Chapter 2 Trapped and Taunted

All five stood just before the forest with unsure expressions. Charlotte really didn't want to be here but Greg and the other boys were stubbornly set on seeing what the house held. Slowly one by one they walked from view. The bushes and trees to the side of the path seemed to have grown even more since yesterday. The lush green leaves were hanging over as if trying to bar them from going on. Greg who was in the lead walking boldly forward brushing them away.

The dirt path continued up further from civilisation into the lifeless forest where the haunted house awaited them with whatever dwelled inside. Like before, the sudden disappearance of all the warmth in the air, made everyone shrink in silent surprise.

"You feel that?" Jess said looking around at everyone. Charlotte nodded with a worried expression.

"Don't worry about it… no doubt it's just due to the sunlight not getting in, because of the trees blocking it." James said laying the doubts to rest.

A sudden gush of wind blew across the trees making leaves fall around them. It was around this point last time when things started to get a little strange.

"There it is…" Greg said pointing at the base of a tree. Charlotte slowed rapidly with Jess by her side. James and Todd however were more intrigued than ever and went to investigate the beige spot.

"So this use to be a face?" Todd said chipping a small piece of bark.

"Use to be, being the right expression." Greg replied smiling although unable to shake the sudden feeling he was being watched.

Charlotte and Jess nervously stared at the thickest part of the forest to their left. They were sure something was in there. And that something was extremely hostile.

"I think it's time we left." Jess suggested smiling very weakly. Todd rolled his eyes and looked further up the path.

"We haven't looked at the best part yet." He stated smiling evilly. A very silent sound of something moving in the bush finally came to their ears. All three boys stopped instantly to look in its direction while the girls took refuge behind them.

Unsteadily Todd and James looked at each other. Intelligently the group of friends started to back away hoping they could leave without anything scary happen. Instantly they all stopped and widened their eyes in petrified fear. An eerie sound of gasping for breathe starting to sound. But not just in one place. The sound grew in masses. Soon it felt like they were surrounded by many malevolent creatures. Although the lush trees around them were blocking any view of what was creating them.

Jess let out a screech as she witnessed a black skeletal figure scuttle up a tree in her peripheral vision. It moved with such speed and the way it walked was beyond disturbing. The same style in the way a spider walks across its web. Creature after creature started crawling up the trees giving horrible rasping noises. The strange thing was none of the petrified friends could see them directly. They only seemed to exist in peripheral vision. Todd had enough…

"Let's get out of here!" He roared before wheeling around. To his horror a haunting cloaked creature stood behind them with an out-stretched skeletal hand.

It was completely black with menacing black eyes. A long dreary black cloak covered its body but by the look of its face it only consisted of bones and blackened skin. It was reaching for Charlotte looking almost hungry in its expression. Charlotte backed away into Greg's toned arms. Without thinking James grabbed a nearby rock. With force and the power of the adrenaline in his body, he threw the rock at the malevolent figure. Before the rock even reaching its intended target, the hooded creature vanished into small particles of black dust.

With the disappearance of the blackened hooded figure. All the surrounding skeletal creatures came into view. Slowly they crept forward as if trying to surround the group of friends. Their distorted rasping noises slowly grew in volume. Already their escape route was blocked by the loathsome creatures. The only way to get out was forward… past the haunted house. Charlotte was on her knees with a river-like stream of tears rolling down her cheeks. Todd was more angry than afraid. His fists were clenched with his own nails digging into his palm. James was confused and scared out of his mind. His fists were clenched also but more because he didn't know what to do. A small amount of sweat dwelled across his forehead and seemed to be accumulating as the black creatures neared.

Greg was scared like everyone else but with Charlotte so terrified, he decided it best to move. Jess was clutching Todd's arm in terror, her long nails had punctured many holes in his skin, even drawn blood. Slowly and in such a ghastly fashion the horrific creatures neared with out stretched skeletal hands. Long curved hook-like nails lived on the end of their skeletal fingers which were extremely intimidating.

"Fuck off!" Greg roared as he placed his arms around Charlotte's waist. In one big sweep he lifted her off the ground and carried her wedding style. Todd shook his head in disbelief as he backed towards them. Jess continuing to grip Todd's arm as she followed. James deciding it best to stay in a tightly packed group stuck close to them.

