-Good one, Fella, you’ve done it again-though Fella, angry on himself.
His car’s tire was flat as pancake and the spare one in even worse state…at around ten at evening, on Halloween, how plausible was he could find a repair man or get a service on time to get on party he was invited?
-Oh, just great-he thought-And in the middle of nowhere, in count Dracula’s costume, nevertheless…and cell battery empty as a zombie’s soul. Just peachy…-
He sighed deeply, hitting the tire with his foot once again (as if he didn’t know its flat already) and shrugged his shoulders to the full moon.
-Come one, feet-he said tiredly-Now were on our own…-
He locked the car and moved into the direction he was headed…it somehow seemed more logical, than to return. At least he was moving toward the party…ugh.
Half hour later, he already regretted it. Middle of nowhere now became middle of nowhere without real road…his feet touched the dirt road and worse, it started to move upwards.
-Where am I going?-asked Fella himself-I know I’m heading in the right direction, but this definitely doesn’t seem like a road to my friend’s house. Did I manage to get lost too…?-
Shaking his head, desperately trying to find a way out of this situation, he lifted his eyes and stopped immediately. In front of him, high on the end of the path, stood a house.
It was a dark, old mansion, creepy looking on a good day, but even under the skeleton moonlight, to tired Fella it looked as a salvation. And light were on, so there was definitely somebody there.
-I just hope they have a phone in this neverwhere-said Fella, hurrying forward-And something warm to drink, if they don’t mind sharing…I’ve frozen my behind walking around here.-
Few moments latter, he picked old brass knocker shaped as a head with heavy circle in the mouth and knocked. Heavy sound echoed as a dead man’s bell through the night. Fella felt every hair on his neck lifting.
-Ok,-he whispered, feeling eerie-Maybe this wasn’t one of my best ideas…-
Squeaking sound, resembling on scream of soul in purgatory made him jump.
-What are they doing with those hinges, wash it with hot water to stay squeaky as possible…?-he thought, cringing a bit, but was interrupted by the sudden apparition of face in the door opening.
-Yes?-asked deep voice and a creature capable in beating every Boris Karlof’s representation of Frankenstein’s monster showed above Fella, looking threatening.
-Whoa…easy there big fella-said Fella hurriedly, his throat suddenly dry-Didn’t mean to interrupt…had a car accident…flat tire…you know vroom, vroom…car? No?-
Two dark eyes fixated him with some slow hate. Fella felt it’s time to check out, while he still can…
-You know what, it’s ok…nothing of importance, really…sorry I disturbed…-
He went one step back and bumped into something…or rather somebody.
-Now, what are we having here?-said the sultry, deep voice and long, pale face leaned above him-Count Dracula coming to party? I didn’t realized it will be a same costume...embarrassing, actually…I hoped to be only one…but did I heard well, you spoke about some flat tire…?-
Tall man moved one step back, allowing Fella to see him better…his long, pale face gave a look of amusement and maybe, some curiosity...
For a moment, Fella didn’t know what’s he speaking about, but then realized man was wearing exact replica of his own costume, which was exact replica of Bella Lugosi’s 1931 “Dracula”.
-Nice, just what I needed-thought Fella rather darkly and his mood didn’t improve when he noticed man against him managed to find a far better imitation of vampire teeth than he did.
-Look, I’m sorry if I’m trespassing or interrupting, but my car tire turned flat couple of miles down the road and I was trying to get some help…now if you could just give me some directions where to look for service or repair man or if you could just lend me your phone for a moment…-
-Why, of course, of course, by all means you can use our phone-said man, very politely-I am sorry…in my confusion by our costumes similarities, I forgot to introduce myself: I am Jacob Dread and this is my cousin, Marcus…you are most welcome to use our phone, mr…?-
-Fella, name’s Fella-said Fella, feeling huge stone just lifted from his heart and shaking man’s cold hand-And thank you very much, you are very kind…is there some repair man in this area I could call?-
-Truth to be told, this area is rather empty of people-said Jacob Dread with a note of true regret in his voice-But, I’m sure if you call you regular service, they will find your car just fine…we are pretty isolated, but if you came the road I imagine you came by, it would be pretty easy to find…-
He moved the look of his heavy eyes down on Fella and smiled.
-Why don’t we come in and get a little warmth into your blood, Mr. Fella? It’s freezing outside, this is rather cold All Saints' Eve…-
-Thank you very much-said Fella, following tall man into the house, trying to ignore cousin Marcus who stood on the porch, picking his nose with incredible dedication to the task.
