Friday the thirteenth. A day that most people who were superstitious loathed but a lot of people, like Claire loved that day. Why? Because it was just something out of the ordinary and gave Claire an excuse to play pranks and have a good time. However, today seemed to be quite boring. For some reason, Claire had decided to call in sick at school and wander around the mansion, which her family recently bought and was still adjusting to. There were plenty of secrets to be found and Claire was determined to discover them.
It was still early in the morning and Claire had decided to start from the top and make her way down to the bottom. No one was home, her brothers and sisters were at school and later would go to the after school clubs. Her parents were at work, which made Claire slightly nervous, but she still had some company. A black cat named Artemis, which Claire adored. The cat lived on Claire’s floor and followed Claire everywhere she went; he was one of her best friends actually.
Exploring the top floors wasn’t anything over the top; the mansion seemed like any other mansion, big bedrooms, some of them being en suite, large bathrooms, a few small offices on each floor. It was what you would find in normal houses but everything was just slightly bigger.
It was getting dark outside, as it had started to rain and the wind seemed to pick up. Still, Claire was home alone with the black cat. Company, but she wanted someone else to be there.
Hours went by and it was pitch black outside, when Claire found herself in the entrance hall, looking around. There wasn’t anything eye catching in the entrance hall, except for the large, dusty, golden chandelier above her head. Her eyes wondered around for sometime, when something caught the corner of her eye. Something which didn’t belong there on the shelf…..it was a picture of a woman and her child.
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Curiously, Claire lifted the picture and as she did so, the entire shelf moved back revealing a hidden room. For Claire this was strange, but she was curious and nothing could stand in her way when there was a mystery at hand. Slowly and carefully, Claire made her way into the small room. Lighting a candle before she entered, Claire found the room to be covered in thick layers of dust and surrounded by piles and piles of books. Sighing lightly, Claire heard a rather loud bang and instantly turned around. A large book had fallen onto the floor…but there was nothing that had caused to it to fall. Well, unless you count fate.
Picking up the book, Claire quickly made her way out of the room…there was something about that book, the look of it…it seemed so familiar, like as if she had seen it in her dreams once before. Claire took a seat on the lower steps of the spiral staircase and dusted the book off slightly. Suddenly the lights went out. Claire let out a scream and then started laughing. It was stormy out…that’s all it was, bad weather and the power had just gone out. It was nothing more or nothing less. Claire held on to the book and made her way to the living room, where she lit up a few candles.
The weather outside seemed slightly threatening…then again when ever it was stormy, it was always to the full wrath of Mother Nature. Claire had always enjoyed a good thunder storm, even as a child…tonight however wasn’t the right night for one, no; it was far too weird as it was. The candles were lit and now Claire’s attention was on the book which was resting on the coffee table in front of her. Enquiringly, Claire looked over the book; there was ribbon on the side, keeping it closed, almost as if something would jump out of it.
Another great clash of thunder and a bright flash of lightning caused Claire to jump slightly. Everything about tonight was making her skin crawl; she had a horrible feeling, one that just couldn’t be shaken off. Everything in the house seemed so silent, which wasn’t an every day thing. Maybe Claire was bringing the fear and paranoia on herself? Biting her lip slightly, Claire moved her hands to the book and slowly pulled the ribbon. After the bow had been untied, Claire put her finger tips to the cover when suddenly she heard the front door close and voices.
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Thank God. Claire thought to herself as she got up and slowly made her way to the entrance hall, where she had heard the voices. Claire picked up a lit candle and made her way to the entrance hall, bringing light towards her twin brother and his friend Jason with every step.
“Someone say my name?” Claire asked as she stepped out. “Where’s Emily?” She looked around for her little sister.
“Emily’s already gone upstairs. Busy bunking school today Claire.” Chris, Claire’s twin brother spoke with a note of sarcasm in his voice.
“Oh. Stay quiet you, it’s not like you don’t bunk. Well, anyway I’m actually glad you’re finally here, I found something…well, something interesting to say the least” Claire said, nodding her head back in the direction of where she had come from. “C’mon, I’ll show you.” Claire said turning her back and retracing her steps as Chris and Jason exchanged confused looks and then followed his sister into the living room. Honestly, Claire should have waited for their replies, but at this moment, she was far too impatient for that.
“So, what did you find?” Chris asked as he and Jason sat down on the sofa next to the candles. Even with the candles lit it was too dark for Chris to see what Claire was about to show him.
Taking a seat after Chris, Claire sat the candle down on the table and picked up the book. “I found this today…in a hidden room…actually, I think the book found me, if that’s possible.” Claire said with a slight laugh. Sure, she was outgoing and always tried to act happily around everyone, but tonight she had a horrible feeling, a bad one, but she was just eager to know what was in the book.
“So, what’s in the book then? Have you opened it yet?” Jason, who was next to Chris, asked Claire as he sat their scratching his jet black hair. Claire shook her head in disagreement.
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“I was about to open it but then you came.” She replied, her fingers gripping the top corner of the mysterious book, ready to open it.
