The ChamberI was just putting my long auburn hair up into a ponytail when I heard the familiar sound of an engine. Braydon was here! I quickly slipped my flip flops on and bounded down the stairs just as my mom was opening the door.
“Good evening Evelyn,” Braydon said sweetly to my mom with a quick nod.
“You sure do know how to use your charm, huh?” She asked him with a bright smile. “Come on in.”
He stepped inside and again, I was caught by how good looking he really is. His shaggy, messy, dark brown hair fell across his forehead, his eyes were a bright blue, and he had an overall toned body. I smiled at him as he reached his hand out to me. “Are you ready to go?” he asked.
I grabbed his hand and smiled back saying, “I’m ready. I’ll be home soon mom,” I called back to her; Braydon already had me pulled out the door on the way to his car. It was a sleek black Mitsubishi Eclipse with leather seats; it was a very nice car. He opened my door for me and shut it once I was in.
“So what’s the adventure on the agenda today?” I asked him. With Braydon, there was always an adventure. There’s never a time when we can just go relax at a park and just hang out like normal couples, he’s always on the go, looking for new adventurous things for us to do. It always made my mother so nervous.
As he began pulling out of the driveway, he gave me a mischievous smile, avoiding my question.
“Braydon, I don’t like the looks of that smile,” I told him with a big smile.
He grabbed my hand with his free hand and squeezed as we pulled out of the driveway. “You’ll like it, I promise.”
“Just tell me, the suspense is killing me.”
“Okay, you know that old creepy road right on the outskirts of town?”
I thought about that for a second then replied, “Oh yeah, the one where you can barely see the road anymore because the grass and weeds are so overgrown right?”
“That’s exactly the one,” he said with an excited grin.
“What about it?” I asked, a little confused at why he was bringing this up.
“Have you ever been down it?”
“No I can safely say I have not.”
That’s when I caught on. He wants us to go see what’s at the end of that road, where it leads us to. “Braydon, are you sure about this one? That road looks super creepy.”
“That’s the point, it just makes me more curious.”
“I don’t know...” I trailed off.
He gave my hand another squeeze. “Sweetie, don’t worry about anything. I’ll keep you safe okay?”
“You can talk me into almost anything, you know that right?” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Yes! Thank you!” he said, leaning over and giving me a quick kiss on the cheek before returning his eyes back to the road.
Great, I let him talk me into taking some treacherous journey down an old creepy road that leads to who knows where. I sighed and looked out the window the rest of the way to that creepy road. When we pulled along side of the road, Braydon turned to me and said, “Ready for the hike?”
“We have to hike the trail now?”
“That was always the plan sweetie,” he said with a wink.
“Oh, well thanks for letting me in on this plan,” I said, smiling back at him. All he did was laugh as he got out of the car, taking his keys with him. Again, I rolled my eyes and followed his lead out of the car.
“You know, it would’ve been nice to know we were gonna be hiking. I would’ve worn something a little more appropriate besides my jeans, sweatshirt and flip flops.”
“Here,” he said as he tossed me a pair of shoes. “They’re my running shoes for track, you can use them.”
“Thanks,” I said as I sat down on the pavement. As I was putting the shoes on and tying the shoe-laces, I looked around us trying to size up the situation ahead. The shrubbery and dense green leaves were overhanging the trail, and the trees were dark and gloomy. This was beginning to look more and more like a bad idea. I jumped a little when I saw a hand come in front of my face and drew in a deep breath.
“Sorry Ava, didn’t mean to startle you. Are you ready?” Braydon asked, offering me his hand to help me up.
“Oh yeah, sure, sorry,” I said, grabbing his hand and getting pulled up.
“Are you okay? You sure you want to do this?”
I looked around one more time. Sure, the place looked gloomy and creepy, but it really did just make me more curious to see what was at the end of this road.
“Yeah, I want to do this. We should get started now, we don’t know how long we have to go.”
He gives me a quick kiss and said, “That’s my girl! Let’s get started.”
I grabbed his hand and let him take the lead down this mysterious path to nowhere. Every time we took a step, we were constantly pushing damp weeds out of the way. When we pushed the weeds away, the water from them dripped down onto my pants and down my sleeves, getting my clothes soaking wet. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I looked around again and noticed that it was getting a little darker; the sun was slowly starting to set and the deep orange sunset was just barely in view.
I tugged on Braydon’s hand making him stop for a second.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“It’s starting to get dark out, we don’t know how much farther it is, I don’t think it’s a good idea to continue.”
“Ava, it’ll be fine, I think we’re almost there, I have a feeling,” he said, pleading with me.
