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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2270477
heading to a 'haunted house' a small group decide to investigate.
Dead of night, a lone road rests in the middle of a forest. The trees are bare, without a single leaf. The end of fall, and nearing winter, a lone van drives on the road. Within the van are three people. The driver, a man with short blond hair, focuses on the road ahead. “Hey, Dan. hand me a water real quick.” he shouts to one of the people in the back.

“Uh, sparkling or regular?” Dan asks in turn. Turning around in his seat, he opens up a grocery back sitting in the far back seat. “Uh, scratch that. All we have left is the sparkling.” pulling out one of the bottles, he turns back around and hands it to the driver. “Here ya go Caleb.” taking the bottle, the driver shakes his head. Dan turns to the third passenger, looking at her phone. “Helena, why did you have buy so many of them damn sparkling waters? You know you’re the only one that likes them.”

Not turning away from her phone, she announces “because they taste good.” raising her head, she peers out the window. “We should be almost there. Map shows we’re getting close.” out the window, trees are all that are visible.

Grunting in anger, Dan nearly yells “hey, don’t change the subject!” finally turning to him, Helena glares at him. “Oh no, you bought too many of those waters. Why did you have to buy so many of them?”

Reaching to the back of the van, she pulls one out. Twisting the top off, she keeps eye contact with Dan. raising the bottle, she proceeds to drink it. Continuing to drink more and more, she doesn’t stop. The entire bottle disappears in mere seconds. Finally lowering her hand, she reaches back and puts the empty in another bag, all filled with empty bottles. Before returning her hand, she grabs another full bottle. “Because. I. Like. Them.” she states, pausing after each word.

Slumping back in his seat Dan lets out a long sigh. In the front, Caleb just chuckles while shaking his head. “You knew you were going to lose that one. Besides, they aren’t bad. Just try one.” rolling his eyes, Dan reaches behind him. Grabbing another one of the sparkling waters, he pulls one out. Resting back in his seat, he twists the top off, and takes a small drink.

*CRACK* The sound of lightning, just above them, causes Dan to jump. Dropping the bottle, it spills onto the floor. “What was that?” he yells, looking out the window. “Oh, crap!” He quickly picks up the bottle, saving only half of it. “Man, I'll have to clean that up later.” looking out the window once more, he tries to look behind the van. “Swear i saw something though.”

“What you saw.” Helena starts “was lightning.” facing forwards again, Dan looks down. “Seriously, it was just lightning. We aren’t even there yet, and you’re already getting spooked? Ha, and were supposed to be up and coming ghost hunters. Come on man.”

Keeping his eyes forward, Dan calls back “she’s right. Just stay calm. Once we get there, then you can piss yourself. Be better if we actually get it on camera.” At the quote, Dan punches the back of the seat. “Hey, I'm only joking. Though, it would make a good scene.”

Helena shrugs “eh, i don’t know. I think it’d be better if we just didn’t act scared. It’s not a comedy, nore is it fictional. We all know ghosts aren’t really a thing, so what’s there to be scared of?”

Dan tilts his head at Helena “you know, one of these days you might regret those words.” returning his gaze out the window, he utters under his breath. “Hope you're right though. But if we do find one, we’d be rich.” a half hearted smirk stretches across his face.

A few minutes pass along the road, when Helena breaks the silence “hey, according to the map, there’s a right turn up ahead. That's our mark. A short distance up the hill, then we’ll be at the house in question.”

Caleb responds “roger that. Once we get there, we grab our equipment and head on in.” still looking out the window, Dan’s mind is lost. Unable to focus, he continues to simply stare out the window till they reach the road. Turning onto the new road, they drive the short distance.

Reaching the house they mentioned before, Caleb drives the van closer. The house is old, and darker colored. Behind the two story house is a small shed, and then more forest Once close enough, he stops, and turns the car off. Turning around in his seat, he states out loud “alright. We’re here. Everybody ready?”

