Ok. I know it's been a while since I wrote something. Sorry for that. And I know some of you are still waiting for another chapter of 'Never Cry Wolf.' Don't worry, it's slowly but surely being finished. I've had a lot of things come up lately including computer troubles which made it really hard to get anything done.
However I was listening to 'House of Myth' by creature feature- which this story was inspired by- and felt I had to do something for my favorite couple for my favorite time of year.
So I thought I would finish the first chapter of this.
If people like this story I will put up more chapters, but if not a lot of people seem interested in it then I will drop it- or put it on hold.
I'm sorta 'testing the waters' to see if this story is worth it.
With that said enjoy. :D
Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here
Chap.1 The creatures under the stairwell
The house was old. A large two story with an enormous basement for storage, a sizable fenced in back yard, and giant windows everywhere. The outside walls, a mix of brick and old fashioned wood, were painted a dark grey. Though it stood out from the other homes on the block it didn't look bad, just old… and dusty. Its ancient frame creaked under a heavy evening breeze which made one wonder if the thing was still meant to be standing.
Hope Estheim looked up in awe at the newly bought house as the movers began taking things inside. In truth he was unsure of what to make of the move. Though the trucks where carry his parents items too he knew they wouldn't be around much. They where staying at their old river side mansion and had bought the house, more or less, for him. A seventeenth birthday present that really wasn't a present. Hope hated when they got him expensive things like he was a child they where trying to entertain with a new rattle. So they had moved some of their belongings in as well to claim it wasn't just for him alone. A sneaky little ploy that he saw right through.
No doubt his mother, Nora, would come and visit and use her things; but he doubted his dad would be by much. They had never gotten along very well. Maybe that's why they wanted to buy a house for him- but not for him. Maybe that's why Hope agreed to it without much of a struggle.
With a soft sigh Hope began walking towards his new home. However he had no sooner stepped on the walkway then did something jump out hissing and screaming from behind the side of the chain gate. With a startled cry Hope stumbled back and landed on the yellowed grass with a muffled thump.
He groaned as loud laughter rang through the air. A tall tanned woman lay halfway across the fence, doubled over from cackling so hard. She was wearing a bright blue shirt, a pair of black pants with a brown belt, and a black half sleeved jacket with a skull on the left side of the shoulder. Her wild, jet black hair making her devious amber eyes shine brighter then they normally would.
"Sorry kid – I – just couldn't - help myself," She gasped out between breaths.
Hope glared out her through silver bangs with his bright mint green eyes. His hand rubbing roughly against his chest, trying to get his heart to slow down after the shock it just received. The black haired fiend stopped laughing for a second to look at him … and then started up again.
"Yeah, yeah, hack it up," Hope muttered bitterly as he stood and brushed off his cargo pants. Frowning even more when he realized the damp ground was sure to stain his clothes.
After another minute or so the yellow eyed trouble maker straightened up and held out her hand in a friendly gesture, "The names Fang. What's yours kid?"
"Hope Estheim, and kindly refrain from calling me kid," Hope stated as he reluctantly grabbed her hand.
Fang quirked her eyebrow in amusement at the last part but didn't say anything.
"Well it's finally good to have some neighbors move in. You got balls kid, ill give you that," Fang said as she released his hand and once again leaned on the fence with a sly smirk.
"You don't get many neighbors?" Hope asked though in truth he wasn't surprised with how ridiculously overpriced and old the house was.
"Yeah, most are too scared to even walk by it. They cross the road when they have to come near here."
This grabbed his attention, "Why?"
Fang's smile drooped to a slight frown at this question, "You mean they haven't told you?" And the Cheshire smirk was back, "The whole place is crawling with spooks. And the worst kind at that."
Hope lightly pushed his hands in his pockets to protect them from the autumn chill, "No they didn't. But you can't honestly believe in those old ghost tales."
"Hmm. I wouldn't blow them off so Easley Hopsey-daisy. I didn't really think too much of it either. Until the last couple that lived in that house went missing. All they found a few scraps of clothing and a splotches of blood scattered all around the house," she leaned in closer, "That was over five years ago and you can still hear things from inside the house stirring. Like it's still furious and waiting to lash out."
Hope was about to debunk her wild story until he looked her in the eye. Though the grin was still ear to ear the humor had completely left her eyes and voice.
"If you want some friendly advice I would turn back now and start looking for another place. You don't know what you're getting into here and it- "Fang was cut off by a high pitched voice screaming her name.
A younger girl with bright pinkish red hair pranced out of the doorway. Her pink spaghetti strapped shirt and brown skirt blowing in the wind. She took one look at Hope and squealed with delight. The girl was leaning right next to fang before he had time to blink.
