Sting of cold steel as her palm crossed my cheek. She was screaming and crazed tears flowed from her eyes as she ran away. Standing there in shock as I lifted my hand to my face, flushed and stinging. The cold rain pelting down harder, soaking me as I stood there. Cloaking the tears that streamed from my eyes. All gazes were upon me in the dark, neon shimmering off the whetted pavement as I turned and walked inside the darkened building.
Still in shock as I stepped to the bar, a rather overly dressed gentleman stated in a heavy, raspy voice “You look like her sister, that’s why she was so upset, you see her sister is dead. You my dear, are a mirror image.”. Still thinking that this was a bit over the top as I had said nothing to the woman, walked around to the other side of the bar and ordered my drink. All hope was high that my friends would arrive soon and we could begin on our little adventure.
Several drinks later, admittedly they were going down rather too easily, Jarrod and the other 3 strolled in the door. I hailed them over and ordered a round of drinks and Jarrod began by telling us his plans for the evening. He wanted to set up cameras in the old Case Mansion outside of town. We could all stay out there and see if the place truly lived up to it’s haunting claims. As slick as Jarrod is he had it already prearranged. A ghost hunt it was then. Exiting the bar I passed the overdressed man, he winked and tipped his glass with a foul smirk that gave me a chill. I really had to get out of these wet clothes.
As the plans were being ironed out I advised Jarrod and the gang that I was going to the house to change and would meet up with them after a few. Protesting, Kerri began to throw her usual tantrum over being included in everything. “Let’s go Kerri and I’m not in the mood so just be quiet okay!” I exclaimed to the group as Kerri and I walked to my truck parked across the street. Not having the patience to deal with the immaturity of Kerri, I walked at a brisk pace leaving her in the puddles behind me. Climbing into the drivers seat and turning the key I noticed The reflection that Kerri’s form had as it approached the passengers side door, it resembled a decapitated form. Brushing off another chill as she climbed in and we drove off.
“Kerri, you know that the guys are going to try and pull pranks on us right? You have to be prepared and not act like a scared little girl, be expecting it.” Staring straight ahead as we headed up the one lane gravel road leading up to Case Mansion. “Yes I know, but sometimes I can’t help it, they really scare me” Kerri, all of a young tart who always seemed lost in her own head. She was sweet but annoying and had no business being on a paranormal investigation, as her shadow scared her stiff. “Honey you just stay with me okay, stay with me.” I told her firmly as we pulled up the circular drive and came to a stop in front of the magnificently creepy old grey brick mansion. The things that ran through my head, knowing Jarrod, Mike and Ben as well as I did, we were going to be in for a long night.
I watched as Kerri slide out of the passengers side just as a lightning bolt cracked across the sky and she let out a scream, I couldn’t help but laugh. Pulling the backpack from behind the seat I closed the door and there she was a frightened girl, looking panicked right under my heels. “Come on”. I grabbed her arm and we walked up the wide steps to the heavy wooden doors. Once inside an instant wave of nausea overcame me, taking a few moments to gather myself and fight back the image of the decapitated shadow in my head. “Come on”, Kerri said seemingly animated now as she twirled farther into the foyer. This place was humongous. Heavy wood work and stone covered in dust, yet one could still see the underlying beauty. It was as if I had been caught in a trance as Ben came up behind me, kissed me on the top of the head and said “Come in shorty” as he chuckled and entered into a room on the left.
Ben, no there was a character standing over 6’3″ tall with a fun-loving personality and a huge heart, even if he wanted the world to think he was a mean and tough. He was all of those things and a great friend whom I trusted with my life. Walking into the other room, dropping the bag on the floor, it seemed that the guys had already set up the equipment as we all stood there staring at the multiple screens in anticipation. The top right screen flickered momentarily and again a chill passed over me, only this time my physical shudder was visible, almost wracking my body in my shoes. Jarrod and Mike were talking, although, I wasn’t paying any attention as to what they were saying. I got lost in this house and began to wander, having forgotten all about the 4 others.
