The First to be Reborn
Slowly the yellow eyed man began to thaw from his icy tomb. His large tome flipped open revealing thousands of pages written in the blood of an ancient human. The deceased yellow-eyed man had skin that was rotted completely green as if a potent poison had infected his body many years ago. Suddenly his head jerked and his hand released the black tome. His cracked lips opened and took a deep breathe of the musty surrounding air.
"The first of the necromancers live!" A steady voice said making the yellow-eyed man turn his cracked and almost crumbling head.
"Who are you?" He asked with narrowing eyes.
"I am your servant my lord. I am here to do your bidding." The other man answered bowing his head in respect.
"No one serves me… I serve Lokken… And I shall bring my master back." The peeling man sneered.
"As you wish…"
Chapter 1 The Friends
Just like always Gregory Vine was walking home with his good friend Charlotte Hunt, discussing the events of Bustade High School. Gregory was of African American origin and had some very stand out features. His nose was thick, flat and quite close to his brown eyes. His lower lip was much thicker than his upper and was slightly blistered. He had a hideous outstanding scar under right eye, right beside his flat nose. Strolling on his left side next to the busy street was Charlotte with her natural blonde hair stretching down her back. She had pure sky blue eyes and long eyelashes, her lips were slender and appealing. She had a thin model-like build that attracted most of the boys at Bustade.
Cars whizzed by as Greg and Charlotte merrily continued to talk away. They had both known each other since they were unsteady toddlers. Their relationship was too precious for them to suggest dating although it was blandly obvious that they fancied each other.
"I can't believe they still do sex education." Greg said thinking of the sex education lesson he had earlier at school. "Its' pointless now, we all know the risks. We're old enough to know what to do; they should spend the money on sports equipment or something constructive." Greg continued stating his opinion.
"What about Lucy?" Charlotte said thinking of a girl that left school because she got pregnant.
"Lucy? I'm sure she knew the risks. Any way she should have got her sex buddy to wear a rubber." Greg stated sticking with his opinion.
Before long the chatting pair reached the intersection, usually this is where they would split up however this time…
"Greg can you just walk me home this time? That haunted house gives me the creeps and yesterday I swore I saw something in the window." Charlotte asked in a slighter higher tone showing off her puppy eyes. Greg gave a sigh.
"Have you watched that program Mysteries With Jeremy?" Greg asked awaiting Charlottes' reply.
"I've heard of it." Charlotte said quickly.
"Well there's this guy. Weird looking guy. He goes around into these weird places like haunted houses and alien lairs and all that. When watching it you get all creped out and uh… stuff. But in the end it turns out that it's just some retarded guy who likes killing or scaring other people. I bet there's just some retard in there with nothing better to do than scare passers by." Greg explained trying to comfort Charlotte and to sound tough.
"Well I wouldn't want to be attacked by a retard either. Just come with me please." She pleaded showing her puppy eyes once again. Greg gave in and nodded then followed her down the road.
They continued down the new path with Charlotte trying to change the subject entirely. Within minutes they reached the entrance to the large grassy park. Charlotte would usually cut across the park and reach the path into a large bushy area. Within this bushy area was the eerie haunted house.
"We can just go around." Charlotte said stopping at the entrance to the park.
"That'll take ages. Don't worry about the house. I'll be here." Greg said with a smile revealing his stunningly white teeth. Charlotte returned it.
The walk across the park felt like a fairy tale as they both strolled happily side by side through the lush, short, green grass. The small children's playground to their right looked like a miniature ghost town with no one playing on it. It didn't take them long to reach the old gravel path that led into the very thick forest area… where the nerve-racking house dwelled in eerie silence. The feeling was immediate as Greg and Charlotte left the open. All the warmth around them quickly receded and was to be replaced by an odd cold atmosphere.
Greg stood tall as if nothing affected him; Charlotte however sank slightly as a chill ran down her spine making her quiver.