Fella reversed his eyes from the sight and squinted, as soft light of candles welcomed him in the hallway.
-As you see, we’re in pretty seasonal mood-said Jacob with a sharp smile-Actually, a small party is ongoing currently and you are more than welcome to join us, once you finish your call…you know, a mysterious stranger, coming from the road…it will add to the mood of this little gathering.-
-Thank you, I think I will accept-said Fella, feeling pretty joyful on chance to eat or drink something, as his stomach started to make rather unpleasant noises from some time ago…he hoped for all the delicacy awaiting him on his friend’s party and ate very little for dinner, so his stomach felt pretty empty.
-But I must call the service first…and perhaps my friends, to tell them all is ok…-he gave a long look to his host, who smiled.
-Feel free to call whoever you want-he said politely-And when you finish, just down the hallway…we’ll be waiting.-
He smiled once again and pushed Fella toward closest door…entering, Fella found small drawing room, overcrowded with old, but expensive looking and good polished furniture…in the corner, on the small table, stood the phone. He was too glad to see it, to notice his host left him, closing the door silently behind.
-That’s right, that’s right-said Fella, after almost fifteen minutes talk with service-On the North road…somewhere along that line, but I can’t tell you exactly were…but you’ll find it without problem, it’s a silver 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda…what do you think, how many of those are there on the road today?-
The person on the other side of line must have said something Fella didn’t liked, as he frowned.
-Oh, stop being a wise guy and just fetch somebody to get it-he said, slamming the receiver down.
He shook his head and then picked up the receiver again…
-Hello, taxi?-he said few moments after-I would like to order a taxi…address? Umm, well, to tell you frankly, I’m not sure, but it’s the house on the end of the North road…actually on the end of the dirt road following North road…how do you mean you don’t know where’s that? Yeah…yeah…look, if you could please send somebody, I’m sure some of your drivers must know…and I’m willing to pay extra. Yes, it’s a sort of emergency…thank you very much.-
He moved receiver down once again and then thought about calling his friends, to let them know what happened. But after short thinking, he decided against this idea, as didn’t want them to worry about him. He did said it could be possible for him to get there late, so they won’t worry about him yet…calling them could ruing their party mood, and he didn’t wanted that. And besides, it will be a nice story to tell, once he arrives.
Now…He returned around the room, and stopped for a moment, looking in the eyes of a pale, beautiful woman in black, early Victorian mourning dress…eyes of the oil portrait on the wall, big and sad, looked as they piercing through him. He shivered.
-A creepy place, with Lurch as a butler and Dracula as a host…and now one of Poe’s ladies, hanging from the wall. Really nice…I should get out of here as soon as possible…-
But his stomach gave a growling sound reminding him he’s hungry.
-Well, maybe a bite or two-he said, reaching for the handle and pulling it…nothing happened. He pulled again, pressing it, but again, nothing happened. Door was locked from outside…he was trapped!
-What is going on here!?-he wondered, moving step back, his heart racing…sudden fear started to crawl his veins.
-Did they lock me? Why?-he asked himself, trying not to panic and not to think of all the possibilities. Instead, he started to look for the way out…and found non to be seen.
Fear started to grab him real tight…he moved to the door and knocked few times.
-Hello!-he tried politely at first-Door seem to be locked somehow…can anybody there open it?-
But no one answered it. Fella knocked more fiercely.
-Hello? Can somebody open this….?!-
And again, nothing.
In rush of anger he started to hit the door with fists, calling from the top of his throat.
-Open the door!-he shouted-Open the door…!-
He kept hitting and hitting and yelling as hard as possible…and after few minutes, had to give up, too exhausted.
-Why are you people doing this?-he whispered desperately and crashed on the sofa, red in face from all the yelling.
Instead of answer, door silently opened. Fella jumped to his feet, expecting somebody coming in, but no one did. Carefully, he moved toward the door and quickly pulled it…empty hallway, filled with silent candle lights, welcomed him.
-Hello?-whispered Fella, slowly moving his head out and looking left and right-Anyone there…?-
Dusty silence ruled the air, except distant sound of music, coming from somewhere further in the house.
-Anyone?-called Fella again softly, starting to fell ashamed of himself…Halloween and this house must have started to affect him too much. Old door must have stuck, no wonder in house this old.
Still, he hesitated to move further…music did seem inviting, but did he really want to stay here? Atmosphere of the house just didn’t feel right…his host seemed polite and all, but his cousin looked creepy enough to visit Fella’s nightmares for a while.
