Rough Draft: “Dance Macabre”

Dance Macabre-Book 1

October 17, 2011

  1. Episode 1: Spell

“Well, today’s the day…the day I ask Joanna Morgensonne on my cruise with me this spring!” “Isn’t it a little early for that, Andrew? It’s only October. The World Series hasn’t even been played yet.” “So, I like to start early, so that the other guys don’t get to her first.” “Question: what makes you think that she’ll agree to this?” Andrew looked at his friend, Tom, and proceeded to explain why he was the only guy that Joanna would ever go on a cruise with. “I play baseball, I get straight A’s, I dress nice, I talk to all the other popular girls, I have no enemies and I look like a million bucks. What’s not to like?!” “I guess, well, you know, she’s probably got other guys looking at her all the time as well. Besides, we go to college next year, and this is your last chance to get her to kiss you…” “Kiss? Oh, not just that, I hope to go all the way, if you know what I mean. HA!” Andrew joked. Andrew Kinsley and Tom Jameson both attended Privet Regional High School near Arlington, Texas, where the World Series was being played the following week between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals, the Texas Rangers, their hometown team, were being called the new American League dynasty; with back to back World Series appearances; along with the Phillies on the East Coast, the two best teams in baseball, as far as lineup is concerned, were the Rangers and the Phillies. Some of the Rangers hitters hit home runs out of the park, and with an extra $81 million a year coming into the club’s pocket, they could get any free agent player they wanted. However, that day, after his first period biology class, he would approach her and ask her early, to make sure that any other guy was out of the running. The two friends walked into the school and approached the biology classroom, and saw that Joanna was already sitting in her seat, filing through her notebook, organized and well-written, she was so smart. Andrew walked over to her and handed her the letter he had written t her the previous night. “Oh, what’s this? Andrew?” Joanna said, in her soft-spoken voice. “Open it, before the teacher comes in.” She took her little, delicate hands and pulled the envelope apart, and saw the card he had bought for her…she smiled and opened it, and practically had a heart attack. “Andrew…oh my God…two tickets on the Queen Mary 2 to Europe?” “Yes, Joanna. We’ll see Rome, Paris, Berlin and London, St. Petersburg and many other places…the boat leaves a week after we graduate. What a way to end this chapter of our lives!” “Yes…I guess. This is extraordinary, but…I don’t know if I can do it…I’ll keep this ticket safe, though…I’ll give you my response later on.” “Ok…I understand.” Andrew said, just as the teacher walked in.

After the lecture on the most boring part of the body, the ear and its inner workings, both Joanna and Andrew walked their separate ways…until just about 3 minutes later…when Andrew saw Joanna chatting with her friends…what he heard them saying was like a punch in the stomach:

“So, Andrew gives me these tickets to the fucking Queen Mary 2, and I look at him…are you really that desperate? Couldn’t you just get me a flower or a box of candy? I mean, if he wants to impress me so badly, he should stop being so much of a jerk and act like a decent individual.”

Andrew clenched his sweating fists, his eyes dilated, his veins throbbed in his face, and his heart raced intensely. “That bitch tricked me! Played me for a sap…I need…something to get…No. Lives are not worth risking over this. She’s a person, so am I…she’s entitled to her own desires, but…I NEED HER! I NEED HER TO FEEL COMPLETE! I NEED…UGGGHHH!!” Andrew thought. He was now obsessed with finding a way to get her to like him. He was a decent individual…just a very proud one. This was a personal insult. She would see it his way…somehow. The best place to look for ways to get someone to like you, at least in his honors-student mind, however, was the library in the school; he had a study hall period at that point, so he made it quickly over to the library to research this matter.

Upon entering the quiet of the library, he looked through the lines of books, until he found one that looked…interesting, to say the least. “A history of witchcraft, past and present.” “Past and present? As in, there are still sorcerers today?” Andrew thought. Upon opening the book, he saw a spell that caught his eye immediately. A very creepy, macabre image of a skeleton being cursed by a greenish, glowing fog appeared on the screen, and explained:

This, the Ohm Die Spell, grants its target with incredible, immortal and destructive powers, becoming the most powerful man in the universe, but costs them their soul and humanity…all who embrace this spell eventually become consumed by darkness and merge with the very essence of evil itself. Through the powers of the Mind Quill, he reigns supreme. The curse is performed by using an acid, a base and a flame, while reciting the text written underneath this passage.

