I looked Into the candle lIght, the flame dancIng around as almost If It were alIve Its lIght reflectIng and bouncIng off the polIshed wooden floors of the room. I could feel It, that feelIng, that sensatIon that grabbed my attentIon two hours ago. Yes, It was here, watchIng waItIng, but where? I could feel Its stare all around me. How could It stIll be hungry? How? I quIckly turn around catchIng a swIft movement In the darkNESs. I turn around lookIng Into the candle, my only guIdIng lIght and salvatIon fROM the beast. I stare and contemplate what had started only two hours ago.
It was me, jefffff, Alex, and Alex's gIrlfrIend Stacy. I always hated that bItch; the arrogant and bItchy way she talked to me and jefffff when she was around, lIke we were chIldren and she was our baby-sItter always clIngIng around Alex's arm actIng pathetIc to get what she wanted. That's the only reason she came wIth us tonIght. She gave Alex those pItIful puppy dog eyes. He caved and begged us to let her come we agreed but, laId down some rules he had to gIve us ten bucks each, no whInIng, and above all, not a word was to leave her lIps. The next day, we met at my house to dIscuss the plan. GettIng to the abandoned nunnery would not be easy. The road was long grown over wIth bushes and vINES makIng It ImpossIble to drIve through. The only way to get there was to park a block away and walk across the Johnson farm, and old man Johnson was very keen of hIs rIfle and would enjoy takIng shots at anythIng crossIng hIs property.
After our classes the next day, It was about four In the afternoon. We quIckly went back to our dorms and got some supplIes: flashlIghts, rope, a knIfe, some food, a hammer and chIsel (souvenIrs are nIce), matches and a camera. We then quIckly set out. The hour long drIve seemed to take three tImes longer wIth the feelIng of excItement In my gut. I could tell we all felt the same way except for Stacy, who was sIghIng deeply In the car lettIng everyone know how mIserable she was. jefffff quIckly turned around and gave her a glare that even made my skIn crawl. Soon after jefffff parked, we looked fROM our parkIng spot at the edge of the ten acre Johnson property at the nunnery, Its sIlhouette vIsIble agaInst the settIng sun. It was fIve now, and as the sun was goIng down, Alex was usIng the cameras zoom to get a closer look whIle me and jefffff just stared. MeanwhIle, Stacy leaned agaInst the car lettIng out another deep sIgh.
Soon the sun went over the horIzon and nIght was settIng In we used the dark to our advantage and we made our way across the Johnson property. LuckIly, the property had a lot of small bushes to hIde behInd. All of us crouched low to avoId beIng spotted. We were about 10 feet away fROM the edge when I heard a snap under my shoe. We froze. After a few mInutes, nothIng happened, so we contInued. We heard the slam of the front screen door of old man Johnson's shack and the clumsy fumblIng of the loadIng of an old fashIoned bolt-actIon rIfle. Followed by, “Where are you, you damn kids? Mr. Johnson has a present for you!” Next, we heard a half-crazed cackle. We bolted up the hIll to the nunnery as a sIngle shot rang out In the nIght. We soon found ourselves at the maIn door to the nunnery.
Stacy let out a loud sIgh, sayIng, “ALLLEEEXXXX, I broke a heel!” (Dumb bItch, we told her to wear tennIs shoes). Alex quIckly quIeted her she let out a loud huff of dIspleasure at beIng told to be quIet. I slowly reached Into the bag a grabbed a flashlIght and reached my hand out to open the door. It creaked loudly Alex and Stacy quIckly reached for the other two flashlIghts. jefffff looked at Stacy wIth that glare agaIn, because, It was our own responsIbIlIty to provIde our own supplIes whIch she had none of, but beIng ever resourceful, he grabbed the camera and used turned on the camera lIght to guIde hIs way. We entered the maIn hall realIzIng thIs sectIon was a small church complete wIth pews and an altar. We walked slowly toward the altar, closely examInIng every detaIl. I caught the camera flashIng fROM In my perIpheral vIsIon I walked behInd the altar and looked under It. Words were etched Into It as If by a fInger naIl statIng “The Devil is in this place.” I chuckled, thInkIng It was probably done by some other college kIds to gIve us a scare, I snIckered and called jefffff to take a pIcture, but he dIdn't answer. I turned around, and there was no trace of hIm.
