This is my final part of the horror story I have been writing. Halloween is almost over.
If you want to read the full story, I have linked to it here:
This story contains the following word prompts:
Halloween, ghosts, goblins.
James held Jennifer’s weight in his arms as she continued to cry into his shoulder.
“How did you know? Did you find her body in the cellar?” Jennifer’s’ voice was muffled and it barely sounded like her at all.
“I found something in the Cellar. It wasn’t her body. Something is going on in the cellar, there are books down there and scientific equipment” James hesitated before continuing “There are also jars containing body parts. I recognised Aunt Elizabeth’s eyes.”
Jennifer pulled back and stared into her brothers face. Her eyes were open as wide as they would go, he could see the whites all around her pale grey irises. She looked deathly pale too. He smiled at her, to try to reassure her and patted her hand.
“How did you know she was dead, Jenn?”
“She came over to me as I was reading and spoke to me. I thought it was her, but then she changed into a girl and ran through that bookshelf. She was a ghost, James. I hate this place, there are ghosts here. I want to leave. Can’t we go now, before its too late? It’s Halloween and I don’t want to stay here after nightfall.”
“You know full well we can’t leave. We would forfeit Uncle Joshua’s money and everything we’ve done will be in vain.” James smiled again.
A thought passed through Jennifer’s mind. If the Aunt Elizabeth that came to her just now had been a ghost and there was a jar in the cellar that already contained her eyes, then maybe the Aunt Elizabeth they had heard screaming in Old Uncle Joshua’s bedroom had been the real one. Maybe the one they saw afterwards in her bedroom, that had been a ghost, or something else in disguise. She looked back at her brother who was grinning at her. James was sullen and morose, it wasn’t like him to smile like that. His eyes too were intense, bluer than she remembered.
Quickly she jumped up and ran to the door.
“Jenn? What’s up?”
She turned and shouted.
“Are you really James? Or are you some trick? I can’t stand this any more.”
James stopped walking towards her and suddenly the same thought occurred to him, nothing is quite what it seemed in this place.
“How do I know it’s really you for that matter? Look, Jenn, we’ve got to trust each other, or we’ve had it. Remember in the orphanage, I gave you my teddy bear when the warden said we couldn’t sleep in the same dormitory. What was it called, do you remember?”
The memory came flooding back, the loneliness of the orphanage. She used to cry herself to sleep every night missing her mother and father and James kept sneaking into the girls’ dorm to comfort her. When they caught him there they would beat him, but he still came. Then he gave her his teddy bear. What was it called again? That’s right, it was called Mr Micawber.
“Mr Micawber, I remember”
They both relaxed then. The feeling that they were not on their own gave them some comfort.
They sat down on a leather sofa and looked through the window at the grim light. It was still hours from sunset but it was one of those days where the grey clouds kept it from becoming true daylight. The view down to the lake would have been pretty on a sunny day, but today it only gave a modicum of comfort.
James had picked up the journal from where Jennifer had dropped it on the floor.
“So, what’s this you’ve been reading, Jenn?”
“It’s horrible James. It’s Old Josiah Van De Gaard’s journal. He was wicked, a monster. He murdered his own child. I think he was dabbling in devil worship too.”
James opened the book and skim read it. He was always a quick reader, he had a much faster brain. “Yes, It looks like you’re right, he was into something really dark. He was looking to make himself immortal! Jenn, you know what?”
“No, James, What?”
“I think he succeeded. I think he’s here in this house somewhere.”
“Don’t James, I’m scared enough already. Where could he be, we’ve searched everywhere in the house and you’ve searched the cellar.”
“We haven’t been inside the master bedroom, it’s been kept locked. He’s got to be in there.”
“That’s enough James. I can’t take any more of this. I don’t want to find out any more about this horrible house. Let’s just leave. While we still can.”
“No Jenn, I promise I won’t go looking any more. We’ll stay together from now on, but we’ve got to stay the night. We’ll inherit a fortune. We’ll get Aunt Elizabeth’s share now too.”
“How can you be so callous, James. She was our Aunt.”
“She was a hateful, selfish old woman. You don’t remember like I do. She deserved what she got. It’s just the two of us now, but I’ll look after you, I promise. Haven’t I always?”
From then on, they stayed together, stuck firmly with the glue of absolute terror. In the kitchen, Jennifer heated up the dinner that Mrs Ponsomby had left them and they ate it sat at the table as they watched the meagre daylight slowly diminish. They had turned on all the lights of the house already, every single lamp. They had also brought the torch down from upstairs so they would not be caught out by any sudden power cuts.
The additional light didn’t seem to help that much. The noises started even before sunset. The voices whispered at them, called to them.
They could hear footsteps overhead. Scampering steps like little goblins running up and down the stairs. Jennifer heard the same cackling laughter that Aunt Elizabeth had made before she’d transformed into a ghost child.
“You should have gone, while you had the chance. Too late. Too late now. You’re mine now.”
This was no whisper but the loud deep voice of a man, it came from the floor above.
Then they heard a bloodcurdling scream and all the lights went out.
Quickly, James pulled the torch out from his pocket and the kitchen illuminated. Jennifer started lighting the candles they’d placed around the room, then held his hand in a vice-like grip.