Helena, who now has a camera out, looks up at him. “Yup. camera’s all set, so all we need now is for you two to find something spooky.” next to her, Dan unbuckles his seatbelt, and opens the door. “Well someone’s in a hurry.” Helena jokes, setting the camera down. Undoing her seatbelt, she quickly opens her sliding door.

At the back of the van, Dan opens it up. Pulling out a single backpack, he puts it on. Next to where the backpack was, rest a flashlight. Picking it up, he turns it on. Aiming it at the woods, he shines it through the trees. “Hey.” Caleb calls, placing his hand on Dan’s shoulder. The rudeness causes Dan to jump. “Shit, sorry. Wow, you’re really spooked already huh? Why though, we’ve done this before.”

Shaking his head, Dan responds “I don't know. Maybe it’s what I thought I saw earlier. Or I didn't get enough sleep.” shrugging his shoulders, he looks past Caleb at the house. “All I know is that something is giving me the creeps.”

“Hey guys!” Helena calls out from up the road. Already near the house, she waves back at them. “You coming or what?” rolling his eyes, Caleb starts walking up to the house. Hesitating, Dan watches Caleb walk.

*snap* from behind Dan, a twig breaks. Quickly turning around, Dan shines the light into the woods. Two glowing eyes appear, causing Dan to freeze. His body completely relaxes though, Realizing those eyes belong to a deer. Staring at him, it suddenly turns and runs off. “Calm down, there’s nothing here.” Dan mutters to himself, turning back around.
Following the path, Dan walks up to the house as well. Once he reaches the others, Helena points the camera at him. “Sup scaredy cat, see something spooooky?” raising an eyebrow at her, he shakes his head. “Fine, be that way. Anyways, let's get in the house.”

Caleb reaches for the door knob. Grabbing hold of it, he turns it and slowly opens the door. “Huh, not locked.” taking a few steps forwards, he walks into the empty house. No furniture, no rugs, just splintering wooden floors, and walls. The room they stand in looks to be an entranceway, with a staircase to their right. Just before the staircase is another room. On the opposite side of the front door appears to be the dining room, and kitchen. Lastly, to their left is another big empty room.

Shining the flashlight to her left, Helena peers into the empty room. “You know.” she mutters, “I was kinda expecting a little more. Like, furniture or something. Not completely bare bones empty. This place feels like a ghost’s home.”

Placing a hand on her shoulder, Caleb looks at her “yeah, perfect place to ghost hunt, huh.” with a quick smile, he walks past her into the empty room. Holding up a recording device, he speaks out loud “is anyone there? Can you hear me.”

“Geeeet ooout” a voice calls out. Getting wide eyed, Caleb begins looking around. *snort* squinting his eyes, he turns to Helena. “Ooooh, get out of my hooouse.” she jokes, before starting to laugh. Once she stops laughing, she asks “Hey, you really expect there to be ghosts?”

“Well, you never know.” Caleb responds. Turning around, he continues through the house. The room to the left loops around into the room opposite the front door. While Caleb walks through the house, he realizes all four rooms are connected, with the entranceway being in the middle. Walking all the way around, he returns to Helena, still staring at the first room. “Hey.”

“Gah!” she jumps, turning around. “Where'd you come from?” she asks. Shining the flashlight into the room once more, she continues to look around. “I saw you go into the room, but then that was it. What happened.”

“Huh?” Caleb responds. Dan walks into the house finally, and looks at the empty rooms. “What do you mean, all the rooms are connected. I just walked in a giant circle.” gesturing to the empty room, he waves her forwards “go, i’ll stay right here, and you can go around and see for yourself.”

Rolling her eyes, Helena walks into the right room. Turning to Caleb, Dan asks “so what are we hoping to find here?” Once Helena goes far enough back into the left room, Dan and Celeb turn to the back room. “I mean, what are we actually looking… for?” realizing Helena hasn’t approached yet, they both turn to their right.”

“Yeah no.” Helena’s voice suddenly calls from behind them. Turning back around, they see Helena in the left room. “The left room does not connect to the back room. It just connects to a different room.”

