An old decrepit house, rundown and long-abandoned, carries a haunting legacy. A legacy of murder and suicide and the insanity of its long-dead owner. Some say he still haunts this place of damnation, calling softly in the dead of night to those who come too near. Luring them closer and closer. I have heard his calling, In fact hear it still when I close my eyes. For it is in slumber that he awaits me. In my Nightmare’s does he return!
KILL THEM AND BE FREE
Archibald Lawrence Griffin, was not what you would call a bright man. Nor was he down-right dumb. But he was, none-the-less, a very troubled and unstable man. An uncaring cold man, egotistical, quick to blame others and selfishly needy. He had married his wife Angie, not for love, but for money. And the son and daughter she gave him, of little concern.
He bought their house using his old man’s inheritance. Forgoing the funeral itself, in lieu of the barrister. When he lost his job at the factory he blamed everyone but himself and stewed in self-pity, brooding dark thoughts. The house took his inheritance money and his unsociable dark nature his job but it was his wife who drew his anger. His anger and despair. And the madness that soon would follow.
Angela May Livingston came from an upper middle-class family and enjoyed the finer things in life. An only child of well-to-do parents, she was used to getting her way. Getting her way and getting what she wanted. Her parents wanted too — for her a rich husband to wed.
Instead she married Archibald Griffin. Wed him in haste and against her parents wishes. For she had a secret growing inside of her that couldn’t be hidden much longer. A secret that if exposed before marriage would shame her fine pedigreed parents with social disgrace.
Her Parents died in a fire, not long-after the hushed birth of her son. Burnt beyond recognition as was the mansion she grew up in. As the only child, she received total inheritance and with this new-found money she began to change. Now the dominant bread-winner in the family, she would be the one calling the shots.
Her husband though, as in accordance to the times, evoked his reigning rights as king of the castle. Undeterred, Angela changed her tactics. She nagged, she became bossy and demanding and belittled her excuse for a husband whenever she could. This not enough, she soon began to abhor her weak unemployed husband — Began to despise his very face.
She threatened him often and always, and with great gusto. “I’m going to leave you one day, you poor excuse for a man” she would say. “Just take the kids and start a new life. With a new man perhaps, one worthy of a woman such as I.” Her words biting and unforgiving, nasty in intent.
Thus she hounded him. Tormenting him relentlessly soon driving him into hiding. Seeking solace he hid among the abundance of rooms the old mansion afforded. Hiding from that bitch of a woman and her consistent nagging of incorrigible self-righteousness. — Or so it was, he told himself.
Over the days, the weeks, the months, they became strangers under the same roof. He, hiding from her and the kids he cared-not for, stewing thoughts of darkness and self-pity. And listening… Listening to the voices that increasingly spoke inside his head. Voices dark and disturbing, insisting only one way out!
“Kill them and be free” the voices said!
Kill them all — and be free!
In the dead of night, some passing time later, he awakens from a restless nightmare-filled slumber and finds himself in bed in the first floor guest-room. Tangled among the rumpled covers in a sheen of sweat with the sounds of soft footsteps coming down the stairs.
Sure enough, a creak on the stair floorboard, an echoed step in the hallway and the wafting of her favorite perfume filling up his nose announcing her return.
“No” he says calmly, in a matter-of-fact tone. “Your dead Angie, you and the children both. I’ve seen to it myself. — Be gone now and give me my hard-earned peace.”
Rising in the darkness, with no thoughts of the horrors he had committed this day, he heads towards the front door giggling softly. Laughing the laugh of the insane and the house laughing with him.
On the front-porch in his old rocking chair, his mind lost and blackened as the night before him — he is unaware. In no way could notice in his state of mind that the upstairs lights were still on. On and illuminating tiny hanging feet from the upstairs window. The bodies of his family hung from the rafters casting ghoulish shadows on the front yard below.
He also doesn’t notice, nor probably care, when old lady Perry from across the street, suffering from insomnia, pulls back her upstairs bedroom curtains and gazes upon the horrid scene. The noose-hung bodies hanging in the well-lit upstairs window… A haunting image she will never forget.
