The House, A Tale of The Figure.

The rain had come at last, embracing the world, refusing to let go. The Figure stepped in another in a long line of invisible puddles, making the one in his boot even deeper.

He scaled the hill, the sand that covered it for what had seemed so long, fell rapidly, taking the memories of Before with it. He wasn't nostalgic about it. The only thing that crossed his mind was the fact that underneath the sand was only rock, he would have to hurry. He rushed up the hill, at last seeing the top, hoping it would hold his asylum. The rain held him back, causing him to slow down, slightly unnerved at slipping and falling to his certain death. But he still clambered, hoping he would make progress as the sea of sand in his eyes deepened, hitting his face like bullets, but the pain was nothing new to him. He pulled himself up his final obstacle and instantly regretted it.

The nightmare towered over everything. It might have been reasonably small before Before but that was then; thus making it huge. It was paintless, what was left peeling. The windows where blocked up by fresh wood. Preventing anyone from seeing out. Or in. The door however, was painted, a bright bloody red. The paint, wet and dripping, adding to the blood effect. A rotted wooden sign had fallen to the ground, reduced to splinters. The Figure didn't bother reading it. Most upnervingly of all, was the desolate, completely barren small wasteland surrounding it, showing no sign of rain whatsoever. As if the weather itself avoided it. The Figure had seen enough, he turned and walked, disappointed. He didn't scare easily; the place just seemed habited, that was all. Plus, it was a little creepy.

The sheer sloppiness of the rocks in the rain caused him to slip.

For the first time in years, sound left The Figure's mouth.

He awoke, confused by the searing pain in his leg. He racked his memories, he only vaguely remembered a storm and a house, he also remembered his past experiences with dark, ancient houses and that he had, responsibly, ran from it. He also saw a vision.

She was beautiful, which he didn't trust, her features full as if from another era. Her raven-black hair was long, longer than his, just added to her beauty from past times. Her skin however, was a malnourished white. He initially thought she was The Pale Woman. He was pretty sure The Pale Woman did not wear a wooden crucifix so large and jagged it gave him splinters just by looking at it. The rope around it seemed to be wrapped so tightly around her neck it was more akin to a noose. She noticed his open eyes and smiled. He didn't return it. He stood up; his legs felt a pain just like any other. Yet, due to her rushed splint, he could barely walk on it. He started to move. She walked up to him.

"Hi, I'm..." He gave her a look that spelt out his complete lack of interests as he took in his surroundings.

He noticed a lump of fur and clay painted a bright red, cold to the touch and smooth to a point of uncanniness. It's 'face' was crude, misshapen and had mismatched, pupilless eyes. It's 'mouth' was wide open and filled with what appeared to be...

He looked away from it. And ran.

The Figure didn't get very far before he fell. His splint had split. A shadow neared him, he backed away but it seemed to just close in on him, he tried to get up, only for his leg to give way. When round the corner came the woman. She ran across the floor that creaked like the moan of a million ghosts, to near him to do what he eventually would have to do.

She fixed his splint.

He stood up. Not trusting the woman because of the sheer terror he had saw in the false creatures' mouth, he walked to the blood-red door, which had an old-fashioned door handle. It was a complete circle, like a giant's ring. With an ear-shattering noise, it slowly thumped at the door in slow, almost methodical patterns, this noise completely edging its way into The Figure like a stake through his heart. He grabbed the door handle. It stopped. But as he held it tight in his hands, like holding a sword, yet the noise continued, it's volume slowly increasing as the door handle slowly shook in his hand. Until the vibrating and noise reached a level of shaking it sounded more like a person laughing in hysterics, he stopped to consider if the door handle was laughing at him. He dropped it; the clanging continued.

He turned around to see the vision of terror from earlier. It was being pushed by the woman. He shook the urge to scream at what was in its mouth as the woman walked up to him and put her arm round his shoulder, it was cold, freakishly pale; unlike her face. He shivered, years in the blistering heat of Before had left him highly vulnerable to the cold. His face remained as straight as an arrow however, despite the horror in front of him. "Isn't he a beauty!" She exclaimed. He didn't answer. She looked at him with a disturbingly lustful look in her eyes. "Not much of a talker are you?" She laughed a hearty and healthy laugh, increasing her oddities, as unusual as it was, The Figure found himself smile, he hadn't heard laughter or felt joy in a long time. The knocking continued.

She let her hand out, as if to purposely suck all of the joy out of him as his attention was again focused on the monstrosity of the vision of terror, that had moved. The woman's hand clasped itself onto her mouth. He stepped forward, terrified by the monstrosity, possibly moving on its own. A sudden, deep chill entered his spine as the door launched open, letting a wind of biblical proportions in. The knocking continued. The figure ran straight for it, only for the door to instantly close. The knocking sounded even more suspiciously like laughing as it continued. He hoped he had lost his mind.

He walked, each creak of the floor sounding louder than the last, the pain searing into his leg ignored, replaced with a repressed terror. The woman walked with him, she breathed deeply, muttering, illegibly to herself. Her mannerisms seemed much like a child, looking for its dog. With each creak he made in the floorboards, she repeated behind him. The place was lit with torches that spluttered as if trying to escape. One extinguished, for another to repeat it, only for them all to relight. He turned around, the blood red door still behind him. The knocking continued.

He heard an ear-splitting noise. He walked onwards to see a hole in the floor. Underneath were creatures much like The Monstrosity, yet completely still. One was something vaguely resembling a unicorn made out of corn, another creature was a clown, painted bright red, it's eyes mismatched. Whoever had crafted it had been unsuccessful with his job. It turned its head slightly, searching with those mismatched eyes that stared right into The Figure's soul, sending a shiver through his spine. The woman seemed not to notice it's movement as she turned to him. "This place used to be a tourist trap, those things must be old exhibits or something." He nodded. They jumped over the hole. They turned a corner as the torches want on and off again, the figure grabbing one.

A shadow turned a corner, the woman ran forward, The Figure grabbed onto her tightly. She punched it off, and ran towards the shadow, he sighed as he ran.

He nearly turned around as he heard the screams echo.

He ran. His splint slowly falling apart as he did so, not turning around. He fell, straight into the hole, his splint falling off as he fell, the pain unbearable, yet he had to stay awake. His mind and body fighting over his consciousness as the clown grabbed one of the exhibits, the corn-unicorn, as The Monstrosity, holding the decapitated head of the woman. The pool of blood and human teeth in his mouth dripping, bent over to spill it out of his mouth and onto the floor, the clown seemed to smile as he got the corn-unicorn and painted it with the blood. The corn-unicorn came alive as it pranced around the storage room, with an odd grace and beauty, the clown clapped, dipping its paintbrush gleefully in the blood and started to paint the woman's decapitated head, it's eyes opened as it yawned, it looked at the clown, which was unable to talk. So she sent her eyes in his direction, the clown looked at him, and signalled The Monstrosity, that then walked towards The Figure, who then threw whatever was in his hands at it; the torch. It set the monstrosity alight as The Figure climbed up one of the storage cabinets it blazed up. His leg absolutely inflaming with pain as he ran to the door.

It opened and the knocking stopped. He ran out into the rain that had left all of the land in front of him in a flood. He swam onwards, only using his arms as he escaped. There were many questions about the house, the woman, everything. But the figure wasn't one to dwell on such things.