Blinking, Caleb responds “where. There’s no more space for another room.” shaking his head, “uh fine. I’ll go again.” walking into the room, both Helena and Dan remain in place. “See!” his voice calls from the back. “It connects here.” his voice trails off. “And leads to… here?” Caleb's voice comes from upstairs.

Shining the flashlight to the top of the stairs, Caleb now stands at the top. Turning back around, he points his finger at the door. With worry starting to creep in, Helena asks “how did you get up there?”

“I.” Caleb stammers “I don’t know. I just…” finally turning back around, he looks at the two. “I never hit stairs.” walking down the stairs, his eyes dart around. Trying to figure out everything, he turns to the left room once more. “But i. How did.” he asks, looking back up the stairs.

Shaking his head, Dan calls “nope, I want out already. This is getting too weird.” turning around, heds for the door. Stopping immediately he stares at an old splintering wall. “Where did the door go.” turning back around, he looks at Helena and Caleb. “We are still in the first room, where did the door go?”

Helena gets wide eyed, and takes a step back. “I have no idea… this is actually starting to freak me out.” looking around the house, nothing else seems to be out of place. “Okay, so we need to figure out how to get out of here. We need to stick together. We can’t afford to get separated.”

Dan, shaking, moves closer to Helena “agreed.” Caleb also moves closer to her. The three of them look around, when Dan spits “the left rooms out. If we keep wandering around, something bad might happen, so where do we go? “

Helena responds “lets try the right room. Just stick together.” with a nod from each of them, Helena leads the way. Walking into the new room, she looks over her shoulder. With the other two still following, she turns back forwards.

Continuing on, she walks into a new room that looks to be part of the dining room. *thud* a slamming of a door echoes around them. Stunned, Helena turns around. Behind her, Caleb and Dan also turn around. Behind them is just the empty room they just came through.

Quickly spinning her head back around, Helena continues to move, but slower now. Reaching behind her, she mentions “we should all hold hands. Just so we don’t get split up.” shakily holding her hand behind her, she stops for a second.

Caleb responds “agreed” and takes her hand. Reaching behind him, he extends his other hand to Dan. taking it, Dan and the others press on. Once fully in the dining room, a door stands to their right. Without a word, Helena walks up to it.

Grabbing a hold of the handle, she turns the knob, and opens the door. Inside looks to be the first room once more. Looking over her shoulder, she sees the same room in the opening of the dining room. Except this time, on the other side of the room, she sees herself. Quickly jostling around, she looks through the door once more. Now, what appears to be the left room sits in front of her. “What is it?” Dan asks.

“I have no clue. I don't know what’s going on, and I have absolutely no clue what to do.” *CRASH* the sound of glass breaking rings out from above them. “Okay, what’s going on? This place was supposed to be abandoned.”

Dan, quivering, announced “it was. But that doesn’t mean that something isn’t here.” *thud* *thud* *thud* The sound of three footsteps causes all three of them to stop. Slowly looking at one another, they all remain silent. Using her head, Helena gestures towards the open door. The other two nod, and proceed through.

Now in a new room, it looks to be a closed off bedroom. The moment they all three enter the room, the door automatically closes behind them. *click* it latches. Spinning around, the three see an old wooden wall. Swallowing hard, Helena turns back to the room.

The small room looked barely big enough to fit a dresser and a bed, leaving little to no walking room. On the other side of the room though, was a door. Tightening her grip on Caleb's hand, she presses on. Reaching the door, she twists the nob, and quickly throws it open.

A man, standing taller than the door frame, now stands in her way. Without hesitation, she grabs the door, and slams it shut. Turning to the others, she eyes the door. Both of them shake their heads, hoping what they saw wasn’t real. Looking around the room, Helena notices that despite being a bedroom, there are no windows to the room.

With shaky hands, she reaches for the door once more. Looking over her shoulder, she tears up while looking at them. Dan shakes his head. Moving forwards, he uses his free hand to gesture her back. Looking her dead in the eyes, he mouths “I’ll go first” before turning to the door.