But he does hear her muffled screams…
Hears them — and is delighted!
INSIDE THE HOUSE
My nightmare begins at the foot of an old rundown and decrepit set of stairs. Stairs that have become bent, twisted and buckled with the passing of time. Now, more leaning against the dirty ancient wall beside which it climbs, than climbing soundly on its own. A filthy-coating of long-settled dust and cobwebs completes the aberration rising before me.
It’s a forgotten, time-worn staircase from a by-gone era. Of ancient design, stooped with age and haunting in neglect. Haunting as is the very house it climbs in… and with that thought….
Suddenly I am aware of where I am!
Fear finds me! A chill of horror awakens within and with it comes a warning. For I am inside the old Griffin house of childhood legend. A dark evil place of haunted memories. A place of murder and suicide where an insane Archibald Griffin once hung his entire family before putting a bullet in his own head.
Now Damned to walk these halls forever…
I feel his presence even now.
Feel him… Watching me!
Frozen in place, I am unmoving. Afraid even of turning around. When I do try, I find I am unable, like a spell cast upon me my direction foretold there is only one way I can go. My destiny has been chosen for me — I must climb the stairs to whatever it is that awaits me.
On the first step, leaning my weight, testing its holding, the old wood creaking and groaning under protest — another sound comes softly to my ears. Someone is sobbing. Weeping softly, the light sounds of sorrow drifting down the staircase from up above.
Stopping, I listen… and yes there it is again! A little louder now and definitely that of a child. A little girl perhaps, lost, trapped or injured. Her sorrow undeniable, her soft broken sobs tugging at my heart.
Drawn to this child’s hopeless mewling’s, I hurry my ascent up the ancient stairs. Climbing in haste, with my heart pounding urgencies of a desperate child in need.
The old steps groaning with complaint and threatening to give way every footfall placed upon it. Still I climb without pausing and somehow with no worse for wear, soon reaching the top.
It is there, at the top of the staircase…. where my nightmare truly begins. Where any sense of reality ends and fear for sanity begins.
It was the sudden shock of color that reeled me back, startled my senses and confused me. Where only shades of grey, brown and black existed below… above was a different world.
The walls, the hallway, everything clean and structurally sound. Painted in hues of eggshell white, light sky blue and creamy yellow. Once an ancient floor now gleaming waxed to perfection and old relic paintings reborn anew hanging on the walls. Fresh flowers in sparkling crystal vases sitting atop deep-polished half tables, freshened the air with clean fragrant smells.
Yet this vision shakes me for it cannot be real. Not trusting my own eyes I look back behind me to see in contrast below, but the stairs no-longer existed! Only a painted wall, solid in touch instead.
Horrified and panicked in disbelief, my knees weakened, consciousness itself begins to waver. Still the desperate heartfelt cries of a sobbing child brings me back to purpose. Clear’s my confusion and lifts my fog. Three closed-doors down, beckoned a fourth and furthest, cracked slightly open, sitting ajar.
It calls me closer, it whispers my name, urges me forward demanding my arrival.
An arrival no-longer in doubt, one guided by the evil that resides here. An evil of old childhood haunts and repeating black nightmares. — My nightmare nemesis… Old man Griffin himself!
As if in my recognition… the colored walls and ceiling turn brown and ugly. The walls and floor buckle, the hallway aging decades before my very eyes. The last to appear, a fine covering in filth everywhere and the veil now completely lifted. The illusion was gone. The ancient old house returning to its run-down seedy state.
Then laughter, evil and insane, booming echoes of madness down the hallway raising tiny hairs on the back of my neck. An eerie black-shadow peaks quickly from the door. Now here — now gone!
Still the helpless cry’s of the child continue…
And drawn by a power I cannot resist…
I head for the door of the child…
And of the demon hiding within!
MORE NIGHTMARES COMING SOON!
All authoring rights reserved by the WordofWayne.