While strolling out over the grounds of my town to make sure everything was in good working order with no vagrants in the alleyways or trolls under the bridge, I came to the door of a house I hadn’t seen before. It verily took my breath away, imbuing me with dread and fear.

Is someone actually living here? I pondered as I took in the broken door, boarded up windows and macabre statues. Or worse yet, has someone fallen inside and is wasting away as we speak? I felt compelled to go inside to investigate, but as I approached the door, I had to wrestle the urge to run away in freight.

As I put my hand on the door to knock, I felt my knees begin to shake, my bowels begin to quake and my head begin to ache. What if there was a helpless soul on the floor? What if there was something not human inside, lurking in the shadows?

I pulled myself together and scoffed at all this idiocy. It’s merely an old, crumbling house with the stench of death hovering over it. There was nothing to be afraid of.

And so I knocked heartily, and getting no reply, eased the door open. It fell of it’s hinges and turned to dust as it crashed to the floor. "Not to worry," I called out, "I can fix that, no problem. No need to involve the constabulary or unleash some ferocious hound upon me. I’m merely checking to make sure everyone is happy and content inside."

Alas, there was no reply. But the crumbling of the door seemed to agitate the residents of the belfry as there was a chorus of screams from above. Despite these protestations, I ventured inside.

I was greeted with gloom and stagnation. Floor boards groaned in protest as I stepped into what I assumed to be the entryway. The stairs seemed utterly unsafe to traverse and windows covered in cobwebs. I believed there to be no occupant as there was no furniture, but I recanted on that thought as I noted a pair of legs sticking out from around the corner.

I returned to the idea of the house not being occupied as the legs were attached to a skeleton that had long ago expired. But finding the skeleton led to the discovery of a passageway that put me on the upper floor. Perhaps the poor soul down below had fallen from this great height and that’s where the story ended for him.

But my story turned into a twisting maze of terrors as I discovered the door to the passageway was hidden behind me. I opened a myriad of doors, sending myself in circles. I was to the point of making an escape through a window, only to realize they were boarded and impassable.

Further, each turn lead to another bleached white corpse that grinned madly at me from the floor. With no light within the interior, I repeatedly lost my way and was desperate to open the correct door to make my exit.

Hope came in the form of another secret passage wherein I was able to descend. But salvation was not at hand as I exited through a wall and found myself in another large room with doors leading in multiple directions. I traversed from room to room, hoping the next door would be my way out. I had turned around so many times I was confused as to where I had come, which way I had been and which was up. In a moment of panic, I found myself at the top of the belfry, screaming bats flying just feet above my head. For a desperate moment, I contemplated jumping to make my escape, but it was a sheer drop that would surely turn my bones to powder.

I climbed down the ladder and found myself in a cold sweat in the center of a room, with nothing but open doors everywhere I turned. The bodies, the pumpkins, they all tormented me as I would soon be joining them as a shattered wreck on the floor.

I was a desperate fool at the end of his pitiful rope. The house would soon devour my last thread of sanity. With panic taking over, I charged through the doors, closing each behind me to mark my path. Soon, I was trapped in a room with no exit. As I pounded at the walls in frustration, the panel opened and I fell into another chamber. As I stumbled to my feet, I saw what looked to be stairs and raced toward them.

And there it was, the opening where the front door had stood before it broke off in my hand, the placid greenery of freedom staring back at me. I leapt to the stairs, the boards shattering under my weight. But I drove on, reaching for the opening as though will alone would unite us.

I crashed in a heap upon the ground, my hands clutching at the grass and dirt. With not a moment to tarry, I took to my heels and dashed across the countryside putting distance between us. I could sense the darkness of night descending and kept running until I was within the sanctuary of the tavern believing there was safety in numbers.

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Well, what a strange happenstance this is. I didn’t know we had a resident with this style of house. Perhaps I will go and say hello.

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Maybe it looks less creey and foreboding on the inside.

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Good Evening! Is anyone home? Oh, I see. Are you all right over there?

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How the duece do I get out of this nightmarish place? I suppose I could make a jump for it. I suppose I could use the tree to break my fall.

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Well, clearly jumping to safety didn’t work for that poor fellow. I will need to devise another escape plan.

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In retrospect, this should have been a warning sign

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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