"You ok?" Greg asked quickly as he noticed her shiver. Charlotte turned to him with a weak smile.
"Yeah, urm… Just got a bit cold all of a sudden." Charlotte replied trying to keep her shivering lips still as she spoke. Greg slightly raised his left eyebrow but questioned no further. The time to walk through the forest keeping to the path at a leisurely pace took a little more than half an hour. Charlotte however was trying to move at a speed that was between a walk and a jog. Greg was tired after school and couldn't really be bothered moving faster than hedgehog forcing Charlotte to slow to the same pace.
The forest at first sight seemed like a very normal bush walk that a person could take their dogs for a walk with emergent trees sheltering from too much sunlight or rain. The canopy trees also provided shade allowing minimal amounts of sunlight through making the area Charlotte and Greg were walking through rather dark. One thing that made Greg feel uneasy was that there seemed to be absolutely no life within the forest apart from Charlotte and himself. No small bird tweets or cicada cries, just an unnerving silence in a cold atmosphere. The trees however were lush with large outstanding green leaves and healthy sprawling roots. The ground to the sides of the path was cracked and dry and housed only some of the simplest of the plant species like algae. The further the pair moved into the forest the weirder it seemed. Trees growing out of very dry ground were the first indication of odd happenings. Absolutely no rustling of the leaves in the slight breeze was another, plus no grass of any type anywhere within the forest.
Greg realised the forest had changed a lot since he had last been here which was about a month earlier. The trees were taller, looking much healthier even the ones that had been ring barked along time ago. All the grass had disappeared, the usual sound of animal life and rustling leaves had also vanished. Greg shook a worrying thought from his mind and tried to remain looking tough in front of Charlotte, who looked terrified now and was ghostly pale.
"Maybe going around was a good idea." Greg said with a weak smile looking at Charlotte reaction. She however wasn't in the mood for jokes.
They both knew that the dreaded haunted house wasn't far, if they walked on further around a bend in the path and past even more trees it would come into view. Greg had the horrible feeling he was being watched somewhere behind him. He continued to walk but turned around to have a quick glance around in case there really was something looking at him. Suddenly Charlotte screamed in a horribly high pitched tone. Greg jumped up in shock with his heart beating faster than it had ever been before. Charlotte was frozen in fear with her eyes transfixed on one of the trees to the right of them. Greg quickly turned his gaze its way also and went ghostly pale.
At the height of where a human's head should be, a rather disturbing face appeared on the truck of the tree. Greg's eyes were wide open and seemed unable to move from the terrifying picture imprinted on the bark. Greg at first thought it maybe a random coincidence and the picture maybe something of nature. However that was quickly stricken from his mind as the eyes of the gruesome face started moving then stopped, looking directly at them. Charlotte's knees started wobbling and within seconds they gave way causing her to fall onto them. Soon after, the brown bark coloured face opened its mouth to reveal horrific lines of jagged canine teeth. Suddenly a memory hit Greg causing him to think twice about the face.
On the popular program Mysteries With Jeremy, there was something along the same lines as what Greg was seeing. Jeremy the main host of the show had witnessed an odd face emerge from the wall of one of the houses he was investigating. It stared at him and made odd choking noises until Jeremy slammed his famous sword through the middle of it. On the other side was a heap of mechanical equipment causing the features of the face to move… Greg was still unsure and was definitely terrified of the face but Charlotte was looking as if her heart may stop causing him to somehow get the courage to something.
Unsteadily and after many second and third thoughts Greg slowly walked forward with his fists clenched. One step closer… two steps, three. Until finally he was a foot away from it, staring straight into its evil, angry looking eyes.
"Greg, get away… You can't see it. Get away from there please." Charlotte cried out in absolute terror and biting her own tongue in the process. Greg ignored her but was still weary of the demonic face. Without another pause Greg backed away, only to come back at a stunning speed with his foot flying in its direction.
