The Horrorphiles, Part 21
By Stephanie Thompson; 1,698 words
Click below to find out what happened first:
See more on my Horrorphile board.
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
- Part 5
- Part 6
- Part 7
- Part 8
- Part 9
- Part 10
- Part 11
- Part 12
- Part 13
- Part 14
- Part 15
- Part 16
- Part 17
- Part 18
- Part 19
- Part 20
Chapter 19 (You can chek-out any time you like)
She didn’t argue, she didn’t try to defend his cold summation of her life, she kept going down the spiraling stairs, which seemed longer than she remembered.
“Do you really think it will work out this time? He didn’t want you the first time and you haven’t changed since then. Why would he want you now?”
She was getting sick to her stomach now. And dizzy. The stairs were never ending. She could see the foyer but she couldn’t reach it.
“Fine, I’ll answer for you. He won’t. He doesn’t. He will get bored of you again and your single minded obsession and he’ll break your heart all over again. He will leave you. Jordan is not worth going back to.”
She stopped at last. Mostly to catch her breath, partly to get Adam to shut the hell up. Also to stop going in circles and reassess the situation. She looked at Adam, who wasn’t actually following her apparently but was standing at the the top of stairs, shouting down at her. He was still in black and white, which seemed less out of place in the red and black dimly lit stairwell. His hair fell into his face as he looked down on her, it was the messiest he’d been since she’d met him. He was smiling, maybe he’d been smiling the entire time, maybe breaking her spirit, hurting her feelings was his goal, maybe it made him happy. She finally decided to respond.
“I’m not going back for him. I mean I’m not leaving to chase after Jordan. I’m going home. I’m getting the fuck out of this creepy ass place and back to normal ass shit. I’m just going home, back to my life, no matter what that is.”
He laughed at her. Just a little laugh at first that grew into a big maniacal laugh.
“Fine,” he said eventually. “Leave, if you want to. Or try to. Nobody really (ever instead?) leaves this place.”
He didn’t move. He was still at the top of the stairs. But something shifted and she was on solid flat ground. She looked around her, she was finally in the foyer, not stuck on the stairwell spiraling to nowhere. She wasted no more time, ran to the door, and pulled it open. She half expected to find the world disappeared, for the front step to drop out on to dead air, open space, surrounded only by stars, instead she found Jordan blocking her way. The front lawn and gravel driveway stretched out behind him but he was standing there stock still like a slab of stone. She could see her car just over his shoulder. But she couldn’t leave just yet.
“Jordan! Where have you been?”
“I was looking for you,” he said. But he wasn’t looking at her, he was looking past her.
She turned to double check, there was nothing behind her.
“What do you mean you were looking for me?”
“Where have you been?”
She actually couldn’t answer the question. Every time she thought she was in one place, she blinked and she was some place else. The closest she could answer was “I’ve been here.”
“I was looking for you,” he repeated.
She took a step back and he took a step in.
“Are you okay, Jordan?”
“Are you okay, Veronica?”
She took another step back and he took another step closer.
“You’re starting to scare me,” she said, even though she was beyond starting to and actually scared, terrified even.
“Scared of what? There’s nothing to be scared of, I’m here.”
“Yeah, I’m also starting to think, you aren’t really.”
“Don’t be scared. I’m here. Stay. Stay here with me.”
He still kept his eyes staring at something behind her. She looked back up at Adam, or at least to where he use to be. The top of the stairs was empty. When she turned back to Jordan it was Adam instead, grinning inanely at her.
“Stay here with me,” he said, in a deep and threatening voice.
She ran past him. Adam started laughing and kept laughing in peals ranging from deep and maniacal to hysterical and unhinged. And all of it made her hand stand on end.
She ran faster than she’d ever ran in her entire life. Hot puffs of her breath disappeared into the fog that was forming on the grounds around the mansion. By the time she reached the end of the lawn she could no longer see her bright blue Nissan (I think that’s what her car is). She kept pressing the alert (or whatever) button on the fob to be sure she was going in the right direction.
