Mis(t)ery in the Dark

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nobody knows what ancient spirits may assault you.
Two simple and completely normal (or maybe not exaclty normal) teenagers are given a special and ominous gift.

Submitted: August 19, 2017

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Submitted: August 19, 2017

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Would you ever gamble on your life?

If so, you should pay caution to what you wish to play, or you could end up like me.

It was a common Tuesday of my usual life, I was going back home from school when I met John. 
He was a handsome boy, he was of medium-height, a normal sized, dark haired teenager with white skin and usual hobbies and therefore I had a huge crush on him. We had our routine chat walking home together wondering what our mother could have prepared us for lunch, hopefully our favourite dish: carbohydrates, pasta, bread or rice, flavoured maybe with some meat, fish or vegetables. We loved that.

However, while we were fantasizing about what we would have eaten in a few minutes we reached The Place That Should Not Exist. IT was a shop. A very weird shop by the sidewalk with multi-coloured signboards and an exposition of rather unsettling paintings mostly depicting crazy women doing the burlesque in clothes made out of real pigeon feathers glued to the canvas. The mere sight of it made me feel sick. The place was run by this mad so-called-artist who painted all those pictures and sold even more astounding rubbish artefacts and perverted gadget. We quietly stared at the storefront, shocked, when suddenly John said to me "Wanna go in?".
I looked at him surprised "Are you out of your mind?"
"It's a challenge: I bet you can't go in there."
"Seriously? Of course I'm not going to, that place is weird."
"Are you scared?"
My face was burning: "No I'm not! It's just that... There are some voices about the man who runs this place: they say that he's a madman who escaped from an asylum through the woods and that he came here only wearing a blue box around his waist a strange hat! I don't want to have anything to do with such a person!"
John stared at me in the eyes for a couple seconds and then started laughing. "What!?" I said.
"You believe that? For real?" he laughed "Geez Sarah, you really are funny sometimes". I blushed, I didn't know if I was angry or flattered, but still, I felt weird: "That's nothing to laugh about!".
John came closer to me and said "Well, you wanna go in or not then, scaredy-cat?".
He was so annoying, but so tempting "Ok then, but just a peek, they're waiting for us to be back home soon"
"Don't worry: it will be fast and painless" he winked at me. 
We went in and I was immediately struck by the awfully singular stench of funky incense smoke made out of god-knows-what-freaky-plant-from-what-outlandish-country, it made me feel uncomfortably dizzy. The whole place was covered in unreal tapestry and furnished with baroque furniture and brobdignagian animal fur coats. Every corner of every angle of every tiny cupboard shelf was overflowing with strange things: animal eyes submerged in disgusting substances, stones carved to look like a face half humanoid and half fish, reddish crystals held by pedestals embedded with geometrical structures of a reddish metal, wooden pipes ending in a five-fingered hand, and other unrecognizable artefacts completely covered in dust or mould. 
"What's up chick? Are you scared?"
I had been inadvertedly squeezing John's arm "Of course not, you dummy" I let go of him, but I was lying. That stuff not only was creepy: it was unusually disgusting.

Then we saw him: the owner. He was astoundingly tall and wore a black jacket with purplish embroideries. His feet sitting on the counter and reading a newspaper, he left to view only his floral top hat and his pointy figure. As he heard us coming in he bent down his newspaper to look at us "Good afternoon" he said "You are my first customers in a long time, in fact, you might even be the first customers of the year! Or was it last year I'm not quite sure..." he looked sincerely confused, but it was August, we couldn't possibly be the first ones to enter his shop that year. "Whatever" he added "what are you looking for milord and milady?".
I grasped again John's arm. "Just taking a look" he said, to which the madman answered "Well if you need me for anything I'm right here."

We walked around the shop for a couple minutes, surrounded by all these strange stuff, until something caught John's eyes: a native American ceremonial pipe. "Oh, the Chanunpa" said the weird man behind us. He stood up and came closer to us "A very nice article, it has centuries of history on his back. It's Sioux. I know you two are young so probably I shouldn't sell you a smoking pipe, therefore, since you're also my first customers ever..." "Ever?" "...I am giving it to you for free" and so he handed us the pipe. "No thank you but..." John interrupted me and whispered to my ears "Are you crazy? That stuff could probably be sold online for thousands, and he's handing us for free, let's just take it" I couldn't argue with that. So John kindly bowed to the owner and thanked him for his gift. Then we left, with the salesman waving at us, a disturbingly huge smile on his face went from his blue to his brown eye.

