A/N: Well, at first I was going to make this a Label This story, and then I realised, wait, this is going to be too completely fucked to be stuffed in a forgettable collection. So this is a story of terror in familiarity, and the horrific beginning to a legacy that will refuse to die, even when those involved are long dead... Close your door and turn off your lights, and take pride in the fact that no haunting has ever been like this; If you can call this a haunting.
I've noticed I'm kind of revolving my actual stories around two worlds. That of Darkford County, and that of Terras. I have a feeling both of these worlds will have light shed on them that should probably be left off. This story will be a perfect example of things that a county would love to forget. And maybe this is a third world. A third twisted world inside of Darkford county, the world inside The Summer House.
The subtle rumbling in your walls; Pipes, or something more sinister... The falling of tiles in your bathroom; Aging adhesive? Or a sign of demonic entry, an attempt by a hideous force that just won't die, until it takes the blood of thousands with it. You make the call, and remember to check behind the shower curtains. This takes place in the past, and is going to set the stage for future stories, shorts and longer.
The background for the area may not be completely clarified in this story. DON'T WORRY. It will, eventually. This isn't the last you'll see of The Summer House. I can guarantee it.
A Tale of Darkford's Darkest Residence, The Summer House:
The most he could do was ignore the rumbling of the pipes in the walls. They never shut up, especially at night. They would grind, and vibrate until the sun rose over the rooftops again and Daniel Crowell had gotten maybe two hours of sleep. He secretly thanked God it was summer, and that he didn't have school to worry about. July was his favourite month, with the whole Summer holidays stretched out before him. At 12 years old, he had very little to worry about.
So Monday morning (If you could call it morning) He was jarred awake at four, by the pipes coming to a climactic clamor, and falling silent. "Dammit..." He muttered, knowing sleep would now be impossible. He liked swearing, it made him feel like one of the high school kids that used to hang out at the park. Swearing to himself made him feel even bigger, like his Dad trying to build something.
His Dad had built the house. It was his pride and joy, and he let anyone who would listen know. They had won the lottery, and his Dad had pursued his dream of construction big-shot. He had dreams of building the Crowell family a home of their own for years. Daniel loved the house, but loathed it at the same time. The pipes for one... Their ceaseless rumbling and quaking.
It had taken about a year for his determined father to actually complete the house, but it had been worth it. Out in the wilderness of Darkford County, it was inconvenenient for the help, and they had virtually no neighbors. But it was a time for new beginnings: It was 1970 and things could only expand for Canada. So James Crowell had taken full advantage of the economic uprising. He even named the stupid place.
"Darkford Manor." Little did he know that was not the name that would be remembered. Daniel sighed and placed a pillow over his head. He knew sleep would not come easy, but he could be valiant in the attempt. Tonight was actually different. After a numb, unthinking state of nothingness, sleep finally crept in. As it always does, unnoticed until it's too late. Before he knew it he was awake again. He sat up in his bed and stretched. He was aware of how silent the house was today. His parents must be sleeping in.
So he got up and strode to the bathroom across the soft carpeted hall. He took in the vivid details of his home. The walls were mostly all a soothing blue, and painted just so to look a bit like clouds. His mother had done all the paint work; It was a passion of hers. A few boxes were still lurking in corners, as the move had occured only last week. He cursed himself for being wide awake. It was summer, and here he was wandering about at what had to be six.
So he pushed open the door to the bathroom and was greeted by twenty grinning corpses. He had never seen a dead body before: Not even on TV. His mother did not allow violent TV. These were more than dead. Their skin was browning and pulled tight over perpetually grinning faces. They were clad in black robes, and worst of all, they were standing. He tried to scream, but dry hands rustled about his face from behind and held tight, and he could do nothing but watch as they crowded about him. They were so close he could hear the scrape of the dried flesh over the brittle bones beneath. They seemed so eager, so unnaturally excited to see him...
The blackness was accompanied by the smell of burning flesh and a wave of malicious whispers.
He jerked awake with the dream vivid in his mind. He could still visualize those black clad corpses crowding about in eager festivity. He hadn't had a nightmare in a while, and when he did they were usually bad. But that was beyond bad. That had been so real as to be ridiculous. Their hollow eyes had been aglow with crimson light, and they had reeked of malice and hate. He looked out the window to see the sun hanging over everything, and checked the clock beside his bed. It was 8. He breathed a sigh of relief and sat up.
To his irritation the mirror was fogged up. He could hear the shower running in the other room. His mother had obviously forgot to open the window and the steam was travelling through. He glanced at the mirror again and took note of the handprints. She had been in his room, as well. Undoubtedly trying to get some dirt on him, or something. "Mom!" He hollered, not bothering to hide his agitation. Why should he? He was at the age his mother should just butt out of his business.
"What is it, Dan?" He heard her call from the bathroom. The dream lurched back, and faded as quickly as it came. Daniel would not remember the dream for a while now. He strode to the bathroom door and leaned against the wall beside it.
