Estimated reading time — 34 minutes
The clock ticked back and forth above me. It was late in the morning and I fell asleep on my bed watching mindless, late night cartoons leaving the T.V. on in the process. The loud sounds from the early morning shows stirred me awake with sounds of explosions and crazy hijinks. I suddenly found myself looking at the clock. It was nine in the morning and I already knew that our parents weren’t home; my mom was working and my dad was out helping a friend move.
Thanks to my luck, my dad didn’t even ask me to help, which was a good thing for me. Tired from last night’s channel surfing, I was hoping for at least one good scary movie or T.V. show to pop up, but all I found were bland, boring infomercials. I sat in bed for a few minutes allowing myself to wake up fully before starting a new day. The grating noise of the clock was the only sound that lofted in my room.
I gazed around at my room until my eyes hit my bookcase filled with chilling stories that I read many times and now grew bored of. Slowly, I got out of bed and walked towards the bookcase and pulled out one of the books. My eyes glazed down at it as I opened it, flipping through the pages. I sighed and put the book back knowing what happens in the story. A ghost haunts and two girls escape by defeating the ghoul by exorcising it from her home. Same cliche story, same ending.
All of the books or movies I watched either have the hero or heroine escape and have their happy ending. It is always predictable and quite sad in all honesty. It is one of the reasons why I strive to find new ways to get a good scare. A new horrifying twist would be most pleasing to experience, but nowadays, people repeat the same formula in horror never taking a chance to go beyond that endless cycle of horror. I broke out from my ponderings and then proceeded towards the door to depart from my room.
“I guess I can make some Macaroni and Cheese…” I thought, craving food after a long night. I made my way into the kitchen. “Now, I just have to find the box,” I instructed myself, opening a cabinet filled with canned fruit and other foods inside of boxes, like spaghetti, noodles, so on.
I slowly leaned in, digging through them. “Where is it?!” I growled. That’s when I saw a hand reach in, grabbing a box that was right next to me. I mentally slapped myself and looked to my left to see my little sister, Rose. She shook the box in my face. “You’re as blind as a bat, aren’t you Jasper?” I huffed, grabbing the box from her hands, sitting it on the counter. “When did you come downstairs?” I asked. She watched me.
“I’ve been in the living room,” she told me.
“Watching television?” I asked. She nodded.
“Yeah, Spongebob was on,” Rose told me.
Nodding, I lazily responded, “Alright, since you’re here, can’t you help me?” I asked.
“With the eggs, mom taught you how to make them, right?”
“Yeah, she did, but I kind of forgot,” she told me with a frown.
“Alright, I’ll help you, get a pan please,” I instructed.
She started to search. “Here you go, Jasper!”
“Thanks!” I told her. “Now, crack them,” I continued.
“What if I mess up? I did once with mom and the yolk got all over,” she told me.
“You won’t, I promise,” I assured her. She looked at them nervously, cracking one egg against the table.
“Told you,” I said.
I looked at the box on the side. “Okay, stir until soft…” I read, stirring clockwise. I felt a tug on my shirt, Rose pointed towards the stove. “Alright, then you-” I started, just to hear my phone’s ringtone cut me off. I sighed, looking over at the macaroni again and towards my phone. “One second, stir the macaroni for me please?” I frowned.
“Is it Mary?” she asked.
“Okay, but you’ll keep an eye out for the eggs, right?” she asked. I nodded, going towards my phone. I looked at the caller ID.
“Yep, it’s Mary,” I replied, answering it.
I waited for a few seconds to hear rustling in the background of her phone. “Mary?” I asked.
“Jasper!” the teen shouted back. I pulled the phone away from my face a bit, her voice was ear shattering.
“Whoa, excited much?” I laughed a bit. Laughter came out of Mary’s mouth.
“I found something amazing! Really freaking cool online!” she continued. My eyes lit up with interest.
“Really? If it’s the story about that ghost, I already-” I started, just to be cut off.
“No! It’s not a dumb story! I actually read up on our state, it’s an article,” she told me.
I felt my interest float away and I flipped the eggs again. “You have to be kidding? What article did you find? The one where the farmer got his leg cut off by his farming equipment?” I asked.
“No, Jasper! I swear, this is actually interesting!” she shouted, getting aggravated, wanting to tell me. I stopped for a second.
“Alright, but I bet I’ve read it before,” I replied, looking at Rose who stared, her eyes filled with curiosity. I heard Mary let out an annoyed groan.
“Great! Now I can’t! Mom’s asking me to tend to the garden and stuff!” she mumbled harshly.
“Tell me later, okay?”
“I’m going to have to! Be sure to have your laptop out!”
“Alright, bye,” I finished. I heard her mom shouting for her from her end and she groaned again.
“Bye,” she told me, hanging up.
I moved the phone away from my ear, placing it in my pocket. Rose started to stir the macaroni again. I looked into the pot, noticing the macaroni was soft. “Alright, good job,” I told her. I lifted the pot, pouring the water out into the sink.
“What was she talking about Jasper?” Rose asked suddenly. I shrugged.
“She didn’t exactly get to the main point,” I replied, hearing Rose turn the oven off.
“I’m sure it’s interesting,” she told me. I brought the pot back onto the stove, staying silent.
“Maybe…” I responded, we went silent for a few seconds. “Alright, get the cheese,” I said, changing the subject. She grinned widely. I couldn’t help but feel somewhat curious in what Mary was going to say, it’s been a long time since I actually heard her so hyped up about something, maybe it was something I’ve never read before?
Later, during the evening, I was back in my room, my phone next to me. I had my eyes glued towards my laptop’s screen, staring at the search bar. Finally, to my relief, my phone started to vibrate. My eyes snapped away from my laptop and my hands quickly scrambled towards the device, answering the call. “Hello?” I asked. Some exhausted pants were hearable and it ended with the sounds of a door slamming. “Mar-” I started, just for her to interrupt.