Andrew smirked, knowing that this spell was the only way to get what he wanted. He would become the most powerful man in the universe, at the expense of his humanity, but that was a minor trade off. “If Joanna were to love me, which would be the only humanity I would ever need…my life would be complete. I wouldn’t need anything more. I’m in love with her, and people do crazy things for their loved ones…I will find you, and I will make you mine.”

The rest of the day was uneventful however, when he got home, he came home to an empty house, as his parents worked in Arlington, about 20 miles away. “Good…I have a candle, peroxide and baking soda…” Andrew hissed, standing in the center of his living room. He lit the candle, and placed the baking soda and peroxide into a large glass, causing it to fizz violently. He had memorized the spell recitation, and began the one-sentence spell:

Casa mi aire moni dor…” Nothing happened. “This is just silliness…I should have known that this was…AHHHHHHHGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!” Andrew screamed as he was enveloped in a green fog, triggering a burning pain that permeated his body right down to his bones. His skeleton shone through the static blasts from the fog. Once the fog cleared, Andrew looked quite different. He wore a black robe, a beret and his eyes were glowing an eerie red. He held a quill pen in his pocket. Realizing the magnitude of his success, Andrew was shocked. The spell had worked! “Ha…Haha…HAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! HAAAAAHAAA!!!” Andrew cackled. “I am the Lord of all things! A god! My name is no longer Andrew. It is Hex; and Joanna…she isn’t going anywhere without me…”

Episode 2-Play

That night, after school, the school play of “Winter Season” crew was busy rehearsing. “All right everyone, I want everyone in their positions, make sure those props are in place…can I get the lights…3…2…1…and go!” The moment the lights were turned on, however, they started flickering, eerily. “Alright, someone make sure the wires aren’t crossed on the switchboard.” Joanna said, a tad annoyed at the problem; the old switchboard was constantly breaking and malfunctioning, but it was usually fixable. “Jo, I don’t see anything wrong here…” the tech manager said. “Then…what’s causing that flickering-“Suddenly, the lights went out completely, plunging the stage into total darkness. “What the heck? A blackout?!” Sam yelled, confused. However that confusion turned to sheer terror, when a creepy draft began blowing through the auditorium and stage, as well as the curtains, billowing in what appeared to be some kind of supernatural, paranormal wind. “Ghost!!!” one of the actors yelled, pointing at nothing. He suddenly became hysterical, writhing on the stage floor, yelling such things as “Suicides…only children can hear it…voices telling me to recompense, absolve my sins, damned to Hell!! Thus saith the Lord!!! HEX! HEX!! HEX!!!” Soon, one by one, everyone on the stage became hysterical, all yelling the same psychotic babble and exhibiting bizarre, macabre faces. Jo was genuinely terrified, there was clearly something plaguing her stage crew and the actors…but who knew what? Just then, Jo saw an apparition, standing the far, dark corner of the stage, right behind the curtain. It did not look human. It had a huge, long, horse-like face, dark, soulless eyes, wore a huge top hat and smirked evilly. It looked like it was wearing some kind of clown ruff around its neck, as well as a clown-like outfit, just gray, and it had no visible feet, just a cloud of haze. Jo was genuinely freaked out. The ghost; or whatever it was, floated onto the stage and looked at her directly. It was like the Phantom of the Opera. “I have a riddle for you…my master, Hex, the Lord of the Universe, demands that you answer this. Jo nodded in agreement, as her stage crew was passed out on the stage, crying. “What is the limit of mankind?” Jo thought for a second, having taken an AP English class, she recognized the passage from the book “This Side of Paradise.” “Death?” she said, her heart racing, not knowing what would happen to her if she got it wrong. “Yes…you are a smart one.” The clown ghost hissed. “All life is born of death, and all death is the termination of one existence to another. Dead men tell no tales, except when they enter the Kingdom of the Dead, the Haze Realm, where I come from. Our leader, Hex, is trying to find the Silver Pear, the Dark Diamond, and the Haze Key. This is just getting started. I am the Mathematician, and it’s not the school that’s haunted…you’d best believe in ghost stories, Joanna…you’re living in one.” “Wait-“The ghost disappeared suddenly, and then the lights returned, as if nothing had ever happened. “Ok…I don’t want to be in here anymore…” the tech manager said. “No…the show must go on. Take 2, get ready.” Despite the ghastly appearance of some kind of mathematician ghost, one who lurked in the shadows? Scary, to say the least. Also, Jo was very curious as to who “Hex” was, not to mention the Diamond, Pear and Key. Just then, however, Sam remembered something. The Pear, Key and Diamond were reportedly located in Ancient Egypt; from her AP World History class…however, it was only a legend. These three Sacred Icons were rumored to be able to bring the two Arch-Gods, the Winged Dragon of Hell, and the Heavenly Being of Light back to the mortal world, to dominate all regions of Earth. They would be bound to whoever opened their gates…it’s funny how some legends are proven as true sometimes. The play’s rehearsal commenced as planned, but the fear remained. The image of that ghost would haunt her forever…if not the ghost itself. She didn’t know what the heck the ghost meant by “it’s not the school that’s haunted.” As opposed to what? This was just too creepy to think about now. The take continued.