Some time had passed, although having no recollection of leaving the initial room or coming up the stairs and entering the bathroom, still graced with the presence of an old brass tub. Cobwebs and dust covering every inch of the room. Every inch except the window, which stood open in the dark as the flash of lighting illuminated the darkened room. I jumped a foot when in the instant flash I swore I saw a man sitting on the commode. With another flash I realized it was the style of water-closet with the tank on top. An I realized that I had wandered off with no flashlight at all. Standing there in the dark, thunder began to crash and a momentary flight of panic grabbed hold of me as I looked at the doorway, so dark in here.
The raw burning sensation that had presented itself on my back began to sting. I must have bumped into something wandering around in the dark. Entering the hallway there was a shrill scream from downstairs. My heart began to race as I started moving closer to the stairway stumbling down in the dark. Walking into the front room where I had left everyone, what seemed like only moments before, the screens were all snowy and there were blood stains spattered across them. As I continued farther into the room, the blood spatter explained itself as there was Kerri in a pool of it, her head severed from her neck, still pulsing small squirts of crimson goo as I stared in disbelief.
Backing up against the wall, surveying my surroundings as best I could in a moment of complete panic. Kerri, poor Kerri, but the killer had to be right here, as she screamed only moments before. This room was slightly aglow and I was certain that the killer, whomever he was could see my exact location. The blood rushed to my face as fight or flight kicked me in the ass as I crouched to the floor. Just what the hell was going on here. Once the light from the monitors was above me and I was in relative darkness, slowly sliding my way around the door jam into the next room. Pitch black in here and for all I knew either Kerri’s killer was in here with me, or this was a huge prank by the boys, which by the look of Kerri laying out there, this was no joke.
Once again I was standing in the bathroom upstairs that I had just come from, staring at a portrait in front of me. A haggled woman with tangled hair, bruised skin and bloody hands. Her clothes were torn and soiled and her eyes fiery fierce. Turning toward the door, with the glow of moonlight the image that I had been staring at turned in time with me. In a state of horror and panic lifting my hands to my face, indeed blood soaked and trembling. Transcending across the room to the hallway, as if I were floating I heard footsteps moving towards me in the dark. Terror ran cold through my veins as I stood still, back against the wall, attempting to plan my escape. Legs trembling beneath me and breath catching in my chest as Ben appeared at the opposite end of the hall. Oh relief, “Ben” I shouted and again “Ben” he just stood there and stared at me for a moment and began down the stairs. “Ben don’t go down there, there’s a killer in here, Ben”. He continued down the stairs.
Following Ben downstairs, he walked right out the front door. Attempting to chase after him, I ran and back in the upstairs bathroom I was, running towards the door. In the flicker of the moonlight through the open window there was a form laying in the tub. Leaning in close I recognized it to be Mike. Mike was sitting in a tub of his own blood arms in his lap, his throat torn apart and a shredded mess was left where his adams apple once was, head laid back. There was no fear at this point, I wanted out, wanting to find Ben. I resumed back down the stairs again. Bounding down each step as the chill inside me rattled my body once more. At the front door the sound of a whimper come on the breeze from the open door. That was no whimper that was the sound of creaking as the rope that Jarrod was hanging by swung with his weight against the old tree.
Stepping out onto the porch. The bright lights scorching my eyes as the focus came back to them. There was Ben, he was being forced into the back of a car. It was then that he looked at me. That sting across my face, smoldering as he mouthed the words “You never left my friend”. I heard the cop asking him what they were doing out here and Ben responded with “We were hoping to catch a glimpse of an old friend on our equipment. I guess it didn’t go as planned, do you think you’ll catch the guy?” The officer still leaning at the back of the car told Ben “You’re lucky to have made it out. Something has been wrong with this place since the Case girl was thrown from the 3rd floor, her dress catching her by the neck and hanging her from the daggered window eave, practically decapitating her.” Facing the portrait, once again back in the upstairs bathroom the moon glowing, radiating inside the room and Mike with his head flayed backwards. Lifting my hand to the mirror, as my fingers caressed the frame, now the scene before me was the view of the bathroom in it’s entirety as I looked down. Behind me ghastly hands gently, fervently tugging. The loose grip of my finger tips on the mirror frame gave way and darkness greeted me with a shiver down my spine.