"Oh, the new neighbor! How wonderful!"
The humor reappeared in Fang's eyes as she casually waved her hand," Vanille this is Hope. Hope, Vanille."
"It's good to see a new face around here," Vanille squeaked as she latched herself onto Fangs arm. It was clear they where more than just friends.
The raven haired woman's eyes narrowed as Hope's widened slightly in shock. The look made it clear, 'except it or keep your mouth shut.'
Recovering fast he reached out his hand in a welcoming manor, "It's very nice to meet you Vanil-" Hope started but gasped when the red head by past his handshake and pulled him straight into a bear hug.
"You should come over sometime," Vanille started before turning to the other girl and narrowing her eyes, as if daring her to challenge it, "We have to have him over sometime."
Fang held up her hands as if at gun point.
"I would love too," Hope grunted as he tried to wrestle his way out of her grip.
Behind him someone coughed and cleared their throat as the girl finally released him. It was a dark skinned man wearing a brown suit. In his large afro a chocobo chick was peeping out like it was his nest. A boy wearing some faded jeans and a white shirt held his hand and wiggled impatiently at his father's side.
"Hey Sazh, Dajh, what's up?" Fang asked casually.
"Would be better if someone wasn't trying to scare away my customers," The older man stated and gave Fang a scolding, fatherly look.
"Come'on old man. You know as well as I do that house is tainted."
"You," Sazh said as he pointed a finger at Fang, "Need to stop staying up too late and watching horror movies. They're messing with your brain."
Vanille chuckled when Fang frowned.
"At least I don't sit around watching soaps all evening," The wily woman snipped back and stuck her tongue out.
Sazh ignored her and turned to Hope, "You must be Mr. Estheim, pleased to meet you," he said and stuck his hand out.
Hope gave him a short, firm handshake.
Beside Sazh Dajh fidgeted once more. "If you're ready I can give you a tour around the house now."
Hope nodded as he turned to say goodbye to his new neighbors, "I'll see you soon?'
Both nodded and waved farewell.
Sazh waved a finger at both of them and sternly grumbled, "Don't you two be causing anymore trouble."
"I will as long as you try not to croak old man," Fang countered.
They both laughed as Sazh turned and walked into the dusty old house.
Hope went to follow but stopped when Fang reached over and caught the sleeve of his orange shirt.
"Be careful Hope," The humor was gone again, leaving her eyes stale," And remember, we're right next door if you need anything."
He nodded and walked briskly to the house.
"All that you will find is hell waiting inside," Fang whispered.
Though Hope knew he wasn't meant to hear this his keen ears picked it up.
The living room was the first thing when you walked through the door. Though his parents had told him about the house it was larger than he expected. Lavished red furniture sat around the room, looking like it hadn't been touched in ages. A chiming grandfather clock sat cattycornered to the left. The crystal chandelier swung heavily in the middle of the room; sunlight from the windows making it sparkle. And a heavy mantelpiece hung right above a huge fire place a few feet from the door. This wasn't his or his parent's things. They must have bought them along with the house.
As the room went back it broke off into a set of stairs leading up to the up to the bedrooms and a surprisingly narrow hallway.
As they walked through the hall Sazh pointed out the bathroom door to the left and the basement on the right. Mentioning that the breaker box and water heater where down the stairs to the left.
A heavy pit pattering coming from the walls caught Hopes attention though Sazh continued walking. 'Mice?' he thought, refusing to believe that spooks had anything to do with it. 'Im surprised they haven't taken care of that problem.' He'd have to set some traps later.
The chirps of Sazh's tiny chocobo brought him back and he continued to follow them into the kitchen. It was a nice size. With marble countertops and cherry wood cabinets/furniture. To the right there was another area that could be used as a guest or study room. Since the movers where already setting his parents dresser and bed in there he guessed that's what he would use it for.
Lastly there was a door leading to the back yard. It was spacious with a tiny slope and a tool shed way in the back shaded by a large willow.
"I hope you don't mind but your mother took the liberty of asking me to stock up the fridge until they could get down here," Sazh said.
"Huh- oh, yes, my father will be down to close up any loose ends by the end of the week," Hope stated, at first distracted as the pitter patter sound started up again.
"Excellent. Three bedrooms are upstairs including the master, another bathroom, and a study. I'll have to be leaving now," He said as Dajh pulled at his pants leg, "But I live just right down the street if you need anything."
Hope nodded and walked the elder to the door.