The collision was violent and large pieces of the face were chipped off in all directions, the impact on Greg's foot caused him to be sent reeling backwards like a tennis ball does when it hits a brick wall. The face now looked more like the face of a poorly done plastic surgery patient or an experienced rugby player.
"Greg, run… Run. Damn it, run." Charlotte cried out in an even more horrified voice. Greg got up with pain in his leg. Again he made an attack at the damaged face causing even more pieces of bark to fly off. It was indistinguishable now, looking more like the starting work of ring barking. Greg turned around to look at Charlotte who was still on her knees with tears streaming down her face. Suddenly something caught the side of Greg's eye. It was to the right of Charlotte near a very large bush which was sprawling up the side of a tree.
Greg quickly ran back to the grief stricken Charlotte who was still on her now bleeding knees. There was nothing to be seen where Greg thought he saw something. If there however was something still around that area Greg swore it was jet black and moved unbelievably fast. Charlotte looked up at Greg from her slouched position with her still teary eyes.
"Greg, we have to get out of here now." Charlotte said in a very high pitch tone. Greg lowered himself to her level and grabbed her arms.
"Yep, come on." Greg said quietly as he raised her to her feet.
For the next seventeen minutes they ran non stop through the increasingly worrying forest stumbling many times as they went. They past the haunted house quickly, not daring to look up at the gloomy windows. Both Greg and Charlotte had the horrible feeling that something was on their left in the thickest of the bush and was following them. This only made them travel at a faster pace. Finally they felt the horrible cold atmosphere vanish and was replaced by nice warm air. The forest path opened into a road. The forest became thinner until finally all the main trees were far behind them. Charlotte was still pale looking unbelievably scared which bothered Greg immensely. Both were puffing uncontrollably but looked grateful to be out of the terrifying forest.
Their pace had slowed to a fast walk as they now felt safe although the occasional shiver would run down their backs as they remembered the face staring at them.
"That was the weirdest thing ever." Greg said suddenly trying to sound as if he wasn't that scared of the face. Charlotte quickly turned to Greg looking slightly angry.
"Greg, I told you to get away from that thing. If you just thought of common sense for once instead of your damn pride then maybe we'd have gotten through there without being chased." Charlotte yelled with watery eyes. Greg stopped walking and turned to face her.
"You couldn't move! You were frozen in fear. I had to do something." Greg yelled back in a defensive tone. Charlotte turned away contemplating something in her mind.
"I'm sorry… I'll ah… tell you something when you next come over or when I stay the night at your house." Charlotte said in a now subdued voice.
Greg fall silent at once and both Charlotte and him were quiet as they walked onwards to Charlotte's house. They reached a second intersection and the road became much livelier with cars whizzing past every few seconds.
"You can stay at my house until mum gets back. She'll give you a lift home." Charlotte offered looking down at her shoes in a kind of upset mood. Greg was also looking at his shoes but his mind wasn't with him. He was busy remembering the demonic shaped face made of the tree bark which leered at them so unpleasantly. After two strong kicks to the face which had chipped off all of the bark, Greg saw no signs of foul play like mechanical equipment. There was just the pale beige colour of the trunk behind the sinister face. Horrible thoughts filled his mind.
'Could that be the real thing?' Was one of many troublesome questions invading his mind.
Charlotte looked up wondering why Greg didn't reply. It was obvious both were very shaken and maybe talking wouldn't be the best action to take after the traumatic experience.
"I'll be fine… Uh thanks though." Greg suddenly replied some seconds after the offer. Charlotte looked back down at her feet and for the rest of the short journey they were silent contemplating what exactly they saw. Greg remembered something Charlotte had told him before when he confronted the dreaded face.
'You can't see it…' Were the exact words she used. 'Couldn't see what? Was there something else by the face that he hadn't noticed?" The questions remained well after he fare welled Charlotte and was heading back on his own.
