Greetings, Mansionites! I bring to you this story on the wonderful Friday the Thirteenth, the best day of the year (besides Halloween, of course). Obviously, I do not own the mansion. If I did, I would probably die of happiness and reside there anyway. With out further ado, Hide and Seek...
Rain poured like it would never stop. Occasionally, lightning pierced the sky and the sound of thunder rolled through the air. Terrence, Terry to his friends, ran through the storm seeking shelter. His sneakers slapped the wet pavement and he was soaked from top to bottom. Suddenly, he stopped, pushed his hair out of his eyes, and tried to get his bearings. He stood in front of the gates to the mysterious Gracey Manor. There was no lock on the gates and Terry figured that he could just wait out the storm and be back at home before morning.
"Plus," he thought as he walked through the gates. "I'll have a great story to tell everyone."
Decaying plants and broken stones hindered his way to the front door. To one side of the house was a graveyard. Unlike the foliage surrounding it, the gravestones were well taken care of. The steps leading up to the front door were chipped and cracked in various places. A funereal wreath complete with a black ribbon hung on the door. He pushed open the door, which made the classic creak of B movie haunted houses, and stepped inside. As the door closed behind him, he realized where he actually was and remembered all the stories that went along with the place. It was the house that no one came out of alive. Once every year, someone, be it squatter, treasure hunter, thief, or kids, went in the house and never returned to tell the tale. Knowing this made Terry even more nervous. At least he had a cell phone in case anything went wrong. He slipped his hand into his pocket to make sure that he had not lost it while he was running. The feeling of cool plastic reassured him a little, but he still had a feeling, an aura if you will, of foreboding.
On the other side of town, in a modest two-story house, slept his family with not a care in their minds. Well, most of his family slept. His older sister, Paula, was in bed and three-quarters of the way asleep. She rolled over and prepared to slip into a deep sleep. The phone, however, had different plans. It jumped to life, shrieking loudly. Paula opened one eye and the phone kept ringing shrilly.
"Not happening," she groaned as she picked up the receiver from beside her bed and mumbled, "'ello?"
Only garbled white noise came through.
"Paula…" A voice struggled against the static. "'s…erry. In…Gra…Manor…come…help."
After his last word, he screamed and the connection ended. A dial tone sounded in Paula's ear. Terry was in trouble and she was wide-awake now. To help him, she had to enter Gracey Manor to help him. Her hand fumbled for the light next to her bed and once the light had sufficiently blinded her, she sat on the bed and thought for a moment. Maybe she had not heard him correctly, or maybe this was another one of his pranks. She could have even been dreaming, even the light only made her half-lucid. The clock read twelve thirty. Twelve thirty in the morning? What is he doing out at twelve thirty in the morning? This has to be a dream. She pinched the sensitive skin on her wrist and winced. Nope. Not dreaming. This had better not be a joke. After she jumped out of bed, she threw on some clothes, grabbed her car keys, and ran out the door into the storm.
Rain drummed on the roof of her car as she drove through the empty streets, but thunder and lightning were nonexistent. The only car she passed was a lone police car making its nightly rounds. The town was so small that Paula knew who was in the squad car without looking. She turned on to the old road that ran adjacent to the manor. She could see it through the trees. Its Dutch-Gothic structure looked imposing and ominous on the background of a stormy sky. Another turn of the wheel got her on to Revere's Route, the road that lead to the mansion.
A forest of dead trees lined the road. In the darkness, the trees looked like hands reaching out to grab her. She shivered and drove on while wondering what could have possessed Terry to come this way. No one took this road if they could help it. Instead, they drove through town. The route was longer, but at least it did not take them past the Haunted Mansion, as it had been dubbed. Even though the rain impaired her vision, she was sure that there were three glowing figures on the side of the road. They disappeared as quickly as they had appeared, so Paula paid them no mind as she pulled up to the gates. They were open. It seemed strange to her, but then she remembered that Terry had come in before her, so they should be open. Lightning split the sky behind the mansion. The two rust-coloured wings appeared to be arms or claws, closing in on unsuspecting victims. Hastily, she got out of her car and ran up to the front door, which was flanked by a pair of coffins, not noticing three glowing strangers in her backseat.
The first was a short, plump man who held a flowered carpetbag and wore a top hat. Around his shoulders was a short cape. He looked around the interior of the small car with great interest. The middle one was the tallest and skeletal. He wore a derby, a bowtie, and a sour expression on his face. He crossed his long arms against his chest. The third and smallest was a dwarf that wore tattered clothing and had a beard down to his knees. Attached to his ankle was a ball and chain. He held the ball in his left hand while he rooted around in the seat cushions with his right.
"The first car in five years, and we don't even go anywhere," griped the tall one. "Who knows when the next one will come along!"
The dwarf interrupted his tirade with a happy shriek. He waved his prize in the air.
Didja like it? Review. Think it could be better? Review. Hate it with a passion that should be directed to something more worthwhile? Review. As I said before, I don't own the Mansion, however I do own the characters of Paula Andersen (named for the great Paul Frees and Ken Andersen) and Terry Andersen (named for Terrence Stamp and, again, Ken Andersen). Review and maybe I'll update faster. Pleasant screams...