I sighed. I was going to my grandparents house for the summer. As much as I love my grandparents, they were dull, preferring to watch TV shows and movies that came out years before I was born. I would occasionally excuse myself when I got too bored to stay and watch. I would usually go and sneak out to go shopping in town, or go to the movies.
"Are you sure you packed the passports, Kevin?"
My mother and father were ditching me to fly overseas. Again. They did it every summer. It was there way of not having to put up with me, or leave me alone. Being seventeen years of age, this may seem a bit strange, but my parents just didn't trust me. They thought I would have parties at home and wreck the place. I also suffer from asthma. So, having a party would be a trip to the hospital for me. And I couldn't pay for the bills.
"Henry, here, take this. We want to know what you get up to during the summer." My mother passed me a dirty brown journal. Of course, she would know what I got up to during the summer if she stayed and actually did something as a family, but, what are you going to do?
After a boring day of watching some old series I had never heard of, I excused myself to go to my room. My grandparents were quite wealthy, and owned a manor. It was quite nice, but most of the rooms were locked. I waited until I was out of site of my grandparents, detouring to the laundry room. While there, I found a drawer full of old looking keys, covered in rust. I took several of them, quickly closing the drawer when I heard my grandmother approaching. I began my search at the top of the house. Best place to start I guess. The manor had four floors, and on the fourth floor there was a door to the attic, but it was, of course, locked. I stopped at the door, taking the keys out of my pocket. I tried them all, but none fit the lock. I took a piece of chalk I had with me out of my pocket, drawing a small "X" on the door, meaning I still needed to find the key. On the fourth floor, there were still four more doors, one of which was the door to my room, always unlocked I may add. I tried the one furthest from the staircase, again none of the keys fitting the lock. I drew another "X".
I began to give up hope, but the next door I tried, which was the door next to mine, unlocked with one of the keys. I placed the key on a hook next to the door. I opened the door, stepping in. Inside, I was hoping to find some long lost secret, but instead, I found a dusty old mattress, stained with what was probably urine. I groaned, closing the door and drawing an "O" on it, meaning I unlocked it. I locked the door again, not interested in the room, tossing the key back on the hook. I inspected the last door on this floor. Unsurprisingly, I didn't have the key, so I put an "X" on the door. I rolled my eyes, noticing it had gotten dark outside. So I called it a day, and retired to my room, putting the four remaining keys on my bedside cabinet, before drifting off into a dreamless sleep.
As I awoke, I found myself soaked. I sat up, noticing that my bed was also soaked. I got up, and groaned, embarrassed. I had wet myself during the night. I clucked my tongue, changing clothes as I picked up the four keys off of my bedside cabinet. I stepped out into the corridor. I passed the room with the mattress, then stopped immediately. I turned to look at the door. On it, was my drawing, however, someone had edited it, making it look like an eye. I rolled my eyes, supposing my grandfather was having a joke, as he usually did. So, I thought nothing of it. I continued on, sliding down the banister on the stairs. I arrived at the third floor. This was the floor my grandparents stayed on. I peaked into their room, finding them asleep. I was about to close the door, when I remembered something. I held in a scream, covering my mouth. My grandfather had lost both his hands in the war, relying on my grandmother to help him with small tasks, such as feeding and drinking. So, how did the eye get there? I know my grandmother dislikes coming up to the fourth floor, so it was highly unlikely to be her.
I then also remembered what was in the room. I closed the door quietly, staring at the floor, my mouth still covered. I quickly used my inhaler. In that room... was a mattress, that had been urinated on. And I awoke this morning to find I had wet the bed. This was no coincidence. I immediately, took the keys out of my pocket, wondering if I really wanted to explore the manor. I sighed, already intent on my exploration, so I continued. I went to the door across from my grandparents room. The first key I tried unlocked it, so I drew my "O" on it. I placed the key on the hook by the door, opening the door. I stepped inside, and found a fireplace. Nothing special, so I sighed in relief, thankful that nothing may happen during the night. I locked the door again, leaving the key on the hook. As this floor only had three rooms on it, the fireplace room, my grandparents room and the bathroom, I returned to my room, placing the other three keys on my bedside cabinet. I would continue tomorrow with the exploration, and I will use this journal to record what I find.
