Chapter 3 The Curse
I couldn’t believe what just happened. Nyle was gone and now Ace was as well. It’s just the two of us now. Suddenly, my body started to shake uncontrollably.
‘I guess the reality of this ordeal is finally setting in.’ I looked to my friend breathing heavily and completely glued to the broken stair post.
‘I know he regrets not acting sooner and being able to save us both.’ I gripped my shaking arms and closed my eyes. ‘We have to get out of here. We can’t let that happen to us too.’
“Monroe.” I said turning to him. He turned his gaze to me and sighed.
“I’m sorry Brennan. If I had acted sooner, Ace would still be here.”
“I understand. It’s too late now but, all we can do now is get out of here.” I stated standing to my feet. Walking over to him, I held out my hand. He smiled as he gripped my hand and I helped him up.
“No problem. We need to leave. If we don’t, we’ll end up like the others.” He nodded before we turned to face the staircase. Suddenly, I heard a creaking noise from below. I held out my hand to stop Monroe’s advance.
“What’s wron…” I cut him off by making a shushing gesture with my finger.
“Did you hear that?” I whispered. He shook his head slowly. We remained quiet for what seemed like hours but, soon the noise came once again. Looking down the stairs, we saw something traveling upwards. On closer inspection, it appeared to be a person.
‘Who could that be?’ I thought as they drew closer. They reached the second floor and my eyes widened.
“Ace!” He was walking toward us with his head hung low.
“You’re alive! Are you oka…” I stopped when I realized something wasn’t right. ‘How did he escape the hole? This can’t be good.’
“Ace! I’m so sorry man. I was a big chicken but, I’m glad you’re alright. You had us worried.”
“Monroe.” He looked to me.
“I think we need to keep away from Ace.” He stared at me confused.
“Why? He’s perfectly fine.”
“That’s the problem. How did he escape the hole and survive that fall? Also, what happened to that creature?” He simply shrugged it off as if it were a small matter. However, this was our lives we were fighting to keep.
“We need to get away from him.” I said grabbing Monroe’s arm. He pulled it out of my grip and started his descent.
“It’s fine. We just need to leave. Right Ace?” Ace suddenly stopped and looked up to us. My heart just stopped completely. His eyes were a dark yellow, his face was severely wrinkled and his teeth were sharp like daggers. From the corners of his mouth, blood dripped onto the ground as he moaned under his breath. Monroe stood frozen and I too was completely taken by surprise.
‘What happened to him?’ I shook my head and Ace took a wide stance revealing his black sharp nails.
‘This can’t be good.’ He didn’t hesitate as he began to charge wildly at us; screeching like a wildman. I quickly grabbed Monroe and quickly led him into the room that was forced open earlier. One inside, I swiftly closed it behind us. However, Ace got his hand in between the post and the door; preventing me from closing it. On the other side, Ace tried to pry the door open with incredible strength.
“Monroe!” He rushed to my side and helped me push. After a few seconds, we managed to close it and I locked it. Monroe grabbed a chair nearby and propped it against the knob. Neither one of us dared to shatter the silence as we listening for the creature’s next move. We then heard footsteps leading away from the door and down the staircase.
‘We’re safe for now. What is going on here!’ I thought looking deeper into the room. It was larger than expected. On the other side, was a large desk with papers and books scattered over the top. In the center was a large red and black rug with two recliners resting on top. We both ventured closer to the desk and turned on the lamp. The light revealed the dusty and decaying interior hidden by the darkness.
“What now?” asked Monroe. I stopped to think.
“What about your cell phone? Why haven’t you tried calling your parents?” He sat on the desk.
“Because I thought it was all nothing more than a prank and didn’t want to get into trouble in case it was. We’re not even supposed to be out here. Besides, Ace has it.” I nodded understanding his reasoning. He pushed a few papers aside and revealed a journal.
“Hey Brennan; check this out.” He said holding up the journal. On the cover, were the words “Dr. Earl’s Theory of Fear” in black letters. I took it from him and opened it to a bookmarked page.
“Do you think it belongs that the doctor in Nyle’s story?” I couldn’t really answer nor did I want to admit his tale may be more than folklore. I began to read out loud.
“My practice has hit many obstacles. I am unable to find patients and everything depends on my ability to establish my business. Either way, my family and I will be in trouble if I can’t maintain a flow of work.” It was a short entry but, I turned to the next page.
“I went to the store and ran into a peculiar young lady selling books and medicine. She had strange yellow eyes and a creepy presence about her. I talked to her and she informed me that she possessed a solution to my problems. I was speechless. How did this stranger come about such information? I shared my problems only with those I was close with and that was mostly my wife and neighbors. She gave me a little box and instructed me to open it when I returned home. She also gave me a sheet of paper with instructions. I left and went into my office. I read the instructions and they described a type of spirit. Know by no name but, only as a devourer of fears.”
“So, Nyle was right.” I nodded completely stunned. “What else does it say? Does it tell what happened?” I continued.