With doubt, Fella turned toward the main door, deciding to get out. He opened it and stopped…Moonlight made surroundings looking like a face of the moon. The path he came resembled on glass and coldness bitted severely. Fella shivered. His stomach let another growling sound.
-Well, maybe a glass of something, to warm me before I go-he though, shutting door back rapidly and shivering-I shouldn’t let the childish fears affect me. Dracula, Frankenstein…really Fella? You watched too much holiday movies today…-
And with that, he moved down the hallway, toward the music.
-Carmilla, my dear, fetch me the bottle, will you?-was the first thing Fella heard coming closer to the half opened door of the room music come from.
-The punch?-asked deep, woman voice, full of half-hidden seduction.
Fella caught himself smiling. Whoever was the lady, he could bet she’s a beauty.
-No, the blood of course-said the voice of his host, chuckling-Don’t look at me like that, dear, I know it’s the last one, but I will get us some more quite quickly...-
Fella stood, to much in shock to move…like somebody spilled a bucket of cold water over him, he was freezing. All his fears returned and this time, they brought friends.
Did that man spoke about fresh blood just now? Blood?! Who’s blood would that be?
-I must get out of here right now-he thought, his heart racing.
But, did they hear him coming? Or hitting that door just while ago? They must have locked him, but old door just gave up under his fists…he was sure of it now. But the noise…the noise he made getting out…didn’t they heard it? Or him coming here? His footsteps…or his breathing?
In sudden fear, he covered his mouth with both of his hands. Too afraid they’ll hear him, but still aware he must ran away right away, he managed to slowly move his leg back. Fella could hear every fiber in the carpet under his foot…but those in the room didn’t seem to notice.
-Now, where’s our little visitor-said the other voice…it’s was creepy, raspy voice, voice made for whispering curses in midnight, while providing victim for long forgotten gods-Didn’t you said he’s coming? I saw him from the window, he looks rather…interesting-continued the voice.
Fella didn’t want to know what that person meant by that.
-Now, now Beatrice-said the other, deeper voice…slurp sounds came with every word, like person was eating something gelatinous-You can’t have every single one…-
-You can have non-said the voice of Jacob Dread slowly-He’s a guest and we will act like that…until…-
Fella did not want to hear more…he slowly moved his other foot, then quickly turned and ran…and bumped onto the huge cousin Marcus, on his way to the party.
-Umh?-said Marcus, frowning and catching Fella’s cape-Where are you going? And why bumping into people, you are?-
Fella gave a little squeak, his throat too closed to scream…he tried to run, but Marcus just lifted him off the floor by the cape.
-No run-run-he said, leaning toward Fella, as he wanted to take a better look-Run not good Mr. Fella…you may fall or hurt your little body. Good boys don’t run in hallways…-
Fella tried to punch him, but couldn’t reach his face. He squirmed and kicked with his hands and feet, but hanging from the cape he just looked as a mad puppet. Marcus looked him completely uninterested, like he’s waiting for him to go tired and stop. He’s face had the calmness of a pumpkin.
Finally Fella gave up, forcing to calm down and praying others didn’t hear him yet. He also forced himself to think.
-Ok, cousin Marcus obviously miss few marbles-he thought feverishly-I better try something with him, before he alarm others…-
But nothing came to his mind…except…
-Hey, Marcus-he said, trying to sound cheerful as possible-How ‘bout you let me down and we go and find my car…I have a beautiful, shiny car, you know? I bet you would like to ride in it! We could hit the road…-
Marcus looked him with great attention. For a moment, Fella even though he caught him.
But then he just shook his head.
-No ride, Mr. Fella-he said, sounding a bit down about it-Marcus can’t leave the house. Besides, vroom, vroom not good either. Ruins the o-zo-ne la-yer.-
Fella cursed inside.
-Ok, Marcus, then…how ‘bout you just let me down, ha?-
To his greatest surprise, Marcus did it. Fella was so shocked by this, he landed on the floor and sat.
Carefully, not letting Marcus out of his sight, he got up. Doing it, he didn’t missed giant still holding the end of the cape. But Fella had a new plan.
-Look, Marcus, I really got to go outside…I lost something coming here…my cell phone, I lost my cell phone. Would you go and help me look for it?-
He bitted his lips, hoping Marcus don’t somehow guess his cell phone is with him all the time…dead, but present.
Marcus’s face turned the shape of question mark.
-Now he’s gonna tell me cell phones are not good for brain-thought Fella feverishly.
But he didn’t. Instead, he pulled surprised Fella by the cape, toward the door.
