Author: Jack Wallenmore from this user
We all wear masks. Some to hide a dark truth, some to seek refuge from the horror of every day lies. Without these facades, we’d never make it; we’d live in complete fear that someone might see our true selves, or we’d simply curl up and fade away. It doesn’t really matter where you are, who you are, what status you hold in the world, if you’re famous, or little more than a ghost of what you once were.
You wear a mask.
You just don’t know it.
Scott Maskey loves haunted houses. When he hears of a new attraction in a neighboring town, his desire to discover new frights leads him into a danger he never knew existed. Scott enters the haunted mansion with an open heart, ready for the experience. Little did he know love at first sight awaited him among the monsters. What Scott eventually discovers in the Gaultier House will forever change his life.
one | Gaultier House tragedy 1890
“I saw something run into the house,” the constable shouted. The barrel of the man's gun stood out proudly before him, ready to tear through the flesh and life of the monstrosities they tracked to the Gautlier house.
“Was it them?” A second officer questioned.
The darkness lowered a blanket of fear over the night. No one knew exactly what horrific tortures the disfigured beasts were capable of inflicting; so every man was armed and prepared to fire a killing shot.
The lead officer reached out his hand to grab the doorknob. A crash sounded from within; both men jumped back and dropped to the ground.
“Was it armed?”
“How in the name of the Lord was I supposed to see that when the only light we have is our lanterns.”
“Wait, where's your...”
The first officer looked out toward the barn, where the chase began. A slight glimmer of light spilled from out of the open door.
The first soldier swallowed hard. “What do we do?”
“We have our orders. Those monsters are to be killed on sight.”
“We have no choice.” The lead constable stepped to the door once again. His hand shook with mild violence as his fingers grasped the brass and glass knob. With held breath, his hand slowly twisted the knob clockwise to free the door from its latch. A haunting squeal announced, to anyone (or anything) within range, the trespassers were about to break the threshold of sanctuary.
A blast of cold, stale air assaulted the flesh of the constable's face. Without a word, the man cautiously entered the mansion and raised the barrel of his rifle. He stepped forward, into the thick of a spider's web. The sticky silk wrapped around his head. With lightning reaction, the constable's right hand shot up to clear the web from his face.
Before his finger could return to the trigger, something raced across his line of sight.
A soft giggle preceded a whispered hiss.
“Come out,” the man shouted. “This is Constable Murphy. I am prepared to shoot on sight, should you refuse to come peacefully.”
The low, rumbling voice filled the room from every direction.
The second officer entered the room, his voice unsteady. “That's not how this is supposed to happen.”
“Quiet,” Constable Murphy whispered. He then returned his attention to the disembodied voices.
“If you do not comply, we have shoot-to-kill orders.”
“Get out!” The rumbling voice turned to a raging thunder.
A gunshot flashed and echoed off the walls.
“What are you doing,” Constable Murphy demanded.
“I thought I saw something,” the second answered.
A muffled cry interrupted a brief silence.
“What just happened,” Murphy whispered.
Again, Murphy whispered to his fellow officer. “Constable Frasier, report.”
The only reply was a muted plea followed by a crunching snap.
“If you do not leave, your fates will be forever entwined,” the deep, distant voice threatened.
“Who are you?”
“Answer me,” the constable shouted, “who are you?”
“We have walked among you for centuries without your knowledge. Your lives have been enriched by our presence. The second you behold our visage, fear overrules your sense of compassion and you destroy us. We are few, but we are mighty. We are disappearing, but we are forever. Shoot again and your life is forfeit.”
Another silence was interrupted by the click of a gun hammer.
“So be it,” the deep voice replied.
A door to untold horrors cracked open to reveal a shadow-dark face. In the obscurity of shades, imagination took flight – actively painting a hideous, blood-curdling picture. It was one of them. The creature stepped from the shadows – feminine, yet hideous. A beast caught within a transfiguration between human and monster.
“Please,” the thing whispered. The voice was far from threatening – a plea made soft by the gentle voice.
A singular beam of moonlight pierced through a tear in the fabric of a curtain. When the veil of shadow was pulled back, the hideous facade of the creature was revealed.
Without thinking, the constable pulled off a shot.
Blood and gore sprayed out in three hundred and sixty degrees. The figure in the door dropped like a sack of wet death.
Before the constable's brain realized what he'd done, the raging voice returned with a moan so tragic, any heart within hearing distance immediately broke. The walls and the floor shook with rage.
“I will tear your flesh to pieces,” the basso voice tore through the darkness.
“Run,” the constable whispered encouragement to himself. “Run now.”
As the man turned, massive fingers wrapped around the barrel of his weapon. He looked upward to see the face of the demon staring down. The voice shook the rafters of the house and the ribs of the living.
“What have you done?” The voice roared.
The constable froze, his heart beating faster than the flap of hummingbird wings.
Another wail from the beast sent the constable rushing backward.
“Dead,” the rumbling voice proclaimed. “You've killed them.”
The roar that followed threatened to stop the heart of Constable Murphy. He pulled on his rifle, but it was locked in the creature's powerful grip. The thing ripped the weapon from the constable's hands and stepped forward to reveal itself.
At that moment, one thing became perfectly, indelibly clear.
His life was forfeit.