59 Post Reactions

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“I know it must be hard for you, after everything that has happened, Brody. It always pains us when we have to make victims such as yourself relive such traumatic events, but please, can you help us by telling me what happened?” Brody Williams, a boy of fifteen, sat shivering, seated at a metallic table in an interview room, a cup of cheap coffee steaming up into the cold air. “It’s cold,” said the boy. “And dark.” “Yes, I know. Sorry, but our heating’s under maintenance. I could get you a blanket if you’re suffering.” The boy sighed. “No, no, it’s fine.” He slipped his hoodie back on and zipped it up to his neck. He had always been the tough jock at school, surrounding himself with friends that looked up to him, admired him. He was the cool kind, everyone said, but now he looked up at the female officer with eyes of a frightened child. She was around her late thirties or early forties, her hair brown and straw-like; she wore little to no makeup. Brody went to cup the coffee with his hands, but they were shaking so badly he feared he might spill it. He could still hear the screams, screams of fear and pain. God, the blood. So much blood. It had happened in the cafeteria. Somehow the weakling boy with the curly red hair and acne-covered skin had managed to lock all the exits, preventing anyone else from getting in or out. Brody could see it now–the machete hacking away, the limbs flying off from the bodies of the students he had known and talked to, laughed or joked with, all of them lying in pools of blood and mangled flesh and tissue. He heard the girls scream–but it was Brody Patrick Rivers was after. His eyes watered as the female cop listen to him, looking at him sympathetically. “I used to hurt him, call him names. He was always a weak little shit.” The cop shuffled uncomfortably at that. “What sort of thing or things did you used to do to him, Brody?” she asked softly. “You know, like, typical stuff, I guess. Push him over, shoulder bashed him, knocked his books out of the dweebs hands and kicked him over when he bent down to pick them up. I shoved him in his locker, once. Poor Patrick was in there until the next morning.” “He had been in there all night?” The cop seemed to find that reprehensible. Brody seemed distracted, fearful. “I’m sorry, what did you say your name was again?” “Judy. Officer Judy, homicide.” “Officer Judy, am I in trouble here?” She smiled warmly. “No, Brody. I just need to investigate what happened. That way we can seek the proper justice.” “But Patrick’s already dead. I told you: he shot himself with that handgun.” Judy looked sad for a moment. “The whole incident was tragic; it should never have occurred. But please, tell me what else you did, or what you said other kids did to him.” “Is this being…you know, like, recorded?” Judy nodded politely. “It is. Don’t worry, it is merely to get your statement. After that, you’re free to go.” Brody pondered, looking around the dark room. He’d never been in a police interview room before, and nor had he ever been in a police station in his little Midwestern town. “Well, you know, I once stuffed him in a trashcan–” “Wouldn’t he be a little big to fit in a trashcan?” She made a note, scribbling something down. “Well, like, we were in elementary then. He was scared of, like, being in closed spaces. What you call it? Amnesaphobic or something?” “Claustrophobic?” “Sure, something or other. A few kids thought it would be fun to put him in closed spaces like that.” “Do you feel bad about locking him in a locker, when you knew previously that he was deathly afraid of small spaces?” “Yeah, I guess.” Officer Judy made an almost disgusted face. “Did you not think it cruel to do that, Brody?” “It was only meant to be a bit of fun, though.” “You think it was fun for Patrick Rivers to be stuffed for seventeen hours in a locker? Do you realize how terrifying that must have been?” The boy looked despondent, ignorant in his teenage attitude. “Like…I dunno.” “What are you afraid of, Brody? Spiders, snakes, the dark, rejection? Maybe you’re afraid of your father beating you, and feel a foreboding sense of dread every time he has a drink?” That took Brody back, and suddenly he felt uncomfortable in this dark room, where moonlight shone dimly through the cell bar windows. In fact, he was beginning to struggle to comprehend how he had gotten to the station; he didn’t remember walking in. Maybe he was just so nervous he was forgetting things. He was tired, though, and felt lightheaded, as if he were recovering from a rough night of drinking. He started shivering again. Judy pushed the coffee toward him. “Maybe you should drink this, it’ll help warm you. He did as he was bid, and took hold of the cup with both hands, and sipped it. ‘Damn, that tastes pretty good, actually’ he thought. “Feel a little better now?” Judy said, smiling. Brody nodded, so Judy pressed on. “Tell