I Don’t Believe In That
It was opening night of the Grim Reaper Haunted House in town and it seemed like everyone in town was waiting in line. Brandon, Alex, and Josh showed up right after school so they could be first in line, but they ended up in the parking lot.
“This’ll be great!” Alex bounced with excitement. “I hear they brought in actors from Hollywood.”
“Liar!” Josh gave Alex a friendly shove into the cheerleading squad in front of them and laughed. “It’s all about where they chose to put it that’s important.”
Brandon sighed and shook his head. “You don’t really believe that nonsense, do you?”
Alex and Josh shot him the ‘shut up’ look they had perfected over the years. Brandon was the realist…the matter-of-fact…the one boring, stick-in-the-mud friend that everyone seemed to have. But, his logical thinking and rationing had kept them from getting themselves killed on many occasions, so they kept him around. Not to mention he was the one who always had the money to do cool stuff.
“Yes, someone was killed –“
“Gah! Someone? Someone? Get it right Brandon! Five people were killed…no, not just killed…slaughtered in this house.”
“Josh is right, man. Five people were mutilated by their own hired hand. Sometimes I wonder about you.”
Brandon sighed and shook his head harder. The line moved fairly quickly, which surprised everyone until they got closer to the ticket booth. People were only spending a few seconds in the house before running back out the front door screaming.
Alex looked at Josh and grinned. “SWEET!”
Brandon paid for the trio and marched stoically in front of them toward the entrance. “I don’t believe in any of that crap. They are just stories created to prey on the weak minded.”
The Grim Reaper Haunted House company set up a series of jump scares and costumed volunteers to line the enclosed black-light path from the ticket booth to the front door of the Flatly House where the murders took place so many years ago.
The screaming, laughter, and pushing and pulling from Alex and Josh quickly got on Brandon’s nerves.
“Knock it off,” he said, reaching for the door. “I told you already how fake all this stuff is, so stop being babies!”
The old iron knob was icy cold under his palm and he could see his breath as he turned the knob. As he opened the door a large, black spider dropped from the ceiling of the foyer, causing all three boys to jump back. Brandon swatted at the papier-mâché spider. “What a piece of phony crap,” Brandon said.
“You almost shit your pants,” Alex laughed, lightly punching Brandon on his arm.
“Yeah, you jumped higher than either of us,” Josh teased.
“Whatever,” Brandon sighed. “Let’s get this nonsense over with,” he said as he stepped forward into the corridor. As the other two followed Brandon, they could hear him muttering words like “bogus” and “lame” and “sham.”
“Get in the Halloween spirit,” Alex said.
“Yeah, go with the flow, Brandon,” Josh added. “Stop being such a Debbie Downer.”
“This is such a total waste of ….”
Brandon was cut off in mid sentence when someone — or something — stepped out in front of him. Parts of the ceiling started to fall down off of the dilapidated structure. Brandon said, “We should leave before something really bad happens to us.” Alex said, “Stop being such a baby, you couldn’t even finish watching that Freddy Kruger movie last night and I had to watch the end of it with your little sister.” Brandon said, “The report that I read on this haunted house said that there were six ax murders committed here just like in that Jack Nicholson movie ‘The Shining’ and that gave me the shivers.” Josh said, “Ax murders are no big deal, as people get massacred all the time, children get lost, demons get angry and ghosts just add that special ambiance to keep your heart pumping.”
Alex said, “I think that this is the spot where that botched appendectomy took place and left the poor guy unable to walk or talk, and now he is only able to communicate by blinking his eyes, once for yes and twice for no. This other guy was kidnapped and put in a torture chamber down the basement, where they harvested his organs, we should check that out next.” Just then several objects started flying around, and they all heard scratching, shouts, moans and weeping noises coming in through the walls. The guys started shoving each other to get out of this room as the sound of chains being dragged across the floor seemed to be right underneath them. Brandon said, “I am pretty sure that if we stay in here much longer, we will be physically assaulted and my only hope is that we won’t be sodomized by demonic spirits.” Josh said, “I am not leaving until we uncovered the dark secret behind the frequent apparitions that have been reported.”
At that moment four girls ran past them screaming and one of them was saying, “I see dead people.” A different girl said, “This is a good place to set up our Ouija board, let’s see if we can summon Jack the Ripper.” Alex said, “I think I know one of those girls, we should….
As the screaming girls ran by, Alex was suddenly shoved to the floor. Stunned, he looked up at his friend, Josh, who was bending over him laughing so hard he couldn’t catch his breath.
“Man, you won’t believe it. Brandon’s done left the building. He pushed you out of the way and ran faster than those girls.”
Reaching out a hand to help Alex up, he got quiet.
“Listen, Dude, maybe Mr. Skeptic was right. We should get out of here, too.”
Alex brushed himself off, and gave Josh a look.
“What…you scared now?”
“Hell no, but you know, just in case. Anyway, I thought I heard something.”
“Yeah, screaming girls, and a recording of spooky sounds.” He laughed evilly. “Come on, let’s keep going,” he said, as he walked farther down the hallway.
Shaking his head, Josh followed. Even in the dim lighting of the haunted house, they could see that some rooms were taped shut, with signs saying ‘Do Not Enter – Not Part of the Game’.
Alex raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Let’s just see what’s in here.” He ripped off the tape, turned the door knob and went in. Not much light filtered in, but he could tell it was dusty, and sheets covered up some furniture. Something gauzy touched his face.