"Oh, and I wouldn't worry about what Fang said. She is a good person but she can be a bit troublesome. She'll scare you out of your wits if she thinks she can get away with it. Bye," Sazh said as he shooed the movers out and closed the door; leaving Hope by himself.
The boy rubbed his face and cracked his back as he looked over to the clock.
'When did it get so late?' He groaned inwardly and started heading towards the steps, intent on finding his room and then the shower.
The upstairs was more of a large hallway. The master was the only thing on the left while the other bedrooms where lined up to the right with the bathroom the second door down. The study was all the way at the end. It surprised Hope to see how plain and blunt his bedroom was. White walls and white sheets on a large king sized bed- he'd have to remember to change them later- with a brown dresser towards the door. Because of the pricey things on the first floor he didn't expect the upstairs to be so colorless.
What caught his eye most though was a pull string hanging down from the ceiling just at the top of the steps. His parents never told them the place had an attic. Hope had given the string a curious tug but it didn't budge. When after a few more tries it didn't open he figured it must have been sealed off.
Everything about this house seemed to be huge. Like it was made to stick out from the others on the block.
Hope yawned as he rummaging through some of the drawers in his room before pulling out a set of clean clothes. In no time he found himself in the shower. Washing off the grime before sinking into the tub. The hot water feeling great on his mentally tired body. He barley registered that the heavy scrambling sound had returned or the hushed voices bubbling up from the walls. And when he did become alert enough to reason against the strange sound it stopped.
'Maybe this wasn't such a bad move after all,' he dreamily thought to himself, 'It's nice and peaceful here. I could get used to th-'Hope was cut off by the sound of his own yelp as the water suddenly turned freezing cold.
Quickly the boy scrambled out of the bath and grabbed for his towel. Wrapping the fluffy clothe around him as he raced for his room. Once there he locked the door and sloppily threw on his clean clothes.
'I'll need to have that stupid heater looked at,' He griped to himself.
The scurrying sound started again in the floor as the lights flickered.
'The lights too? With everything on the blink its no wonder why people think this house is haunted. Maker, this place should be condemned.'
Though he seemed calm Hope knew his inner ramblings where more or less to keep him from freaking out. Ever since he had walked into the house he had felt restless but now that he was alone with everything going haywire around him the feeling increased ten fold. He tried to reason that it was his jittery nerves and being in a new house. He was tired and wasn't used to being alone.
However the feeling continued to well up inside him, like a coiled spring, until he wasn't sure if he wanted to bolt or stand there like a deer in the headlights.
With a groan Hope flopped on the bed. Wrinkling his nose when the smell of old dust and moth balls came up from the sheets. As he wiggled underneath the covers and became comfy he promised himself that he would wash them as soon as he got up. For now though he desperately needed rest and to ease his mind.
And despite the chilling feeling that something was watching him, just out of sight, sleep came quickly.
Hope was outside the house staring at the door. The words 'Abandon Hope all who enter here" where hastily scribbled over the dark grey with red. And he was sure it wasn't paint. With a grunt he pushed open the door to walk in but nearly stepped back at the sight of the living room. Everything was in tatters. The crystal chandelier lay shattered all over the place. Pieces the stunning red furniture lay strewn everywhere, like it had been thrown across the room and into the walls with unimaginable force. All but the main couch which suffered horrible gouges like a crazed animal took its claws to it.
As he stepped in a heavy, angry thumping noise started downstairs. Shadows ran across the wall then disappeared in less than a second.
Hope didn't want to be here. Every primal instinct within his body was screaming at him to that this place was unsafe, that he should run for his life. And yet even though his mind tried its hardest to push him away his body kept moving forward. Towards the hall and the basement door.
The walls began to leak with a brown runny goo and began to peal away. Parts rotting away until the plumbing in the wall were clearly visible. And the horrid stench of decay washed over the area. Both the smell of decomposing wood and festering dead flesh. It was too much for him to bear and he would have fell to his knees and hurled if his body would have let him.
Another shadow darted across the wall as he drew closer to the door. Then a scream of rage erupted from upstairs and his body stopped; turning instead to the steps splattered in crimson. Hope tried to scream, to cry for help, but his lips wouldn't move as the old stairway creaked ominously under his weight. His feet drug him up and into his room.
The bedroom itself was not damaged however something was messily scrawled everywhere in red like on the door.
'You will die here.'
'Leave foolish boy.'
'I don't want you here.'
'I will make your life a living hell.'
The threats where written on the walls, and the dresser, and the ceiling, and the floor, and the bed, and blotting out the window to the right side.
And the message was more than clear.
