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Halloween Tale III

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Did I scare you? No? Well, perhaps we can all work on scaring each other! With a mere ten days to go until Halloween, it is time for the annual Halloween Ghost Story. Just add a new paragraph to the end of the story and let's see where it goes. Remember, cliff-hangers are your friend!



Julian lay cozy in his bed, looking up at the patterns on the ceiling of his room. The light from the newly-risen full moon filtered through the branches of the old oak tree outside Julian's window and made eerie shapes on his wall and ceiling. Hе watched the shifting patterns and imagined what they might portend as hе slowly drifted off to sleep. His dreams were at first light and fanciful, but soon turned progressively darker. The shadows on the wall began to shift faster and faster and eventually the dark patches seemed to actually detach themselves from the wall and move toward the bed. Julian tossed and turned in his sleep as hе tried to escape the out-stretched arms of the small figures that made a scratching noise as they limped across the hardwood floor to the bed. They began to climb the legs of the bed as Julan tried futily to beat them back. Just as the shapes were about to grab the covers away from the bed, Julian woke with a start in a pool of sweat. His heart pounding, hе quickly scanned the room . . .

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Love these Halloween Tales you start each year Ike. Let the scarefest commence! Boy you started this one off running. Ok. Down to some scaretactics...



"Bah! Just the branches scratching against the window again." Julian thought to himself. Still a bit frazzled by the nightmare, Julian strolled to the kitchen for a glass of water. A feeling of being watched, followed even, came over Julian as he carefully navigated the long dark hallway to the kitchen. Of course he could have simply turned a light on to help him see his way but that was the last thing he wanted to do. Nothing worse than turning on the lights in the middle of the night for a late night kitchen run. But then something moved... Not clearly but something definitely moved. Along the ceiling... "Vision must be hazy." Julian whispered to himself. Arriving to the Kitchen at last Julian reached for the fridge door handle. Bracing himself for the certain glare of light from within the fridge he squinted his eyes shut and slowly pulled open the fridge door. "Nooooooooo! ... Awh man. Someone took the last piece of pumpkin pie." After rummaging through the fridge's contents he gave up and began closing the fridge door quietly so no one would wake. As he did so the room became darker and darker until only a dull orange glow illuminated the Kitchen and in that last split second before the fridge's weak stream of light disappeared completely something sped across the stream of light...

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"Probably just a roach," Julian mused to himself. Although he was not completely convinced this time. "Probably George ate the last of the pumpkin pie and left crumbs around that attracted roaches," he tried to convince himself. He headed back toward his room in the dark, feeling his way along as he waited for his vision to re-adjust to the darkness.


Julian was thinking back to the remnants of his dream as he wandered down the hallway and it took him a little while to figure out that something was very wrong. He should have reached the door to his room by now. He stood for a moment with his eyes closed to help with his low-light vision and when he opened them he could see a lot better, but was far more confused. He seemed to be in the right hall, but the wrong time. Listening, he could hear the sounds of a grandfather clock in the living room, but they did not have a grandfather clock. The walls were covered with old pictures and the wall paper that they had removed when they moved in . . . except that it was in far better shape, as if recently put up. As he walked back to the kitchen, he was greeted with fifty-year-old appliances.


What was going on?

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Julian glanced over to the corridor window, altho he clearly had seen the moon shining bright when he was in his room, now a darkened sun was shining, even tho it didn't give any shadow or lighting,

It even made everything darker.


Trying to move his legs he stumbled & fell over something, but due to the bad lighting he couldn't see what it exactly was. He heard an ancient tone, that could only be coming from that grandfather clock....

As he looked up to the remnant of a past age, it rang louder & louder. His ear drums began to ache & he tried to shield himself from the still mounting tone.


There he lay, helpless on the floor, curled up & hands covering his ears. Was he going mad?

Edited by Chareos Rantras
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Each tolling of the clock seemed to rip a part of his soul from Julian's body. When it struck for the eleventh time, Julian thought that it would kill him but it stopped. He lay there panting, barely able to move, and knew that if the clock made it to twelve, he would not survive. For long moments he simply attempted to gather his breath. When he was finally able to get up, he knew instinctively that he had to figure out what had brought him to this place and that the clock was figuratively, and quite literally, running.


Looking down, he saw the object over which he had tripped. It was a child's wooden rocking horse. He thought that it was strange to find it outside of the kitchen. He picked it up and carried it back to the living room. As he entered the familiar room, with the unfamiliar furniture and decorations, he noticed a small child sitting by the fireplace staring into the flames. At the sound of Julian's entrance the boy turned around . . .

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``You are in danger. There is not much time Julian, for this clock races towards doom. This doom is here, where I am now, imprisoned, close to escape, but unable to leave. Julian there is a key here. Search halls and rooms. There are others strangers here who may be able to help you. But be careful Julian, some of those here will seek to stop you. They look to have another`s company here, counting sorrows forever. They have forgotten their way home, and only know these dark shadowy halls. Hurry Julian, hurry!``


A long sigh, the rush of wind, the boy dissapeared.


It had been himself.





