I remember reading about it in the News. At the time, I didn't think anything of it. I loved reading about all of the Bizarre and Horrific Tales straight out of Texas. That is, of course, what seperated me from all of the other 'Normal' people who reside here. So there I stood, literally beaming with passion as I read the crumpled up Black and White Newspaper. The Headlines staring back at me "Twisted" and "Grisly Autopsy"... I was just dying to get my hands on this worn down Apartment that was said to be soon renovated. Then there was this "Debate" on whether or not the Population around the area surrounding the Apartment would consider taking a Poll to show who Likes or Dislikes the factof it being torn down! Damn. I took another drag from my ciggarrete before tossing the stub to the concrete, stumping it out beneath my boot. A cool breeze of Fall air blew past crisp, colorful leaves before they took to their blissful death colliding to the sidewalk below. I peered from behind my dark circle shades towards the distant Park and just ahead, there she stood. That Near Abandoned Apartment. Luckily, the heat wasn't interferring too much radiating from the last bit of Sun lowering itself into the clouds embrace being put to rest; sporting my 1970 black fedora and knee length cocktail dress of Burgandy and off course the shades and buckled ankle boots to top it all off.
I folded the NewsPaper within my delcate hands and stood slowly from the park Bench, basking in the glow of the Sunset as I kept my eyes forward in Survelliance. I smirked, thinking, 'Here it is just days from Halloween and I'm going to have the Perfect Story for my Daily Journal'. That is, if nobody tried to stop me. I proceeded to walk my way across the large patch of lime green grass, nearly decaying into a Hay color, it was just minutes before the sun finally settled down.By then, I had already approached the front door to the place... it was so dirty in color! Nothing like the far away view and perspective I had gotten from the NewsPaper.
I reached a hand to the double doors knob on the right, double tugging it to make sure if it were locked or not. To my suprise, it creakingly slid open like an old Butler welcoming me into a quiet, low key and secret club for the imformal. Besides the racing thoughts in my head, I walked in all by myself. This woman had nothing to fear, I told myself smiling with positivity. I reached to remove my fedora from my straight mid length brown hair and set the hat aside on an old antique table by the Main Entrance. As I walked in further, paper still in hand, my boots clicked, seeming to give life to something that just...wasn't here.
I glanced around as the next thing to remove were my shades to get a better view on things. Old cobwebs hung around like bats in a cave, and an old spiral staircase off on the left but before me?
Before me only feet away there was an old Desk, sort of like a Bar...
Curiously, as I clipped my shades by the legs onto my dress collar, I made my way towards it. Surveying the fact that the Wallpaper all around me was in ruins, this place held so much Story! So much Past! As I approached the old desk, to my right was a bell. I took note of it. Behind the desk, all covered in dust was an old Wine Shelf! I exhaled almost too cheerfully for the silence to deserve. I suddenly felt insecure and awkward, for some bizarre reason. I figured I wasn't alone as I walked around I felt every now and then a prescence, which is weird, I could have sworn this place was already cleared out due to the NewsPaper I have stating it's obscenity.
I paused then, my eyes laying on something. I had to set the Paper down on an empty table nearby to go towards this beauty! As I got closer and closer I squinted my green eyes hoping I could get a better view within the foggy-dusty foyer. I wasn't suspecting!
"Can I..help you?" Came an abrupt voice, it's depth and suddeness caused my body to jolt with surprise as I turned quickly on my heel to get a follow up on who carried this vocal.
My eyes windened in shock and I sputtered out words before I had the time to think, "No! No, no. I- I was just getting a view on the place." I nod then, as if to excuse this mess of wording. The woman before me tilted her head a bit, her blond shoulder length hair so precisely done, I was almost jealous. Sheheld a sing songy voice, although the glare was written in her ghostly pale eyes wearing a smile that seemed a little exaggerated. "Oh! No worries, I've always been fond of this place myself." She tells me as she gestures towards the glass minagerie cabinet, that.. object of Perfection I had my eye on not even minutes ago. I raise my brows and turn along to follow her gesture. "What is that?" I asked curiously. She blinked a couple of times as she studied it recklessly as though it held a pice of her inside of it. Suddenly, her smile was gone. "What really brings you here?" Was her response. I shake my head in bewilderment and hesitate to say 'I asked you first', but instead: "I'll answer that if you answer me first."
