Wow really? No one wants 2 mil? Let me take it then!
I still can edit til deadline right?
The Cursed Mansion
I thought it was odd that I couldn't see single soul walking in the bright daylight, until I realized it. It have been days since I last walk out to the streets and do my groceries shopping on the town's market. And how would you blame me? I am a royal scribe and thus all my work is done inside the huge, luxurious, warm room near the fireplace. Its dead cold outside in the middle of harsh winter and I won't try to get out of my house unless I really need to.
The bustling town really gets eerie during winter, the night is long and the daylight is scarce, and so the crowded streets turn to almost a desolate space. I could see some people walking by here and there few weeks ago, but now, the street is silent. I could not hear the galloping of horse carriage, the shouts of merchants across the block, and the chattering of housewives on the street corner. Its. Pure. Silence.
I live with my manservant in a mansion near the city gate, but lately he become more and more sick, until he conceeded to come. I suspect a bad case of cold... Not uncommon in the town where I live. Without my manservant, I packed my thick wintercoat, and reluctantly walk outside of my mansion for the first time in weeks. The town seems gloomy, as sunlight barely shine bright, covered by the gray clouds above the town. "It seems there will be a storm tonight," I said to myself as I walk slowly down the front stair, taking care to not fall from the slippery surface of the marble stair.
When you walk by yourself in an empty mainstreet, you could not help but feel insecure. Why wouldn't? Your mind starts to wander and start to think of the cause of whats happening. And so, being the "brilliant" scribe myself, I start to think of the odds. "Maybe the residents were too lazy to walk in this dead cold weather and instead prefer the warm embrace of their fireplace." I try to rationalize and so I walked even deeper into the heart of the town.
I finally arrived to the town's marketplace. To my horror, no stall is opened. The wooden pushcart usually filled to the brim with goods from nearby farms or ranch, but today, only snow is pilling on it. Just as I turned my back and start my march back home, I notice something feels not right.
Gradually, such that I could not pinpoint exactly when it began, I became aware of a feeling of trepidation exceeding my usual self. I start to feel a shiver drifted down my spine and I hasten my walking pace. I don't know what is happening to me, but I feel a slight increases in heart rate. Maybe thats my primal instinct starting to get hold, sending a creeping sense of unease and some goosebumps, now that I feel something is not right. Somehow, I could not help but think that I am being watched.
I don't see any mortals with my eye, and I am not sure wether its just my imagination or not, but seems to me, somehow I saw a shadow moving in the corner of my eye. It was swift and so I toss that fear aside. "Thats just your imagination, Andy, just keep walking."
I walk a few more yards toward my mansion. The sky is getting dark. Cold winter wind just make it worse. I walked as fast as I could through the thick snow, but it seems I have reached my maximum walking speed.
Left. Right. Left. Right. I continue my pace and imagined what shall I have for dinner today when my food storage is almost empty. It was then suddenly as I turn my mind to the sound of my footstep that I realized that I thought I heard a strange echo in them.
"Is there someone following me down this street?" With heart beating fast, palms sweating, I try to brave myself and swiftly glanced around to see a mere sight of my persuer.
Nobody is there.
Surely the panorama of the dark, empty alleyway behind me nearly send me into an enourmous panic attack. I feel a slight relief that no one is trully following me, but it seems that everything, even the aura of the street itself is beating with dark intent.
My mouth starts to feel dry, I start having difficulty to take a breath as I feel as a weight is pressed against my chest. I could not help but think that I better get inside, taking shelter from the suffocating terror of whatever creature that followed me.
Only Our Lord Raidmax know what compelled me to utter such lie. I am going to the town's market to buy some groceries, not to stay at an unknown old hotel.... And to be honest, I don't even know it is a hotel at the beginning.
"Yes Sir, we have lots if vacant room. We don't have much visitors these days... People prefer the comfort of new hotels and so this old mansion is slowly engulfed by time." I could see why. The smell inside is of old wooden furniture. There is a huge grandfather clock behind the reception's desk, beautiful I could say, but way to old for our town. Nowadays people would use Archmage Merlin's magic powered clock. Its more accurate and didn't take much maintenance for years.
"Let me take you to your room Sir." I followed the man to the second floor through a winding great stairs. I could see some paintings of when the hotel was first erected. Greeneries sorrounding the hotel and a huge fountain is seen near the front gate. "What happened to the fountain?" I ask the old man as we walk slowly upward. "The town elders decided to expand the road in front of the hotel, and so they bought the land." I nodded.
"Here is your room Sir, Room 267. Dinner will be served at 6 P.M sharp. Please be at the hotel eateries by that time." "Okay." And so thats the beginning of my adventure in that hotel. Little did I know about that mysterious old hotel. I had some vague memories about it, but I only remember passing it everyday from my academy. The hotel didn't changed much from that time, and time have been harsh to this poor mansion.
The grandfather clock chimned loudly. I could hear its echoes around the halls. I hear multiple doors creaked open, and its residents one by one stroll lazily to the eateries downstairs. I try to see their face one by one, but none is recognizable. I am a scribe afterall, and I don't meet people often unless it really related to my work.
Ten, no, eleven , yeah. I see eleven people walking down the grand winding staircase. "No wonder this hotel is dying," I speak in my heart. All of the residents looks old, they almost look as a zombie walking slowly toward its victim. Some use walking cane, while other hold the handrails tightly to support their downward move.
