I can’t move. Did I really just see that? No, I was seeing things because I’m so excited to see this damn horror house. That’s it, I’m going to turn around and be scared shitless a few times, when I get out I’ll find Steve and we’ll laugh about it. Taking a deep breath I turn and find Maria’s face broken with fear.
The room is filled with wheelchairs, all in various states of destruction. The few hanging from the ceiling swing slightly from the rumble of the roller-coasters. Next to every chair is a mannequin wearing the same green hoodie Steve had on.
“Barn, what’s going on?” Maria says grabbing my arm.
“I don’t know.”
A man steps out of the shadows and into the light, Maria screams and tightens her grip on me. His finely tailored suit gleams in the dirty light.
“Welcome children, to my home.” When he speak, his angelic face never creases. “I am Michael, and I will lead you through this presentation of all that is frightening. Please, after you.”
He holds out a hand to Maria, I can see the struggle behind her eyes. Should she take his hand or should she run out the door we came through. She releases her grip and takes his hand, he leads her forward into the sea of dead Steve’s. With his back to me, he beckons, “young man, do keep up.”
He holds her hand out in front of himself, and walks past a door frame lined with hanging silk threads that make Maria visibly shiver when they caress her cheeks and neck. They feel like sliders webs in the dark, I suppress my own shivers.
“This room in designated for the sick and mad.” Men and women in grey rags for cloths stare blankly into the air. Michael makes a clicking nose with his tongue and every single blank stare snaps in our direction. “They no not where they are, and their interest in you is fleeting. The moment you leave the room they will go back to their incomprehensible musing. In a ward filled with others like them they will still be forever alone.”
A woman near the next door reaches out to touch Maria, who crumples into herself with fear. She releases Michael and runs back towards me. Michael never turns his head, instead he stares deeply into the woman. Her mouth twitches into a sort of smile, the color of longing flushes in her cheeks. When he turns away her face falls back into a blank stare.
“This way, children.” Michael continues to the door, when he opens it his neatly placed hair whips about, caught in a wind neither of us can feel. He vanishes into the darkness of the next room, leaving us with the stares and silence of this one. We shuffle hurriedly over the threshold and into unimaginably strong winds. The darkness is interrupted by bolts of lightning illumination the sky high above us. During one of these bolts I can see Maria screaming, the vain in her neck fit to burst. The wind is too loud to even here her from less than a foot away. A hand grabs my shoulder, Michael looks at us both and somehow speaks to us as calmly as he did in the last room.
“This room is for the restless.” He points to the left of us, in the distance we can see a group of people our age dancing in the lighting storm. One of the guys grabs a girl and drags her down to the floor, to the cheers of the others.
I can see the wind changing towards them. I can see it cut the ground as it streaks low, and I can see it lift the couple into the air and smash their bodies into each other. I can’t help but see their friends get covered in blood, I can’t help but watch as the wind carries off the bodies. I look up at Michael, his beautiful face watches mine intently, when I look back I see the next couple fall to the ground like the first, and again I see the wind charge.
“They will never learn,” Michael walks on and we follow. We walk for minutes and the group of people being killed by the wind never shrinks, it stays the same distance, even when a door appears in the distance and progressively gets closer the repeating image never leaves us.
The next room is quiet, with the occasional dripping noise. There is a foul odor that lingers in the air, like the moist haze wafting past the only light source. The deeper we go the stronger the smell, and the clearer our path. We are walking on a plank hanging over a pool of murky water. And in this murky water floats…
“oh my god, Barney,” Maria whispers into my ear, “are we in a sewer?”
“We can’t be, we took an elevator remember.” I whisper back.
Michael walks ahead of us without a word. I can see him glance over to the right and nod slightly. Peering deep into the room I see nothing but murky water. I don’t even see the ghoulish hand reaching for my leg. Maria screams and pulls me back, I fall into her and both of us fall face first into the water. But we don’t, Michael catches us just in time. He straightens us with one hand and reaches deep into the water.
He pulls out a hideous creature with onyx eyes and a leech’s mouth on its face and on its belly. The thing is the size of a toddler with arms twice its own length. It reaches into the water and picks up a turd, shoves it into the top mouth only to have it thrown back up by the lower one.
Michael throws it back like an undesirable fish and walks on down the plank. He stops and turns his head towards us, “come along, there is still much more to see.”
By Edgar & Cas