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Dead of Night...a Halloween story (ch.6 & 7

posted 10/31/2013 10:43:17 PM |
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Chapter 6

Laying a hand on Sheriff Allen’s shoulder, Pastor O’Conner said, “Let me go first…” But the Sheriff just shook his head. This was an old ghost he had to face. As he stepped through the double doors, he turned his head and steeled himself for what he’d see. The morning light lit the adjoining room and bathed it in sunlight…

Nothing. No blood. It was just an empty room.

“What the….” Sheriff Allen blinked and looked again. “I don’t understand! There was blood everywhere, runnin’ down the walls, drippin’ off the ceiling. Hell, it even dripped on my arm and it was warm!”

Now he entered the room, stomping and swearing! “Now you won’t believe me, I suppose. You’ll think I was just a scared kid with an overactive imagination.” His face was red with embarrassment and anger. He stomped some more and cussed some more until he ran out of steam. Neither of his friends tried to stop him. He needed to let it out and when he was limp with exhausted anger, they told him that nothing had changed. They believed him, they said. Look at all that had happened with this old house; everything others had seen. Just because they themselves hadn’t seen it didn’t mean it wasn’t real. Something was going on with the Stanbury Estate that was unexplainable and they needed to find out what.

Then they heard it again, the sobbing. They turned in its direction, the adjoining room. Through a large archway, they could see the big entrance doors from the verandah. That room was a large vestibule to welcome guests and receive their coats. They entered the vestibule and in unison, turned left. A massive archway revealed the entrance into a sitting room. Within the sitting room, straight in front of them was a wide, curving staircase. To the left of the staircase was a ballroom. Several doors led off the ballroom to many other rooms. Now all was quiet.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us.” Pastor said to no one in particular. They spent the next hour or so just exploring. All the rooms had one thing in common…a house decaying. All rooms were mostly empty. There was a bed or a piece of old, rotting furniture here and there. The musty smell got in their noses and made their sinuses ache. By evening, they had explored the first and second floors and found nothing but cobwebs and dust. In just a few hours, it would be dark…they needed a plan. Sitting on the staircase steps, they munched on their sandwiches and talked of what to do next.

The shadows lengthened. They were tired from the stress but no one would be sleeping this night…not anyone alive or dead or so Sheriff Allen thought to himself. They discussed where to go next, the basement or the attic and settled on the basement first but they’d have to find which door led there. They supposed it would be off the kitchen so, gathering up their things, they headed for the kitchen. After opening several doors to find closets and pantries, they found the door to the basement. Now they’d have to turn on their lanterns.

The stairs were thick, rough-cut planks that led down between two brick walls. It was like descending into a pitch black hole that made the hair on the backs of their necks stand up and shivers run down their spines. But when they reached the bottom, their lanterns lit up the room. It was huge! Nothing fancy down here but the cobwebs here were thick and heavy. An old broom leaned against the stairway and they used it to clear their path into the room. There wasn’t any flooring down here; they walked on hard-packed black dirt, so hard and smooth that it seemed like a flooring of sorts.

Shelves lined two walls where glass jars still sat with brownish contents, fruits and vegetables many years old. A slice of light filtered through the cracks of a small door in the foundation that had been a coal shoot into coal bins for the old, massive furnace. Its heat wasn’t enough considering the one or two fireplaces in nearly every room upstairs.

Other doors opened into storage closets as big as most people’s bedrooms. There they did find wooden boxes filled with old magazines, books, some kind of charts and maps but nothing revealing any history. Spiders scurried across the floors and a few mice but nothing moaned or groaned…or sobbed for which they were grateful!

“Well guys,” Doc said, “I guess that leaves the attic. It’s our last hope of finding any answers.”

By the time they emerged from the basement, twilight had fallen and they still needed their lanterns. They headed for the staircase and climbed to the second floor. They’d already found the door to the attic and headed straight for it.

