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 The Many Morbid Tales of Spookinite Valley

The Melting Candle
Written by Benjamin Fouché

It was a place of darkness, resting in such despair, and so lonesome.  Nonetheless, the forsaken house only appeared this way during the day, under the dull, gray heavens.  Underneath the black skies of night, however, the old mansion seemed slightly more occupied.  You see, I occasionally traveled through a quiet vale, and every time, it just so happened to be dusk when I would pass the house on my horse.  There was something I always saw, burning about in a window on the second story: the melting candle.

From what I could comprehend, nobody had dwelled within the home’s interior for well over fifty years.  Yet a single candle flickered in the window at me.  Someone had to have intentionally left it there upon the windowsill—that much seemed evident.  But the real question that intrigued me was the who of it.  The only reasonable answer that came to mind was a ghost, but ghosts are not reasonable.

My only conjecture was that a person still lived in the bleak dwelling.  Even so, I did not see a carriage, nor horses.  The wrought-iron fence had long been strangled by overgrowth and the yard was strewn in thickened brush.  The few gnarled trees near the house were drooping over like well-aged funeral flowers.  The deserted works of spiders hung over the four columns like an overhanging shadow.  As the wind began stirring, the shutters swung open, thudding against the well-aged masonry of the house.  At that moment, I was certain it was uninhabited by any of the living; notwithstanding, the candle’s flame continued to waver behind the glass of the window.

By then, my curiosity had grown and I knew that I was not going to continue traveling about without knowing if anyone did or did not presently reside in the home.  I pushed open the gate and stepped foot upon the disquieting residence grounds.  While I strode forward, the limbs of the decaying trees shook in the gale.  On the front porch I stopped, and there stood before me the two, colossal front doors.  I was rather hesitant of jolting one of the door knockers.

Alas, out of impulse, I violently forced one of them against the doors.  I could hear the lurid knocks resounding from the inside—a feeling of trepidation befell me instantly.  I waited several moments and no one answered. The likelihood that another mortal still occupied it was very improbable.  Oh! but I was not going to give in to the idea of there being a wraith haunting this abode.  Therefore, I shoved open the door and intruded inside.

Everything in the foyer was coated in dust: the crooked chairs, the sofa, the end tables and the pendulum clock.   My footfalls echoed on the hard floor while I advanced farther.  As I entered what I assumed to be the parlor, I heard an awful noise: a noise that leaves one rather aghast; for it was the shriek of someone in great distress.  I remained motionless for what seemed to be hours, but finally, I was freed from my mummified state.

I proceeded forward, now walking down a grand hallway.  At the very end was a stairwell curving aloft.  From the top, there was a glow.  It was, without doubt, the ethereal candle.  I hurried to the stairs and made my winding ascent.   Precisely as I reached the top landing, I saw a cracked door.  The mysterious gleam that had dazed me was shedding its radiance upon the walls.  I scurried over to the door and pressed my hands against it.

Within that very room, I uncovered something that I wish I had never.  In the dim candlelight were many chairs scattered around—some were even mounted to the walls and hung upside-down from the ceiling.  But it was what reposed in them that overwhelmed me with utter fear.  Unnaturally sitting in these chairs were the wilted remains of the ill-fated.  Withered corpses with their skeletal arms severely twisted and mangled.  They all stared with their hollowed mouths stretched wide.  I wanted nothing more than to release a cry, but I could not.

Although I was surrounded by the grisly furnishings of the room, I felt that an even more unsettling presence was imminent: the one responsible.  I left and made haste all the way through the house and outside to the road.  While my horse galloped away from the appalling mansion, I never turned my head once.  I did not dare look back at it, for I wanted to leave behind all of the nauseating nightmares that lingered inside. Since that incident, I have not neared the home.  I informed the police, yet they later explained to me that they could never find the home.  Thus, I ask that you heed my words: the house is real and you too, one night, might find yourself there.  Indeed, every evening since that time, I have wondered to myself if the wick continues to burn, allowing unfortunate trespassers, such as myself, to discover the unsightly things that were illuminated by the light of the melting candle.


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