by Kerr Cole
Three friends in film school try to bring horror to life in their new movie.
| A black and white television screen fills a young eleven year old boys eyes. Glued to the set he watched a scary monster grab a young woman taking her back to his lair. His heart was pounding, sweating in fear and at the edge of his seat while the men chase after the creature. The screen goes black. “Dammit, Bruce you know your not allowed to watch these films”. “But dad” he cried. Laying in his bed later that night with adrenaline racing through his veins afraid to sleep he came to the realization that horror had fascinated him.
Ten years later now in college Bruce was studying about the art of film at UCLA. One night he was in his dorm room getting high with his roommate Jacob and his best friend Kyle. “You know everything in the film industry has been done” Bruce said as he passed the weed. “Especially in horror” Kyle added blowing out smoke. Jacob reached for the joint “too bad we can’t do anything different”. He takes a puff “like bring horror to life”.
A light bulb went off. Bruce jumped up in excitement and pulled a flyer out from his desk. “Haunted Hayride” Kyle read aloud. “I’m confused. What about a Hayride” Jacob asked? Bruce threw the flyer “not the hayride. I had this haunted house dream for years. Years. The same dream over and over”. Jacob shakes his head “that’s kind of spooky dude”. Bruce agrees “isn’t it”. “So…” Kyle said curiously. “So… let’s bring the horror to life. We can create our own haunted house and film it” Bruce explained sincerely.
The guys laughed at him. “Your high as shit right now Bruce” Kyle muttered. “No I’m not. I really think this can be something new. All I need is you guys to help me”. Kyle and Jacob look at each other unconvinced. “If we agree. How are we three college students going to pull this off” Jacob asked? Bruce smiled “come with me”. The boys left the dorm and entered a classroom. “Mr. Keller” Bruce yelled. “Our film teacher” Kyle whispered. “Mr. Keller. I have an idea that I would like to run by you”.
A couple weeks later Bruce, Jacob and Kyle were standing in front of an abandoned house. “How did you get permission” Jacob asked? “Mr. Keller approved a school project” Bruce answered with air quotations. Kyle smiled “nice”. “Come on let’s go” Bruce said opening the gate to the property. The eerie squeak of the gate trickled chills down their spines. Excited Bruce continues to saunter up to the house “all we need is a camera”. Kyle lifts up his cannon “that’s it. No decorations. No sound effects” he asked?. Wind blew whistling through the cracks of the house. “Yeah, I’m confused. What is the plan. What’s the story? Who is suppose to act in our movie” Jacob asked? Bruce answered with a sinister voice “us” and the door slammed shut.
They all jumped out of their skin and Bruce laughed “stop bitching” he said. Bruce flicked a switch and the light revealed a table, bags and equipment. Bruce walks over to the table turning on his computer. He begins typing away as the guys decide to walk over. “Your the director, Kyle is the camera man and I am the writer. Before anything else we need a script. So…what is your greatest fears” Bruce asked rubbing his hands together.
Bruce was fleshing out a script while Kyle was setting up equipment playing with creepy camera angles. Jacob fell asleep until a loud high pitch ding pierced his eardrum. He woke up “did you hear that” he asked? They were too involved to answer and Jacob heard it again. He winced in pain grabbing his ear as he decided to investigate. He walked passed the broken staircase walking down the hallway and he heard it again. The noise directed him to the basement. He looked down into the pitch dark struggling to see. He flicks a switch to turn on the light as he takes a step down. The lights flicker on and off and the steps disappear turning into a ramp and he screams as he begins to slide down.
Jacob’s head pops up still screaming Kyle and Bruce both look at him concerned. Jacob was still at the table. He calms down “it was just a dream” he said. Bruce powers down his computer “yeah, I think we been here too long. Let’s call it a night”. Jacob shakes it off “I’m fine. I’m cool”. Bruce laughs. “come on Mr. Cool spark this up” Kyle said handing him a joint. Their voices start to fade as Bruce stayed back to lock up. Right before he leaves Bruce hears a faint high pitch echo down the hallway staring horrified.
The next day they are at the house Bruce was inside arguing with Jacob over the direction of the story and Kyle was outside decorating the house. He was on a tall ladder hanging lights. He reached over to hammer a nail on the shingle when he lost his footing. “AAHH” he shouted gripping onto the ladder as it wobbled. The ladder stopped shaking and he found his footing. His heart rate decreased as he wiped the sweat off of his forehead. He exhaled in relief as a dog barked breaking his concentration. He spotted the dog just as it ran bumping into the ladder. Violently the ladder shook falling down. Kyle reached for the drain pipe holding on for dear life. His feet dangled in front of the window. He screamed for help but no one came. The drain pipe began ripping down and Kyle fell. He sat up on the ground like he was trying to catch his fall. Jacob had kicked his shoe waking him up “asleep on the job, huh”?
Bruce walked out in the middle of Kyle’s breakdown “no, I was hanging and than the dog came. And the ladder”. Jacob laughed “what the hell are you talking about? What dog?” Kyle was still frazzled and Bruce scratched his head puzzled. “Can we get a beer now. I’m thirsty” Jacob said bumping Kyle out of the way. “I’ll meet you guys there in a minute”. Bruce looked around he saw the broken pipe and right before he bent over to get a closer look a dog barked. It scared him as there was no dog around and he hurried out of the gate.