“It was had two abilities. First, it was able to intensify the fears of its victims. Secondly, it was able to feed off the fears and relieve that person of all fear and symptoms. It was too good to be true. The last part I didn’t read as I hastily opened the container. A spirit that resembled a girl emerged. Long story short, we made a contract and she began her work.” I turned the page.
“This is absolutely incredible. My practice has picked up quite a bit since my friend and I started our partnership. She strengthens the fears of people, they come to me for treatment and she eventually relinquishes them of all their worries. It was excellent. The best part was that my wife, as everyone, didn’t suspect anything suspicious. However, I do sense something is wrong with my partner. After a month of this, she is more present. Before, she was rarely around. Simply seeking more victims and erecting their fears. I didn’t pay it much attention and we continued our work.”
“Something unusual happened last night. I was in my office when I heard this horrific scream come from outside. I immediately ran outside and saw my wife lying in the grass. I helped her up and she informed me of seeing a dark and shadowy figure. It rushed at her, she screamed and fell as she tried to run away. I immediately thought of the spirit but, why would she reveal herself. She only showed herself to me and that was apart of our agreement. We couldn’t keep working if people suspected witchcraft. I dismissed it and helped her inside. I laid her in bed and I swear I saw the spirit standing outside the door of our bedroom. I looked again and it was clear. I decided to go to bed and I couldn’t shake this potent chill. After that night, she insisted that there was something else there in the house with us. I knew the truth but, was reluctant to reveal it.”
“We had a few more occurrences with the spirit scaring my wife to death. I coul..” I paused abruptly.
“The entry just stops and a pen mark is dragging down the page.” I turned to the next entry.
“Dear Lord, what have I done! I heard my wife scream and I ran into a horrific scene. She was had fallen and hit her head on the table in the den. She was gone. It was an almost instant passing. I held her and cried. No matter how many tears fell, I could feel her presence watching me. What does she want from me? I couldn’t shake the regret of the decision I’ve made. I immediately left to confront the woman. She laughed and asked me did I read all of the instructions. I grew rigid remember that I overlooked some details. She informed me that the spirit was once a jealous wife. She learned of her husband’s unfaithful nature and utilized his fear against him. He was deathly afraid of fire. She lured him into a barn and lit it on fire. Blocking all the exits and he met his end. Unfortunately, she did as well. She became a vengeful apparition and now she sees you as her possession. All she sees is that you’re like her husband. I was baffled. How did could this have happened. I was the cause of my wife’s untimely demise. She agreed to help me and we went back to my home. Once we entered, my wife was up and walking. I was overjoyed. I was about to rush to her when she stopped me. She told me she overtook her body. It was true as I viewed her yellow eyes and sharp teeth.”
“Just like Ace!” said Monroe. “That explains it. This thing has taken over his body.”
“Yeah but, what do we do?”
“She stood there staring at us but, mostly at me. I was scared beyond belief. The lady slowly approached her and quietly spoke to her. The spirit stayed silent before presenting an eerie smirk. She attacked the young lady and they both vanished. I was speechless. What do I do? I couldn’t stop this thing. This may be my last entry and I pray this doesn’t happen to anyone else. That my misguided decision would lead to someone else’s demise. Forgive me Lord.”
“That’s it.” I said lowering the book.
“So, there is nothing we can do.” I sighed.
“The only thing we can do is get out of here. It’s the only way to survive.”
“But how?” I honestly didn’t have a response. “We may have to make a run for it. We can’t jump out from the third floor. We wouldn’t make it.”
“We wouldn’t last out there with that thing either!” Monroe yelled upstarting. He walked over the door and placed his back against it. “I mean. What can we do against an angry spirit? It took away Nyle and then Ace. Then it turned Ace into its puppet and now he’s trying to hurt us. What can we do Brennan!” I lowered my head. ‘He’s right. With Ace on the staircase, what exactly could we possibly do?’
“Okay, we have to come up with something.” Then, I got an idea. I ran to the window and saw exactly what I was looking for. A wooden structure placed against the house where vines grew along it.
“We can climb this down.” I said opening the window. I looked to Monroe smiling.
“Finally, some good news.” He said letting out a sigh of relief. “Okay let’s go!” He said happily.
“You can’t leave!” We heard from behind the door.
‘Oh no!’ I thought. Monroe instantly froze before two arms broke through the door and trapped Monroe. He tried to get away but, broken through the door. On the other side, Ace grabbed Monroe by the shirt. Holding him above the ground, he opened his mouth. A dark mist escaped his mouth and floated over to Monroe. It tried to enter his mouth but, he kept it closed tight. Ace smiled as it entered his nostrils instead. Monroe’s body began to shake violently before Ace released him. He laid on the floor and looked to me. A tear escaped his eye as if he was pleading for the pain to stop. Ace smiled at me and rushed toward me screeching. I didn’t have much time to think as he was on me instantly. He pushed me and I fell backwards. It all happened in slow motion as I slowly fell from the third floor window. Ace just looked after me and grinned.
‘I guess this is better than being taken over by an ominous creature from another realm. I’m sorry guys I couldn’t save you but, I will see you soon.’ I closed my eyes and let the fall overtake me.