I called to Alex who walked out of the confessIon booth, hIs pants hastIly pulled up and hIs belt stIll undone. Stacy quIckly followed her haIr a mess and a bra strap hangIng out of her tank-top. I look at them wIth almost a look of dIsbelIef but, I guess those two are always ready to bone. I say, “Did you guys see Jeff?” They both shake theIr heads. I fIgured he was beIng an ass, just hIdIng to scare us. I say In a loud voIce lIke how your parents dId when they knew where you were hIdIng, “Weeeellllll, I don't know where Jeff is I guess we will just have to go on without him, I hope he doesn’t jump out and scare us.” I motIon to Alex and Stacy and we move on the next room. It looks lIke a dInIng hall. The hardwood floor shINES as the lIght fROM my flashlIght bounces off of It. I see some old dInIng candles on the table stuffIng them In the bag sayIng to Alex “You never know…” I see Stacy starIng at a paIntIng at the head of the table sayIng, “This painting is creepy, it's like his eyes are following you.” I look at It closer and realIze It Is a paIntIng of Moses, you know, one of the oNES where he has devIl horns and flamIng eyes, because of a mIstranslatIon fROM Hebrew to LatIn. She was rIght though. HIs flamIng eyes followed you In a way that sunk Into your soul.
I broke my eyes away fROM It; It was just gettIng too weIrd to look at. I call for Alex and Stacy to get a move on when Alex says, “Hey, look!” He walks over to a pulpIt on the other end of the room. It was probably used to read the bIble fROM durIng meals. The camera was convenIently nearby. He pIcked It up and looked through the recent pIctures, but none of them were fROM the nunnery. In fact, It was empty, whIch wasn't unusual consIderIng we used an empty memory stIck In the camera for thIs trIp. Alex looked at me quIzzIcally sayIng “Didn't Jeff take pictures with this?” I nodded, and then It dawned on me. jefffff never showed up. I called out to hIm sayIng It wasn't funny anymore. WIth no response, I let out a deep sIgh, then the sky lIt up wIth lIghtnIng and a crack of thunder as raIn started to pour. Stacy groaned, “Ugh. Now we’re going to be stuck here forever.” I sIghed. “Let’s keep moving.” Alex replIed, “I'll catch up. This room is fucking creepy and I want some pictures. Besides, Jeff may show up.” Stacy whIned, “Alex, I’m done with this room! Let’s go!” He replIed, “I will only be a minute, go on with Matt.” Now It was my turn to sIgh. I motIoned Stacy over as we moved on; goIng down a hallway and turnIng the corner, last seeIng Alex takIng a pIcture of the Moses paIntIng.
Stacy and I walked Into the next room. It looked lIke where the nuns used to sleep. A few beds lIned the back wall. I checked the end tables, fIndIng bIbles wIth all the pages rIpped out only leavIng the hard cover. Stacy then saId, “You know, I hate you.” I rolled my eyes and spoke In the most sarcastIc tone I could, “Oh reeaallly? That’s such a shame. I always wanted to be your friend.” She let out a huff and turned away to look at a bed. The storm raged outsIde as I contInued to look through the drawers, fIndIng nothIng of Interest, I turn around and Stacy suddenly says, “I left my flashlight with Alex. Come with me to get it.” The audacIty of the bItch, sayIng she hates me then askIng me to come wIth her. I tell her to get It herself. She leaves the room fumIng as I check under the beds. Suddenly a scream pIerces the calmIng sound of raIn hIttIng the roof, causIng me to hIt my head on the undersIde of a bedframe as I jumped up to head towards the scream. I grasp my forehead and run to the dInIng room, about to curse at Stacy for screamIng, but when I turned the corner I gagged. Stacy shuddered as she looked at the horrIfIc fIgure of what I could only assume to be Alex's body. HIs clothes lIe on the floor as hIs flayed body hangs fROM the rafters, only held up by drIppIng flesh. As I regaIn my composure, I look around and see that on the paIntIng of Moses, a wIcked smIle had been drawn In blood.
Stacy gets hysterIcal. I could see a scream leavIng her lIps and I quIckly clasp my hand over her mouth. I poInt my Index fInger of my free hand to my lIps. “Shh.” I lIsten to hear lIght walkIng In the church area. I slowly lower my hand fROM Stacy's mouth walkIng towards the entrance. I get half way down the hallway and my flash lIght flIckers and cuts out, leavIng me In darkNESs, that Is, asIde fROM the occasIonal lIghtnIng bolt. I reach In my pack for one of the candles fROM earlIer and lIght a match to IgnIte It, the match blows out fROM a breeze that seemed to come fROM nowhere just as I make It through the entrance. LIghtnIng strIkes, lIghtIng up the church through the staIned glass, bathIng the area In sIckenIng lIght of all shades and colors, IllumInatIng a fIgure In the back of the room headIng for the door of what I assumed to be the bell tower but, In that splIt second It saw me It, looked at me, and even though I dIdn't get to see Its face, I knew It made a twIsted smIle.
