Rain pours from the coal soaked clouds. each drop falling faster than the last, hitting the cars windshield with such speed and force causing the driver to slow down. “This rain is a nightmare” he spoke aloud to an empty car. Lightning strikes illuminating the Forrest lined road, the drive turns his high beams on. As the lights gleam against the never ending sea of rain he turns them off exhaling “I can’t see shit.” As he glaces to his GPS another bolt from Zeus cracks above his head, he was now traveling down a gravel driveway. “Well I must be close now” he thought as he reach for his cell phone laying immobile on the passenger seat, the phone screen lights up and blinds him slightly causing him to squint and turn down the brightness. “Two missed calls” sits on the iridescent screen, using his right hand he taps the two missed calls. One from his lawyer, the other an unknown number, as he begins to call his lawyer back something catches his eye off in the distant sea of rain and begins to slow down.
As the car comes to a slow stop two massive brick pillars stand erect, a rusted iron gate grips to the crumbling brick for life. He puts the car in park and pulls the E-brake, he contemplates grabbing the umbrella behind him as the sound of the rain pounds through the roof of his car. He pulls the collar up on his pea-coat and buttons it around his neck as a protective barrier to the rain. He turns his high beams on again and steps out of the car shutting the door with a loud thud. As the rain pours down drenching his once up right hair he begins to walk towards the rust embedded gate. As he stands in front of the gate the high beams reveal a new chain enter twinning the two decaying gates together, holding this chain shut was a fresh lock. The man reaches in his pea coat and pulls out an old ring of keys, as he holds the keys up lightning clashes just ahead causing him to become still as the dead of night. He notices a single lit window in the distance, within the blink of an eye the roar of a freight train beckons overhead causing him to jump back. He quickly finds the key and unlocks the gate, ripping the chains off and throwing them aside the decaying gates blow forward with the wind. The man rushes back to the car and gets in, “No one is supposed to be here” he thinks to himself as he sits in his car drenched with the rain. As he sits, water pooling on the cars floor and arm rest, the rain beings to get heavier and is now beating down upon the car like baseballs.
When he turns his high beams off, he notices the once lit window has now been extinguished. The look of confusion and uncertainty spreads across his cold stoic face he shifts into first and begins to slowly drive down the gravel river. The car beings to reach a round about and reveals the massive manor that once had been his home. He drives around to the front steps and turns the car off. As he reaches into the backseat of his car to grab a duffel bag he feels like hes being watched. As he turns back to the front with the duffel bag now laying in the passenger seat he feels his left side to re assure himself that his firearm is still there. He grips it closing his eyes and letting out a small breath, he feels cold, upon opening his eyes he can see is breath. Confused he grabs the duffel bag and rips open the car door against the howling wind and runs up the great stone steps and under cover. He beings to loosen the strap around his neck and shakes off some of the water. He begins to look forward but can not see but two foot in front of him. He reaches into his bag and pulls out a tactile flashlight, pointing the beam in front of him he beings to walk towards grand double doors holding the manors secrets within.
He then fumbles through his keys and finds a skeleton key, shoving the key into the cob web covered key hole and forces the lock open. A loud metal “CLUNK” echos from within the door as he places one hand on its rough wooden exterior, both doors burst inward from a gust of wind. The man stands there in the entry way to a great empty room, he then immediately takes a step back as a burst of stale, moldy, air come flying back to his face. The rain beings to fall inward towards the room, he enters and closes both doors behind him and locking them with his key again. using his flashlight he beings to search the wall for a light switch, he finds one by a table covered with white cloth. He grabs the metal switch and flips it, nothing happens, he beings to flip it back in forth moving his flash light around the room to see if any lights are trying to come on. “Damn” he shines his light on the white cloth and notices a candelabra beneath it ‘This will have to do.” Pulling the white cloth off a cloud of dust hits his face causing him to cough and sneeze, he then reaches within his pea coat again and pulls out a lighter and begins to light the candles as lighting cracks and thunder howls through out the manor.
Another bolt of lighting clashes directly above the stained glass ceiling in the great room filling the room with temporary light. The room slowly revealed itself between the flashes of light and the now warm candles he was holding in his hand. Marble floors laid with a thick coating of dust and derbies, cherry wood walls lead the empty room int a grand foyer where he can barley make out the c shaped staircase lading into the abyss above. As he walks into the foyer, he can hear his footsteps echoing down countless hallways and echoing back to him. Using the candles as light he begins to ascent the right staircase, halfway up the stairs a second floor reveals itself in the dim light. Lighting fighting itself outside lends it light to reveal the second floor landing, once at the top of the steps he hears something in the emptiness in front of him causing him to be stiff. “WHO’S THERE” he shouts into the abyss, the manor responds with the echoing question through out the floor. The sounds of someone running up wooden steps echos from the right, he places the candles down on the floor and reaches for his gun. A read beam ignites from the tip of the frozen weapon, he places his flashlight under the gun and shouts again ‘WHO’S THERE, I HAVE A GUN.” This time there was no echo, no storm, nothing. All the man could hear was dead air, looking around he hears footsteps above him and immediately points the gun to the wood ceiling.
