I Dare You to Venture Through the Old Chateau
"What? Venture through the Old Chateau?" Lyra nervously repeated.
"Yep!" Ethan laughed. "Sounds like Lyra's already too Torchic to do it!"
"A-am not!" Lyra stomped her foot against the mossy ground of Eterna Forest.
Red, Ethan, Brendan, Lucas and Hilbert were here with Leaf, Kris, May, Dawn, Lyra, and I. We were all gathered together in the Eterna Forest in Dawn's and Lucas's home region of Sinnoh. The forest was a reminiscent to the Pinwheel Forest or the Lostlorn Forest back in Isshu. Well, I guess that nearly every forest looks the same. The only thing missing here was that there wasn't a river.
But this particular forest had something different that no other forest I knew of had.
An abandoned mansion.
All of us were standing right outside the gate to this dilapidated mansion. It looked as if no one had entered it in years. There were vines growing all over the building, even over the doors, which tipped me off that they probably haven't been opened in forever. The roof was falling apart, most of the windows were shattered.
And now, for our monthly gathering, Ethan and some of the boys (everyone but Red) decided they wanted to give us girls a scary dare for Halloween: take a tour through this creepy looking mansion after dark.
I wanted to facepalm.
"Really, Ethan?" May folded her arms. "What's so funny? You don't think us girls can handle walking through the Old Chateau after hours?"
"Apparently Lyra can't," Brendan giggled with Ethan.
"She can, too!" Leaf put her hand on Lyra's shoulder. "Because she's with us! If we all stick together, we'll be fine!"
Lyra nodded her head. "Y-yes! Of course!"
"Y'know what they say about this place…don't you, Dawn?" Lucas glanced at Dawn specifically.
Dawn gulped. "T-that's just a rumor!"
"What is it, Dawn?" Kris asked. Lyra shuffled uncomfortably.
"Go on, Dawn! Tell them!" Lucas said.
Dawn fidgeted. "T-there's a rumor…that anyone who goes into that mansion…u-um…"
"They never return!" Dawn shouted.
"Eeekk!" Lyra and Kris shrieked. All the boys, minus Red, laughed. Leaf and May took the liberty of smacking each of the boys, including Red.
"Stop it!" Leaf yelled. "If you keep trying to scare us, we won't do this stupid dare!"
"Why? Admitting you're too scared?" Brendan asked while Ethan, Lucas, and Hilbert were imitating a Torchic and cawing behind him.
Leaf put her hands on her hips and sneered. "Of course not. We're gonna go in there, wander around the place, then walk back out. Easy as that."
"Really now?" Ethan said. "What if I told you that you can't bring any Pokémon with you?"
"So?" May raised her eyebrow. "What of it? It's just a mansion. It's not a cave."
"But the rumor about this place stems from the fact that there are…Ghost-type Pokémon in there! Oohhh!" Lucas and Ethan made stupid faces at each other.
"Your point is?" Leaf said. "I've had to climb the Lavender Tower, May's climbed Mt. Pyre, Dawn's explored the Lost Tower and Hilda's scaled the Celestial Tower. Hilda even has a Lampent."
"You seemed to have missed some people." Hilbert pointed behind Leaf, which she turned and noticed Kris and Lyra hugging each other and shivering.
"Johto doesn't have an abundance of Ghost-type Pokémon." May pointed out.
"Nor do they have burial grounds," Ethan said. "Every place you mentioned was a burial ground for Pokémon. Of course it's expected for Ghost-types to be there."
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever," I finally spoke up. "We'll go explore the Old Chateau after midnight, spend a few hours there, then come back. We'll leave our Pokémon with you guys. Sound good?"
"Sounds like a plan!" Hilbert said. "The second one of you Torchic's out, you lose!"
"We won't Torchic out," I said simply. "As long as we're together, we'll be fine."
I was definitely going to be eating those words later.
It was time to explore the Old Chateau. The time was twelve thirteen at night.
