III. The Spookinite House

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Andrew Fouché

While you cautiously step onto the upper floor, the worrisome feeling pervades your distraught spirit. Near the very end of this hall, directly to the left, is a door slightly ajar; the weak and fading glow of long-burning candlelight dolefully gleams out from the crack of the door's opening. Your inquisitiveness is piqued, while an unfathomable impression beckons you from beyond. Unknowingly moving forward, you become nearer and nearer to the curious door. Your very own heartbeat increases profoundly; it pounds against your chest so vigorously, that you fear it will splinter your ribcage. But lastly, becoming within close proximity of the chestnut door, you gently press your hands against it. And upon entering the room, such irrepressible dismay pours into your fearful soul; there are fifty or fifty-five chairs scattered about the room, but what is postured within the chairs is all the more sickening––withered cadavers lie in agonizingly unnatural positions. Some, of which, wearing dark, hooded gowns, and others wrapped in ebon, shredded cloaks. In their gaunt, ashen hands are dying candles––with wax, long melted and hardened onto their cadaverous fingers.

What this all purely appears to be, is a ghastly and ghoulish work of sullen art. While you take backward strides, you begin to tremble irredeemably, but quite suddenly, as if the circumstance could not have become any more disturbing, you distinctly sense an unwanted presence from behind. Sharply turning, so that you may therefore confront the entity, you instantly make eye contact with Mansfield. “It is indeed pitiable that you chose to leave me at the Inn. You see, my amusement had merely begun, but of course, you had to disrupt my joy ever so bitterly, by departing without even bidding a meager farewell. And for this, I am severely maddened. In consequence of your discourtesy, I shall have to decapitate you, and use your deplorable head for adornment purposes.” While you shriek in  immeasurable distress, Mansfield menacingly chuckles. Rushing away, through the unhallowed room of deathly assortment, you come across another doorway.

 Making haste––unaware of the grisly horrors that could possibly be ahead––you push aside what feel to be strips of desiccated fabric, dangling all about your surroundings. Mansfield follows, and his mad and abhorrent laughter seems to reverberate hither and yon. Promptly moving further on, into the inexorable and murky apartment, you unexpectedly stumble upon something that infuses immense apprehension upon your spirit. Right before you exists the singularly most horrid thing, which can compare to only the most unearthly thoughts, conjured by the mind of great psychological agitation; suspended from the ceiling is an upside-down, hollowed-out corpse, with bat-like wings crafted from meticulously-peeled dried skin, and thoroughly-assorted crispy bones. You release a marrow-chilling cry, which was imprisoned within the dank depths of your lungs.

Hastening away from the unworldly fixture, you discover another stairwell, and dart down its uneven steps, only to find yourself back in the parlor at such a horrifying and torturous scene. The ghoul, of which you saw previously, has swapped the disconnected arms and legs of a shriveled corpse that is overextended upon a lengthy table. He is now sewing the opposite parts back onto the body. This Coffin Keeper then places his most recent masterpiece back into the coffin, seeming extraordinarily amused with himself. But without warning, he gazes up towards you with an aberrant leer upon his face. Swiftly turning around to escape, by re-ascending the crooked steps, you realize that the stairwell is quite impassible, for Mansfield begins to make his decent. Screaming in a daunted manner, you make a vain attempt at moving past him; thus now, he threateningly snatches you. You cry out, anguished, as you are dragged over to a coffin that was prepared precisely for you. Both fiends forcefully shove you inside and slam the lid shut . . .

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Awakening by Midnight Syndicate

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