The wind crept under the seal of the old withered window frame as she sat, tapping her nails on her half empty whisky glass; looking into the bitter darkness night. How cruelly haunting, she thought as she took another sip; a frosty chill embracing her as she listened and waited for fates reveal.

The erratic whoosh of soft winds whistles, the hoot of the owls as scattering mice scratched between the sound of the branches racking this old abandoned house like nails down a chalk board kept her somewhat amused as time slipped away, and impatience overtook her nerves. Bait taken, he’d be there soon and finally one way or another she would put an end to his nightmare, that consumed not only his world, but had plagued hers.

Taking another sip, she glared out the window, as it began to frost over, leaving an eerie reflection which mirrored her own. How it had changed, far from the high spirited, happy go lucky person she had remembered. Weighed down by guilt and revelations she was destined to walk the path of good intentions, all the way to the devil’s door; another faceless pebble of damnation. She took another sip; a little Dutch courage to calm her nerves.

The old grandfather clock in the main sitting room chimed, midnight. It’s amazing that after a hundred years it still ticked, barely missing a beat. It would be seconds now, and like clockwork there it was, the sound of the creak, of an upstairs door, and ungodly scratching followed by a blood curdling howl. It was here, so he couldn’t be far away. Standing, up from her seat, she waited, listening to its heavy pant as it breathed in between each creaky weighted scrape as it made its way down each step. She gripped the gun, taking aim, her finger on the trigger. This time she was not backing down. She just hoped the legends were more fact than fiction.

She could feel the room around her grow colder and each breath smoked as it slipped through her lips but failed poorly in comparison to its presence as it’s shadow made itself known on the wall beside her.

‘Oh my;” she said taking aim. “What big teeth you have.”

She pulled the trigger, falling back and dropping her shot gun, as it agonisingly yelped out in tremendous pain. She reached for her gun again and lined it up, cursing as the shot jammed. The Hell Hound, sneered viciously, baring its teeth and manifesting to form. She had only managed to enrage an already savage beast.

As it creeped forward, head down, teeth bared, ready to attack, she reached for the blade within her belt as she crawled back, buying herself microseconds of time. Holding her blade out tight, she closed her eyes as it pounced ready to rip her apart and drag her soul screaming into the pits of hell. She waited for the pain, for the scream in her throat to cry out, but it never did. Instead the Hell Hound had vanished. It was then she realized to her relief, she wasn’t dealing with a living Hell Hound; only the death echo of one. How do you trap the lap dog of Satan within a mere house? She thought to herself as she picked herself up off the floor. She breathed a sigh of relief, until she heard his voice.

“Ebony you should not have come here.” He said with anger in his voice.

“Jacob.” She said, turning around to face him. “I had to. I have to fix this.”

“Leave.” He said taking a step towards her. “He’ll kill you!”

“No. I can’t I…” She started as he grabbed her arm and began dragging her towards the door.

“You need to LEAVE!” He insisted dragging her towards the door. “You can’t fix this!”

Ebony pulled away, taking a few steps back.

“It’s my fault he’s trapped here Jacob.” She pleaded. “I have to set him free and all the others. Every spirit trapped here since David’s death is my fault. I am the one who made this place active again. It was me!”

“No Ebony! It dates back further.” He insisted grabbing her tightly, pushing her towards the door. “I won’t lose you too, to this godforsaken house.”

He reached for the doorknob and the door creaked open only to slam shut again. Ebony turned around, her face turning pale and her stomach knotting as she stared up at him. He was looking coldly down at them both from the top of the stairs. This wasn’t the warm hearted, sympathetic boyfriend she had remembered.

“Jacob;” She whispered. “I think we are too late!”

He turned around, his hands shaking as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his crucifix.

“David.” He said as his voice trembled. “Please, if you’re in there, don’t make me do this!”

David grinned slightly will ill intent in his eyes. Jacob pulled Ebony behind him and held his crucifix up to David. With fear rabid in his voice, he began to speak the words he had practiced a million times, to exorcize David from this house and settle it once again. David laughed with some amusement as his eyes turned black.

“Jacob. That’s not David!” Ebony said; her voice just a whimper.

“I think you’re right!” Jacob whispered back as Ebony slid down pulling a small hand gun from her boot.

They watched in horror as his mouth widened, and his face became distorted beyond recognition of any sane description. He flew down the stairs at a rapid rate, Ebony aimed and fired, making whatever David had become, shriek out torturously and vanish within a cloud of black smoke.

“What the hell was that?” Ebony asked, hoping Jacob would know.

“Who cares.” He said in a panic. “Let’s just get out of here!”

He grabbed her arm and tried to open the door again, but to their horror it didn’t budge. Ebony pulled away, grabbed an old wooden chair and swung at the large bay window in the main lounge. The glass shattered violently, and the ground outside now shimmered as the moonlight lit up the small shards.

“Jacob!” She called, somewhat relieved. “Over here!”

He came running into the room, only to stop with a confused expression on his face.

“Look!” Ebony said turning.

Her heart dropped as she saw her own reflection in the old glass panels.

“But I.” She said turning to look at the chair now broken on the floor. “I broke the window.”

Jacob tapped on the glass.

