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Gates-of-Hell

“What is that awful stench?”

“That be the scent of intrigue my dear”

“Smells more like shit to me”

“Yeah it kinda does doesn’t it?”

“You take me to all the best places”

“Don’t thank me yet”

“I wasn’t intending to”

“Have you heard about this place?”

“Only that it’s due to be knocked down any day now”

“Seven people were killed here”

“Oh joy”

“I can’t believe you haven’t heard about the Ivy Terrace Murders”

“I only moved here last summer remember”

“Well allow me to fill in the blanks”

“I was hoping you would”

“It was 1972 I think”

“I lied. I don’t give a toss what went on here”

“Humor me will you?”

“I normally do”

“The owner was a woman called Jezebel Billinghurst. Real nutbag, the neighborhood crazy. She was one of those conspiracy theorists, convinced that the cellar doubled up as the gates of hell or some shit like that. Nobody paid a blind bit of notice to Jezebel other than to have a good laugh at her expense. Thing is, she had the last laugh”

“She killed all those people?”

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“Not even. She disappeared. Completely, it was as though she had never even existed. She was in her late eighties so everyone assumed she had just kicked the bucket but they never found her body. A few months later the house was repossessed and turned into a sorority house of all things. Then strange shit started happening. The kids would see her mincing about after lights out and the place got a reputation for being haunted. Then seven of them showed up dead on the last day of semester, et voila The Ivy Terrace Murders. Nobody was ever charged for the killings and police never managed to get to the bottom of what actually happened. Nobody has lived here since”

“You expect me to believe that crock?”

“It’s true. Check the campus archives. It was plastered all over the nationals”

“So why haven’t I heard about it then?”

“Perhaps because you’re seventeen and this all happened when you were still filling your diaper”

“Nice try”

“What?”

“You must think I fell out of the last cloud burst or something”

“I’m telling you, it all happened”

“So where’s this cellar then?”

“I don’t fucking know. Probably under the stairs. Isn’t that where basements normally are?”

“I still think you’re full of shit”

“Ye of little faith. If you don’t believe me, then knock yourself out. I’ll be right behind you”

“So gallant”

“You wouldn’t be saying that if you knew what happened to the seven kids”

“They all died horrible deaths. I get it. What was it? Eyes gouged out? Spleens removed? Genitals carved off and left in pickle jars?”

“You’re not actually far off. Let’s just say that there was quite a clean-up job afterwards”

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“I’ll take my chances”

“Just saying”

“Thanks for the heads up. So you coming or what?”

“Like I said, after you”

“Where were they supposedly killed?”

“All the bodies were found in the cellar”

“Cellar it is then”

“You really want to go down there?”

“Well what’s the point of being here otherwise?”

“You’ve got some balls, I’ll give you that”

“I grew up in Brooklyn”

Patty and Rod scoured the entire downstairs of Ivy Terrace and couldn’t find the infamous cellar. The place had an undeniable vibe to it accompanied by the somewhat less than inviting funk of mold and excrement. It had been left to fester for many years and was well-known as the local squat for deadbeats and degenerates. But there was something else, aside from the evident corrosion, something which neither of them could pinpoint but which both Patty and Rod felt.

“I’m done Patty. It’s eight thirty and I still haven’t had dinner”

“Maybe there’s something in here to eat”

“Are you for real? I highly doubt they’ve kept the fridge stocked up”

“There’s milk here. Maybe it’s long life”

“Think I’ll pass”

“I think I will too. That shit looks vile”

“You gonna wash your hands now”

“You think I just got hepatitis?”

“Ain’t a name for what you probably just contracted. If you turn inside out, I’m outta here, you know that right?”

“Germs are good for the immune system”

“And air miles were handy to Buddy Holly. Just don’t touch me with those hands”

“What you mean these?”

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“Stay back wench. You’ll burn at the stake for this”

“They tried that already. Drowning too. turns out you can’t keep a good witch down. Hold up, I think I may have just located our cellar”

“Where, in the refrigerator?”

“No Columbo. it’s right under our feet. Check this out”

Patty lifted the old moth-eaten kitchen rug and, lo and behold, there was a wooden hatch.

“Am I the balls or am I the balls?”

