The Haunted Cottage #4

“Thump” Jacob falls onto the cold stone floor in a jumble of arms and legs. The fall was not very steep, and yet he managed to fall into an awkward position with his right leg twisted backward. At first, he feels nothing but numbness in the leg, but soon the discomfort starts to slip in. He takes a deep breath and heaves himself up onto his feet, biting his lip in defiance of the jarring blast of lightning as it races through his leg. Jacob finds himself in a room carved from rock, empty but for the candles lining the walls. Judging from the amount of wax amassed at the foot of each candle they seem to have been lit recently, presumably by the “someone” who dragged Alice down here before him. The air is heavy with the smell of mold and lukewarm water trickles down the walls from the cottage above, making it so the stones underneath Jacob’s feet are wet and slimy. It makes no sense to him how the ground is slimy because since when was water slimy? He balances on his left leg, careful not to slip on the stones, and drags his finger across the slimy surface of the ground. Warm. Slimy. Makes one think of saliva rather than water. Jacob presses down a gulp as he is overcome with the very convincing urge to run.

There he is, standing inside a strange cavern after having fallen down the staircase from a weird cottage out in nowhere. Weird things are going on, dangerous things. Why, why then is he still here? He looks up the staircase longingly. Jacob would do almost anything for a hot meal and a warm bed. But just as he is about to submit to this alluring path, that’s when he is reminded of Alice. She may just be a stranger… and he does not know what to believe anymore, but the fear in her eyes as she pleaded for help, it, at least, was real. Thus he has ripped away from his daydream, anger rising to the surface and overtaking the fear. What the hell is this, some kind of sick game? Past-time enjoyment for demons? “Come at me then you bastards” Jacob takes a firm step in the opposite direction of the staircase, dragging his aching leg behind him, but gritting his teeth at the pain instead of screaming out and giving whatever powers at play the satisfaction of seeing him hurt. As he delves deeper into the cavern, passing more candles, he notices the silhouette of a door farther in… and when he sees it, somehow he knows that behind the door he will find out the truth. Images of horrific possibilities flood his mind… What will he find inside, Alice laying in a pool of her blood perhaps? A demon at her side, turning at him next? “HELP ME, JACOB” screams Alice from behind the door and his fears and misgivings move even further back in his mind while bold determination rises to the surface. Once again he finds himself in front of a door, but this time he does not knock. With a rough grip on the handle, he throws the door open.

To Be Continued…

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