I woke up in shock. My arm had a burn mark on it. This didn't make sense. Why was my arm burned? Did this come from opening the door with the fireplace? I shook my head, picking up my keys. I traveled down to the second floor. I kind of didn't want to open any doors, in case there was only more danger. But, I carried on, not letting the burn phase me. On the second floor, there were seven doors, however two of them led to the large library that was in the manor. I went to the door over beside the furthest away library door. I tried each of the keys, the door unlocking on the third key. I drew my usual "O" on the door, the key on the hook. I slid open the door, and peeked in. The room was empty. I took a step in, feeling safe. After taking a few more steps, the door behind me slammed close. I yelped in fright, turning to find the door had closed. I ran over, trying to turn the handle, to no avail. I stopped, when I noticed my breath had becoming visible. It had gotten colder in the room. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
I was not alone in the room. I stayed facing the door, thinking that whoever, or whatever was behind me couldn't get me if I wasn't looking at it. I held my breath. It was then, I noticed the mirror on the wall to my side, reflecting in my eyes from the sunlight which had filtered in from a crack in the wall. How did I not see this mirror before? What would this do? Would it trap me in some parallel universe? Would I get seven years bad luck? I looked into the mirror, causing my jaw to drop. The thing, the person behind me...was myself. But, it didn't look exactly like me, oh no. Instead of a bottom jaw, there was nothing. This thing, this fake me, had no bottom jaw, and its tongue was hanging out, swinging with each step my mortifying doppelgänger was taking. I banged on the doors with my fist.
"GRANDMA! GRANDPA! PLEASE, LET ME OUT! HELP ME! OH GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!"
The doppelgänger retreated into the fireplace, as the door creaked open. I run out of the room, slamming the door closed and locking it. I took several sharp breaths, resulting in me using my inhaler. I tucked my inhaler away, as I began to sob quietly. I drew a skull and crossbones on the door, meaning the obvious: death. I got up slowly, returning to my room. I needed to sleep. I would continue later that night.
I woke up, later that night. I tiptoed down to the second floor, arriving at the next door. Whatever was going to happen to me if I slept through this night, I didn't want to know. Because, what happened in that room... I may have died. Did that mean if I slept during this night, I would lose my jaw and die? I didn't want to think about it. I tried my other two keys, but thankfully, neither of them opened the door. I only had two keys left. And only two doors left, in the whole of the manor, that I hadn't tried to unlock yet. The first floor had no locked rooms. The last two doors on this floor, was where my keys unlocked. I took in a deep breath, pushing my first key into the second last door, turning it, and a click sound resonated through the dark hall. I drew my unlocked symbol upon the door, dropping the key on the hook. I turned the handle slowly, tapping the door open with my foot, as I stuck my head in. I couldn't see anything. Not that it was strange, after all, it was the middle of the night.
However, my eyes had already long adjusted to the dark. The room itself, was painted black. I sighed in relief, thinking I had gone blind. I closed the door and locked it. I unlocked the final door with my last key. When I opened the door, a bright light penetrated the darkness. I shielded my eyes as my eyes slowly adjusted to the light. I stepped inside. Inside, was several lamps, pointing at the door. I shivered, unnerved by this. I went behind the lamps, noticing that they were covered in something, but I couldn't make it out. I leaned in, squinting my eyes. I placed my hand against the lamp. I recoiled and fell back, yelling in pain. The lamps had burned my hand. I looked at my fingertips, holding them up to the light. My fingertips had burnt off. The lamps felt like they were made of fire. I realized when I get close to the substance on the lamps, that it was... blood... it must have belonged to someone else who had touched the lamps. I left the room, locking the door. I had used all my keys. I returned to my room. I was too tired to continue. I fell asleep.
I woke up, expecting to be injured or maimed in some way. Nothing had happened to me. I sighed with relief, stretching as I got up. As I opened my bedroom door to have breakfast, I heard a scream. It was my grandmother. I ran, no, sprinted down the stairs to see what had happened. After another use of my inhaler, I opened my grandparents bedroom door. I entered the room, to find my grandmother sobbing, holding something against her chest. My grandfather lay lifeless.
"T... Tee... Teeth..."
My grandmother began whimpering, muttering this, over and over. Teeth? What did she mean? I crossed the room, noticing my grandfather had the sheets over his head. He did this, because whenever he slept without something over his head, he would suffer from severe nightmares. I didn't understand why he did this, but I guess whenever something like a fly or moth flew past his hearing range, it sounded like a plane in his dream. I prodded his back.