Her eerie gaze fleeted to the ground below her as I left my focus from her I looked above me to an Balcony. Strange.
"It's really nothing." She hesitated after a few moments of silence.
"What about that Balcony above us? Why is it taped off?" I mention. She then looks up along with me and smiles again with that exaggerated smirk of hers smeared all over her lips along with her cherry gloss. "Oh, that! " She hummed as if a fond memory flooded into her. "Well, a man I used to like..." pausing briefly before continuing, "he used to wander up there a lot. For some reason, despite his involvment with another woman he drifted away from, he- he would always watch my eyes from across the room when I passed his way."
Confused yet enlightened, I chirped, all brain warped into the Scenario, "You mean Alex?" I asked, referring to the Paper. Alex used to work here as a last means to gain money after losing his job in the Police Force. He struggled to support his Wife and 3 children, nobody knew where he left to in the end.
"Why?" She says, turning her attention to me with brows raised. "Yes. Precisely!" She replies, walking past me towards the cabinet. She peered inside, between cupped hands after brushing away the dirt and dust residue. For some odd reason, I felt that his Apartment has been here for far too long.
"I gather you are curious, right." She says in more of a statement than a question.
I mutter something beneath my breath. She ignores it and asks, "Right?" She then stands into her regular posistion again from peering into the cabinet yet her eyes ramain glued to the glass. "Yeah, I am."
Then what she says next is more disturbing than anything, it kind of...gave me chills! Which was unexpected because like I said...in a hint, I don't get scared easily.
"Another Journalist. Another curious adventurer. You women with your pens shoved up your long sleeves always ready to jot down everything and anything from the most dangerous places. Seriously, anything to sell your Story."
I froze then in my stance, pressing my teeth together as I began to grow nervous. The woman turns around to face me with a smile then so true, unlike any of her exaggerated grins. This one holding a bit of happiness almost as if she knew she spooked me. "Oh, and- " she raises her brows, "As for the question. Inside that cabinet?" I nod, silently. She walks forward and leans in with an dramatic impression. "That's the real Hand of the Man that killed him."
"Killed him?" So many questions! I asked this and she nods very slowly, and walks by as I am left there in utter shock and bewilderment. "I want to know so much! Please, tell me whose Hand is that? And killed who?"
She peeks over to the NewsPaper on the cabinet and then answers emotionless, "The Hand of the Crazy man in whom murdered Alex."
I could have sworn that if it were rainy outside, thunder would have rolled. But low and behold, thunder of excitement and curiousity rolled over inside of me. I walked towards her almost threatening in my furiousity to learn! She turns to me and the glare was really apparent now, such hate. "Look, if you know what is best for you. You would take this story, this...Paper of yours and head out now before it is too late." She says mentioning the NewsPaper I had put aside. She brushed passed me as my back was turned to her I gave a look to the Paper again as I hear her mention in a dangerously devastating tone, such a turn in her attitude that it was almost frightening: "...This Tale is Twisted and Grim. I couldn't agree with them more on that one."
As I turned to reply, she was gone! I looked around furiously for her after she just seemed to POOF in mid-air but... no. Nothing. In an last attempt to get some sort of answer, I walked over to the glass cabinet and got a final look.
A curved hand holding an old antique Apartment room key: 666. But what's even more disturbed is that the hand was clothed in a satin, clown-suit related glove. The pattern was odd enough to throw me off, made of purples and bright reds. But mostly whites and blacks. The wrist cuff was frilly and laced. But the Key? The key! I wanted to know what hid behind this Room 666 and how do I get there?
But it then dawned on me!
This was 1970...
I ran towards the NewsPaper on the Bar. That Black and White newspaper I had...?
The edges were crisp like the fallen leaves outside. What scared me more as I tried to piece things together was the cold air that blew over my frame and chilled my face as I spotted the date below the Headlines:
Oct. 31. 1925
It was only days away from Halloween.