me, why did you like to bully–or liked to watch people bully–him?” “I dunno, like, it made me feel strong, like, I guess.” “How did you feel when you saw him with that machete and handgun?” “Pretty darn scared, I guess.” Brody began to shake uncontrollably, slightly going into a panic attack, something he had never experienced before. “Hush now, drink some more coffee,” said Judy, and he did. His nerves calmed a little. “Tell me about the massacre, if you can, please.” “It was lunchtime. We were in the cafeteria. I was talking to my friends. And then I heard the screaming…the horrible screaming! I thought someone had played a practical joke on a girl by throwing a fake spider in her hair or something. But, like, when I turned around when the screaming got worse, I saw that little ginger freak with blood on his face. I thought it was another practical joke, like he was dressed in some Halloween costume, dressed like Freddy Krueger and stuff. Like, then I saw the girl with her arm sliced off, and everyone was screaming then. God, it was awful. The other kids were thundering at the cafeteria doors and emergency doors, trying to get out. But they couldn’t…they’d been padlocked. “Then I saw him, laughing as he did it, hacking and slicing away at us kids. One of us tried to disarm him, but he had a strength we never saw in him. Blood was everywhere, running down the hall like a river, bits of hacked-off flesh and fingers and bone. Then the shots came. He shot at me…I remember.” Brody paused, feeling a revelation come to the forefront of his mind. “Yeah. He shot me, I remember the pain. Then someone grabbed him. God, like, I remember the look of murder in his eyes, eyes of some animal or crazy person, like. His white t-shirt was covered in blood…and I could smell him, smell his B.O. He always smelled bad, the fat dork. And then he shot himself, right in the head.” Brody felt tears filling his eyes, running down his face. From nowhere, a box of tissues was pushed in front of him. “Hush now, it’s all over. You have nothing to worry about, Brody. Drink some more coffee, and you’ll feel better, you’ll see.” His left shoulder began to throb and sting. For what reason, he did not know. “Ah!” he cried. He saw black wetness seep through the cotton of his hoodie. “Looks like your wound hasn’t healed properly yet,” said Officer Judy. “You might need to go back to the hospital.” And suddenly, he remembered. He remembered being in severe pain, panic filling the hospital, cops coming and going, shouting, screaming, his mother crying. Blood, blood, blood everywhere! “I was in hospital,” Brody said. “I remember. But I don’t remember being discharged or anything.” “You weren’t, Brody. We had to speak to you, to understand what had happened. I need to speak with you.” Brody looked fearful, confused. “I…I don’t…understand.” That fear was coming back now, the fear of the cold, dark four walls closing in on him. Had he been drugged? ‘The coffee!’ he realized, and threw the rest of it against the wall at the side, the plastic cup lightly clattering to the ground. “Where in the hell am I?!” he screamed. “Hush now, no need to get erratic. I’m sorry, Brody, if these questions are troubling you. It’s just…well, I feel for you, Brody. I have a boy around your age, and I would hate for him to go through such horrible things that you’ve gone through. Would you like to see a picture of my boy?” Officer Judy pulled out her wallet, took out a photo, and slid it over to Brody. When he–in his panicked state–looked down at the photo, it was a photo of Officer Judy wearing casual clothes, smiling with her arm around her son…”The hell?!” he whimpered. He saw the boy in the photo; red haired, chubby, greasy skin and covered with acne. “Patrick?!” “It is such a troubling thing to lose a son, you know,” said Judy, standing up, seizing the photo, and placing it back in her wallet. “I’m sure your own mother will miss you dearly. If only she knew what a nasty piece of shit you really are. But you don’t have a mother, do you, Brody? Just a drunken dad who likes drinking and beating you.” Panic stricken, Brody fell on the floor shaking uncontrollably, convulsing, bleeding from his nose. ‘The coffee!’ It had been drugged, as he had been drugged at the hospital. “We’ll need to have a word with you about the attack, Brody,” Officer Judy had said, before placing a cloth of chloroform against his mouth. The walls began to close in all around him. He felt woozy, sick, like his head was between a vice, his head being crushed. Judy had disappeared from the room. “Cry or scream all you want, it makes no difference, Brody. No one will be able to hear you in these woods.” This was no interview room, just a cabin or bunker made to look like an interview room. The walls closed in on him, crushing his body, and Brody screamed in agony, his nose bleeding profusely. It leaked onto the floor were his head was. And he saw it. ‘The blood! Oh, god, the blood!’