The boys stood outside of the gate, watching us girls enter the Old Chateau. They waved and some of us waved back.
Once the giant front doors completely closed, that was it.
We were trapped.
Of course, at the time, we surely didn't know it. This was supposed to be a simple Halloween dare, after all.
Inside the mansion didn't look as dilapidated as the outside. The whole place was covered in dust, sure, but besides that, the mansion itself actually looked livable. The funny thing was that even the chandelier in the main room was working. The light was very dim, but it did turn on when we flipped the switch.
"That's weird…" Leaf said. "There shouldn't be any electricity running through this place if no one lives here…"
"Maybe there's an Electric-type Pokémon around here that's providing the electricity," May pointed out. "I'm sure there's a lot of Pokémon inhabiting this place."
"Do you think it was a good idea to leave our Pokémon with the boys?" Dawn asked. "What if we get attacked?"
"I'm sure we'll be fine," I reassured her. "If worse comes to worse, we can just duck out. That'll give the boys enough reason to tease us, but it's not worth our lives."
"Yeah, you're right…" Lyra said.
"At least if the lights are working, we can see," Kris said.
"Uh-huh," May nodded. "Let's go exploring!"
"May, you seem awfully excited about this…" Lyra scrunched her shoulders, obviously still a little skeptical about walking into this place.
"I've never explored a supposedly haunted mansion before. Besides, it's Halloween! Or, I guess it's the next day now, but whatever. Let's make it fun!" May smiled, hoping to cheer Kris and Lyra up. The two girls nodded.
"Which way should we go first?" Dawn asked.
"Why don't we split up? Groups of three?" I suggested. Everyone glanced at one another and nodded. "This mansion is pretty big, and there's two floors. One group can explore the top floor and the other group can explore the bottom floor."
"Okay," Leaf grabbed Dawn and Kris's arms. "Dawn, Kris and I will explore the bottom floor."
"Then Hilda, Lyra and I will go upstairs," May said, standing next to Lyra and I.
"We'll see you guys later," I waved as my group began climbing the double stairway up to the top floor.
Now that I'm thinking about it, would it have been better if we all stayed together?
No, maybe not. The end result probably would have been the same, more or less.
"Well, which way should we go first?" Dawn asked, looking around. Her group was still standing near the front doors. Dawn glanced over to her left. There was nothing there but a wall. To the right, there was a long, dim hallway.
"How about we see what's in there first?" Leaf directed Dawn's attention to what was in front of them: an open entrance to what looked a dining hall. That was their assumption from where they were standing, considering the only thing they could see was a table with dinnerware set out.
"Okay," Dawn agreed, while Kris latched onto her arm.
"I-I'm sorry…" Kris apologized.
"Don't worry about it," Dawn smiled, trying to comfort her friend. "We're all together. We'll be okay."
Leaf led Dawn and Kris into the room, which confirmed their assumptions. It was a dining hall, and a rather large one with a large long table to match. There was dinnerware placed at every available seat at the table. The chandeliers glowed with a very dim light.
"Wow! This is surprisingly well kept, minus the dust…" Leaf ran her finger over one of the plates. She gasped. "Hey, this plate actually doesn't have that much dust on it…"
While Leaf was examining the rest of the plates, Dawn and Kris walked to their left toward a small kitchen area.
"I wonder if there's any food in here?" Dawn joked as they entered to room. The only light in this room was from the chandelier in the dining room. "It's so dark in here…"
From what they could tell, there were a few counters, probably used to prepare the meal, and a refrigerator in the corner. "Should we see what's inside?" Kris asked, glancing curiously at the fridge.
"Sure," Dawn slowly made her way over to the fridge and grabbed the handle. She opened the door.
The next thing she knew, a Duskull had latched onto her head. Both girls screamed.
"D-Dawn!" Kris yelled, having let go of Dawn and stepped back. Kris was having a hard time making out the Pokémon that was now attached to Dawn.
