Blood Promise

What stood before her was an enormous gate, which had eroded away through time; the thin rusted iron bars were entwined and swallowed by the diseased, decaying ivy as if the roots were the long skeletal fingers of a witch. It created a dull rustling noise by the chilling wind of the winter season. A small shuddering breath passed her lips in anxiousness. Tonight she would finally confront the forbidding 'house of eyes.' She felt like the place was drawing her in like a black hole manipulated by darkness with every second she thought about it. The house itself was elegant, sprawling and gothic. As the moon rose, it transformed. The translucent light breathed life into the worn, faceless statues of praying children and winged angels that guarded the grounds. It smoothed away fissures and softened broken edges, while shining down onto the rocky pavement she stood on.

It was time now. Time for her to discover if the gruesome stories held truth. Her mind was hungry for knowledge of that night. Ever since she'd moved to the small backwater town, she'd thirsted for understanding of the disgusting incidents that played out in this very house. The 'house of eyes' had many rumors swirling around it, but nobody could truly fathom what had taken place for sure.

She walked slowly towards the gates, her breath quickening and her hands quivering. She squeezed her hands through the rotten gates and unclipped the latch. The gates groaned in reluctance in being opened and she walked through. The thick ivy was clutching onto the hem of her skirt, tugging her backwards as if it was a warning to stay away. However she scrambled her way through eventually, determination and intense curiosity occupying the space where her fear would have been. Where it should have been.

She ambled over the cracked pathway with slippery patches of moss creeping from the sides. As she looked back, her eyes flittered absently over the quince trees and dried up bushes that imitated the actions of desperation and depression of the people who once called this wicked place home. Her long raven black hair spilled out behind her, catching in the cold breeze. She brushed it out of her eyes with shaking fingers and slowly ascended the creaking steps.

Her hands were so nervous she wasn't able to turn the door handle. Sharply inhaling, she closed her eyes and swept the sweat of her face, then opened the door while slightly peering around at her murky surroundings, taking a long look that might be her last. While sweeping away the flaky paint that clung to her clothes, she glanced around the house. It was such a disgusting environment in a damp humid place. Seeing stained blood in the form of hands on the walls and floors stirred a great nausea within her frail body. She wandered past furniture wrapped in white sheets, broken tables, ripped up books and almost tripped on all the debris lying about. Finally something caught her attention. She stopped at the base of the staircase and looked at the old photograph covered in dust and cobwebs. Three figures stood together smiling out at her with soft, kind eyes: A man with red-rimmed glasses, a woman with honey-bronze curls, and a little girl with blue eyes that looked like they'd stared long into volcanic fissure.

It was that girl that brought her here today. Thirty years ago, a doctor had lived in this house with his wife and daughter. Back then, the house had supposedly been a thing of beauty. Something the family created together. The husband had been a hardworking man, whose career had taken up so much of his lifestyle that he couldn't stay home as much with his wife and child. But the beautiful wife, a woman with elegance and grace, betrayed her husband and took a liking to somebody else while he was away at work. One night, as the rumors say, he was coming home early to surprise her when he noticed another car parked in the driveway. Having not seen this particular car before, he walked inside to greet the guest. Stepping over the threshold his kind smile dropped and he flicked his head up, eyes opened wide in a hasty manner. He dropped the flowers he'd brought for his love and looked down the hallway to where there was a sudden giggle coming from the living room.

He barged through the door angrily, took one look at his wife and the man she was with, and pulled a scalpel out of his lab coat pocket. Heart shattering, the husband pulled his love towards his face and looked into her fearful eyes with wrath while hers pleaded for mercy. That was when he slashed her throat.

"You're filthy eyes led to this!" He dropped her limp form onto the ground and brought the scalpel down several times. Without realizing, the man she'd been with called the police from behind the couch during this horrible incident and the once innocent doctor was dragged away. He was sentenced to death the following week, a man who had given so much to save other lives, had inevitably ended his own.

However, the answer she was looking for in this house was not about the murder, but about the daughter. Had she been adopted? Did anybody even realize she needed help too? Had anyone found her?

Once you're a part of it, you can never leave.

She stopped walking at glanced around the room. "Hello?" She called to the shadows.

There was no answer. Perhaps her mind was playing tricks on her. Of course, every horror movie she'd ever seen had followed along those lines and those girls ended up dead. But she wasn't deterred; in fact, the voice made her more determined to see for herself what was waiting upstairs.

She cringed at each creak on the old warped stairs, but it didn't sway her determination to make it to the room on the second floor. She trembled as she continued down the dark hallway. Something hard hit her foot and she tripped, skinning her knees against the prickly wooden floorboards. She brushed the hair out of her face and blinked with her dark eyes. Something white rolled towards her. She reached out to touch it and…

She screamed as the human skull stopped at her feet.

Backing away quickly, she didn't dare take her eyes off it. She hit the wall, hard, and stood still until it finished moving. It took everything she was not to run out the back door.

