Chapter 13

"Carl." Luke walked forward and grabbed Carl's arm. The boy just dropped down and even yelped in pain. He was still crying.

"Make it stop," he moaned.

Luke held his shoulders, trying to keep him sitting upright. Carl still let his head flop to the side. He didn't seem to be looking at anything. Could he even see anything? Carl eventually swung his head backwards and he saw Luke for the first time.

"Luke," he said quietly. He sounded a little surprised. "You're still here."

"You were trapped here? In this house?" I asked.

He swung his head to look at me. The way he moved reminded me of a wooden puppet. When looking at me, Carl's eyes seemed a little hungry, almost longing.

"I was," he answered flatly. "But this house was scary. I wanted to leave." He clutched himself in pain and started whimpering again. "Luke, I shoulda listened. She came and opened the door, but you told me not to go with her. I didn't listen, I just wanted to leave." He broke down crying again. It was terrible. He was just suffering and couldn't escape. But then he laughed. He really laughed. It was creepy. "Alicia comes soon," he mused. His manic grinning face lifted up, looking at Luke. "Pyramid-Head will kill her." He laughed some more.

Pyramid-Head. That name made me swallow in fear. Pyramid-Head? That described the executioner perfectly. The way he stood in that basement, with the weird triangular helmet. Not quite a pyramid though.

"Pyramid-Head wants to kill Alicia?" I asked. Carl stopped laughing. He dragged his head round to look at me, then he bobbed his head in the affirmative. Cold fear gripped my stomach. He haunted me in my dreams, he taunted me now and tried to convince me I killed Ray. Why should I be scared? "Why does he want to kill me, then?"

Carl looked very confused. "You're not Alicia."

I sighed. He didn't know. He tried to lean over, away from Luke's grasp it seemed. He reached his hand out to me. "What d'you wanna do?" I asked nervously.

Carl stretched his hand out further, Luke was just beyond confused. "You're alive," he said.

"Yeah." What did he want to say? "I'm alive. Was that why you attacked me? Why others came at me?"

If Carl could look even more desperate... "Attack? We wouldn't attack. Please."

I looked at his outstretched bloody hand. What did he want me to do? I looked at Luke. He couldn't help, he had no clue. I slowly walked forward, kneeling down once I was in front of Carl. His pleading eyes followed me the entire way. The gap between us wasn't that large, he could've touched me knee if he wanted. But he still had his hand out, waiting patiently. Switching my rod to my other hand, I raised my right hand to hold his, almost like a handshake. His hand felt like ice. Literally, ice. I couldn't feel any flesh or blood.

I rattled the door. I banged it, kicked it, punched it. I just hurt myself. I was hurt, tired, hungry and scared. I'd seen some weird shit and those things that kept coming towards me, oh man, I really didn't want to see any of those. I gave up eventually. I was thirsty too. This sucked.

"Told you it was locked," said Luke regrettably.

I sighed. "We're 2 trapped kids in a haunted house in the middle of the day. We're both stupid too." I turned around. "What the hell do-"

I couldn't believe what I saw. On the stairs, looking at me, was a zombie. He wasn't moving, he just sat there. He just stared at me. But I didn't know if his brown eyes even saw me, they were so blank. He wasn't a nice zombie either, I mean, I know there's no such thing but, well, this guy was a victim of some really psychotic murderer. He was so slashed up, no surprise some of the blood was dried in that blonde hair of his.

"Robert," said Luke in surprise.

I looked at him in alarm. "You know this guy?" He nervously nodded, he was still looking at the zombie. "But you're trapped here like me, how could you have-"

"I'm dead too," said Luke quietly.

"You're a ghost?" I checked.

He looked at me, really nervous. He just nodded his head. I didn't react. I think I felt alone suddenly. Luke gestured to the zombie. "His name is Robert, he told me I was dead the first time."

"First time?"

"When he was alive. He could talk to ghosts."

I stared at the Robert-zombie. He wasn't talking much right then. I pointed at him. "You, open this door, get me out."

"I do not control the door."

Creepy. I heard it like somebody next to me was saying it, but it was so flat, no live human would ever talk like that. He had said it, that Robert-zombie, but his mouth had never moved. Seriously, mondo creepy.

"You do not control the door?" What ghost doesn't control his haunted house?

"No, and you won't leave."

Suddenly I was me again. I let go of Carl's icy hand. I looked at Luke.

"He gave me a memory," I said. "I didn't know that was possible, but he showed me a memory."

"What of?"

"Of you, and Robert. When Robert appeared, you remembered you were a ghost."

Luke nodded. "Yeah. He would never talk, but he'd appear and I'd remember."

"So it's happened every time?"

"Yeah. Except this time." The blonde was really confused. "Why hasn't he appeared? At all?"

Bang. We both jumped.

"What was that?" I asked.

"It wasn't a door," answered Luke.

I ran towards the sound, but I didn't have to go far. I stopped when my headlight could reach far enough. Luke stopped next to me, carrying the flashlight. A ladder had dropped down. It was an old pull-down ladder that people used to get to the attic. I was certain that wasn't there before. I definitely never saw it when it was still day.

"Where did Carl go?" asked Luke.

I was surprised to find Luke had turned around. I looked where he was facing and, yeah, Carl was gone.

I shrugged. "I guess he fulfilled his purpose and left." I turned back around. "Anyway, this ladder. What do you think? Shall we go up?"

"Guess we have no choice."

We walked over to it slowly. I'm not sure why, but I guess we were scared of a ladder that moved by itself. Nothing else happened though. Not a sound, not a peep. When we got to the ladder, I looked up into the attic. Just black, I really couldn't see anything. I looked over at Luke, who was standing a good metre away from me.