"I-it's biting me!" Dawn struggled to grab the Pokémon and pull it off of her, but it was futile; the Duskull was not letting go.
"D-Dawn!" Kris panicked. "W-what do I do?"
"G-get something t-to get this th-thing off of me!" Dawn kept stuttering, not entirely out of fear but because the Duskull was trying to obscure her mouth so hat she couldn't talk.
"G-get something…?" Kris glanced around for something to hit the Pokémon with. She finally spotted a lead pipe leaning against the wall. She rushed to pick it up and got a firm grip on it. "Hold on, Dawn!" Kris paused before running toward Dawn with her eyes closed, swinging the pipe at the Pokémon.
But the Duskull let Dawn go.
"Yah!" Kris hit something and heard Dawn hit the floor. "Did I get it?" Kris opened her eyes and gasped. "O-o-oh…D-Dawn…" Kris teared up as she stared at the scene before her.
Dawn was crumpled on the floor, her face covered in blood. Her eyes were open, but she wasn't moving.
Kris froze and dropped the now bloody pipe.
"B-b-but…th-the P-P-Pokémon…" Kris put her shaking hands on her head. She couldn't think straight and couldn't stand to look at the bloody body in front of her. "YYAAAAHHHHHH!" she screamed and ran out of the kitchen.
"Kris? What's wrong?" Leaf turned around from the other side of the room and began running toward Kris. "Where's Dawn? Is that…blood on your jacket?"
Before Kris could even begin to explain, if she even could, she looked past Leaf and saw something sitting at the end of the dining table. Something that shouldn't have been sitting there. Someone.
It was an old man. He was eating a sandwich and was accompanied by two Gastly.
Kris froze. Leaf noticed and spun around.
The old man put down his sandwich and glanced at the girls.
"Why are yous 'ere? Get the 'ell outta 'ere before dese vicious Pokémon kill yous. Dat Gothitelle is no joke. She 'ates 'umans…" the old man spoke in a grungy tone.
Leaf began to panic, but decided to ask the man a question. "W-what about you…?"
"Are yous stupid?" he asked. "I'm already dead. This was my mansion before dese Pokémon took it over and eliminated me. But whatevers. They let me stay 'ere since I'm a ghost now, just like dem. And if yous don' get outta 'ere, dey'll kill yous, too."
Leaf got the message. She grabbed Kris's arm and rushed out of the dining room faster than she ever realized she could run.
Leaving the body of Dawn behind…
When we finally reached the top of the stairs, we noticed there were three different rooms we could enter. Two smaller rooms the each side of us, and a room that lead to a long hallway directly in front of us.
"Let's go into one of these side rooms," May suggested. I nodded, then glanced over at Lyra and saw her shivering. I grabbed her hand and we made our way over to the right room first.
It was a small room, but it was filled with bookcase and books galore. Many of the books looked old, but well kept.
"Wow, Lucian might have a field in here," I said, remembering Dawn telling me about the Sinnoh Elite Four member who enjoys reading books. "Or maybe even Shauntal."
"Shauntal?" Lyra raised an eyebrow. "I've heard of her. Isn't she a famous author?"
"Yeah," I answered. "She's also a member of the Isshu Elite Four. A Ghost-type trainer."
"Wow, she would love it here," May said.
All three of us began sifting through the books, curious as to what we could find.
"Hmm?" May gave one specific book a quizzical look. "What's this?" It was the only book without a name on the side. She pulled it off the shelf and noticed the cover. It was a faded brown book with the word 'Diary' barely etched on the cover. She flipped open the book…
Before she could scream, a Haunter flew out of the pages and sliced through May's chest and stomach with Shadow Claw.
"KYAAAHHHH!" Lyra let out a piecing scream as May's body hit the floor. I spun around and saw the Haunter floating over May's body, laughing and licking her blood off of its hands.