She stepped into the nursery, her throat tightening at the thick dust floating in the air. Moonlight slipped through the cracked boards covering the window, illuminating a child's wooden rocking horse sitting out on a tattered rug. The toy's wooden seat was worn smooth, coated in dirt, and cobwebs matted the corded mane and tail.

Slowly the horse began to rock, much to the jubilation of its ghostly rider. She clamped a hand over her mouth to keep her scream silent and reached out to touch it. Her fingers began to curl around the mane.

"That's not yours." A soft voice asked. Footsteps thudded against the floorboards. "Who are you?"

"Jane," She answered, turning her eyes to the doorway. A small girl with hair as white as snow and eyes as cold as ice, stared back at her, clutching a small doll. "It's really you…but how?"

The little girl pointed a small finger at the horse and it ceased rocking. She paced around the room and Jane's eyes followed along, noticing pieces of torn dolls, wrecked crayons, and bits of paper from the flaky wallpaper; so lifeless, so dull. Along with a disgusting, dirty small matrices placed on the floor. The closest door shuddered gently and her eyes travelled over a drawing labeled 'Happy Family." But the image had been slashed with some sort of blade and tatters of it lay crumpled around the room.

"Why are you here?" The words escaped her blue lips as a rasp.

"I'm looking for answers." Jane replied, trying to keep her voice level.

She blinked back her thick eyelashes and stepped forward. "The stories you may have heard aren't what they always seemed to be. I'm not the sort of child you'd see in the outside world. But a child you'd see locked away from society." She whispered, her eyes blazing now. "I hated my parents! They said I was 'abnormal' and 'filled with devils.' They treated me like rubbish, the lowest of the low. My father tried to drown me. My mother tried to suffocate me." A dark smile twisted at her lips. She took another step closer. "They got what they deserved."

Jane gulped but kept her eyes focused on the girl, trying desperately to keep calm. "What did you do to them?" She blurted; her voice low and barely audible.

"My parent's love was all lies, filthy lies! One night I saw mother with another man while dad was at work." The girl's voice was eerily cheerful. "I found the number for my father's work place and left a message, telling him I missed him. It was so easy to fool him into thinking I was his lovesick wife." She giggled and clapped her little hands together. "I knew without a doubt, my father's rage would finish the rest off for me. And so it did." She sighed and laughed as Jane's expression turned from curiosity to disgust, and then finally settled on fearful.

The little girl shrugged. "I learnt to live on my own after that. Not many people are stupid enough to come visit me." She put on a bored smile.

"But how could have you survived on your own? It's been thir…" I stopped short, and realized, it happened thirty years ago. It can't be. She's just a little girl.

"It gets quite lonely around here. Of course, from time to time I do have visitors. You have an interesting scream, dear Jane. Trust me; I have heard a lot of screams. So I assume you met Percy then? He's always rolling around somewhere."

As the girl sauntered towards Jane, she jumped back, putting another meter between them. Jane looked at the door and the little girl laughed.

"You're not going anywhere." the girl said as she turned her head around with her long greasy white hair over her face. Oh no, I thought to myself; slowing backing away from the room. A big gust of wind blew her hair out of the way.

The little girl's skin rippled and squirmed. Then it went black and shiny, crackling like twigs in a campfire. Big chunks fell off, plopping onto the floor. Her hair sizzled and burned away. And then there was nothing left but a skull dotted with scraps of blackened flesh. The jaws opened, the teeth still glittering.

"You can't run forever, Jane. I promise I'll find you." She cackled loudly. Her laugh echoed louder and louder around the house. Jane ran down the stairs; the cackle getting through to her head and causing her to lose her concentration. She tripped and fell down the stairs, lying on the cold wood in agony. The darkness began to cave in on Jane tightly, the light of the moon fading away from her as she tried to reach for the light. Above her, the little girl loomed in, her open eyes flashing crimson.

"Ahh!" Jane shouted, sitting up on her bed; breathing heavily with sweat dripping from her face. She wrestled the sheets off herself and touched her clammy face. "It was just a dream. Only a dream." She jumped out of bed and trudged into her bathroom. Splashing cold water on her face refreshed her, bringing a wave of calm through her body. She closed her eyes, turned off the tap, and stared into the mirror.

First, there was just a blur of white and then, the little girl had Jane held around the throat, her long, jagged nails digging into her windpipe. She lowered her mouth to Jane's ear and whispered lightly, "I told you, Jane." She caressed her cheek, scratching along the skin. A small cut opened up on Jane's cheek and she whimpered. "You can't run forever." There was a flash of silver and the little girl slit her throat in one clean, sharp stroke. Jane's body crumpled to the tiled floor.

Her chest grew tighter and tighter and then her vision blurred into the darkness as she sank further into death's opening embrace. The little girl kneeled down next to Jane, the blood staining her white dress.

"I promised I would find you," She kissed Jane's forehead and closed her glassy eyes. The little girl rose to her feet and tucked the scalpel back into her pocket. Shaking out her white hair, her figure slowly began to fade into the everlasting darkness.

"And promises are meant to be kept."