Monday Stories: The House – Chapter 10

Anthony slides off the table and holds up a book, “Got something!”

“What?”

“The solution is to seal the symbol.”

“What?”

“According to this, the symbol opens a door. We need to close it and lock it.”

“And how are we supposed to do that?”

“Drawing another symbol.”

“Really?” Val narrows his eyes, “That seems too easy.”

“Maybe but I’m not complaining. Mike, where did you put the symbol?”

“Second floor, just outside the back window. On the roof.”

The trio of boys staring at him.

“What?”

“Couldn’t have been like, just outside the shed? Or the front door. Or somewhere easy to get to?”

“I wasn’t planning on getting shoved around by a house!”

“We do have a problem though.”

“What?”

Jacob drops a book between them. A shadowy creature is drawn on one page.

“What is that?”

“That is what is causing the problem. The writer doesn’t have a name but he does say ‘a door unlocked allows anything to pass through. Beware the beasts that wait for an opened door.’ Which I guess is this fellow here?”

“Maybe. Do we have to kill it?”

“Nope. He never found a way to kill it.”

“Oh, great.”

“Right? Jacob looks at the others, “So. We go. We draw this symbol. We avoid getting killed by this… beast-thing. We go home?”

“After a drink.” Mike adds, “I’m going to need a drink after this.”

“Right. How do we get back to the house?”

The walls groan and dust falls on their heads as the walls return to their proper place. The shed’s door swings open on creaky hinges. Mike leads the way out of the shed with Val right on his tail. The boys take deep breaths.

“I can’t believe how stuffy it was in there.” Jacob says as he begins to jog to the house.

“Right?’

A terrible wail fills the air. The four boys slide a stop. Lights flicker on and off across the house. They see the building visibly shake. Part of the house explodes, sowing wood and facade everywhere. A shadowy creature stalks forward. Lightning crisscrossing across its body.

“What do we?” Jacob yells.

“RUN!”

In a heartbeat, they split up. Jacob and Val head left while Mike retreats. Anthony dodges to the right. The creature howls and charges after the brothers. Anthony glances to the left as he runs towards the house. The brothers disappear around the corner as the shadowy creature chases after them. Lighting scorches the ground as he passes by.

Anthony disappears through the opening in the wall. Already, the house slowly repairs itself like a wound healing.

He slides to a stop in the kitchen. The door is destroyed. The edges are burned to a cinder. The pantry door and pantry has been torn apart. The ground is burned and now sports deep grooves in the ground.

“Chloe! Dani! WHERE ARE YOU?”

The teen slowly makes his way through the house. It creaks and groans as if it is in pain. Tony passes through the remains of the kitchen door and into the hallway. Scorched marks leave deep furrows on the walls.

Scratching noises appear behind him.

The teen turns around, waiting for some attacker.

Instead, he sees the old walls peeling. After a moment, the boy can read the words “hallway closet” formed out of the wood paneling.

Keeping his ear opens for danger, Tony makes his way down the hall. He comes to the closet and pulls on the door.

A body rolls out of the closet. A blonde hair with pale skin. Dead, black eyes stare at him. His stomach lurches at the sight. He drops to his knees and checks. Her flesh is cold and he can see a slice across his throat.

Tony backs away and tries not to throw up.

He fights against the rising bile and carefully puts the girl back in the closet. He shuts the door and tries not vomit again.

The teen turns and moves away from the door. Instead, he wanders down the stairs towards the basement. The door opens easily. He finds the ease suspicious but he hears voices from the basement. The teen follows the voices.

X

The two girls slam into the ground hard. The girls’ eyes adjust to the light just to see the ceiling close overhead. The last thing Dani sees is a dark mass of energy overhead.

“Ow.”

Dani rolls over and crawls off her sister’s legs.

“You okay?” Chloe asks.

“Yeah.”

“What was that?”

“I don’t know.”

A scream fills the air. It vibrates the very ground and shakes their bones. From above comes a terrible screeching noise. The screaming gets louder. The abruptly the house falls silent. A shudder runs through the house. Slowly the shaking slows to a stop.

