. I was awoken by the rustling of the leaves that fell from the trees. I walked towards my window to look out.Just past the old swingset, I saw a young girl standing by the oak tree that stood firmly along side the dirt path that led deep into the forest.

She chanted my name urging me to follow her. I climbed out my window, and gave chase as she floated over the pebbles and twisted roots of trees and tall grass. Racoons and other forest animals of the night watched me with curiousity, as I stumbled along the dirt path.We soon came upon a deep ravine, that I never knew exsisted this far into the woods.

She glided across with no problem while I watched on helplessly till she pointed out a downed tree a few feet away that crossed over to the other side. I crossed it and continued to run to catch up.

After what seemed like hours of tripping thru the forest we came out into a clearing. At the center was a tree stump and she knelt down next to it and reached into the stump feeling around for something. As I drew close, she pulled out a small intricately carved wooden box and handed it to me.

"What is this?" I ask. Up till now she hadn't spoken a word since beckoning me out into the frigid night. She tilted her head in a fashion as to show confusion. "I don't understand why you've brought me out here", I tried again. She smiled politely and pointed to the other side of the forest. She stood herself up and disappeared.

Studying the box, I turned it over in my hand. What was the box for? Was there anything in it? And if so, then what? I stumbled back thru the woods the way I came, and when I found myself in my backyard again I climbed thru the window, kicked off my shoes and fell fast asleep.

The next morning I woke up, dismissing what happened the night before as only a dream.Then my alarm went off, I turned over to shut it off, and the box is sitting right there.Sitting up fast in my bed, I hit the snooze button for a moment and picked up the box to study it over again. How was I supposed to open this thing? It had no latch, no keyhole where a key may fit, nothing.

I turned it upside down and noticed some kind of pattern drawn into the bottom of the box. I rubbed my thumb across it gently, and the box made a strange clicking noise. I turned it back right side up and the lid popped open. Inside it was a key.It was held down by a tiny iron clasp.Pulling it out from the clasp, I held the key up closer for me to study it. Okay this got to a whole new level of weird. What am I supposed to do with this key? .

I recalled the nite before when I saw this ghost girl. She was obviously trying to tell me something. She had pointed to the other side of the forest clearing. So it came to me, I had to go back out there and possibly wait for further instructions. I got dressed quickly, and dropped the key into my front pants pocket.

. I told my mom I was going for a jog, and I would be back later.  For all the effect my words had, I may as well have been talking to myself because my mom was lost someplace in her own thoughts. So I kissed her on the forehead, and walked out of the house and around back losing myself in the dirt path just as before.

When I got to the clearing again and walked over to the tree stump, I looked around the whole place. I knew this was crazy, but I called out to her "Where did you want me to go?". The wind came from nowhere blanketing its coolness around me. The leaves rustled and took a strange formation as it opened up a path in the grass, as if to point me in the direction I was supposed to follow. So I followed.

As I entered a more darker part of the forest,  I began to feel a lil apprehensive. I'd never been way out here, I didn't even know where out here was? The trees blocked the sun and any possible view of the sky. Still I walked on, I felt like I was being compelled to go on.

It was cold and dark walking thru these part of the woods and I had lost track of time. I crossed over a small creek but kept walking till I came up to a small dilapidated shack with a sheet metal roof .I stopped in front and stared at it for a long moment.

Patting my jeans pocket where the key was resting snug inside ,I reassured myself it was still there, yet wondered when its time would come into play.

There was whispering around me, not one voice but many. They sounded like the laughter of children.The hair on my arms stood up as those on the back of my neck. These voices danced around me as if to taunt me. I couldn't make out clearly what it was they were saying, but they whispered amongst each other excitedly, almost as if overjoyed by my presence."Set us free" they seemed to say.

The cold from the wind ushered me closer to the door of this fragile shack .I dared to push open the door and slowly carefully walk in. Within its dank walls laid the horrid stench of something dead and decaying. There was trash laying everywhere. I couldn't imagine anyone actually living there, yet that's exactly what it presented itself to be.

