Okay, so this started as one of twelve Halloween fic ideas, but as I've had trouble writing lately it turned into more of a writing exercise. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, I tried to write without worrying about how sucky it was (which is a constant problem for me lol), and ended up with something akin to a supernatural CRACKFIC. Do not attempt to take this seriously. It was just meant to get me writing again. You have been warned.
Additional warning: Although this is meant to be a bit humorous, there are some graphic/violent written images, so if that sort of thing disturbs you, please don't read.
This fic also comes with a PSA: You've probably noticed the new Character Lists options on the main archive page. I'm asking all fellow writers to take a few moments of their time to go through their old fic stats and add the appropriate characters. Also, all writers who (like me) added their Reid fics under the 'D. Reid' heading before it was determined that this stood for 'Diana Reid', please take an additional minute to change these to the appropriate 'S. Reid' heading. This should go a long way in making the archive more manageable. Thanks to everyone who has already begun doing this!
Disclaimer: Casper stole my disclaimer, so just assume that I'm not the rightful owner of Criminal Minds.
The Franks Hotel on Spedwick Hill - on the outskirts of Cedar Hollow, Pennsylvania - was not often bustling with activity. For much of the year, its creaking stairways and dark-lit rooms remained unoccupied but for the owner, Vincent Corbin. The townspeople spoke of it - in hushed tones and bare terms - but few if any ever found themselves with reason to make the winding, uphill trek along the leaves-strewn path to its darkened doorway.
That is, of course, until the small town of Cedar Hollow found itself the home of a serial arsonist.
The FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit had arrived close to midnight, choosing to see themselves to their hotel rooms rather than rouse the sleeping police force of the tiny town. The case, while serious, could hold until morning.
A dreary fog crept along the barren grounds, the clouds overhead blocking any hint of the sun's rays. It was not an alarm clock, but the shrill scream of a tortured soul that woke the team from their troubled sleep that morning.
Aaron Hotchner trotted down the spiral staircase, case file in-hand, ignoring the cobwebs on the banister and occasional pool of blood beneath his feet.
The rest of the team had gathered in the dusty foyer, standing before the check-in counter as they made small talk.
"Good morning," Agent Hotchner greeted, observing the blood-shot eyes of his subordinates. "Did any of you happen to run into an angry man in a maitre-de outfit carrying a butcher's knife? I think he may have moved my luggage."
"'You'll never escape, I'll kill you all,'" Reid quoted mildly, recalling his brief late-night visit from the disgruntled former employee. That had been before the peeling walls started bleeding, he recalled.
"He was yelling it until three in the morning," Derek replied carelessly, breezing through the case file in his hands. "I almost couldn't hear the TV."
A woman in a housemaid's outfit hung from the overhead railing, her feet twitching as she took her final breaths. JJ stepped around her, closing her cell phone as she made her way over to the group.
"The sheriff's office is expecting us in an hour. I told them we'd meet them at the latest crime scene."
The others nodded their understanding as a mist of fine, green rain began to pour in the corner of the room.
"So, did anyone else get the 'blood in the showers' bit, or was that just me?" Rossi questioned conversationally.
JJ shook her head. "No, I got that one too."
"I got the, uh, 'threatening message on the mirror,'" Reid informed them casually, jamming his hands in the pockets of his slacks as he turned away from a portrait of a glaring old woman.
"'Spontaneous levitation,'" Morgan volunteered, raising his hand. He moved to the side just as an overhead chandelier came crashing down on the spot where he'd been standing.
A gust of eerie wind swept through the foyer, rattling the pictures on the wall.
"Come play with us," a little girl in a pink dress called from the doorway of the kitchen. A red ball fell from her hands, bouncing toward the team before vanishing into thin air. JJ shook her head in resigned amusement.
"Will you be staying for breakfast?" Mr. Corbin - a gaunt, pale-faced man - asked from behind the check-in counter. Behind him, stacks of letters began floating in circular fashion.
Hotch looked at his team, gauging their agreement. "Yes, I think so," he determined, following the owner to the dining area.
A long, rectangular table sat in the middle of the room, surrounded by seven ornate, high-backed wooden chairs. Each place was set with dust-ridden china and a cobwebbed glass goblet.
Morgan grunted, stretching the kinks in his neck. "I don't know about the rest of you, but the moaning and groaning kept me up all night."
Prentiss blushed. "Um...actually, that wasn't the ghosts," she commented quietly. "I spent the night in Hotch's room after my pillow started screaming at me."
"Oh," Derek replied, his eyes widening slightly. "Uh, way to go, I guess."
They took their seats, Rossi brushing a small family of spiders off of his plate as he folded his hands.
"What've we got today?" he asked, looking around at the team. Reid was making small talk with a woman in a turn-of-the-century dress while Prentiss found herself occupied with a portrait on the far wall that had begun crying crimson tears.
Hotch spread the case file on the table, ignoring the rattling of the chains on the wall.
"Most of the attacks have occurred after six o'clock. I think we should consider the idea that our unsub holds a white collar job."
The owner returned, carrying with him a covered silver tray. He set it in the middle of the white lace-topped table.
"I hope you're hungry," Vincent intoned, a dark smile seeping onto his face. He lifted the cover to reveal the severed head of a middle-aged man, surrounded by tufts of grapes and lettuce.
Reid raised his eyebrows in interest, lifting his fork to scrape some of the garnishing fruits onto his plate.
"I'll map out the crime scenes and see if I can create a geographical profile," he offered, biting into a grape.
"Get out…Get out!" the ghost in the wall wailed, making the table shake. Prentiss picked up her glass of orange juice to keep it from spilling.
"Well, I suggest we all have some coffee and head off to the first crime scene," Hotch decided, his eyes roaming the dining area for the elusive coffee machine.
Vincent grinned ghoulishly as he picked up a spider and ate it. An evil laugh erupted from his throat.
"We don't serve coffee."
The blood drained from Reid's face as Emily's eyes widened in horror.
"JJ." Hotch ordered tersely, his mouth in a grim line.
"I'm on it," the media liaison replied, her hands shaking slightly as she pulled her cell phone from her purse and started dialing. "Yes, hello, this is Agent Jareau of the FBI - I need to book some new hotel rooms."
If you made it all the way down to the bottom without gouging your eyes out in disgust, I applaud you. Like I said, this wasn't meant to be taken seriously, and I don't consider it one of my finest works (on account of I've never intentionally written crackfic before). Thanks for putting up with it.
I'll do my best to finish one of my real Halloween fics before next Friday, but given the turn Real Life has taken, I make no promises.
Also, I think we all deserve a round of applause for surpassing the 2000 fic milestone for the archive! Way to go, Criminal Minds!
You may now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
Keep Smiling! ;)