Happy #HorrorMadeHop everyone!
There’s a little backstory on the tale you are about to read that I’d like to make you aware. The author, Pancake Bunnykins, and I were going to split this story into two posts, one on each of our blogs, to add to the “hop” aspect of the blog tour, but she very recently let me know of a tragedy in her life that needs her attention right now.
She said it would be ok to share the entirety of her story, so here it is in all of it’s full length glory. I’ve added a bunch of art etc. to combine with the story, and I hope you all enjoy it.
Warning: This story contains adult situations and language.
Trigger warnings: Sex (although tastefully written) and violence (although not too gory)
If you’re cool with these elements, then have at it! And enjoy is tale of paranormal horror that Pancake Bunnykins has cooked up for us:
People say I am some kind of a wild child, a rebel. I rather prefer the word, revolutionist. I am just standing up against what I think is wrong.
I am on my way to Uncle Dan’s house. Well, it is not literally a house. Uncle Dan is a priest in New Port, has been for more than three decades along with Father Ernest, who was recently attacked in his room and thrown out of the window. He died in the hospital due to a broken rib that punctured his heart.
Uncle Dan is still in grief. The killer is still on the loose. But, he doesn’t want to leave New Port even if there is a threat in his life. He said that New Port is his home, and it is going to be my home too for a few months.
My parents told me that this is my punishment for punching the school principal, which led to a broken nose and two missing teeth last week. I saw him harassing my classmate, Rina, in the library’s toilet. She was screaming as he was covering her mouth with his hand and caressing her breasts with the other hand. I interrupted him and punched him in the face really hard.
The school reported me and changed the story around. Even Rina didn’t defend me. Turned out she was paid off not to say a word. I almost got expelled. Thanks to my mother, who knew someone from the board of directors, I wasn’t expelled, but I won’t be able to attend the prom. Well, who cares? Prom sucks anyway.
So here I am, on my way to the countryside, to my new home.
Uncle Dan runs outside the church and opens the car door. It was almost evening when I arrived. He unloads the bags at the back of the car and carries it in front of the church door. The church is of Romanesque architecture. It has semi-circular small arches and thick brick walls.
“This will be your new home for now.” He smiles at me and leads the way inside the church.
The church is made up of high-end wood mosaic and round stained glass windows. It has a patterned brick pavement on the floor. Between the central nave is a mosaic of the Passion of Christ. What caught my attention is the wooden crucifix that dates back from the 14th century. That stare from Jesus’ eyes seems to be following me around.
I guess it’s a perfect place for a so-called sinner like me, so God can watch my every move.
Huh. I am a sinner in the eyes of the people who acts like they are better than everyone just because they go to church every Sunday or memorize all the verses in the bible.
We walk through the right aisle and Uncle Dan opens a hidden door in the ambulatory area. The door leads to a narrow hallway and to an old wooden kitchen.
“Breakfast is at 5 in the morning.” Uncle Dan declares. “I need to eat before the first mass starts at 5:30.”
This is worse than a prison. Breakfast at 5:00? Are you kidding me?
At the end of the building is a wooden staircase that creaks and groans with every step. On the second floor is a dark, broad hallway with large portraits of saints hanging on the wall. He shows me his room.
“Your room is upstairs.” He says pointing a finger to the ceiling. “It is a little old room but cozy. Your parents informed me late about your trip here. I wasn’t able to make proper arrangements.”
We continue to climb the last staircase. It is made of a thick, cream-colored metal, but old with rust that leaves a stain in your hands whenever you touch it. The hallway on the third floor is much narrower compared to the second floor with old wooden walls. The toilet and bathroom is located a few feet away from the attic room.
Uncle Dan gives me the key and allows me to open the attic on my own.
It is actually spacious. The ceiling is a little high in the center and sloped down on the sides. There is an old chandelier hanging in the middle of the room which is obviously defective, but makes the room looks classy. The wall is covered by an old white paint that seems to be chipping off. The attic has a double-glazed window that gives you a perfect view of what looks like an ancient cemetery.