-Yes, Marcus will help you look for it and then you can go and tell cousin Jacob Marcus was a good boy.
-Yes, you are a good boy, aren’t you Marcus…good boy-Fella felt like talking to a big, possible murderous, but for a moment calm dog-Now come on and help me, ok?-
Marcus nodded and Fella felt victorious, moving toward door…once out, he will just start to run. He was a fast runner and doubted Marcus, with his height and weight could be as half as good.
Just to get to the door…but cold voice from behind destroyed all his hopes.
-Now, you wouldn’t leave without a good bye, Mr. Fella, would you?-asked that voice silkily.
-Wouldn’t dream of it-said Fella, turning to face Jacob Dread, feeling world is crushing beneath his feet.
-Guys, let me introduce you our guest-said Jacob.
Fella, safely tucked between Marcus’s big hands and thus preserved from running away just shivered inside, on the first glance of “guys”.
Woman across the room, staring right into him was a woman from the portrait he saw in the drawing room…she was beautiful, but her beauty a bit affected by her bloodless skin and pair of just bit too long fangs.
-Ladies first, of course…the mistress of the house, my wife, Carmilla-said Jacob.
Fella just nodded, trying to look less scared, playing polite.
She smiled, lips red as wine, probably guessing.
-Here, on my left is our lovely Bea…Bea is our scientist…-
Fella managed not to show the twitch…narrow face of grey skin and expressionless eyes studied him. Woman wore old fashion laboratory coat, white, buttoned on the side with big buttons. She looked as a definition of mad doctor.
Did she felt what’s he thinking or it was her fashion, Fella couldn’t guess but she just stiffly nodded toward him. Even so, he was guessing that’s the one with strange voice.
-And our own and only, Mr. Hoskins, old sea wolf-said Jacob with a shred smile…man, ‘till now facing the window, turned and Fella’s heart gave another jump, but he managed not to squeak.
Instead of face, man had a some sort of octopus…it’s tentacles waved everywhere, when he nodded in Fella’s direction.
-Nice to meet you-he said…only now Fella realized slurping sound have not came from something man ate, but from the shape of his lipless mouth and constantly dripping liquid.
-Everyone, this is Mr. Fella, our stranded guest…-kept speaking Jacob, tossing himself into the chair and showing Fella one. Before he could have said anything, Marcus basically shoved him into it.
-Jacob says you had a trouble with your car…have you managed to call for service, Mr. Fella?-asked silkily Carmilla-Lines are sometimes quite impossible around here, I do hope you had no problems…-
-No, no problems whatsoever, thank you very much-said Fella, forcing himself to play cool-They promised to pick my car as soon as possible…-
Sudden thought ran through his mind, reestablishing the fire of his hope.
-I even managed to call for a taxi, too-he said, trying not to sound to nervous-Regretfully, I will probably not be able to enjoy your kind hospitability for long…-
-Oh, that…depends, Mr. Fella-said creepy voice and Fella turned to Bea, trying not to avoid looking her in the eyes-Taxi service around here is a very uncertain service…and giving this address, it probably didn’t encouraged them much. We do live in the middle of nowhere, as you might notice…-
-Now, Bea, don’t bring uneasiness into our guest’s heart-said Jacob, lifting his eyebrow-They might turn up…dear Mr. Fella, my friend just want to say they are not to be depend on, in these parts…but I’m sure if they accepted your call, they’ll come…most probably.-
-Of course-said Bea coldly-I did not mean to worry you. In fact, there’s no reason for worry…if taxi don’t show up, I’m sure my friends will gladly offer you a place to stay for the night…-
-That’s beyond question-interrupted Carmilla-Consider yourself invited, Mr. Fella, if you don’t manage to get your ride…one spare room is always ready for sudden guests and new friends.-
-You’re very kind-murmured Fella, keeping himself from saying he would prefer even some nice Transylvanian castle, over this.
-Now, we are rude, aren’t we-said Jacob Dread, clasping his hands in impatient manner of someone for forgot something crucial and finally remembered-We didn’t offered you any refreshment…you must pardon us, we don’t get guests often. Carmilla…dear…?-
She moved instantly, facing Fella.
-I’m afraid our bar tonight is not what you would call full, but hopefully you can still find something to your likeness…punch or wine?-she asked, showing toward room bar in the corner. There was one half empty bottle on it and a bowl of punch.
-Punch, thank you-said Fella, finding “wine” very suspicious looking…he could bet it was the same bottle discussion from a while ago was lead about and it sent shivers down his spine. To whom this bottle belonged, really belonged, he wanted to know very much, desiring never to find out in the same time.
