Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tweet Fiction: Ned, Ted, and a House

     Night had come, but it was not a dark one. The full moon and clear skies filled the world below with an eerie dim. The shadows were a bit longer than usual, some even appearing to move in the corner of your eye. Though they always stayed still when you turned to look. The world was alive tonight, owls and crickets hooting and chirping. The wind rustling the trees and the grass. Four young kids, no older than fourteen, walking along the gravel path. Up the hill and they'd reach the old house that creaked and moaned in the wind, even on still nights. Either path around would lead to the ancient cemetery with headstones so worn that the names could no longer be read.

     The group stopped at the crossroads and began to argue quietly, looking over their shoulders and up the hill whenever a voice got too loud. Half the group wanted to start by going up to the house, where the spirits of an old family who were murdered brutally were supposed to reside. The other half wanted to head to the graveyard, where ghosts from all ages and backgrounds were waiting for the right visitors to possess. Whichever way they decided to go would end splendidly. After all, it was the perfect night for a Haunt.

     "Which way do you think, Ned?" a spirit said as he watched them from the shadow of the house. His wispy form was still transparent and even in perfect lighting would barely be visible to one who is still living.

     "Hm, not really sure, Ted." Ned replied as he slipped through the solid wooden wall of the house to join his fellow spirit outside. "If we're lucky maybe they'll split up!" he exclaimed excitedly. "You know, like in the movies!"

     "But then WE'D have to split up and we don't have any plans for that." Ted said as his form shimmered in annoyance.

     "Plans?" Ned questioned. "Since when have we had plans? Aren't you the one who said 'We don't need any plans, stupid, that takes all the fun out of it!'" Ned continued, trying to mimic Ted's ethereal voice.

     Ted's form began to darken as it swirled angrily. The wind began to howl around the house causing it to moan and creak. The group at the bottom of the hill got quite and looked up towards the house. 

     "Oh, wait." Ted said as his form returned to its normal calm, transparent state and the wind settled back down. "You're right! I did say that." 

     The two spirits laughed together, displacing several bats that had taken up residence in a nearby tree and sending them down towards the group at the bottom of the hill. The group all dropped to the ground and two of them screamed in horror. 

     A happy mist began to swirl around the two as they listened to the sweet sound of the screams, the bats now fading into the horizon.  

     "The night is so alive! Wonderful conditions for a Haunt. Reminds me of when we came here when we were still alive." Ned said, his form slightly fading as his thoughts wandered into nostalgia.

     "Yeah." Ned replied, his voice trailing off as nostalgia threatened to pull him away as well, but was brought back to the night by the crunching of footsteps coming from the path down the hill. The teens had finally recovered from their fright and had apparently decided that sticking together was the better choice tonight. "Good thing those times are over! It's so much more exciting now!" Ned exclaimed happily. "Now let's start the Haunt!"

     Ted had nearly completely disappeared, but popped back into the night at hearing Ned's exclamation. "Right! So what's the game tonight? Pee pants? House of Screams? Oooh, we haven't had a Bloody Night in awhile?" Ted was shaking back and forth as he listed the various games they played, excitement overflowing in the form of a slight shimmer, which the kids coming up the path noticed, but tried to explain away.

     "I never did understand your obsession with the Bloody Nights. Such a pain to clean up! Besides, we have more than enough skeletons as it is. Too many more and they're going to be tumbling right down the path!" Ted said, his form shaking turning slowly as he thought. "Ah! How about a good Ole fashioned Maze. Haven't done one of those in ages!"

     "Oooh, the Maze! That's a great idea. The windows should still have the illusions up from last month." Ned said, thinking. "You get the back doors and I'll get the front?" he suggested.

     "Deal!" Ted said as he sped off, passing through the old wooden wall once more. Off set illusions to the doors on the back of the house, making them appear as if they were never there.

     Ned consciously faded away as the teens began to reach the top of the hill, becoming nothing more than a gentle breeze that surrounded the group. Slightly chilling, but nothing out of the ordinary for a Fall night like this. He observed the group as they chattered nervously, their energy invigorating to a ghost such as himself. With participants like these tonights Haunt could be one of their best!

     The group traveled close together, nearly bumping shoulders and elbows, as they approached the large double doors which served as the main entrance to the old house. They were made from thick, dark wood that only got darker with age. Carved into them appeared to be depictions of various horrifying acts of torture and executions . The two large, black-metal knockers were shaped into the heads of demons that sneered down on whoever would approach the door. 
     In actuality, the doors looked to this house looked fairly typical, but making them look more sinister was one of Ned and Ted's tasks when they came to this place. After all, a haunted-house needs to be intimidating from the get go. Otherwise what's the point?

     After several minutes of a harsh, whispered argument, one of the group was pushed forwards towards the door. With a shaky hand they reached up and pulled back on the ring of the knocker, but then immediately let go and jumped back with a yelp. "Hot!" The teen yelled, shaking their hand as if they had just been burned, but there were no marks on their hand that would indicate any damage was done.

     After a few more minutes of arguing, another member of the group was pushed forward. This time they ignored the knocker and it's devilish sneer and pulled on the door handle. With a deafening creak, the door slowly opened. The group shared a glance, but then with a collective nod they stepped inside. The door quickly shut behind them with a bone rattling slam, causing a couple of screams to come from the group as they were closed off in the darkness. No sign of the bright moon could be found within the house, even though there were plenty of windows. 

     A flickering candle lit a few moments later in the center of the room, casting long shadows on the group who stood huddled near the door. A harsh voice then echoed through the entryway.

     "Good luck." Ned rasped from someplace unseen, causing the teens to freeze with fear. "You'll need it."

     It was followed by sinister laughter from Ned and then more screams. The Haunt had begun.

Original Tweet:                (source)

The two of them were tight as could be. Opposites, brought together by a common fate. Well, until the details of their deaths were revealed.

Author's Note:

This story is a good example of how my original notes and ideas got completely sidetracked by something else, leaving the end result on a completely different path than I originally intended.

I would like to write more about Ned & Ted in the future. They could be some pretty fun characters to write.
-Old Man Civil