If it was one place that was haunted, however, it was the Mueller House on the banks of the Hudson River in the old city of West Nyack, the splendid old mansion, a Tudor style home was once home to a group of beautiful young college students; the mansion was owned by Samantha Mueller, a very pretty girl with a serious attitude problem. She had inherited the mansion from her parents, who had orphaned her upon their death in a catastrophic car accident. Sam used the mansion as a palatial home for her friends and herself from Columbia University back in the 1990s, and it was a very pleasant, gorgeous, 400-year old home built by the Dutch, with huge, ancient oaks lining the rotary driveway, with a statue of an angel water fountain in the center of the driveway. The interior gave the Palace of Versailles a run for its money; its splendor was unrivalled anywhere in New York. All was well, until 1998, when an eerie incident was reported from the mansion’s master bedroom-Sam’s room. Supposedly, some of the neighbors heard what sounded like a struggle and screaming. Once the police were called, they found NOTHING in Sam’s room, nothing to suggest any struggle at all. Sam passed every single lie-detector test that the police administered…however, pretty girls were always good liars…she had cleaned up the brutal murder scene with an absorbent piece of burlap, and hid the body in the floorboards. The police didn’t suspect a thing. Beneath that polished exterior was a deranged paranoid schizophrenic who refused to take her meds. She claimed that death liberated her from the constant macabre hallucinations, although that death was not hers. Her friends were involved as well. After that, late at night, neighbors were becoming very concerned about the moaning, screaming and begging voices coming from the mansion, not to mention the occasional shriek of terror or pain. Convinced that something was terribly wrong, the police were called again, but once again, nothing was found. The police, however, were beginning to suspect something foul going on inside the mansion’s walls, based on the number of reports. Detectives were sent to investigate, and the young women were very polite and cordial to him, the detective asked Sam a few questions, and her answers, normal to the layman, were a bit disturbing to the detective. “Well, there are two kinds of people on this planet, those that serve me, and those that oppose me. I, like any other rich girl, like to be spoiled, and any other people that don’t satisfy me are not welcome here.” The dead giveaway was the sudden, stench of rotting corpse. “Hey, do have any dead animals around here? I smell something rotting.” Sam and her friends looked around the room…like crooks that had just been caught. The detective immediately knew that they were guilty of murder. The detective walked away into the bathroom. “They’re all guilty as charged. Bring the SWAT teams, any officers we have pronto! This is bad.” The detective hung up his cell phone and flushed the toilet arbitrarily to make it seem like he was actually going to the bathroom. “Well, I must leave now. Thank you for your hospitality.” the detective said, walking out the door. He stepped into his police cruiser and drove away…only to lead more than 25 police cars and 3 SWAT teams over to the mansion. Sam was furious, and ordered her friends to take their weapons and defend the house. The police however had an unfair advantage. They shot all 4 girls before they could even fire one bullet, and then, the house was searched…what they found behind a secret, barred-off door was so horrid that it rivaled Adolph Hitler’s tortures in Auschwitz. At least 12 captives were found chained to the wall in a gruesome state, all of them were naked, and the ones that weren’t tied to operating tables with drug-injecting needles in their veins were shackled to the walls. The women had their stomachs ripped open and their intestines tied around their waists, one woman had her mouth filled with excrement and her lips sewn shut. Some of them were in cages made for dogs, lying in their own filth. The men were in even worse shape, with eyed plucked out like grapes, fingernails bent backwards off the cuticle, genitals slashed off, and legs broken and twisted into unnatural shapes, sewn into position for maximum pain. Human heads, hearts, lungs and tongues were thrown into blood-filled buckets; marked “Cat Food” or “Doggie Chow” and a small pyramid of skulls was in the corner, as well as feet and fingers on the ground; there were Nazi flags hanging up everywhere as well…the four girls’ torture victims. The corpses were removed and cremated, and all the body parts burned along with the bodies…”