“Sorry about not calling earlier, I sort of had to help mom out with a few other things,” she told me. I heard rustling on her line and she let out a tired groan. “I’m so happy to be in my bed,” she continued. I put her on speakerphone and placed the phone next to me.
“I bet, now, what did you want to show me?” my curiosity spoke for me.
There was a few seconds of a pause. “I knew that you were interested,” she laughed. I had to admit, I did sound as if I truly didn’t care during the last call.
“Yeah, I am. Mainly because you’ve never sounded so hyped for something before,” I responded.
“Well duh! This is an awesome thing! Alright, search up ‘West Virginia, abandoned places.’ ” she told me. My fingers immediately went towards the keys, typing it all in quickly. “Did you type it in?” she asked.
“Yeah, which link?” I asked, seeing multiple links.
“The first one,” she replied, her voice filled with excitement. I brought the mouse towards the link, clicking on it. Soon enough, I was brought to a website. It had a bland, red and grey background with text, even pictures, some of a little boy with an older man.
“What is this?” I asked Mary. I heard her clicking, as if getting on the website herself.
“This is Grande’s Magic Show.”
I started to scroll down to view some of the text under each picture. I stopped at the first picture, the one of the building. It had a large sign next to it and people were walking inside, each of them had old hairstyles and happy expressions.
“Grande’s Magic Show?”
“Yeah! This is what I wanted to show you, go ahead and read the text,” she told me.
I blinked, starting to read, “Grande’s Magic Show, 1964, Main Road, WV. This was the building in which the events took place. The building was decorated with beautiful red curtains, wooden flooring, each board polished to shine brightly with cement underneath. Wonderful grey walls painted with vibrant red circles. The building was huge, like a giant hotel with a large, decorated stage for the magician himself in the upstairs area,” I read out loud. “That was back in 1964,” I said, rubbing my chin.
I heard a hum from Mary. “Exactly!”
“This is interesting,” I replied, scrolling down towards the next picture of the child and the older man “Grande and his boss Louis, 1965. Grande, age twelve, was very talented at magic for his age and was hired by Louis in 1963 and was given the alias ‘Papagrande’ as a stage name. Grande was rather tempered child who normally stuck next to Louis until 1993 when he passed away. A new boss was hired later on,” I read.
“I have to laugh at the nickname though,” she snorted. I tapped my fingers on my laptop.
“Yeah, but still, what’s your point?” I asked her.
“Just read on okay? The next picture should give you a hint,” she replied.
I tilted an eyebrow, scrolling down to find a picture of people running out, fear written on their faces as they ran out of the doors. “1993, Grande’s last magic show. People ran in fear of the events which happened inside, this picture was captured during the event. The building is now fenced in,” I continued.
“Exactly! This is what I’m talking about! The building is able to be explored!” she told me. I just stared in thought. “Um, Jasper?”
“Oh – sorry, I was just thinking, how did you find this?” I asked.
“Like I said, I was searching up abandoned things that was in this state! So I sort of dug into the old links and found the link to this website. Now, aren’t you going to thank me?”
“Thank you for what?”
“Finding something for us to do!” she replied. I stopped.
“Who said I wanted to do this, sure, it’s interesting but-”
“Jasper, you’re so lazy. Main road is a good ten minute walk or are you scared?” she teased.
I thought for a moment. “Fine, what time?” I asked. She let out a cheer of victory.
“2:00 tomorrow! I’ll be at your house then,” she told me.
I picked up my phone. “See you then.”
“Bye!” she said, hanging up. I moved my phone away from my ear and hung up, placing it on my desk.
“….” I went silent, looking at the last picture on the website. I closed the lid of my laptop, I did feel rather… curious.
Seconds later, I heard a car door slam and Rose ran out of her room, going down the stairs. “Mom must be home.” I slowly got up from my bed, making my way out of my room. Downstairs, I heard my mom yawn loudly, closing the front door. “Mom!” Rose shouted cheerfully. I walked down the stairs and saw her. She removed her jacket and placed it on a chair.
“Hey, sweetie,” she grinned, messing up her hair. She looked slightly dark under the eyes, most likely tired.
“Man, you’re home late,” I said, walking up to her. She nodded.
“Yeah, the office made me work a little later than normal,” she replied.
“I see…” I said. She reached into her purse, pulling out her phone.
“Speaking of later than normal, your father texted me saying he’ll be home about six tomorrow. He still has a ton of things to do over there. In the meantime, what have you both been doing?” she asked, walking into the nearby bathroom.
I pulled out a kitchen chair and sat down. Rose by the door. “We made macaroni and cheese, then I just watched cartoons for awhile. Then I decided to go upstairs to my room,” Rose told her.
“Is that all you ate?” Mom replied. I leaned on my arm bored.
“No, I’ve been snacking. Jasper ate a few small things, but nothing big, because he was talking to Mary and was doing chores,” Rose said.
“Oh, what were you and Mary talking about, Jasper?” she asked. I started to tap my fingers on the table.
“Well, she’s coming over tomorrow and stuff. We talked about abandoned places and such, the usual,” I responded.
“She is? What time?”
“About two, we’re going to go a few places and then we’re coming back home.”
“Ah, I see. Well, take Rose with you, I just don’t feel as if she’s safe alone,” she told me. I froze.
“Whoa! Wait, what?! Take Rose with me?” I shouted. Rose frowned a bit.
“Is there a problem with it, Jasper?” she asked.
“Yeah! I thought tomorrow was your day off! It’s only supposed to be Mary and I!” I responded.
The bathroom door opened and mom walked out, her face clear of makeup. “Well, I have to work tomorrow because someone else is sick, so I have to take her place for the day,” she replied.
Rose crossed her arms. “Mom, I-”
“Nope! Jasper, don’t argue. Take her with you…”
“Fine…” I said in defeat. My mom was rather paranoid in my little sister, she can’t be anywhere alone, it made me feel like the babysitter.
