I wasn’t dead. That was good news. I was very weak, but at least alive. Well, I hoped so. I opened my eyes and jumped scared to the wall. Ghosts, traps, snakes, dolls... and now zombies!? What the heck was wrong with my life!!
“Calm down, it’s okay.”
I clenched my fist on my shirt and tried to breathe slower. I looked around.
I was in a small, somehow disgusting room with lots of similar, creepy things, that were in the first room. I was sitting on a shabby bed with smelly and dusty blanket. Next to the bed were standing my members and it was Youjin, who just told me to calm down. He was still holding my arm. I touched his hand, to make sure it was real, and sighed, falling back on the bed. But I sat again violently coughing, when the dust got into my nose.
“What happened?” I muttered. “You’re all alright? The last thing I remember is –”
“Yeah, that was intense,” Heejun said with smile. “But you saved us, before collapsing. When you pulled the lever, a neat appeared below us and pulled us out. Then the trapdoor closed.”
“But –!” Suddenly I remembered one thing and frantically checked my right calf. It was bandaged, but I felt no pain. Was it paralyzed? I... I won’t be able to walk again, not mentioning the dancing!?
“It’s fine,” Seungjun said, sitting beside me. “You’re no longer poisoned.”
“H-How come –!?”
“Ho-ho-ho, no need to thank me!” I heard suddenly and again saw the terrifying, haired zombie face with big glasses.
I jumped into Seungjun’s arms, trying to kick the zombie, but Heejun grabbed my leg.
“He’s the guy!” maknae gasped. “He’s Professor Creep!”
I froze. Seriously? This tiny, old, creepy geezer was our potential savior!?
“Oh, it’s great then,” I said through teeth and in a moment had a lot of energy, when I threw myself at him with fists. Members caught me in the last moment, before I punched Creep in his funny face. “Let go of me! I promised I’ll kill him, if we meet him!!”
“You could do that, if he hadn’t saved your life!” Youjin panted, pressing me to the bed.
“Exactly! That – wait, what?” I looked at them in shock, then at Creep, who was smiling sheepishly.
“That thing, which ‘stabbed’ you, was an antidote,” Inseong explained. “He was observing our every move through the CCTV from here. He already accepted us before we came into the last tunnel, but...” He looked grimly at Creep. “I guess he was just having fun.”
“HAVING FUN?” I repeated with rage and again started jerking. “Will it be fun, if I KILL HIM RIGHT NOW?”
“You’re a funny boy!” Creep laughed, pointing at me dirty finger. Above his wrist was a cut and I just realized that his face was covered in bruises.
“We’ve taught him a lesson, when you were unconscious,” Heejun murmured to me with a smirk.
“If that’s so, then I’ll forgive you,” I said coldly to Creep. “But only when you’ll help us.”
“I’m not helping you for free,” he said and my anger rose again. “You didn’t follow the rules.”
“But we got HERE,” I hissed through teeth.
“Without homecoming present, payment, and without following the signs. You should be dead already.”
“But we aren’t,” Inseong said. “Isn’t that a reason you let us meet you?”
Creep looked at us with anger, but with his face it looked like he needed to go to the bathroom.
“You destroyed my favorite dolls. And scared my Ghosty!”
“Who scared whom...” Heejun muttered.
“Those freaky dolls were trying to KILL us,” I reminded. “Booby traps too. Ah, did I mention those SNAKES? Or were they your favorite DOLLS too?”
“Jihun-ah, stop it,” Youjin said, patting my back.
“Why should I!? He deserves everything what we went through! EVERYTHING! I don’t care if he saved my life! He –”
“I still didn’t agree to help you,” Creep interrupted me coldly. “I didn’t hear your story either.”
“Will you hear us out?”
“I told you so,” I said to the members.
“From what I remember, it was you who took us here in the first place,” Inseong stated.
I glared at him, but he only shrugged. To be honest, I already forgot about Hyeon Ju and her curse. I took a deep breath, saying, “Then why did you let us in, if you’re not going to help us?”
“I said ‘it depends’,” Creep corrected me. “But seeing your lack of respect, I changed my mind and won’t help you.”
Members glared at me, but it wasn’t my fault. He really deserved every danger we went through. I continued unmoved, “What do we do for you to help us?”
Creep thought about something. I got a bad feeling. Suddenly he snapped his fingers so loud, which startled us. Didn’t he break them?
“You still can BUY my services!” he said and ran to the big box, which strangely looked like a coffin. “I’ll take it on credit, if you consider this option.”
“Aren’t you a psychopath on a wanted list, or something?” I blurted and was hit in the arm. I looked at Youjin indignantly.
