A short story taken from one of my absolute favourite albums of all time, Give Me Your Soul… Please, by King Diamond. The album tells a story of a haunted house, below is my take on the fantastic album. The story is longer than my usual short story length so this is part one of likely two.
If you’re interested in following my posts for this challenge you can find more here. If Cyberpunk is more your thing check out this story. Otherwise I have two Fantasy series you can start here or here.
Hope you enjoy it,
Within the ancient house the grandfather clock ticks a rhythmic pulse. Growing steadily louder as it echoes through the otherwise silent halls of the dark empty home, through the highest window a young girl and younger boy can be seen solemnly repose. Fading as if from a dream the resonance of a panel of deep voices can be faintly heard from a place beyond. In the in between place the children wait, an organ can be heard playing a haunting requiem.
“Where are we now? What is this place?”
“Don’t you remember little brother? We died… We’re dead”
“But what are they gonna do to me? Am I going to Hell?
“I don’t know, but that’s what they say, I will try to find you another soul,” the girls low voice concealing her fear to protect her brother, “Listen… do you hear that organ play? I must go to where the organ plays I must go but I can never stay… Now to this house I go”
Travelling through means beyond her understanding towards the source of the music she looks towards her brother one last time as the in between place fades into the shadows. His eyes and mouth darkening into bottomless black pits his voice whispers a warning, “Don’t let anyone see your bloody dress”
In the shining light of setting sun, the a tall man stands watching from the stairs of his new home. An ancient two story, Victorian house, well worn by time. It perfectly matches the dark appearance of the man. Wearing a pleasant smile, he wishes for time to stop so he can enjoy the passing scene a moment longer. His shining white teeth and pale skin shine in the rays of the smooth velvet sunset. Beneath the beautiful orange sky, by the edge of the crystal lake a midnight black cat chases butterflies, playfully tearing their wings off when it catches them.
Far from the noise of the town the breeze can almost be heard whispering a warning as it glides across the beautiful lawns and vanishes above the crystal waters. The songs of birds mingle with the natural atmosphere creating the wonderful soundscape that had lured him from his playing. Behind him in the dark attic window, a small human figure coalesces amid the shadows.
The setting sun dips beyond the edge of the lake, drowning beneath the cold, silent waters. The golden clouds darken to grey. The birds songs settle. Devil lake is quiet now.
“Magic,” the man calls to the cat, “It’s getting late, time to come home”
The black cat’s ears perk to his words. Obediently bounding up to the house, lovingly caressing its body against his leg before leading him back into the house. The air is warm inside, the absent light of the sun giving ascendance to the deep shadows forming beneath the high ceilings and long corridors.
Not one to have ever feared the dark, he feels unsettled by the strangeness of his first night in the new house. With the comforting presence of his faithful black cat by his side he listens to the way the house seems to breath. From the bastion of light given by the light of the foyer, surrounded by suffocating darkness beyond.
“I need a little light,” he whispers. A shiver travelling down his spine despite the stuffy heat.
Drifting swiftly from room to room he gropes through the darkness in search of light. In the isolating darkness the sweltering heat seems almost to build. The house creaks and groans with heavy laboured breath. Just beyond the light, the suggestions of ghostly residence haunt him.
“Help me… Help me”
The hair on his neck stand on end. The breath of wind and groaning wood seemed almost to speak in the voice of a young girl.
“Help me…” No, he thinks, There it is again. “Help me…”
“Is anybody there?” he calls. The only response being Magic’s body leaning against his leg. Must be in my head, there’s only me and Magic here.
But again is cries, “Help me…”
Spinning in place with fear, casting around looking from shadow to shadow as the origin of the whisper travels impossibly fast around him. Heart pounding, beads of sweat forming in the hot night air, “I need light.”
Flicking the switches to light the hall he enters the lounge and repeating the process there. From the hall behind him little footsteps can suddenly be heard. As the steps pass beneath the lights, they flicker. One by one the bulbs burn out as the steps pass.
At the edge of where the light reaches, Magic stands staring into the darkness. Something in the hall mesmerising the cat, the thought of what she might be watching builds the dread inside him driving him to flee the lounge chasing light through the house coming in the end to the kitchen.
More and more the bulbs flicker and die. More and more the light grows weaker and fails before the coming darkness.
Searching the draws of the kitchen rapidly as the presence in the darkness draws ever closer he finds what he was looking for. A candle. Striking a match he lights it.
Moments before the footsteps arrive in the kitchen, taking his candle he runs into the hall away from the terror and up the stairs. Magic following quietly at the lights edge, constantly stopping to cast backwards.
Terror driving his flight he races down the upstairs hallway, the footsteps behind him growing closer and closer. Cornered at the end of the hall, before him in the candle’s light he sees the large ornate mirror he hung here.
The moment he witnesses the mirror the footsteps stop. His heart catches in his throat. Staring into the mirror I cannot see myself, I don’t even see the hallway that I’m in. I see a girl in a bloody dress. Standing in the cellar down below.
“Why are you here?” he whispers to the vision in the reflection, “What are you looking for in this house? Is it me?”