"G... Gramps? Are you ok?"
My grandmother was still sobbing, holding whatever was in her hand to her chest. I pulled the sheets down. What I saw... I will never forget... My grandfather... had lost his bottom jaw. The skin where it used to be, looked like it was torn clean off, like someone tugged it off. I turned, vomiting on the floor. I was not good with gore. I turned to my grandmother, who was still sobbing. I crossed the room to her. She looked up at me, eyes full of fear, surprise and grief. I pulled her hands towards me. Her hands had clamped around whatever she was holding. I saw something trickle between her fingers. I took a step back. I now know where my grandfathers bottom jaw had gone. My grandmother held her hands to her chest.
"I... I don't know what happened, Henry. I just woke up and... the next thing I knew, his jaw was in my hand... I ... I ripped it out..."
How did my grandmother manage to do this? Is it really possible for a seventy-three year old woman to rip a jaw clean off of a seventy-five year old war veterans face? I shook my head, remembering the thing I saw the day before. Did it manage to get out of its room? I guided my grandmother downstairs, to the kitchen, where I gave her a cup of coffee. I took the opportunity to leave the room, sneaking into the laundry and taking the last three keys. I was going to finish what I started. I was going to find what was wrong with this house. Even if it killed me. I would finish this tomorrow.
After my grandmother left to go to the local undertakers, I exited my room. I was going to work my way up. I headed down to the second floor. This door was located by the window that looked over the forest at the back of the house. I unlocked it quickly, doing my usual routine of marking the door and depositing the key on the hook by the door. I pushed the door open quickly, barging in. Empty. Again. I crossed the room, but nothing happened. I shook my head. I locked the door as I headed upstairs. When I arrived at the third floor, I shivered, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. There was something watching me. But what was it? And where? From where I was standing, I would have been able to locate where the watcher was. Then, it hit me. All of the doors that I had drawn a circle on... the markings became eyes, and they appeared to be... watching me...
They literally looked as if they were looking at me, taunting me... making fun of me. I shook my head. No, this was all just my imagination. I continued up the stairs. I finally made it. The fourth floor. I would save the door leading to the attic for last. I inhaled sharply, shoving one of the keys into the second last door on this floor. I flung the door open, not leaving my mark on the door, dropping the key on the floor. This room was filled from top to bottom with drawings. But not just any drawings. These were all familiar to me. These were all drawings I had done when I was younger. I was an aspiring artist, but I had given up when I met my girlfriend. She was better than me, and I couldn't stand the condescending tone she used when she drew something. But, how did they get here? I had trashed them all. Did my grandparents take them? And why would they lock them away? I closed the door, locking it.
I looked at the door I had unlocked on the first day. The eye on the door was looking at me. But, this time, it looked... like it was full of glee. I noticed that I only had one key, yet there was two locked doors. I crossed to the door that did not belong to the attic. I twisted the handle, and it opened. I gasped with shock, then recovered when I pushed it open. This room was empty. Nothing. I guess that the empty rooms, not including the one with the mirror and the doppelgänger, were supposed to be guest bedrooms. I closed the door. The moment was here. I placed the final key into the keyhole, turning it. Click. I nudged the door open. I was met with a staircase. I ascended into what I assumed was my doom. When I reached the top, my eyes opened wide with shock, my jaw dropped and my heart stopped. What I saw, was a red pentagram, with a black candle at each point. And on the pentagram. Was my parents, dead and bludgeoned. I looked up, and saw a figure. When the shock passed, I realized that the figure I was looking at... was a door. I turned. Where there was once a door, there was now a wall.
I opened the door, to find myself surrounded by doors. What was more horrifying was, they all had my mark on them. An "X". I noticed one of the doors had an "o" on it. I opened that door hurriedly. Inside that room, was the mirror. I looked into it. What I saw terrified me to my core. I saw the doppelgänger, smirking and waving at me. I heard my grandmother calling for me. My doppelgänger replied with my voice, before turning to the door, and opening it, stepping out into the hole. I waited for what felt like an eternity. What had happened? Then, I saw the door open. My grandmother entered. She looked around, confused. As she turned to leave, the door slammed shut, trapping her. I looked on. My grandmother, turned slowly, then screamed. What was there... was her, with her bottom jaw missing.