After a long debate in his head he decided no odd happening would scare him off. He was going to be like his role model Jeremy Lucas Taylor. Without another thought he headed back in the direction of the gloomy forest in a bold stride. Greg looked down at his left wrist to read the time on his quite expensive digital watch. The time was seven past four, not even close to the sunset which made Greg feel even braver. The intersection came quickly with the traffic lights directing cars and trucks in all directions. However no cars seemed to be turning into the road that led back in the direction of the forest. Greg took a left and knew his pride wouldn't let him turn back now and so he continued bravely… foolishly.
Far in the distance were the emergent trees sticking out like many sore thumbs. This didn't seem to faze Greg, only make him more determined to continue onwards. It seemed to take forever for him to reach it. Remembering time went so quickly when he was running away from it however now it seemed time was slowing as if to warn him away. Greg shook the thought off and replaced them with the thought of being on a television show with his role model investigating even more terrifying places. Greg looked back up at the now much closer trees and the start of the gravel path. It seemed only a few days ago he was in here building forts out of sticks with Charlotte and another friend from school even though that was some years in the past.
As soon as his foot touched the gravel path the cold sensation retook affect giving Greg an uncomfortable chill. Immediately he had the feeling he was being watched and was unable to shake the thought. His pace quickened and the hairs on the back of his neck starting to stick up like the emergent trees. Suddenly to his right something whipped past. He instantly twisted his body to face the possible threat however nothing was there. All the once courageous images he had thought before was now gone and replaced with the same fear he experienced before.
It wasn't long before Greg was in front of the same house before. It stood still with trees by its side like guardians. He moved his eyes from the door to the windows. Inside was too dark to see; only the faded beige curtains could be seen. Every so often he twisted his neck around to satisfy the on-going feeling that someone was behind him. He had the strangest feeling while in front of the eerie house. He was both repelled and attracted to the house, as if one side of him wanted to investigate inside and another wanted to run non-stop until he left the lifeless forest.
After several minutes Greg decided it'd be best to leave. He wasn't as courageous as he once thought however next time he'd bring some friends to give him that extra feeling of security. He turned his back on the house and began power-walking down the path with his ears sensing any tiny sound. He turned around one last time to look at the house and the windows. An unbelievably freaky sight attacked his eyes as he looked up at the windows. A grey haired man with a lot of bald patches and almost pure yellow eyes started loathsomely down at Greg keeping completely still. At that exact moment the sound of thousands of terrified screams invaded his ears causing him to fall to the ground in surprise and complete fear.
Greg arose quickly; the screaming had gone as fast as it had come. The scarred face was also gone in the window but its image was burnt in Greg's mind. As quickly as he could, Greg ran as fast as he could towards the exit of the forest, shaking non-stop and with tears running down his cheeks. He didn't notice the blood trickling down his elbows where he landed. His only thought was to get home.
Angelina Vine returned home at six pm from her tiresome job with the nice thought of having a relaxing bath. She got out of her smooth white car and slowly headed to the front door. It was unusually quiet as she entered; usually there was the sound of rap music coming from Greg's room. Angelina strolled inside and walked outside Greg's room which was quite close to the front door.
The sight that greeted her was one no mother would ever want to experience. Greg was tucked in the very corner of his room with his arms wrapped around his legs. He was rocking slightly just like some of the mental patients she has to care for at the hospital. As quickly as she could she ran to her highly distressed son.
"Greg! What's wrong honey…? Speak to me… Greg you're scaring me, what's wrong!?" She cried nervously.
She continued to kneel next to him stroking his hair and arms lovingly, all the while hoping he would reply. Even a squeak or muffled sound would suffice but he remained still for a so long. Eventually his mouth opened like a fish out of water but no words came. Repeatedly his mouth opened and closed. She stayed there several minutes keeping him company. She had never seen her usually bright wide-eyed son so petrified, his skin was pale, his body shaking slightly, his eyes were motionless as if transfixed on something and his teeth were clenched together with extreme force. Finally she decided it'd be best to call the doctor.