“What was that?” Dani whispers.

“I don’t know.” She answers.

Dani pulls back and leans against the wall. She rubs the temples of her head. Chloe grimaces and scoots over next to her.

“Fun night, huh?”

“Oh yeah. Loads. Got a house that is either trying save us or kill us. Got a monster running around here.”

“Come on. We can pull through. We always do.”

“Yeah, but how many wounds are we going to get after this one? How hurt are we going to get when this is all over?”

“I don’t know.” She nudges her shoulders, “I know one thing though.”

“What?”

Chloe smiles, “We’ll be there afterward.”

“Right.”

The two girls hear footsteps coming down the stairs. The girls look up and tense, ready to run. Tony appears at the bottom of the stairs. He looks carefully around the room. He finds the two girls lying against the wall.

“Dani? Chloe?” He walks towards them, “Are you two okay?”

“We’re fine.” Chloe answers, “Just had a run in with an electricity, shadow monster.” She frowns, “What happened to you?”

“We got shoved into the shed. Later, we got released..” He looks up towards the roof, “Then we met that monster creature. I don’t know but it chased after Val and Jacob. No idea where Mike is. We gotta get going. We got a plan to end this.”

“You found something?”

“Yeah.” Anthony raises a leather bound book, “This one talks about what is happening here. And how to undo it.”

“Great.” A howl fills the air. The teens feel a shiver run down their spines.

“What is it?”

“The short version is this. Houses can come alive because of special humans. You can also open the door to a place where monsters live and let them into this world. Another symbol shuts that door.”

“Wow.”

“Three hours of reading.”

The sisters glance at each other, “It’s been three hours?”

“Since this started.”

Another howl fills the air.

“We gotta go.” Tony says as he helps the girls up, “We are going to draw this symbol and hopefully end this whole thing before anyone else gets hurt.”

Chloe hears something in his voice. She notices that he is pale and doesn’t look very well.

“What is it?”

“You know Jenny?”

She nods her head.

“I found her upstairs in the closet.”

“Is she…?”

Tony nods her head slowly.

“Where did you find her?”

“Hallway closet. I closed it.”

“Let’s go.” Chloe says, “I’m ready for this night to end.”

They wander up the stairs. The house shakes as they walk up the stairs. The teens brace themselves against the walls as the house shakes become violent.

“What is going on?”

“I don’t know!”

The girl struggles towards the wall and looks out. Tony struggles to a window and looks out the window. Below, a creature howls as it tries to catch Val. He screams as he tries to throw a rock at the creature.

“What is he doing?” Chloe yells.

“Not a clue.”

“What do we do?”

“We finish this.” Anthony struggles down the hall and pulls out a knife as he forces the back window open. Chloe and Dani hold on to him as the house vibrations become worse. Outside, the shadow creatures notice Anthony.

His howls fill the air, adding to the vibrations.

Chloe can see the shadow coming towards the house.

“Anthony, whatever you’re doing hurry up.”

“Why?!?” He grunts as he continues to carve over the painting.

“Because that thing is coming straight to us!”

“Oh great.”

They feel the house shift as the shadow creature comes closer. Val runs up from behind. He throws stones at him. His left arm dangles at his side.

“Anthony!”

“Almost…”

The shadow’s head appears. At this range, the girls can see sharp teeth in its mouth. Lighting dancing through its black eyes.

To Be Continued…

Monday Stories: The House – Chapter 9

Chloe stands up and shoves Dani into the pantry. They shut the door just as the kitchen door breaks. The sound of energy crackling fills the air. The two girls kneel in the darkness. Something passes near the door. A heavy breathing fills the air. The doorknob begins to turn.

”Come out, come out to play.” A raspy voice whispers through the wall, ”Come out and join me out here. You cannot hide. You cannot run.”

A moment passes in silence.

”I know why you are here. I know why you left your home on the coast. You ran and you ran because you made your choice. But you can’t run from what you have done. I know what you did on the night of the August Fifth.”

Dani looks at her sister with wide eyes. Her sister cups her hand over Dani’s mouth to keep her from crying out.