The stairway to the attic was rather narrow but the flight up was longer. There was a landing where the stairs turned back for another half flight and came out in a room that was large and gabled. Up here, the air was thick and musty. The smell of age and dust was cloying. It set them off to coughing and sneezing fits.

Continued in comments...

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Oct 31 @ 10:43PM  
The attic was more interesting and looked to hold more promise with boxes and old trunks. They spent the next few hours digging through everything and all they found was more useless magazines, books and old, old clothes. Sweat beaded their foreheads as they sat on the dusty floor and looked discouraged. They talked quietly for awhile, trying to come up with ideas of what it all meant and what to do next. They all felt like they were missing something, but what? They decided to go back to the first floor and start all over again. They had all night and by gaud, they’d tear the place apart if they had to!

It had been quiet for hours and hours as they’d searched but now as they headed down the stairs, the sobbing began again. It was above them, in the attic! They stopped and listened. Now another voice could be heard, a male voice. They couldn’t make out words but they could tell it was angry.

Quickly the sobbing turned to an eery wailing. Suddenly it was like the old house came alive! Many other voices could be heard in a garble of words and whispers. Low moaning seemed to ooze from the walls and rafters. It was bedlam! Doc, Pastor and the Sheriff stood frozen on the staircase. As they waited in terror, it sounded like every door in the old Stanbury has was being slammed shut…then all went quiet again. They looked at one another with white faces and large fearful eyes.

Sheriff Allen, on the highest step looked down at the others and whispered, “Now what!?” Looking up at the Sheriff, neither Doc nor Pastor knew what to say. Doc, on the lower step looked up and was about to suggest that they just might be in over their heads when Sheriff Allen and Pastor O’Conner watched his eyes widen. He was looking past them to the top of the stairs…

©bl David
All rights reserved

To be continued….

Oct 31 @ 10:45PM  
Chapter 7

Sheriff Allen and Pastor O’Conner turned to look above them and they all just stared in stunned silence. Blood was running from the attic floor onto the top step, pooling then overflowing onto the next step and the next! When it reached Sheriff Allen’s step, he edged back and tucked his feet back against the wall. The others did the same as it fell to their steps. Then in unison, they began to descend but kept their backs against the wall, watching the flowing blood follow them.

Just as they reached the landing, they heard a soft voice from above them. “Come.” It said softly. It was the lady in white, standing at the top of the stairs. Just as quickly as it started, the blood flow stopped then faded and was gone.

“Come. Please.” She said again. Her stunning beauty had begun to change. Although still there, she somehow looked older. Her dark hair was streaked with white. Creases lined her face and her dark eyes looked tired…and dark with fear. Then they saw it…blood. It came from a wound in her chest and ran crimson against the white to the hem where it slowly dripped to the floor. She began to drift backwards from their view with the plaintive plea, “Come.”

They knew they didn’t have a choice. After all, they’d come looking for answers although they’d expected to find them in a box or trunk, not from a wounded lady in white that came and went like a shadow.

Once again they climbed the stairs but the lady in white had again disappeared. Their lantern’s light left pitch black corners all around the room. Now they heard the distant but distinct murmurings…garbled yet frantic. Then, here and there, under the low rafters, red eyes appeared out of the blackness. They skittered about, almost in a frenzy of movement.

The men stood frozen, their hearts pounding and sweat trickling down their backs. They edged closer together. Just touching their bodies together made them feel safer. Sheriff Allen whispered, “Do you think we need to get the hell outta here?”

Doc let the air release in a hiss from his frozen lungs. Pastor O’Conner reached out a hand and laid it on the Sheriff’s arm and said, “No. We need to stay and see this to the end…whatever that may be. We have to think of the town, our friends and our families.”

“I know, Pastor. It was just a thought, a way out if either of you wanted it. My job is to stay, find answers if I can.”

Doc finally spoke. “We came here together and we’ll leave here together, ok?” They all agreed that that’s the way it would be.

