In the mid 1800s, in Blackpool, England, a wealthy, affluent family known as the Smithsons built a large, wooden, four-story manor house atop a hill with a view of the sea; it was elaborated with towers, chimneys, balconies and porches, and gables. There were also circular windows at the top story on all four sides. Mrs. Smithson also planted a couple flower gardens around the manor house.
The Smithsons lived in peace and happiness with their five children until a couple years later. At night, the Smithsons would hear strange sounds and see strange shadows; they would even see objects move around on their own accord. Then, one unfortunate night, their youngest child wobbled into the basement but never came back out. Once the family noticed she was missing, they began searching for her. When they started looking in the basement, their eldest son also disappeared from sight while no one was looking; there was no trace of either their youngest daughter or eldest son. After that, the remaining family members fled from the house without gathering their possessions, not even their money.
For many years, the Smithson house remained vacant, but its dark reputation lived on. While many people were afraid of going into the house, other more thrill-seeking people would dare to enter and leave with bizarre stories to tell. Or never come back out again.
In autumn 2010, a couple of 12-year-old boarding school students named Justin and Colin at the Blackpool boarding school were finishing their homework assignments for the day in their house’s (the House of the Eagle) common room; they were both adventurous boys who frequently broke the school rules. After he finished his homework, Justin came up with a daring idea.
“Hey, I know what we should do for Saturday night,” blurted Justin with a smile suggesting he came up with a bright idea. “What’s that?” asked Colin who was still focused on answering questions for his history homework. Justin replied, “We should go to that old Smithsons’ manor house.” “Blimey, no!” exclaimed Colin, “People never come back out of that place alive!” “Oh, come on, it’ll be fun; besides, we’re not going to be there that long,” encouraged Justin. Colin thought about it for a minute and then finally came to a decision. “Oh okay, but if I see any monsters in there, I’m out of there,” concluded Colin. Then, after Colin finished his homework, he and Justin played a game of chess and then went to bed.
Once Saturday night finally came, after some games and activities, the two mischievous boys sneaked out of their boarding school with a change of outfit through many grand halls and heavy doors. The sky was pink with the fading sun and the lights from the nearby town were flashing on in the fading light. After walking for a few miles, the two boys finally reached the Smithsons’ manor; by the time they reached it, the sun had completely sunk behind the horizon.
The boys gazed at the daunting house for a few minutes. The house was dilapidated and faded with age and abandonment, the windows were broken and a few were boarded, and the trees around the manor were dead and leafless. There were also Gothic stone statues of angels and monsters around the manor house. It was like something out of a classic horror film.
After standing in awe for a few minutes, the boys finally mustered up their courage and approached the creepy house; they meticulously stepped up the creaky steps to the wooden doors. Justin slowly and carefully pulled one of the doors open, and they both quietly crept into the house. They were greeted by a large foyer with a spiral staircase to the back; to the right were the doors that led to a parlor and a dining room, and to the left were doors that lead to the kitchen and dining room.
The boys decided to explore the parlor first. The parlor contained a fireplace with some furniture forming a rectangle in front of it; there was also an oval table in the middle with a metal tea set on it. The boys glanced at the cracking walls and dusty paintings on every side. The dusty portraits hanging from the walls were almost staring at them. Then, Colin thought he saw a shadow flash by in the silver teapot. “Uh, Justin, I think we should go,” said Colin apprehensively. “What, now?” said Justin in disbelief, “we haven’t even seen all of the first floor yet.” “I thought I saw a shadow,” added Colin. But Justin dismissed, “It’s just you’re imagination; come on.”
They left the parlor and entered the dining room which was right across from the parlor. The dining room contained a long, wooden table with 14 or 16 cushioned chairs parked beneath it; there was also a dusty glass chandelier hanging above the table. One of the boys glided two of his fingers across the table as he walked by leaving a streak of clean table behind. They looked out the large window to see the countryside with dead, barren trees and the city lights in the distance.
Then, one of the chairs began to slowly slide out from under the table with a quiet hissing noise; the boys turned around, but nothing was moving so the boys looked away. Then, they heard the hissing noise again, and when they looked around, they saw that the chair had moved even farther out from under the table. After a second or two, the boys screamed, and all the chairs slid from under the table and glided toward the two boys. Fortunately, the boys climbed onto a smaller, ornate table in the corner, and the chairs bumped into the table legs and each other’s backs. Justin glanced toward the door to the foyer and cried, “Come on!” Then, the boys stepped on the chairs’ seats and climbed over their backs until they were clear of the chairs; then, they ran for the door with the chairs pursuing them and slammed the door behind them. “Maybe we should go upstairs,” suggested Justin.
