The Devil's House | Chapter 1: The Manor
Howling and whining outside, the cold wind emanated from the tall dark pines that surrounded the house. It crept up through the mist and fog of the late hour and rocked the house side to side, lashing at the wooden planks with their screeches. Heavy rain splattered the windows, leaking in through the cracks and chips of the glass as thunder flashed through the bleak windows. Illuminating the shadowed hallway. Silhouetting the girl.
The faint light of the moon slightly indicating her the way, in her nightwear, she carefully trudged through dark corridors. Dangerously slow she walked down the corridor, her eyes nervously swinging from side to side; making sure he hadn’t located her. Losing herself to the darkness of the hallway, she looked back to her bedroom and felt the dreadful chill from the closet wrap around her. She sped up her pace.
Ignoring the whispers from the wind that had prolonged through each night since she’d moved in, her lack of sleep had given her a sudden impulse to escape from him. ‘The girls will be fine,’ she thought, convincing herself that he wasn’t going to harm them. She looked back again towards her dorm saw the door still closed, nothing had changed. ‘Good,’ she thought.
Dallying past bookcases and night tables of the manor’s corridor, she quietly stumbled through the carpets and towards the front door. Always making sure to stay as silent as possible or he would find her. Reaching an intersection, she hid behind the corner of the wall and slowly peeked her head to make sure he wasn’t waiting for her. He wasn’t.
Letting out a sigh, she carelessly lifted her right foot and placed it next to the carpet. It was a mistake. Groaning under her weight, the wooden plank squealed out a long groan. Blinded by a lightning flash flooding the room, her eyes darted back towards the cold bedroom. She winced her eyes through the darkness and glimpsed the door standing wide open. Sidestepping to the other hallway, she hid behind the corner of the wall and slowly but surely peeked her head out.
Not once breaking eye contact, she heard him wake up and the closet door creak open. An unhuman limb stepped out.
She whimpered a sob and drew her hands to cover her mouth, another noise and he would find her. Heart racing, she turned back and hurried through the corridor so as to reach the dual stairs that led towards the door. Hurrying through the corridor, she inattentively planted her foot down on a cupped piece of wood. The floor moaned across the manor before the plank loudly snapped.
Stepping away from it, one of her long drapes from her nightwear had gotten stuck at a jagged piece of it and was now impaled by it. She stood perfectly still, not moving a muscle as she heard one thud and a second thud, followed by a boom and the creak of the roof. He was out of the room.
Whimpering a sob, she bent down and tried wrenching away but found it impossible; she clasped the drape from its ends and tugged with all her might, slowly ripping the drape towards freedom. Thunder striking, she looked up towards the intersection and saw a tall jagged shadow move closer towards the intersection. Tugging harder and harder, she saw the shadow grow bigger and darker until it’s cold bladed fingers curled on the corner of the intersection.
Furiously clawing at the drape with her nails, she ripped her drape out from the jagged splinter and fell flat on her back. The sound boomed throughout the corridor and she heard thunder flash. Fitting through the arch of the intersection, she saw his greasy face contort into his crooked smile, highlighting his jagged fangs dripping black blood. Upon hearing it snarl an unhuman cry, she lifted herself up and ran down the corridor as low booming thuds erupted from behind her. Avoiding tripping up on the furniture, she sobbed and whimpered as she heard his claws ripping through painted walls and ceilings.
As she reached the end of the corridor, she grasped the wall for support and took a quick right into another corridor. Never slowing down nor looking back at him, she heard him ram into the wall and flatten cabinets and paintings into piles of debris. Ignoring the cries of pain from her body, she continued to push her body forwards as he picked up speed again while the thuds and slashes came near and nearer.
Reaching the dual stairs, she took another sharp turn and slammed into the banister, rapidly turning left towards the steps as he crashed and thundered onto the wall and then the banister. Anger fuelling his long screech, he tore a log of wood from the banister and hurled it at her; striking her on her left shoulder and thrusting her down the rest of the stairs. Tumbling and twisting down the hardwood steps, she rested to a stop at the end of the steps and coughed out blood.
