Anthony slides off the table and holds up a book, “Got something!”
“The solution is to seal the symbol.”
“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.
“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.”
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Dani rolls over and crawls off her sister’s legs.
“You okay?” Chloe asks.
“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.”
Chloe smiles, “We’ll be there afterward.”
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.”
“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.”
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!”
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.
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…