Before I knew it, it was eleven. I was once again in my bed, reading through the same website once again, trying to find out more. “I want to find out more about him.” I bit my lip, clicking on “more images.” Of course, dozens popped up, one of Grande back in 1965, from the looks of it, he had cut an actress in half. Of course, when it comes to magic, the actresses and actors always had a way to be safe during it all. I clicked on another picture. It was an old map of the building’s location, it had Main Road going around it. “Okay, so it is by Main Road at least but in that exact location now, it’s nothing but a forest. I wonder if it’s still standing…” I rubbed my chin, reaching over to grab my phone. I went to my texts and started to message Mary, “Mary, don’t you even know if it’s still standing?” I sent.
While I waited I continued to click picture after picture until I stopped, seeing an image of Grande back in the 90’s. Unlike most of the pictures of him as a kid, in this picture, he just looked depressed, like all that happiness just vanished. I heard my phone vibrate and I looked at the message.
“Yeah, it’s still standing. But, I bet it’s damaged and such. So, are you ready for tomorrow?” Mary’s message said.
I started to message back, “Oh, I just saw an old map of the location, it’s surrounded by the forest now, right? Oh and… Rose is going with us.”
“Yeah, be ready for a small hike through a forest. What? Why is she coming along? I mean, it’s not a big deal but still…”
“I know and my mom’s forcing me. She’s too worried about leaving her alone.”
“Alright, I understand. See you then, I’m heading to bed, night.”
“Night.” I finished texting her, placing my phone back onto my desk. I pushed the power button on my laptop, shutting it off. My eyelids started to droop and everything eventually became black.
The next day pretty much consisted of making breakfast, doing the chores I needed to do and finally; I went into my room and grabbed everything I possibly needed. I gently placed things I might need into my backpack. “Alright, something to snack on, some water, and a flashlight. This should be good.” I checked over everything I had. “Now, we just have to wait for Mary…” I huffed, getting up from my position. I bent over to grab my phone, sliding it into my pocket. Silently, I made my way out of my room, sliding the bag over one of my shoulders. Rose was downstairs, she had grabbed her jacket and slipped it on. I walked towards her and pulled out my phone.
“Where are you?” I texted, hoping Mary would reply fast.
“I’m down the street,” she replied seconds later.
“Alright, we’re ready and such. I also packed a bag for us as well.”
“Great! I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Okay,” we messaged. I slid my phone back into my pocket and looked at the door.
“Hey Jasper…” Rose said.
“What?” I asked.
“Where are we going?” she questioned.
“We’re just going to go check out something, It’ll be fun,” I replied, tapping my foot impatiently.
“….” She went silent.
Eventually; Mary arrived, she knocked on the door and I allowed her inside. “Okay, let’s get outta here,” she said quickly. I walked out of the house, Rose followed behind, closing the door slowly.
“First off, what did you pack for us?”
“Some food, water, a flashlight.”
“Awesome, sounds about good. Now, aren’t you excited?”
“I’m very curious.”
“Close enough, what about you, Rose?” Mary asked. Rose lifted an eyebrow.
“I don’t even know where we’re going,” she replied.
Mary gave me a look as we started to walk. “Well, it’s going to be cool, you like abandoned things, Rose?” she asked. Rose shrugged and went in the middle of us.
“I mean, it’s okay, I just don’t like ghosts and most abandoned places have ghosts, right?”
“Nah, not exactly. Where we’re going, we’re only going to be there for an hour or such.”
“Oh…” they said.
We all pretty much talked until we arrived at Main Road. I looked at the tall trees that towered over us. Mary took a deep breath, taking a few steps into the brush of nature in front of her.
“If I remember, we should keep going forward and we should run into a fence,” Mary mumbled.
“And… climb it?” Rose asked. I nodded.
“Most likely, but who knows, it might actually be torn down from the elements or-”
“Either way, we’ll get in.”
“Yeah, because I didn’t walk all this way for nothing.”
“Really? You’re complaining about walking for ten minutes?” Mary snickered.
I growled in annoyance, looking down, “I wasn’t complaining, I was just-”
“Bye!” Mary’s voice sounded farther away. I looked up just to see her walk deeper, farther from me.
Rose followed close behind her. I raised my arms in the air. “What the heck?!” I shouted. I heard her laugh.
“Come on, Jasper!” she shouted. I groaned, stepping into the brush of weeds and other plant life. Some of which reached up to my knees. I struggled to run in it, thanks to it being rather thick.
“Hey, thanks for not leaving me behind!” I said sarcastically when I caught up to them.
“Then you should’ve kept up with me,” she laughed.
“What? I just looked down for a second!”
“Still, you should’ve kept up,” she teased.
I felt a little annoyed, minute after minute passed. I groaned, bringing my hand up to my bag, taking it off of my shoulder slowly. Mary and Rose stopped after hearing me place it down on a rock. “Water break?” Rose asked. I nodded, taking the large container out.
“Hey, remember to save some for us,” Mary frowned. I swallowed the little amount of water I had left in my mouth, closing the lid.
“I know,” I told her, holding it out. She quickly grasped it in her fingers. “So, how much further?” I questioned. Mary wiped her mouth, handing the container towards Rose, looking around.
“We should be close by now,” she responded.
I felt a sort of cheer go throughout my body. I reached over, grabbing the container from Rose who held it out. I gently placed the container back into my bag, placing it back over my shoulder. “We have to keep moving,” she said, starting to walk once again. Rose looked at me. “My legs are sore Jasper,” she told me. I started to walk once again.
“I know how you feel,” I responded.
“Wow, you can tell that you’re both siblings,” she teased. I rolled my eyes and soon enough, Mary stopped, and her eyes lit up. I tilted my head and looked at her.
“Don’t you see it?” she asked.
“See what?” I asked. She pointed towards the front of us. I looked and to my happiness, there was the fence.
“We finally made it!” she shouted, running towards the fence fast, ignoring the multiple weeds around us. Rose and I looked at each other and started running ourselves, then we were in front of the fence.