"Oh my Arceus…" I breathed, staring in horror as blood continued to seep out of May's body. Her eyes were wide open, but there was no life in them.
I knew she was already dead.
Lyra stood frozen, not able to look away from the Haunter that just tore apart her friend right in front of her. If she didn't move, the Haunter would do the same to her!
"Lyra, we have to run!" I grabbed her hand and bolted out of that room. I felt terrible for leaving May behind, but she was already dead. And if we didn't get out of here, we would be, too.
But that was impossible.
The stairs were barricaded with…I'm not even sure how to explain it. It wasn't natural, whatever it was. Almost like a wall of some ghost-like mist. There wasn't any way past it.
There was no way to get downstairs and out of this mansion.
"…I can't believe…Dawn's dead…" Kris breathed slowly. Leaf could hardly even hear her; Kris was speaking so softly.
"Kris…what happened?" Leaf was scared and confused, but Kris was covered in blood and just witnessed her friend's death. She was worse than Leaf was.
But Leaf didn't know that it was Kris that killed Dawn by accident.
"I-I…I can't…I…Dawn was…I-I can't…" Kris was so paralyzed with fear and confusion over what just happened, she couldn't explain anything to Leaf. Leaf tried to grab her shoulders for comfort, but Kris flinched and backed up against the empty left wall.
"L-Leaf, I…Dawn is…I…" the tears coming down Kris's face were melding with the blood on her cheeks. Dawn's blood.
"Kris, maybe we should try to get out of here…" Leaf walked over to the front doors and tried to open them. No use; the doors wouldn't budge. "W-what? What the hell? Open…up…!" Leaf tried again, but the doors just wouldn't move.
There was no escape.
Leaf turned around. "This is impossi-!" She was cut off when she noticed something coming out of the wall behind Kris. A giant hand.
The hand of a Dusknoir.
"N-no! Kris!" Leaf reached out for Kris, but the Dusknoir had already grabbed Kris and dragged her into the wall. "No!" Leaf collided with the wall after Kris had disappeared behind it.
Leaf fell on her bottom and rubbed her forehead. "Ouch…" she cried and stared at the empty wall. "Dammit!" She stood back up and put her hands to the wall, feeling around for something to lead her to Kris. "Kris…Kris!" But it was no use.
Kris was gone.
"W-we have to keep moving forward…" I said, probably freaking out Lyra even more, but there was no other choice. We had to keep going, maybe to find some other way out of here.
I held a tight grip on Lyra's hand as we entered the long hallway. There were three main lights, two of them dimmed and the one to the right not turned on at all. I noticed the hallway lead to five different rooms. There was no splitting up now; Lyra and I would continue to stick together.
"The should we go right…?" I asked, mostly to myself. Lyra didn't answer. Last time we went right, May got killed. I was about to turn to my left when I heard a noise.
I glanced over to my right and, to my surprise, saw a little girl at the very end of the hallway. Due to the right chandelier not working, it was difficult to make out her features. She looked no older than maybe seven or eight and she wore a yellow dress with a red bow in her hair. She was looking down and it looked like she was holding something.
"W-what is that…?" Lyra asked in a jittery tone. I squinted, trying to make it out…
A Banette doll. Or…
Just a Banette.
"Uh-oh…" I gasped.
The little girl raised her head slightly to look at us. She held out the Banette and muttered something.
Our instant cue to run.
"Lyra, let's go!" I spun around and ran, pulling Lyra along with me. But I guess we weren't running fast enough because that Banette caught up ridiculously fast.
It grabbed ahold of Lyra and our hands separated.
"Lyra, no!" I stopped and turned around, running after Lyra as the Banette dragged her backward toward the little girl.
"Hilda, help!" Lyra wailed, flailing helplessly as the Banette dragged her in the second to last room and closed the door.
"Dammit!" I grabbed the handle to the door and kicked it open. Lyra wasn't in there. I saw a bed in the corner and an odd picture on the far wall. That's when I nearly screamed when I noticed what was in the picture.