On the way home I hugged John: I loved the feeling of his muscles on me. 
"John... tonight... we're doing it again right?" I whispered.
"What do you think you silly" he stroke my head a bit "Of course we are, but now hush, Mrs Smith must not discover us." 
We had finally reached home and as we entered we were greeted by Mrs. Smith: our host mother for our exchange student program. "Where were you?! I was worried about you two you know! Lunch is ready, go on and enjoy your pasta before it gets too cold" she said. "Sorry Mrs. Smith, we got lost on the way home" I said, and we went in. Our lunch was perfectly normal.

After lunch we thanked Mrs. Smith and went upstairs, before John got in his room grasped him again: it was never enough. 
"So... tonight?" I whispered.
"Yeah... but we're going to Bob's."
"What?!"
"If we keep doing it here we're gonna be discovered. Plus, we both know that you are a bit of a show-off and you like company."
"WHAT?!" I blushed "THAT'S NOT TRUE!"
"Yes it is."
"..." I never felt so angry. "I'm not a show-off, but whatever, I better take a shower"
He laughed at me "Okay then, we'll see each other later, unless you want me to take a peek"
"No." I said, and I pushed him in his room and closed the door while he was still laughing. What a jerk.

That evening, after dinner, we secretly left our rooms from the windows and met each other in the garden, then we walked to Bob's. The night breeze was cold and I was shivering a bit. Once we got there our friend welcomed us "Hey guys, the house is free: my parents are out for a couple of days, come on in". Maybe I was shivering also because of something else. We went in and in Bob's room. I was a bit scared "Are you sure your parents won't be coming home?" "Absolutely, 100% sweetheart".
We got comfy on his bed and then we went on doing what John and I had been doing for a month now: smoking.
Cigarettes, cigars, rarely something else. Just smoking together. Bob was older and bought the necessary, we simply shared the expenses with him. He was a very kind guy.
"Bob hand me the tobacco" John said "I have something special" and he pulled out the ceremonial pipe from his rucksack.
"That's awesome dude! Where did you buy it?" as he passed him the raw tobacco.
"We got it at the T.P.T.S.E., and for free!" John answered while he was filling the pipe bowl.

"We're not actually going to smoke from it, are we?" I said "The thing is a hundred years old, bleah".
"Not an adventurer uh, blondie?" Said John coming closer to me "Are you still scared?"
"No, it's just... so weird."
Bob laughed "The whole night organization is pretty weird if you think about it: you two sneaking from your house to smoke here..."
"I didn't mean that... That pipe, it's strange"
"Duh. You're weird" said John giving me a tiny kiss on the cheek. I blushed and stayed in silence.
"Done. It's ready. Bob: lighter"
"Here you go" and he threw it at him.
"May I go first?" asked John, to which we nodded. He breathed in the smoke, then slowly let it out. He dragged on a couple tokes of the thing and then passed it over to me "Here you go princess". I felt unsecure, but they were waiting for me so I simply pulled the smoke in a couple times then I started playing with it: I liked drawing circles with it, exhaling it from my mouth to re-inhale it from my nose, or simply let it flow on my face. I must admit, I hoped that it could make me look sort of "femme fatale". The only sure thing is that John loved watching me do it, I could read it in his eyes. 
Then I passed on the pipe to Bob. He took a deep breath and that's when things got scary. Suddenly the whole house started screeching and the wind shut the windows. Thick, oil-like dark smoke came out of the bowl and dyed the air, denser and denser. We feared a fire, so Bob jumped off the bed and reached the door: but before even reaching it he fell on his knees, coughing, he tried to reach the door, but he simply couldn't. John went for the windows but after a couple steps he tightened his hands around his neck, suffocating. The darkness was spreading and covering the walls like velvet, I started screaming. Everything got blacker and blacker. I could see nothing. "John!" I screamed "Bob!" I was panicking "SOMEONE, ANYONE, HELP!" but I could hear no answer. My throat hurt and my eyes too. There was no sound. Except for...footsteps. Strange huge boots footsteps. I could no longer bear it, the smoke entered me, overflowing in my lungs, I was burning. <<That's the end>> I thought to myself, as everything got blacker than the deepest black.


© Copyright 2017 Mazier M.T.. All rights reserved.

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