The fence appeared to look like a bush, the plant life covered it like a blanket. From the looks of it, it looked rather complicated to climb. Mary walked up to it, observing it.
“Dang…” Rose said, going up close. Mary put her hand on the vegetation. “This might be difficult,” she told us.
“Yeah, so who’s going first? I’ll go last,” I said, looking at them both. Mary looked at Rose.
“I think I should go first, then Rose can go,” she told us.
“Alright, be careful,” I told her. She nodded and gripped the fence tight. Each time she started to climb, I expected her to lose her footing. I stayed behind her just in case she fell.
“God, it’s harder to climb than I thought,” she said, lifting her hand up to grab ahold of the vegetation and the fence underneath. “Almost there!” she shouted, moving her foot up into the plant life, trying to feel the fence through it.
“Jasper, I’m sort of scared to climb this,” Rose whispered. I looked down at her and gave her an assuring smile.
“Hey, I’ll be behind you to catch you if you fall. Mary will be on the other side too,” I assured.
Rose sighed shakily and I looked up to see Mary going down the other side of the fence. I heard her grunt as she dropped to the ground. “Alright, it’s Rose’s turn!” Mary shouted from the other end. I looked over at Rose who grew a tough posture.
“I can do this!” she said, starting to climb the fence slowly. I stayed behind her, I could hear her inhaling air deeply, trying to stay calm and balanced. She reached up to grasp the vegetation just for her foot to slip, she let out a scream of fear. I quickly caught her in my arms, she shook, terrified.
“Whoa! Is she okay?!” Mary shouted from the other side, hearing the scream. I looked at her and rubbed her back.
“Breathe, it’s okay, you almost made it,” I tried to calm her down.
“J-Jasper…” she started.
“Is everything okay?!” Mary asked again.
“Everything’s fine, she lost her grip,” I replied.
“Is she okay?”
“Yeah! It scared her though!”
“Alright! Try to hurry, you have to see this!” Mary shouted.
I looked at her when she finally calmed down. “Are you ready to try it again?” I asked her. She looked down.
“Y-Yeah, but can you help?” she asked. I nodded.
“Of course,” I replied, picking her up with a grunt. I lifted her high so she could have less to climb. “There, you have a good grip now; right?” I asked. She nodded, starting to climb up slower. I could feel a sense of relief when she finally went over the top, going to the other end where Mary stood, waiting for her. “Did you make it?!” I asked.
“Yeah! Your turn, Jasper!” Rose shouted.
I raised my hands, clutching the fence tight, moving up slowly, one foot after another. I gripped the top and soon enough; I made it over the old fence. My feet hit the solid ground and I turned around. Rose and Mary were staring at a very large building. My eyes widened at its appearance. The paint that was on the outside was chipped immensely, revealing the brown bricks underneath. Vines, much like the fence, had taken most of the building over. The windows were boarded up, the windows above, too high for us to get to, were busted out. Mary’s grin widened along with my own, this was an amazing sight.
“C’mon! We have to find a way inside!” Mary said, her voice cheery. I walked over and nodded.
“I’ll go and check the back. Jasper, Rose and yourself should check around the sides of the building,” she instructed. I groaned.
“Who made you the leader?” I asked. She pushed me gently.
“I’m the one that found out about this place,” she said teasingly. Rose giggled.
“Fine!” I told her.
She grew a slight smirk and she started walking towards the back of the building. I looked down at Rose. “Left or right side?” Rose asked. I shrugged.
“Let’s just check the left,” I replied, going that direction. As we went around the building, twigs snapped under our feet, the breeze that once blew the trees had vanished making everything a little quieter. I got close to the side of the building, looking at each window. I rose my hand up to a board on one, pushing it, it didn’t even budge, if anything, it felt as if there were more boards on the other side of it. Rose walked over towards the one next to it, getting the exact same thing. “They have to be boarded up on the other side too,” I told her. She nodded.
“The right side now?” Rose asked. I nodded.
“I doubt we’ll find anything different,” I replied, going around the corner towards the back once again.
I went towards the right side, Rose followed quickly behind. Much like the left side, the windows were boarded up. I made my way slowly over to them, reaching up to push like how I did the left, just to get the exact same response. I growled. “Oh my God, please don’t make this trip for nothing!” I groaned, going towards the front just to hear a noise followed by a cheerful cry.
“Mary?” I asked, going around the corner just to see her climbing through a window. My eyes widened in shock. I walked over. “How did you-”
“It was loose!” Mary replied.
“Loose? But the others were-”
“No, boarded up from the other side too I think.”
“This one only had one side boarded and it made it loose,” she told me.
“Either way, we have a way in!” She smiled, going inside. Rose climbed through next and I climbed in last. My feet slowly touched the wooden flooring and I looked around. The room that we were in had a bed, its sheets were tattered and the room was an ungodly mess. The floor had to have had layers of dust along with the objects inside. The walls were chipping much like the exterior of the building.
“Whoa…” I said in awe. Mary squealed happily.
“This is so amazing!” she said, going towards an old desk.
I could feel my eyes travel over every object in the room, slowly, I walked towards the closet which was next to the bed. I tried my best to avoid the multiple objects that were strewn in my path, mainly the bed sheets which could’ve easily tripped me up with one wrong step. “Did you find something, Jasper?” Rose asked, going next to me.
I slowly gripped the closet door, pulling it open slowly because it was old. “Maybe…” I replied, opening it fully. Inside of the closet were dusty, old shoes along with coat hangers and some old, ruined shirts at the very bottom. “Mary, come look at this!” I said. She turned around and placed a small vase back onto the desk, walking over.
“This is cool!” she said, picking up an old shirt from the bottom. Suddenly, my mind clicked.
“I wonder, what if this was a guest room?” I asked.
“I think it is Jasper,” Mary replied.
I heard a noise from behind me and I turned, Rose had opened the door and started to leave the room. Mary put the shirt down and I walked towards Rose. “Where are you going?” I asked her. Mary walked towards us, going beside me.