"Why were you in my room?" He inquired, eager to hear her excuses, and her embarassed tone. Well, he wasn't eager, neccasarily. Expectant, more so.
He was surprised by her flat out denial. "I wasn't in your room, honey! I didn't want to wake you up!" He snorted, but he was sure she didn't hear him. He dropped the subject. Why spoil what was going to be a fantastic week with such a stupid thing?
So he trooped down the soft blue carpeted stairs and into the cabin-themed kitchen. Most of the downstairs was a cabin theme, while the upstairs held a soft-blue aura. There was no denying it was an amazing house, but the apartment back in Darkhurst was where he grew up, and he hated being wrenched away from it like this. It was an out of the way place, most definitely. It was on a small gravel road called Summer Drive. The name summed up the wonderful little road rather well. There were a lot of trees and it all looked very natural.
There had been a village there a long time ago, but it had burned down. The town was called Summers, surprisingly enough. That was the extent of Daniel's knowledge. Nor did he care, it was an amazing property, and a beautiful place to sit and think. Again, he had to admit, he would rather sit and think back home. He was allowed to go into Darkhurst for Monday and Tuesday to stay with his friend, Taylor Forelli. He had known Taylor since they were in first grade. They weren't super best friends, but they had a decent relationship.
Forelli had always been a bit wild, while Daniel was quiet and serious. Taylor liked swimming and football, Daniel loved thinking and reading. For some reason they just bonded. The opposites were endless, nonetheless. Daniel liked science, and Taylor was obsessed with the supernatural. So he had been forced to leave Taylor behind upon uncertain terms, but they were both a little thrilled at being able to see each other again.
"Up early, kid." His father tipped a wave to him from the kitchen table. "Thought you'd sleep in. That's what I used to do. I figured, Hell, another summer day is another day closer to school again. So I made the most of it in dreamland." James smiled to himself and rubbed his hand through his blond stubble whilst simultaneously taking a drink of coffee. "Big day, ahead of you, isn't it?"
"Yup." Daniel agreed unenthusiastically and plopped down in a chair. He reached for the phone, as he had been assured by both his parents to clarify the weeks plans as soon as possible. "Dad, you need to get those pipes fixed..." He muttered, not sure if it would anger his father or not.
To his surprise his father laughed. "What do you mean, Son? They work fine."
"No, not how they work..." Daniel sighed. "They wake me up at night. They keep... Rumbling. Shaking. I can't stand it."
His father chuckled again, a smile breaking out on his face. "Nice try, Dan. I built this place, it's sturdy as anything. Besides, I'm a light sleeper, and I can sleep a full 8 hours without incident. Now, go get showered up before I give you a ride to town."
Daniel glared at his father, who remained oblivious to his son's angry stare, and continued to glance at his newspaper. The boy trudged up the stairs with exaggerated force to see his mother exiting the bathroom. "Oh, honey! There should be enough hot water left for a bath, I wasn't in there long. Take your time, there's no hurry." She explained, brushing her strawberry blonde hair.
He smiled and nodded to his mother as he entered the suite-like bathroom. The floors and part of the walls were covered in exquisite blue tiles his dream never recurred in his head as he twisted the hot water tap. An instant wave of steam greeted him and he adjusted the cold water valve to level out the temperature. He was eager to finish so that he could see his hometown once again.
Daniel slipped into the warm water and shut his eyes. It was very relaxing, he had that to say. He had always been better about baths, even as a young child. That odd resistance to all things cleanly that accompanied most youngsters had never been a problem for the Crowell family. He admitted it, he loved the house. He could still see his friends, and on top of that he was in a mansion of a residence.
His eyes flew open to see the source of the noise. An instant of pure fear jolted through his body like agony. He sat up and noted a single tile nestled at the bottom of the tub. He looked up and was startled to see it had dropped from quite a ways up. "Ah, no!" Daniel panicked. His Dad would be mortified at the damages done to the beautiful bathroom, he had to try fix it. He fastened his hands about the tile, wincing at the sticky backside of it, and paused. He had thought he heard a sound, like an intake of breath. It came from the walls.
He heard the scraping next, and looked up to see a hail of about ten more tiles coming down upon him. He ducked his head and covered his face as they all struck the water and drifted to the bottom. He sighed in relief and looked up. A scream barely gurgled in his throat. The tiles had fallen, to form a pattern in the wall that resembled an eye. Without wasting a second Daniel Crowell hopped from the tub and reached for a towel. His foot scraped one of the submerged plates and flipped it over, and he glanced down.
Scrawled in red upon the back was the ominous inscription: "Thank you for the home."
A/N: And that's all your getting for now. Yes, I know. I'm evil. Thinking about it, I could leave this as a tantalizing oneshot, but I'm hardly that evil. I mean, where's the gore? Don't worry, I won't dissapoint. Or at least, not intentionally. Questions? Wait. They'll be answered. That's the whole point. Thanks for staying with me so far. Till next time.