From Horror photos & videos May 21, 2018 at 08:01PM

It was a glorious morning in the town of Kirkbride. The tintinnabulation of the church bells summoned the faithful to prayer, of which I was one. Or at least I paid dutiful lip service, making the journey on the Sabbath to St. Cuthbert’s Church. I would sit at the back. My walking tweeds and leather satchel would draw stern glances from the evangelical black-suited members of the congregation who filled the front rows. Perhaps my contravention of the dress code symbolized the tepid nature of my faith. After the service I would walk out through the back gate onto Furnscombe Moor, following the path across the heather clad moorland until it reached plateau at the base of Mount Cairndow. There at the ancient stone circle I would meet Caruthers and Dalgleish, fellow clerks at McPhee and Grimshaw solicitors. They would take a path there from the area where we lodged as neither of them attended church. Dalgleish’s excuse for non-attendance was recovery from Saturday night’s revels. A sociable fellow he would spend the day hunting for grouse or foxes according to the season, then pass the evening supping ale in the Kings Arms. Consequently, he would rise at ten thirty on a Sunday when I was already listening to Reverend Patrick’s sermon. Dalgleish was a good sport and I could rib him about being a ‘heathen’. He cared not a jot for matters spiritual and was rooted as firmly in the terrestrial world as the old oak tree on Kirkbride Common. Curuthers was a different kettle of fish. Baiting him would provoke a combative response, albeit in good humour. “Heathen, eh?” he would say and proceed to inform me that we were living in 1867. The God of Genesis created the Christian world eight thousand years ago, he would continue, but Mr. Darwin officially ended it in 1859 with his ‘Origin of Species’. Caruthers knew my commitment to the Holy Writ was a surface one so he would not push matters, having a gentlemanly respect for my conformity to the social norms. Moreover, he himself would not publicly espouse atheism, though he was indubitably a non-believer That Sunday morning I was strolling across the moor to the plateau for my rendezvous with my colleagues at the stone circle, which the locals referred to as the Druid Stones. No one knew their age or whether they had been used by Druids, but they were beyond doubt prehistoric. Twenty of them protruded about two feet above the ground, forming a circle approximately forty yards in diameter. A cliff rose sheer into the mountainside behind, curving outwards at the top so that the ledge some hundred feet above actually veered over its centre. Looking in the opposite direction the town of Kirkbride lay snug in the valley below. Above the cliff and its ledge loomed Mount Cairndow. Legend had it that this was a place of human sacrifice with victims ritually slaughtered in the centre of the circle, or cast down into it from the top of the cliff. The Druid Stones were generally avoided by the locals because of their ungodly reputation. The path I took from the church passed some thirty yards from the perimeter where it was joined by the path my friends took from the town. One had to tramp through rather thicker heather to get to the circle. Mysteriously, the other moorland flora had never encroached within the circle itself which was covered in grass. At this ancient landmark we would eat the sandwiches prepared by our landladies, before embarking on our walk. Mine were the contents of the leather satchel I have mentioned. Caruthers and Dalgleish would choose stones to sit on. For some reason I baulked from sitting on these ancient relics, so I would sit on the grass. Our repast over, we would set off, rejoining the path along the side of the mountain. The path rose a few hundred feet as it skirted the mountainside, making the drop down to the River Sprey below quite precipitous. After a half a mile or so it descended into the valley to the village of Morton next to the river. We would go to the inn there for a pint of cider before returning along the valley road to Kirkbride. The night before I had slept only fitfully and I had nodded off during Reverend Patrick’s sermon. I hoped the fresh moorland air would revive me. There was an azure sky, though a line of cumulus clouds on the