“Open it then. Don’t just sit there staring at it!” Chris demanded. Claire scowled at her brother. Just as she was about to open the book for the second time, she heard a slight cough from the doorway. Her eyes left the book and trailed towards the door only to see her little sister stood there in her pyjamas, shivering from the cold. Without asking her sister, she entered the living room and cuddled herself up to the cushions on the sofa.
“What are you doing Emily? Go to sleep.” Claire questioned Emily.
“I couldn’t sleep because of the thunder and I heard voices coming from downstairs so I thought I’d come and see what you were doing.” Emily replied, looking suspiciously at the book in Claire’s hand. Claire stayed quiet; she didn’t want her sister to be there when they opened the book. What if something happened? Then everyone would blame Claire. But there was no point in trying to make her sister leave, Emily had always been a stubborn child since the day she could walk and talk.
Her hand touched the book again ready for opening. As she was about to open the book again, there was a knock on the front door. Claire frowned in annoyance.
“I’ll get the door. You stay here.” Claire spoke to her brother, who was about to stand up. Clutching the book in her right hand, she made her way into the entrance hall again, holding a candle in her free hand.
“Hurry up Claire, let us in! We’re getting soaked.” Claire smiled as she recognized her friends’ voices. She put the candle down carefully on the side table and then unlocked the door. Her two friends Christy and Blaze, without asking to be let in, barged through the doorway pushing Claire slightly. They stood there, in the entrance hall, drenched in rain as droplets of water began to fall off their body.
“About time Claire, we’ve been stood out there for a good ten minutes now.” Blaze explained whilst she took off her coat, squeezing out all the water making a big puddle on the floor, Christy did the same. “What is that in your hand Claire?” Christy asked curiously.
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“This,” Claire held up the book to the candle light “This is what I found today in THAT hidden room.” She pointed to the shelf that had opened into the secret room, Christy and Blaze looked amazed at the sight of seeing a hidden room. “Come on in and then maybe I can get this damned thing open finally.” Claire finished and then picked up the candle from the table and made her way back to the living room where Chris, Jason and Emily waited impatiently for Claire’s return. Claire gestured for the new guests to sit down on the sofa next to Claire. As Blaze and Christy sat down, Claire let out a big, long sigh before sitting down after them. She put the book in her hand and prayed that no one would interrupt them, stopping them from opening the book.
“Get on with it Claire. We’re waiting.” A small voice piped. Claire looked up at Emily and scowled. Cautiously, Claire let her fingers drop onto the top corner of the book. She slowly opened the book to the first page with no interruptions. To her disappointment, the page was blank.
“What was the point?” Claire said angrily.
“No, Claire, look something’s there, read it.” Blaze replied. Claire looked down. Blaze was right. Black writing began to form onto the page.
“Fear is something we hold within. Turn the page and let the nightmare begin.” Claire read out loud. Chris and Jason both laughed when Claire had finished, thinking this was all a big joke, but Claire ignored them. She didn’t want to let them know that at this very moment, she was scared. The girl, who was always the most brave, the most daring out of everyone, was actually scared, very scared. Daringly, Claire turned the page.
“What’s meant to happen now?” Chris asked, still finding this whole thing a joke. But then his eyes fell onto his twin sister. Her eyes were glued to the book, her body stiff. “Claire, what’s wrong?” Blaze and Christy, both moved away from Claire, their faces filled with worry.
Claire suddenly gasped. She stared down at the blank page, which within seconds contained a moving picture of her worst fear, Bloody Mary. Her body began to shake. Her breath quickened. She jumped to her feet and instantly, dropped the book onto the floor.
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“GET RID OF IT!!! GET RID OF THAT BOOK!!!” Claire shouted, but it was too late. The flames of all the candles died. The room they were in seemed to be spinning. One by one, they all collapsed onto the floor.
It seemed like hours before Claire regained consciousness. She was lying on her back when her eyes opened, looking up at the night sky. Night sky? How could that be? They were supposed to be indoors. Frightened, Claire sat up. Blaze, Christy, Emily, Chris and Jason were all lying on the ground.
“EVERYBODY GET UP!!!!! WE HAVE TO GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!” Claire yelled standing up and shaking everyone awake. They all groaned, sitting up slowly holding their heads as they all felt the same dizziness.
“Where are we?” A curious Jason asked, but Claire could not give him an answer. He turned around to look at his surroundings, when he saw a crooked, brown sign hanging down by old, brown rope, written on it with the words:
WELCOME TO THE UNKNOWN…THE PLACE WHERE ALL YOUR FEARS COME TO LIFE.
His heart began to beat faster and louder. He turned back to look at his friends. They had all seen the sign. Claire held Emily close to her, after seeing the scared look on her little sister’s face. But it wasn’t only Emily who was scared, they were all scared, they were all confused. They just stood there silently, not knowing where they had ended up.
At that moment, Chris began to run. Claire frowned at her brother. Why was he running? She looked up to see what he was running from. Her mouth dropped open.
“EVERYBODY RUN!!” Claire shouted, as they all turned back to see a crowd of deadly, bloodied zombies, coming towards them.