“I don’t know... I’m just worried it’s gonna be dark before we even begin to turn around and then we’re gonna get lost in this creepy set of woods and nobody is gonna know where we are.”
“We’re almost there, I know it.”
He smiled at me before turning around and continuing. My gut started to get this feeling, like something was wrong, but I shook it off, and ignored the feeling. What seemed like forever, but what was really only seven minutes later, we stepped into what looked like a clearing. One more look around told me that this was much more than a clearing.
“Woooow,” I heard Braydon exclaim. I was speechless, all I could do was let my jaw drop. This was completely unexpected.
Looking straight ahead, all I could see was this giant dilapidated house that looked like it came straight from a horror movie. The 80 plus year old wood from the house was rotting, you could see the dark green vines beginning to grow up the side of the house, the shutters were crooked and about to fall off from the windows that looked like they could shatter any minute. By the looks of the porch, it looked like if you stepped on it, you were gonna fall right through into a bottomless pit. Dead oak trees were growing around the house and when I took a deep breath in, you could smell rotting wood mixed with a musty basement odor, it was not a very uplifting smell. I could hear the creaking of the old house and the quiet bang, bang, bang of the shutters against the side of the house.
“This was not what I expected to find. Let’s go check it out,” Braydon said. I could see the curiosity in his eyes and knew that he was turning into Indiana Jones at this moment.
“But there might be someone living there,” I said, trying to make up excuses to not get closer.
“You’ve gotta be kidding Ava, you think someone would live here?”
“Um, no I guess not.”
“Come on, let’s go check it out, there could be something interesting.”
“I don’t know... it looks super creepy.”
“I promised I’d keep you safe remember?”
“Okay, as long as you let nothing happen to either of us, I will come along with you.”
He grabbed my hand again and led me towards the house. As we continued to move closer, the smell of rotting wood and musty basement became more evident. We walked up to one of the windows and I stood on my tippy-toes to peek inside. The inside looked even worse than the outside. The inside was even creepier because there were remnants of the past that was left inside. There was an old tattered couch with a drape over it, something that looked like an old dusty grand piano, and what looked like little pictures hanging all over the walls. The wallpaper from the walls was beginning to peel, and the floors looked like it had floorboards missing here and there. This place just looked like a complete hazard.
And of course, Braydon had to say, “We should find a way inside.”
“You’re kidding right? You see what it looks like in there, it’s a huge hazard!”
“Please? We won’t get hurt; we’ll watch where we step. We have to find a way in!”
“Ugh, you frustrate me sometimes.”
We walked around the side of the house trying to find a way in. I got my hopes up when I realized that there was most likely no way in, because there was no way I was going to climb that front porch. My hopes went downhill once Braydon pulled me down to the ground and points saying, “We can fit through this basement window. I can go first to see if it’s safe.”
“Are you sure? I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“I’ll be fine!” he said, giving me a reassuring kiss on the cheek.
“Don’t worry,” he said with a wink as he lifted up the basement window and wiggled his way through. I heard a crash and called down, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah I’m fine, there’s just a bunch of boxes down here. If you jump down, you’ll be okay.”
“You promise?” I have to be reassured for this one.
“I promise you.”
I stuck my legs through the window first and fell down, landing on my feet. The smell of musty basement instantly hit my nostrils. I took a quick look around and realized that Braydon was right; this ancient basement was filled with boxes that haven’t been open for years. Out of curiosity, I walked to the nearest box, flipping the top open. Inside was what looked like children’s dolls from back in the 1900’s. I shut the top quickly, getting a creepy feeling emanating from the box.
“Hey what’s over here?” Braydon asked.
I looked to where he was pointing and noticed a big tall book shelf that looked like it was from the 1800’s. The old oak was chipping and the whole bookshelf itself was covered in grime and dust. It looked like all of the book’s bindings were falling apart.
“It just looks like a bookshelf Braydon.”
“Well maybe there’s something behind it,” he exclaimed as he began to make his way over to it.
Once he started pushing the bookshelf over I began to say, “Don’t be ridiculous, there’s nothing behind the book shelf. That only happens in the old movi-,” the rest I was going to say was cut off when I was proven wrong. There appeared to be what looked like a chamber door right behind the book shelf. I walked up to it and ran my hand across the smooth, freezing iron of the big chamber door.
“What do you think is down there?” he asked me.
“I’m not quite sure if I care to find out.”
“Come on, let’s check it out,” he claimed, beginning to tug on the doors big slimy handle. At first, it didn’t seem to budge at all no matter how hard he pulled. “Sweetie, can you come help me?” He asked with a sly smile.
“Are you sure? A big strong guy like you can’t handle it?” I asked with a sarcastic smile.
