They Always Get Their Scares - Part 2 of 2

By: The Beav

Continued from page 1

A solitary light bulb swung lazily overhead, emitting a soft buzzing, electric hum. The light was dim and yellowed, the bulb caked with a thin brown film. The walls looked like they had once been painted white, but now they too were a decayed yellow tint. Large patches of paint were missing along the length of the hall, while it bulged out in other places. The path that set before them was simply concrete, dotted with small, half-evaporated puddles of stagnant water.

And the smell! There was no mistaking that disgustingly, tangy smell of vomit. "Matt, I don't...we shouldn't be here". "Well then, why would they put a door there?" he asked, but was obviously not interested in finding out. Matt turned back to the door and twisted the knob. There was a little metal click as the knob stopped abruptly, not turning any further. The door had locked behind them. Beside him, Emma was still softly repeating "We shouldn't be here, this isn't part of it!"

As Matt began pounding on the door, Emma knew it was a bad idea. She had that feeling again. The feeling she had had right before she was surprised by Matt back in her living room. Only it was much stronger now. Primal. She quickly grabbed his arm, shaking her head wildly, eyes frightened. She was not just worried, but terrified, and now Matt began to wish they were back in that first hallway when she was bored and was eager to let him know it. He could take all her taunting and teasing for making her come to a crappy haunted house. He could take anything she could dish out as long as he didn't have to see that look in her eyes. He was on the verge of panic, about to start banging on the door again, when suddenly, there came a small sobbing noise from up that filthy hall.

Both Emma and Matt turned to each other. "Did one of the kids in our group come through with us?" Emma asked. "They couldn't have. We would've seen... right? I mean, they're not that small..". but he looked up the hall again towards the sound, and they both fell silent, waiting. After what seemed like forever, a faint voice could be heard drifting down along the walls. They both strained to hear it, their puzzled eyes darting to each other than back up the hall. Finally, Matt could make it out. It sounded like a little girl crying softly "please... please don't. you're hurting me..". There were more quiet sobs and then nothing more.

"Did you hear that?" He asked Emma. She only nodded. Without another word, they both started slowly, making their way up the dank hall. The farther they moved along, the dimmer the light from the single light bulb grew. By the time they reached the end, both visibly shaking and in a cold sweat, it was almost too dark for them to see each other. For the first time in three years, Emma remembered her last trip to the haunted house, remembered so clearly.

There had a been a character at the end, very tall and very lanky, who had come out of hiding like the rest, annoying the disrespectful high-schoolers. As she and her friends made their way to the exit, that lone figure had tightly grabbed her arm with it's knobby fingers. She saw it's dirty, yellowed fingernails grip into her momentarily, and she looked at it's face, expecting to be scolded by an adult -- but found only the fake empty eyes of a mask. It held her and then seemed to think twice of it and let her go. Thinking back, it was the only thing that had really scared her that night. It was those dead, empty eyes that were suddenly back in her mind now as she and Matt came to the end of the hall.

The hall joined with another forming a T. They both looked down to the left to find nothing but darkness. When they turned to the right, both of them froze. There stood a young girl, her white-blonde hair hanging in greasy strings over her her eyes. Those eyes! They were rolling wildly and sickly in their sockets. Her jaw worked open and shut, but no words came out, only a solid string of saliva bobbing at the end of her chin. Her skin was pale, with almost a purple tint to it. Matt saw the reason why and a low shaky moan escaped him. The girl was missing her left arm. Maybe it would be more correct to say that her arm wasn't connected to her body, because she wasn't completely missing it. In her right hand, dangling on the floor, was that very arm, gripped in her tiny hand by the wrist as the ragged flesh made patches of smeared red, grazing the concrete.

That sight alone was enough to make silent tears of helpless surrender pour down Emma's face, but it was what was behind the girl that stopped any conscious thoughts in her mind: There were hundreds of eyes glowing behind that mutilated girl. They were not those dead eyes she saw when she was 18, nor were they the sort of glowing red eyes portrayed in movies. There, staring at them, were round discs of luminescence reflecting back at them, the eyes of animals, of creatures, that hunt at night.

It seemed to Emma that three things happened in rapid succession: She became suddenly aware of the warmth running down her leg, the young girl dropped her arm with a putrid thud, and the light bulb they had left far behind was extinguished with a hollow pop. The light had no sooner gone out when Emma heard Matt screaming her name, first in fright...then in pain. "Em? Emma what... where are you? Emma, what the hell is... Emma? Emmaa-aaAAAHH!" She could hear things moving past her quickly, and she could only whisper Matt's name as she started to run, felt her knees buckle weakly, and collapsed in a heap on the cold gritty floor.

She could hear sounds behind her, wet and thick, scraping along the floor, interjected by muffled, snapping sounds. Emma was all set to scream then, but there came a voice in her right ear. She could feel the warm breath puff against her skin; smell that sick-sweet odor of vomit, so strong now that she nearly vomited herself. The voice, though only a whisper, could be heard over the maddening sounds behind her. It was the girl. In a soft, almost mockingly sweet voice she asked "Are we scaring you yet?" And then it was Matt's voice she heard, wet and bubbly, as if he were gargling his words. It was weak but she could make out between his sobs, "please... Emma... help".

She reached out without thinking now and grabbed wildly, found what she believed to be Matt's hand and then she was running, running blind. Not long after, she hit a wall, saw stars, and started shuffling along it, looking for any door, any window, anything to get them out. She had almost turned to run again, when her hand brushed something. She pulled it so hard she felt her shoulder ignite in pain. She stopped then, and tried to turn it... it was moving! Without waiting any longer she pushed against the door with her good shoulder and tumbled out into a back alley face-first.

As the door swung slowly closed on its hinges, Emma struggled to get her wind back as she turned over. The door snapped shut. She was alone. Where was Matt!? She looked around wildly, then realized she was still holding whatever it was in her hand in a death grip. Afraid to look down, but without any choice, she opened her fist.

Laying in her hand was a rubber mask, it's mouth full of sharp jagged teeth grinning wide, it's dead empty eyes gazing blankly up at her. Those same, dead eyes. As Emma's screams pierced that cold, empty night, the way her laughter had done three years prior, a sign was being placed over the warehouse entrance. It read: Scaring over for this season! Be sure to visit again next year. We promise a good scare at any age... no matter what!

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