So the two boys swiftly climbed up the spiral staircase to the second floor; there were two hallways on either side of the staircase, both of which seemed to lead to bedrooms and bathrooms. They chose the hallway to their left and entered one of the bedrooms. The bedroom appeared as though it was once comfortable but now battered with age; there was a bed with an ornate wooden board, a wooden desk with drawers, a nightstand on the bed’s right, and a large oval mirror in one corner.
The two boys stared into the mirror at their own reflections for a few seconds. When they turned around, they saw blurry white figures hovering in various spots of the room slowing closing in on them. The boys screamed at the top of their lungs at the sight and then quickly squeezed their way along a wall to the door to avoid the figures. They quickly slammed the door behind them and backed away from it. After a few seconds, the blurry figures emerged through the door and glided toward the two boys. The boys screamed and ran past the spiral staircase to the nearest door which was right next to the wall. Inside the door was a descending zigzag staircase; the boys glided down the stairs until they reached the floor.
But once they reached the bottom of the staircase, they found that they were in the basement with its dusty, creepy antiques and crates. “Oh no,” whimpered Colin, “this was where two people disappeared.” “Oh, don’t be such a baby,” sternly ridiculed Justin, but Justin was feeling the same amount of fear, and it was showing a little.
They scanned their surroundings a few times and then suddenly found something in a corner that wasn’t there before; whatever it was, it was ugly and frightening. It hissed and crept closer and closer to the boys. The boys screamed and hugged each other, and then all was black.
The next day, all the boys and girls at the boarding school woke up in their dorms and prepared for breakfast. When all the boys in the Eagle House woke up, they noticed that Justin and Colin were nowhere to be seen. “Why aren’t Justin and Colin up?” inquired a tall, lean 15-year-old boy named Hobhouse, “they’re usually the first ones up.” “Maybe they’re planning another prank in secret,” suggested his short, slim, younger roommate, Thomas. “Here, I’ll go wake them up,” said the 17-year-old prefect assertively.
The prefect tried to turn the dorm’s doorknob, but it was locked. Then, he knocked on the dorm’s door a few times and ordered like an army officer for Justin and Colin to wake up, but there was no response. The prefect repeated the same ritual but still no response. After knocking and ordering seven times in a row, the prefect told the boys, “Don’t copy or tell anyone what I’m about to do,” and slammed himself into the door breaking it down.
But to everyone’s surprise, there was no Justin or Colin to be found. “They’re gone!” said one boy in surprise. “Where could they have gone?” inquired another in surprise. “Everyone, go to the dining room for breakfast; I’ll tell the professors immediately,” ordered the prefect, and they all exited the dormitory and the common room.
The dining room was an expansive, beautiful room with fresco murals of angels perched on clouds and on the ceiling was a picture of God in a dramatic pose; it was like something out of the Sistine Chapel. The windows were tall and pointed at the tops. There were also four long tables for each House.
At the Eagle table, Hobhouse and Thomas were sitting with their friend, Rose, who was Hobhouse’s age, eating sausage and eggs together. “So how was your morning?” asked Rose pleasantly as always. “It was bizarre,” replied Thomas, “Justin and Colin have disappeared without a trace.” “Oh my!” said Rose in surprise that was almost horror. “Where could they have gone?” “Wait a second, I know where they’ve gone,” said Thomas as though a brilliant idea came to him. “Where?” asked both Hobhouse and Rose in chorus. Thomas replied, “I overheard Justin and Colin yesterday saying that they wanted to go into the Smithsons’ house”. “Why would anyone want to go there, especially with all the stories surrounding it?” inquired Rose. Hobhouse answered, “They are always getting themselves into trouble; I’m surprised they haven’t been expelled. Maybe we should look for them.” Thomas added, “The prefect told the teachers so they’ll take care of it.” And with that, the three friends finished their breakfast.
After breakfast, all the students attended their usual classes in subjects like science, math, art, music, and English. Throughout the whole day, the members of the Eagle house wondered where Justin and Colin were; even though they were always causing trouble, the Eagle house members thought of them. Before lunch, everyone was told that Justin and Colin had disappeared and that the coppers were searching for them; the teachers also said that the coppers will find them to encourage the students.
After lunch was Art class; the lesson that was taught was on acrylic painting, and the students were painting different fruits from life. In addition to that, the professor, a middle-aged man with glasses, had a surprise for the students. The professor walked to the front of the classroom, cleared his throat, and called, “My dear students, because you all have worked so hard and have showed so much talent this semester, I am going to give you all 10 pounds each and taking you all to the candy store this Saturday to let you buy any candy you want. We’ll go at 10 a.m.” All the students screamed with joy after hearing this. Then, the professor calmed them down, and the students finished their work.
