A Journey To Madness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

A tale of one man's untimely death.

Tonight is Halloween, my favorite night of the year. I just love all the witches and goblins that parade through the street. I live on a quiet street, occupied mostly by families who were gone for this Halloween so there would likely be no children trick or treating. I was invited to a party but I couldn’t afford to spend money on something so frivolous. I was short on rent, I couldn’t fail to pay again or I would be evicted. I had been spending more money than I had trying to help pay my mothers medical bills. She had to have a surgery to remove a tumor but complications arose and her stay in the hospital was extended. As I pondered my predicament I got that all too familiar shiver down my spine, I’ve always had right before something bad happens. I was jolted out of my thoughts by a knock, then another, and another.

I glanced at the clock and noticed it was only seven and just beginning to get dark, there shouldn’t be any children out yet. The knocking started again this time louder and more urgent. I don’t know if I should answer it due to the feeling I just had. The knocking was getting louder and faster. I flung open the door ready for anything.

There stood a man whose face I could not see. He was about six foot even and wore a suit black as night. As I stood there taking all this in he lifted up his thin arm, reached into his jacket, grabbed something and then he extended his arm towards me. In his pale white hand was a black card. I reached out hesitantly and grabbed the card once I had a hold on it he withdrew his hand. I began to read the card

“I have a task for you that if completed will earn you fifteen hundred dollars. All you have to do is spend a single night at my newly acquired residence on the far side of town. When and if you complete this task the money will be given to you by my associate prior to your departure. The only thing I ask is that you do not leave your room for any reason.”

That feeling of apprehension grew stronger but I did need the money badly. Honestly spending one night in someone else’s home did not seem so bad even if it did come with the strange request to stay in my room. I decided I would go if not for me then for my mother. I looked up and the man beckoned me towards..no it couldn’t be… but it was, a carriage straight out of the history books with four horses to lead it. I locked the door and stepped towards the carriage and decided to look at the horses. I wish I hadn’t, they were a ghostly white, made no sound, did not move, and worst of all their eyes were redder than any red I had ever seen. I stumbled back and hurried to where the man stood waiting for me at the open door to the carriage. I entered and I took note of the fact that like outside the interior was black except for the blood red seats. I sat on the left seat to put as much distance between me and those horses as possible. The man took his place opposite of me and the door closed quickly, without any visible force directing it to do so.

I began to wonder at the strange sense of apprehension that I felt, which then led me to wonder why I felt and heard nothing that would indicate that we were moving, I leaned forward to open the door to inquire as to why we had yet to move. Before I could even touch the door however the man’s arm shot out grabbing mine in a death-like grip. I recoiled and thought to myself that perhaps a man as wealthy as my mysterious host would certainly be able to afford a quiet coach. I returned to my musing but after what seemed like only seconds the man reached over pushed the door open and indicated that I should exit.

I was mystified, there was no possible way we could have arrived already. I thought well I might as well take a look, so I exited the carriage and that’s when I saw it. A three-story Victorian era mansion, its beauty rivaled that of any of the great palaces. It was white with thirteen large columns supporting the immense balcony on the third floor. Suddenly a sense of utter hopelessness and despair rushed over me as I felt a weight on my shoulder. I jumped away and turned to see what it was….but there was nothing there. Where had the man, horses, and carriage gone? Not that I missed them because to be completely honest that man really made me nervous due to the fact that he never said a word.

I made my way up the three steps which were strange in that one was black, one red, and one white. Just as I reached the top of the stairs the two large wooden doors opened flooding the night with light and temporarily blinding me. As I got more accustomed to the light I noticed that the man had returned, only now I could see his eyes, they were a yellow as bright as the sun. It occurred to me that I had never heard him leave and there was no way that he could have entered the home without alerting me of his leave. This thought coupled with his awful eyes almost paralyzed me, but as if reading my mind the man reached out and grabbed my shoulders to guide me in. I couldn’t feel his arms, how peculiar.