horizon presaged a change of weather later in the day. As I traversed Furnscombe Moor my lack of sleep caught up with me and I experienced a drowsiness and a wish to go back home to bed. Notwithstanding, I plodded on. I would usually arrive at the stone circle a few minutes earlier than Caruthers and Dalgleish, so perhaps I could lie down there for a short nap. I must have closed my eyes momentarily for I tripped on a worn stone. After this jolt I suddenly became aware that the sunlight had turned into a kind of twilight. I glanced upwards thinking perhaps the clouds on the horizon had somehow covered the distance to Kirkbride. However, I saw that the entire sky had become a lurid brown. The sun directly overhead was a giant red orb that yet brought no heat and I shivered beneath my tweed jacket. My confusion was compounded when I observed my surroundings. The moor was covered by gorse-like plants with spiky stems. The path itself was wider and rutted with footprints of man and beast, as if it was an ancient thoroughfare. I instinctively thought I must get back to the church and away from this unholy environment. Yet behind me a mist concealed the path and was rolling towards me. Soon it enveloped me and the moor beside me, leaving only the path ahead visible. I had no choice but to move forward towards the Druid Stones. I trudged on and to my bewilderment noticed the trunks of huge trees bordering the path of a type not known to me. They reminded me of the drawings of prehistoric trees in the books of the paleontologists. My consternation became terror when I noticed enormous footprints on the path. They appeared to be of some kind of beast. I imagined the dinosaurs that were the talk of the age, but this was anno Domini 1867. Furthermore, what kind of dinosaur would frequent a path? Assuredly not brutes with names like Brontosaurus and the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex. The path widened further and the trees at the side were replaced by huge fluted stone columns. Behind me I heard a roaring and the thud of heavy steps that shook the ground. I started to run. Ahead I saw the plateau that held the Druid Stones. I prayed the ancient circle of stones might afford some sort of sanctuary, a protection from whatever came behind me. I rushed onto the plateau and scrambled through the gorse-like flora onto the grass. The stones themselves had become monolithic plinths. On each stood a monstrous stone figure that must have been eight feet tall. A ring of low-lying mist swathed the figures and plinths. The heads of the figures were similar to those of the demons in Goya’s macabre paintings. However, their bodies were reptilian and they had leering saurian eyes. I thanked God they were mere statues. It was then that I began to hear sounds that harrowed my soul. The mist in front of the plinths cleared to reveal large rectangular stone structures that reminded me of raised graves. From each grave, as I will call them, I could hear a cacophony of howls and screams. The creatures above were not human but the sounds below were indubitably the cries of mortal agony and torture in extremis. I knew I must leave this dread place immediately. Let whatever lurked behind hunt and devour me. I would take my chances to escape from this Hell on earth. When I turned I noticed that three plinths to my side had no statues on them. The top slabs had been opened and stood upright so that they looked like horizontal doors that were ajar. From the holes the screams and howls were even louder than those of the enclosed graves. I had the impression there were thousands of tortured souls in each one and that they would surely be of great depth if one looked down into them. I had no such intention and began to run. I was stopped in my tracks by monstrous roars that I knew came from living creatures. The mist now swirled around me. Then I felt something grasping my shoulders and I lost consciousness. II The next thing I heard was the voice of Dalgleish. He was shaking my shoulders, imploring me to wake up. I opened my eyes and there were my two colleagues. I was lying in the centre of the circle of stones, which had now reverted to their familiar disposition. Caruthers told me they had rushed to the circle when they heard my screams. I tried to gather my wits, but my mind