“I don’t think there’s anything else to view in here Jasper,” Mary told me. Rose nodded and I had to agree. This room only had tattered bed sheets, a desk with no drawers and a closet with old shoes and shirts. I peered out the door, seeing a long hallway with multiple doors. It was dark, very dark.
“Alright, one second,” I told them, placing the backpack on the ground, opening it just to pull out the flashlight.
“Thank God that you grabbed that,” Mary said. I pressed the small button on the side, turning it on just for the light to illuminate the hallway. I stepped out, Mary and Rose followed close behind.
I could feel the curiosity course through me. The multiple doors seemed to hypnotize me along with the paintings on the wall. I stopped at the first door, causing Jasper to shine the light my way. “What are you doing?” he asked. I twisted the knob and pushed on the door, it opened and I smiled with excitement.
“She’s so into this,” I heard Rose mumble.
“And you both aren’t?” I asked.
“I’m interested,” Jasper responded.
“I think it’s different…” Rose replied.
“Exactly!” I turned back to the room. Jasper’s light shined against the boarded up window and over multiple objects. I heard their footsteps follow me in as I went further into the room.
“Mary, check this out,” I heard Jasper say. The light went off of the wall and Jasper had it shining towards a large picture above us.
“Keep it there,” I told him, slowly reaching up to take it off of the wall. My fingers grasped the picture’s frame, slowly lifting the picture away from the wall. I moved my hand towards the photo, wiping all the dust away to reveal a photo of the building. “It’s just the photo on the day of its opening maybe. Like the one we saw on the website,” I told them.
“It’s something, I guess.”
I hummed in agreement. The light slowly moved away from the picture as Jasper turned to look around.
“This room is so empty, the closet doesn’t even have clothes or hangers inside,” he said, pointing the light towards the open closet. I shrugged.
“Maybe we should go upstairs now so then we can go see the stage or whatever,” Jasper asked.
“I want to check the rest of the rooms first,” I replied.
“Okay, lead the way leader,” Jasper mumbled, holding the light out towards me. I took it in my fingers, making my way out of the room.
Just like the last few rooms, there was absolutely nothing. All the rooms were the same, the only things I could find were clothes and the same type of photos. I went out of the last room and started to walk towards the right. “We saw all of the rooms down here,” Jasper said.
“Yeah, we can go upstairs now.” I moved the flashlight, trying to find the stairs.
“Wherever the stairs are,” Rose said. I continued to walk forward just to see two hallways, one went left, the other went right. I thought for a moment and I heard Jasper groan loudly.
“Are you kidding me?!” he said miserably.
“Stop being a baby,” I said quietly, I heard Rose giggle in response, Jasper mumbled under his breath. I could tell that it made him slightly angry.
“I’m not a bab- nevermind! So, which way do we go?” Jasper asked.
I shined the flashlight towards the right, the hallway appeared to end with a wall, old pots were in the corners, sitting there. I shined it towards the left and it seemed to continue on. I slowly started to walk towards the left, the flashlight gripped tight in my hands. I remained silent, hitting the end of the hallway, there was a door, only one at the very end. Above the door was a small, slightly damaged sign that read “stairs.” It was rusty around the hinges. Rose turned the handle and the door refused to open fully.
I growled, grabbing the handle just to yank hard, making it open with a loud squeak. The bottom of the door was decayed and broke in a few places from getting dragged across the wooden floor. I shined the light against the wall, in middle of the room were the stairs, there were no windows to my surprise. I walked in just to hear something break under my foot, I kept going ahead just to hear the sound more and more. I shined the light on the floor. Small pieces of glass reflected the light back at me.
“Glass?” I asked. Jasper laughed, raising his hands.
“Spooky!” he said in a teasing tone. I rolled my eyes and started to make my way up the stairs, avoiding the glass shards the best I could.
I couldn’t help but stay close behind Jasper when we continued up the stairs. Each step up the stairs felt as if I was going to fall through, they creaked and creaked until finally; we managed to reach the top floor. Mary shined the light towards the door to the next room, next to it was a large, broken, rectangular tank.
“At least we know where the glass came from…” Mary said quietly, looking over the railing to look straight down. Jasper hummed in agreement. Mary brought her hand up, opening the door just to enter another hallway, the windows had actually allowed some light in. I heard the click of the flashlight, seeing the light that once came out of it vanish. “The website wasn’t lying when they said it was a huge building.” Mary turned off the flashlight. Honestly, I was just happy that I could see again. Mary quickly unzipped Jasper’s backpack, shoving the flashlight inside. “We don’t need this for now,” Mary hummed, starting to walk. My face sorta crunched up when I walked with them, this area reeked.
I could imagine in my mind what the area looked like years ago, with the multiple civilians walking around and the nice windows. It was so strange, what could’ve possibly made this place close down? What actually happened in this place? I stared at the ground in deep thought as we walked.
“Jasper,” Mary said, nudging me softly. I snapped out of my daze and looked ahead of us. Through a doorway was the stage. I could feel the feelings I craved once again as we walked closer. It was… very cool inside of the stage area, all around it, scattered around, were the chairs. The once, red color in the curtains seemed to have vanished into a pinkish color with splotches of… brown.
“It looks…” I started.
“Awesome?” Mary finished. I nodded.
“Yeah, hey, I’m going to get a better look,” I told her, stepping over a chair which was in front of me. I wanted to see the backstage area, I really, really wanted to. I went towards the steps, lifting my foot up to step on the first one.
I separated from Jasper and Mary, I didn’t want to bother them so I went across a broken window, trying to get some fresh air at least. The smell of the place didn’t seem to bother Mary and Jasper, since they haven’t even mentioned anything. The rotting wood just made the whole place smell like decay, up here was the worst or at least to me. My eyes traveled down towards the ground below, I inhaled and exhaled, suddenly seeing a shadow of something in the corner of my eye.