“You’re the balls”

“It’s hollow see. It’s a good job you’ve got me here”

“I reserve the right to suck your titties until we see what’s down there”

“There’s no lock by the looks of it. You ready for this?”

“Not entirely no”

“Good. Pass me the flashlight will you?”

“Seriously. I’m not convinced this is a wise idea”

“You started this”

“The place has already been condemned. Say it’s unsafe down there. I don’t fancy getting trapped once it collapses in on itself”

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“It’s fine. There are steps look”

“Not sure they’re up to regulation standard”

“Well then it’s a good idea I didn’t eat at lunchtime. I’m going in”

“Let me take the light. I’ll shine you a path. Just hold onto the rail. I got a bad feeling about this”

“Don’t be such a pussy. Look, it’s safe as houses. These steps can take my weight”

They couldn’t. Years of termite occupancy had weakened the structure considerably and Patty fell straight through, a full twelve feet to the cold hard floor beneath.

“Fuck! You alright? Patty? Shit, I’m gonna go get help alright. Patty?”

Rod considered leaving her but was beginning to panic over her lack of reassurance. She had dropped beyond where the flashlight could discern and worryingly didn’t appear conscious. After a few attempts and no forthcoming response, he decided to take matters into his own hands and began lowering himself onto the surrounding steps; careful not to transfer too much weight as they felt decidedly unstable. From there he shone his ineffectual light into the dark recess below and could vaguely make out Patty’s inanimate body in the debris below.

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“Patty? Fuck it!”

He attempted to lower himself onto the next available step and this proved one too far as the entire stairwell capitulated, sending him face first into the rubble, nose exploding across his face in the process. He winced in pain and frantically felt his face for damage. This caused him to wretch as his fingers slid into a disconcertingly yawning cavity where his nose used to be. A few feet ahead of him, Patty had begun to come to.

“Rod?”

“I’m here”

“I think I sprained my ankle”

“Must suck to be you. Look at this shit”

“Oh God”

“How bad?”

“It’s a good job you don’t wear glasses, that’s all I’m saying”

“Fuck! How we going to get out of here?”

“Well I would say the staircase is definitely a no-no”

“We’re screwed. Look at my face!”

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“My dad knows a good plastic surgeon. Just try and keep it all together as best as you can. He’ll fix you up”

“I fucking hope so. I can hear it now “Here comes Rod, you know, the guy with no nose” It really stings Patty”

“Well there’s no way we’re climbing out and I can’t put any weight onto my ankle so I would say we’re stuck here until somebody comes to find us. Did you tell anyone where we were going?”

“Not a soul”

“Well someone has got to find us”

“Twelve years past its sell-by”

“What?”

“The milk you found. Something tells me there ain’t gonna be no cavalry”

“Pessimist”

“Oh I’m sorry. Let me just gather up my nostrils and I’ll be more positive I promise”

“Well what’s your bright idea then sunshine?”

“You think you can get on my shoulders if I give you a leg up?”

I can barely even stand so no, not sure that’s gonna work out for us. Besides, where is your depth perception at anyway? We’re fifteen feet down and I’m not an orangutang”

“We’re stuck here then?”

“For the time being I would say we are”

“Great”

“Will you stop whining like a bitch?”

“No nose remember. No motherfucking nose!”

“At least you can’t smell what I can. I feel like I’m gonna puke here”

“This place is wrong on so many levels it’s not even funny”

“I know right? Have you seen the back wall yet? I recommend it”

“Jesus Christ. That’s way beyond messed up”

Rod could hardly believe the sight before him. The crime scene had evidently not been hosed down and the rear canvas was barely visible from behind the work of gory art.

“That’s dry blood”

“Your perception skills continue to astound me”

“When was you considering giving me a break? Maybe if I shatter my collarbone too, you can stop being so fucking sarcastic”

“It’s my sense of humor that’s keeping me from losing it right now”

“It’s your sense of humor that’s making me want to bitch slap you too so you decide”

“Alright. Don’t get your nose out of joint. My bad, sorry”

“I hope your tits go septic”

“That’s the spirit. You see, it’s not all that bad”

“Speak for yourself. When we get out of here you’re so dumped”

“I so care, Was only sleeping with you to make Manny jealous anyway”

“Classy. You know Manny’s only got one testicle don’t you?”

