This story shows the horrors of greed unusual ways. Enjoy!
|“How in my right mind could I have accepted the boring task of house-sitting for my aunt?” I say to no one as I plop down on her light-blue couch. “I mean, she has no pets, children, plants, nothing! She must have finally gone off the deep end.. Ugh, eight dollars an hour isn’t nearly enough compensation for this." You know, usually I enjoy going to my aunt's house; it's pretty much the central gathering place of the whole Anderson family. But now, I'm all alone and utterly bored out of my mind.
Nothing eventful in the slightest had occurred yet today. My mother dropped me off at about eight, which I think was about three hours ago. Apparently, in her disturbed mind, I hadn’t enough driving practice to bring myself. Tell that to my 100 average in Drivers’ Ed, mother.
Disregarding my so-called “duties,” I pick up my cell phone from where I left it and begin to text one of my friends. Only then do I remember the shotty connection in this area of the city. But suddenly, as if the today couldn't get any more taxing, I hear a sound that seems as if it’s coming from beneath the house. It's probably just the pipes or something, but I go outside to check anyway. It’s not like I have anything else to waste my time doing.
When I walk down the front steps and into the yard, I kneel down next to a patch of dirt and push away a few overgrown weeds. "Hm...nothing seems to be a problem here...maybe it's something in the back." I begin my vigilant trek to the backyard, looking out for anything that I may accidentally step on.
Once I arrive, I notice something peculiar right away: a large, slanted pile of twigs and leaves. Normally, I would've just left it alone, for it was none of my business, but now was not particularly the time to be a gentleman. Digging away at the yard waste, I finally come upon something that looks like a large, dilapidated piece of wood. Once I cleared everything away, I discover an ancient-looking, red door barring my path.
I have two choices here: enter and face whatever potential horrors could be lurking down there or face my aunt and tell her I went through her yard without permission. Since I know for a fact that my aunt will be far less than pleased if she finds out, I go with the first choice. She’s always had this strange tick when one of my cousins or I have asked to play in her backyard....it was almost as if she was hiding something. Whatever, it’s just a basement, right?
Upon opening the door, I immediately start to reexamine my choices. The path to the basement is three small, dark-painted steps that are engulfed in scratches and dust. There's a single railing, but it appears as if many spiders have made it their home. Trying my best to keep my hands pressed tightly to my chest so as not to touch anything, I slowly tiptoe down the steps. From behind me, I hear the door slam shut, isolating me from the outside world in a dark void beyond my familiarity.
Already starting off poorly, I stumble over a medium-sized box that comes up to about my ankles. I kneel down and squint at it, analyzing its entire surface area for any clue to as what it contains. Luckily, there's an inscription written in white lettering: Richard Anderson. Pondering as to why this box could have my name written on it, I open it curiously but cautiously and feel waxy, film-like papers inside of it. This must be a photo album of some sort. I think to myself. I get up to look for a flashlight, and my fingers wrap around the handle of one in a few moments.
I turn on the flashlight and shine it downwards, illuminating the contents of the mysterious box. There must be about a thousand pictures in there...all of me. The strange thing is, I don't remember posing for any of these. But, what horrifies me the most is a picture of me at fifteen, bare-chested in front of my mirror. "Who the hell took these?" I say aloud. At this, a blinding light fills the entire area, causing me to shield my eyes in pain. I recover in a few seconds, but when I regain my vision, I am face-to-face with a stranger. No, I wouldn't consider it a stranger, actually, because that would imply that the entity before me resembles a human.
Who...what are you?!" I scream as I scuttle backwards, still lying vulnerable on the cold basement floor. "And what are you doing in my aunt's basement?" The thing before me is relatively humanoid in shape, but is easily twice my height and has a sickly green hue covering its entire body.
It looks down at me, and from its hitherto featureless face emerges a small, mouth-like facial structure studded with sharp, jagged teeth protruding from each interior angle. “What of this area convinces you that it is yours?" It speaks to me in a daunting, raspy tone, but I regain my courage and stand my ground.
“This is my family's property. Now you tell me who you are and why you're here or else!”
"Piteous human...what can you possibly do to harm me?" The being steps forward so that it is near my face once again.
“Don't think I won't g-get the police involved! This is intrusion on our property!!”
"This race is much more naive than I had once believed. I don't know if you've noticed, but look around, you aren't where you think you are." When it says this, I look at my surroundings: photos, photos everywhere. All of people that are unaware of their photographer…
I stare intently at the being before me. "Who are you?" I demand one final time.
"I am Dajh, leader of the emancipation clan, citizen of The Mantle. My people and I were here first. Now we've come to get back what's rightfully ours." At this, twenty other beings, just as terrifying in appearance as Dajh, materialize out of thin air, all closing in on me.
"Wait, what are you going to do to me?" My facade of fearlessness evaporates away before my eyes. Before I get an answer, one of the creatures binds my arms while another conceals my mouth with duct tape. The last thing I remember is the high-pitched, screeching laughter of their leader as my eyes are covered with a sandpaper-like cloth. Being thrown into a pool of darkness once again, I wish I hadn't been so desperate for money and accepted this task of house-sitting.