The Ladies of Black Rock Manor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A photo shoot goes wrong...

Submitted: January 01, 2015

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Submitted: January 01, 2015

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The Ladies of Black Rock Manor

 

I had been driving for over six hours since my last stop when the three cans of Pepsi I had guzzled over that same time period forced me to pull into a truck stop. To be honest I thought I wouldn’t make it to the restroom in time. Thankfully I did and promised myself more rest stops or less Pepsi in the future. [More rest stops won out.]

 

Exiting the restroom I noticed the counter girl looking my way. When our eyes met she turned away and started to load the chip display.

 

Walking along the semi clean aisles I searched out my favorite poisons: Snickers, sugar wafer cookies and a twelve pack of Pepsi. Before reaching the counter I saw a rack of Vienna sausages and grabbed a six pack of the BBQ flavor.

 

Letting the supplies tumble to the counter the girl began to ring up the items with an ever increasing smile.When she struggled to bag the Pepsi I told her just to leave it out of the bag. She laughed.

 

“ Uh, can I get in on the joke?” I asked as she finished ringing up the last item.

 

“ Sorry. It’s just you ran in here so fast for the restroom and grabbed a twelve of Pepsi. And your diet is going to kill you.” She looked up and smiled to let me know it was all in fun.

 

“ Yeah. It’s kind of funny that when the emergency is over I go straight back for more punishment. But I hope my diet doesn't kill me for awhile.”

 

“ Let’s hope.”


“ By the way do you have any of those touristy maps.

Specifically one of Black Rock?”

 

The girls friendly demeanor ended and she handed me a brochure. “ That’s twenty six dollars even and the maps free.”

 

I handed her the money and left. ‘Strange Girl’ I thought. It was getting cold now that the sun was down and so I threw my supplies into the back seat, grabbed a Pepsi and the Black Rock map and pulled to the edge of the lot to read the map and history of The Manor.

 

As the heater in my old Ford Falconkicked into high gear I started to feel sleepy until I realized I was only four miles shy of the Manor. I also suspected that the counter girls unfriendly attitude was an assumption as to my reason for going to Black Rock Manor.

 

I was on the hunt for old abandoned mansions for a photo assignment and after reading the brochure I discovered the mansion was a gambling house and brothel in the late 1800s to 1902 when a fire destroyed the west side of the building killing more than twenty people in all. The information in the brochure was taken from a local newspaper of the day and of the survivors only two of the ladies were named. The men escaped the print and embarrassment of being there. Typical.

 

Even with the defroster on full blast I still had to get out and scrap the top half of the windshield. The cold was, as the old but accurate cliche said, biting. It was also intrusive seeming to search out every weak spot in my clothing to get to me. I jumped back into the warm and as I did noticed the counter girl looking out at me. Screw it. I’m gone little priss.

Diving the stretch of flat road was almost hypnotic and I could not imagine the men back in the late 1800s taking their buggy or horse and braving the harsh North Dakota winter to go out whoring and gambling. I patted the dashboard of my Falcon thankful for it’s warmth and speed. As I did a semi came toward me at a high speed and drifting in and out of it’s lane.I laid on the horn and went as far right as I could hitting the gravel of the breakdown lane with my right tires. The driver of the semi woke and jerked back to his lane. My knees shook for the next three miles.

 

I would have to search out a motel for the night but being only a mile from the Manor I decided to stop by and get some night shots. The readers love gossip and creepy. I’m sure the writer of the piece would give them both.

 

I was able to pull right up to the front entrance which surprised me as I expected at least a gate or even a guard. I grabbed my cameras and exited the warm and stepped into the frost.

 

The Manor was dark and uninviting. Walking closer I noted that the west side of the mansion had never been rebuilt although a stone wall, matching the rest of the house had been built The size of the place in this form was a little disappointing but by using different angles and lenses I could make it appear much larger. The shadows the full moon cast helped with the mood I was looking for.

 

After a good hundred shots I was ready to get back in the Falcon when the Black Rock lit up. It seemed every light in the house came on at once. The tall oak door of Black Rock opened and a woman wearing a black formal party dress smiled and waved me inside. “ Get in here silly. You must be as cold as a pond frog out there. Don’t be shy. I don’t bite unless requested to.” She laughed as well as two other ladies behind her and an older gentleman drinking a martini.

 

I walked in a little freaked out but remember the brochure mentioning the Manor could be rented out for special occasions. But what the hell had they been doing in the dark?



 

The inside was pristine with grand chandeliers, far eastern carpets and fantastic oil paintings clinging to the white plaster walls. A blonde lady handed me a drink and said “ I’m guessing you for a single malt scotch man.”

 

“ Sure. That fits the bill. Listen maybe you could tell me………”

 

“ Have your drink sir, upstairs, with me. Telling is something we never do.”

 

“ Well, thanks but I have to find a room for the night.”

 

“ I know. My name is Lisa. I have a room, now come on before everyone thinks you don’t like me.”

 

I started to protest when the martini man appeared next to Lisa and myself. “ Jerry Hardin.” He extended his hand. I shook it and was about to ask him for directions to town when he said.” Just wanted to come over and meet you sir. That and to offer my condolences on your accident tonight.”

 

“ I was in no accident. What’s all this?” I waved my arms at the surroundings, the people.”

 

Lisa took me by the arm and my will dropped away. We walked slowly up the stairway. I felt dizzy - from the drink?

 

When we entered Lisa’s room I began to remember. Then I began to panic. “ Honey, it’s O.K. I promise that after awhile you will really like it here.”

 

Hours later I went to sleep with the smell of old smoke stinging my eyes.

 

End


 


© Copyright 2017 Robert Kasch. All rights reserved.

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