Gasping in pain, she tried to get back up but saw her left humerus sticking out from her elbow along with her fingers and ankle now twisted at odd angles.
Collapsing on the floor, she felt her veins pulse and push out of her body, agonizing her body. Doing everything she could to crawl towards the door, she heard the booming thuds come to a halt behind her.
“Hhellk me.” She spat out teeth as she attempted to crawl towards the door. “Someone helk me.”
Lifting her eyes back towards the corridor, lightning flashed and she saw him smile, arms outstretched he crouched his back to fit himself down the steps as the liquid dripped down his mouth and onto the steps. Veins bursting, the black liquid from her veins reached her throat and as thunder filled the room, she felt her throat open and words come out. They weren’t hers.
“And there he stood in all his glory, Mubo the envoy of torment...” The words tore and burst through her throat, filling it with the black liquid in a raspy deep voice that wasn’t hers.
Pain racking her body, she continued without any control over her actions, ”...the rakshasa himself, lord of pain and throne holder of torment...”
Feeling a bloodied jagged hand enclose her throat, yet not seeing it, she was lifted off the ground and thrown up at the roof. Crashing back down, she rolled to a stop on the furry crimson carpet in front of the door.
Writhing in pain, the raspy deep voice tore at her throat one last time ”... jockey of death and needle of torture--”. The rest of her speech became incomprehensible as bulbous volumes of the black liquid filled her mouth. Not before long, she was drowning on it.
Having lost control of her body, he shrieked out a deep raspy laughter from inside her that convulsed her body into a mess of agony and pain. The halls and walls echoing his roars of laughter, she felt the volume of the black liquid increase and her mouth flood with it.
Having enough, she felt his invisible claws dig deep into her chest and ribs; drenching the carpet and herself with the black liquid. Soonly stopping after it reached and clogged her lungs.
The wind stopped short and the thunder ceased to an end. The clouded skies had stopped pouring rain, and the trees now stood still along with the house. The closet slamming shut, still standing strong, laid Mubo’s manor.
The aisle was filled with shouts and yells, people running and phoning others. Pure catastrophe.
He had been woken at 3 am by many different phone calls ranging from surveillance specialists to intelligence analysts. Upon hearing of the situation, he told them to call Bennett, but as soon as he heard the address of the murder, he jumped out of bed. Thirty minutes later he was at the FBI headquarters with his secretary, shoving through scientists and profilers.
“Mr Price! Mr Price!” Dax Price turned his head around and stared at a short, bald, fat man shove through rows of officers and scientists. “Dax we--“
“Who are you?”
“Head of ICT,” he panted.
Upon receiving his nod of approval, he continued, “triple homicide up in Colville forests Manor...” He panted, resting his hands on his hips and offering him a sheet of paper.
Scoffing, Dax replied, “tell me something I don’t know.”
“...it’s a Level 4 now.”
Heart-stopping, he jerked the report from his podgy fingers and flipped through pages of reports, stopping at the heat and violence graphs. They were something they hadn't seen until now. Still glaring at the readings, he frowned and spoke, “Bennett, call hostage rescue team and tell them we have a B-9.”
“Mr Price we can't info--”
“Just do it.” He raised an eyebrow at his secretary. Not daring to undermine his authority, Mr Bennett turned around and ran to his office. Looking back towards the head of ICT, he shoved him back the report and uttered, “follow me.”
Bumping and brushing through officers and scientists carrying parcels of paper, they reached the elevator and descended to Level 4. Stopping abruptly, the elevator doors opened, and a flock of officers and workers rushed towards Mr Price.
Stepping out of the elevator, he and the head of ICT attempted to shove their way through crowds of specialists hollering his name for attention. Growing weary of the constant shouts and sheets of paper brushing his head, he drew out his Glock and fired it at the ceiling. Dust and paint rained down on their hair.
Instantly, the crowd simmered down and hastened to make way. Holstering his Glock, he looked at the astounded head of ICT and curled his finger at him to signal him to follow. Waves of operatives moving out of their way, they descended deep into the marble-floored aisle.