A gory plot started to form in his head. Some lonely drifter, coming to the same door he knocked this evening, in search for some warmth and shelter for the night…a dangerous hospitality of people he was facing right now. Then, a silent hit on the head or something in the punch (he reminded himself not even to lick the stuff)…and then, that creepy “scientist” Bea, with some nightmare machine for draining blood, drying the poor fellow to the bone, bottling it for later use, ‘till the last drop. Or maybe this Cthulhu looking guy used some old ritual, but who cared. Fella felt creeps crawling up his spine, imagining Marcus dragging the dead, dry body down the hallways, burying it somewhere in a secret patio inside of house. Lonely, sad grave of some lost soul, still shined under the moonlight…and that bottle, across the room. Chilling thought about refilling it with his own blood for a moment froze Fella’s mind.
-Mr. Fella…-he caught someone calling him and turned his head, facing his host, Jacob.
-You seem to drift away, sorry to interrupt your thoughts-said Jacob Dread-But we were just wondering, if you would perhaps want something to eat? Carmilla could easily…-
-No, no, there’s no need, really, thank you-said Fella, suppressing the grunt his stomach gave on mention of food and hoping they didn’t noticed.
-Is that you would like, to fatten me up before the feast?-he thought-Well, I certainly won’t give you that pleasure…-
His mind kept working like a hamster rolling his wheel…he needed to get out of here, fast, taxi or no taxi.
If he only had a phone, he could ask to be excused while calling, but if he had a phone, he wouldn’t be here on the first place. Desperately, the tried to find something else, anything else…what other excuses for leaving the room he could say?
-I am very sorry to interrupt-he said slowly, finally finding something-But you see, my hands…they’re dirty from trying to fix a tire and I would really appreciate if I could clean them…
He stopped…it was very polite way to ask for a bathroom. His heart twitched from happiness when Jacob nodded.
-Of course, Mr. Fella…facilities are down the hallway. Let Marcus show you the way, so you won’t…Well, this house is a real maze, we wouldn’t like you to…get lost…-
He widened lips in smile, but Fella understood it right. He didn’t want to risk him getting away and he wasn’t about to risk Fella seeing anything unfit for his eyes.
-I wonder what, exactly-thought Fella moving down the hallway with cousin Marcus behind him. His mind filled with horror images of mad scientist’s laboratories, torture chambers, tombs, pits and pendulums, cages…whatever he could think off.
-What’s there?-he asked, pointing finger toward the first door they passed, without expecting an answer. Surprisingly, it came.
-Attic-said Marcus simply-But we don’t use it, it’s full of bats…Jacob doesn’t let me chase them away, he likes them.-
-Figures-thought Fella darkly.
-And this?-he asked when another door showed up…
-Basement-said Marcus simply.
-And this?-he asked again with new door.
-Basement-repeated Marcus slowly.
Fella narrowed his eyes.
Another door of basement? Or another basement? He didn’t dare asking…basement would be the place where he would set Bea’s “lab” if he was a director of this movie…if this was a movie…
By then, Marcus already picked it’s desirable to name where the door leads, as they pass them by.
-Basement-he said at the next.
-Again?-asked Fella lifting his eyebrows, feeling to start eerie about it. Weather it was real basement door, another basement door or just lack of Marcus’s memory, this started to look somehow creepy.
-Basement…basement…basement…-repeated Marcus at next three doors. By then, Fella had enough of it.
-Another basement?-he squeaked when another door showed up…
Marcus gave him the look as he was the crazy one.
-No…kitchen-he replied on his question, turning left.
In front of Fella, hallway split on two, left and right side, with monumental looking stares in the middle. On the right side, hallway ended with incredible large clock. On the left, hallway continued.
Seeing the new hallway is narrow and long, filled with doors on both sides of wall, Fella felt sick. This was a damn Alice in Wonderland by now! If white rabbit would start hopping around, he would not even take it for curious.
-Wait, wait, Marcus?-he called, running behind big guy-What’s up the stairs?-
-Bedrooms-said Marcus, turning just for a moment to look at him-Marcus’s bedroom is there, with lots of funny toys, oh yes…-
He smiled from ear to ear, making Fella twitch. He didn’t wanted to know what kind of toys…or did Marcus actually dig after Bea’s “experiments”. Fella felt sick.
-Drawing room, morning room, work room, library, cabinet…Marcus continued counting as they moved down the hallway.
