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James let the rust-spotted white 1977 Cadillac he got from his great-uncle Wilber coast down the narrow path with overgrown oak trees slapping the sides of the mechanical beast while it rolled along the pitch dark gravel road. The lights were kept off to avoid alerting anyone or anything that may be about and he had the radio off; the solitary sound coming from the slight roar of the beastly V-8 engine. After about thirty of the longest minutes he ever lived though a sign appeared on the left side of the road eerily standing out from the low hanging branches. It was an ancient looking rotten wooden sign with the words, Dorris Drive, crudely carved upon it. Seeing the name, in person, just as it had appeared during his restless nights of sleep stunned James as he stopped the car and stared at the words in shock and bewilderment. The nightmares were real. And he finally found where they emanated from.

His eyes suddenly spotted something freakish in the rearview mirror and he shot his head back to observe solid forest behind as if the path never existed. Each way around him was covered in the dense woods, except for the path ahead, and his mind raced with bewilderment. Not sure if he were awake, James pinched himself, slapped his own face with force and tried to wake up from what he suddenly thought was another devilish nightmare. But it was no dream. And as he realized the reality of the situation, he took a deep breath and stopped the car. He slowly got out, looking all around, sensing a strange sensation that he never felt while awake before, but indeed felt in his horrid dreams.

The August air was strangely frigid, yet not cold; he felt drunk and stone-cold sober and by touching the Dorris Drive sign it disintegrated into sand and fell to the high grass underneath. Feeling a sudden sensation of panic, he jumped back into the car as it began to move on its own without him touching the gas pedal. James attempted to turn off the ignition and succeeded and the car kept rolling forward at a steady pace. After finding the doors locked from within while frantically pulling on the handles, he sat back in the seat, took a deep breath.

After just a few seconds he no long felt the car moving. He reopened his eyes expecting to be stopped. As he looked out the window, he saw the car was a couple feet above the ground, being carried along by an unknown force of mist as the forest slowly crept up behind him and he continued down the path. His fear was at a pinochle, and he could do nothing but sit perfectly still and await whatever fate had in store at the end of the queer road. Somehow though, he ever so slightly felt a sense of peace.

The car’s radio then turned on by itself and shut off again, eventually becoming more rapid. Then the doors suddenly opened, despite being locked, and slammed shut forcefully, slowly at first, then more rapidly with each passing second. The headlights flashed on and off, eventually becoming maddened like a strobe light filled with anguish.  None of these things effected James as they should have however, for he entered into a meditative state of mind. After a few long minutes of this new madness, the car stopped, dropped to the ground with a thud, and caused James to come back to his senses and look out at a grand old mansion. The dwelling was three stories high, dilapidated, rotting, with dirty torn rag-like curtains blowing out of the broken windows in the peculiar cool wind.

James then heard the most awful soul-piercing sound imaginable that struck his fear again. Wolves, three grey wolves, chained to a giant bare oak tree located just beside the eerie residence, howling and snarling, mad with blood-thirsty rage. In his rear view mirror he saw a figure sitting in the backseat of the car. It was all black, with giant glowing green eyes and a drooling mouth full of razor teeth. Its movements were not natural as it had the look of a person on old classic 8mm video tape moving at an unearthly rate, gyrating its head from side to side. James sat frozen, staring at the monstrosity, and it let out a scream the likes of which surely came straight from the underworld, so loud it drowned out the sounds of the monsters outside. Its breath smelled of rotten death and the force from the scream shoved James forward out of his seat pressing his head against the windshield, body contorted, and legs dangling over the steering wheel with his knee pressing the horn. And just as quickly as the creature appeared, it disappeared, and James was left trembling like a leaf in the autumn wind, full of sheer terror.