Lyra. She was covered in blood, her eyes open and glowing an eerie red.
"Oh my Mew… Oh my Mew… Oh my Mew…" Leaf continued repeating as she began walking down the left hallway. She gave up on trying to get past the wall that Kris disappeared into and with opening the front doors. She struggled with both, slamming her hands into the wall and the doors so much that they were bloody.
She then paused. There weren't any rooms to enter down this hallway, but at the very end was a statue of the Pokémon Spiritomb.
"A…Spiritomb?" Leaf mouthed, wondering why a statue of the Ghost-type Pokémon was here instead of the Pokémon itself.
But it wasn't just a statue. It was the real thing.
"Huh?" Leaf took a step back when she noticed the 'statue' move. She began to turn around and run, but the Spiritomb rushed after her and flew straight through her body. Leaf paused before collapsing to the ground. The Spiritomb giggled and returned back to its perch on as a statue.
The Spiritomb stole Leaf's soul.
After I walked out of the room with Lyra's picture, I realized the little girl was gone. I had no idea what to expect next, considering I just watched two of my friend's die and there was no way to get downstairs. I couldn't believe what was happening. Who was that little girl, and why were these Ghost-type Pokémon being so incredibly brutal?
I solemnly walked down the left end of the hallway, randomly deciding to enter the second to last room.
I saw a television on the opposite wall. It was turned on, but nothing was playing but static.
Great. What was this going to turn into, The Ring? Poltergeist?
I sat down in the only chair in the room, not facing the TV. I tried to fully grasp what was going on and figure out how the hell is was going to get out of here alive. I wasn't even sure if Leaf, Kris and Dawn were okay. Could they have possibly been dead, too?
I then heard the static noise from the TV get louder and distort. I turned my head and saw something pop out of it.
It was a Rotom!
I stood up and backed away from it. It seemed like an innocent enough Pokémon, but I couldn't trust anything at this point. I tried to keep my cool as it floated closer to me, small sparks of electricity emitting from its body. It gave me this odd smile.
I gritted my teeth when I hit the door behind me. I jiggled the doorknob with my right hand. It didn't open. Great.
But when I felt along the wall with my left hand, I gripped something leaning against it. Whatever it was, I was determined to use.
Rotom inched closer to me…
"Take...THIS!" I swung whatever was in my hand as hard as I could at Rotom, smashing it against the wall. Lucky, what I grabbed was a lead pipe!
Rotom slowly fell to the floor, seeming to be in a daze but not knocked out. I struggled with the doorknob again before I just got fed up with it and kicked the hell out of the door. It flung open and I flew out of that room so fast, the lead pipe still in my hand.
I had to get the hell out of here! I rushed toward the door out of this hallway when that little girl appeared in front of it. The look in her eyes stuck out to me as cold and heartless.
"Where…are you going?" she asked, completely monotone. And creepy.
I felt terrible for having to do this, but she ordered her Banette to attack us, and it killed Lyra. She was an enemy, whether she was human or not.
"I'm getting outta here! And you're not gonna stop me!" I did the unthinkable and whacked the girl as hard as I could with the lead pipe. Blood spurted from her head and onto the pipe, my hands and my face. It was horrible, but it had to be done.
As I saw the girl crumple to the floor, she did something that made me cringe: with her face covered in blood, she smiled.
"You…" she chuckled, "will die…because Gothitelle will…kill you!" She laughed this crazy laugh and then slowly disappeared in front of me.
I was confused. Was she a ghost? And if she was, why was I covered in her blood?
No, wait…Gothitelle? The Pokémon Gothitelle? Well, duh, it seemed obvious, but…Gothitelle is a Pokémon native only to the Isshu region. Why in the world would it be here in Sinnoh?
Whatever, it was none of my concern. I had to get out of here.