“It doesn’t know.” Chloe whispers hoarsely, “It doesn’t know.”

“Yes, it has to.”

”I know what you did. He died screaming. Alone and afraid. Because you refused to be with him. He died because of you!

Dani squeezes her eyes shut and curls into a ball. She clamps her hands over her ears. The creature on the other side cracks laughter. Dani whimpers. Chloe pulls her close but her sister shoves her sister away.

”You are alive and he is dead! Why do you steal the lives of others!”

Dani shudders and crawls towards the pantry door. Chloe struggles to keep her sister from reaching the door.

“Let me!” Dani chokes, “Please!”

“No! I won’t let you!”

The girls struggle while the shadow laughs. The door rattles and the knob slowly turns.

“NO!” Chloe kicks at the door with her feet. She keeps the door pin. Dani fights again to open the door.

“Please!”

“It’s lying!”

“No! I know it’s true!”

Without warning, the ground drops out from below them.

X

“I found something!”

The boys look up and Val raises a hand. He pushes off from the wall he was leaning against.

“This guy here. He says that he found the symbol and some kids drawing them. The symbol was used according to a fellow in the ancient world. According to this fellow, he and who ever he works with discovered that certain humans… could create golems. These humans could make things come alive, creating life with their history as their essence. It seems that these special humans continue even today. However, only those involved in constructing things with their hands are able to bring stuff to life. The humans have long since forgotten to truly make them alive. Instead, they become aware.”

“Okay. So… some guy who can build things that make them alive made these houses.”

“It would seem so.”

“So why are the houses suicidal?”

“Maybe because of bad stuff? If their history is bad then maybe their personality is bad?” Jacob asks, “Is that what they mean?”

“Maybe.” Anthony says quietly, “I don’t know.

“What do we do? To kill the house? Burn it?”

Val flips through the book, “I am not sure. He doesn’t say. Just a list of observations over a week or something.”

“I think I have the answer.” Anthony says as he pages through a book, “I remember seeing something about humans possibly triggering stuff.”

“What?”

“Here. It didn’t make much sense to me either. Okay. Here. We observe a man painting a symbol on the houses who were behaving alive. The house then became hostile. Several houses have become sources for haunted stories. We have not discovered why these men are painting the symbols or their motivations.”

“Okay. So a human can make a house alive without realizing it. Then they are other houses making them angry?” Val says, “I feel like we are saying a bunch of stuff but not really going anywhere fast.”

“Maybe but that is how our little story is going.”

“Fun times.”

“Mike?” Val says, “Are you okay?”

“I… I there was a man in town. He had old books with hand made notes and images in them.” He takes a deep breath, “That’s where I got the idea of the symbols from.”

“You mean there is a man, in town right now, that knows about what is happening?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Great! Then let’s go talk to him.”

“How, Jacob?” Val waves his arms, “We’re still stuck in a shack in a space of three feet by five feet! Or have you found a way to get us out of here?”

“Um. Not yet.”

Anthony turns to Mike, “You know what you need to do now, right?”

“Yes.” Mike mutters, “I need to focus and remember what the guy looks like.”

“Wait. If houses are coming alive. Wouldn’t this person be watching this house?”

“True. So why hasn’t anyone come for us?”

“I don’t know. There is a lot I don’t know.” Anthony looks at the cramp space then back to the books, “Apparently we haven’t found what we are supposed to find yet.”

“Then we need to keep reading.”

“And hope the author wrote down the solution.”

To be continued…

Monday Stories: The House- Chapter 7

The boys land in a pile. Among the groans and moans, Anthony feels cold. He straightens up. The brothers lie in a tangled mess. Mike pulls himself out from underneath.

“What just happened?” Val mutters.

“The house just went monster on us,” Jacob growls.

“Maybe.” Mike looks around, “Where are we?”

“I think we’re outside.” Anthony answers.

“What makes you say that?”

“This looks like a shack.”

