This piece of flash is very loosely based on a real place near to where I live. The workmen’s tools really were left abandoned in the unfinished building over 100 years ago, and nobody has ever been able to figure out why. I don’t think the explanation I offer is what actually happened, though!
Louise took my arm and led me toward the imposing structure of the mansion. “Come on, I’ll prove it’s true.”
“I don’t believe you,” I replied, with a roll of my eyes.
As we stopped in front of the building, I was struck by the hideous, stone gargoyles protruding from the walls. They all had scrunched-up, fierce faces with maniacal expressions.
We opened the large, worm eaten door, and the icy interior rushed me; stopping me in my tracks. Rubbing my upper arms to create warmth, I continued moving.
The first thing I noticed was a pile of workman’s tools propped against the wall. They looked old, out of place in today’s construction business. Louise explained, “Now that is an interesting story. When Mr Woodchester discovered his mansion unfinished, there were tools strewn everywhere. It’s like the workmen left in a hurry, as though they were trying to escape from something.”
I shot my friend a disbelieving look, but she continued with the story. “Some think Woodchester ran out of money and couldn’t afford to have his home finished, but that’s not true. Those men wouldn’t have left their tools—their livelihoods—behind. Something drove them away.”
A sigh left my mouth before I could stop it. Why did I agree to come here with Louise? A shiver spread over my body, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood upright. This mansion, with its cold, stone walls, rooms without floorboards, and half finished stairs, was starting to get to me. Surely, there can’t be any truth in Louise’s story?
When we reached the upper level, we had to step carefully. As soon as we entered the narrow, shadowy corridor, I wanted to bolt. Only, I couldn’t move. My eyes fixed on the far end. Breathing out puffs of ice, I shook my head. This couldn’t be real.
“I told you,” said Louise; red flashing in her eyes. “You should have believed me. That might have saved you.”
In an instant, the hideous, life-size gargoyle that was once my friend flew toward me; its greedy mouth open, displaying giant teeth. Knocking me onto the dusty, stone floor, I think I lost consciousness for a second. But, as the creature tasted my blood, I found myself transported. Both depleted and vibrant.
As I rose from the floor, my ears picked up the sound of humans below us. My nose twitched and mouth filled with saliva. Flying to the far end of the corridor, I sat in the dark and waited.