-Nothing…-he said, passing one door.
-Nothing?-Fella asked suddenly-How do you mean “nothing”?-
-Nothing means nothing Mr. Fella-said Marcus, continuing.
-How can it be a door to nothing?-thought Fella a bit stunned…then he gave himself a imaginative slap over face.
-Think, Fella…-he told edgily to himself-It’s not really nothing, it’s something Marcus doesn’t want you to know about and don’t know how to hide it differently…-
The curiosity in him rose to unbeatable level…maybe it was some way out, some passage out of here…
-Time for sneak-peek-he whispered, seeing Marcus already found another hallway turn and went there. Quickly, before his guide would return to see why he doesn’t follow, he jumped to the door and pulled the knob. Door opened.
There was nothing behind it…nothing but a void, filled with darkness and it seamed to pour out of the doorway somehow, carrying coldness and scent of moisture. Freaking out, Fella quickly slammed it back.
Marcus’s big head showed from around the corner.
-Come on, Mr. Fella, you don’t want to get lost-he said, returning for Fella and pulling him slightly by the cape of his costume. Fella hurried to follow, without a word. Maybe just because he didn’t wanted Marcus to hear his teeth chattering.
Another hallway, another row of doors.
-Oh, no, not again-thought Fella desperately.
-Marcus, if we don’t reach that bathroom soon, we’re facing possible accidents-he managed to squeeze a joke…surprisingly, Marcus understood it.
-No accidents-he said grinning-There’s a bathroom door…-he showed the door furthest in the hallway. Fella sighed from relieve, moving straightly there, ignoring the other doors (maybe even without desire to know where they lead to).
-Would you be kind to wait for me there?-he asked Marcus, opening the door and facing tiled floor.
Marcus just nodded.
-Marcus will wait-he said, taking position like he expects to spend eternity there, already starting with his favorite gold mining hobby as Fella slammed the door, entering the bathroom.
Room wasn’t a big one and reminded somehow on a public bathroom. It was clean, but obviously wasn’t used for a long, long time. There were spider webs in the high corners and everything, including sinks, was covered with a layer of dust.
Fella felt uncomfortable and then jumped, seeing a pale shape on the wall on his right, moving. Then realized it’s the dust covered mirror, showing him his own masked face. .
-I’m getting slightly mad-Fella thought, feeling his heart thumbs. He turned to the mirror, looking at reflection, removing some dust with his hand. Pair of desperate eyes looked him back.
-How did you get stuck in all this mess?-he asked himself quietly.
Then sighed, turning away, feeling somehow strange, but still looking for a window. To his relieve, there it was, on the wall across the room…stained glass with motive of lady looking at her own reflection in mirror, massive thing was more than enough big for him to get out.
Fella ran to it, scared the knob might not open, but it did, without problem. Thick brick wall welcomed him behind it, making him wanna cry.
-No, you won’t-he said to himself, managing to sustain from tears-So ok, they predicted this…but there’s another chance, there’s chance you can again full Marcus into letting you out and hopefully, Jacob Dread won’t be around there this time to stop you…-
He leaned onto sink, trying to pull up some plan (any plan) and only then realized why he felt strange all this time…the reflection, it didn’t move. At all.
Confused, Fella pulled himself back a bit, but reflection did nothing…like a photograph of Fella looked from the glass at him. Slowly, Fella leaned closer to it, investigating it…only with his head so close to it, glass has misted, Fella noticed something…eyes moved.
And he didn’t liked the expression they gave, pure evil expression. Lips of the figure suddenly pulled up too, into a horrible grin, revealing two rows of needle like teeth, long and narrow…and very sharp.
Fella moved back, but not quickly enough…two hands jumped out of mirror, grabbing him by the clothes and he screamed, as horrible face started to exit from the mirror.
-Help! Help!-he screamed, desperately trying to release himself from deadly arms…he had no doubt of figure intentions, the long teeth, now too close to his face, were picturesque enough.
He struggled with all his might and hearing something, somewhere snapping…in a moment, there was a sense of release and his both sleeves suddenly detached from his suit…he quickly pulled arms out, sleeveless, but free, leaving his reflection with poor prey…
The creature gave a sound of desperate anger, trying to reach for him with long claws, but he was already out of reach and it didn’t seem to be able to completely exit the mirror. It raged for couple of moments, then moved back to the mirror and to his deceivable immobility.
Not willing to stay and check, Fella hurried out of bathroom, shaking…then stopped.
Hallway was empty, no Marcus was there in sight. He was all alone.