felt heavy and sluggish. I couldn’t possibly tell them what I had experienced. The rational Caruthers and the worldly Dalgleish would not have believed my tale anyway. Therefore, I explained that I had been feeling indisposed and had lain down for a nap, and had had a nightmare. I assured them I was quite alright and simply needed to go back and rest, and that they should carry on without me. Back at my lodgings, I slumped on my bed and slept until Monday morning. I made my way to the offices of McPhee and Grimshaw. Neither Dalgleish nor Caruthers appeared, and old Mr. McPhee asked if I had seen them on the weekend. I told him we had been walking and that I had been unwell and left them to proceed without me. He asked me whether I thought they had been caught in the freak storm. Having slept all the day I had been unaware of the storm and could not say. Dalgleish and Caruthers were never seen again. The police investigation surmised they must have been taken by surprise by the storm and had probably fallen off the path into the swollen River Sprey. Everyone regarded my indisposition as a stroke of luck, even as an act of Providence. III I left Kirkbride as soon as I could, and transferred to a law firm in Edinburgh. There I joined the Calvinist Church. This severe institution’s ideas of predestination had a resonance with me, the cause of which I dared not explain to anyone. That some are saved and some are damned from birth no longer appeared an irrational doctrine. Nowadays I attend church clad in black. I am regarded as a man of true faith and am respected for the grim fervor of my religious practice. Throughout my life I have been plagued by a nightmare related to the event I have recounted. The dream is short and stark. I am back in the stone circle at the very moment my eyes originally alighted on the three open graves. However, now there is only one open grave. The other two are like the others and stone creatures lie atop the plinths. The remaining open grave has no creature above it. I hear a frightful bestial roar, then wake up drenched in sweat. I have arranged my burial plot in the churchyard of my adopted church. I pray that my interment in hallowed ground will protect me. Whether there is a Heaven or not I confess I do not know. If not, I will be content with mere oblivion and that my bones turn into dust in the quiet earth. For I know where Hell is, may God have mercy on my soul.

From Horror photos & videos May 20, 2018 at 08:01PM

The cottage was made of stone and log, with a thatch roof, and never a day went by without it being warm. That was her father’s doing and Truda loved her father, Martin, dearly. Her mother, Meredith, she tried to love, but that woman was distant, some might say, “ Cold. “ She was more often than not having hateful thoughts toward her. Meredith was barren and Truda took the blame for that. Her mother had referred to her in secret as a witch since her birth and it was her father’s rationality over religion, which some called blasphemy, that had them relocate when Truda was ten. He built the cottage from the ground up, collected the animals, and grew what he could, so they could eat. The Winters were cold, but the remaining seasons were wonderful. Truda was allowed to wander where she pleased, except for in the woods. She had only done it once and wasn’t there for long, not even lost. Her father found her catatonic and staring skyward. When he touched her shoulder, she shrieked so loudly, it caused a ringing in his left ear, which would nag him for the rest of his days. What she had seen she could not remember. “ Those woods are alive and not in a good way, “ her father said. “ They will gobble you up, my child. Not even I want to go there. “ It was 1646, Virginia, in the New World. Truda was born here and her mother and father rarely spoke of their voyage. All she knew was that it had been cold, wet, rough, and a lot of people died. Martin had tried not to doubt God’s plan, but some knew that he did. Truda had just turned fifteen, was raven haired, blue eyed, at a good age for marriage, but she refused the idea, and her father joked that she was a little old woman in herself. He wanted grandsons and there were many eligible Christian boys in town, just six miles away. Her mother told her that witches and whores never