James Marcen stood before the lonely mansion at the outskirts of town. It was around eight o' clock at night, and the sun had set an around around. A chill wind wiped through James's clothes, causing him to shiver. He examined the note tightly gripped between his thumb and index finger in his right hand.

James had received it in his mailbox earlier today. He lived alone, in a fairly modest house in the middle of his hometown. James had been trying to relax that day, as it was Saturday, the day when he made himself not worry about work. But then, when he had checked his mailbox this morning, he had found this very odd note.

It read: "Dear Mr. Marcen,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Dr. Donald Claire, owner of the Claire Mansion outside of town. I have been taking a great deal of interest in your work lately, and it appears you are rather underappreciated in your field of work. A criminal offense, if you ask me. I require someone of your talents to work with me. I have a job offer for you, and I'd like to discuss it with you tonight. Come around eight o' clock, and we'll have a friendly chat. I hope you'll take up my offer.

Yours truly,

Dr. Donald Claire."

James placed the note back inside his jacket pocket. He worked as a graphic designer at his company. Everyone thought he was very good, but he never seemed to climb the ranks like his fellow employees did. His boss always seemed to have a very special dislike for him, and he had always been at the very bottom of the food chain.

This was very odd, of course. A random man offering him a high paying job when they had never met? It was very strange, but James found it too hard to ignore and too good to pass up if this Dr. Claire was serious. So, around seven thirty, he had got in his car and drove to the Claire Mansion. And now, he was preparing to go inside.

There was a rusty gate before him. The gate was open, probably in preparation for his arrival. It was an old style gate, not one of the electronic ones used by most today. The mansion itself loomed at the edge of the driveway. It was huge, and most of the windows in it were dark, save for a single window at the very top floor. James guessed that was where Dr. Claire was right now.

Taking a deep breath, James walked up the driveway, the stones crunching under his feet. He looked around, and saw some flowers planted on either side of the driveway. The flowers were well taken care of, but had several statues of gargoyles sitting in them. The gargoyles were all facing at James, and their eyes seemed to be watching him. James quickened his pace hoping Dr. Claire was not watching him and discovered a grown man was running from inanimate statues.

James finally reached the front door. Taking another deep breath, just for luck, James knocked on the door with his right fist. Then he stood, and waited for someone to open the door.

It did not. James looked for a doorbell, but couldn't find one. He knocked again, but still, nobody opened the door. James considered leaving right then and there, but decided to try the door. He grasp the handle on the door, and twisted it, pushing the door. It swung open with a creak, and James carefully walked inside.

The room he stepped into was dark, dimly lit by only a few candles sitting on walls. "Hello?" James called. He shut the door behind him, and looked about. There was a large couch in the center of the rooms, surrounded by three chairs. A hallway stretched past the living room, but James couldn't see down it, as it was not lit by anything. Feeling nervous, James slowly walked forward, yelling "Hello?" again.

James noticed several paintings on the walls. They were of Victorian era men and women. As James moved, he could have sworn one painting's eyes followed his movements. But when James focused on it then moved, nothing happened, so he assumed it was a trick of the light.

James then stood in the middle of the room. He pulled out his phone and checked the time. Okay, he thought. I'll give Dr. Claire five minutes to show up. Maybe he's outside or something. Then I'm gone.

James paced around the room. He looked for a light switch, so he could see better, but he couldn't find one anywhere. It appeared the only source of light were the candles. James halted in the center of the room, and then noticed some sort of medallion of the sofa. James leaned into examine it more closely, when he saw a shadow being cast in the light of the candles.

James stood up, and started to turn around. "Dr. Clair, I pre-" James started to say, but when he looked at who was there, he words died in his mouth.

A tall, lean figure stood on the other side of the couch. It wore ragged, bloodstained bandages all over its body. It's lanky arms were twitching convulsively, and it reached out to James with its hand. It had twisted, bony fingers, with unclipped yellow nails. But the worst thing was, the creature had no face. A head, but it lacked a face.

The creature gave a hiss, and pointed its finger at James. "Vesssssel," It hissed, and then began to walk toward James. James tried to move, to scream, but he could do neither. The creature's head began to move from side to side, growing faster with each movement.

Then, James shot off, turning his back to the creature and running straight for the door. But suddenly, the door rumbled and instantly, it was covered with giant, black hairy spiders. James then screamed, and ran backward, nearly tripping over a chair. He had always been terrified of spiders, ever since a tarantula crawled into his bedroom when he was a small child.

Another hiss, and James turned, finding himself face to face with the creature. James screamed again, as the creature's hands reached for his throat. But James turned around and ran down the dark hallway, panting frantically. He turned a corner, and spotted an open door at the side of the hallway. James ran into the room, and grabbing the handle, slammed the door shut and locked it tight.

James slid down, falling onto the floor, trembling, sweat trickling down the back of his neck. He was terrified, and listened for the creature's footsteps. He was now trapped. Trapped in this mansion.