“Oh shi-” I heard, followed by a loud snap. The shadow seemed to move and I jumped slightly, turning my head to see Jasper. He yanked his foot out of the step, cursing loudly, he had some scratches around his ankle. Mary rushed over towards him and I turned to look again, now the shadow was gone.
“Jasper, what the hell?!” Mary shouted.
I turned towards them. “S-Sorry!”
“You’re so lucky that this didn’t hurt you bad!” Mary groaned.
My heart started to beat faster. “Guys, can we leave?” I asked, starting to get worried.
“I want to check something first! I saw another door… it might lead to the backstage,” Jasper pointed.
“But-” Before I could continue, he had climbed on the stage, limping a bit on his foot.
“I’ll be fine, Rose, the pain will go away soon,” he assured, not realizing. Mary rolled her eyes and climbed onto the stage herself. I quickly followed, I just… didn’t feel safe alone in the area. I knew that Jasper wasn’t terribly injured, it probably would be pretty bruised later though. I moved a piece of the torn and dusty curtain as soon as I climbed up. Jasper had his hand on the handle of a tall door. “Alright, let’s see this, then we will leave.” Jasper went to turn the handle just for it to not turn all the way. “What?” he questioned, trying again. “It’s locked!” Jasper groaned.
“Then we can go!” I said quickly, sliding off of the stage.
“I guess…” Jasper mumbled. “I wanted to see the backstage area…” he continued. I didn’t care, I just felt paranoid now.
I slowly closed the door behind us as we left the stage area. My foot throbbed a little and I was slightly upset. I had my interest built in and it was torn down. I heard the bag unzip and Mary turned on the flashlight. “Alright, I guess we have nowhere else to go but home, you win, Rose,” Mary sighed. Once again, we started to make our way down into the darkness, it surrounded us in its arms. Rose didn’t reply, she was just silent. “Rose? I’m sorry if I sounded rude there,” Mary apologized. Yet again, she did not reply.
“Rose!” I shouted.
“It’s okay…” she spoke shakily.
I knew something was off with her, once again, I heard the glass and Rose screamed a little in fear, I could hear her dart up the stairs quickly. What was up with her? “Rose! It was just the glass, remember!?” I said, worried. I heard her soft sobs and Mary shined the flashlight towards her. She was curled up against the wall. “Hey, stay here for a moment,” I told Mary.
“Well duh…” Mary frowned. I made my way towards Rose who looked at me, fear in her eyes. “I-I’m scared!” she said.
“Hey, there’s no reason to be.” I assured, putting my hand on her head. She shook under my touch and sniffled. “Now c’mon, we’re going home.” I smiled, holding my hand out towards her. She slowly reached towards my hand and I helped her up.
Jasper gave me a pat, putting on a happy attitude as he returned next to me. “Let’s go, she’s a little better now,” he said. I looked down at Rose and exhaled.
“I’m sorry about this, guys,” I said.
“Hey, it’s okay. We had a great time, Rose just got a little scared, that’s all,” he assured. I shook my head and he gently grasped my shoulder. “Listen, we’re okay. Let’s go,” he said, very serious. I smiled a bit.
“Alright…” I said. We all left, walking out of the area.
As we continued on our way, I made sure to look down at Rose, just to check on her. “We’re almost there,” I told her, the turn coming up. Mary stopped walking for a second and got a look on her face, a serious one. “Mary, what are you-”
“Sh!” she shushed me. I frowned.
“Shut up and listen!” she whispered. I went silent and Rose went closer to me, that’s when I heard it, a walking sound. Each footstep sounded closer and closer. I felt Rose grip hold of my shirt tight.
“…” I remained silent, my heart started to pound faster the closer it came until a grey, gloved hand grabbed the corner of the wall.
“You three came to work awfully late, we have to get the show started!” a man’s voice asked with an Italian accent.
I felt my mouth go dry and my legs started to get in running position. “W-Work?” Rose asked. We both started to walk backwards towards the door. The male walked slowly into view, he had long, white hair which reached down to his upper back. He had makeup on his face and dark rings under his eyes which were bloodshot and had a… mean feeling to it. What really caught my attention was the small blade which he had grasped in his hand. “My, my, yes. You are my actor and actresses of course, you busted in here just to perform!” he chuckled, getting closer.
“W-Wait… um, hey, I think you got the wrong group,” Jasper said, his hand slowly reached into his pocket and I could see his phone. Rose let out a cry of fear and sprinted away, triggering the male to sprint at us, the dagger in his hand tight.
I screamed, dropping the flashlight from fear.
“We need to go!” Jasper shouted, turning to run. No way, this was happening, my legs went numb.
“Don’t run from your boss!” he hissed. I felt a hand grip mine and Jasper sprinted with me into the room with the staircase. Rose quickly backed away from the door.
“What is wrong with this guy?!” Jasper asked, shutting the door tight, holding it in place.
“This is very rude! Open this fucking door!” he growled. I could hear the man on the other side, ramming it. Jasper put his back against the door, forcing it shut. “Get something to help me!” Jasper said, his teeth together. He was using all of his strength to keep it closed. I looked around fast, all I could see was black.
“I can’t see nothing!” I shouted.
“Did you drop the flashlight!?”
“I-I didn’t mean to!”
“You all are very late!” the male’s voice sounded enraged from outside and he started to force the door open from behind Jasper.
I felt tired, very tired. This man was going to kill us if I stayed like this. I quickly tried to grab my phone out of my pocket, I felt nothing inside and I gasped.
“Shit!” I cursed.
“I think I dropped my phone!”
“Are you serious?! Jasper!”
“Shut up and run!”
“I said, shut up and run!” I screamed. I heard Rose quickly sprint up the stairs. She quickly pressed her own back against the door.
“Mary?! Are you stupid?!”
“Not as stupid as you! You can’t take this guy!”
“Gosh dammit! I don’t want you getting hurt!” I shouted, pushing her away.