marry. Things at the cottage changed after her mother went missing. Truda stayed there, by the fire, while her father followed her mother’s footprints toward the woods. He was gone for the night and she was too terrified to sleep, not even the scriptures bringing comfort. On the second day he returned carrying Meredith in his arms. “ Cover your mother’s nakedness, “ he said, exhausted, Truda at the ready with a blanket. At dusk, as her mother slept, Truda saw the Jackalope, the horned one, scurry across the yard. She told her father, but he angrily dismissed her as having a madness, like her mother. Never had he spoken to her like that. For the first time she had a hateful thought toward him. Soon, the hens had stopped laying, the cows were dry of milk, the horses died, and the grain stores were developing rot. Mist hung low in the morning and Martin crawled over his sleeping wife, climbing from their bed. He dressed himself, instead of waking Truda to help him. Then, he noticed wet footprints, which seemed to manifest by themselves, upon the stone floor, in the middle of the room. They hadn’t been there a moment ago. Meredith murmured in her sleep. He followed the footprints to the main door. Slowly, he opened it, and now saw hoof prints. He followed them to the middle of the yard, to where they vanished amidst the mist. “ There’s the devil in my house, “ he said to himself, horrified. In a fit of rage, driven by terror, he stormed inside, dragging Truda from her bed. She screamed as he threw her from the cottage. He forced her to look at the hoof prints and dragged her by her hair to where they ended. She saw no hoof prints. “ This is your doing! “ he yelled at her. “ Your mother always said you were a witch! You said you saw the Jackalope! “ “ I’m not a witch! “ Truda yelled back. “ You’re as mad as she is! She was lost in the woods, not me! I see no hoof prints and so what of the Jackalope? “ “ Explain this! “ “ I’ve never been lost in the woods. You said the woods gobble things up! “ He grabbed Truda by her hair again and dragged her kicking and screaming to the woodpile, yanking the axe from the chopping block. He placed the cold, sharp edge of it to her forehead. “ If you’re a witch, I will split your skull! “ he roared. “ No, Father! I’d rather you banished me now! “ “ And I will hunt you with my axe! “ From inside the cottage, they heard Meredith scream. Martin threw the axe down. Truda grabbed the axe and tossed it away. “ They’ve both gone mad, “ she wept, getting to her feet. She followed her father inside. Meredith writhed in agony in the bed, Martin trying to comfort her. She pushed suddenly, as if in labour, then relaxed, and sighed, falling back into a deep sleep. He threw back the covers. Behind him, Truda gasped, covering her mouth. Resting on the sheet between her mother’s legs, in a small pool of blood, was a black hen’s eggs, warm, and hard as stone. “ I told you, “ Truda hissed. “ There’s your witch! “ “ Quiet! “ Martin ordered. “ I must get rid of this, take it back to from where it came. The devil is in my house. I trust neither of you. This is what I get for doubting God’s plan. “ Later, when the mist had lifted, Truda watched her father take the egg to edge of the woods, and bury it. She was having hateful thoughts, her scalp still burning. Truda was asleep and her mother was watching her. It was a misty dawn the following day. Meredith dis-robed and in a trance slowly turned. She went naked through the cottage to the door and into the yard. She could hear a baby crying, crying near the woods. As she crossed the fields, the mist parted for her, and the crying lead her to a spot in the ground. She fell to her knees and started digging. The closer she got to it, the crying intensified, and then there it was, the black egg. It was still warm, hard as stone. She rubbed it against her cheek, and cooed, “ My little one, it will be all right. Mother will take you home. “ A weight exploded through her head, blinding her, and she felt it again, convulsing now, the egg cracking, spilling blood onto the soil, to mix with her own. Martin held the axe, looking down at her. It was an effortless kill. Convinced the witch was dead, the curse would be lifted, the rot would be removed from the grain, and the livestock would produce again. He reburied the