Really, a cemetery!
My parents really picked a wonderful place for me as a punishment! They must have hated me so much.
“Can you help yourself, Gareth?” Uncle Dan asks as he hands me the other bags. “The evening mass is about to start in a few minutes.”
He enthusiastically leaves.
I dump my bags on the side of the bed. It was a long ride away from home. I can already feel my back aches from long hours of sitting in the bus plus the 20-minute taxi ride.
The wind blows inside my window carrying the scent of dead flowers and lonely souls from the cemetery. I walk on the edge and stare at the unenthusiastic view in front of me.
Only two months, Gareth, and you will be out of this prison.
I pull down the window pane that is making the floral-patterned curtain billow in the evening breeze. The temperature in the room has already dropped, and I can’t stand too much cold.
The silken mattress on my bed has a smell that it was bought recently. I pat the cotton sheets, arrange the pillows under the bed’s headboard, enclose myself in the comfort of the newly washed blanket, and close my eyes.
I awake to the sound of a soothing but spine-chilling lullaby echoing across the whole room. I check each corner of the empty room but I didn’t find anyone or anything that could possibly produce the sound.
Could it be from outside?
Nah. I closed the window before I went to sleep earlier.
The clock on the wall says 3:00 AM.
NICE. The haunting hour, and now I really need to pee. Perfect timing. Seriously?!
I slowly move out of bed, fighting my mind whether to go to the toilet or just piss on some bottle containers available in the room.
The toilet is still a few feet away outside the narrow hallway. I don’t know which is scarier, my room or the hallway.
The walls outside the desolated hall seem to have eyes everywhere. I have this feeling that someone or something is watching me as I go in and out of the toilet.
I carefully return to my room, watchful of any suspicious activity.
A heavy thing brushes over my shoulder as I walk past the chandelier. I look up and notice that it is moving from side to side at a slow pace without the help of any wind.
I hurtle to the bed and cover my body with the blanket as the gentle sound from the swinging chandelier grates the ceiling.
I pull down the blanket from my eyes and see some kind of figure hanging under the chandelier that is causing it to swing back and forth.
My voice shrieks inside me. The kind of tone that won’t come out because it is more frightened than I am.
I wrap myself under the blanket again. My breathing becomes louder and more obvious like I’m hyperventilating.
I should not be scared. It’s just my imagination. Yeah, I convince myself.
The swinging sound stops. All I can hear now is the ticking of the clock as it moves a little slower than usual, reluctant to end the haunting hour.
The edge of my bed suddenly becomes heavy as if someone is sitting on it.
I peek outside the cold blanket and see a figure of a balding man in white sitting on the edge.
I think my mind is going crazy.
I hear it shriek in terror. Cold sweat comes down my forehead under this cold temperature. I tightly grip the sheets of my bed, clench my teeth and make sure not to move a muscle.
When he starts to turn his head towards me, I slowly submerge myself under the sheets.
I don’t want to see anything that scares the hell out of me anymore.
I am going to stay under this sheet until sunrise.
A woman’s wail is heard across the room and the heavy feeling at the edge of my bed disappears.
Tears fall from my eyes. I have a feeling that I even pee my pants.
Do I deserve this kind of punishment?
I didn’t ask to be here. I never even want to be here.
What do you want from me?
I close my eyes and force myself to sleep.
Early in the morning, I rush down the house to Uncle Dan’s room. I have to tell him what happened to me last night.
I need to tell him. I can’t stay another night in that room.
I knock on his door.
I guess he is not here.
I hold the door handle and twist it hard.
The door slowly opens.
I am surprised.
It is weird that he would just leave his door open like this.
His room is neatly organized from old books on the shelves to the variety of small crucifixes on his bedside table. The bed is smoothly made up with purple velvet sheets and pillows. His room has a funny smell, like of lavender or lily. I can’t say.
