Hey everyone! Just got back from vaca- and the hospital! Don't worry, I just had an overly extreme case of the flu, I'm fine now (And I got out of a whole week of school!). On a side note I'm completely behind in class now (oh well… :)) But I wanted to write another chapter before I started to study so here it is!
The Horsemen had been frantically walking for about three hours now in the complete darkness of the woods.
Merritt and Daniel were arguing as usual, but this time they were arguing about who had forgotten to put more gas in the car so they could get out of this mess.
"It wasn't my fault- you were the one driving which means you should have noticed we were running low on gas!" Daniel yelled.
"My fault? My fault? You were the one who drove the car last, you should have gotten more gas before we left on this trip!" Merritt retorted.
Jack snickered every time one of them said "gas".
Henley groaned, "Listen you guys, if we just keep walking maybe we can find a gas station or somewhere to spend the night- let's not waste all of our energy on arguing. We just need to stay calm and-"
"Hey I think I see something!" Jack yelled. He was at the front of the group and had spotted some lights coming from the distance. The Horsemen whooped and cheered as they ran the rest of the way to a clearing in the middle of the woods. There before them was a large mansion like something out of the early 1900s. It might have looked extravagant back in the day, but now the house was in need of a serious paint job. But there were lights on inside so the Horsemen eagerly ran up to the front of the mansion.
Just as they were about to walk up the steps, Merritt said: "Wait."
"What Merritt? Let's get inside fast!" Daniel said.
Henley agreed, "Yeah I'm starving and tired."
"And I think it's gonna rain soon." Jack chimed in. Sure enough there were storm clouds churning up in the sky, lightning cracked.
Merritt shook his head, "No, I'm serious guys, I don't think we should stay here. Look at the sign." Merritt pointed to a large wooden sign with fancy lettering on it that read 'The Widow's Inn'.
"What's the big deal?" Henley asked, "Sure it's a tacky name, but this is our only chance to get out of this storm."
"I heard a story about this place once," Merritt revealed, "It's haunted."
The other three Horsemen laughed.
"No it's true I swear! It is said that this place used to be a nice inn back in the day, but legend says that there was a couple that owned this hotel, but the husband went to go off and fetch water from the well one day during a storm just like this one. He fell in and died. Later on the wife, who's now a widow, went all crazy and apparently brought back the spirit of her dead husband, but he needs human hosts to live. A lot of the guests said that the husband had possessed them when they stay a night at the inn on the night of a thunderstorm. I don't remember the rest of the story, but I know that something bad happens to whoever is possessed." Merritt finished. Lightning crashed in the background, illuminating his serious face.
"Whatever Merritt!" Daniel said, "You are being ridiculous, we are staying." The three younger Horsemen walked into the inn with a scared Merritt trailing behind them.
They met a lady at the front desk. She looked ancient and had unruly gray hair in a long side braid, "Can I interest you in a room?" she croaked.
"Yes, that would be great thank you." Henley said, "But I must add, we don't have much money to spare right now, we thought we were just going to the grocery store."
"That's fine." The lady said, "No charge at all for the lost travelers. I'll give you our nicest suite for free!"
"That's very kind ma'am." Jack said, "Thank you."
The lady handed Merritt the room key. When he took it his eyes grew wide. "She put us in room number 13!" Merritt dropped the key and stomped on it.
"Merritt!" Daniel hissed, he leaned down and grabbed the key, "Thank you for letting us stay, our friend is just a little superstitious." Then Daniel took Merritt by the arm and practically dragged him up the stairs until room number 13 was in sight. Daniel was just about to take the key out of his pocket, but the door opened by itself.
Everyone looked at Jack who held up his hands in defense, "I swear I didn't do that."
"Must've been accidently unlocked." Henley said, "Let's go in." She and Jack walked in right away. Daniel caught Merritt who was heading off in the other direction and dragged him into the room. They turned the lights on and Merritt screamed. He was face to face with a smiling old man.
"It's just a portrait, Merritt." Jack explained, "Calm yourself." True it was a portrait, but in Merritt's point of view the man in the picture's eyes followed him everywhere.
"Wow, this place is disgusting." Henley commented as she carefully walked into their room with the peeling wallpaper with suspicious looking spots on the floor.
"Well, what do you expect?" Daniel said as sat gingerly on the side of one of the two squeaky beds, "It's a free room. And we're only spending one night until it stops storming. Then we can go get our car and drive back home."
Merritt frantically checked under each bed and behind each curtain for spirits, but was hardly put at ease when he found no sign of one.
"I remember now!" He suddenly exclaimed, all the Horsemen rolled their eyes, "When the clock strikes midnight if you're in The Widow's Inn, one unlucky person becomes one with the spirit and they'll be forced to do whatever his wicked fancy is for the night. They person is at the spirit's mercy until the hour strikes 6 o' clock. Unless they get shocked back into reality… or DIE!" Merritt looked around hopefully at his friends who all shrugged and continued on with their lives. Jack started to look for a remote for the old TV.