“Ha ha ha, you’re so funny. Help me please, this door is either really heavy, or it’s stuck.”
“Or it’s both or locked,” I added on.
“Okay I see your point; will you please just come help?”
I rolled my eyes and grabbed onto the handle with Braydon.
“On the count of three,” he stated. I nodded and he began the countdown. “One, two, three!” When he said three, we both yanked hard and the door finally gave in and pulled open. We both fell backwards onto our backs laughing.
“Ready to see what’s on the other side?” He asked.
“Mmhhmm,” I replied as he held out his hand to me and helped me up. When we looked through the door we were surprised to see nothing but pure blackness and a set of dark and gloomy stairs. “Okay Braydon, I’m having second thoughts. I really don’t think I want to see what’s down there.”
“Oh come on, it’ll be fun.”
“It’s pitch black! We’re not going to be able to see anything anyways.”
He thought that one over for a second before saying, “I’ll be right back,” as he rushed up the stairs.
“Be careful!” I yelled after him. I honestly don’t know why I let this boy drag me into things like this every time. I sighed to myself as I began to walk around the basement, checking things out. There were so many boxes laying around everywhere stacked on top of each other. It’s like whoever was here just got up and left.
Or they never left, I thought. I shook my head to get rid of that thought. Don’t be ridiculous, this house is a complete monstrosity, nobody could live here. I walked over to what looked like a work bench and began to poke around. I found something quite useful as I was digging around; a candle and some matches. This could help us get downstairs.
I walked back over to the stairs and took out one of the matches and stuck the other ones in my back pocket. I held the burning orange flame to the candle’s wick and watched the candle instantly light up. I held it just inside the chamber door and could see more of the obscure stairs leading down.
“Braydon!” I called up the stairs, “I found some matches and a candle, and you can come back down now!”
I heard no response and just shrugged my shoulder. Should I begin going down without him, and then just let him catch up? I glanced back down the stairs again and looked at the walls. The walls were made of stone with a few weeds poking out here and there. I touched one of the stones and wasn’t surprised at all to notice that they were viscous, clammy, and cold. For some reason, it reminded me of death. I shuddered and then realized that I’m not going to wait for Braydon, he’s just taking too long and the sooner we get out of here, the sooner we can leave. That and I guess I am maybe a little curious. Curiosity killed the cat, I thought.
I took the first step leading down the flight of stairs, testing to see if the stairs were also slimy considering they were made of stone also. I was glad to find out that they were not slimy, so I had no chance of slipping as I went down. As I descended down, step by step, the air began to become less ample, the atmosphere became quite creepy, and the smell more pungent. When I finally took the last step to the bottom, I was relieved; I thought it was never going to end.
I took a few more steps and glanced around at what I could see. My jaw dropped instantly, this was not what I had expected at all. A few feet ahead there were two cells, one on the right and one of the left. In between the two cells is what appeared to be a work bench kind of like the one that had been upstairs. As I slowly made my way towards the first cell on the left, the smell got worse and worse. It began to smell like old blood mixed with musty basement and a tiny hint of rotting flesh. I peaked inside the cell once I had reached it. I backed away instantly, stumbling backwards and landing with my back against the bars from the cell on the right side, being careful not to drop the candle and be subdued into pitch blackness. In the cell in front of me, there was old blood that was splattered across the walls and spilled on the floor. There was a tiny little cot in the cell that was also covered in spots of blood here and there. There were shackles hanging from the walls right by the bed as if to keep people chained up. What happened in these cells?
Then I realized that my back was to the other cell. I scrambled away and couldn’t help but peer inside that cell too. Unfortunately, that cell shared the same fate as whatever had happened in the left one. I got off my hands and knees and made my way back towards the cell on the left. There was something in there, something small and black. I grabbed the rusty steel cell door and pulled it open carefully. I covered my ears as the creaking from the door emanated in the tiny little cellar. I grabbed the tiny little black book from inside and hurried out.
It looks like a diary of some sort. I walked over to the bench and set the book down. I held back a scream when I saw what else was all over the work bench. There was saws, hammers, drills, hooks, all covered in old, crusted blood. What happened down here?? I slid down to the end of the bench that had no torture weapons covered in blood and opened up the little black book. I turned to the very first entry page I saw:
May 29th, 1931
I was lucky they did not search me before they threw me in here, without this little book, I would not be able to hopefully get my story out. I was hiking in the woods, taking a leisurely stroll when out of nowhere I was attacked. I was knocked out and when I woke up, I was here, tied up with these chains. I think there’s someone else in the cell across from me too. I can’t be sure, but I hear whimpers and little cries that sound like a woman’s. When I call out to her, she does not answer so I cannot be positive. I can see a work bench a little ways from our cells, it appears to be covered with tools. What they use those tools for, I really would not like to find out. I just heard the door open, I can hear someone coming down the stairs….