Without looking sideways, Dax asked, ”name?”
“Miller, John Miller.”
Reaching a sealed secured door, he nodded at the security guards and spoke, ”Listen Miller, what you are about to see is highly confidential.” He took his ID card out of his pocket and swiped it at the door lock, buzzing as he did so. Looking at John dead in the eye, he finished his sentence, ”you tell anyone about what you are about to see, and we won’t hesitate to silence you.”
“Understood,” he gulped, breaking away from his glare.
Twisting the handle, the two-inch-thick door opened, and they stepped into the darkened, windowless room. Quickly shutting the door before others noticed what was inside.
Looking forwards, there were rows of computers and screens piled on top of each other with even fewer analysts either graphing reports or analyzing videos and sound files. Looking right, Dax could see a heated argument between two officers next to the sound room. Unable to recognize the agitated tall and skinny one, he identified the short officer with round shoulders and walked towards him.
“Counter Intelligence needs to know, lives are at risk! It’s the second attack this week!” The tall one banged his fists on the wall.
“We at present, have all the branches of analysts possible, how much more do you want?” The short one responded.
“Then leave us out of it. It’s out of our jurisdiction!” He shouted. Looking at the approaching gentlemen, he stretched out a hand towards Mr Price and calmly said. “Sir, we need to call operatives. This is beyond our juri--”
Without blinking, Dax interrupted him, “leave us.” Scoffing, he obliged and walked towards one of the analysts. “You called Max?”
Seemingly waking up from a trance, the round-shouldered officer looked up at Dax and replied, “yeah, right this way.” Following suit, Dax and John followed Max into another room. “Sorry if I’m a bit slow, I’ve covered night shifts for the last two days.” He yawned.
Upon nodding to security guards, they stepped into a bigger gloomier room with even more computers, yet fewer people. Noting his arrival, an analyst walked towards Dax and offered him the same report John had given him. Ignoring him, Dax took off his black trench coat and handed it to him, “hang it somewhere.”
“What’s this?” John looked up at Dax.
Looking down at him, he replied, “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility for Colville Manor. Or as your department dubs it, the grey room.”
“Yeah I know, but what’s all the hassle for a level 4?”
Rolling his eyes, Dax accelerated his pace and stopped in front of a computer displaying a heat graph. “I said keep the temperature above 30℃.”
Crossing his arms, Max replied, “we did. In fact, look, the furnace was running at 50℃.”
Wincing his eyes, he looked at the graph and realized it was true. ”It’s getting stronger.”
To John’s confusion, Max nodded his head and asked, “did you call the head of HRT?”
“Bennett’s on it.”
Having enough, John asked them, “I’m sorry but who’s getting stronger, and why do we need HRT?”
Finally seeming to notice him, Max signaled to John while he looked up at Dax, “what’s he doing here?”
Stroking his hair back he replied, “head of ICT. We will need his equipment.”
Producing more questions than granting clearance through the fog, John frowned and asked them, “what for? And why does Hostage Rescue Team need my equipment?”
Lifting up a hand, Dax signaled at him to calm down and transferred it to a pointing gesture towards Max, “do we have tape?”
“Yeah, that’s why I called you.” Whistling, an analyst looked back at the trio and took off his headphones. “Pull up VID-512 on the big screen.” Turning around, he typed up something on his computer and brought up room 17’s security tape. “It’s taken form.”
“Is it still lifting and controlling objects?”
“Definitely, but even bigger ones.”
Finishing loading up, the tape played on the big screen. Everyone in the highly confidential room including the security guard stopped what they were doing and looked up to the big screen. Silence dawning on the room, the analyst sped up the tape towards 2:38 am. All attention focused on the tape, Dax saw a high angle view of a room from the top corner of a bedroom.
Thereon, there were two beds next to each other below the camera. In front of the right bed, there was a door frame leading towards a darkened hallway, and in front of the left bed, there was a closed wardrobe. Sleeping in them, Dax could see two girls roughly 15-year-old by the looks of it.