When Saturday finally came, the students woke up, had breakfast, and left the school in the school bus to the candy store as the Art professor said. When the bus finally arrived at Busby’s Candy Store, the students streamed out and entered the candy store. There were all kinds of sweets in the store, there were peppermints, gummy bears, chocolates, gumballs, cookies, donuts, and other sugary sweets on the shelves and in the containers.
After Hobhouse, Thomas, and Rose all picked out donuts, gummy bears, and chocolates, the thought of Justin and Colin came into their minds. Rose inquired with a worried look, “Have they found Justin and Colin yet?” Thomas replied, “I don’t know; let’s ask the professor; he’ll probably know.”
The three friends searched the candy store for their Art professor and finally found him looking hungrily at the pastries section. “Professor,” summoned Thomas. “Yes,” answered the Art professor. “Have the police found Justin and Colin yet?” asked Thomas. The professor replied, “They’ve searched all of Blackpool and the neighboring cities and towns, and they haven’t found any sign of them.” Then, Thomas continued, “Have they searched the Smithsons’ manor because that’s where they said they were going to?” The professor replied solemnly, “They’ve searched that place too and found no trace of them; I’m sorry, kids.” “Okay, thanks,” thanked Thomas. “Anytime,” said the professor, and the three students walked away.
Once they were out of earshot from everyone else, Thomas asked in a low but not whispering voice, “How could the police find no sign of Justin and Colin in the Smithsons’ house when that’s where they went?” Hobhouse thought and then spoke, “Maybe the library at school has some information about this legend; let’s go there when we’re done here.”
Next to the door to the candy shop was a large glass window, and out from it, the three students could see four or five men in black suits with dark sunglasses appearing to search the street with very strange instruments. “Who could they be?” thought the three students. Another uncanny thing about these men was that they all looked exactly alike. When they all looked up from their instruments at them, the three students quickly turned away walked to the back of the store. The three friends returned to the school bus once they purchased the candy they bought as the professor instructed followed by the rest, and the bus returned to the school.
Once everyone returned to the school, Hobhouse, Thomas, and Rose traveled through several hallways coated with murals to the library. The library was fairly expansive with what looked like 50 tall shelves of books; it also had posters of famous paintings from major art periods like the Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic period. In the center was a fake replica of Michelangelo’s David statue. Close to the library entrance was the circular circulation desk.
Once they entered the library, the three friends approached the circulation desk and asked where a book on local legends could be found. In response, the librarian took them to the rear of the library past the replica of David. The librarian turned left into one of the rear bookshelves and searched carefully through the books for the right one; after a careful search, the librarian pulled out a book on local legends since 2000 and handed it to the students. Because Hobhouse was smart and good at research, he flipped through the pages until he found the section on the Smithsons’ manor.
The book said (Hobhouse reading out loud) that the Smithsons’ manor house was built in the mid-1800s by the Smithson family. After telling about some of the manor’s history, it told about how two of the Smithson children disappeared in the basement causing the Smithsons to evacuate the house and that legend has it that there’s a monster in the basement.
“Wow,” said Rose, “that’s really scary.” After closing the book, Hobhouse added, “This is going to sound crazy, but we have to rescue Justin and Colin since the police probably didn’t check the basement.” Hobhouse didn’t put much faith in local legends. “Are you nutters? There’s a monster in that house! We’ll be killed!” exclaimed Thomas. Hobhouse replied, “We can’t just leave them there; they are troublemakers, but they don’t deserve this. Even if they are dead, we could recover their bodies so they can have a proper funeral.” “Hobhouse does have a point”, added Rose. Thomas thought about it for a moment and decided to go rescue Justin and Colin tonight as Hobhouse proposed.
Although Hobhouse was not a big believer in local legends, he did have one fear about the situation, Rose. Over the years at Blackpool boarding school, he had developed romantic feelings for her but couldn’t express them because of the school rules. Hobhouse couldn’t bear to imagine a world without lovely Rose. Hobhouse tried to convince Rose that it was too dangerous, but she used Hobhouse’s disbelief in monsters as a reason to go.
So after everyone had fallen asleep, the three students snuck out of the school as Justin and Colin did. They used a map that Thomas had printed off one of the school’s computers to locate the manor house. After hiking for a few miles as Justin and Colin did, the three kids reached the gloomy, daunting Smithsons’ manor house; by the time they reached it, it was completely dark, and a thunderstorm was brewing with rumbles of thunder.
The students carefully entered the manor house and were greeted with the same dark, gloomy interior Justin and Colin were greeted with. “Let’s stick together so nobody gets lost,” ordered Hobhouse as they crept in. The interior of the house was eerily still and quiet. They peaked into rooms to see if Justin or Colin were in there.