I let him guide me down the hall into the foyer and then turned to remind him to close the door only to find it already closed and the hallway dark. He stepped in front of me and politely took my coat while indicating with his hand that he meant for me to follow him. So I did, and we passed three doors that looked like they had seen better days. He led me to grand marble staircase that led up to the rest of the mansion and as we climbed them I took the opportunity to try and learn more about my host through the paintings of what I assumed to be his family. There was a beautiful woman with dark hair, soft almost pleading eyes, full red lips, and a red dress much like one you would see in the mid nineteenth century. There was a man who had a prominent jaw, large hooked nose, dark angry looking eyes, neatly combed hair, and his suit was impeccable. Lastly there was a boy who looked to be about twelve. The boy was the complete opposite of the man. The boy had blonde hair, light green eyes tinged with sadness, he had soft features, and his clothes were slightly unkempt.

I was interrupted by a light nudge from the man. We had arrived at the third floor, which unlike the first was seemingly random. The man kept a hand on my elbow to guide me through a maze of doors and rooms. We came upon a room that seemed to be as large as my entire home but that was probably because there was nothing but a bed in the entire room. He bowed to me and then took his leave. I reached into my pocket searching for my cell phone, I wanted to call my parents and hear their opinion on my strange night, but it wasn’t there. I must have left it on the couch in my living room again. Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to call them in the morning after I get home.

Considering that I had absolutely nothing to do until morning, I undressed and got into the rather large bed. Sleep came to me much quicker than it usually does. I awoke not five minutes after because the room seemed to have suddenly grown much colder. I huddled up under the covers and was about to drift back to sleep when I heard it, a sniffle and muffled sob coming from the hallway. I hadn’t seen any evidence of other people residing in the house so this unnerved me. In the dark I heard footsteps come in from the hallway and make their way towards the foot of the bed.

I pulled my legs up and started shaking violently. The end of the bed began to press down then I heard a child tell me to run before the pressure on the bed disappeared and the sounds of running followed whatever that was into the hallway. Maybe the boy was here as well, I felt so tired so I fell asleep again. This same process repeated three more times, each time the presence came closer to my body. The last time and I felt it on top of me but there was nothing. After its fourth exit a loud thumping followed by w woman screaming came from downstairs.
I jumped up and ran into the hall, ignoring my host’s rule, and found myself face to face with the boy in the dim moonlight. He looked at me and I saw in his eyes a pain and sorrow so deep that it would take several lifetimes to understand and even more to cure. He reached out and took my hand then whispered for me to follow.

He led me around the maze that was the third floor until we reached a small closet, he opened it and pushed me inside. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears, through the door I heard heavy boots. They were getting closer and closer, they stopped in front of the door then I heard a scuffle as the man’s voice screamed threats to the boy. The boy apparently had run because the boot followed out, I slowly peered out and seeing nothing, I stepped out. I quietly made my way to the hallway, determined to find my way out of the house to get some help for the poor boy.
As I rounded a corner the man in the paintings stepped out from a door, when he looked at me my blood ran cold, his gaze held all the hatred and fury that any many could possibly contain. He rushed towards me, so I turned and ran. He chased me all around until I was able to find the staircase. When I reached the bottom he was there with a devilish smile. He spoke to me in a voice so full of evil that my entire being, down to the smallest cell, recoiled in disgust.
“You can run but I will find you. Do you know who I am? I am the shadow in the night. I am the one watching when you turn around. I am the thump in the night.”

I had to get away but as soon as I moved I was in his grasp. I couldn’t move, all I could do was stare into those eyes that reflected the depths of hell. He picked me up by the throat and we glided up the stairs, all the while he kept repeating who he was. He took me to the window, he released my throat enough to allow me to speak.

“Why?” I managed to croak out.

“Why? All you had to do was follow one rule, but like the boy, the man, and the woman you are weak.”

With that I was thrown, I felt a sharp pain all over my body, then a rushing, then nothing…

“So how did he die?” Detective Samson asked the coroner. They were standing in the living room of a man who had been found dead. The man’s mother called after two days of hearing nothing from her son.

“Your guess is as good as mine, he has puncture wounds that resemble glass shards and trauma that usually is seen in people who have fallen from considerable heights. How he managed that in the middle of a one story house is between him and God.”

Submitted: November 18, 2012

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