Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Haunted House

In light of the impending spooky holiday, I have revised an older piece of flash fiction I wrote many years ago in college. Oddly enough, with a few minor changes, it still holds up well. So, without further ado... here it is.

Haunted House


My palms are sweating, my heart is pounding in my chest, and I can feel a scream bubbling up from my voice box. I’m terrified. And I’m having the time of my life!
We follow the guide down the hall and around the corner, into another room. A maniacal laugh greets us as we burst through the door. A body covered in faux blood lies on the table. The source of that evil little laugh cackles again.
“Welcome to my laboratory.”
He takes out a mushy pile of bloody-something from inside the body and jiggles it at us. “Liver al dente, anyone?”
The body moans and the fingers twitch.
How’d they do that? I begin to wonder and the body sneezes, convulsing on the table and spewing blood on those of us unlucky enough to be too close. Uck. The maniacal doctor lunges for me and I scream.
“Everyone out!” the guide screams, turning tail and heading out the door.
“Come back, anytime, my little friends,” the voice trails behind us.

Our guide leads us into a tiny bathroom, dimly lit. “Who wants to call Bloody Mary forth this evening?” he asks, looking each of us in the eyes. I’m not scared of this stupid haunted house. Not really. I step in front of the mirror.
“Bloody Mary,” I chant fearlessly into the mirror once. I make eye contact in the mirror with Sarah, who smiles nervously at me. My tongue snakes out to moisten my lips. I’m not scared, just a little dry from the yelling. “Bloody Mary,” I chant a second time. One more ‘Bloody Mary’ and that evil ghost is supposed to show herself to us. I take a deep breath and the two words slide almost silently out of my mouth. But the ghosts are like whispers on the wind, and I’m sure she hears me.
The lights go out and darkness envelopes me. I back up a little until I feel Sarah’s hand grip my upper arm. She backs up, pulling me with her. I think we’re backed into a little corner behind the door of the bathroom, but in the insidious dark, I can’t be sure. The lights flash and Holy shit! Before me stands Bloody Mary. We shriek as we try to maneuver and open the door.
But as they are trying to open the door, they’re pushing me closer to the crazy bitch. Wait, they’re not supposed to touch me, I’m okay; it’s only fake fear pounding through my veins. But the whiteness of her face and the dark circles under her eyes make her one scary witch. So do the purple bruises covering her body and the cracked, bloody lips. She looks quite officially dead, and very ghostly. We finally break through the door and our guide tells us to run down the stairs. Oh there’s a good idea. Running down the stairs is usually the part when that stupid girl falls on her face just long enough for the serial killer to close in on her and chop her into tiny bits with glee. But we’re too hyped on adrenaline to care. So we run down the stairs and someone screams. It’s one of those better-than-Jamie-Lee-Curtis-blood-curdling-I’m-really-being-murdered kind of screams that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end and sends shivers down your spine, even though you know it’s fake. Somebody’s gonna need a throat lozenge. 
The stairwell is dimly lit. The wall along the staircase is one of those all-glass window-wall things, showing the darkness outside. I can barely see the soft outlines of trees blurring by as I run down the stairs.  As we turn the corner at the bottom of the stairs, a chainsaw roars to life behind the glass wall. I scream and start running forward and I trip over a chair in the middle of the room. I’m that stupid bimbo in the horror movie who trips! Me! How did I let that happen?
I look behind me and the man on the other side of the glass with the chainsaw looks crazy - I mean out of his flipping mind, nuts! And he’s holding a girl’s head by her hair as her blood drips down the glass. I only have a second to think, cool, before Sarah lands on top of me. I trip over some stupid chair in the middle of the room, and she trips over me – perfect! We scramble to our feet and run toward the rest of the group. The guide turns around to make sure we’re okay and his face blanches. His mouth opens in a little o and he’s staring. Not at us, but behind us, at the chainsaw-wielding psycho.
“R-R-Rachel…” he stammers, his eyes now fixed on the head being held by the blonde hair by the meaty clutches of Mr. Chainsaw.
I look back and forth between the two – the head suspended in air and the white face of our guide. “What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Th-that actor isn’t s-s-supposed to have any p-props but the chainsaw…no blood, no head… I th-think that’s, oh, God. It’s Rachel. Sh-she’s a g-guide.” He stammers and then leans over, retching uncontrollably. I help him stand up after a second and turn back to the glass – all I see is darkness. I can faintly see the outlines of the thick trickling blood streaks against the glass. Finally, my mind pieces the puzzle together – real blood streaks – that’s why they’re so bright. Only real blood has that thick viscosity … which means that instead of some college kid with a fake chainsaw we have a bona fide friken psycho on our hands.
Sarah looks at me, and all I can see are the whites of her eyes. Her mouth opens and closes like a fish. Slowly her hand raises, one finger outstretched – pointing behind me.
I turn and scream.

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