I could hear the glass under her feet and I thought for a moment. “I have an idea! I can hold it only for a few more seconds!” I screamed. If I could just manage to trip him up, it’ll work.
“Jasper, I swear to-”
“I won’t say it again!” I stopped her right there. I heard her go silent and then I heard running. I took a deep breath and quickly, I moved away from the door. He busted in, the dagger high. I could see the glass under my feet and we both got slammed onto the steps. I screamed, the male was right above me, my hands clasped around the dagger, holding it away from my heart.
“You ignorant brat! I give you one job and this is how you treat me?!” he shouted.
He was nuts, he was really freaking nuts, I no longer wanted the feelings of paranoia and fear. His eyes were filled with a large amount of insanity, his grin was large and twisted. “Get off of me!” I shouted, kicking the older male in the ribs. He gripped his chest and tripped on the first four stairs, causing the dagger to get thrown out the door. He landed directly on the small pieces of glass, he screamed in pain, clutching his face. I quickly tried to get up, Mary had the door held open upstairs.
“Oh my God, what did you do!?” Mary asked, shocked.
“It doesn’t matter! Shut the damn door!” I ran through it. Mary slammed the door shut. I quickly ran to grab a chair, putting it against the door.
I looked around. “Where’s Rose?!” I asked. Mary breathed quickly.
“S-She’s behind a curtain,” she said, walking beside me fast. I looked around at the curtains hanging above the windows. Curled into a ball was Rose, she was crying loudly. Oh my God, I feel terrible.
“H-How are we going to escape?!” Mary asked.
I turned with anger. “It would be nice if you shut up! Dammit Mary, you just ‘had’ to come here! This isn’t some damn movie or article, this is real life! We have no escape! None! The windows are too freaking high for us to escape from, he’s downstairs which means our exit is blocked so in other words, we’re going to die!” I shouted angrily.
She gasped and her eyes started to water before she pushed me. “Jackass, you’re the one who wanted to come with!”
“Well, you’re the one who found the website! So it’s you, you, y-”
“Will you both shut up!?” Rose cried, tears were running down her face.
Mary’s angry face suddenly turned into fear, I snapped out of my angry daze once I heard footsteps. “Oh God, he’s up…” I thought. Mary hissed angrily, walking towards a broken window. “I just told you that the windows are too high!” I rubbed Rose’s back.
“Well guess what, maybe he’ll kill you first if I do this!” she cried. My eyes widened and I bolted up, walking towards her. “Mary, calm-”
“Don’t tell me to calm down, Jasper!” she cut me off.
I knew that I had pissed her off and I knew that it was a bad time to. “I’m sorry!” I shouted. She shook her head.
“It’s me, me, me remember!? Remember Jasper?!” she shouted, going through the window onto the old roof. I looked back at Rose and ran back over, hearing the chair slide away. I shook my head.
“Screw it!” I shouted, picking Rose up.
Quickly, I scrambled through the window, standing on the grey tiling. A few feet away, Mary sat, glaring at me. “Mary-”
“Leave me alone! Don’t follow me!” she growled. Rose gripped hold of me tight and I slowly made my way towards Mary. I knew that I screwed up, we all did. I heard the door slam open and we all went stiff. I could hear his angry mumbles and his footsteps throughout the room. Rose started to hiccup from crying, I covered her mouth and my jaw was locked. Mary slowly made her way around the roof just for her foot to slip, causing her to slide a bit. She screamed in a high-pitch, catching his attention from inside.
I felt sweat trickle down my face. “You can’t do a disappearing act on me!” I heard before a hand wrapped around one of my ankles, causing me to fall and drop Rose.
“Jasper!” Rose screamed. I reached my hand out, trying to catch her just for it to fail. “Rose, no!” Mary screamed, leaning in to grab her, but sadly… it was too late. I watched in horror as my little sister grasped one little piece of siding before her eyes widened, within one second, the tile snapped and all I could hear was the sound of her body hitting the ground below, then there was nothing but silence.
My eyes remained wide and the world seemed to stop, my mouth went agape, my whole body was numb head to toe. “Did you see her?! I could’ve sworn she was levitating!” he laughed. My head slowly turned towards him, if I could feel any more fear than this, I would’ve. He had blood running down his face, his eyes were huge and insane. His nails dug into my hurting ankle, causing me to scream one last time until he yanked me inside, forcing me to the ground. He slowly picked up one of the chairs. I could only lay there, I was in a sense of shock.
My legs were like noodles, sweat drenched me as I stood, shaking. Rose’s body was on the cement below, her legs were twisted in strange angles and below her, some blood started to puddle under her. I- It was horrible and now Jasper… I couldn’t sit back and do nothing, even if he did piss me off. I took a deep breath and quickly took off into the room. Right when he was going to slam the chair down, I gripped it, trying to take it away from him. “Jasper! Run!” I shouted. Jasper just laid there, motionless.
“Let go, you little-” he hissed, grabbing me by my hair, yanking me with force, I hit the wooden floor with a loud thump. “Everyone gets a little stage fright! Let me help you both!” he said, lifting the chair. I felt massive pain in my head and I blacked out.
Tears slowly went down my cheeks as Mary was knocked out cold by the chair. He turned slowly. “You know what? I think you’re very special. I might make you perform with me first!” he shouted at the last part. I stared at the chair until it hit me hard in the head.
My eyes slowly opened after who knows how long, everything around me was a blur, unable to be viewed correctly as if it was fog. A low groan escaped from my mouth as the smell of rot went into my nostrils. I blinked a few times. My vision started to slowly clear, revealing the multiple objects around me. I gasped. All around me were boxes, it wasn’t the boxes that scared me, it was the contents within them all. Human carcasses, each pointed directly my way, some had maggots slowly eating off of them. I tried to move but to no success, then I had noticed I was inside of something, a box. Suddenly, the memories of the events which happened before went deep into my mind, tearing at my brain, this was all actually happening. My head throbbed. “J-Jasper?” I heard a groan. I looked tried to look over the box. It was Mary’s voice.
