Sometimes I wonder where my life went all wrong. It’s not like I was on the fast track for success, but I could have hit for somewhere in the lower middle. I would worry about bills, maybe taking a vacation at some island once before I die, waking up with the existential horror a couple of weeks with a realization that my life is just an echo in a void of suffering (instead of every night). What I wanted wasn’t perfect, but anything was better than this meth ridden Scooby-Doo claim to fame.
There actually is a killing to be made for real life horror films. We were not making that money. I hope that wasn’t an impression you got from before. We wanted to make that money, part of the reason we dropped out of school, bought a van, camera equipment, and whatever else we needed. The whole freaking student loan spent on this. I can’t remember the last time my food didn’t come from a tin can.
We broke into places that looked haunted, or scary. Taped some stuff, edited the hell out of it, posted it with a lot of explanation points, then profit. Which was barely enough to break even. Penny would get leads from communities online, books sold at visitor shops (trucker gas stations), random searches on google maps. Most recently Penny found the Revolver Mansion, so named for the suicide pact the previous owners had. Each one ate a bullet from a revolver apparently made from metal that was gifted to them from a great old god. The next owners after were found crucified around the property. Everyone in town apparently agreed to let sleeping cultists lie letting the mansion decay.
It looked broken down, missing its door, broken windows, and huge whole in the side. Penny, Eric, and myself set up camera’s, and cleared out some of the debris. While we were setting up Lenny, Jessica, and Sydney did make up, and costumes. We all hated each other, and have for a really long time. You can only live in a van with six people for so long before you want to create a massacre so horrible that dumb ass teens drop out of college to set up cameras to see if they can raise our pissed off spirits.
We didn’t talk as we worked, all of us stayed in our own little world. None of us could see what the house was doing, we hated each other enough that when we finally were up shits creek, and all possible escapes were completely ruled out. Whatever game the house was playing we were too far in now, death was assured for just about all of us.
It was several hours ago from when I fell into the pit, but it felt like an eternity. Penny, and I were smoking on top of the stairs. We didn’t notice at that point that the whole house had boarded itself up. It was like we always knew that the windows had bricks over them. I won’t forget the last normal conversation I had.
“Its pointless you know.” Penny said.
“What like the whole ghost chasing thing?” I asked.
“No, life. We’re just roaches man. Eating, killing, and breeding ourselves out of existence. Whole damn world is on fire, what are we doing about it? Shooting a fucking garbage video for tweens.”
I couldn’t respond. I didn’t know what to say to Penny when she got like this. She took a long drag flicking the butt down the stairs. Penny was a tolerable person compared to our other companions. She wore those thick rim black glasses, often in a sweater with her hair always curled tangled mess.
“David…I’m leaving after this. Going back to school.” She looked around some. “You should come with me.”
I didn’t get to respond. A loud scream came from the room below us.
Penny yelled, running down the stairs, “We haven’t started yet what the hell are you doing.”
I followed close behind for a couple of reasons. One, when Penny gets pissed everyone in her way gets destroyed. Two, that scream was way too realistic for anything that we do. Penny was around the corner before I finished coming down the stairs. The look of horror across her face should have told me to run the other way. I’ve never seen Penny scared. She stood up to a midwestern biker gang getting a tooth knocked out from one of their old ladies. She beat that bitch down, and another two that day. She was a goon on a local hockey team with a passion for film. She began to scream to.
Life is full of surprises. Like when I shit my pants in high school gym climbing the net right above my crush who got a face full who I imagine was also surprised. The therapist who unpacked that mess was also in for a surprise when my parents who racked up a bill of over a thousand dollars for his services never paid a dime preferring to go to collections. When I came around the corner I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but after seeing it I was naturally surprised as anyone could be when they see someone getting their stomach pulled through their mouth by a gigantic muscle of a monster whose face was completely blank. Its face was literally blank like just skin just pulled over a head. The smell was overwhelming, and thick. A human stomach that hasn’t seen a vegetable in years broken open spilling fluids onto the floor filled my body with both surprise and fear. There was a pain in Sydney’s eyes like I had never thought could exist in a human being till today. I’ll never forget that look for the rest of my life. The look of pure horror, and pain. Sydney was alive.
Penny screamed, we all were terrified. I looked for a way out, but it was at that unfortunate moment I realized that there was no exit, and in my mind I already knew that. I had always knew the exits were blocked, but I remember there was a time when they weren’t. I ran as fast as I could. Fear is a very good motivator. It has been since the beginning of time. There wasn’t a particular place that I was running I wanted to create distance between myself that thing. After going up stairs, and turning through several halls, getting completely lost did I stop to rest.
The mansion wasn’t this big before, I was sure of it. It just kept growing I think. Each path I took was an endless horror filled nightmare before my time. My chest heaved, the back of my throat dry, and ankles sore. This was the first time I had run in years, and I regretted every moment of it. How did our ancestors ever get meat? I wondered who else had made it away, if they were safe, or if Sydney was dead. It was the horror of her dying that way that caused me the most pain, not her death itself.
The room’s temperature shifted, and became noticeably colder. Hair stood up on my neck, as I began to see my breath. I went to pull open the door as I did a hand reached through.
I backed up quickly the only thought in my mind Sydney’s face as she died. Quick was all I wanted, don’t let me die like that. The rest of the arm had come through quickly followed by a body. I saw a girl, well she would have been more like a teen, form before me. I was thinking ghost, but I thought they were white like transparent.
“You thought ghosts were transparent too right?” It asked me.
“Yeah…I guess I did.” I said.
“Man, everyone thinks that. It’s so hard meeting new people because there like oh you’re a ghost you sure don’t look like one. Like that’s so rude, and how the hell would they know what a ghost looks like?”
“I…I don’t know?”
“So, you got trapped in here then. Wanna get out?”
“You don’t sound so sure about that, were you like wanting to be a ghost too because that’s not really a great idea.”
“No, sorry just my friend she was killed. I’m not sure where everyone else is.”
“Your friend just died in a creepy house, and your only emotion is confusion? You sure this was your friend?”
Before I could answer a faint dragging sound could be heard outside of the door. The ghost put a finger to her mouth signaling me to be quiet. I wonder who the first person was to do that, and if anyone understood them at all. She popped her head out the door and brought it back quickly. She pointed to the bed signaling me to get under. I did so after a very hushed argument with. I didn’t want to do it because there were dead rats, and all other manner of nope under the bed. She insisted thinking that this thing wouldn’t look there first.
The dragging became louder. Step, drag, step, drag. The steps heavy, and full of anger. Closer, and closer it came. My heart felt as if was beating out of my chest. Right in front of the door it stopped. I was waiting for it to burst into the door claiming its kill. A sound similar to nails on a chalkboard screeched across the door, and its walk continued.
I stayed under the bed until I could no longer hear its steps. I coughed, and gagged from the dust stuck in my throat that most likely came off the dead rat under the bed with me. The ghost was laying on the bed.
“Call me Temperance.”
“Is that your name in your past life, or ghost name?”
She smiled, “Ghost name. Lets get you out of here.”