A place for horror or darker stories, mostly written for 'Screams!!!'
There was something definitely strange about the house before me, but it took me a while to figure out what was bothering me about it. Through the windows I could just make out flickering lights, like those of multiple candles. I stepped closer to get a better look, but the windows were too grimy to allow a clearer view.
I did notice what was bothering me, though. The door was firmly bolted from the outside. There was no way that anyone inside could have done this, and there was no way that they would be able to use the door to get out either.
Feeling like a thief, I skirted round to the back of the building. The door there had been boarded up, and going by the amount of ivy that climbed its way along the planks, it had been for a long time. Was someone trapped inside? Candles don't burn forever so what other explanation was there?
I walked back to the front of the house and examined the bolt. It was a really hefty one, but that hadn't stopped the corrosion. Surprisingly, there was no padlock to hold it in place, but I was under no illusion that it would be easy to get open. Perhaps I should leave it, walk away? Did I have any right to go trying to open it?
I knocked twice, loudly, but when I got no response I gripped the bolt, tried to ease it from it's resting place and straighten it so I could pull it back. I skinned my knuckles and was about to give up when it moved back an inch. Putting in one final effort I pulled the bolt free. If the door had been locked that would have been the end of it, but it swung inwards and I stepped through the door.
Two things happened the instant I was over the threshold; the candles were extinguished and the door slammed shut.
A took a hesitant step forward, called out: "Hello!"
There was silence, not even the buzz of a fly. Suddenly twelve candles burst into flame. There were two black candle holders, each holding six white candles. Stairs ran up behind both but what captured my attention was the frame in the middle. A mirror? Or was it a painting that had faded over time?
I found myself unable to look away from it as a shape began to take form. At first it was vague, shadowy, like the faint lines of a sketch, but then it got deeper, larger and I wanted to run, for I was staring into the face of some kind of horrendous creature.
It stared back at me with eyes that were hostile, hungry, full of hate. Too late I took a step backwards for that thing leaped out of the frame and lunged towards me. I screamed but who was going to hear me before I was smothered and then eventually consumed where I stood.