She ran and ran never looking back because she’d seen enough horror movies to know that it was when you looked back that you tripped, and when you fell, you got axed in the head the by the crazy maniac rich guy in the empty mansion that you shouldn’t have gone into in the first place.
By the time she reached her car, when she was literally touching it, she couldn’t see anything through the fog. She unlocked the doors by pushing the button from memory on the fob and she felt for the first door handle she could find. And that’s how she ended up in the backseat of her own damn car but at least there wasn’t any fog and she could see everything in the car clearly.
She climbed over the center console and pushed the start button of her car and let out a giant sigh when the engine actually roared to life. The blasting music gave her another start and she cursed as she turned it down. But overall, she felt much better. Despite the unnatural fog she was going to make it, she was leaving Greyson manor at last.
Chapter 20 (but you can never leave)
She plugged in her phone and turned it on. She ignored the dings of alerts that came with having that one desperate bar of service and scrolled through her screens until she found her GPS app. After a moment it informed her she wasn’t connected to any network so it couldn’t find her location or give her directions. She didn’t care, not really she didn’t need directions, she just needed something like a map to see where she was going.
She put the car in reverse and pushed her foot on the gas. The doors locked automatically. She sent out a silent thank you that Adam hadn’t chased her out and tried one of the car doors while she sat their stupidly preoccupied with her phone.
She put the car in drive and pushed down the gas pedal until her foot met the floor. She directed the car in her nearest remembrance of where the curve in the drive was and the turn out of it towards the road as her car tires spit out gravel and built up speed faster than she’d ever driven before.
The little blue car icon on the GPS map moved little by little in the direction she wanted. Both she and the GPS were basically guessing since it still hadn’t found a network and was just showing a map based on her last known location but she decided two guesses were better than one. She turn the steering wheel hard when both she and the GPS guessed they were at the road, the back of the car tried to keep spinning in the direction but as the tires gripped the road, the car got it’s act together and raced even faster forward.
The speedometer needle hovered over ninety. Ronny sent out another silent thank you that Greyson Manor, or hell, wasn’t built at the top of a curving mountain pass or anything else tricky to navigate in total blindness. The fog pressed in around her car like it had weight. It was grey and ghostly like Greyson Manor itself, like the empty map on her phone.
She kept pushing her little car to its limits even when she was sure she was away from Greyson Manner and not stuck in some Hellish loop driving away and circling back somehow. She sped on and on blindly like she was trying to race the fog. Really she just wanted to find the end of it, or a thin spot, anything where she could see or maybe pick up a satellite network so her GPS could see. Anything to feel more secure that she was in some kind of real world and not in Stephen King’s The Mist.
After 45 minutes of traveling straight in one direction she turned on the cruise control. Her car held a steady speed of around 100 mph while she stretched out her ankle and relaxed her grip on the steering wheel. She gave her up belief that she was going anywhere. The fog became no thicker or thinner. Nothing was changing anymore on her gps or cell phone. The little animated car looked like it was standing still. Her cell still had just one bar of cell service but not 3g, 4g, or satellite connection. Even her gas gauge stayed the same. She was almost believed she could let go of the wheel, recline in her sleep and take a nap if she wanted to but she couldn’t quite allow herself to do it. Still, it was plain to see, more or less, that she was going nowhere fast, literally.
Which is why, when she saw the bright double lights in front of her, two hours into to her escape from Greyson Manor, she did nothing. She didn’t slow, she didn’t move to the other side of the road, she didn’t take off the cruise control. She did nothing. Well, nothing except laugh. She laughed because even as she got closer to the lights, she didn’t believe anything was there. The lights got bigger and bigger but there was no car attached. Besides, the last time she crashed she ended up right back inside Greyson Manor, unharmed. So, she kept laughing and even pressed on the gas pedal pushing the car to 110, until she slammed into the white lights and right out of existence.
Keep Reading in Part 22
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