“But he does have a working dick”

“That was one time”

“You really do have selective memory don’t you? Poor deluded Rod. Maybe the surgeons can graft some of your nose onto it, give it a little more girth”

“Crossing the line now. I’ve never struck a female before but I’ve never been to Honolulu either and that doesn’t mean it’s not on my to-do-list”

“Come on then tough guy. Give it a shot. My grandfather taught me to box when I was six. Besides, I saw your fight with Denny Cheeseman and you punch like a garden snake”

“Snakes don’t have fists moron”

“Like I said, you punch like a garden snake”

“Maybe I’ll just kick you in your bad ankle”

“Wanna fuck?”

“Excuse me?”

“Just a random thought. Growing weary of hurling abuse at you. Think you can get it up?”

“Well right now I just want to murder you with my bare hands so…yes…a fuck sounds delightful”

“I wanna do it against that wall”

“You’re a wrong ‘un”

“Pants don’t take themselves off you know. Get those pale white cheeks into position. I’m gonna ruin you”

“Shouldn’t it be me performing any ruination?”

“Just drop them bitch”

“Alright, but I’m not letting you anywhere near my asshole. I’ve got savage hemorrhoids. Like a pair of overripe grapes. Pop one of them and we’re both in trouble”

“Sexy. Think I’m off fucking now bizarrely enough”

“Look who’s popped up to say hello”

“You can strike me down with that but I will only get more powerful”

“Just limp over here and get your gums around it will you?”

“Who died and made you alpha? I’m calling the shots”

“Hand job? You started this”

“And before you saw fit to inform me of your anal plums I was ready to finish it but inexplicably my desire has waned”

“Cock tease”

“Cock cheese. Didn’t anybody tell you what happens when you don’t remove smegma? Why do you think I always carry breath mints?”

“Maybe because you suffer from gingivitis”

Rod knew instantly that his last insult was likely to have cut Patty to her core. She wasn’t over sensitive but there were some things you just didn’t jest about. Her halitosis had been no laughing matter and frequent visits to the orthodontist hadn’t managed to fend off the fungus. Had she been male then, chances are, she would never have been kissed. However, her emerald come hither eyes and perky breasts rendered her quarry powerless and they were encouraged to take the rough with the smooth. Right now, Rod was skating on thin ice and fully expectant of a swift jab to the testicles.

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“You bastard”

“I’m sorry”

“There are some things you just don’t say Rod”

“I didn’t mean it. Your breath is great”

“You’ve said it now. You really are a cretin you know that?”

“So it’s acceptable practise for you to tease me about my dick then? You know I have confidence issues too right?”

“You’re a guy. Shrug it off”

“I wish you crippling menstrual cramps”

“Yeah? Well I hope you die screaming”

“How’s the nose?”

“Fuck off shit breath”

Patty and Rod sat in silence for the next fifteen minutes. Occasionally he would mutter something under his breath about his face hurting but, other than that, talks had well and truly broken down. Patty was more interested in the bloody wall right now and something kept drawing her back to it. It felt as though something on the other side was attempting to communicate with her and she found herself mesmerized by it. Eventually, she could take no more and hobbled over to an old work bench in the corner, on which was rested a rusted pick axe. Rod looked mildly disconcerted as the girl picked up the weighty tool and hoisted it over her shoulder.

“What you doing? Patty? Patty?”

Patty didn’t hear Rod’s pleas for attention and instead made her way over to the wall and slammed the pick axe against it with all her might. The brickwork was easily compromised and began falling away as she prepared her second swing.

“This isn’t Alcatraz you know. I appreciate your efforts to break us out of here but I think you may be wasting your time. Patty?”

“There’s something on the other side”

“Maybe it’s the gateway to hell”

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“Can you feel that?”

“Other than the mind-numbing pain of having my nose spread across my face I’m feeling a little numb actually”

“There’s something there”

Patty quickened the pace and hit the same spot a handful of times until the whole fortification began to crumble.

“I’d quit that if I were you. You’re gonna have the whole place down”

“How old did you say that old woman was?”

“Almost ninety. Why?”

