Co-Written by Hutchhottie and Woundedhearts
Cody and Bailey have been chosen to renovate and restore an old mansion for the historical society a task that will leave them fighting for their lives as well as the life of their unborn child. (Loosely inspired by "The Woman in Black")
During afternoon tea
There's a shift in the air
A bone trembling Chill
That tells you she's there
There are those who believe
The whole town is cursed
But the House in the Marsh
Is by far the worst
What she wants is unknown
But she always comes back
The spectral of darkness
The woman in black
It towered over the smaller houses around it like a father standing over his naughty children. It was all imposing, dark and mysterious. But that's what made anyone who glanced on it so awe inspired but terrified as well. The years of abandonment had taken its toll on the mansion, cobwebs becoming a yearly decoration and not just a Halloween one. The window panes were either broken or missing, the frames victims to woodworm or some practicing axe man. Any curtains that had once adorned the majestic windows were now shredded, dusty and well beyond a turn with a needle and thread. The front door could hardly be seen through the over powering weeds and untrimmed trees.
The gardener had stayed on for years after the last occupant had moved on, but in turn he too had decided it was a lost cause and left for new pastures. He always stated that the plants and trees on the grounds always seemed to grow quicker than he had ever known possible. Like a freak of nature.
The whole house had a reputation that would scare even the hardest of souls. Death, curses, ghosts, even witch stories surrounded the place. But then who would question such myths, considering the age and condition it was in. The townspeople new to be weary and more often than not avoided the mansion all together. Choosing instead to take a different route or walk circles around it in fear of the ramifications getting to close might cause. Yes the townspeople knew the stories all too well, unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the any unfortunate outsiders who might cross its path.
Still when Halloween came the house seemed to take on a life of its own, fitting perfectly into the small town atmosphere with its celebrations and holiday decorations. It was a real horror house and a house of legend, the kind of legends shared around a camp fire. Nightmarish dreams usually followed. Children (not knowing any better, or not caring) would dare one another to take a step into the house, a house that had been connected to the deaths and disappearances of many young children. It had become a game. Who could last the longest amongst the evil within its forbidden walls. In truth no one wanted to go near it, it was black, dark and a real life haunted house. And too many horrors (imagined or otherwise) awaited the unsuspecting visitor.
So a challenge was met on this cold October 31st, as Jack stood looking at the rusty gate in front of him. It looked like it was about to fall off its hinges and shatter into a million pieces by the way it groaned its protest. Jack looked up to the house and then back to the three boys watching on from hundreds of yards behind him. He guessed the saying could be true, with friends like them, who needed enemies. A thought that played through his mind as his focus again turned back to the mansion in front of him. A chill ran up his spine as a cold wind suddenly picked up. If he was smart he would turn around and start walking, but something about pride or a desperate need for friends kept him rooted in place.
You see Jack was new in town and desperately lonely. The children had dared him to go up to the house and he felt like this would be a good way to fit in. So he told himself he wasn't afraid of the stories as he stepped forward and approached the gate. His hand trembling as he pushed to open it. It squeaked as expected, hundreds of years of wear and tear resounding through. Jack took small but strong steps up the overgrown pathway that he could just make out under the weeds, roots and leaves beneath his feet. He glanced back once more to his new friends who were now looking on in horror and disbelief.
Jack had a feeling no one else had gone this far before and he was exceeding expectations, he felt proud. He took a deep breath and stepped forward taking a small step onto the wooden veranda. It squeaked beneath him. He stood closer to a window and decided to calm his nerves by peeking in to take a look at what might meet him behind the door. The window was dirty and there were a few cracks in the glass but nothing unnatural could be detected. Jack leant in closer and looked through. Everything was dark and he couldn't make out a thing. He was about to walk back to the door when he heard a strange sound. Jack couldn't make out what he was hearing, it sounded like a group of people talking. But that couldn't be possible. Thinking it was some kind of trick, he turned to look back at the others, but they stood in silence.
As the noise got louder Jack could make out laughing, conversation. A glow of light slowly appeared inside the house. Jack's eyes widened and he almost fell back with shock as he gazed at the images in front of him. An elegant front room, bright and colorful. A large table in the center decorated in grand candelabra's, cutlery and wine glasses. A dinner party? Again his reasoning and his logic were warring with one another and he couldn't quite make up his mind as too which one to believe.
The people that sat around the table made Jack's heart start to beat a bit faster. They were dressed in strange clothing, their hair donned with what appeared to be powdered wigs. They looked like they had walked out of a period painting. It was like nothing Jack had ever seen before. The voices were clear to him and he could hear jolly conversations about the quality of the food and the delight of the party inside. It seemed so real, but he knew it couldn't be. The house had been abandoned for years, so why was there a dinner party inside. Instinctively he rubbed his eyes, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. But when his eyes readjusted, everything was gone. It was dark again, dirty, cold. No table, no candles, no people.
"Um guys!" Jack started to stammer.
He looked back but his friends were running down the street. Had they seen the people in the window? Suddenly he froze. Fear and not the cold wrapped itself around him and he was terrified to look behind him. There was something there, something he didn't have to see to identify. Something that turned his blood cold. His heart picked up speed and his feet felt like lead. He wanted to scream, wanted to cry out, but his voice like his body wouldn't cooperate. As he watched out of the corner of his eye a dark figure appeared in the window, a clear silhouette of a woman. But unlike any woman he'd ever seen before. There was something odd about this one, something he couldn't fathom. Something about her drew him to her and he found he couldn't deny her call. And it was absolutely terrifying. His body finally moved of its own accord and he realized that he had no control over the direction it was taking. Once again Jack's screams fell silent. "What is going on?" He wondered.
"Come my child, come to me. I will take care of you, forever and always." A voice sounded around Jack. Once more he tried to scream but no sound came from his throat. No sound came as he felt his lungs collapse, his throat cease up. His eyes slowly closed as a suffocating fear overcame him, death encasing him in its hold.
No one heard anything. No one saw anything. Gone from this world, lost to a darkness he couldn't escape.
Jack remained trapped.