“Well it appears alright to me.” He said unamused. “Ebony this isn’t the time for…”

He was interrupted by the drag of the chair as it scraped along the floor to the middle of the room. They watched in disbelief as the chair seemingly repaired itself with an unsettling crack as the chair leg snapped back into its joint. The house fell silent as the clock hands ticked on.

“Is it over?” Ebony whispered as Jacob just stared at the chair, trying to process what he had just witnessed.

Suddenly, the chair whipped across the room and back into place. Ebony reached out for Jacob as he was flung across the room like a rag doll and dragged screaming through room after room as Ebony chased after him, screaming for whatever had hold of him to stop.

Jacob stopped as sudden as he had started. He struggled but he couldn’t move. It still had hold of him. She could see Jacobs eyes. They were wide, frightened and desperate. Their fingertips touched, and she could feel icy hands wrap themselves around her, pulling her back. She pulled forward, hoping to grab Jacob, but it was too strong. She screamed as it flung her back. She yelped grabbing her head as it bounced off the cabinet and blood trickled into her hand.

“JACOB!” She screamed as he was ripped back, fragments of his bloody fingernails left, scaring the wooden floors as he was dragged, screaming into the basement.

“JACOB!” She screamed as she struggled against the force holding her in vain.

She heard his ungodly screams of agony, in between the snaps of bones. She felt her stomach turn as she smelt the burn of his flesh. Every bit of her wanted to save him, but the truth was the day they had first visited this house, they were unknowingly already dead. This place, this house of horrors, was too spiteful to ever let anyone go.

Suddenly his screams stopped, and she heard that familiar thud of a body dropping. She would never forget that sound. Not after David. Swallowing hard, she heard the creak of the steps with every footstep it took, followed by the heavy sound of an axe thud. She was next and every part of her being wanted to leave this place.

She struggled harder, calling out, “Someone please help me!”

Her fingertips gripped hard into the floor as she kicked with her legs, as hysteria began taking over. This is not how she had intended her life to end.

“God help me!” She whimpered, hoping that if these monsters were real, that just maybe everything she was taught in Sunday school was too.

Gripping the crucifix from around her neck with her blood-stained hands, she tightly shut her eyes and began to pray. It was then, she heard his chuckle and felt the cold chill of his breath on his neck as he spoke into her ear.

“Ebony.” He teased. “God isn’t here. It’s only me!” He tormented gripping her chin tight, forcing her to open her eyes.

She looked into his black eyes, petrified, feeling she was looking into the eyes of damnation itself.

“That’s better.” He said, running the bloody axe head down the side of her check, watching as she cringed.

“David.” She whispered, hoping that he was still in there somewhere, but he just laughed cruelly.

“Humans.” He tormented. “All so eager to believe in hope where there is none. David’s gone Ebony. Nothing more than my meat suit.” He chuckled.

“What are you?” She whispered, whimpering at her own demise.

“I am much older, and worse than your devil Ebony.” He paused “Lucifer’s my puppet.” he whispered into her ear.

“Well,” She said taking what she thought was to be one of her last breaths. “What are you waiting for?”

He laughed, taking a step back.

“Oh, you’re not mine Ebony.” He paused, taking delight in her horror. “Even I have my boss!”

She screamed in horror as the walls around her cracked, seeping the blood of its victims. She watched, wide eyed as the floor created under the weight of his hooves. His horns curled into sharp point and his body appeared to be covered in burning flesh and healed scars. His eyes seem to pierce straight though her as he growled, raising the axe and resting it on his shoulder. Somehow, she felt as though she knew this monster.

“I know you.” She whimpered, as he took another step. “I’ve seen you before.”

“Ah,” He growled demandingly. “I remember you Ebony. Although you were a lot smaller then.”

Ebony’s mind flashed back to her childhood. She remembered her brothers face as the walk-in wardrobe door opened and a terrifying creature came out. She remembered how she screamed, wanting her parents to save them, but her screams fell silent. She remembered the fear and the look on her brothers face as he desperately reached for her. She remembered the sound as his neck snapped and he dragged his lifeless corpse back into the wardrobe. She also remembered the look on her parents face when she had told them that morning and the devastating words that followed. “Ebony;” they said, “You never had a brother.”

“It was real!” She said as a tear ran down her cheek. “It was you!”

“And now it’s your turn Ebony.” He said lifting her up off the ground as if she weighed nothing.

His skin was burning hot, like an inferno out of control. The smell of her of her skin blistering and peeling away, made her sick between her agonising screams. She felt the bones in her arms shatter under his grip and her arms dangled like bags of mincemeat. As his claw like hands gripped her throat, she invited death; just wanting the pain to be over.

She felt her chest rip like a knife through warm butter as he pushed the axe head in. She felt every rib crack and break. He pulled her ear to his lips and whispered;

“Do you want to know what Shaun felt Ebony?”

She wanted him to kill her but instead of words, all she could form were gurgling noises as she choked on her own blood. She could feel her body fading, her skin becoming cold as numbness set in. She felt his strong bone like fingers, pressing against the vertebrae in her neck. The last thing she heard was a loud bone cringing crack, before her life faded away.

She awoke, still gripping her whiskey glass and the wind crept under the seal of the old withered window frame as she began tapping her nails on her glass. Looking into the bitter darkness night she thought how cruel it was and she took another sip. A frosty chill embraced her as she listened and waited for fates reveal.

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