Wasting no time on how or why, he just ran to the direction they came from, scared of mirror creature somehow coming for him after all, scared other rooms hide similar monsters, scared hallways rearranged somehow, not letting him return the way he came (yes, just few moments ago, he would say “too much movies” but he wasn’t so sure anymore)…
Still, at least that last fear didn’t came true, as he turned into a hallway with “nothing” door, now facing the big clock on it’s other end and ran all the length, to find the stairs and the original hallway he came from.
He felt a sting of hope seeing door long way down there and then jumped from fear, when clock started to strike time…he stood, frozen, while a gong pounded hours…one, two, three, four…eleven…twelve…thirteen…thirteen?!
Fella turned to the clock face, seeing number thirteen on the top and both hands on it. But with other freaky things he saw, this didn’t even amused him. Instead, he ran toward the main door…
Hallway seemed to stretch somehow, getting longer and narrower with every of his steps…house seem resolved to hold him inside. Fighting the feeling of nausea on sight of stretching, crazy curved walls, Fella just ran and ran…
And suddenly, like something snapped, hallway returned to normal and he found himself at the door.
Wasting no time, he pulled the knob and cried when it didn’t move. It was locked.
-No, no, no-he thought desperately…not now, when he was so close escape.
He hit the door vigorously with his fist…and it worked. They swung open, leaving him to surprise to move.
-Mr. Fella, is everything all right?-asked cold, polite voice from behind.
Fella turned to Jacob Dread, standing on the door of the party room, with others around him…all of them looked at Fella curiously.
-Leaving so soon?-asked Carmilla, with quizzical expression.
-Before we shared some…pleasant experiences?-added Bea sulkily.
-Before we showed you all the magic of this house?-asked Hoskins slurping his words.
And on top of that, Marcus came from the back corridor, running…
-Jacob, I can’t find the little guy anywhere, he must got lost…-he suddenly lifted his eyes, seeing terrified Fella on the door.
-There you are, Mr. Fella…-he started, moving toward him, making Fella’s heart race.
-You won’t have me, you freaks!-he screamed from the top of his lungs, running away through the door-Go to hell, where you belong…!-
-Mr. Fella!-called Jacob Dread, running after him in hurry-Mr. Fella, I wouldn’t ran down those stairs, the third one is loose…you might lose your balance…Mr. Fella?!-
Whole party ran after him.
Fella felt the hit and fall…the stairs under his feet, they didn’t hold. He swung through the air, turning a couple of times and landed on the ground on his back. The hit, mixed with all the fear was too much…he felt dark becoming darker and saw long, pale face of Jacob Dread above him, like in haze.
-So they got me after all-he thought, strangely calm.
Then he fainted.
Sound of moving car woke him up…
Fella jumped, terrified for his life, only to see he’s on the back seat of a moving taxi. In sudden urge, he searched his neck for a bites, but to his relieve, found non.
What happened? Why did they let him go?
-Well, hello there-said taxi driver, finding his passenger awake-Feeling better, I hope?-
-What…what happened?-murmured Fella, finding his head very painful on touch.
-It’s seems you have one too much on the party, little fella-said driver smirking all-knowingly-Happens sometimes…-
-Yeah, it…-Fella started and then jumped in fear-How do you know my name!?-
-Huh?-asked driver, frowning.-
-Um…nothing, nothing-said Fella, falling back to his seat, realizing driver used “fella” as a noun, not as a name.
-Need to relax-he whispered to himself.
-Yeah, relax, it’s gonna be a long drive to your friends house…-said driver, overhearing him-If you have an urge to sleep, sleep freely…if you feel a need to throw up, call first so I can stop, or you will clean it…-
-Ok-said Fella meekly, without desire to oppose or react on rudeness.
As long as this taxi moved away from a dreadful house he visited, he was willing to play by his rules.
-How do you know my friend’s address?-he asked, few moments before he would fall asleep.
-Your friends gave me-said taxi driver, thinking how it’s really sad when somebody is so drunk he doesn’t recall what happened fifteen minutes ago.
-Ok-repeated Fella, unaware of driver’s thought and somehow finding it naturally that Jacob Dread would know the address…maybe he read it from his mind or something.
With it on his mind, Fella fell asleep.
-Jacob, dear…-said his wife to him, once whole party moved back to the house.
Their visitor, Fella, was long gone, carried and tucked into taxi by Marcus’s hands, the needed address given by Jacob to taxi driver.
He found it in Fella’s cell phone…battery was empty, but Jacob used a little trick of his to recharge it long enough for him to find the information.