Then, they all saw a shadow swaying back and forth on one of the walls; when they all looked up, they saw the chandelier swinging back and forth. “How could that be?” they thought, “that chandelier was motionless a minute ago.” Then, suddenly, a decorated table with a lamp on it slid from its place and slid toward the three students. The students split up and dodged the table causing it to slam into a wall and the lamp on the table to shatter on the floor. The table slid toward the students again, but they ran up the spiral stairs which the table couldn’t climb.
The students watched the table bump into the foot of the stairs repeatedly which caused them to giggle a little. When they all looked up, they saw blurry white figures surrounding them and closing in on them. The three students screamed and scrambled into the same door that Justin and Colin ran through to the basement; they also climbed down the same stairs Justin and Colin climbed down.
Once they climbed down the last step, they found themselves in the dreaded basement with all its creepy, dusty antiques and crates. “Oh no, this is the basement where the monster lives,” whimpered Thomas. “Thomas,” comforted Hobhouse, “it’s just a story. See if either of you can find Justin and Colin.” A second of two after he said that, Rose released a blood-chilling scream; when the two boys looked in the direction she was looking, they found the skeletons of two 12-year-old boys covered in some kind of green stuff. “So this is what happened to them,” said Hobhouse, “but what could have done that?” Then, Hobhouse ordered, “Come on, let’s get them out of this creep hole.”
While they were lifting up the skeletons, Hobhouse held the two skulls while Thomas and Rose each held a pair of feet, they suddenly had an eerie feeling of being watched. When they looked up from the skeletons, they saw something that wasn’t there before, and they all released a scream and dropped the skeletons; it was a monster. The pale green monster was a cross between a dragon and a space alien. Its head bulged upward with diagonal black slit-eyes and long tube-like ears, its teeth were barbed, its lizard-like body had dorsal tube-ears all along its back, its feet were clawed and webbed, and its wings were clear membranes.
The monster hissed as it approached the students causing them to back away to a corner of the basement. Objects slid and flew towards the students as they tried to escape the monster; “So that’s what caused the table to move and probably what caused the blurry figures and what killed Justin and Colin,” thought the students.
Once the students were cornered they felt they would share Justin and Colin’s fate. While the monster was hissing away, Hobhouse called, “Rose.” “Yes,” answered Rose. “I love you,” said Hobhouse as if it was his last moment of pleasure which it was going to be. “I love you too,” said Rose happily, and then they hugged and kissed each other for a few minutes. “Um, guys,” Thomas interrupted, “there’s a monster about to eat us,” and Rose and Hobhouse returned to looking up at the monster.
The monster pulled its ugly head back as though it were about to release something from its mouth. The students closed their eyes to prepare for their deaths, yet several minutes passed and they felt nothing. Were they already dead? When they opened their eyes, they saw that the monster was frozen in its position. How could that be? The students crept closer and closer to the monster until they touched it, but it didn’t move a muscle. When the students peaked around the monster, they saw those same men in black suits when they were in the candy shop standing on the stairs except they were holding what looked like laser guns in their hands. From that distance the students could definitely tell that they were all identical.
“Who are you?” asked Hobhouse. One of the men replied formally, “We are the Voltar, a race of beings from a far away galaxy. While we were visiting your planet to gather specimens for study, that creature, the Dralar, escaped our ship a long time ago, and we’ve been searching for it ever since. A Dralar is a creature with strong mental powers that it uses to lure in its prey. We learned your language and your culture by hacking into your Internet so we could blend in and still search for our creature. Now that we’ve found our Dralar, we will leave your planet; we’re sorry if our Dralar has caused any harm or destruction. Good night to you.” “Thanks,” concluded Hobhouse.
After their short conversation, another one of the Voltar used his laser gun to levitate the Dralar and draw it out of the basement and through a tunnel which the students didn’t notice before. Once the Dralar made it out of the tunnel to the other side, an irregularly shaped spaceship sucked it in using a spotlight. After that, the Voltar climbed down the last of the stairs, bid the students farewell, and traveled through the tunnel after which they were picked up by the same spaceship, and the spaceship warped out of sight.
After that bizarre event, the three students picked up the skeletons of Justin and Colin and carried them back to the school. In the morning, they told the teachers what had happened; although the teachers did not believe the space monster part, they rewarded the students for recovering Justin and Colin’s dead bodies so they could have a proper burial. And last but not least, Hobhouse and Rose entered a relationship in which they dated on breaks.
© Copyright 2016 Matthew5. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Horror
Short Story / Horror
Short Story / Science Fiction
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