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I was driving for about three hours when I realised I had taken the wrong turning and was hopelessly lost. I pulled over to the side and found my mobile phone in order to phone for help. Surprisingly, the battery had run completely low and I began to feel a sense of panic as it was rapidly becoming darker. In the distance, I saw the outline of a house and I thought that I could detect smoke coming out of the chimney.
I decided that I had no option but to make my way to the house and ask for directions and for the use of the telephone as my family would be getting worried about me.
I drove to the house which was completely isolated and as I pulled up outside, my car engine abruptly cut out. In the car seat, I sat and pondered what to do. I looked up at the house and noticed that the house almost appeared to be normal however the lack of light made the house seem somewhat ghostly and dooming.
The house also seemed to be illuminated around its edges, giving it an eerie and unnatural glow. However, I had no choice but to approach the house, because my other option was to stay in my car, where it was becoming increasing cold as I could feel the cold biting through my coat.
Trembling, I swung open the car door and stepped out of the car. Surprisingly, the ground was muddy and wet, but I could not recall any rain during my journey.
I carried on, with my shoes squelching, leaving a trial of mud behind me. Up ahead, I saw a shimmering object. I squinted, trying to make out what the object was, but the light was too bright. As I approached the house, I saw the object for what it really was – a fierce looking lion’s head. The lion’s head seemed to glisten and gleam in the front porch light. The light danced off the head bringing it to life, which momentarily unnerved me.
But nevertheless, I moved closer and I realised that it was only the door knocker. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door. I could hear the scuffling of shoes as if a person was rushing about inside, making me wonder whether these people were trying to hide something.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the door opened, and on the other side stood an old tired man in what seemed to be a butler’s uniform. However, the old man did not look like a regular butler as he was quite plump and seemed to waddle instead of walk. He gestured for me to come in and to follow him. He waddled into the living room where a younger man sat, smoking a pipe. The younger man looked up at me, and startled me by his left glass eye, which seemed to be constantly staring at me.
“Ah, hello my friend. What brings you here on this night of the full moon?” The young man asked with the glass eye still staring intently. “Oh, and please do keep your voice down. My son is already asleep upstairs.”
“I’m sorry to disturb you at this time of night, but I am lost and my car has broken down. I was wondering if it would be possible to use your telephone; that is if it’s not too much trouble.”
“I’m afraid to say that the storm earlier on has cut all the telephone lines in the area. However, if you wish, I have a spare bedroom that you may sleep in.”
Again, I could not remember a storm or even bad weather on my journey. In fact, I couldn’t remember half of my journey here and felt as if a few hours of my life had been wiped from my memory. The old butler looked at the young man and whispered something in his ear. The young man replied, but I was unable to make out what they were saying. The old man looked up at me and said with a friendly smile, “Do you have any bags? If you wish I shall put them in your room.”
I returned to my car and carried back a suitcase. I gave it to the old man and thanked him. I was about to follow him upstairs, but the young man called me back and gestured for me to sit opposite him.
“What is your name?” he asked
“jack.” I replied. “And yourself sir?”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Oh, no. The pleasure’s all mine.” Montgomery said followed by a devilish chuckle, which echoed around the room. A shiver shot down my spine and I wondered whether I had should have stayed in my car.
“Where were you travelling to with such baggage?” he asked.
“I, um, was on my way to New York.” I replied reluctantly.
“Ah, the Big Apple. Do you have business there?”
I sat there wondering whether to answer or not. However, he seemed to be genuinely intrigued so I responded, “I was on my way to visit my twin sister. I haven’t seen her for a few months. I am only in the States on holiday – I am actually from London in England.”
We continued to converse for some time and I learnt much about this gentleman. He seemed to have had a terrible life. Both his parents had passed away when he was only a few months old, and his childhood consisted of several foster families. His wife was also dead. She died of cancer a year ago, and when she was mentioned, Montgomery’s eyes filled with tears. His son was 10 years old and was his only family. I really pitied Montgomery. I sympathised with him too, for I also had a terrible childhood.
My sister and I were abandoned when we were only a few days old and spent the first few years of our lives in an orphanage. We were then separated when we were only three years old, and I only found out I had a sister a few years back. I could not begin to count the number of foster homes I was put into, and I also had the bruises to prove it. All in all, this gentleman and I had a lot in common.
After our informative conversation, I was shortly shown to my room by the friendly but extremely quiet butler. I changed out of my clothes and lay down in bed. My room was well lit, even at night with a skylight and an enormous window allowing the moonlight to shine right in. It started out as being reassuring, but soon, all the light created weird shadows in all directions from every angle. Many of the shadows were foreboding, as if they were warning me that something was going to happen, and that whatever it is, it will not be good.
Soon however I reassured myself that these ‘premonitions’ were simply down to my imagination and instead I admired the beautiful art work on the ceiling. After some time, I noticed that part of the art work on the ceiling seemed out of place and didn’t fit in with the rest of the design. I took a mental note of it and decided to catch some sleep. As I finally relaxed, I found out just how comfortable the bed was, and that was the last thought to cross my mind that night.
I woke up early to the soothing sounds of the piano. I followed the sounds in the living room where I had first entered. The room looked very different in sunlight; last night I didn’t even notice the exquisite piano that I see today. I looked over at the piano seat and I saw a little boy sitting down concentrating hard on the piece of music he was playing. For such a young person, I was surprised that he could play so well. I sat down near the boy and waited for him to finish. Before he reached the end, he pushed his chair back with a scrape and walked round to face me.
“Hello,” the boy said.
“Hello,” I replied, “You have quite a talent for playing the piano. I must say, it is wonderful to see such a young person to take such an interest in music. Most boys your age usually just fight and play football.”
“Thank you.” Said the boy and then stiffly turned and walked much like a soldier out of the room.
