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Dead of Night...Halloween story (ch. 9)

posted 11/1/2013 8:57:34 AM |
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Chapter 9

For a little while the men sat and talked of what they’d learned. They knew that the Lady in white was Adeline and the man in black was Augustus. They figured his anger came from the shame upon the Stanbury name. He wanted the dark secrets of the Estate to remain secret no matter what. Adeline wanted to be free. She wanted the children to be free.

How to do that, they wondered and there was no answer forthcoming.

Their backs ached, their heads hurt and their eyes were bleary from straining. But their eyes weren’t strained two hours ago! Now they realized their lanterns were growing dim! They’d gather up the diaries and leave the rest. They needed to get out of there, now! They’d figure out the answers later.

As they reached the stairs, Doc’s lantern went out. Hurry! Hurry! They rounded the landing and flew down the steps. As they reached the bottom, there was a loud boom that shook the old house…thunder, they hadn’t noticed the storm coming in. The next flight of stairs was a straight shot down the hallway. Now they stumbled on the stairs in their haste but made it to the bottom in record time. Then it got confusing. Which way to the main stairs? They ran down first one hallway, then another, then Pastor O’Conner’s lantern went out. Only one lantern left. Finally the next hallway took them to the main stairs to the first floor. Halfway down the stairway, Charlie’s lantern went out. Now it was pitch black! They had to stop or at least slow down.

A flash of lightning lit up the bottom of the stairs…an instant revealing of a woman standing there looking up at them. There’d been no photos of Arabelle but they knew it was her. Her face was pure evil.

Now it was black. The air around them turned warm. Putrid smoke made them cough and gasp. Terror threatened to consume them!

“Grab my shirt! We must not be separated.” Charlie ordered as he began to back up the stairway. The next lightning flash showed Arabelle now on the stairsteps, then instant darkness again but now red, glowing eyes appeared around her. Garbled murmurings reached their ears. Somewhere behind them a child began to cry. Lightning flashed, thunder pounded to shake the rafters. Then they heard it…a splintering, wood exploding then windows shattering. A gutteral growling began somewhere within the bowels of this old house, it shook as though it was angry!

More splintering and shattering. The wind howled in a fury. How were they ever going to get out of here alive?

Reaching the top of the stairs, they kept their backs against the wall clutching one another’s shirts for dear life. Now in a flash of light they saw the man in black…Augustus. His skin looked alive with squirming maggots and their larva. His eyes burned red like hot coals. “You will die!” he hissed like a snake. “You will die and our secrets will die with you. No one will know. Augustus Samuel Stanbury will not be shamed!”

Almost as one, they edged along the wall away from the stairway, using the flashes of lightning to guide them.

Suddenly Doc shrieked and nearly broke free of the other two in his haste to move away from something. “Oh god! What was that? Don’t you feel it?” he cried in terror.

“Feel what?” Charlie asked. Then his question was answered. Hands. Slimy hands touching his arms, grasping his ankles. Heat. Hot! Something was breathing on him and the stench made him heave but his stomach was too empty to produce anything. It felt like his stomach was turning inside out as the dry pucking washed over him with gut-wrenching fury. He vaguely heard Pastor O’Conner gagging and Doc sounded like he was choking. Between heaves, Charlie managed to croak, “Hang on! Don’t let go of each other…just hang on!”

Lightning flashed to show Arabelle just a few feet away. She was laughing madly. Now she looked as crazy as she was in life. “You will belong to us tonight,” she spat out, “We’ve waited long for new blood to come to us, become a part of us. Come, gentlemen.” And she reached out a hand that was skeletal. With each flash of lightning they watched her face turn to an ugly skull. Now her gown hung on bones in tatters yet she drew ever closer to them. They began to edge away when a light caught their eyes…


©bl David
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To be continued…

(The conclusion will be posted in one hour)

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Dead of Night...Halloween story (ch. 9)