Greg turned around in a speedy manner and started jolting up the path towards the haunted house. Todd, who had enough of being clawed, raised Jess in the same wedding-style as followed Greg. James was close behind holding several rocks as his only protection. The power fear had on them, made it impossible to even turn around to look at the creatures pursuing them. The sound of hundreds of rasping and croaking noises sounded behind.

Like an omen to all evil in the world, the tall house stood before them with its door open like the maw of a horrid creature. Its translucent curtains blew around like apparitions while the gloomy darkness concealed every terror inside. The group of five had no intentions of investigating inside especially now that they knew for certain that horrors do live in this world. The rasping noises were still close behind and another daunting fact was there were rasping noises ahead. Greg came to a complete stop outside of the house still holding the shaking Charlotte with love. James and Todd followed suit. Jess still in Todd's arms was screaming like a maniac. More skeletal figures made themselves apparent, this time from their second escape route.

To the horror of the petrified friends, their escape routes were blocked. They were trapped with one possible way to escape the nearing demons. The haunted house. Its front door was partially unhinged while the freezing draft chattered it against the wood. Todd roared everyone to follow him as he bolted inside. Greg was hesitant as he stared in fright. Charlotte was struggling profusely now like puppies do when a person holds them. Before a nearby skeletal figure could grip his arm, Greg launched forward into the house. Had they escaped one evil and found a worse one?

Greg was horrified to see all his friends except Charlotte lying perfectly still on the ground in front of him. The unhinged door behind him miraculously fixed itself and slammed shut, causing small dust particles to fall from the ceiling. Charlotte accidentally elbowed Greg in the face in her struggle. Instantly he dropped her. A loud thud echoed through the house. Before Greg could recover a strange stout man appeared. His elderly hand shot forward and grasped Greg's forehead. Without realising it he screamed before a horrible sensation ran through his body. The last sound he heard was Charlotte high-pitched cries before everything fell into darkness.

"Greg! Greg wake up… Please don't be dead. Greg…" Charlotte's voice sounded in the distance. His own name echoed in his mind.

'Where am I? Why is it so cold? Why can't I open my eyes? Or my mouth?' The only things able to move were his lungs to breathe. The feeling running through his body was strange. It was like he didn't know how to open his mouth, or move his head. He felt limp and trapped inside his own body. Just like the prey of spider once injected with its venom.

'Charlotte help me…' Greg cried in his own mind. 'I… I don't want to die.' He sobbed within his own mind. He could feel warm tears rolling down his cheeks.

Meanwhile Charlotte the only one who seemed to be only one unaffected by the odd curse the stout man had inflicted. She was tied up with chains wrapped around her arms. She was dangling several inches from the ground. The stout man had cruelly set up two knives below her so if she wanted to support herself she'd slice open her bare feet. She and her friends were held up in some kind of cellar. The floor consisted of extremely worn bricks. Two lone torches partially lit the dank surroundings. It was an eerie place. It was filled with cobwebs and dust however Charlotte could tell all insects had recently fled or been exterminated.

"Greg!" Charlotte cried as the rusty knife stabbed into her heel.

Todd, James, Jess and Greg were also hanging from chains after the strange man had touched their forehead they seemed to unconscious. They still had colour to their cheeks showing they were alive. In the darkest part of the cellar, Charlotte could make out a straight staircase run up to the first floor. To her despair, she heard the sound of perfectly paced footsteps slowly proceeding down. Tap… Tap… Tap…

"Greg!" She cried in fear.

"Calm down my dear…" A harsh voice said. "He won't awake until I allow it." Two figures emerged into the dim light. One was the same hooded creature the friends had beheld earlier. The second was the stout man that had cursed them.

The hooded figure opened its mouth revealing blackened canine teeth as it neared her. Its skeletal arm was up and ready to grasp Charlotte's arm.

"Stop Wraith… These are gifts for Master Krit. I think he'll prefer their souls where they are." The stouter man stated as he hobbled forward. Instantly the wraith twisted around turning its back to Charlotte.

"She has the blood of Goddess Hynula. She must be destroyed." The wraith coarsely stated.

"You will know your place demon! Master Krit will deal with them. You are not to harm any of them until specifically told." The stout man argued.

Slowly he walked around the five chained students smiling.

"So young one… You have some special blood in you. The blood of an ancient Goddess. That would be why you don't feel the same effects as them." He said smiling. "So how's my hospitality?" He continued, smirking.

"Why are you doing this? Please let…" She started before getting interrupted.