I thought, 'Oh my god,' as I nearly stumble back like I was just punched in the gut. I had just gotten that Paper from the steps of my home! How? I glanced around me and decided to take a dare move. I ran towards the spiral staircase and jogged up the stairs, panting, I looked down the right and then left side of the hallways I had approached at the top of the Stairs. To my left was an actual Bar with old taps they used to fill beer glasses, etc. To my right was an old, cage doored elevator and above the elevator door read: Going Up. I inhaled sharply and sped walked towards it and clicked an old faded yellow button for the door. It squealed open joltingly presenting a little box to step inside to go up. I did. I went straight up to the top floor. As the gate opened I jogged out and looked down the old withering burgandy hallway with faded pinstripe black and hideous yellow/ivory walls. Doors doors and more doors as I ran down the hall, glancing to each wall to catch what I am looking for. Finally, I found it.
I froze in place, chest heaving and hair all jumbled into knots like that of my mind. My palms were sweaty and my body heavy as I shakinly reached for the golden door knob. There was some sort of jukebox playing or a Record Player, I couldn't tell...mostly old Jazz all slowed down on repeat with the heavy thick smell of cigars. I caught myself on wanting to know more and curiousity wins. I opened the door slowly and glanced inside...there was light! Dimly lit room about the size of an average living room and right smack dab in the center was a decorated dining table about 5 and a half feet long. On it was a lit Pumpkin followed by a candle stick on either side. Empty porcelain plates and fancy chairs. A huge silver platter on the far right. I stepped in, thinking, 'alright, I am alone here, it seems..'. The moment I stepped in though, the atmosphere became bigger and more vibrant. People sat at the Dining Table and their plates were full with Turkey, Cranberry sauce, Stuffing. A glass of Chardonnay and thick knves and forks to use for eating utencils. But, what was in the Silver Platter with the bulbous top? The people gave me chills in their 1920's attire and nonchalant laughing. They were...happy? A man stood anc clicked the side of his half full glass with a knife. We met eye to eye.
"Everybody!" He addressed the others in a chirpy voice, "Please. Do welcome our House Guest. Sally May."
There was inaudible chatter and their eyes fleeted towards me in a dead stare...literally! They were all dead. Everyone of them! Ghosts, or corpses. I couldn't clearly tell.
"As you all should know, it is the Month of October and you do understand what that means?"
Hesitantly, I stepped forward, feeling a bit welcomed. "Halloween?" I asked, trying to find solace in this strange place.
They all nod and turn back to their Host.
"Yes! Indeed, indeed." He said proudly and gestured for me to take a seat at the table, I refused to budge and he glowered at me from where he stood and said simply, "Sit." So I sat and after a couple of words about Halloween and thier backstory or on how Halloween came to evolve. The Host reached over after placing down his glass and warned the Guests to be prepared for a joyous feast. With this, he topped off the old antique silver platter and to my astonishment. This was no Turkey, this was no Chicken or roasted Pig. I covered my mouth in anguish. This was the Head of Alex! All freshly cut from his shoulders and plucked out eyes with a gaping mouth, teeth digging into the red flesh of an Apple. The Guests acted surprised, not in fear, but in cheer. Whilst I sat back against my chair with the ticking of a GrandFather clock pounding in my eardrums.
The Host looked at me in a grimace of sorts.
"Does this frighten you?"
I nod, hand still over my mouth.
He all but smiled, and said: "Well, that's what it's like on a day in Hell on Halloween..." I was quiet, listening, scared. The Guests were willing to eat this?! I, all but wanted out of here, I do get scared after all! I'm no longer curious, no wonder curiousity killed the cat. My eyes darted from the Head of Alex to the Host in angonizing fear. I tried to my advantage not to shriek in terror!
He chuckled and leaned over the table before grabbing a huge dinner knife that resembled that from a Butchering warehouse. His dark, cocoa eyes on mine. "...You're always welcome to check in, but you can never check out. Twisted, really. Isn't it?"
With this, I found my eyes suddenly heavy. Sleep was sweeping over me as my body grew stiff and cold.
It was only 1970, only 1970...
Forget the story...forget everything.
Now I'm living in the Apartment, in room 666.
That's what Halloweens all about!
While your steadily crushing hollow carved pumpkins, some one elsewhere is carving...'something else'.