The murmuring abruptly stopped. Something had happened, but what, they wondered. It didn’t take long to find out. From deep in the shadows, a black figure of a man appeared. Smoke curled around his feet and drifted upwards. It spilled across the attic and the odor of rot filled their nostrils…putrid and rancid. They quickly covered their noses with their forearms. The man from the turret porch! He came to just the edge of their lantern light. Just visible enough for them to make out a face that appeared almost liquid…rotting flesh seemed to be dripping down, yellowish pus pockets burst like bubbles, spewing greenish goo that bubbled as it ran downward. His eyes glowed red and as they watched in horror, magots squirmed out of his nostrils and through his rotted teeth to drop from his mouth to the floor where they writhed in sickening white piles.

In a gutteral voice he said, “Go! Get out of this house or you’ll not live through this night. You’ll find no answers here. We guard them well…they belong to this house and they belong to me!” He waited but no one retreated. They stood their ground.

The voices began their frantic murmuring again. The black figure moved forward, almost in the light now. The voices drew closer. The Sheriff, Doc and Pastor could feel movement around their legs but could see nothing!

As the black figure neared, small flickers of flames danced around his feet. The smoke thickened and began to dance wildly. The men’s feet began to feel heat, a burning sensation yet they chose to stay. The stench around their faces began to feel hot. Breathing became harder as the air seemed to lose its oxygen. Now they coughed and struggled to suck in air. The smoke engulfed their vision now…

Suddenly the heat was gone, replaced with an icy coldness. As their vision cleared, there stood the lady in white. Now the blood on her white dress was gone and she looked young again. Her dark eyes now looked black with anger as she raised her arms and sharply said, “Stop!” The voices stopped abruptly. She whirled around to face the figure in black. Now he looked equal to her in age. The ugliness was gone, replaced with a handsome face. Her anger made him take a step backwards.

“No Adeline! Our secrets must remain forever!” said the man in black.

The lady in white visibly stiffened. She was angry as she spoke back. “No more Augustus, no more! This has to stop. We must be free!”

A gasp came from the men standing at the head of the stairs…Augustus and Adeline Stanbury? They were stunned as they watched what was going on right before their eyes!

Continued next comment v v v

Oct 31 @ 10:45PM  
Suddenly Augustus lashed out and struck Adeline. She flew backwards and fell to the floor. With hand to bloody lip, she raised her head and her eyes were on fire as she spat out, “You can’t stop me Augustus…you can’t stop me now!” She stood to her feet and in a flash, threw her arms in the air as she began to spin. Her white dress billowed, turned gray, then black. Shards of lightning shot from her fingertips and struck Augustus and he disappeared in a stinking cloud of smoke.

Then she turned to the men. The blood was back on her dress as was the wound in her chest. Her beauty was gone. Her face was old and haggard. The skin looked parched and peeling. Her hair was silver. But her eyes flashed like the lightning that came from her fingertips. Those fingertips pointed towards the men. Her voice was old and gravelly as she said, “You! You will find the answers! You will set us all free!”

With that, she threw her arms in the air, there was blinding flash of lightning a deafening crack of thunder and it was as though nothing ever happened! The room was clear. It still smelled musty and cloying. No eyes, no smoke, no blood…absolutely nothing! The men stood silent for a few minutes waiting on something else to happen. When it didn’t, they began to chuckle. What else could they do? It all had to be real because they all saw it but how could crap like what they’d just seen, be real?

Pastor O’Conner was the first to notice it. Just on the edge of the lantern light, he could see an opening. Then they all heard it…from somewhere inside that hole was a child whimpering and crying…

©bl David
All rights reserved

To be continued….

Oct 31 @ 10:46PM  
Man I got an hour 'n 45 minutes...I gotta hurry! It isn't quite finished but I'm gettin' there.

Guess I'm bein' the blog hog

Oct 31 @ 11:47PM  
Awesome story so far Softie.

Loving it.

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Dead of Night...a Halloween story (ch.6 & 7