Nodding, Helena moves back Caleb ust stands there, his eyes moving between the two. Once Helena gets behind him, Caleb's eyes fixate on the door. Dan reaches for the door, and grabs hold of the nob. Taking in a deep breath, he throws it open. The area behind the door was now what looked to be an empty hallway, with stairs leading down at the end.

Blinking a few times, Dan hesitates to move forwards. Caleb remains frozen for a moment, closing his eyes, he takes a deep breath. Helena places her hand on Caleb's shoulder. Turning back to her, he nods. Patting his shoulder, Helena, along with Caleb, return their gaze forwards. The moment they do, both of them freeze. They see the hallway in front of them.

Tightening his grip in both hands, he swallows hard. Keeping his eyes forwards, he begins to tremble. Slowly looking down, he looks at his hand. In his hand is a bloodied hand, grasping his back. “AAAHH!” he shouts, throwing it on the ground.

“What?!” Dan suddenly shouts, turning into the room. “What's going on? I let go for a second to check the room.” unable to process everything, Caleb looks at Dan, then down at the bloody hand. To his surprise, it is now gone.

“But I didn’t. But you, I just.” tring to calm himself down, he mutters “I never let go of your hand, so how did you get away from me?” behind him, Helena nods, also shaking where she stands. Dan tries to take a step forward, but both Helena and Caleb take a step back. Noticing something unusual, Caleb looks at the hand he held onto. Instead of a human hand, what appears to be a red slime holds the shape of a hand.

“Huh?” Dan asks, then looks down. “Oh.” he mentions, holding his hand up. Smirking at it, then turning his eyes to them he mentions “yeah. I guess I did miss a spot.” walking towards them, he shrugs. “Oh well, not like it matters much anymore. You’re trapped he-”

*thud* Helena throws the door into the fake Dan's face, causing him to fall to the ground. Turning back to Caleb, she shouts “RUN!” then rushes through the door. Quickly chasing after her, Caleb steps over the knocked down body, and heads after Helena. Immediately reaching another door, Helen throws it open. Both of them quickly run through it, without even looking where they're going.

They are now back to the entranceway. “Oh come on!” Helena shouts. Looking to her left, she notices Dan walking towards her. “This way!” She yells, turning to her right. Stopping after one footstep, she see’s Dan once more. Looking back to the left room, a second Dan is walking towards her. “Upstairs!” she calls, running up them. Getting to the top, she notices a small open room with one door in front of her, one to her left, and one to her right. “Wait, wasn’t this a hallway?”

“Just pick a door!” Caleb shouts. Helena's eyes dart from door to door. “Shit he’s coming up now, just pick the right one!” With that statement, Helena rushes towards the right door. Grabbing hold of the doorknob, she pushes. Since the door doesn’t move, she pulls it open. Standing in the doorway is the tall man from before, towering over the door frame.

Grabbing the door, Helena throws it shut. *thud* the door doesn’t fully close, being caught by the man's hand now in the doorway. Pushing the door open, he ducks down to walk through. His gray hair is medium length, with a beard just as long. Looking down at the two, he simply stares, unmoving. From the starway, Dan’s voice rings out“Hey guys, this is getting kind of old. Can’t we just stop it?”

Once he reaches the top, Dan stops the moment he sees the new guy. “Who the hell are you?” he asks, his expression showing anger. “I don’t remember inviting the likes of you.” Helena and Caleb both shoot glances between the new man, and Dan. reaching behind him, Dan pulls out a knife as long as his forearm. “Guess i’ll just deal with you the old fashion way.”

Using his right hand, the man reaches up and unbuttons part of his jacket. Water drips down from his coat, dripping onto the floor. Reaching Into his jacket, he suddenly pulls out a gun. Pointing it at Dan, he doesn’t hesitate, *bang* he shoots. The bullet hits Dan's chest, but no blood comes out. “Wow, a little more defensive than the others. News flash, bullets won’t hurt me.”

*clank* The man drops the gun. Using his same hand, he reaches back into his jacket pocket. Now pulling out a brown bottle, he takes it in his left hand. Leaning closer to Caleb, Helena asks “what is he doing? Is he trying to help us?”

