III. The Spookinite House

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Fouché

––You have awoken in a rather unusual and inexplicable position. Your arms are crossed, but what horrifies you the most is that you seem to be lying in something quite narrow and enclosed. It is exceedingly dark and you cannot see anything. You begin to noticeably hear something fall directly above you––it thus crumbles. As this process endures, you begin to unerringly understand what is actually occurring. It is all the most distressing and unpleasant. You are in a coffin, being buried––and being buried quite prematurely. You begin writhing and thrusting inside the enclosed box, but your hands feel notably different––they are abnormally cold and dry. Panicking, you violently push upwards and the lid opens, permitting the surrounding dirt to spill inwards. Above, gazing down upon you are the Coffin Keeper and Mansfield. And oh, how engaging your misery is to them both––utter glee can be effortlessly distinguished upon their wicked faces.

In the pallor of the moonlight, you stare upon your hands. However, they are no longer the hands whence you once knew. They are gray and peculiarly mangled. The skin is so thin and tight, that the bones underneath are slightly visible to the eye. You can even observe the joints that link the finger-bones together. Suddenly, Mansfield begins to speak to you with such darkness of expression. “Unfortunately, you have once again ruined my exquisite bliss, and thus struck an ill-nerve. Therefore, I now must rip apart your every limb––bone from bone, morsel by morsel.” Crying aloud, out of perpetual torment, you climb out of your premature grave. Reaching aloft, you pull yourself out from below the rich soil of the land.

Yet alas, the unending insanity has not ceased its remorseless wrath. Both unsightly ghouls begin to peruse you, with vicious smiles upon their unwelcoming and abysmal faces. A wrought iron fence seals the yard of the massive domain––tall, sharpened rods, sentineling every inch. Amongst the ethereal mists are hundreds of black, decaying trees, with their heavy, overshadowing limbs hanging below the shaded underbrush. Hurrying through the condensed murk, a vein of bleakness begins to sprout through your soul, while the rear entrance of the home appears before you, through the impenetrable gloom. The house that you so unremittingly loathe is your only haven, for fierce creatures stalk the wilderness of the vale. There must exist a place of hiding within the melancholic mansion. You quickly advance inside the house's dead interior and lock both doors. Through the window, as you slightly part the curtains, you watch the two forbidding spectres hasten through the ghostly fog. Mansfield and the Coffin Keeper begin making their way up to the stoop.

Hurriedly pulling together the draperies of the window, you step away in uttermost fear. Shuddering involuntarily, you hurry up a precipitous stairway. Both fiendish beings knock unrelentingly upon the backdoor, endeavoring to force it open. And as you reach the top landing, the doors thud open in one pugnacious moment. Mansfield quickly moves through a doorway and the Coffin Keeper begins to ascend the stairway. You silently––and observantly––crawl behind a wooden chair, and watch through the spindled back as the shadowed ghoul sluggishly passes through a doorway. Thereafter, there is absolute silence––a silence that rings piercingly. Intently crawling out from your place of hiding, you take a few spare moments to gain your bearings. The whereabouts of Mansfield and the Coffin Keeper are completely unknown. You must remain extremely wary.

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Cage of Solitude by Midnight Syndicate

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