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I sat alone in a darkened room. The light flickered through the window due to the odd car that flew past at high speed.
The quiet yet deafening tick of the clock spread throughout the rooms of this forbidden house, the creaking of wooden floorboards groaning above me while I read. The dusted parchments littered the floor and my legs as I scanned through them, a curious fleck of amazement flickering in my sharp blue eyes that absorbed the information carefully spread across the paper.
I murmured quietly to myself, my voice seeming to echo along the breeze.
"Oh, what a find."
With a small movement of my hand, I tucked my short brown hair behind my ear and adjusted my glasses before slightly tensing at the crack of thunder that sounded from outside. I chuckled to myself, rolling my eyes at my short-lived fear.
"Get a grip, Bethany, nothing scares you."
Yet, only two things did scare me.
Spiders and mirrors.
One of them was currently across the room from me, hanging above the rusted fireplace and seeming to loom over my head. I refused to look at it, keeping my focus down on the historic finds I had in my hand but as much as I tried not to look, my eyes would seemingly glance up on their own and stare at the webbed surface. No signs of spiders, just webs and that horrid, smooth and shiny large piece of cracked glass. A mirror and a terrifying one at that.
I could have just moved to a different room. I could have just never gone inside that derelict house that spiked my interest. I laughed quietly, shaking my head at myself knowing full well that I'm way too stubborn for my own good.
Unknown to me, as soon as I had crossed that doorway, I had signed my sentence.
A few hours later, the sun had finally set and I pushed myself to my feet. Carefully crouching to put the precious papers into my backpack which was covered in dust and webs causing me to grimace.
"Why so many webs?"
I started to stumble my way to the door, grabbing the cracked handle only to find it unmovable.
"Well, isn't this cliche."
Turning, I made my way towards where I knew the back door was. Stepping over broken plates and sometimes ducking my way underneath a gigantic web which sent shivers through me.
"Just don't let there be a massive spider and I'll be fine."
Fine was not the word to use right now after all as I found the back door heavily bolted and blocked. A loud sigh escaped my lips, a pout forming on my face before my blood seemed to turn to ice as a loud smash came from the room I had previously been in.
Slowly, I looked over my shoulder at the dark empty hallway and exhaled shakily.
"Let's not be the normal white person that goes towards the noise and let's calmly and quickly walk away as fast as possible."
I took several short breaths before treading gently towards the grime covered window over the kitchen sink.
Lifting myself onto the kitchen side, I reached over to the bolt on the window, only to find a sticky black substance molding it shut.
"That plan is out of the window."
Groaning at myself, I landed silently back on the floor and froze at the rattling breath that came from around the corner. Reaching behind me, my hand came across a knife splattered in stained blood which would now become my only weapon against whatever was around that damn corner.
A hand, covered in the same black substance, shakily gripped onto the door frame before a figure followed suit.
With a raised eyebrow, I took in the sight of this female like figure who was covered in a black burnt wedding dress with a matching black veil. Perhaps the dress had been a completely different color before but I sure as hell wasn't sticking around to find out.
I slowly edged towards the other hallway to my right, gulping quietly as the figure's head ticked side to side before snapping upwards to look directly at me from behind the veil. I would have made direct eye contact back but that wasn't possible for it turned out, she didn't have any eyes, just empty sockets.
"Alright then, this just got weird."
A snap shattered through the remains of the kitchen and I looked down to find that the sound had come from her leg, it stepping forwards at an odd angle. By the looks of it, her bones, which were covered in stretched ripped skin, could dislocate violently only to snap back in place. That gave her an advantage.
Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I quickly started heading down the hallway before stealthily making my way up the rotted stairs. Inside another room, I looked around only to stare directly at another mirror which was an exact copy of the other one downstairs.
I turned and pushed a cabinet in front of door to prevent her from following me through and with a quiet sigh, I settled myself upon it.
My phone was out of signal, no windows, only a blunt knife for a weapon and no way out. Great.
Three hours had passed and nothing had happened except for the rattling breath coming from downstairs which seemed to get louder and more desperate as the minutes went by.
I had thought this too soon as a loud crack made my head snap up to abruptly stare wide-eyed at the mirror which now had a web-like design in the middle of it. My knife was in my hand within seconds as the cracks started to enlarge, spreading across the dirty surface and seeping with the very same black substance that was on the woman downstairs.
Taking deep breaths, I willed myself to keep calm as pieces of the mirror crashed to the floor leaving nothing but a blank canvas. A frown crossed my face before my breath hitched, a figure crawling out of the frame and landing on the floor in a heap of limbs.
A shrill cry came out of my mouth as a fist pounded on the door behind me, the rattling breath extremely more desperate while I watched in horror as the shards of glass slowly started to rise into the air and fix themselves back where they fell from. The second figure rose, easily shown to be a male figure but in a much better condition than the woman.
He was wearing a mud covered suit, tie, and polished black shoes with his eyes in place but his mouth sewn shut.
So now I was trapped between the woman who was banging on the door and becoming more frantic behind me and this guy who was holding a mace in his hand stood a few feet in front of me.
I twirled the knife and got ready to fight, only to find myself rudely interrupted as the cabinet crashed to the floor and the woman scuttled across the fallen door while I had barely dodged the piece of furniture by rolling sideways.
Watching in stunned silence, the woman stayed on all fours, a hissing kind of noise escaping her gaping mouth since her jaw was now clearly shown to be unhinged and the hissing being directed at the man.
Without thinking twice, I leaped through the exit as the figures collided violently and sent themselves sprawling among the rubble.
I skidded into one of the downstairs rooms, blinking through the dust at the photographs lining the walls with most of them hanging loosely.
One of them was a picture of the house when it was obviously first bought; a happy couple stood with their arms around each other underneath the sold sign. So, a couple buys a house only for the man to kill his wife and somehow they got trapped in the mirrors. How odd yet expected.
I opened my backpack and took out the faded parchments, which now were more obvious to me what the design was. It was what looked to be a plan for a nursery, crib and all. Frowning, I flicked through to another piece of paper which was a crumbled birth certificate which was impossible to read.
The violent crashes from upstairs grew louder which meant they were getting nearer and in haste, I scanned the room one last time before freezing as my eyesight landed on a picture of the woman in a hospital bed cradling a small bundle while the man watched on with a glare. Now, that was worrying and the first hint of something wrong.
Question I now had, where was the child?
Racing through the corridors, I barreled into what was now clearly the nursery. Looking into the crib, I picked up the teddy which was again, covered in the black substance. I now knew what it was, tar.
I ran a hand through my hair, looking around before the door flew open and I winced as the woman collided onto the floor with the man holding a lighter. I watched in terror as the blackness dropped from her wedding dress, it now being white with the room filling with color as a bucket dropped over her. The tar oozed over the beautiful fabric and I found myself crying out in warning as the lighter clicked on and engulfed them both in flames. I rushed forwards, prepared to do something when I was met with a cold invisible barrier.
Pushing and shoving, I couldn't move it and as I looked closer, everything seemed to be slightly shimmery.
A cry came from behind me and I slowly turned around to look at the baby who was looking down at the flames entering the crib, tears streaming down its face before those sharp blue eyes looked up and made direct eye contact with me. Those familiar blue eyes I had seen many times before and everything became clear as I finally felt the burning.
I was the child.