The boys turn their attention from their aches and pains to the room. Like the house, the dust covers everything. There are tools attached to the walls. Their surfaces are coated with rust. There is an oily smell in the air. The windows are coated in grease.

“Okay.” Val mutters, “Stupid question. How do we get out of here?”

“Really?” Mike replies, “I thought it would be, ‘how did we get here?’.”

“Oh, I skipped that one since we don’t actually have an answer.”

“Good point.” Mike looks towards the door, “First. The basic solutions.”

“And if that doesn’t work?”

“We try breaking the windows.” He looks back, “I assume none of you tried to break a window to get out, right?”

“Also true.”

Jacob lifts a shovel and slams it against the glass. It bounces off with an unnatural thud. He tries three more times before giving up.

Val turns towards the others, “Plan C?”

“I got nothing.”

“Maybe we can go get out another way.”

“Really?” Val snaps, “Really? Because if you haven’t noticed, we’re in a shack outside a house that is coming to life. What do you think we are going to do?”

“Actually.” Jacob asks while raising his hand, “Why did it stick us here?”

“I don’t care.” Mike answers, “I want to get out of here and back to reality.”

“What about the girls?”

Mike takes a deep breath and slowly shakes his head, “What can we do stuck here?”

“I don’t know.”

“Any ideas?”

“Well. What do you all remember?”

Anthony frowns, “It was cold.”

“And fast.” Val glances out the window, “It shouldn’t have taken that short of time to get here. Do you know what I mean?”

“Yes.” Jacob replies, “What does that mean for us?”

“I think that means we’re in trouble.”

“Agreed.”

Val stomps his foot in frustration. The ground echoes metallically under the blow. The boys look down and stare curiously at the ground. Val and Anthony drag away the dirt, revealing an old metal door. Together, they pull the door open and reveal a black chamber with a ladder inside.

“Okay.” Jacob says, “Who wants to go down the ladder first and die?”

“I think there is a light switch.” Anthony reaches over and feels around the edges.

“How do you know?”

“Dad used to have something similar with our storm shelter.” At a soft click, yellow light fills the chamber below, “There it is.”

A cement floor is covered with dirt and boxes line the sides of the walls.

“What do you think?”

“I think we need to be careful,” Anthony says as he begins working his way down the old ladder.

In a few short minutes, the teens are underneath the shack. The boxes cover the entire left side of the wall. Opposite of the boxes is a metal door. Between the two of them is a desk covered with leather-bound books.

Anthony wanders over to the desk while the brothers examine the crates. Mike studies the lock on the door. The walls shake and tremble for a moment. Dust falls from the ceiling. The boys look up then at each other. Val turns to Mike.

“Can we get through the door?”

“Nope.” He says, “There is some freaky combo lock there.”

“Fun.”

“I might have found something.” Anthony raises a hand.

“What?”

“These journals.” He glances at the different corners, “They are about the house over the past few decades.” Anthony flips to the back, “Quite a few decades.”

“How far back?”

“Almost a hundred years.”

“Wow.” Jacob replies, “What is it about?”

“The house. It seems like someone has been watching the house and noticing weird stuff.” Anthony turns towards the others, “June 3, 1875. The house is once again changing. We haven’t discovered why but the house is alive. We are worried that the disease is spreading. The house has tried to kill three occupants. However, it was unsuccessful.”

“That’s good.”

The teens pick up different books off the desk.

Val flips through the book, “This one is talking about the house. Says here that the writer thinks that something is triggering aberrant behavior. But he also states that a house can change behavior by the events happening within the house.”

“And this one.” Jacob says, “There are markings that may be triggering the changes in the house behavior. Oh, they even drew a symbol.”

Jacob turns it and shows it to the others. A triangle with a half circle underneath. A single line goes from the top of the triangle to the bottom of the circle.

Anthony notices Mike has grown pale.

“Mike? What is it?”

“That symbol.” He points with a shaking hand.

Val raises an eyebrow, “You’ve seen it?”

“I drew it.” He steps back and puts his hands on the back of his head, “Today before everyone got here. I painted it so to scare the girls. The last big thrill before the end of the night.”

To Be Continued…