“Because she’s looking right at me”

“You’re a bundle of fun”

“I’m not messing. Come and see for yourself”

Rod humored her, mainly on account of the fact that there was precious little else to do, and joined her at the collapsing structure.

“I can’t believe I just fell for that”

“What do you see?”

“Nothing. It’s thick dust, probably fucking asbestos”

“I have to get her out of there”

Patty lunged again with the pick axe, this time making contact with the bricks just inches from Rod’s face.

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“What the fuck are you doing?”

Rod could hardly finish his sentence before the whole area he was propped up against toppled down, sending him careering through to the other side.

“See her now?”

“See what? A crazy bitch? Yes Patty, right now I see a crazy bitch. Why did you do that?”

“So you could see”

“There’s nothing fucking here!”

“He says he can’t see you”

“Well dear. How about I get a little closer”

“Please do. Are you going to snuff him?”

“I’ll leave that pleasure to you”

Rod’s look of befuddlement intensified as he tried to fathom why Patty was having a one-way conversation with herself.

“You gonna help me up then?”

“He wants me to help him up”

“Well don’t keep the young man waiting on my account. Do as he says”

Patty’s first blow hit Rod in the upper thigh and shattered his femur in the process. By the time she had steadied herself for her second strike, he had managed to pull one arm across his face to protect himself, and it glanced his forearm, settling into the soft skin about his shoulder-blade and causing him to cough up blood.

“Where next?”

“I was always fond of the throat but it’s your choice. If you want to toy with him a little longer then I would suggest the lower abdomen. Nice slow bleed out”

“I know. I’ll hit him where it hurts”

“Please…Patty…no…don’t”

“I’ll have to get my aim right. It’s only a tiddler”

“Rest it where you want to make contact and pull your arm back in one assured motion. Then Fanny’s your aunt”

“I actually do have an aunt Fanny”

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“Help! HELP ME!!!”

“Put the poor boy out of his misery will you? I’m coming down with a dreadful migraine dear”

“Bummer Rod. I’m under starter’s orders”

“I’ll do anything…please don’t do this”

“Heaven’s above, he rattles on doesn’t he? Do it. Gut him like the fucking pig that he is”

“How’s this?”

Patty always prided herself on being quick on the uptake and her first attack couldn’t have gone better. The metal tip passed straight through his kidney, dodging any surrounding bone, and exiting from the back crudely.

“Well done young lady. That’s some swing you have yourself”

“Now can I do his throat?”

“Knock yourself out”

One final lunge and Rod’s resistance subsided, leaving behind a few eleventh hour death rattles as he gargled out his final breath.

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“Did I do good?”

“I couldn’t be more proud. Now I must thank you releasing me. My arthritis has been playing up something rotten and it gets mighty claustrophobic in there. Now I need you to do one last thing for me Patty”

“Anything you want”

“Climb inside will you?”

“Here alright?”

“A little further back. That should do it”

“What do you have planned?”

“Not sure yet. Was beginning to think that I’d never get out of there. It’s no fun gatekeeping hell you know, a real thankless task. I’m just frightfully grateful that they sent someone to relieve me”

“Pleased I could be of assistance”

“Aren’t you a love? And I’m so sorry about the whole mind control thing. I know it’s a bit of a low trick”

“Don’t mention it. Just happy to help”

“One more thing Patty”

“Anything. Ask and it shall be done”

“I can’t repay you fully for your kindness but I can do this for you”

“Pray tell”

Jezebel relinquished Patty from her ghastly hold to ensure that the youngster could enjoy the full sensation of being buried alive. The bricks began to slot back into place of their own will and she didn’t have to lift a solitary finger. A suddenly panicked Patty endeavored to clamber back to the fast-diminishing exit and the agonizing pain in her ankle immediately returned, causing her to fall onto her once lover’s still twitching cadaver. Her blood curdling scream was then muted as the final brick was set into place.

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Click here to read Overnight

 

Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,

Keeper of the Crimson Quill

Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2015

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6 thoughts on “Don’t Go Near The Last House By the Edge of The Woods… Alone

  1. Now this! This is more like it.
    Keep serving it up cause I’ve realky missed this!
    Horror fiction that caresses my grey matter always gets the 10/10 😚☝
    More please……

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