III. The Spookinite House

Written and Illustrated by Benjamin Andrew Fouché

You have endured this grim and everlasting night. A dreadful secret, of which you discovered at the Inn, has awoken something of a rather insidious and malevolent nature. And now, it has thus left you here, alone, standing among the shadows of this forlorn mansion. Nonetheless, you are, by no means, alone. There are many ominous presences lingering in these vast halls. They whisper to one another, lying in wait. Their desires are quite malign––you must remain watchful at all times. There is an oppressive sensation that hangs over your unsettled spirit. While a musty draught chills your every bone, you hear the sound of shoes descending a stairwell. Perhaps the morose occupants are aware of your arrival.

Quietly hurrying out of the foyer, you carefully set foot into the house's dull and melancholy parlor. The timeworn wood sluggishly creaks beneath your feet. It is remarkably dim in this room. Nevertheless, a single, lit candle, resting on an antique end table, emits a subdued luminosity. In the feeble, wavering light, you notice a roughly-carved coffin leaning against the corner of the chamber. But what causes even more acute unease upon your soul, is the mere fact that the lid is wide open, and unsettled dust drifts away from the oblong box's interior. Perhaps a body was reposing inside it, a few moments prior to you entering the leaden abode. This very phantasmagoric fancy troubles you. Only the most grotesque corners of your bemused mind can bestow upon you the morbidly illustrated appearance of this latent, undead fiend.

While you begin to approach the coffin, more footfalls resound throughout the entirety of the dismal manor. Someone is, without doubt, lurking about, within this shadowed and unnerving residence. Hurriedly striding over to another blackened corner in the lofty parlor, you crouch behind a gloomy, tattered chair, to obscure yourself, precisely as a darkened figure enters the room. Whoever he may be, paces over to the coffin with such delicate––yet mournful––gaits, and thereafter, faces the old table beside it. He wears ebony from head to toe––a finely polished top hat rests atop his skeletal head. Pinching the wick with his pallid, emaciated fingers, he ceases the flickering flame. And there, in the silvery moonlight, from which emanates from the foyer's windows, you can barely discern him grinning sullenly. He additionally takes something out from his coat pocket and lays it on the table; a needle and a spool of thread. Odd. But unexpectedly, the exceptionally peculiar being vanishes out of the room.

 Imaginably, he will indeed return––you must leave this room before the uncanny ghoul carries on with undertaking God-knows-what. As you warily advance through another towering doorway, the wailing wind gusts becomes quite lurid. Striding through a voluminous hallway, several knocks perturb your soul––they originate from innumerable directions. Further on, down the vast and cold hall, you finally become within reach of the end. A stairwell curves aloft, into the mysterious and singular unknown. Well aware of the baleful ghoul, that is indubitably prowling about on this floor, you decide it is wisest to explore the second story of the funereal dwelling. As you begin making your ascent, you begin to perceive that something is exceedingly wrong.

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