PHOBIA

Genre: Horror

Rating: T

Authoress: Near Kitten

Copyright: Many Characters in this story may not belong to me but to fellow writers here on fictionpress. Should you like to use these characters, you must first ask permission of the rightful owner(s)

Notes: Hello and welcome to my new story where you readers can have the opportunity to have a short story written for you... a horror story. [insert manical laughter here] The stories written are to be based on fear and the human mind and I will try my very hardest to create a story that sends shivers down your spines. You can choose to have your tale written in first or third person and create the character that tells it. If you wish to submit a character and something to fear, simply review with the character skeleton on my profile...

PHOBIA

Enter, relax, wait.

A huge crumbling mansion stands ahead of you. The stench of rot and decay pollutes the air that seems to cling to your nose and refuses to let go.

Each time you step forward, the scent becomes much more intense, almost as though each stone that creates the moldy gravel path is a pod, ripe and ready to burst with a fragrance surely no-one could enjoy, every time you step on one.

The ground crunches under your feet and the winds howl, wandering through the thick array of trees, overgrown shrubbery and tangled dry grass surrounding the mansion. Though you have thought of this many times before, your thoughts turn to the age of this mansion's resident. You start to wonder how many years ago it was they saw the sunlight on their garden, the scent of freshly cut grass drifting lazily to their nose as they inhaled the soft summer air. You begin to think of how scruffy and abandoned this house appears next to every other neat and tidy building in the surrounding area, even the scruffiest of lawns would appear to be the best kept in the street compared to this untidy mess.

You are taken from your thoughts as you reach the front door. It, like the rest of the building, is crumbling and rotten, the wood seeming to have once been infested with termites but even the termites grew tired of this wood. The smell emitted from the great wooden expanse now makes you wretch and hold your breath as you reach for the huge door knocker.

The knocker is a cold and heavy peice of brass, it's once no-doubt beautiful, complex design now worn away from years of exposure to heavy rain or scorching sunlight. You grasp the handle, half of your mind expecting the whole thing to crumble away or drop from the rotten wood behind it but it stays.

You hear the knocks echo through myriads of hallways, bouncing off walls and doors, the sound of the knocks surprisingly hollow and light, not the heavy clunks you expected.

You release your grip on the brass and take one careful step back. There is nothing for you to fear when stepping back as there is no wooden or stone platform the door opens out on to, yet you are used to this design and your instinct tells you to make such an action.

As you have seen countless times before, the door swings open, opening in towards the house almost as though it wished to be as welcoming as it could. You don't expect to see anyone or anything awaiting your arrival as the massive wooden door reveals the interior of the great building, so you step inside and await the door lock's metallic clunk as it swings shut lazily behind you.

Though the inside is dark and gloomy, it's design gothic and eerie, it seems almost warm and welcoming. The soft sense of familiarity drifts over you as you take a step forward.

Directly ahead of you lies a grand staircase, the twisting banisters black and tall, covered in a layer of thick dust, cobwebs hang from the ceiling and reaching down to them almost decoratively. Your insides squirm suddenly, the urge to explore up those wooden steps nibbling at you. But you know you must never do such a thing.

Next to these stairs is a passageway, this is the path you must take. You move slowly, your gaze drifting over walls and surfaces you have seen so many times before, yet still they intrigue you as much as the first time you saw them.

The walls are murky yellow with age with picture frames hanging forgotten across them, their glass encased memories completely covered in a thick layer of grey dust.

Dragging your eyes away from the frames you reach another door, this one painted white, though it is peeling quite dreadfully. This door shows signs of use as it lies slightly ajar and the dust lying in a thin layer on the floor has been swept away.

Now that you look at the floor, you see this is the only sign of life that the dust can give to you. No footsteps lie in the dust, not even made by your own feet. Ignoring this, as yet again, you have seen it before, you pull open the white peeling door.

Inside this door you are met by a homely sense of security. A fire blazes just around a corner and shelves stand tall around you, stuffed with books beyond measure, each again coated with a healthy layer of dust, the orange light from flames bouncing off their glittering spines.

Moving now, towards the fire your eyes are met with the most familiar sight, one that raids your thoughts every time you let your mind wander, the sight that excites you for reasons you have never stopped to wonder about.

A small area in front of a glorious and inviting, wood-burning fire sits comfortably awaiting your arrival, marked out by a curiously pleasant red and green rug. Boundless amounts of cushions litter the rug and floor, willing you to make yourself at home whilst very soon you may wish you were home.

Now that you have arrived, you find that you are not the first to arrive and possibly the last. A handful of children and teenagers sit silently in bundles of cushions and several children wrapped up in blankets or chewing on the ear of a teddy bear. The scene isn't frightful though, it is tranquil and calming. Everyone is gazing peacefully at the dancing fire and as you arrived, only some acknowledged your arrival.

Your eyes now move to the right of the fire where she is.

Nobody knows who she is, not even you. All you know is a name yet she smiles kindly at you, as though she has known you all of her life. Thinking to yourself, you realize she probably has.

She is an old woman, her wrinkles are deep and almost give her the look of a crumpled piece of paper, no-one has bothered to try to flatten again. Her eyes are deep set and watery, yet they twinkle with intelligence and wit beyond measure.

She sits, wrapped in shawls of deep reds and beiges, a long beige skirt covering her legs completely, not even allowing any of her shoes peak through, they almost hide the scarlet armchair she sits in, were it not for the back of the chair reaching the the ceiling above her, she could have been seen as floating. Her long, thin, grey hair has been tied into two long plaits that act almost like a long scarf falling over her shoulders and chest.

She reaches out towards a small wooden table, on which a mug of steaming liquid sits patiently. Her long, shriveled fingers wrap around the porcelain and she lifts it gently. Then she passes it to you shakily, smiling. You return her smile with a grateful one of your own and you take the mug.

It is soothingly warm and immediately makes you relax. You find a small pile of cushions and settle down, hugging your drink close to you, inhaling it's sweet scent.

The old woman lifts a shriveled hand into what looks like a strange wave of greeting. The roaring fire dies down slightly and encases the room in a snug red glow.

"Welcome, my children," She speaks in a husky voice that seems almost strained, yet it is friendly, "for those who are new tonight, my name is Matercula and I shall be your host tonight." She smiles once again. You take a look at everyone around you and see that everyone is entranced and watching her with a peaceful expression resting on their faces.

"Tonight, as always, we shall delve deep into the realm of fear and doubt, to discover the secrets hidden away in your past that you dare not relive. We will listen to each other's tales and respect their tales, taking into account what they have experienced and learning what we must from their tales. So who will be first tonight?" She pulls from a small pouch at her side, a tiny silver ball. It is smaller than an average marble and seemingly light in weight. She throws it into the air and every pair of eyes in the room follow it, even you are mesmerized by it.

The ball hangs in mid air. A strong white light glares from it, searching through the children in the room, deciding which to pick first. Everyone watches it silently.


If you'd like to be first, simply review with your character!

~Near