pieces of egg and grabbed dead Meredith by an arm and dragged her into the woods. Her burial would have to be done before Truda awoke. She was not to see this. Back at the cottage, still in her bed, Truda cried out, arching her back in pain, having a seizure. It only lasted a moment and she fell back into a deep sleep. Martin was washed and sitting by the fire reading the scriptures. It was close to midday and Truda was wide awake now. “ I’ve slept too long, Father. “ she said. “ I apologise for my laziness. Shall I check for an egg? “ He scowled at her, “ Is that an attempt at humour, my daughter? This is not a day for laughter. It is a day for mourning. Your mother has died and at dawn was buried. “ Truda was lost for words and went into the yard. The day was warm. Her mother was dead and she felt nothing. She could see no sign of a grave and the axe was missing. She ran back into the cottage, and asked, “ Where’s the axe, Father? “ Martin had it resting across his lap, the book of scripture tossed on the floor. “ It’s right here, my daughter, “ he said, with a crazed look in his eye, “ safest in my hands. “ “ Where’s mother buried? “ “ In the five points of the woods, as she wished, when she whispered it in my bad ear, while I slept. “ “ You’re a mad man. “ Truda dashed for the door and Martin chased her. He couldn’t believe how nimble she was on her feet. She ran in the direction of the town, six miles away, and only looked back once, to see her father collapse to his knees, exhausted, pointing the axe at her. He cried out, but she was too far away to hear what he said. At dusk, she entered the town, and requested to meet with the magistrate. Her request was granted, but only for a moment. He was an elderly man, easily prone to superstition. “ What counsel do you seek, young woman? “ he asked. “ I know you by your parents. Your father is a doubter. Speak quickly. “ “ My father has gone mad and murdered my mother. He is on his way here now. I’d like to testify to witchcraft. “ “ Witchcraft? That’s a confronting testament to make against one’s kin. What proof have you? “ Truda reached into her apron pocket. On the magistrate’s desk she placed a black hen’s egg, warm, and hard as stone.

From Horror photos & videos May 19, 2018 at 08:01PM

They walked towards the house, as it began to rain. Behind them, the remains of their car burnt mildly, until the rain put out the fire. Cynthia looked at Sam and then at the house. They were stranded, but the house didn’t seem like an option she should take. The house stood a few feet off the road. It stood tall, casting an imposing shadow on the trees that stood to its right. Lightning struck and lit up the house for a second. Cynthia grabbed onto Sam’s hand. The vines that curled round the house scared her. “I don’t like the feel of this place,” Cynthia said. Sam looked at her and saw the fear in her eyes. He smiled. “There’s no need to fear,” he replied. He tried to assure her that she was safe. The last house they saw was more than four miles back and the road ahead looked deserted. Their only shelter from the rain was in the house they now stared at. Sam dragged the bags as he continued toward the house. Cynthia tagged along unwillingly. In the house, a light appeared at the top window. It lingered for a minute, and then it disappeared. “Someone is home,” Sam said. Cynthia looked at Sam, then at the house and back at Sam. The light appeared by the window a second time, and Sam could see the frame of a woman. He tried to wave at her, but the light disappeared again. The stairs creaked as Sam and Cynthia climbed to the front door. Sam knocked on the door while Cynthia looked around them. By the northern side of the house, Cynthia saw a swing move up and down as if someone sat on it. Lightning struck and Cynthia saw a child on the swing. The child stared at her. “Sam!” Cynthia gasped. The door swung open, and Cynthia turned to see a woman standing by it. She stood, holding a lamp in her hand and staring at them. Her hair was gray, and her left eye was a mass ball of white tissue. Cynthia stared at the woman. The woman smiled coldly, revealing a set of brown teeth. “Welcome to Half Souls Inn,” the woman announced. She shifted to her side, giving Cynthia and Sam room to walk in. Cynthia looked back at the swing but couldn’t