The Door At The End Of The Hallway
Author's note: I really wanted to write this after I thought of the title. That's how it usually starts with me... Show full author's note »
A New TenantIt was then I noticed the peculiar shape, in chalk, upon the floor about the creature. As I stepped back, I noticed the creature was directly in the center, with a crisscrossing pattern throughout. It took me a moment before I realized what it was: a Pentagram. I looked around the room, noticing for the first time the blackened shapes that used to be furniture, sporting a large amount of candles, all having been used before. I was then that I realized what, or rather, who, this creature was, and
I realized now, that she meant my suite. I thought back to the nightmares, of people in the walls. There weren’t any people watching me, just one person: Ms. Weeks. I then noticed what else was horribly wrong with what I was looking at. All around the room were figures, each more or less along the line of decomposition. All were hung on the wall by hooks. That was the scent I had first noticed. And suddenly, a light fell on both me, and George.
“Problem dearie?” said the sweet voice of Ms. Weeks.
I felt my entire body grow cold. I slowly turned to face the sweet old lady in the door way. She was not like in my dreams, evil and demonic looking. She was the same old Ms. Weeks that I had grown to know. Yet her eyes were definitely different. Not yellow, or dilated: just cold, and angry, and more than slightly amused.
Yet again, I realized I was not afraid: I was angry.
“What have you done to him?” I asked, the blood pounding in my ears.
“Whatever do you mean dear?” she asked, toying with me.
“You know damn well what I mean. What did you do to George?” I said, motioning to the figure on the floor. Yet now, I noticed, he wasn’t like in my dream. He wasn’t the large, monstrous, cackling figure as I imagined. He wasn’t even trying to get to me, or harm me. He just sat there, forlorn at his predicament. He was barely capable of moving. All he could do was tap the floor with a long blackened nail, or drag a withered hand across the floor.
“Oh god.” I whispered to myself, realizing now that every time I tried to open the door, he was trying to signal me. The look in his eyes told me everything I need to know: he wasn’t some malicious creature out of a young man’s nightmare; he was in pain, that was all.
Ms. Weeks noticed that my attention had been drawn from her, and quickly amended that.
“All I have done here, though it’s none of your business, is help my poor husband through his struggles.”
I stared at her blankly, not fully understanding. She sighed, frustrated. All sweetness was out of her voice now.
“I was so distraught with losing my husband, and my business, that I decided to get them back. Though getting my husband back was ultimately they easier of the two. Go figure. So, I simply turned to some necromancy, a bit of devil worship, and a few sacrifices, and voila!” Her voice rose an extra octave, and lathered on the sweetness, with the last word.
“Unfortunately, the sacrifices, former tenants, were only good enough to keep him, well, sort of alive. I haven’t been able to find a pure enough soul to fully pull him out of this dilapidated state.” I narrowed my eyes at here with every other word. After all, even though I had momentarily lapsed into insanity, I still found even this hard to believe. Before I could voice my incredulity, she continued:
“Luckily though, I have found a good enough sacrifice: You!” her last words sent me staggering.
“Wha- What?” I blurted out, unable to believe.
“Yes, you! You’re young, handsome, and you have a very pure grasp on both life and emotion. Simply perfect! Do excuse me if I gush somewhat, I’m just so excited!” she was grinning again, all happiness having returned. Yet it was such happiness that left me uneasy. Here was this frail, old woman, barley 5’6, yet she was so confident about “sacrificing” me. I was easily 6’3, and the better half of a 170 pounds, and a good portion was muscle.
“What makes you so sure of yourself; after all, look at the two of us. Also, I have an axe.” I said, holding up the axe, as if that would be sufficient proof that whatever she was planning was folly.
“Well, whatever wasn’t enough for my husband to regenerate with I sort of, well, absorbed myself!” As she said this, she stepped forward, grasped the hand that held the axe, and with strength that should not belong to a woman of her age, ripped it from my hand and sent it into the wall. I staggered backwards, hands in front of me, trying desperately to find an escape as she continues advancing.
But she was surprisingly quick as well: before I knew what was happening, I was on the floor next to George with a knife at my throat.
I looked frantically into Ms. Weeks eyes, hoping to find some sort of resolve there, that maybe she could change her mind.
I realized she wasn’t going to the second I felt the steel of the knife entering my neck.
My eyes began bulging and the pain seared through my entire body, and blood flowed freely from the wound, both onto the knife, and into my throat. I began choking almost immediately. After a few moments of struggling against her iron grip, I felt my body start to go limp. My head lolled to one side, and the last thing I saw was George, a look of utter defeat in his blackened, burnt face. And just before I slept, I swore I could see his face growing less blackened, his eyes returning to normal. But maybe that was just the blood loss. I was happy though, with what I got to spend my dreams with. He had green eyes, and they were pleasant.
Samantha Kirk stepped out of the taxi, and, with a look of utter distaste, eyed the tenement that was to be her new home. It was a dilapidated old building, with grime along the front, and scorch marks along the windows edges. She was fresh out of college, having studied literature, and was ready to take on the world. She was fairly confident that she would get a job at a local newspaper. After all, apparently one of the best writers they had had disappeared. No one knew where he went though. A shame, she though. He sounded like a nice guy. She had also learned that he lived here too; and If he was so successful, why not her? As she approached the entrance, adorned with new paint and workers busily scrubbing away the grime, two elderly folks stepped out to greet her. One was a sweet looking old woman, barely chest height, and the other