Charlotte was dropped off at the main gate to Bustade High School expecting to see Greg somewhere around. She waited near the school's welcome sign patiently for several minutes until someone greeted her. However it wasn't Greg, it was another close friend.
"Hey Charlotte. Better hurry school's starting soon." Her friend said who was named Jess.
"Hi Jess. I was just waiting for Greg, something happened yesterday… I'll tell you at morning tea." Charlotte said with a grimace.
"Uh… ok." Jess said with an interested expression
The time passed as Charlotte attended her first classes; she was worried when noticing Greg didn't attend any of the classes she was in. Although Greg's usual seat was taken up by hopeful boys trying to get close to Charlotte. Eventually the bell rang indicating morning tea. Charlotte was quick to get outside and meet Jess and her other friends at their usual hangout place.
With Jess were two boys busy chatting away. Charlotte quickly got up to them breathing a little faster than usual.
"Hi everyone." Charlotte said smiling weakly. A boy named James and another named Todd simultaneously greeted her. Jess turned smiling to her.
"Hello again… I've been curious in all my classes, what happened yesterday with you and Greg?" Jess said with an excited tone. James and Todd awaited Charlotte's story also with curiosity
"Yesterday, Greg and I were walking home like usual. We went through that creepy forest but this time… it was really weird. On one of the trees a really freaky face appeared and started staring at us. Greg tried to be all heroic and chipped off the bark that made the appearance of the face… but that's not what really bothered me… While he was attacking it there was black mist… black stuff manifesting itself above his head. After that we just ran… ran like crazy." Charlotte explained to the best of her ability. "After we got to my house he said he'd go off alone…" She added with a worried tone. James, Jess and Todd looked at each other in surprise.
Charlotte took a seat on a nearby bench followed by Jess then the guys. They watched her closely with a worried expression.
"I've heard some weird things about that forest especially that house." Todd said scratching his head.
"I'm just scared he went back in there alone." Charlotte cried out.
"Let's go after school today. I don't think Greg's at school so we can go to his house then to the forest." James said enthusiastically. All four agreed they'd check out the haunted forest and house after visiting Greg at his house after school.
The rest of the day went quickly, Jess had told many people where she was going with her friends just in case the forest was dangerous and they may need rescuing. Charlotte spent her whole last class staring at the clock wishing time went faster. After the end of school bell went the four friends met at the school gates looking half excited, half worried.
"Alright Greg's house isn't that far. I texted him earlier but got no reply." James said looking back down at his mobile phone. Charlotte gave a small grimace but kept silent.
The group started making their way talking as they went to make the trip faster. Each person seemed excited with a hint of nervousness in their eyes. James was a large, broad teenager; he played football which was the main contributor to why he was so muscled. He had short spiked brown hair that was fashionable in the late ninety's. He had green piercing eyes that set him up as a warrior-looking person.
Jess was a stocky short girl but was still rather attractive. She had dark blue eyes and long blonde hair that waved in the soft wind as she strolled towards Greg's house. She wore low cut jeans and a tight shirt that drove most guys at her school wild. Occasionally when not wearing clear contact lens, she had small glasses to read fine print in books.
Todd was the tallest of the group, he had extremely muscled legs as he was an athlete and often participated in any of the school's running competitions. His eyes were a calming sky blue that attracted most of the girls at his schools. His hair was a light brown and was quite long for a guy. He wore a bland white shirt and blue jeans held up by a black belt.
It took sometime for the group of friends to arrive at Greg's house. The house was located right next to a busy street where cars were passing every few seconds. His house was painted a gleaming white with a green roof. The garage door near the front entrance of the house had a different shade of white, more like beige. It was blandly obvious that Greg or his mother preferred the colour white and all its different shades.