Creep ignored my comment and brought to us a big, and no less scary, voodoo doll with fair hair. It looked like Barbie after transforming into zombie.
“She’s my treasure!” Creep said with delight. He hugged it and we hugged ourselves, staying away from them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the doll came alive. “And had an interesting story.”
“We can’t take your treasure, right?” I looked at the members and they agreed with me. “Can we buy something else?”
“Oh, you change your mind, when you hear her story!”
I guessed we didn’t have much choice and had to hear the story. We all sat on the bed and Creep began the story.
“You all know Bloody Mary’s legend, right? In it you stand before the mirror at midnight, saying ‘Bloody Mary’ three times. Then Bloody Mary appears in the mirror and do something to you. Well, it depends on the region, but usually she steals your soul, drinks blood, or just making you kill yourself. The legend, of course, had its followers, as you can see in the movies, or books. A few years ago there was a girl named Sally Sanders, who lived in California. She was an ordinary, kind girl, but in high school she had a nickname Barbie – because of her looks – which she didn’t like. It showed she was fake and beautiful only outside. One day she heard the girls from her class talking in the bathroom about doing a horror night in the school, after midnight. She wanted to participate too, but they refused, so Sally decided to take revenge on them. As the girls had a meeting in the school at 1 a.m., Sally made some preparations in her own room. She prepared a big, old-fashioned mirror from her late grandma, a chair, and candles. She made sure her parents were sleeping and started the ritual.”
I flinched, when Heejun’s hand touched mine. We were so into the story, that the partly scattered mirror on my left started to be uncomfortable to me.
“She heard that the Bloody Mary can make wishes come true,” Creep continued. “However, before anyone could say their wish, all Mary’s callers died in unexplained circumstances. Sally was smart, in spite of her nickname, and made a Barbie doll of her size and sat it on a chair. Sally believed that Mary will appear, ‘kill’ the doll and then Sally could make her wish. What wish she had? Simply to scare the girls in the school. At the midnight Sally called Mary’s name three times and hide inside the closet. She was looking only through the crack in the door. For some time there was silence. When a clock stopped to strike the midnight, there was deadly silence. Sally heard only her breath and fast beating heart. But it wasn’t with fear. It was with excitement. She didn’t believe in supernatural events, but that time she was sure Mary will appear. But nothing happened. Sally wanted to came out, when she heard something weird. She listened to it and realized it was breathing. Not her own. There was someone else in the room, she thought and froze. As she was waiting, the breathing gradually was coming closer to her hiding place. Was it Bloody Mary? Did she find Sally’s hideout? Sally held her breath, when the breathing was just next to the closet. But she still didn’t see anything. Suddenly the breathing stopped. There still wasn’t any move or proof of ritual’s success. Sally gathered the courage and touch the door, when something hit the doll, throwing her out of the chair. Sally gasped and covered her moth. Now she began to hear footsteps, but they weren’t coming toward her. They stopped at the door of the room. Sally uncovered her mouth and came closer to the crack, but all of a sudden a scary face with bloody eyes appeared before the crack. Sally screamed and closed her eyes. Tell me your wish, she heard suddenly. She opened her eyes, but Mary wasn’t there. Sally took the opportunity and told her wish. She didn’t get an answer, but now she was sure Bloody Mary left. When Sally came out of the closet, Bloody Mary was gone indeed and the Barbie doll was destroyed and had looks of scary voodoo doll, as if it was partly burned. Next day Sally went to the school, but saw the police in front of it. She asked around what happened and it turned out that there were seven deaths in the middle of the night. Indescribable fear grabbed Sally’s heart. She found her friend, who told her that there were seven girls at the night, telling each other scary stories, when suddenly a gust of wind killed them. Everything was recorded by the CCTV. And you know who was the culprit? Yes, Bloody Mary. But it wasn’t the end. After Sally returned home, she discovered her parents in the kitchen. Both dead with knives in their hands. Sally ran to the front door in panic, thinking it was a thief and he was still in the house. But the door was locked and even the keys couldn’t unlock it. Then she ran to her room, but as she opened the door, bloody figure appeared in front of her and caught her face, saying, Now it’s time to make MY wish come true. After that she broke Sally’s neck. In this story Mary is known as a ‘wandering ghost’, because she failed to kill the one, who called her, and lost her way back to the mirror. Only this doll remained as the witness.”
When Creep finished, we were unable to say anything. It was so scary, that we were clinging to each other without a word and almost without breathing, like Sally. The room was a little dark from the beginning and now I felt really uncomfortable. As I mentioned earlier, it was because of that damn mirror, but now I felt and heard something else.
The strange noise was coming from the direction of the mirror. I clenched my fists on Seungjun’s arm and slowly looked to the left.