“Father Dan is out of town.” Interrupts Barry who pops up from nowhere. Barry is one of the clergy’s assistant who helps them during the mass. He is a gentle looking lad, about 19 or 20, with brown curly hair and a deep set of brown eyes. “He attended a charity event with Diana.”
“Who is Diana?” I ask naively, my forehead in a frown as I close the door from the lady-like scented room.
“She helps Father Dan organize programs for the charity events. She is a nice woman and she always smells good, that of a flower, a lavender.” He answers me with a hint of innocence and admiration from his youthful eyes.
Lavender. Such coincidence.
I walk outside the church to take my mind away from the weird horrifying event that happened in the attic room last night.
It is a fine afternoon. The sun glitters on my face as I pass by the brown fallen leaves that leave a crisp sound with every step. It leads me to the open cemetery and the old gravestones that mark the habitat of contorted bones greet me.
I am not worried or something.
The thing in my room is far more terrifying than this empty dwelling place of soul-less bodies.
I take a detour to the area where there is a newly-placed bouquet of colorful flowers that gave beauty to this monotonous graveyard.
The gravestone reads: Ernest Laurel.
This is where Father Ernest was buried then.
“I wonder if they already caught the person who pushed him out of his window.” I whisper.
“He wasn’t pushed!” Says an old balding man with a fringe of white hairs around his scalp.
I didn’t see him for a second. He is digging a grave to a new occupant beside Father Ernest’s. The old man wears a worn-out and shabby clothing that smells of someone who forsakes living. His wrinkled face sculpts the trail of his wretched life.
“What are you saying, Mister?” I ask in amazement. He is like the literal creepy old guy that appears out of nowhere to warn people, just like in the movies. But what the heck! This is not a movie! Yet, something… something is going on here!
“Father… Father… That Ernest hanged himself on the chandelier inside the attic room.” He answers in a low voice. “I saw him…” He becomes agitated. “He was not alone when he tied that rope around his neck.”
The old man stares at me with deep-seated eyes. His gaze is steady, not to me, but from something behind me. He kneels on the shriveled ground, mumbling indistinct words like sorry and forgive me, repeatedly.
“Aaarrgghhh.” He suddenly screams as he accidentally cut himself with the pick axe he is holding.
I promptly strip off a piece of my shirt, just like what I learned from our school’s first-aid class, and press it on his bleeding wrist, but he moves away, petrified.
“She won’t stop. Your uncle is next!” He yells as he runs timidly to the wooden part of the cemetery until I can see him no more.
A cold wind brushes on my face as it scrambles the sea of fallen leaves on the ground that makes the hairs in my body rise.
I rush back to the church. I really need to talk to Uncle Dan He is in trouble. I need to warn him.
His service car is already parked in the garage.
He is back.
I knock as hard as I can on his wooden door, calling his name.
He finally opens the door.
I’m so glad he is back!
“What’s the matter, Gareth?” He asks while fixing the clerical collar on his shirt. He tries to block the door with his body.
“Is it true? Is it true that Father Ernest hanged himself in the attic? In the room where I am staying?” I confront him with a hint of disappointment in my voice.
The door starts to open a little and exposes something… something horrendous that stabbed my heart over and over.
I smell the scent of lavender coming out of the forsaken room.
I pretend not to see the infamy of a naked woman before my eyes. I look at Uncle Dan’s lying eyes while stopping the tears from falling down my eyes.
“Yes. He was having problems. He was drinking a lot. His madness prompts him to end his life.” He responds. Discreet. Straight to the point.
I turn my back on him and race to the attic, betrayed.
This is the second time I had been betrayed. First, by Rina, who I tried to help. And now, by my own flesh and blood.
How can he sleep with a woman? He promised himself to God.
He is the most honest person I had ever known.
I don’t know what to believe anymore.
How did I even end up here?
And now, I discover that someone just hanged himself in my room. There is too much deception hiding in this place that even my stomach couldn’t digest anymore.
I open the window and let the roaring wind go inside my room. I lie down my not-so uncomfortable bed to rest my weary bones and broken heart.