Charlotte looked at the door in front of her while the others waited patiently behind. A doorbell which was the only other colour than white was positioned just to the right of a silver handle. Hoping the person to answer was Greg, she pressed the red button softly. A cheerful chime echoed inside the house. Following sounded like a rush of footsteps making their way towards the patient friends. Charlotte noticed a flicker of light through the eyeglass centrally placed on the door.
Soon after the figure of Greg's mother Angelina Vine replaced the whitened door. She looked rather stressed or had just woken up. Her eyes were puffy with an underlining blue colour. Her usually smooth straight hair was also different. Curled up and frizzy.
"Hello Mrs Vine." Charlotte greeted politely.
"Good afternoon Charlotte…" She returned "And hello all." She said noticing the others behind Charlotte. Everyone else returned the greeting before the pressing matters were issued.
"Is Greg home Mrs Vine?" Charlotte asked tilting her head slightly to the side. Angelina paused for a second while turning her head to stare blankly into her own house.
"He is but… he's not well." She said with a complexity of emotions shown in her expression.
Charlotte turned briefly to stare at her friends who didn't like the way Mrs Vine delivered the answer.
"Would it be alright if we saw him?" Charlotte asked as Jess walked up beside her. Once again Angelina paused to think.
"I suppose it couldn't hurt but he's acting a little strange I must warn you." She finally said moving to the side.
They all knew where Greg's bedroom was. They had come over tons of times but usually in must happier times. They were shocked when they saw him on his bed. Angelina being the unobtrusive type of mother allowed Greg and his friends to chat alone. Greg's eyes lightened slightly when he realised who they were. His bedroom was like some kind of music studio. He had posters, various musical instruments lying around and a stout radio/CD player/tape player which was currently tuned into his favourite radio station.
Charlotte moved a little closer with a worried expression at seeing Greg's appearance. His thick black hair was splayed in all directions allowing sight of a few bald patches. His eyes were extremely bloodshot as if he hadn't blinked for several hours. Also a noticeable difference was his skin, which was much paler.
"Greg what… what's wrong?" Charlotte asked although she had a slight idea. Greg looked into her eyes making her turn away.
"That house… It's… got something in it. Something… evil." Greg announced making everyone look at each other uncomfortably.
So Greg retold the story of what happened the day earlier making his audience think twice about venturing there.
"But why Greg? Why did you go back through there? Especially after what we saw." Charlotte asked sounding slightly shaken.
"Jeremy Taylor could do it." Greg retorted as if gaining some more confidence.
"Oh my god Greg! You could have been killed…" Jess exclaimed in annoyance. Greg looked at the ground memorising the screams and the face.
Todd stretched impatiently while James looked at the ground portraying the image Greg had described earlier.
"So I guess going there is out of the question?" Todd asked looking at James then Jess. Charlotte whipped around looking angrily while Greg's eyes opened a little.
"Go there what?" Greg said sitting up.
"Don't worry…" Charlotte finalised continuing to give the evils to Todd.
"We were going there after we got you. But now we're not." Jess explained. Suddenly what seemed to be the most perfect timing in the world, the radio host started talking about the coming up show of Mysteries With Jeremy.
"The fearless bald man we've all come to love has survived yet another creepy excursion this time into the proclaimed horror house. Jeremy Taylor's show is coming this Wednesday at eight thirty on channel two. I'll tell you this one is extremely exciting from what I've heard. And now onto our top songs of the week…" The host said enthusiastically.
Everyone paused to listen. Afterwards there was a dull silence except for tuneful music.
"Alright let's go then." Greg said making up his mind. Everyone looked at him in surprise.
"No Greg… its way to dangerous." Charlotte pronounced in a shocked voice.
"Look I'm going back there… you can either come with me or… I'll go alone." Greg said leaping off the bed.
"I'm in." Todd said quickly followed by James. Charlotte and Jess looked at each other in annoyance. The three guys started making there way towards the door.
"Damn male egos!" Jess exclaimed angrily before following them out.