After class Mr. Keller called Bruce over “how’s your project coming along” he asked? Bruce shrugged “really strange. I think there’s something going on in that house”. “Like what” Mr. Keller asked interested? “I don’t know. Strange dreams. Eerie feelings. Weird sounds”. Mr. Keller nods his head “well, it’s all very understandable. You are in an abandon house. Making a horror movie. It only makes sense for your brain to play tricks on you. But that’s not going to scare you from making this film is it”? Bruce becomes arrogant “there will be nothing in this world to scare me from making this film” he stated before storming out offended.
He goes straight to his dorm and revises his script. He hates it. He crumbles up the paper and tosses it over his shoulder. He rewrites. That doesn’t work he crosses some lines out. He huffs in frustration this story is not coming together. He gets up and settles into his bed. He smokes a joint and drifts off to sleep. His haunted house dream comes in play. It has been a while since he had it. Fog appears in front of the house as he walks through a squeaky gate. He walks In the door and a bat comes flying over his head trying to attack him. He runs down the hallway and a ding draws his attention. He trips down the steps of the basement. In the dark he hears a nasty growl. After a bark echoes the basement he tries to run up the stairs but the stairs disappears and he falls back down but lands in the back yard on the grass. He stands up and he hears bubbles. He turns around and he sees a body of water. Bubble rings come to the surface and he leans closer. A monster jumps out of the water and grabs him. He is shaken out of his sleep. “Come on Bruce, man. You smoked all the weed” Jacob said. Bruce sits up “I know what to write”.
Days later the house is set up and Bruce is finished the script “here” he said as he handed it to Jacob “finally something I can direct”. “Kyle” Bruce shouted. “All cameras set. All equipment ready” he answered. “Let’s make a movie” Bruce said. “Hey, hey, hey. I’m the director. That’s my line”. Bruce agreed and gave Jacob the freedom to say it. “Let’s make a movie”. A crash came through the window. “What the fuck” Jacob said. Kyle picked up a rock from the floor.Bruce ran outside to see what was happening. He didn’t see anything but he heard sounds coming from the side of the house. He notice splashing from a creek of water on the property. He was hesitant but went to look closer at the water. He saw a piece of paper floating in the stream. He slowly reached in to grab it and whack he opened his eyes to Jacob smacking him in the face. Kyle notice his eyes were open and pushed Jacob off of him. “Are you okay” he asked? Bruce nodded his head “why”? Jacob stood up “because you fainted” he answered before walking away. “You sure you are okay”Kyle asked again? Bruce nodded his head. When Kyle left Bruce realized he was holding a piece of paper in his hand. When he opened it, it read “WAKE UP”.
Despite finding the paper in his hand odd. Bruce goes back into the house. “Let’s get everything ready. People should be here to check out the haunted house in a few hours.” “Are you sure you still want to do this” Kyle asked? “Yeah, you look a little pale” Jacob agreed. “This is happening no matter what”. They hear a crowd start forming out front. “Go. Go say the introduction” Bruce said. “What’s the introduction again” they both asked? Bruce rolls his eyes “you two smoke too much”.
(GOOD EVENING LADIES AND GENTLEMAN. WELCOME TO THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF FEAR. BEWARE OF YOUR FEARS. LIKE HEIGHTS AND DARKNESS BECAUSE YOU MIGHT JUST HAVE TO FACE THEM.)
“Oh, yeah. That’s good” Kyle commended him. “What’s yours” Jacob asked? “What”? “Kyle and I told you our fears. What is yours”? He struggled to reveal his fear but said “bats”.
Kyle walked to the door to open it but it was locked. “Let me do it” Jacob said pushing Kyle out of the way. He used all his might but the door still didn’t budge. Out of nowhere the house began to shake. They looked outside but it seemed like no one was noticing it. “We are asleep. That’s all” Kyle said. Jacob pinched Kyle’s arm. “Ow” he cried. “Did you feel that” Jacob asked? Kyle nodded. “Well, than your not dreaming. Idiot.” All the windows start shattering and they back up close to each other. “Still want to make this movie Bruce” Jacob joked? The high pitch ding pierced Jacob’s ear so bad he crouched over in pain.His ears began to bleed. A dog came down the stairs growling. He had his eyes set on Kyle. “Easy” he said. The dog barked and Kyle ran. The dog chased after him. Too frightened to move Bruce watches a puddle form in the middle of the floor. The puddle continued to form higher and higher. A dark figure appeared in the water. His arms became distinct and the puddle washed all over him. Felt as if the creature grabbed him and he was being drowned by the water. He woke up in bed coughing and gagging like he was struggling to breathe. A man rushed to his side “Bruce. Bruce. Can you hear me”? Bruce looks up “Mr. Keller” he said. “Mr. Keller. No. It’s dad” he sounded baffled.
A few hours later Bruce came to and he saw Creature from the Black Lagoon on his television. “I know you love that movie. So, I thought playing it on repeat might help wake you up”. Bruce squints his face “wake up” he seemed confused. His dad sat next to him on the bed and brushed his hair back. “Son, do you remember being in the park with your camera”. He nods his head “yeah, I walked by that creepy house where I was attacked by a group of crows”. His dad nods his head “well, one of those crows was a bat and it bit you”. You don’t remember feeling ill and fainting”. Bruce thinks hard. “You contracted rabies. You have been unconscious for days.” Bruce shakes his head “dad, that’s not possible. I was in college. In my dorm room smoking with my roommate and…” His dad cuts him off “ college. smoking. Smoking what? I swear kid”. The doorbell rings. “That’s the doctor. I’ll be right back”. His dad walks out of his room. Bruce is confused why is his dad treating him like a child. He spots his reflection out of the corner of his eye. He jumps out of bed and looks in the mirror. He rubs his face in awe. He is his eleven year old self again.