The House of Eternal Decay

I found myself in a decrepit house. Everything was a drab gray in the poor lighting. I felt as if I wasn't in the present time, but could not decide exactly where I was in time and place.

I opened a door directly ahead of me, leaving the foyer where there was a staircase, a window, and a fireplace with a mirror above the mantel. In the new room, my first realization was that the floor had rotted through and the inter-most parts of the room were resting on the bare ground, while the floor along the four walls remained intact, the broken floor boards jutting out sharply. Within the few seconds that it took for me to take this in, I had also noticed a bar along one wall, which was functioning tenderlessly to a room full of people - if you could call them that.

They all appeared to be dead, in various stages of decay and death, yet they were still alive, by some definition, moving and carrying on as if in life. They seemed oblivious to me at first; no one turned when I entered.

A chandelier hung crookedly from the ceiling, flaming candles dripping wax but never seeming to burn down, as if frozen in time. In the center of the room was some sort of out-of-place lean-to shed, whose open side faced away from me, as I could tell from the cracks in the rotten boards. Curious of this strange little indoor barn, I made my way along the intact floor, sticking near to the wall.

As I approached the bar, I was noticed for the first time. A man in a tattered beige suit flashed a smile at me, but his eyes darted around wildly, until finally coming to rest on my face. I stared back in grotesque fascination at his face, which had begun decaying,

especially around his eyes and mouth, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was because of

the erratic movement of his eyes and his overly wide smile. Suddenly, my curious looks turned to ones of fear. He began chomping and slobbering like a dog, arms jerking towards me. I backed up and turned to run, falling off of the broken floor, landing in the dirt in front of the shed.

I almost forgot about the dead man when I saw what was going on here. A draft horse and a donkey were strapped to the floor of the lean-to, lying down, hooves together. Their mouth were bound shut and they made muffled cries, eyes rolling in fear. Some invisible force began nailing their hooves together, as I watched in horror. They struggled to get away, but before I could help, they turned to stone and crumbled before my eyes. Another man standing next to them, previously unnoticed to me, started laughing insanely. I looked up at him and watched his head swell slightly, then disintegrate into dust. His laughter stopped, and the headless corpse fell back against a bale of straw.

I heard the sound of boots hitting the floor behind me, and I now recalled the crazy man and began to run. I looked back only when I clambered onto the floor along the farthest wall. When I turned, he was right behind me, still snarling and snapping. I fell against the wall only to realize that he was on a chain and at its end, unable to reach me. His crazed eyes now appeared angry and saliva was dangling from his biting jaws. Then the chain grew shorter as if he was being reeled in. I watched until he was tight against a post at the end of the bar where I first ran into him.

Reassured, my courage returned and I walked down the bar, fascinated by the invisible bartender. I watched the glasses float gracefully to the taps, be filled, and glide

back over to the individuals seated on the barstools, laughing and carrying on. I found

myself back at the other end and stood nervously as the crazy man gnawed at the edge of the bar, giggling to himself.

"Don't mind him," said a pleasant voice belonging to a woman in a black velvet dress, "he lost his mind."

"What happened?" I asked the woman, thinking that she might be pretty if her makeup wasn't smeared and her face a greenish-gray hue of death.

"His brain decayed." She answered, taking a drink.

I looked back over at the insane man, who was now mumbling words to himself, making no sense whatsoever.

"Pineapple! Too much!" I heard him mutter before laughing manically to himself.