"Because you should learn to stay out of one's property." He smiled.

"We had no choice! Things were chasing us." Charlotte cried with tears running down her cheeks.

"Oh you mean the shades? They're quite harmless. In fact they couldn't even hurt a fly… maybe scare one away… but definitely not hurt it." He laughed. "You see they have no physical capabilities. They are little more than souls. Just a bit more demonic…" He continued.

Suddenly all the surrounding friends awoke from their internal prison. All of them were screaming and crying in fear and anguish.

"Let us go!" Jess screeched in terror.

"Oh no that wouldn't be proper… I'll let you go though." The stout man said waving his hands. Instantly the chains holding Jess snapped open allowing her to fall to the ground. However two upright knives dwelled beneath. Everyone watched in horror as the knives speared through her feet rendering them useless. She screamed in pure agony before falling forward.

"You fucking bastard!" James roared in anger.

"You're sick!" Charlotte yelled feeling the strain in her arms.

The hooded wraith narrowed its eyes evilly while the stout man pulled Jess up by her hair.

"I think you maybe a perfect host for a little ritual of mine. Come along dear." The stout man stated before dragging her up the stairs.

"Death will grip you Descendant of Hynula." The wraith sneered evilly at Charlotte before gracefully gliding up the stairs. The torches dimmed until there was complete darkness.

"We've got to help her!" James cried in the gloom.

"I keep cutting my feet!" Todd yelled abruptly as the knives scrapped across his arches.

Soon after silence haunted the cellar as they heard Jess screaming somewhere above them. Suddenly Charlotte's chains started chattering.

"Charlotte are you alright?" Greg asking in a panicky tone.

"There's a small gap in one of the chains. I saw before… If I… If I can just pull myself higher…" Charlotte whispered. After many chatters of the chain, they heard a loud twanging noise. "I'm not strong enough… I've never been able to do a pull up." Charlotte cried in anguish. Greg gave a sigh while the other two boys looked furious.

"Fucking pull yourself up. Do you want Jess to die?" Todd roared in callous manner.

"Hey lay off Todd." Greg yelled. Soon after they heard Charlotte sobbing.

Once again Jess's screams echoed throughout the house and down into the cellar. Suddenly Todd's chains started rattling.

"Fuck!" He roared angrily. His chain was completely secure without any gaps.

"Charlotte pull yourself as high as you can, then drop." Greg suggested. "It may weaken the chain further. But keep your legs up."

"Ok…" They heard her say before the chain started rattling. Again there was loud twanging noise. "Arghh." They heard her squeal in pain as her wrists came to a sudden stop.

"Try again." James ordered bluntly.

She continued to do this several times ending up with extremely blistered wrists. Jess continued to echo her pain making them feel extremely uneasy.

"Charlotte stop!" Greg shouted as she continued to climb a small distance before dropping. One last twang sounded before the beautiful noise of metal busting echoed into their ears.

"You beauty!" Todd roared feeling a sudden glimmer of hope.

"I… What about the second chain? I still can't move." Charlotte cried. "Wait… I got an idea."

Slowly she felt around for a small busted pipe to her right. Her chain continued to rattle as she moved. Carefully and with a lot of effort she managed to wrap the remaining chain around it. The boys heard her struggle as the chain pulled against the pipe.

"What are you doing?" Greg asked curiously.

"Hold up…" She whispered as she pulled harder. Suddenly the top of the chain snapped as the bolts were ripped from the wall.

"How'd you…?" Todd started before pausing

"Blonde ingenuity." She said quickly before walking blindly forward.

Without warning the flames ignited on the torches. Again they heard footsteps descending. The boys looked in fear at Charlotte standing in the middle of the cellar. She didn't know what to do… there was no where to hide. The stout man reappeared looking pleased with himself. He paused in shock at seeing Charlotte free from her bonds.

"Goodness. We have an escape attempt do we. I'll sort that out." He smiled pointing at her legs. For a few seconds there was a dull pause. "Um… Your legs should be on fire…" He started. "Oh right… Hynula's blood." Suddenly Charlotte swung her arm from right to left. The long chain still attached to her arm whistled through the air and collided violently with his head. He paused for several seconds before falling to the ground with a dull thud.

To their fortune the key to the chains were resting his is scummy pocket.