Rats came out crawling from under a ruined, rotted loveseat. Curious to my presence they dared to creep close, yet still keeping a safe distance.The walls looked as if they once held their place in pride a lovely wallpaper of tiny red flowers over a lite background shade of pink. Now what remained were green molded and sadly peeled over strips of paper that dangled down limply from the walls.

There was a small desk in the corner, that piece of furniture ruined also over time and weather. I felt as if I was being pulled in its direction.I feared if I opened the roller top something might jump out at me, but I eased it up gently anyways.There laid within was what resembled a scrapbook of some sort. Leafing carefully thru it, were news articles of children that had long since gone missing or turned up dead. Some very recent.

Terror filled my chest and stopped my heart in that moment. Recent. That one word reverberated in my head. Oh gosh, what if whoever this place belonged to was still around somewhere? What if they were close by and had been watching me all this time.

Little noises within this two room shack seemed amplified and made me jump with each rattle or creak that came from behind me.I closed the book quickly and closed the lid to the desk and began to double back in my steps

.I couldn't breathe, I needed to get out.The voices of the children came around to cry out to me, begging me not to leave. I didn't know what to do but continue as they wanted me to. I hadn't went into the second room.

As I crept as quietly as possible into the kitchen, there was yet another door. Opening it was a winding staircase spiraling downwards.Close by, sitting on the kitchen countertop was a candle and a small matchbook. I lit it and took it with me as I stepped carefully down the rickety metal staircase.

When I reached the bottom I held the candle higher up closer to my face. I could faintly feel the heat warming me. Looking around I see a double door with a heavy chain looped thru both handles three times and a padlock locking it closed tight.I pull out the key and fit it into the lock.The lock pops open and once the door is opened on one side I hear faint cries from inside.

There are three children, alive and cold, sick and barely breathing.I recognize them as some of the kids I saw in the clippings, that had went missing months ago. They were laying on the damp straw they used as a makeshift bed.

Badly malnourished, I.knelt down in front of one of the children .Despite their pitiful living conditions, she looks the healthier of the three. I ask her if she can stand. She opens her eyes seeing me as a dream and faintly smiles.

"Are you real?" she asks.

"Yes, can you walk dear?"

"I think so" comes a weak reply as she rolls over onto her hands and knees and pushes herself up slowly.

"I need your help" I tell her and she nods in understanding as she tries to scoop up the youngest into her frail arms and carry him out. I scoop up the other child and I tell her to follow me and if anything happens to run like crazy.

We make it to the top of the stairwell and out the front door, when I hear the voices again. There is an urgency to their whispered tones for me to hurry and leave. I walk as fast as I can, carrying the sick child that lies limply in my arms. But not so fast that the child running to keep up behind me, should fall behind.

Spent of all our energy now, we make it out safely into the clearing falling to the ground on our knees. The children huddle close against me and hug me tight.

From a distance, I hear voices shouting back and forth at each other and dogs barking. I see a man from far away, come out from the wooded trail that leads me home.

The cops follow close behind.They spot us from far away and rush towards us, two of the men from the group talking hurriedly into their walkie talkies.The children that were on foot can move no more.

I hear a helicopter flying overhead. It lowers itself to the ground, as two paramedics jump out and rush towards the children to tend to them. As I'm surrounded by cops and other people that helped in their search.

The cops question me for what seems like hours.I don't tell them about the ghost girl, or the box cause who would believe me anyway? I tell them that yes, I will show them the way. Two of them follow me back into the woods heavily armed and I feel safe.

When we make it there, they have me wait outside. They warn me that with any sign of trouble to run, get the hell out of the woods.I tell them in turn to be careful, especially with the staircase leading down to hell. So I'm left standing by myself, outside.

After what may have been twenty minutes, I hear gun fire coming from within. I panick and take off running. Just when I make it to the clearing, I trip over something and as I stand up to continue, I get bashed in the back of the head, and feel myself being dragged away until everything goes black.


© Copyright 2017 Silent1. All rights reserved.

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