“Bleah – yuck, a spider web”, he shuddered, as he picked the webs off.
“Come on, Alex,” Josh urged. “Let’s go.”
“Wait, what’s that?” Alex pointed to the closet door that was slowly creaking open.
Transfixed, the guys stared at a small, glowing orb of light that floated out of the darkness of the closet. It made no sound, as it came toward them.
The sickly greenish yellow of the orb began to make the boys nauseated. Staring at it was hypnotic somehow. Josh said “I TOLD you, man. I got a really bad feeling about this!” Alex snorted. “Aw hell, ya pussy! If you’re scared, go on and leave. I’m staying! I’ve heard that Old Man Brown hid a fortune in gold bars in this old house. That’s probably why he was murdered!”
Josh shook his head. “No money is worth my life! Not worth YOURS either, even if you don’t seem to want it very bad..”
The orb had reached mid-way across the ceiling and the two boys heard an eerie wailing moan coming out of the closet.
“FORGET YOU!” shouted Josh, I’m OUTTA here!” His face was a ghastly white green and he looked like he was about to vomit. He sprinted to the door, only to find it closed and apparently locked. He began to pound on the door and scream.
Alex looked a little frightened, but he didn’t lose his nerve entirely. “Aw. It’s just sound effects…you know! Spook alleys and haunted houses always put in some extra effort for the people who are hard to scare! I’m going to look for the gold now.”
He started towards the crumbling staircase that led to a second floor. “I bet that old guy hid it up here!” he exclaimed and then his voice faltered and dropped off. Halfway up the staircase, Alex tried to turn and run, but tripped on the raveled carpeting and tumbled down to the bottom. He lay there, his head at an odd angle and his eyes wide. Alex would no longer sneer at Death. It had found him.
Josh began to weep and then to pray. Looking up the stairs he saw a very tall figure in black, with that sickly yellow green hue emanating from within the shroud. Everyone KNOWS that yellow green in regard to ghosts is an evil sign. Josh fell to his knees and then a crumbling voice echoed in his head “Josh, there is a reason some doors were off limits, it was to protect people like you from people like me!! It was part of the agreement l made with the organisers. But l knew that people like you would not be able to resist opening them, in fact l counted on it. I told them, that if anyone broke the seals, the house would automatically close down for the rest of the night, until business was taken care of! You are now my business!”
Josh whimpered on the stairs and soiled himself, so great was the terror! He looked up to find the tall figure gone, and was about to sigh with relief when a dirty hand encircled his throat and lifted him high off the stairs, his feet dangling, a small amount of pressure on his neck and he passed out.
Josh didn’t know how long he had been out of it, but when he awoke, he found himself on his back, the coldness of the steel table freezing him. He could just lift his head slightly and looked down the entirety of his body. He was naked! His wrists and ankles tied to the corners of the table. It was then that Josh screamed out “What’s happening, where am l, who are you, what do you want with me, this is only supposed to only be a game!”
Suddenly a figure appeared over him, a surgical mask covering the lower part of what appeared to be a horribly mutilated face, one empty eye socket dark and horrible looked down upon his prone form, whilst the other eye danced wildly around its socket!
“I have missed this, it has to be said Josh. I was quite adept in my day of performing surgery, okay l made a few mistakes, my reputation soiled, but l still practice, you know .. to keep in shape. My speciality was and still is ‘experimentation’, l like to see how much pain someone can endure without anaesthetic and record the sounds my patients make which just happens to be part of the agreement with the organisers with regards The Grim Reaper House! I want you to tell me if you feel anything ok? Scream as much as you want dear boy, no one can hear you, down here in the basement!”
Josh screamed and screamed and screamed and all the while all he could hear was the host or whoever it was laughing!
“Are you ready Josh? if so, l will make the first incision !!“
Josh felt a sharp pain just above his groin, he could feel the cold steel biting into his flesh. he could feel the blade travelling up his stomach, his chest! He could feel a warm liquid pooling underneath the small of his back. “Why?? why?” he screamed as the air of the basement mixed with a carefree abandonment with his insides.
“Very astute, that’s exactly what l am doing Josh, making the Y incision, l want to see what makes you, well you!”
By this time Josh was numbed, he thought he would have been dead, but he wasn’t, perhaps he had been given a small general anaesthetic, would he, should he have not gone into shock? He lifted his head slightly and looked down. The sight caused him to gag, there was an acridity to the air and the overwhelming stench of what he could only figure was his blood, racked at him.
“No, you don’t need to look Josh, you will cause yourself an injury, here is a better option!” The masked face sauntered off talking and chuntering to himself and within a minute, Josh could hear the noise of wheels that needed oiling as they creaked and groaned their way back to him. “This will help!” The voice said.
Josh looked up, and could see himself in the overhead mirror “Oh my god!!” he screamed. He could clearly see now the Y incision from his groin up to below the shoulders, he could see inside his body.
“Now what l need to do Josh is just prise you open a little.” with that Josh could see two dirty rotten bloodied hands taking hold of the left and right sides of his chest cavity and slowly pull back the skin. Josh lost consciousness at that moment, and when he came to again, he found himself back on the stairs looking up at the tall dark figure walking back up the stairs with the limp body of his friend Alex.
“Come along Josh, come and see what l have for you both!” The figure ahead of him said in that deep dark crumbling voice of theirs. Josh, almost trance like picked himself up from his kneeling position and followed the thing up the stairs….
The story died here
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