Caleb simply responds “I have no clue.” The two continue to watch, but slowly back away towards the door. Reaching into his coat once more, the man this time pulls out a flare gun. “How much stuff does he have in that jacket?”

Helena simply shakes her head. “What's that?” Dan asks, accompanied by a mocking tone. “want to share a drink? Or you going to use that flare gun to call for backup? Not that it matters. Anything that steps into my home becomes a part of me.” gritting his teeth, Dan stares down the man “the problem is i don’t remember inviting you in.”

Moving his right foot forwards, the man brings his left hand back. “You didn’t.” the man states, his voice deep and rough. “I broke in.” he continues, then throws the bottle. Reacting, Dan slashes at the bottle.

*crash* it breaks, spilling the contents all over him. “Now look what you did. I’m soaked!” throwing off some of the liquid, he simply smirks and chuckles. “I don’t know…” *sniff* “Wait, this isn’t beer.”

“Nope.” the man calmly states, pointing the flare gun at Dan. with wide eyes, Dan looks up just in time to see the flare coming at him. *thud* *ttssss* *wooh* The flare ignites the liquid in an instant, completely setting Dan on fire.

Standing there, unfazed, Dan shakes his head. “Oh man. I thought you’d actually have something smarter planned.” Dan states, watching them through the fire engulfing him. “Now this is going to be more fun!” he lunges forwards, pointing the knife at the man. Tackling him to the ground, the fire begins to spread.

Helena and Caleb both quickly spin around, and throw open the door behind them. “We have to move!” she shouts, running into the room. The new room they're in is the entrance room once more. “Oh come on!”

Getting wide eyed, she stops. Once Caleb gets through, she turns around and shuts the door herself. After it shuts, she throws it back open.

Going through the door, she walks outside. “YES!” she shouts, throwing her hands into the air. Spotting the van in the distance, both her and Caleb take off for it. *CRASH* a burning body lands right on top of the van. “Aw come on!”

Grabbing her hand, Caleb starts dragging her behind him. “Just move! We’ll just run for it!” catching herself, Helena starts full sprinting along Caleb. Behind them, the house they were in suddenly engulfs in flames. “Don’t look, keep moving!” he blows, the light of the flames illuminating the forest.

Running through the forest, the two reach the main road. Looking to the right, then left, Caleb spots a car driving down. “Car!” he yells, stepping onto the road. Waving his hands in the air, he shouts “hey! Stop!” the car begins to slow down. Caleb moves out of the way, while the car comes to a screeching stop. Letting his arms down, Caleb and Helena walk over to the car together. “Oh thank you. We need your help.”

“Jump on in, you explain on the way.” opening the rear car doors, Helena jumps into the right side, and Caleb in the left. Turning around in the seat, Dan stares at them. “So, what's the problem?” an evil smirk appears on his face, his eyes dancing between the two.

Bth Caleb and Helena freak out, and throw open the car doors. Stepping out, both appear back inside the house entrance way. This time however, the walls are on fire. Dropping his shoulders, Caleb looks on with defeat in his eyes. Dropping to his knees, watches the fire spread fast.

Helena begins to tear up. Spinning around, she notices the door they walked through is gone. “I told you.” Dan’s voice comes from behind her. Slowly spinning around, she watches him walk towards them. “You’re trapped here.” *crash* a burning board slams into the ground behind him. The fire continues to burn around them. Into the night, the house remains ablaze.

The next day, the fire department appears at the site. Investigating the burned body on the crashed van, they examine it. “Any idea what happened?” the first fire fighter asks. He stands upright, shaking his head. “Cause i have no clue how this could have happened.”

“I get what you mean.” the second one responds. Looking up, the only thing around the Van are slim, scorched trees. “There's no place for the body to have fallen from. Unless somebody put this here as a prank.” looking back down, he turns away from the van. “Though, what really gets me, is how there's all these burned trees, but the house here remains fully intact.

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