“Ooh! I hear that you’re both awake!” a voice said. I started to kick inside of the box, it didn’t even budge.
“Where are you!?” I shouted. I heard a loud laugh and Mary let out a scream.
“No! Don’t touch me!” she shouted.
“My, my, don’t you want the audience to see you better?” he asked. I couldn’t even see what they were doing.
I was upright in a box, my eyes followed the man’s as he turned me. When he did, human carcasses made me scream. “Look at them, they want to see you shine!” He walked towards Jasper, turning the rectangular box towards me.
“B-But… they’re dead!” Jasper shouted, thrashing around.
“No! They are not! They are just silently waiting! Now, allow me to introduce myself!” he said, walking in front of us, looking at the “audience.” “Hello my wonderful guests, it is I, Papagrande De Magico!” he announced. My eyes widened, it all made sense now, he killed people, that’s why the place is abandoned.
“Grande?! You’re the reason why this place is abandoned?!” Jasper asked. Grande laughed, clutching his head.
“N-No, it’s their fault! I-I-I performed so greatly! Then they tried to fire me, take away what I loved! I-I tried to make them proud for years! M-My boss volunteered himself! H-He-” he stuttered before grinning wide. “Now; w-why don’t you shut your trap!? I-It’s rude to speak when I’m doing my introduction!” Grande snapped. Jasper flinched and I shook.
He cleared his throat and started speaking once again. “Now, the great Papagrande has a new actor and actress who had come to be right here with me! This will be a great show! We have two things to show-” His eyes snapped towards Jasper. “This one will be the first to be shown!” He finished. He laughed to himself. “That’s so great to hold your excitement till the end!” he continued, talking to the carcasses and if they were living. I felt my heart throb faster and faster as he walked towards the side of the room. There, on the wall, was a large hacksaw. It had rust all over it and when he removed it from the wall, it hit the ground with a ping. “I know it’s been a long time since I’ve performed for you all!” he kept talking as he walked towards Jasper’s blind side, “So welcome to the show!” He laughed, placing the hacksaw in the very middle of the box.
“Mary?! What is he doing?!”
“Shhh… it’s even worse to speak during the performance!” Grande said, starting to saw. I watched as wood shavings slowly fell to the ground as he kept cutting.
“Let him go! Please! Oh God, please!” I screamed.
I heard it, I heard that sound, I finally realized what he was doing. “I’m not a part of your magic show!” I screamed. He laughed loudly, starting to saw faster. Mary’s begging continued to get louder.
“You stupid shit! You volunteered yourself! The both of you!” he shouted. Suddenly, pain coursed through my body, I could feel the sharp points of the saw rip into my skin like knives, each movement he made, it started to go deeper.
“Let him go! Let him go, you sicko! This isn’t what magic is supposed to be!” Mary screamed. With one quick movement, I felt my organs get shredded inside of me. As I screamed, I could feel blood run out of my mouth quickly, the pain, it killed me. I coughed, some of the blood landing on the wooden flooring that was under me.
Grande started to mock my screaming. “Weeeeh! I’m a little pussy! A little pussy who can’t even do one act!”
“H… H… Help…” I choked out, breathing becoming near impossible. I just wanted to die already, just so the pain could go away.
My eyes were swollen from my tears as Jasper struggled to speak. I closed my eyes tight as I suddenly heard a loud crunch followed by silence. I looked down, keeping them closed as I heard the sawing stop. “S-See, y-you made it through. It wasn’t that bad right?” I heard, hearing something drop to the floor. “N-Now, let’s show the actress how you got through it! The audience is so amazed! They are speechless!” Grande continued. I heard his footsteps. “C’mon now, what do you think? Look how he got through it all! He’s perfectly fine!” he said. I could smell the terrible odor of his breath. My eyes remained closed. “Don’t be rude towards the actor!” He hissed. I felt a stinging sensation on my cheek as his hand made contact and my eyes slowly opened, my stomach turned when I saw him move out of the way, revealing Jasper. The box that Jasper was in was cut in half, just like his body which dropped out his organs as seconds passed. His eyes were bent upwards as his mouth was agape. My nausea increased and I vomited. “Now, the audience is wanting to see the next trick!” He clapped. “This one is my favorite!” He went towards a box of swords, walking through the dead bodies. “Don’t worry my crowd, I shall give you my autograph later!” He walked back towards me, holding the box of swords in his arms.
Images flashed through my mind of my family, what were they going to do?! My mom, dad, the rest of my family?! Jasper’s family?! I didn’t even bother to tell mine where I was going! How will they react when we don’t return?! “Want to see a magic trick?! The finale!?” Grande asked the “audience.” He went silent for a few seconds. “That’s fantastic!” he replied, as if they spoke back. He quickly grabbed one sword out of the box. This was my fault, Jasper was right. I found the website, I wanted to go here, this was all me, me, me. “Now! It begins!” I felt pain course through my body and I threw my head back, crying. He had slammed a sword directly through my kidney. “You’re doing great so far! Two!” Grande said. I could hear a sword bump into another as he picked it out of the bunch. I braced myself for more pain and soon, another went through me, but through my shoulder. “Look at this! Perfect! Three!” He picked up another.
I could just feel the two other swords in me, the blood was drenching my clothes, I could feel it. Another sword went into me, I could feel it bury deep into my side, going towards my lungs. My nails dug deep into the wood and I released another pained scream, “Dammit! It’s stuck!” Grande gripped the handle of the sword with two hands, shoving it in with force, going through my ribcage.
“There we go! Don’t worry! The trick is almost finished! Four!” He grinned. I couldn’t breath, the taste of blood went into my mouth. How I was still alive, I did not know.
“I’m sorry Jasper, Rose… I’m so sorry,” I weakly said. Finally; the last sword went deep into me and he twisted it, I could hear Grande chuckle deeply as my life started to fade, he came close to me, whispering in my ear.
“Welcome to the audience, you can see the others shine now.”
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