The door to the cellar flew open and the same voice came calling.
“Come to me now. It is time, at last. The final step. Your blood is mine.”
Jennifer ran screaming towards the front door but James grabbed her and held her tightly. He was smiling at her again. A twisted smile. His eyes seemed to glow. Then he began walking toward the cellar door, pulling her along. She struggled and screamed but he was too strong. He was always stronger.
“That’s it, come to me. You can’t resist the call of the blood.”
He dragged her down the steps into the dank cellar. A red light came from somewhere further in.
“Yes, bring her to me. I must have blood to be fully released.”
Then she was the creature standing in the main chamber of the cellar. It wasn’t human, or at least, it wasn’t anymore. Horns sprouted from out of the bald cranium, the sunken eyes in that old mans face glowed red. The gnarled old hands ended in claws and the grinning mouth contained a multitude of pointed fangs.
Jennifer tried desperately to pull out of her brothers grasp but his grip would not lessen. He stood staring blankly at the demonic presence that their great-grandfather had become.
An almighty crash sounded coming somewhere above them. The fiend looked up and shouted. “Noooooo!”
Down the cellar steps, figures emerged each wearing a costume of red satin robes with black masks. They were chanting in Latin.
“Dies irae, dies illa solvet saeculum in favilla teste David cum Sybilla. Tuba, mirum pargens sonum per sepulchra regionum coget omnes ante thronum. Quod sum miser tunc dicturus, quem patronum rogaturus cum vix iustus sit securus”
As they chanted the demonic figure roared and grew larger, exploding from its prison within the body of that old man. Remnants of flesh remained at the monster’s feet as it expanded to fill the space to the vaulted ceiling.
A figure wearing white robes and a black cap ran forward and threw white powder over the floor and over James and Jennifer too.
The other figures formed a circle around the creature and continued chanting, getting louder, filling the space with their voices.
James shook himself free of his enchantment and looked around him, he remembered nothing since the lights went out in the kitchen above. The smell of sulphur and decay filled his nostrils. The sight of the huge demon made him fall back. It was then he realised he was still holding Jennifer’s hand. She was staring at him like he was a monster.
“What’s going on? Who are you?” James shouted at the man in white.
“We are the Order of the Black Rose. We are here to finish off this Demon for once and for all.”
One of the red-robed figures cried out “Quickly Doctor, we can’t hold it much longer. He is too powerful. He is breaking free.”
The figure in white pulled a long-bladed knife from his robes.
“It has to be this way. I’m sorry. Our former leader, Joshua Van De Gaard discovered the secret before he died. He spent his whole life keeping the demon that his father had become contained, but he couldn’t break the original pact. As long as there is Van De Gaard blood running through someone’s veins, Josiah Van De Gaard, or the demon he has become, cannot die. Only with the death of every Van De Gaard can we finish off this monster.”
The man pulled Jennifer up from the floor where she had fainted and grasped her hair in one hand exposing her neck. He lifted up his blade ready to strike.
“No, Wait!” James shouted and grabbed the mans wrist, holding the knife “She isn’t a Van De Gaard. She’s not my sister. My Sister died of a fever before I was sent to the orphanage. I couldn’t bear the thought that I had failed her. I wanted to protect her, but I failed. At the orphanage I met this girl, she looked so much like Jennifer that I decided I would protect her instead. I called her Jennifer and eventually, she forgot who she really was. I am the last Van De Gaard.”
James wrestled the knife from the Doctors hand. He held it firmly and then plunged it into his own chest.
The Demon screamed, it’s head fell back and a white light emerged from its gaping maw.
The chanting grew louder and the Doctor began chanting different words that echoed around the chamber with great power.
The Demon exploded and all went black.
Jennifer awoke from a terrible nightmare. She was laying in a strange bed with a feather pillow under her head and a hideous pink candlewick bedspread over her.
She didn’t recognise the room. It wasn’t her flat, that was for sure. It was a small room, with a tiny window through which sunlight was streaming. There was a writing desk in one corner and on the wall opposite was a large crucifix.
The door opened and a lady came in carrying a tray. She recognised the woman and a name came into her head which she spoke out loud.
The woman came over and placed the tray on her lap then put a hand to her forehead before replying.
“That’s right dear, quite a turn I had finding you unconscious on the kitchen floor. Dr Forbes has been in to see you. He said you would be right as rain. I’ve brought you some chicken soup, that should help build your strength up. I knew you’d catch a chill, sleeping in that draughty old house by yourself. Well, all that’s done and dusted now. There’s a solicitor chap downstairs who wants to see you, but I said he’d have to wait until you’ve had something to eat first. I expect he’ll want to talk about your inheritance. I’ll send him up in a little while.”
“Thank you, Mrs Ponsomby,” Jennifer said weakly.
She smiled and left the room.
As Jennifer lay there, she felt a cold sensation come over her. Then on the desk, the pen began moving on its own. She heard the scratch-scratch sound as the fountain pen passed over a scrap of paper. Then the pen dropped to the floor and she felt the coldness leave.
Pushing back the tray, Jennifer jumped out of the bed and picked up the paper. Scrawled on it were only a few words.
“I protected you the only way I could. Love, James.”
Copyright@ Kristian Fogarty 31st October 2018