I stare at the chandelier for some time until I fall asleep under the now grievous blanket.
The tapping becomes rapid as a deafening lullaby fills the room.
I peep out of the blanket and see a lady with long black hair wearing a white flowing dress, sitting on the left side of my bed. My heart sheds tears as I freeze in such horror.
She is glaring out the window while tapping my thigh. She continues humming her lullaby as the tap becomes more aggressive. The humming turns into a sudden cry and a shriek before she disappears.
I lay still, cold sweat running down my body. I don’t want to move.
I am good as dead anyway.
I have never been scared in my life.
This is too much.
“Where is Uncle Dan?” I ask Barry immediately after I woke up. I slept so deep that I didn’t wake up in time for breakfast or lunch. It is almost half past 2 in the afternoon.
“We have a problem.” Barry answers, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “He didn’t attend the mass this morning. We can’t find him anywhere.”
“Did you ask anyone? Diana?” I feel something choked my throat as I mention that disgraceful name.
“Diana said that he saw Father Dan going down the basement last night.” His eyes displaying a terror-stricken stare. “No one ever goes down the basement since….”
I interrupt Barry as I notice what seems to be Uncle Dan walking down the hallway going to the basement.
I run to where he is going but I lost him in the corner.
The small steps going down the basement door are steep and slender. It is only light up by the sun’s rays that go through the small holes from the wooden walls.
I reach for the door and grasp the antique metal doorknob to open it.
It is locked.
I twist it a few more times.
I put my ear against the wall and hear the clamping sound of chains inside the room.
Stray light flashes out from the big keyhole under the doorknob. I kneel down and take a peek inside.
It is weird.
There is nothing in there.
The other side of the keyhole must have been covered by a red cloth. Everything I see is red.
“Barry!” I yell as I go back to the kitchen. “You need to come with me.”
He nods and leaves the unwashed dishes in the sink.
We race to the wooden, musty part of the cemetery. The marshy ground makes our feet move a little slower. It is obvious that someone had walked here because of some shoe prints.
We follow the traces of footprints from the ground and end up in front of a deserted wooden house with a roof that had sagged terribly under a collapsed tree.
The overgrown branches from the tree covers the loose door which seems to have been torn apart recently.
The hinges make a cracking sound as I open it. A foul stench covers the whole house. The table and chairs are in clutter.
Barry calls my attention and directs me to a dusty picture frame standing on the old drawer with dead flowers and a leftover candle.
I pick up the frame and dust off the dirt with my bare hand. It is a photograph of the old man that I saw in the cemetery along with a beautiful young girl with long black hair.
“That’s Christy.” Barry opens up. He takes the picture from my hand and stares steadily at it. “She was a very nice girl. I remember her serving food in the kitchen when she was still alive. I don’t know. I was only 4 or 5 at that time.”
“What happened to her?
“She went missing. Her father went mad when he can’t find her.” He returns the frame back to the untouched drawer surrounded by thick cobwebs. “He said she was murdered.”
“Do you know where the father is now? I need to talk to him!”
“He was buried yesterday morning in the cemetery besides Father Ernest’s grave. They’ve been good friends for a long time. Mr. Marshall’s body was found in the marsh a few days ago. They said he drowned.” The hint of sadness in Barry’s voice becomes obvious.
Mr. Marshall? The old man that I talked to yesterday was already dead?
I swallow hard. I want to hit my head against the wall.
I’ve seen worst, right?
This. town. is. really. full. of. mystery.
I gaze out of the broken door and into the deserted garden.
Once I find Uncle Danny, I am heading back home.
“Gareth!” Barry calls timorously. “Come here fast.”
I run ardently towards the other room, to Christy’s room. There are dozens of small porcelain dolls sitting unscathed and disheveled in the rusty made up bed.
Uncle Dan is on the floor, unconscious.
We try to wake him up and he starts to respond. Barry seems to have found a glass of water from the kitchen. Uncle Dan takes a sip.
“What happened, Uncle? How did you end up here?” I ask while allowing him to lean on my shoulder.