That was 12 years ago, and the house was now abandoned; still on the market for $330,000, when it should’ve cost more than $15 million. The great trees and walls of the place were kept in good shape, as the realtors mandated that, but no one had ever made an offer on it…on a 1-10 scary chart, the Mueller House was a 12. However, there was a group of individuals that used the property grounds for various meetings…this group, the League of Tempelritters, were Haze Realm wizards that served the Lord of Existence: Hex. With Hex’s return, the wizards of the Haze Realm began to materialize themselves, leading to a global haunting. The five Tempelritter Lords, a young man identified as Oliver Ashen, another one named Lance Crassus, another one named Steven Guggenberger, another one being a young woman named Forsythia Eem, and the last one, the Lord of the Tempelritter Order, second in command only to Hex, Orna Cyl. Standing in the center of the old, dusty, spooky, yet glorious mansion’s ground floor at sunset, with the dust and dead silence all around them, they waited for the sun to set, before they began their ritual. As the sun set, the very aura of the place changed, from that of a dusty old building to that of a tomb, or a graveyard at night. There was no moon, so there was absolutely no light at all. The five dark sorcerers lit candles, hoping to communicate with the dark spirits of the tortured souls who died here, eternally trapped in the Hell that was Mueller House. “This house…it gives off such strong auras…the miasmas that exist here will arrive shortly.” Orna Cyl grumbled. No sooner had he said that, that a fluttering, flapping sound was heard from behind him, much like that of a bat’s wings, and then, an eerie groaning noise that sounded like a man in agonizing pain. A cold, frigid draft blew through the house, blowing the candles out, leaving the place in complete darkness. “ILLUMINARUM!!” Orna yelled, raising his scepter and releasing a huge burst of light. In the light of his scepter, he saw pathetic, emaciated human figures, some missing eyes, fingers, or feet, and they were squealing, moaning and shrieking like goblins, walking like chimpanzees, with those that had no feet crawling like evil, decrepit babies. Orna swung his scepter, destroying the apparitions in pain and suffering. Just then, the wind got very cold, and dust began to blow into the sky. “She’s here…” The doors opened, as all the smaller entities scattered in fear, these were the souls of her victims, cowering in terror of her power. Down the steps walked Sam, her appearance having changed quite a bit upon entering the afterlife… she now had a chalk-white face, red, glowing, squinty eyes, long, black hair, vampire-like fang teeth and a very elaborate robe and cape, she looked like a female version of Vlad III Dracula. “It is a pleasure to see you again, Orna.” Sam hissed, opening her mouth a little bit, revealing her fangs. “You look very nice tonight…” Orna said, like a true gentlemen. ‘Well, thank you very much. Being a ghost has its perks…Come, my friends.” Sam yelled. Just after that, her three friends, dressed very similarly, stepped beside Sam. “So what are you proposing?” “Well, our Lord Hex has returned…” Sam and her friends smirked evilly. “Hex…how nice…we, the denizens of the Haze Realm, will finally rule both planes of existence.”

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