James slowly gathered his senses and sat back down to see copious wolf-spiders crawling on the floor, on the roof, on the doors, and on his legs! He jumped out of the car without delay and suddenly, nothing but silence engulfed him. He glanced to the tree where the snarling wolves were chained and saw nothing, the wolves were gone, and bare, broken and rusted chains lay upon the earth. Glancing into the car window, there were no spiders, and the idea of an overactive imagination gripped his mind. As he began to calm down something took a hold of his soul; some kind of force and drew him to the mansion. But this feeling was not of terror. It was oddly comforting. And he slowly stepped to the front door, as if that something or someone was guiding him, and when he reached it, the cool breeze again shook his soul even though beads of sweat were dripping from his brow. He pushed open the decayed door and stepped inside with the smell of death and rot smacking him fiercely in the face.

The entrance to the dilapidated mansion was filthy and broken and James immediately was surprised to see a glow, as if from a fire, coming from the room to his right. He gingerly went in to investigate discovering a fireplace burning with warmth. The room was in a destructive state, broken furniture littered the floor, spider and cob-webs hung all about the ceiling and everything was in a state of corrosion except for one rocking chair sitting near the fireplace. The chair sat in perfect condition, rocking back and forth as if someone or something sat upon it. James was mesmerized and again frozen, for he could not look away. And as he stared, immobilized in a trance of disharmony, the chair began to rock slowly faster, and in a rush of cold wind, he felt something run past, up the winding staircase behind, and he heard a door slamming upstairs and a scream, the scream of a child, and the fire went out, extinguished, with no smoke, no smoldering logs, looking as if it hadn’t been burned in a century.

James looked to the balcony spanning the length of the room attached to the winding stairs and saw a ghostly young girl dressed in all white with bright blonde corn-rolled locks of hair cascading down her small figure. She was bouncing a small rubber ball and looked at James with her piercing sky-blue eyes full of tears, as if she wanted to tell him something but couldn’t. Was it her who had been sending these dreams? But what of the panic and trepidation that came with the visions? Where they feelings from her?

And there it appeared. Sprinting out of a room behind the girl and snatching her up under its arm, its head cascading back and forth violently with extreme speed, eyes glowing green, and mouth salivating. It held the young girl, the magnificently beautiful little ghostly girl, as she screamed and pleaded for mercy. But James could do nothing as he was standing in a trance, frozen in terror and watched as the bizarre figure ran down the stairs at an alarming rate, passing James in an ice-cold rush, and went toward the fire place disappearing within it.

Before James could react, thunderous lightning began to flash outside, and wind came in the broken windows so fiercely he covered his face, peeking out to get a glimpse of what was happening. The air whirled with the dust and decay of the awful dwelling, James was knocked back into the horrible rocking chair and found himself spinning at a monstrous rate in a small tornado of death and fear as he lifted into the air. The floor opened into a pit of blinding red light and he felt himself being jerked in a downward thrust in a roller coaster of agony.

Suddenly, as if he were never in motion, all was still and calm like nothing had happened. Feeling a strange sensation of calm, he slowly opened his eyes to find himself still sitting in the rocking chair. He wasn’t in the awful mansion though. Instead he was someplace he had never seen before in any dream and certainly not in real life. Everything was in shades of grey, black and white. At first, he thought he was color blinded yet he soon noticed that he was still in full color.

James sat still looking out over a bridge that sprawled over a sea of gray.  Walking in single file lines in both directions on either side of the bridge were people with no features, no faces. Men that all looked the same, wearing black suits carrying black brief cases, and women, that all looked the same, wearing black dresses carrying black purses. And James was in the middle trying to gather himself into rational thought.  Not one of the drones looked his way. And once again he heard the shrill screams of the adorable girl.

To Be Continued ….

 

BIO:  I’m an amateur writer, born in Saint Louis, MO, currently living in the Orlando, FL area, and had lived abroad in Asian countries for 12 years. I have always loved horror, dark fiction, fantasy, and science-fiction, reading constantly and writing when I can.  I will soon have a fantasy tale on a serial fiction website running each week and I will continue to post my weird and bizarre tales here on Short-story.me.  Thank you for reading!  Please check, https://keithstjames.blogspot.com/for more.

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