"You legendry bitch!" James shouted in rejoice. "Quick unlock us." Quickly Charlotte went around unlocking them, while they made sure they wouldn't land on the sharp rusty knives. Greg and Charlotte held each other for several minutes lovingly. Todd and James however split the two up pointing at the stairs.

"Lets get Jess and get out of here." Todd ordered. Before ascending up the stairs both Todd and James grabbed a sharp rock on the brick floor.

Meanwhile Jess was kneeling on the ground with a bleeding wrist. Her hair was ruffled and splayed in all directions. A lone shadowed figure stood beside her looking menacing.

"There's not enough blood!" The figure hissed. "The necromancer Bulgurius will not revive with such a subtle amount. Demon! Fetch me, the Red-Darith." He continued. The hooded wraith appeared holding a gleaming red sword. Jess shivered in fear as the shadowed figure accepted the weapon before moving towards her.

"Please…" She pleaded in fear.

"Give more blood girl. Or ill take it from your neck." He said coarsely.

"Master Krit… May I suggest the others… perhaps the descendant of Hynula?" The wraith hissed suggestively.

The necromancer named Krit was an extremely intimidating figure. His eyes were pure yellow and gleamed on their own. His skin was green and flaky with small lumps. Grey strands of hair drooped down from his head revealing his almost crumbling skull.

"That will be all demon… Leave me." The necromancer ordered before running his hand over the sword. The wraith hissed before dispersing into black particles.

"No you do not bleed enough… I shall take it from your flesh." Krit stated.

"Please…" She cried again. With one quick flick, Krit removed her left hand causing a fresh burst of blood to enter a small engraved circle.

She let out a horrid screech of pure pain as her severed hand fell limp. Krit smiled evilly as the circle started to fill with blood.

"You have been useful… I'm sure Bulgurius will have many tasks for you." He said holding a large black tome. The writing in the tome was blood. The blood of its first owner and maker. The necromancer Bulgurius. The same necromancer who threatened the world fifty thousand years in the past. Jess was in too much pain to talk. Krit took the stump of her arm and pressed his hand against it. Instantly it burnt like an invisible flame was cooking her. She squealed in pain as the burning stopped the blood flow.

"Now witness the resurrection of the necromancer Bulgurius!" Krit roared in happiness. Subtly he dropped a torn page from the tome into the blooded circle.

Suddenly Krit reared up in pain and anger. He rolled his shoulders back as if something was speared into his spine. Jess stuttered in happiness as she beheld who was behind him. Todd and James had simultaneously stabbed him. While Charlotte and Greg looked onwards in shock. Angrily James grabbed the agonised necromancer and threw him to floor with strength.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" He roared angrily as he delivered a powerful blow to Krit's face.

"Todd, James!" Greg and Charlotte yelled simultaneously as a strange new figure emerged miraculously out of a small circle filled with blood.

The new figure grabbed both boys in each hand. The new necromancer was unbelievably tall and looked menacing. His face was a harsh black, as if he had been burnt long ago. His eyes however were a subtle blue… the only part of him that looked pleasant.

"What is this event I am beholding? Where am I and where is Garacius?" The necromancer said in a calm voice while the boys struggled in futile.

"Necromancer Bulgurius. I am Krit. A user and follower of your tome. I require your assistance in the resurrection of my lord." The fallen necromancer stated as he rouse.

The two necromancers stared at each for a prolonged time while the poor surprised students watched. Jess kneeled her way to Charlotte and Greg as blood dripped from the protruding holes in her feet.

"What of the underlings?" Bulgurius asked raising both.

"They are… unimportant. However we may require one of them in Lokken's resurrection." Krit announced. Bulgurius paused to look at struggling pair. Todd angrily sent his leg towards Bulgurius's knee. However it had no impact at all. It would have been similar to someone kicking a brick wall.

"Be still insolent whelp." Bulgurius roared making the whole house shudder. "Your slaves are untrained and not disciplined." He continued angrily.

Krit smiled evilly as Bulgurius threw both into the hallway near a second slight of stairs. Quickly Greg and Charlotte helped up the two fallen students.

"They are trespassers… Looters if you will." Krit said looking angrily at them.

"Let's get out of here." Jess pleaded as everyone got to their feet. Greg tried desperately to open the front door but it was completely jammed.

"Stop them." Bulgurius ordered pointing at them.

"Do not worry Necromancer… They can not escape this sanctuary. Might as well let them explore their tomb." Krit said calmly before turning.