“I was looking for evidence that could help solve Christy’s murder.” He explains while catching his breath. “I promised her father that I will find her killer.”
Barry sits on the ground and assists Uncle Dan, fanning him with an old piece of torn cartoon.
“I will get more water.” I suggest.
It is getting a little dark outside. We need to go back to the church fast.
I go to the empty kitchen and open the grimy faucet. I wait as the water lazily fills up the glass, drop by drop.
I turn around and I am overwhelmed by a ghostly figure of a lady standing in front of me, eyes gouged out and red with blood. It is the same apparition that I saw in my room, but this time, she is facing me.
“What do you want from me?” I ask in a panting, almost crying voice.
She comes near me and I move a step away.
She stretches out her hand to my forehead, and without hesitance, I stand as solid as a rock.
She shows me a flashback of her helping the cook and serving food to Father Ernest, Mr. Marshall, Uncle Dan and Diana while having a pleasant conversation, laughing and enjoying their meals.
I can see how Uncle Dan stared at Christy as he whispered something to Father Ernest, making him giggle.
Later that evening, when Christy was about to go home, Uncle Dan asked her to help him carry some boxes down the basement. When they reached the inside of the basement door, Father Ernest grabbed her body and covered her mouth with a piece of cloth that restrained her from screaming. They tied her down in a chain, and kept her in the basement for a few days, raping and molesting her young body. She tried to escape by loosening up a part of the chain from her wrist. She ran to the door but Uncle Dan caught her and slapped her in the face. She tried to fight him and he grabbed her face, gouging her eyes out. He left her in a trance until she bled to death down the basement.
The basement had been locked for almost 15 years, forbidden to be opened by anyone.
She then leads me to the attic where I can see her appearing to Father Ernest every night as he sleeps. The flashback then moves to the day where he tied a rope around his neck and hanged himself from the chandelier to end and erase the stain of guilt from his heart.
There is also the moment where Uncle Dan was confronted by Mr. Marshall near the marsh and accused him of kidnapping Christy. It led to a fight that forced Uncle Dan to drown him.
I then, see myself peeking in the basement’s key hole as Christy peeks from the other side of the room with her blood filled eyes.
Lastly, I watch Uncle Dan as he went to the old house, attempting to burn it down, to cover any evidence of the killings, but Christy appeared to him and he lost consciousness.
The flashbacks stop when I hear a loud thump inside Christy’s room. I rush back to the room and see Barry lying down on the floor with a bleeding face.
“He tried to hit me, so I defended myself.” Uncle Dan blurts out. He is standing behind me.
I move a step back and face him. Terror is written all over my face.
“So, I guess, you know from that look on your face.” He gasps. “I’m sorry it has to end like this my, dear nephew. You shouldn’t have come here you know, but your father forced me to welcome you in my house.” He pulls out a wooden plank and attempts to strike it on my head.
I avoid the blow and punch him in the stomach instead.
Uncle Dan groans.
“You ungrateful bastard.” He hits back so hard that I fall on the floor.
I grab a piece of metal under Christy’s broken bed and as he swings the plank towards me, I plunge the metal in front of him, stabbing him in the center of his chest. He lies on the floor trembling in pain.
I pick up Barry and assist him slowly outside the old house and back to the church.
We call the police and they send out an ambulance to take Uncle Dan to the nearest hospital escorted by a number of policemen.
He is then taken into custody.
After he recovered in the hospital, he was immediately sent to prison for the murder of Christy and Mr. Marshall.
A few days after the incident, me and my parents went back to the church and help bury Christy’s remains beside her father.
When the ceremony ended, a spine-tingling breeze brushes across my face that makes the leaves sway up and down the air as the sun shines vividly above me.
I look at the sky and smile.
You are free now, Christy.
Author: Pancake Bunnykins
Thank you guys for reading! As a reward, come on over and enter for a chance to win one of my original Inktober drawings:
Happy #HorrorMadeHop time my friends!