Although it was mid-summer, the miserable sky above me growled softly. Sunlight had long since died, my guide now nothing more than a sliver of moonlight tucked away underneath the blanket of clouds. It was early May, yet what felt like the chill of November enveloped my body. Not even the multiple layers of clothing could protect against the deathly cold. Reluctantly, my eyes glanced towards the building up on the hill. It was a house fit for the kings and queens of the supernatural. Trees waved menacingly, beckoning me to a dusty playground. By day, it was a seemingly innocent house fallen victim to the hands of time. By night, the rumours came alive. They filled me with fabrications that I knew weren't true yet I still believed them out of fear. The memory of this place was a curse more than a blessing.
As I slowly made my way up the snaking path, I wondered as to what first drew me to the crumbling mansion that haunted my dreams. My footsteps echoed softly off of the great stone walls that seemed to trap me with the abandoned house. Even though I could feel the unevenness of the cobbles beneath me, they were smooth in comparison to the crunching of the dead leaves that I stepped on. There seemed to be only one star in the sky, strongly battling and competing with the overwhelming darkness. Moonlight banished the shadows, yet the feeling of being watched still lingered. The weight of such a simple human emotion weighed me down more than my heart did. Despite this, I had told myself that I would at least attempt to rid my mind of the monstrosity looming overhead. Drawing closer, I swore I could hear a voice. No, several. Deciding to ignore it, I carefully approached the house's entrance.
The storm warned me to sty away, but the house offered shelter from the oncoming torrent of rain. Before me stood a rusty iron gate which had certainly seen better days. Shoving it open forcefully, its hinges moaned with years of neglect - creepers tangling themselves around my fingers. The whispers in the wind drew me in with their secrets, hypnotising me me with their words. Brown, crispy leaves littered the front garden (if it could be called that), dancing macabre on light feet. Patches of grass came up to my knees, and the nearby rose bush was dead of dead of both colour and flower. Without warning, a bolt of silvery lightning shot above the house with a deafening crack. For a moment, the house seemed somewhat grand with its yellowing windows, mazes of wildlife and crumbling foundations. As it struck, the shape of a door appeared before me suddenly.
The door was steeped in darkness, cobwebs decorated with water droplets. Fear choked me mercilessly, its grip like a noose around my neck. Blood pulsed fiercely through my veins as I stood face to face with the decaying mahogany. I could still turn away. I could still leave behind the house in all its horror, turn my back on the mould-encrusted door. It wasn't too late. However, a small part of me remained strong and I found myself not walking nor running away. Instead, I reached out shakily. Gingerly, my hand grasped the handle as if nervous to shake hands with the building once more. It was cold to the touch, intoxicating me with its chill. Swallowing an anxious whimper, I nudged the door ajar and dared to step inside.
Cautiously, my eyes took in the beautiful nightmare that refused to leave me be. It was almost as if I had left reality behind and entered a scene from a horror story.Dust danced gracefully in the moonlight that struggled to slice the darkness. Sombre portraits judged my presence, their eyes void of emotion. Flames still radiated from the fireplace despite the chill in the air. Fumbling for the light switch, I found only an empty socket - the wires poisonous snakes with tongues of electricity. A grand chandelier loomed overhead, the candles within reduced to short stubs. I couldn't rid the terror that had begun to consume me. I began to wonder if any of this was even real.
Step after nervous step, beat after wild beat, my pupils dilated, my heart bursting through the confines of my ribcage with each breath. The stairway welcomed me back with open arms, still standing ominous and wide. Shadows lingered on each step, small giggles ringing unpleasantly in my ears. Ebony darkness swirled around me, carefully decorated with speckles of illumination. Each step intensified the moaning and creaking, as if the stairway would collapse and allow the floor to swallow me whole. On the sixth step, the ground beneath me began to tremble. Giggles merged into screams. Waves of nausea drowned me as the knot in my stomach rose up into my throat. All of a sudden, the screams faded. The tremors stopped. Just silence. Just myself against the abandoned house upon the hill and the whispering entities of the past. Now I knew that reality was far behind me.
It seemed to take hours to finish my ascent towards the dreaded room. Although I had not set foot here in over half a year, the path leading towards my nightmare was engraved into my mind forever more. My brain screamed silently, warning me, pleading me to turn tail and flee. The whispers I heard before returned, drawing me in once more. They spoke words, words strung into a poem that was beautifully haunting and convinced me to stay. Slight tremors overtook me - this was more than a horror story. I was staring my greatest fear straight in the eye. My fear was bulletproof, yet my confidence was as fragile as the mirror beside me which had long since been reduced to dirtied slabs of crystal. The distance between me and the door could fill an ocean, maybe more. Every step I took, no matter how large, took me nowhere. I wanted nothing more than to disappear and wake up in the bed I yearned for. Yet my body remained in the same position, facing that same door in the same house - but in such a different reality.
Cold, hesitant light streamed through a cracked and mildewy window, battling with the shadows lurking on the walls. The wind howled outside, insane laughter to my panicked mind. Summoning what little courage I had left, I pushed the door open with caution. Instantly, the smell of dust and decay entered my nose. The room before me me wore a cloak of black, obscuring what was within. With a small sense of hope still somewhere within my heart, I took a step inside. This was it.