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Julian's heart seemed to pound more heavily against his ribcage as he listened to these prophetic words. His palms were sweaty and the hairs on the back of his neck were standing up. As the earlier version of himself disappeared, Julian looked over to the grandfather clock. The hands read 11:05 and the disk behind idicated that it was post meridian. Looking below, he saw an effigy of himself hanging where the weights should be. The effigy's small eyes opened and looked at Julian imploringly. He could feel the noose tighten around his own neck. Looking frantically, he saw a keyhole to open the case, but no key was within. Instead, there was a rolled-up piece of parchment protruding from the keyhole. Julian took the small piece of parchment and unrolled it to reveal a riddle.


When you look at me you see yourself.

To harm me is a bad omen.

Today I sit upon a shelf.

I'm no friend to self-conscious women.


Thinking desperately, Julian hoped that this would lead him to the key and not merely on a scavenger hunt through the house.

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Suddenly he heard a shuffling at the front door, a gust of wind and a slamming door.


In walked the most peculiar man he had ever seen, wearing a red & white dotted robe, a top-hat & some yellow gloves. His shoes were purple with orange lases. In his hand he had a walking stick and he used it to make a rhythmic beat on the flour.

Julian relaxed and found himself tapping his foot to the same rhythm. He knew that this man wasn't bad, he wanted to ask his name, but when he tried to open his mouth he couldn't utter a word.


"Are you thirsty?" The peculiar man asked.


-Silence- was all that came from Julian's mouth.


"Come on boy, SPEAK UP!" said the man, while stopping the rhythm. Julian automatically stopped tapping and open his mouth to take a deep breath:


"Yes" he began, "eeh, sir!".


"Well then, let's journey to the kitchen!" the man replied and began tapping again with his stick, while walking on. Julian immediatly followed, he couldn't have stopped himself even if he didn't want to come.

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As the two arrived in the kitchen, Julian realized that the sound of the odd man's cane tapping was that of the seconds ticking away on a clock. Julian wrenched his mind back to the riddle he had found in the keyhole and ran over it in his mind. After long moments he finally said to himself "Mirror!" As the strangely-dressed man approached the sink with a crystal goblet in his hand, Julian's eye's fell on the mirror on the shelf. In it, he saw his own reflection but the space where the loudly-attired gentleman stood was empty.


Julian thought back to stories he had been told as a child about different monsters and remembered that vampires did not have reflections. His mind raced as to how to fend off a vampire, looking furtively around the kitchen. Just as the man came toward him with the filled goblet, Julian's eyes fell upon the string of garlic cloves hanging on the back of a nearby chair. Grabbing the cloves, he shoved them into the vampire's face. The vampire let out an inhuman scream and recoiled, dropping the glass, which shattered on the floor, spraying its bloody contents across the floor.


The vampire seemed to fade and spread out until it became a vapor and drifted out through a crack in the window. Breathing heavily, Julian looked down at the bloody floor and notice the outline of a trapdoor that was previously hidden. Feeling for a latch, Julian eventually swung the door up. A set of wooden stairs descended into the gaping maw of darkness. Julian grabbed a lit candle from the counter and began descending the stairs as he heard the clock strike the quarter hour . . .

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Julian inched down the stairs, with each one creaking beneath his weight. After six steps, the staircase turned left and descended again. What little light illuminated the kitchen was now gone and the small candle was the only source of illumination. After another six steps, the staircase again turned left. After a final six steps, Julian came to the bottom of the stair and he felt packed dirt beneath his feet. The dank smell was almost overpowering. He scanned what he could see of the basement with his sputtering candle. The room was approximately twenty feet on a side, and made of cinder-blocks. There was a large table in the center with chains and manacles on the corners. The manacles were covered with a deep red stain. As Julian backed away from the horrible sight, he tripped over something lying on the floor. Looking down, the light of the candle illuminated a human hand. It grasped a small peice of parchment between the thumb and forefinger.


Not wanting to touch it, but fearing that it may be his only way out, Julian took the small scrap of parchment, which revealed a verse:

Travelers from far and wide,

Checked in to get some rest.

The owners used the walls to hide,

The remains of every guest.


Julian remembered someone saying that the house was used as a guest house at one time and that rumors had circulated about the proprietors. He wished that he had paid more attention to the rumors, rather then shrugging them off as exagerations. At that moment, he heard the clock above striking the half hour . . .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Julian found a crowbar and headed back up the stairs, his flickering light barely providing sufficient light by which to see. He was unsure that he really wanted to find that for which he thought he was looking. Once back in the kitchen, he hurried down the hall and up the stairs to the upper story. He had always thought that there was something odd about the walls on this floor, but never bothered to investigate, thinking it merely some oddity of building from this era. Now he carefully measure the walls and indeed they were thicker than nomal, about 8 inches thick.


With trepidation, he jammed the crowbar into a seam in the wall and pried the plaster back. Dried and brittle bones fell out through the small hole he had made. As he pulled more of the wall down, more and more bones cascaded from within the wall. He stopped to look at a large piece of plaster that he had dislodged from shoulder height and saw scratch marks along the inside of the plaster, as if the victims were still alive when they had been sealed into their tombs.


Julian had managed to rip out most of the upper walls when he heard the sound of the clock striking the quarter hour . . .

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