The analyst sped it up until the tiny clock at the bottom of the screen read 2:48 am. That’s where the video started getting fuzzy. Some images started to blur and the sound quality drastically decreased. Looking at the window, Dax could see the windows condense as the storm raged outside. ‘Temperature drop,’ he thought.
Snapping out of his thoughts, he saw the wardrobe’s door slowly creak open. His hair standing on edge, John asked them, “what’s that?”
Not looking at him, Dax brought a finger to his mouth and signaled him to be quiet. Soonly had the door fully creaked open, he could barely see the deep, dark inside of the wardrobe.
Crossing his arms, he winced his eyes to examine what was hiding in the darkness inside the closet, ’doors don’t open themselves’ he thought. A few seconds passed, and he could see some movement from the right bed, drawing his attention to it, he saw something slither down its covers, slightly moving the sheets of her bed.
Lifting his hands to bite his nails, he saw the object slowly slither up the bed, stopping in front of her chest. Tension filling the room, thunder struck and lighting flooded the room; as quick as that, the girl was pulled out of her bed and thrown towards the closet. Hitting the door and landing on the floor, she started to scream. The camera blurring and fuzzing for every tenth of a second, she screamed and yelled as she was dragged inside the closet by an invisible force until the door was slammed shut. Silence.
The other girl woke up and sat up on her bed. Looking at her sister's bed, concern spread through her face upon hearing the silence
“J-Janice?” The camera blurred. ”J-J-Janice?”
Her fingers reached for the lamp switch to the side of her bed, but it was thrown across the room by the same invisible force as earlier. Shattering it against the wall.
People in the room started to murmur and turn around to face each other, worry and fright spreading through their faces.
Looking back, Dax yelled, ”quiet!” Silence fell again.
Looking back towards the big screen, he heard faint thuds and booms coming outside of the door. People again started to murmur.
“I said quiet!”
The thuds and booms grew louder and louder each second, looking at the door, the girl sat higher up on her bed and the camera blurred, “J-Janice t-this i-i-isn’t f-funny.”
Hearing the sound increase until it started to shake the pictures that hung on the walls of the bedroom, the thuds and booms grew more apparent and obvious. ‘Steps’ Dax thought.
Realization coming to his face, he winced his eyes harder into the door and saw a tall greasy figure burst into the room. Its amputated arms in the form of jagged daggers penetrated deep into the doorframe as it propelled itself forwards. The figure dripping thick black liquid from its mouth and a hole in its center, it bent down to fit into the room and continued its fast run towards the screaming girl who was now convulsing underneath the sheets. He reached the front of the bed and raised his jagged arms. The camera cut to black.
People started to move and speak again, and this time Dax couldn’t stop them, nor did he have reason to do so. John in shock of what he had just seen, Dax looked at Max and asked him, “what was that?”
Wiping the sweat off his forehead, he looked up at Dax and replied, “Mubo, or so he calls himself.”
Coming out of shock, John asked, ”who’s Mubo? Was that a Mubo?”
Ignoring him, Max signaled to one of the technicians and told him to bring his report. Bringing one sheet of paper, Max explained, “camera 1 went black ten minutes before what you just saw. It’s sound monitor recorded this inside the foyer. At first, we thought they were just incomprehensible blubbers.” Sighing deeply he continued.” We had to run it twice through software to unencrypt it.”
Signaling at the technician, he took out a pair of thick glasses from his pockets and read the sheet, “and there he stood in all his glory. Mubo the envoy of torment. The rakshasa himself. Lord of pain and throne holder of torment. Jockey of death and needle of torture…”
He stopped on the last line.
Slightly parting his lips, Max responded, “read it.”
Hands trembling, he read “...beware the fifth prince of hell.”
End of Chapter One
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Currently I am working on making this story better and planning next chapters, I just submitted this to the main forum for publication and until then, you can expect the rest of the story to be written here. Please expect chapter 2 to be out within a week.