Home Coming

A funny thing happened,
I woke up in a peculiar place with no memory...and a ghost with a grudge hot on my heels.
The whole place breathes dread and seems to suck the life out of you if you remain too long.
How can I escape this nightmare when even the elements bend to his will?


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1. Stairways to heaven

 

I took a moment to take in my surroundings almost certain I was under ground somehow. turning on the spot, I noted the stone work. Large pillars rose up and turned into arches, but they weren't holding anything up. The grey stones- like the pillars; spread out on the ground in uneven rows. Moss, grass and wild flowers grew from the spaces between them.

I became aware of a strange feeling, deep in the back of my mind telling me to push on through to see the other side.

Don't get me wrong- I didn't really have a desire to explore, I had no idea why I was here, I couldn't remember anything about myself or my life. I stopped as a rather frightening thought occurred to me., ''What if-suppose I might have...died?, Maybe this was the ether...''

I could feel my heart rate quicken. ''Good!'' I thought allowing relief to wash over me. ''If my heart is still beating- I must still be alive. But, where is this?''. I asked myself again hoping some kind of clue would just appear.

 

With the sensation growing stronger it became harder to resist the urge to just step forward and follow my feet, follow where I felt they needed to go.

I took several steps forwards to whereI figured the centre of the darkness might be, further into the heart of this cavernous cellar and found-to my astonishment, that beyond the first set of arched pillars, was a grand staircase...and then  further over; another one. And another. All in all there were at least four, maybe even five or six but I didn't really take notice of the number of staircases because...to be sure, none of them reached the ground.

I felt a cold sweat prickle at the back of my neck as I started to worry over how I would get out of this place.

I could see no doors...and the staircases didn't even reach the ground!.

Suddenly, the room lit up little by little snatching me from my worries as several candles mounted high up on walls began to illuminate in groups of 3. There must have been hundreds of candles. All of them large and white.

I walked further,approaching the closest set of stairs and upon inspection, I estimated the distance between the foot of the stairs to be between 10 and 12 feet above me and figured if I tried a running jump I might be able to reach. So I tried this, turning back I retraced the last 10 steps and ran as fast as I could, My feet slipped on moss and I almost tripped on some of the broken stones, finally my feet left the ground and I stretched as far as I could to try to grab on to the ornate structure above. And I did. But I wasn't sure I had the strength to pull my weight up as I kicked my legs and tried to scramble up.

 

Just then, A presence made it's self known. It appeared at first as an overbearing sense of someone standing over me, looking down at me and before I knew it, the air began to distort and turn wavy, like when you stare at the road on a hot day. The air around it becomes wavy. This gave way to black smoke, I watched as it swished and billowed from a tiny ribbon to a rough, spiky sphere. As I watched with wide eyes and jaw clenched tight the ball grew in height and width then it began to shift form again, this time I saw it become more humanoid. I became so hypnotised by the thing manifesting that I forgot for a moment I was trying to hold on; My shoulder cracked painfully under the pull of gravity and I felt myself begin to fall, unable to keep holding on. At this point I thought it was over, that in the blink of an eye I would be ground pizza. ..Or break a leg at the least...-That didn't happen thought, instead this thing swooped down and grabbed me like a rag-doll stopping my descent to the stone below. It's fingers were cold and hard against my wrist, so cold it hurt, like if you hold an ice cube for too long. When my feet touched back down on solid ground, I noticed I was at the top of the staircase on a circular balcony, all of the staircases appear to start from this level. The walls are full of books, large, ancient looking leather bound books. I sniffed the air and almost coughed.

The air was damp and full of dust. I felt sad, looking at them, they had been left to rot for so long now that they would probably fall apart if someone tried to open them. ''You found me'' whispered a low husky voice directly into my ear. I could feel cold down my neck as the voice spoke I spun around wanting to see who it belonged to but when I did, as soon as my gaze rested upon this...this thing. I knew I was no longer in control. Not of anything, even my own thoughts.

 

The person before me, and I say ''person'' loosely-because, truthfully I didn't have a clue what this thing was. It was human in shape, but- not in form. The light didn't touch him. It seemed to swallow any light daring to get too close, a vacuum to the light.

My blood turned as cold as his breath, the entire atmosphere felt chilled to the core, colder than any walk in freezer I had been in. I saw my breath and I remembered how much it had hurt when he had touched me. So I looked at my upper left forearm and I could see the pale white marks had arisen where he had held on to me.I gasped at the sight my breath leaving my lips in thick clouds.

 

It/he must have been 6ft or more. The shape of a man wearing a Stetson, his arms outstretched enveloping me and drawing me closer into what would have looked like the kind of embrace two old friends would share if they had reunited from a long time apart...if this thing was a person. I couldn't move, I wanted to run away but I just could not move an inch. As I tried to remain calm I Heard him speak again this time in my head, he had no face only the black shape of where a face should be so no mouth. I knew for this reason that what he said was telepathic. . ''Welcome home'' he purred.

 

And every hair on the back of my neck stood up and I shivered, my vision began to blur as tears of terror started form. I swallowed and with everything I could I managed to somehow force myself back creating some distance between me and him. It was the weirdest feeling to describe, almost like having my body encased in clay and attempting leap backwards. That, is the closest I can come to recalling that feeling of trying to get away from this creature.

 

I felt the enjoyment it gained from causing the terror inside me. He was loving every minute of this...mocking me .and then at this point I felt angry. I got really mad. I wanted to push him, but instead- in control again, I made a break for it and ran almost the entire way around the landing until I eventually spotted a small arched entrance to a very narrow passage. At the end of the tiny passage started yet another staircase- but nothing flashy this time. Just a basic set of grey steps heading upwards. At this point I didn't care where they would lead me, so long as it was away from the fellow behind me!.

 

I leapt up them as fast as I could missing several steps, the walls on the way up were dirty and I felt as if they were closing in on me, getting narrower the higher I climbed. It felt like I had been on this staircase for ages yet never getting closer to the top. When I did finally get to the top I stopped to catch my breath and saw that I was now standing on a seemingly endless, gloomy hallway. The kind of thing you would expect to see in a haunted mansion. The runner was threadbare and covered with rusty stains which could easily be confused with...and lets face it- probably was- dried blood from some brutal murder committed long ago. The place looked run down, like a hotel just left to rot. One side of the hall was occupied by closed doors for as far as I could see. But the wall I was standing next to contained nothing but walls with torn wallpaper and holes. There were no windows, no lights- yet I could still see fine- unlike before; downstairs before the candles were all lit- I couldn't see very far ahead of me at all.

 

Which way should I go?

I questioned myself turning my head to glance briefly in both directions, hoping I would see a sign or a light or something....

But both ways seemed equally unappealing to me. It was at this moment, I realized. The doorway I must have just exited the stairs from had vanished. I hadn't moved an inch since I had reached this floor, yet- the door and the stairs I had just used were now gone.

 

I couldn't help but laugh a little in response to the ridiculous situation I found myself in, and checking one last time to make sure I hadn't just overlooked the space- Even going as far as to place my hand on the wall to feel for an opening. After doing this I concluded that the door had in fact just disappeared...

At this revelation I didn't feel like questioning anything else, so I allowed myself choose the left and off I went- hoping against hope that I wouldn't run into the shadow man again, or worse. 

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