The Sprawling Villa
by Arjoyita Roy
(Durgapur, West Bengal, India)
In the small town of Millfield, there was a house that everyone avoided. It was an old, dilapidated mansion that looked like a sprawling villa sporting gargoyles end of a windy driveway, surrounded by Yew trees. The locals whispered stories of the family that used to live there, tales of tragedy and horror that had taken place within these walls.
On a fateful evening, a group of teenagers decided to explore the house. They had heard the rumours and were curious to unwind the truth. They made their way up the driveway, hearts racing with excitement and fear. As they approached the house, they noticed something oddly specific. No birds were singing, no squirrels playing, and there was no sign of life. The universe tried to stop them from heading towards an impending disaster.
Undeterred, the teens pushed open the door and stepped inside. The air was thick with dust and musty. The floorboards creaked under their feet as they made their way through the darkened rooms. Suddenly, one of them let out a scream. They had found a room filled with old portraits, and one of them seemed to be staring back at them with cold, dead eyes.
As they continued to explore, they unraveled the eerie secrets coveting the family's tragic past. The diaries were scribbled with blood-stained notes and symbols they could barely comprehend. They witnessed certain embellishments carved
on the high-raised ceiling and a star on the floorboard.
It wasn't until they reached the basement that they commiserated about the ugly secrets that sheathed the dark walls. The flashlight hit went off. They could not come to terms with what they just saw. There were dozens of corpses piled haphazardly on top of one another.
Some were fresh, their eyes still open and staring at the ceiling as if they wanted to warn the kids. Others were nothing more than bones, their flesh long since decayed.
Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind them. They were trapped. In the darkness, they could hear a faint whispering, a chorus chanting something in a language they did not know, followed by slow indistinct footsteps coming closer and closer.
They huddled together, hearts pounding with terror as the footsteps grew louder. And then, they saw it. A figure emerged from the darkness, its eyes glowing red in the dim light. Death came to claim the souls of those who had dared to trespass on its domain.
They could barely bat an eyelid as they trembled in fear. Death reached out with a bony hand, its touch cold as ice. They were trapped, mouths sewn and struggling to release themselves. The door of the mansion creaked open to their relief. However, they found themselves confined to a dark corner with eyes looking for help.*****