"Why you standing over there?" I asked quietly.

He was just blank. He blinked. "I can't go further."

"Something holding you back?"

"Um, I guess. I don't feel physically held back, just-"

"No I get it, it's fine." It wasn't, but it wasn't his fault so I couldn't get angry. I grabbed the first ladder rung. Oh my God, that sound. That clanging. Was the executioner up there? Or 'Pyramid-Head' as Carl called him?

"Tanya? What's scaring you?"

I was holding that rung pretty tightly. "That noise," I murmured. I sounded like I was hypnotised. "He's up there."

"How is the noise?"

I took a breath. "Not that loud, but I hear it."

"You don't have to go up there."

I shook. I was tense. I really wanted to believe him, I really wanted to let go and run away, back to the safe kitchen. I didn't want to face it. But I had to, I felt I had to. I swallowed. I gripped the iron rod in my hand, hoping it was enough.

"Wait here for me."

I put my first foot on the ladder, then another above it. I moved my left hand so it could slide up the ladder as I climbed up. I went kinda slowly though. I didn't want to look at Luke. I wasn't sure why, I guess I just felt that alone. I pretty quickly reached the attic. It was really cold here, I poked my head into it and I shivered. The clanging was clearer, not loud, but I could hear it. It made me just freeze at the top of the ladder. What would I find here? I didn't want to know. I swallowed. I couldn't stay here. I climbed into the attic, on my knees at first. Slowly I stood up. Slowly I turned around.

It was just darkness and beams in the shadows. And it was a huge attic. A huge attic for a huge house, go figure. The beam from the headlight spread slowly across the area. I could see the vapour my breath made. I started looking along the passage right in front of where I was standing, behind where I was facing when I first climbed up the stairs. There was a vague shadow of a person, distantly ahead. It was so still.

I gripped my iron rod for comfort as I walked forward. Very slowly. I was stepping in time to that terrible clanging, just like in that dream. Like where I found Ray, scared of me.


No! I would not think such things. Whoever I'm finding is playing tricks, I'll prove it. I stepped closer. Eventually my headlight showed me enough so I could see a tall young man leaning against a wood beam. I recognised him.

"Robert?" I called out. Damn that sounded loud here.

He raised his head. Ew! That was not normal! His head moved like he was some kind of puppet, like the ones used in Team America. At first he was looking down, then he cocked his head left and raised it at the same time, quickly too. He'd reacted immediately. My heart rate went up. Did the clanging just get louder?

"Robert? Please talk Robert! You know more than I do. About ghosts and things." He just stared at me. I was still far from him, so I couldn't see his eyes. I couldn't see much of him, he was only barely within the beam of light. Suddenly I wished I was talking to Carl again, or others like him. He had been speaking. "Say something?" I didn't like the way he just stayed still like that. It was creepy. I was trembling.

Blowing out yet more vapour, I walked forward, in time with that clanging. Hey, it was slow enough, I wasn't in any hurry to get to this ghost. The closer I got, the more I could see of him. The way he was so slashed up, his torso especially; cut open, punctured and ripped to shreds. How did Carl miss that in his memory? Oh right, Robert had been sitting on the stairs, hiding the damage. And then, then I could see his eyes. Oh God, those terrible eyes. They were very dark and dead, no life in them at all. Not even any sign of suffering. I stopped walking. I couldn't stop looking at him, he was so terrible and awful and so dead, but his eyes held me. I shivered violently.

"Alicia." His mouth had never moved, it was like someone else had breathed the word. Breathed the word hatefully I might add. I swallowed. He was swimming with hate. This entire attic was filled with hate.

"I-I-I-I-I-I'm not Alicia. I'm not Alicia." I couldn't remember ever being this scared.

"You killed him," said that voice. Again I thought back to the night of that party. That stupid party! I should never have gone. Ray shouldn't have brought me home, then he'd be safe and still alive.

I stopped myself from crying. "No." That clanging is sounding pretty loud.


I stared at Robert. He was...hovering towards me. He had not shifted, twitched, anything. But now he was hovering towards me. No...he couldn't...

"I never did that to you!" I shouted.

He stopped moving forward. I did not like the disgusting look on his face. "You lie."


He appeared in front of me! I screa...his hand was so icy. It was on my chest, so cold. My scream was just a shivering murmur. The dead look in his face changed, slowly. His fingers traced the crucifix. A smile broke out. He looked happy, in a creepy kinda way. I realised then I couldn't hear anything. Just my breathing.


I struggle side to side. These restraints really keep me in place.

The PAIN when she STABS me, she's just sliding the knife UP and DOWN in my torso. I can't stop my tears.


I watch her walk through the door. She smiles sweetly at me. "I have something for you." I see her holding a syringe.
    "What is it?" I ask.
    She takes a breath excitedly. "Something to make you feel good."

Am I moaning? Damn I feel good inside her. I keep my eyes closed, I can't believe this is happening and I don't want to see her.



I whimper. My throat's so sore. My pants are still down. She's just staring at me, licking my blood from her knife. This doesn't even disturb her. She should be in a straight jacket. She stares at me, delicately strokes my hair.
    "Please kill me," I plead. I don't see any way out of this, could I just die and get some peace?
    She grabs my penis. Oh no, she wouldn't.

She PUNCHES! Again. AGAIN! I grit my teeth.

She just sits there, on top of me. I'd rather she get off. She stares at me. She lowers her knife to my torso, which she's rubbing with her other hand. I struggle.
    She looks at me like I'm misbehaving. "Don't be so silly." She uses the knife to very carefully slice my T-shirt in half.

I'm coughing a heap of blood.

The knife can't go any deeper into me, but she's still pushing. And I swear she's having an orgasm!

© Ruth Hüneke 2009