Something moved towards him from the dark shadows of the corner and in an act of desperation he found the strength to lift his hand and swing at it.
Hope screamed as he shoved himself up. Cold sweat making his shirt stick to his frame. His chest heaving painfully for breathe. He coughed and gagged when it didn't come into his body fast enough.
However it all seemed to stop when a sob ripped through the stuffy air. His head whipped up to see a young woman huddled in the corner. Her pink and white dress bunched up from pushing herself so hard against the wall. The girl's bright blue eye where wide with fright and rimmed with tears. He could see that even through her overgrown pink bangs.
Suddenly Hope had the urge to rush over and comfort her; to say he didn't mean to scare her so badly.
And he might have … if she wasn't see through.
With a loud wail the girl got up and ran through the closed door. Hope reached out his hand to try and stop her but it was too late. She was already crying down stairs before he could even get a word out. Without thinking Hope lurched out of bed and stumbled out to follow her.
The pink haired woman saw him before he reached the bottom of the stairs and bolted for the basement. Her slim pale hands yanked the door open with a loud pop. Hope got there just in time to see her slink into the space behind the stairs and vanish into the darkness like a shadow. He couldn't question it or further investigate however because as soon as the girl disappeared out of sight a savage snarl rose up from the kitchen.
There, crouched on top of the table like a beast, was another woman. She was much like the first- with bright blue eyes and brilliant pink hair. But she was taller, wearing a white shirt and baggy brown pants with a black belt. Her sapphire colored eyes flashed dangerously at Hope and her lips pulled back to reveal wicked fangs. The claws on her fingers dug in and cracked the marble top of the table.
Hope took a step back, his instincts screaming to run from the hunkered down predator. However when he did her body leaned forward slightly and he knew he couldn't get away. This thing was a force of nature and he was at her mercy.
Still, when another low rumble arose from her throat he darted for the front door.
'Sazh,' his mind yelled wildly, 'Fang help me!'
If he could just reach her she would know what to do. If he could just get out the door.
He never got close.
The pink haired creature rocketed off of the table and scrambled across the wall. She leapt in front of him before he was even half way there. They stopped and squared each other up again for a minute, the woman seeming to relish the fruitless chase before moving in. Then Hope darted for the stairs and nearly cried out in joy when he made it before she could cut him off. He made it about half way up before she dived off the ceiling and landed straight in front of him yet again.
With a chilling hiss she was on him and they where tumbling down the stairwell. Hope whimpered as her talons slashed open his sides and the edge of the stairs beat against his skin. With a huff he kicked and shoved and clawed and bit back until his fist hit her straight in the temple. The force of the blow shocked her just enough to let Hope wiggle out of her grasp and make another dash for the bedroom. He scampered up the steps as fast as he could. He knew he had gotten a fluke hit in and that he wouldn't be so lucky again.
By the time he reached the room he could practically feel her hot breathe on his heels. The heavy wooden door slammed shut with a loud bang and the lock sealed with a click. An inhuman, blood curdling scream of rage roared from the other side as Hope push the dresser in front of the door just to be safe. It turned out to be a very good idea for not a second later her fist hit and the whole house rattled. It was amazing the door didn't shake off its hinges or just fall apart all together.
As his slid down the front of the dresser and onto the floor he thanked his lucky star that this one seemed to have a harder time moving through objects than the other did.
However judging by the snarling and crashing and the ripping the thing didn't think so.
It sounded like the creature woman was wrecking the entire house in a fit of rage.
There was another attack on the door and the walls trembled at the power exerted but the sturdy wood didn't cave. Another snarl burst through the air as a snuffling sound moved along side the tiny crack at the bottom of the entrance. Then something heavy was ripped from its resting spot and tossed across the hall.
The barricade held up against her wrath at least for this time though. And slowly the noises died down. After a few hours of dozing Hope vaguely heard a door downstairs slam shut. And then, against his will and better judgment, he was out.
When Hope Estheim awoke the dreaded memories of last night immediately resurfaced in a surge and it nearly caused him to panic and hyperventilate. He pressed his ear to the wall to hear is she was still rooting around. When nothing happened after a few minutes he sighed and slunk back to his bed to plop down. His normally lively hair limp and dull. His tea green eyes tired and hallow. His entire body was aching and his sides were caked with his own blood.
How in the world was he supposed to tell his parents that his new home was haunted? And whatever was in it didn't like him at all.
And that's a wrap for this chapter. Drop a comment and tell me what you think. Also I went over it a few times but if you see any mistakes let me know and I will fix them.
Have a nice night/day and make sure there isn't anything in your closet before you go to bed. ;D