It was a simple dare. Franny had always been one for putting people up for dares, sometimes basic and sometimes more than just a little evil, but people would do them as they knew the consequences of not indulging her. She was Frances Wilcox, the queen of the corridors, she had fought her way to that position after many years and she wasn’t letting some speccy four-eyes push her around. Normally she would have easily kept people in line but not this girl, even after they strapped her up like a scarecrow and shoved a corn on the cob in her mouth then left in McGregor’s field overnight she came to school the next day as if nothing had happened, and worse joked about it. Then she had the audacity, in front of the entire year, to call her a coward and a wimp. Her? Frances Wilcox, a wimp? How dare she… She was already straightening up to let the girls deal with her when, she called her out as a coward again. “Going to get friends to sort me out? Scared you’re going to break a nail?” This was boiling point for Franny and when assembly was over she grabbed the nerd in the corridor and issued the challenge, “do a dump on the headmaster’s desk or suffer.” This would knock the stupid cow back into place. “I will,” she had answered. “But when you have done my dare.” Her dare? Her dare!?! Who the hell did she think she was??? It wasn’t her place to issue these… She then told her “spend the night in Gremley Hall… What’s the matter? Are you afraid of the dark? Scared the bogeyman will get you?”
Gremley Hall was a former hotel property that had been long since abandoned and the application to be added to the National Trust seemed to be on permanent hiatus, so the building had sat there for 10 years unoccupied, even squatters and vagrants had seldom made their way there. The place had become a place of rumour and modern urban legend. Some said it was haunted and others said that all who set foot in it were cursed. On a still night you were abled to hear the cries of the damned who bought damnation on themselves for visiting. Others talked of how a maniac resided in the house and would chop up anyone who visited. Then there was the even stranger story. A story of a web-like substance which acting like neural networks and demons living in the shadows only bought forward by the extraction of life energy. Stranger still, it was said that the Hall was visited by two strangers, some kind of paranormal investigators who magically turned up one night and expelled the demons and disappeared just as magically as they had arrived. Franny didn’t believe a word of this tripe and was going to wipe the smile of that stuck-up nerds head, but as she approached the aged doorway of Gremley Hall, she got a sense of foreboding, a sixth sense telling her that she was intruding somewhere she shouldn’t. Franny hesitated for a moment as she turned the old iron door handle, she willed her way into the house and shut the door behind her.
The hall way was as expected, in total disarray, wallpaper was peeling and dust and cobwebs were abundant. Then there was the smell of stale and rotting food, stagnant water and something else… Something vaguely fruity. The failing evening light from the windows cast many a distorted shadow on the walls, Franny walked up to a picture on the wall, it was an old black and white photo of the Hall, probably from the 1930s. She wandered into one of the rooms and ran her hand across one of the tables and winced as a number of spiders and woodlice emerged and crawled onto her hand. She wandered away and collided with a spiders web, she cussed under her breath in response. She heard a faint tapping noise coming from the upstairs, it was probably just something caught in a breeze. She followed the noise and found herself in an abandoned bedroom, a child’s one judging by all the ancient toys. In the corner stood a grandfather clock, it’s pendulum making a discorded ticking sound. That’s was the noise, simple as that. She checked the time against her phone, it was three minutes out. She walked down the hallway and then it occurred to her. The clock was going, it should have wound down. That sense of foreboding came across her again, somehow she knew she wasn’t alone in the house. She turned edged her way back to the stairs and put her hand in more cobweb. This felt different, it had a warm and clammy feeling about it and she didn’t like the feeling of it. Instinctively she ripped it off her hands and in the process scratched her hand. A few minute drops of crimson blood fell on the web, but Franny was to preoccupied to notice it disappear into the web and the web begin to grow.
Deep in the bowls of the house a distant pulsing began and shadows began to role.
As Franny descended to Hall, she failed to notice a candle light itself. The flame danced in the draft of the house… It was happening again.
Your Daily Prompt: Haunted