I stepped out of the hallway and noticed that the strange ghost-like mist that was preventing me from going downstairs earlier was gone. I started to run down the double staircase before I realized that this couldn't have been this easy. That mist was there for a reason earlier and now that it's gone…something was up.
And I couldn't have been any more right.
At the bottom of the stairs was nearly every Ghost-type in existence, from Gastly and Misdreavus to even Isshu natives like Litwick and Frillish. Of course, Ghost-type Pokémon only make up four percent of all Pokémon, but with one of them being able to tear my friends apart, the whole gang was way more trouble than I could be prepared for, even with the lead pipe.
Speaking of my friends…all of them were sprawled out in front of the Pokémon. Dead and covered in blood. Except for Leaf; she wasn't covered in blood, but she definitely looked dead.
I gripped the lead pipe as hard as I could with my own bloodied hands. I tried not to cry, but it was impossible. All of my friends…were dead…and for what? Why did these sadistic Pokémon have to kill them? I was so angry…
"Oh, hello there…"
I glanced up at an eerie voice. The ghost Pokémon separated to reveal none other than a Gothitelle behind them.
"…G-Gothitelle…" I didn't stutter out of fear, but out of pure rage.
"Why, hello, visitor of my haven," the Gothitelle, which I was assuming was a female, spoke. She sounded friendly, but I was definitely sure that was false.
"…You…did you…kill my friends…?" I said through gritted teeth.
"I did not kill them directly," she said, " but I did order for these ghosts to kill them for me."
"But it seems you were harder to bring down. I do not wish to get blood on my hands, so maybe I will just order everyone to attack you at once…"
"…Why…did you…kill them…?"
"Why? Well, for fun mostly. I wanted a safe haven for me and some of my Pokémon friends and this was the perfect place. My trainer brought me here from Isshu, but I was tired of him and he was my first victim. Afterwards, I ordered for the killings of the old man who owned this place and the little girl who always played near here. She was so annoying, but now she really likes working for me. I did not know she could be as sadistic as she was. The old man I just ignored, but he is still around here somewhere. Now my Ghost-type friends and even some Electric-types and whatnot roam this place freely of humans. And anyone who wanders into this place gets killed off. Humans should know better. They have their stupid Pokémon-catching world and we have our free world here."
I could hardly even think straight. "…So…you just kill because…you despise humans…?"
"Of course. I have had a few wary travelers stumble into this place, but not as many as you girls. Six at once? What a catch."
My head felt like it was melting from pent up anger. I couldn't think straight, I couldn't see straight, and I wasn't even sure how I was still standing.
"So, I guess I am done with you now," Gothitelle waved her hand. "Get rid of her."
The Ghost-type Pokémon were probably moving a lot faster than it looked. To me, it seemed like they were moving in slow motion. Normally, that's when you're supposed to see your life flash before you…
I looked down at my friends. Their lives were flashing before my eyes.
This was for them.
"Man, what do you think is taking them so long?" Ethan kicked up the dirt outside the gate to the Old Chateau.
"I don't know…" Brendan let out a yawn. "I'm so tired…"
"Me too…" Lucas said.
"Hey, what's that?" Hilbert pointed, causing the other four boys to turn toward the mansion. "Is that one of the girls?"
I staggered out of the Old Chateau, limping and holding my right arm. The now bloodstained pipe was still tightly in my grip.
The pipe definitely wasn't the only thing that was bloody.
"Oh my Arceus!" the five boys rushed though the gate and to my side. I fell over, but Red caught me.
"…Hilda…" Red spoke, but he didn't say anything else.
"H-Hilda!" Lucas sounded panicky. "W-what the hell happened?"
"You're covered in blood!" Hilbert pointed out the obvious.
"W-where are the girls…?" Ethan hesitantly asked.
I coughed up a little blood, causing everyone to jump. I glanced up to face everyone with only one eye open, because blood was dripping into my other one. There was only one thing I could tell them before I passed out.
"…Did you know…Pokémon can bleed…like humans do…? Especially…Gothitelle…"