I dropped the candle where I stood and hurrIed back to Stacy who was In the corner camera In hand. GoIng through to pIctures I looked over her shoulder seeIng she just was lookIng through the slIde show. Only three pIctures but she kept repeatIng the slIde show. The fIrst was of the Moses pIcture whIch I guess Is the one we saw Alex takIng, then one was just Alex's face wIth a blank stare the same kInd as a dead corpse then the last one beIng the Moses paIntIng wIth that twIsted smIle drawn upon It. I grabbed her and pulled her up by the arm throwIng the camera across the room sayIng we have to get out of here. I gave her a candle and lIt It and took the last one and dId the same. We made quIck steps toward the front doors, only to fInd them locked. Or tIed shut. That gave me chIlls. It appeared to be an assortment of muscle sInew and tendons. Stacy let out a frIghtened yelp and I quIckly hushed her. LookIng up at the door, there was an arrow drawn In blood, leadIng for the bell tower door.
I turned my head towards the door, seeIng It quIckly shut as If someone was pokIng theIr head out but, quIckly left. I lIstened and heard the lIght footsteps agaIn. I clung to the candle closely, the hot wax drIppIng and burnIng my hand. I looked at my watch. There wIll stIll three hours to go tIll sunrIse, clIngIng then to the belIef that the lIght would protect me. I approached the door, then, for the second tIme that nIght, somethIng Interrupted the sound of raIn, but thIs tIme, It wasn't a scream. I heard the bell rIngIng. I could hear It echo down the hIll, whIle a small raspy voIce chImed along In almost a drawn whIsper, “Ding, dong… Ding, dong…” But, that was just It. There was no “dong”. It was muffled by somethIng that was blockIng the bell fROM hIttIng the other sIde. I mustered my courage and charged up the staIrs around and around. I ran only to fInd half way up the rIngIng stopped. I came to the top and saw blood drIppIng fROM InsIde the bell. I knew what happened to jefffff.
I stared up Into the bell seeIng jefffff, hIs eyes glazed over. HIs boNES were crushed beIng pummeled by part of the bell, but I fear by the look of hIs body, he had been long dead. Whatever was doIng thIs wasn't content to just kIll us; It was sadIstIcally toyIng wIth us. jefffff had has hIs arms and legs broken so many tImes they were used to tIe hIm to the hangIng part of the bell. I then heard a famIlIar scream, quIckly turnIng around to see Stacy hadn't followed me. I rushed down the staIrs my candle had gone out when I orIgInally ran up to fInd Stacy halfway In the bell-tower room the other half In the church, she was holdIng on to the doorway tryIng not to be pulled away. I drew the knIfe out of the bag and stab through the open door only held ajar by her body but, as I thrust the knIfe, a clawed hand grabbed my arm, crushIng It untIl I dropped the knIfe. Then In an Instant she was gone I heard her screamIng all the way to the bed room area of the nunnery followed by the sIckenIng sound of her paInful screams as I ImagIne the beast usIng the knIfe to kIll her. Then, the aIr was consumed by absolute sIlence. Then a slow moan that grew and grew untIl It was an unearthly cackle that rang out through the hallway. I reached Into my pocket for the matches and re-lIt my candle.
I made my way to the dInIng room. I collapsed on the floor. Alex's body was gone. I looked at my arm to see myself heavIly bleedIng. Loud smackIng came fROM the bed room, but suddenly stopped. I trIed to stay sIlent, but my body betrayed me as I coughed up a small bIt of blood. Then In a flurry of movement, my candle Is now but a small stub In the complete darkNESs of the dInIng hall, the sadIstIc smIle on Moses' face seems to mock me In the candle lIght. I looked Into the candle lIght the flame dancIng around as almost If It were alIve, Its lIght reflectIng and bouncIng off the polIshed wooden floors of the room. I could feel It, that feelIng, that sensatIon that grabbed my attentIon two hours ago. Yes It was here watchIng, waItIng, but where? I could feel Its stare all around me. How could It stIll be hungry? How? I quIckly turn around catchIng a swIft movement In the darkNESs. I turn around lookIng Into the candle, my only guIdIng lIght and salvatIon fROM the beast. WIth a deep sIgh, I say to the darkNESs wIth my arm bleedIng so profusely, I feel the strength leavIng my body. “Why, God? Why?” A loud cackle replIes, “Your God cannot help you, here! Besides, don't you like games?” I slowly lIft my bleedIng arm up, puttIng my hand to my mouth, lIckIng my Index fInger and thumb. I extInguIsh the candle as I dejectedly say “Game over.”