"Come on guys," Merritt insisted, "This is serious!"
"It's just a story, man." Daniel shook his head, "Everything is going to be fine."
So after watching a few hours of lame TV, the Horsemen decided it was time to turn in. Since there were only two big beds, Henley got one to herself (being the only female in the group), Daniel and Merritt shared (both complaining, but not wanting to sleep on the floor), and Jack slept on the floor (he was the youngest so that's how it had to be).
Henley, Daniel, and Jack went to sleep straight away, but Merritt stayed awake as the clock struck eleven, but the sleepiness got to him and soon, he too was snoring peacefully.
Well, that is, until the clock struck 12.
Merritt snapped up in bed, eyes glowing in a bright blue color and he got up clumsily and walked across the room.
"Merritt?" Called a groggy Daniel as he noticed the older man going across the room. He saw he was about to walk into the sleeping Jack, "Hey, watch out for Jack!" Daniel called, but that was not necessary. There was a glow and Merritt walked right through the boy who woke up instantly with a jolt. Merritt continued on his way until the door of room 13 had shut behind him.
"W-w-w-what was t-t-that?" Jack said, shivering.
Daniel stared in awe, "I don't believe it."
Henley yawned and woke up too at the noise of their conversation. "What's up?"
"Merritt just got up and walked through Jack." Daniel tried to explain.
"It's just like the story." Jack said out loud.
Henley snorted, "Oh come on, guys." Expecting them to start laughing with her, but none came. "Seriously, Danny? Even you?"
Daniel's eyes were wide, "It certainly looked that way…"
"You guys are being ridiculous."
Jack stood up, "You didn't see it. We have to go save Merritt- he's being possessed by the ghost!" Daniel nodded and stood up as well.
Henley, seeing they were serious, got out of bed reluctantly and followed the boys into the lobby of the hotel- they figured if he'd go anywhere, it would be there.
They were right.
Merritt was sitting with the old lady with the long braid who had checked them in this very night. The Horsemen quickly backed up into a hallway where they wouldn't be seen.
"This is just like the story Merritt told us!" Daniel hissed to his friends.
Henley really didn't want to believe it, but the insane tale her mentalist friend had told her was beginning to seem very, very real. She had no choice but to go along with it. "How do we fix him?" she asked.
Daniel thought hard, "I totally remember him saying something about how to get someone out of the ghost grip. I just can't recall what it is."
"Die!" gulped Jack, "That was it right? It was die or get shocked out of the trance."
Daniel looked solemnly at his friends. "Guys, it looks like we're going to have to kill Merritt."
Henley whacked him on the head, "No, we're just going to shock him out of it. But how?"
Jack looked up at his friends and his eyes glimmered with mischievous energy, "I think I know exactly what we can do. I just need a little help getting him away from that creepy lady."
A little while later when everything was planned, Henley nodded to Daniel who gulped and fearfully ran and jumped on top of the main desk and started to sing and dance the Cha-Cha Slide.
"To the right now!" he chanted, "To the left! Take it back there you go!"
The lady and Merritt looked up from where they were chatting. The woman got up and marched over to Daniel with a glare on her face. "What do you think you're doing?"
"One hop this time!" Daniel kept on dancing, but he was starting to shake in fear.
Behind the old lady Jack snuck with Henley over to Merritt. Jack lunged and quickly covered his possessed friend's mouth and held him down. Merritt's blue eyes glowed brighter. Henley faced her friend and whispered in his ear what would shock him out of his trance.
"You are twenty years old and have hair that goes all the way down to your shoulders that's flowing and beautiful."
Merritt gasped and while his mouth was open a white vapor came out. It floated into the room and formed into a man with old-fashioned clothing. Jack and Henley watched in awe as the ghost saluted the two of them and disappeared into the air.
"What the-?" Henley said in awe. Jack could only shrug for an answer. They looked at Merritt. He was fast asleep in his chair as if nothing had ever happened.
The lady who was the ghost's wife was angry of course, but after Daniel threatened to tell the world of how haunted her hotel was she decided to hold back her anger and let it slide.
The Horsemen carried the sleeping Merritt up the stairs and somehow all of them managed to go back to sleep.
"Huh." Merritt said the next morning as they packed up to leave the hotel. "I guess that entire ghost thing was a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I was ridiculous to have believed it was real!" He cracked up laughing.
The rest of the Horsemen looked at each other with a knowing smile on their faces.
"Oh yeah, it's like we told you, Merritt." Henley said, "There's no such thing as ghosts."
Thanks for being so patient with me while I took so long to upload!
Please read and review and HAPPY NEW YEAR!