I flipped the page quickly, needing to know more.
Oh God, I have to get out of here before they come back, I don’t want that to happen to me! My suspicions were confirmed, it was a lady that had been in the cell across from me. She was maybe only nineteen years old…. They took her out of the cell and tortured her in front of me, showing me what’s going to happen to me next. I’m not going to get into detail of what they did to that poor young, innocent girl. It was too gruesome for anyone to ever know… it’s horrible to think that I am next, there’s no way out… I’m going to die…
I flipped the rest of the pages frantically, there has to be more, he couldn’t stop there. What really happened down here? How many people were killed in this little house? I tucked the book in my sweatshirt pocket and was about to go back upstairs when I heard a noise. People were coming down the stairs, just like in the booklet. I ran into the corner of one cell and huddled inside, putting my candle out so I wouldn’t be seen.
“Ava?” I heard Braydon’s voice call out quietly.
“Braydon!” I yelled just as some lights flicked on. There was lights down here? How come I didn’t notice the light switch? I came out from the cell and instantly shrunk back into the nearest wall. Braydon was not alone. With him were two people I have never seen before and never wanted to see again in my life.
The person to the left looked like a stocky woman, though her face was unrecognizable because of all the scarring. She was about my height but weighed quite a bit more than my 125 pounds. The man to the right looked a little taller than Braydon’s six feet and approximately double Braydon’s weight. They both looked like something that came straight from a horror movie, it was like they couldn’t even exist. Their clothes were tattered, their bodies covered in scars and bad bruising, and they never even spoke a single word.
They shoved Braydon into the wall next to me and he instantly grabbed onto me, pushing me behind him. They just stood there looking at us like we were lab rats. After a while, I couldn’t stand it anymore.
“What do you guys want?” I asked.
They both cocked their heads and just stared at me with lifeless eyes that had scarring over them.
“Well? Can we please just go?” I went to take a step forward passed Braydon, but when I moved one leg, the male made a guttural sound from deep in his throat; I stopped instantly. I went to whisper to Braydon, but then they moved at us so fast we didn’t even have time to react. The woman grabbed the back of my shirt and threw me onto the ground while they pulled Braydon away from me. I screamed as the lady stood in front of me making sure I don’t go anywhere.
I peaked around her to see if Braydon was okay, what I saw next made me sick to my stomach. The man had Braydon on his stomach and his knee was in Braydon’s back. No matter how much Braydon struggled, he could not get away from the big man’s grasp. The demented man reached behind him and grabbed one of the drills from the bench. Once he started the drill, I never knew the screeching of a drill could sound so menacing to my ears. He was starting to slowly move the drill towards Braydon’s neck.
“Don’t! Stop!” I screamed. I tried to dodge around the woman, but I had no success. I heard the drill begin to touch the flesh and Braydon cry out. I covered my ears and began whimpering on the hard stone floor. I sneakily tried to crawl towards the stairs when one of them grabbed my ankle violently, causing me to bruise, as they yanked me back. I turned my head to the left and saw Braydon’s lifeless body laying there in a pool of blood. Tears began to stream down my face as the lady stuck her knee into my stomach and I saw the drill slowly making its way towards my chest. It was about an inch from my body, and I waited for the pain.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I awoke with a start and had tears cascading down my face. I instantly brought my hands to my chest and began to feel for the hole that the drill caused. To my relief, there was nothing there and I was still completely alive. It was all just a bad, horrible dream. Braydon! I grabbed my phone and dialed his number as fast as I could.
“Oh God! Braydon, you’re alive!” I exclaimed in alleviation.
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Just a really bad horrible dream.”
“I’m sorry sweetie. Hey! I know where we can go today.”
I rolled my eyes; he’s already back to his old self like I didn’t just call him like a freak. “Where?” I asked.
“You know that creepy old road on the outskirts of town? I think we should go see what’s at the end.”
My jaw dropped and the phone almost fell from my hands.
“Ava? You still there?”
“Braydon, we are not going down that road, ever.”
“Braydon, no! We go down that road, we die.”
“What are you talking about? You’re not making any sense.”
I had nothing else to say, so I just laid there, completely speechless.
“Ava? Sweetie? Are you there? I’m coming over right now,” I heard him say as the phone clicked to an end.
I let the phone slip from my hand as I laid there. There’s no way we are ever, ever, ever going down that road. I will not let us risk our lives. We go down that road, we’re as good as dead.