-Jacob, dear…-repeated Carmilla, gently wrapping her arm around his neck-I don’t think he was the one we expected, after all…-
-You know, my dear, I don’t think so either.-he said, tiredly sighing-He was in the costume of Dracula, but there must have been a mix up or something…-
Bea and Hoskins just nodded, their faces between worry and confusion.
-Yes, it was-said Marcus, noisily entering the room…there was no traces of previous slowness in his voice whatsoever…he sounded rather business like and serious now.
-Here you go, I just contacted the agency-he said, pushing a small note paper in Jacob’s hands-There was a delay, the fellow who booked the house couldn’t come, but no one even bother to call us…-he explained to the others.
-I mean…really!-Bea jumped to her feet, blushing-What do they think we are, puppets, so they can pull the strings however they want...?!-
-Calm down, Bea-said Hoskins, slurping his words-I’m sure they don’t think that…-
-Oh, but they do, my dear friend…they do-said Jacob tiredly-They recon, cause of our little problem, they can do whatever they want with us…and they are partially right, as if we want to keep the house, we need to play by their rules.-
-But that’s so…so unfair-said Bea, sitting down on the edge of tears-I mean, just because…just because…-
-Just because, yes-said Carmilla gently, moving from her husband and hugging her friend-But it’s not so bad, Bea, dear…I mean, at least we can mask in whatever we want and we can play all the silly games all around the house…and after all, it’s one day of the year, you know, the rest is ours…-
-Two, dear-said Jacob a bit dry-They politely noted me Christmas is now available for booking, too, if someone asks…-
-Oh, well, we can deal with it, ok?-said Carmilla, putting her chin up-We dealt with this so far and we dealt with it good…we won’t back down just cause they try to mess with us…and on the end, we do have each other and that’s most important thing, right?-
It was like wave of warmness streamed through the room…everyone smiled, even Hoskins with his octopus like face.
-Right, sis-said Marcus, hugging her around shoulders.
-My love, you always say the right things-said Jacob, looking at her lovingly-And you are right, there’s a fun part in it, yes. I mean, I just enjoy saying I’ll fetch more blood later, letting them realize it’s probably their blood…-
-And it’s fun to show them around, with all that basement, basement, basement thing-smiled Marcus-And that room of nothing…Bea, you really showed up there…-
-Well, I really like creating those rooms-she said simply, calmed down-It’s that creative side in me, you know…I just have to make something…like that little mirror monster…-
-I love masking itself-said Hoskins…his head suddenly changed its shape into an elephants, then into a bandaged mummy head and on the end in the head of giant bat. Then, with one twitch, he turned it back into the octopus.
-What? I always loved Cthulhu mythos…-he said with apologetic smile, seeing his friends smiling too.
-Just don’t spend all your ectoplasm on it, ok?-said Carmilla-By the way, guys, don’t you think we can go now? I mean with our original guest not coming and that poor little guy gone, I believe we can call it quits…besides, it stroked thirteen a long time ago…-
-I think you’re right…-said her husband, getting up from the chair and stretching-We should go…-
The round of nodding welcomed his words. Like mist dispersed by the slow wind, their shapes started to turn transparent and slowly disappeared…only Jacob and Carmilla lingered a bit longer.
-What do you thinking of, love?-she asked, so much alike a transparent mist, kissing his also transparent cheek.
-You know, I do believe we scared our poor little visitor badly…I hope he’ll be alright-he said with bit of a frown.
-I’m sure he will-she said-Don’t worry about it. But agency should really be more careful next time…look at all the mess they made…-
-Bea is right…they think because we’re dead, we have no rights whatsoever-said her husband.
-Well, you know how they say: no rest for wicked-she said with touch of humor in her voice-And besides, dear…as long as we have each other…-
Her hand found his.
-…eternity doesn’t look so scary-he finished, kissing his wife.
They disappeared together.
Their voices stayed for couple of moments behind.
-You know dear, I really thought about adding some sparkling next year…-he said.
-Sparkling? Jacob, are you serious?-his wife didn’t sounded too enthusiastic.
-Well, dear, we should move with the times…I love masking into vampire and if sparkling is what they find interesting in vampires these days…-
-Jacob, love, you will do it only over my dead, rotten body…literally, but that’s not the point-she said-We need to keep at least some dignity…-
And with those words, they truly disappeared. With lack of ghost magic, fire in the fireplace died and layer of thick dust covered everything I the room, chairs, bar, glasses…
Another Halloween was over.