I found our conversation quite bizarre, but then again, I found this whole house bizarre. Everywhere in this house I felt some sort of presence and coldness that seems to be indescribable and it made me feel like some inane, senseless ‘supernatural’ believer. In fact, I thought of myself as being quite a quite rational person. I felt weird being by myself in such a large room, so I walked in the direction the child went in. The short journey, led also by the sense of smell, brought me to the kitchen, which was just as spacious as the other rooms. The butler looked up at me blankly. Once again, he gestured for me to sit, so I sat. Then, the butler passed me a plate with a variety of delicacies such as croissants and pain au chocolate.
“Wow. Thank you. Did you cook all this by yourself?” I asked.
The butler pointed at himself. Before I could question the butler’s silence, Montgomery walked in with his son. We all ate around the round pine table in the kitchen, mostly in an uneasy silence. After breakfast, I thanked the family again for their hospitality and announced my departure.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Montgomery said looking rather pleased, “it seems like you’re going to have to stay here a little while longer for it seems that the storm last night did more damage than we thought. Many roads have been closed due to it. You’re more than welcome to stay.”
I nodded but still couldn’t recall any bad weather yesterday at all. I was upset at having to delay seeing my sister but I realised that a day or two wouldn’t make a difference. Also, I was intrigued by this house and its weirdness. The family here also seemed very accommodating and friendly. I felt quite comfortable with staying here.
After breakfast, I sat once again in the living room. I suddenly felt a chill and because Montgomery had told me to feel at home, I took the liberty of lighting the stacks of wood found resting in the fireplace. The fire flickered and danced around the room, filing the room with a warm but peculiar glow. I felt as if I was not totally alone but that others had also seen and heard the weird happenings in this house. Then, on the corner or the mantle piece, I notice and recognised a symbol resting on the edge.
It was the same symbol I had spotted late last night on my ceiling – the symbol that did not fit in with the rest of the design. I wondered whether or not these people were telling me the whole truth, because this house struck me as being very strange. I decided to do some research of my own, and asked if I could use the internet. Being a kind family, they didn’t question my motives and allowed me unconditional access to the internet.
“On the internet, I researched a lot on weird symbols, and the only symbol I found remotely similar to the one I had seen was the death medallion. According to some legend, if you wear this medallion, you will be the link between the dead and the living, and you would have the control of who should go where.” I said calmly to Montgomery. “Now, I have never believed in supernatural things before, but there have been many strange things happening, which seem unexplainable.”
“Surely you don’t believe all of this, do you?” Montgomery replied. “I think that it is absurd that you could even think of such a thing. Come on now. Be reasonable.”
“Yes,” I agreed, “I think I am overreacting. But nevertheless, we should make sure.”
And with that I lunged onto the symbol on the mantelpiece before anyone could stop me. As soon as I touched the symbol, a secret passageway behind the mantelpiece was revealed. Without thinking twice, I stepped in and upon doing so the passageway was blocked once again by the mantelpiece. I looked around me, trying to take in my surroundings but I could see nothing for everything was pitch black. I slowly walked following the wall with my bare hands. The place stunk of rotting flesh and bones, which made me feel sick, and also made me wonder what was down here.
“Woah!” I shouted as I felt something go past me. And again. I spun around but there was no one there. I spun again, and there was still no one. However I still kept feeling as if something kept moving back and forth brushing against me. Looking around – nothing. I felt as if I was being toyed with and I didn’t like it at all. It was like I was being attacked by an invisible force. I did not know who or what it was, or even if there was something there. In a frantic state of confusion I started to panic and began to run. I ran headfirst into a wall, and once again after turning, I hit another wall. Then suddenly, I fell, and I fell, and fell, and kept falling for a long time.
I opened my eyes. I lay there for another second. Then, I got up. I felt was I had felt before, but this time it was all around me, slowly squeezing. I slowly turned around dreading what I was about to see. There stood in black a figure of a hooded man, a man so dark, that he blended in with the cave. A man so dark, he seemed to have no colour. A man so dark, that I doubted whether he even was a man. Slowly, the hood was taken off and the man, creature or whatever it was looked up at me. The face seemed familiar, yet different in some way. It was Montgomery, but he did not look like Montgomery. He had the same eyes, nose, mouth and skin, but his expression was cold, vicious, merciless and evil, whereas the Montgomery I had become acquainted with had always been so friendly. I was both speechless and breathless.
“Hello,” Montgomery said, “Surprise!”
Montgomery’s evil laugh echoed through the whole cave and back.
“Who are you?” I asked
“Are you sure you want to know?” He replied grinning mischievously.
I stood and stared at him blankly.
“I am every man’s worst nightmare. I am the scourge of the humans. I quite simply am death.”
“Death!” I said laughed. “This has got to be a joke, right?”
Montgomery stood in front at me expressionless.
“But you have a son!” I exclaimed
“Do you mean him? No, he is not my son, he is me! How did you think he could play the piano so well, remember?”
It all came to me in a rush. I realised that this was no lie. I realised that Montgomery had no son.
“I think it is about time we have a little talk.” Death said
“Am I going to die?”
“You!” he said sharply.
“Me? Why me? What have I done?” I confusingly asked.
“You are my successor.”
“ME?” I said in disbelief, “I wouldn’t hurt a fly let alone kill people.”
“It’s in your blood.”
“In my blood? What do you mean?.” I asked dreading the answer.
“Before, when you thought I had no son, you were wrong. 24 years ago, my son was born. You are my son. You are the rightful heir to this title. I am past my time. You are now Death.”
I looked up at Montgomery and simultaneously, we laughed our evil laugh and I felt my heart beating its last beat and suddenly I had no need to breathe.
“I AM DEATH!”
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