Dark PlacesMature

Prologue

Jeff stared up at the rusty old ‘Danger – no entry’ sign decorating the old abandoned house – “how cliché” he thought to himself as he eyed the surrounding chicken-wire fence. He pushed his way through the smashed-in gate and made his way down the weed-laden gravel path. He hummed as He walked, in time to his feet pacing on the earth. Surely, no one believed the stories; there was no way that the 4 people had been killed here.

He stopped as he came to the heavy oak double door, took a deep breath and looked up.

“Here goes…” Jeff said to himself as he grasped the icy cold brass doorknob. He gave it a turn, nothing it was stuck fast with rust. Both hands now, he gave the handle a brisk twist as if he was throttling a chicken, and ‘crack’ the rusty old doorknob gave way. He gave the door a huge push with all his body weight, it took a good two or three tries, and eventually the door creaked open. A small whirlwind of dust and leaves danced in the hallway of the house, and a sliver of moonlight lit the old Victorian black and white tiled floor. Jeff crept inside.

Jeff had been dared to come to the house at night by one of his friends and he was never one to deny a dare. Little by little, he crept his way into the old musty hallway which smelt like a vile mixture of burnt sprouts and damp mildew. “So far so good” he thought to himself. He crept further into the house, and as he did he let out a gasp. The temperature had dramatically changed. What moments ago would have been considered a humid autumn evening had suddenly turned into a frosty winter’s night. Shivering, he pulled his fleece jacket tighter around him. All off a sudden there was an almighty “BANG!” Jeff bolted upright and quickly turned around as the door behind him slammed shut.

The house plunged into total darkness.

Chapter One

Four Years Earlier…

As he drove, the music filled the car like a hand filling a glove. As he sped along the deserted road, the music raced along the landscape in its wake, eager to turn the quiet, peaceful night into a rock concert. It was Meatloaf’s “A Bat out of hell” -- “How fitting”, thought Kyle.

Kyle got the call exactly a week ago. The phonecall was totally unexpected and out of the blue, but the news it delivered was of no surprise at all. She had lived to be a hundred and nine years old, so it was not surprising that one-day nature would take it’s toll and take his grandmother away from planet earth for good. The Funeral was to be tonight, at 9 minutes past nine. This was at his grandmother’s request, and very true to her style – she never was one to do things conventionally.

Kyle’s hands held the steering wheel loosely; almost lovingly caressing it as the car was expertly manoeuvred around the curves of the road. The needle of the speedometer was climbing higher and higher around the dial. The car was almost a blur as it howled its way through the night. Suddenly, Meatloaf stopped, to be replaced The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” – Kyle subconsciously sped the car up to coincide with the more energized music.

Kyle was seemingly unconcerned about his safety as he catapulted himself toward his destination on this dark and cold night. Why should he be? He had been granted near-immortality had he not? Well if the gene pool was anything to go by, a hundred and nine years was a good base to compare himself to.

Reaching down to the bag on the seat beside him, he pulled out the half-empty bottle of whisky and took a long swig of the fiery liquid. Rubbing his mouth with the back of his hand, he placed the bottle back in the bag, threw back his head and howled along with the music blaring from the speakers of his car radio.

Kyle loved music, music was the stuff of life. Music had the power to transform and invigorate. Listening to music and taking it to your heart could solve all the problems of life. All types of music had the power to heal and to strengthen: Heavy rock, punk rock, jazz, classical, rock and roll, middle of the road pop. For the right occasion, they all had the power to liberate. They were all crafted with the stuff of life; infused with life’s essence.

As the headlights played across the trees and bushes beside the road, it caught a rabbit in mid spring as it was about to make its dash across the road. The rabbit landed on the edge of the road and froze there as it stared transfixed into the bright lights as they rushed toward it. Kyle saw the frozen rabbit and briskly swerved the car away from it so that just missed it. Had it hit the car, its left front wheel would have hit the rabbit square on, giving it no chance to escape the oncoming vehicle of death.

“Phew, that was close”

Kyle whispered to himself, his heart still in his throat from the shock.

The stunned rabbit seemed to come to its senses and rapidly launched itself off the road and away from the growling metal monster. It skipped off on its merry way, thankful to be given the chance to live on for another day.

Kyle reached into his bag again and brought out the bottle. Holding it aloft, he saluted the rabbit. “Have a nice day my furry little friend”. And then as an afterthought, he reached back for the bottle, took one last swig and gave a less than enthusiastic tribute to his dead grandmother “…And thanks for everything, you old Bitch!”

He took a final chug from the bottle and let it drop back into the bag. Belching loudly, he wound down the window and stuck his head out and howled the most bloodthirsty sound imaginable. There was no one to hear his scream as he made his inexorable way to his morbid destination to fulfil his secret mission and to attain the ultimate prize his soul ached after. Money. And Bags of it! “Roll on the Will Reading” he laughed to himself, knowing that as of today, one way or another, Kyle Scott was going to be a very wealthy man indeed.

The song on the radio changed again. The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was now crying out to the night as he steered the car onwards like a heat-seeking missile toward its target.

As he pulled into the gravel drive, a lone voice spoke out.

“You have reached your destination” Announced the sat-nav.

The End

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