The footsteps begin to run down a hallway, he quickly goes down the hall where he heard them ascend and follows in pursuit. Gun and light still aimed ahead of him he reach’s the top of another floor. He begins to feel uneasy as each hair on his arms and neck stand straight out, this floor is different, it’s incomplete there is still scaffolding and construction materials scattered about down the single hallway. The footsteps are going away from him down the hall then around a corner, be begins to jog down the hall gun and light still at eye level in front of him. He comes to a corner and rest against it gun and light straight up now, taking a deep breathe he swivels around the corner gun drawn ahead of him again. His eyes adjust and sees there is a single door three feet away, he gets closer, reaches out flashlight still in hand he grabs the rigid glass knob cutting a finger. “FUCK” he exhales softly as he retracts his hand. A small slow of blood starts to flow down his forearm and onto the wood floors. He covers his finger with the end of his sleeve and reaches for the knob again. It doesn’t budge, he then tries again and nothing. He holsters his gun and tries with both hands, turning, pushing, pulling nothing works.
Just as he was giving up and turned around to go back down the hall a loud “CLICK” screeches from behind him. He slowly reaches for his gun, pulls it out and turns around. The door has unlocked and was slowly opening. Light and gun drawn in front of him he reaches for the door but before his hand could touch the dying wood it burst open causing the man to fall backwards. As he is falling he hears a faint “Help me..” as a light flashes over him. He falls and hits his head against the wood floor, laying there he can see the light floating above him, it then moves back through the door as it slams shut. Just before his eyes close he hears the same “CLICK” and then the pouring rain with the furry of twenty thousand lighting bolts. All sound came back to him just as he closed his eyes and fades away into the abyss.
A faint light begins to emerge from the stairs followed by the scuffling of feet on the cherry wood floors. The light reaches the unconscious man “Dear god” the light exhales. An old British man stands there hunched over the man. He sets the light down next to the mans head, he beings to groan as the light reaches his eyes. “Thank god your alive, gave me a right good scare there you did coming in making all that noise!” He then reaches down to shake the man awake “Come on now sir you need to get up, I am much too old now to keep picking you up off the ground.” The British man then leans up against the wall looking down upon the man waiting for him to get up. “Wh…What…What happened?” the now conscious man shakily states rubbing his head.
“Well” the old man began to explain as he reached out to help the man up “I was asleep like a little on, when BANG, I heard something fall from up here.” “I thought the birds knocked down another painting, when I came out to look I noticed wet footprints leading me here to you flat on the ground like you’ve had a night out in the pub” he laughs and grabs his chest as the man smiles at him “Gave me a right good scare there sir!” “I am sorry Alfred” the man says with a smile on his face leaning down to give the old man a hug. “It’s alright sir, it’s good to see a Bentley back home where he belongs!” The man grasps Alfred like hes never going to see him again “Sir! I am starting to not be able to breathe!” he laughs as they break their embrace “I don’t think you’ve ever hugged me that hard, not even on your wedding day no!” The man then places an arm around his shoulder and grabs the light off the floor. “I don’t think I have ever missed you this much” they begin to walk back down the hallway and descend the third floor stairs stopping on the second floor.
“Come now, lets get you to your room, I’ve manages to keep that section of the manor alive and clean.” As they walk down the hallway and stop at the last set of doors on the right “Just go in take off your soaking wet clothes and leave them on the chair by the door here, I will have them cleaned and brought up in the morning.” Alfred begins to walk back down the hall and as he stands there in front of the doors. ‘Alfred” the man shouts down the hall, he stops and turns “Yes sir” he shouts back with a slight echo. “Can you make me your famous eggs Benedict in the morning?” You can hear a happy old man smile from down the hall as he shouted back “With pleasure Mr. Bentley! Goodnight sir!” he turns and goes down into the abyss below. He now stands alone in the hallway, reaching out to open the door his eyes begin to swell up with an ocean of their own. He pushes the door open to expose a beautiful bedroom full of antique furniture and linens draping the windows and bed.
He undresses and places the wet clothes on the chair next to the doors. He walks over to the bed and pulls back the heavy down comforter and crawls in. The storm outside has stopped but it’s clouds remain hiding the silver light that once filled this great room. He turns away from the window, small tracks of water flow from his eyes down onto the pillow “I’m home” he exhales. The manor goes quite, the cold rolls in from the windows and he closes his eyes to sleep. As he begins to dream he hears a faint “Benjiman…” he opens his eyes, the sun is shinning, the clothes are gone and it’s warm…