find it. The swing was gone. In its place was a pool of water. Cynthia stared at it in fear. She failed to notice time pass. Sam called Cynthia a second time before she realized they were waiting for her. The woman stared at her calmly. Cynthia looked at Sam, then at the road. The rain was becoming heavy. She hesitated for a moment, then sighed and stepped into the house. The woman closed the door. Inside the house, the woman walked with them to the desk that stood by the stairs. The interior of the house looked a bit pretty. Sam looked at Cynthia and smiled. She smiled back weakly. The woman explained that their electricity supply had a little problem but would soon be fixed. Sam had no problem with that. He just needed a place to rest his head and change into some dry clothes. By morning of the next day, they would be on their way home. Cynthia looked around her. Lamps hung on the walls and up the stairs. Underneath each lamp, she saw the portrait of people hanging in frames. Beside her, Sam reached into his pocket and drew out his wallet. He fished inside it for the amount required and paid the woman. As the woman handed the key to Sam, Cynthia saw the people in the picture look at them. “Oh God!” Cynthia gasped, as she turned towards Sam, grabbing his arm. The woman stared at her coldly. Cynthia wanted to get out of the house, but Sam would not move. “Come on, it was just the light casting shadows,” Sam said as they climbed the stairs. The woman walked before them, as she escorted them to their room. Behind her, Cynthia tried to control her fear. At their door, the woman asked if they would need anything. Sam said they were fine. The woman nodded in understanding, and then descended the stairs. Sam gently closed the door and turned to look at the room. The room didn’t look bad. Aside the bed, there was a table by the wall and a lamp on it. The bed was well made and the sheets were clean. Cynthia stood by the wall, with her arms wrapped around her. Sam smiled at her. With time, she would see that there is nothing to fear. Cynthia saw that Sam’s mind was made up. She walked towards the bathroom, to take a look at it, while Sam threw the bag on the bed and opened it. “Sweet,” Sam called from the room. “I seem to have forgotten my bath bag downstairs.” Cynthia rushed out of the bathroom as Sam closed the door and descended the stairs. She walked to the door and pulled it open. She was not going to stay alone in the room. Instead of the stairs, a brick wall stood before Cynthia. She stepped back into the room, looking around her. A portrait hung on the wall, by the bed. The woman in it stared directly at her. Cynthia stepped to her right and watched the woman’s stare move with her. Terrified, she walked backwards, further into the room. The woman still stared at her. Cynthia stopped. Someone stood behind her. On her shoulder, a drop of blood fell, followed by two more. She slowly turned around. Her terrified scream never left her lips. Cynthia fell to the ground, a pile of charred flesh. On the stairs, a new painting appeared with Cynthia’s face on it. *** Downstairs, Sam stood confused. The reception hall was no more. He stood in a hallway longer than the house could possibly accommodate. Down the hallway, a baby cried from one of the rooms within the house. “Hello!” Sam called as he walked down the hallway, toward the cry. Along the hallway, Sam found vacant rooms with open doors and blood stained walls. The cry of the baby became louder. He got to the room and found it open too. Inside the room, a woman attended to the baby. She turned and stared at Sam coldly. Sam apologized for intruding and almost turned back into the hallway. He noticed blood drip down the woman’s neck and looked closely. “Is everything alright,” Sam asked as he stepped into the room. A chair stood in his way. He bent down and shifted it to the side, then stood erect to look at the woman. The woman and the baby were gone. Sam walked further into the room, confused. He turned back towards the door and gasped. The woman stood before him, with the baby in her arms. The door slammed shut. Sam looked at the door, then at her. She looked up from the baby to Sam’s face and smiled coldly. “You belong to us, now.” The lamp in the room went off.

From Horror photos & videos May 18, 2018 at 08:01PM