If only I realized at that time, how all of us, including the reception man count to 13, and remember about the accident 10 years ago in the same hotel, I may escape the horror that awaits me. But no, that night, it feels as a veil is put upon my eyes and thus I could not remember anything but some vague memory about the hotel.
We all dined on the same huge table for about an hour, then all start their march back to his/her rooms. The dinner is excellent, a delicatessen worthy of the hotel's reputation as one of the best place to stay. Satisfied and full, I hurried back to my room to have a bath. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. I washed myself, put my pajamas, and jump to the comfort of my bed.
It was then, at 2 'o clock in the morning, that I feel strange. The room is getting hotter and hotter, feels like the entire hotel is visited by the demon lord from hell itself. I could feel dropplets of sweat sliding down my body. I rush to the front door and try to move its metalic handle.
My hand burns. In fact, the handle itself is so hot that I could see some skin of mine stuck on its handle. Something is not right, there must be a fire outside. Yeah, thats the only explanation for this. Suddenly, I hear a loud scream from the room beside me. "Help! Somebody help! We are trapped in this room. The fire is now spreading into my room." I try to break my wall, separating my room to theirs, but the scream gets louder and louder.... Then stopped. I managed to break a miniscule hole, enough for ne to take a peek. I see the dead bodies of an old couple, hugging together at their last moment, tucked at the corner of their room, waiting for help that never arrive.
I watch in horror as burning timber falls to their bodies, engulfing it in an inferno, turning it to ash. Deciding not to have the same fate, I rushed to the bathroom, take as much water as I can, and spray it all over the wall separating my room and my unlucky neighbours' room.
I craft a small axe using a makeshift crafting table, and try to break a wall closest to the grand staircase. I hit is as hard as I could, disregarding the pain from my burned palms. Adrenaline rushed when you are in a life or death situation, and so it puts a damper to my pain. Blood is slowly dripping from my palm, but I keep breaking the wooden wall. I could hear more screams from the room above me. I could not help but imaginr what misery is happening to the resident staying above my room. I hear gunshots.... Ah, they decided to end their suffering by their own hands.
I swing the last attempt, and a small hole, barely enough for me to crouch outside is opened. I try to wet it as much as possible, then start crouching in. I don't want to get stuck and burned alive at my attempt to escape the burning flames. I could see the receptionist frantically pouring bucket of water everywhere, trying to get the main lobby barely enough for residents to escape. I was going to shout for help, but unfortunately, a huge wooden timber out of nowhere fall to the receptionist, crushing him. I could see his hand trying to reach out, then falls. He is dead. I managed to get out of my room through the escape hole, bringing me on the grand staircase. The carpet on it is burning brightly. I swing my axe and remove some of it for me to stand on.
The sight is forever etched in my memory. Dead body of the receptionist, crushed by a huge timber, a burning, blackened bodies of some resident, posing their last struggle to crouch outside the burning debris trapping them.
I don't see any survivor left beside of me. The lobby is blazing with inferno. I am trapped. Suddenly I hear a glass breaking. A lady, burned herself, ends her agony by jumping through a window 3 stories high outside the hotel. I could hear the loud thump she makes as her body land on the hard pavement outside. Seeing no hope of escape, I took out my lockette, and opened it. I cry as I see the face of my mother and father, both whom I would never see again. The wooden pillar above me keeps making cracking noises. I know my time near. I could only put my knees and pray to the Lord Raidmax that my suffering be fast and I could enter His heavenly realm.
The wooden pillar falls, time seems slowed down as that pillar falls. I closed my eyes, trying to spare me from the horror it was about to bring. Then pure silence. Ah... So thats what happen when you are dead....
I feel light and warm. I start to see light at the end of the tunnel. When suddenly...
"Wake up! Andy, you have to read your speech for the memorial today," my friend wakes me up. Flustered and disoriented, I look at my palm. Its sweating but I can't see any mark of burned flesh. "Where am I? What happened to the hotel? Why am I here?"
"A sleepyhead as always. Just wash yourself and bring this scroll. You will need it at the speech today." Speech? I try to remember it as hard as I could, but to no avail.
My manservant helped me and brought me my formal suit. I wore it and bring the scroll with me. "Bring me my carriage, you will deliver me there." "As you wish Sir." My butler rushed to the back of the mansion, I hear some horse neigh and wooden wheel moving.
My mind keep wandering along the way... I don't remember anything about today's event, I don't know what I am attending to, and so I opened the scroll. My jaw dropped. Eyes widened reading the first pharagraph.
"We are here My Lord." The carriage stopped. I roll the scroll back, and exit the wagon. To my surprise, I am now standing at a newly build antique hotel, modelled exactly as the hotel in my dream.
I walked inside the lobby, and a row of paintings is lined in a straight line. I observe it one by one. Somehow I could not help but feel the faces on the picture seems familiar. My memory is cloudly.... They say you will forget most of your dream by an hour or so after you wake up, but the last painting is beyond doubt recognizable. I would never forget that old face.
"Thank you for attending our hotel's fire accident memorial, Sir. It is a delight that such an important figure in town would volunterrly accept the role to give an opening speech in such a short notice."
A sudden epiphany.... Yes, no wonder that face is familiar.... It's the fac of the old receptionist in my dream...
Edited by Jeanne_dArc, 01 July 2018 - 02:09 PM.