The Scary Story: Part Three
Kaize awoke with the sound of a Werelupe howling miserably as the sun rose, bemoaning its fate to have to return to a cave to get some sleep, filling Kaize with undesirable jealousy. Kaize didn’t know how on Neopia he managed to get any sleep last night considering the number of thoughts swimming through his mind, but he had managed to doze off for a couple of long hours. He pulled the covers over his head, squinting at the light beaming in from the broken window in his room. He was relieved he could finally leave this demented house and its strange owner.
Kaize leapt out of his bed, swept some dust and cobwebs that had accumulated overnight off his paws, and left his room. In the passageway, he couldn’t help but look at the door that had created so much fear for him at the end of the hall. Although it was closed firmly, he could just see the flickering of the light from the crack underneath it.
Without wasting any more time, Kaize charged down the stairs, intending to reach the door and leave this house for good. Although he was still in the old Neovian pyjamas, Kaize didn’t mind one bit. Suddenly, he froze in shock. The house, the furnishings, even the cobwebs were burnt to a crisp. Ashes covered the floor; the sofas that he and Irma sat on just last night were demolished; the ceiling had holes in it, and Kaize could even see the sun shining through them. The walls were incredibly damaged, and Kaize could smell the horrid stench of an old fire drifting through the hot air.
He was horrified. There was NO fire, he thought to himself. Surely I would have heard it! Then Kaize realized something else that overcome his curiosity. Where was Irma? She might be weird, but after all, she WAS an elderly lady and could be hurt. Kaize looked in the living room first.
“Irma?” he called, “Irma, are you in he...” The Lupe’s speech came to a sudden halt as he stared at the wall. There, intact, was the picture of Irma with her husband, looking better than it did the first time Kaize had spotted it. The Lupe slowly walked over to the picture, and raised one paw to wipe the dust off of the text underneath it. He read:
Colonus, I will always wait for you.
Kaize realized that Colonus was the Werelupe Irma married, but the writing was as big a mystery as the house itself. Kaize continued his search for Irma, but as soon as he stepped into the kitchen area, parts of the ceiling started to crumble above him. The house made a horrendous noise as if it were screaming in pain and Kaize turned back. He raced towards the archway and burst from the house. As much as he wanted to search for Irma, it was too dangerous to go back in. He’d have to ask for help.
Kaize took one final look at the window on the top floor, spotting the faint light flickering within it, before sprinting down the hill. With the storm over, he knew exactly where he was going. He headed towards the Spooky Foods shop. He doubted the creepy Halloween Bruce of a shopkeeper could give much help, but Kaize was desperate to not only help Irma, but to have contact with normal -well, as normal as you can get in the Haunted Woods- civilians.
As he got closer to the shop, he could smell the warm and welcoming Spooky Soup cooking on the stove, the scent of the delicious Pumpkin Pie and the enticing smell of the freshly baked Pumpkin Cookies. Kaize hastily approached the shopkeeper, and grabbed his shoulder to turn him around.
“Please!!! You’ve got to.... you’ve got to... help... me,” he gasped at the Bruce, trying to catch his breath, “The house... and the fire, and the... the light and the-”
“-Slow down there, kid!” the Bruce interrupted in a croaky and hard to understand voice. “Now start from the beginning.”
When the Bruce talked, Kaize could smell his horrid breath and see a serious lack of teeth, but that was the least of his problems right now. “The old Weatherfield family house was on fire! It's collapsing, but Irma’s still inside!”
The Bruce dropped the Slimesicle he was holding, causing it to make a large SPLAT sound on the floor, and looked directly into Kaize’s eyes. “The Weatherfield family lived here over two hundred years ago, kid.”
Kaize opened his eyes wide and turned towards the hill where the house was. He could see it clearly, in the light of day. It was obviously demolished, a broken down, burned out shell of a house. There was no way anyone could have sleep inside it, protected from the rain.
“No, that can’t be! I stayed the night, I saw the lady, I slept in the bed!” the Lupe screamed in horror before turning to the shopkeeper, desperately wanting to know what was going on.
The Bruce, as if a mind-reader, began to explain. “Two hundred years ago, Irma and Colonus Weatherfield bought a house on that very hill up there, kid, hoping to live a peaceful and relaxing life. The years passed, and Irma and Colonus grew old together, still enjoying their home and life as much as they did fifty years ago when they first moved to these woods.”
The Bruce took a bite out of a Candy Corn Classic at the front of the stall before continuing. “One stormy night, however, Colonus disappeared. There wasn’t a trace of him left anywhere, and no-one had seen him leave the house. Irma was convinced he simply went on a trip through the woods, and would be back soon, so she stayed in the back room, staring out of the window and waiting for his return. It was said Irma never took her eyes off that window and it wasn’t long before she went mad. Irma had stayed in that very room for two years, when one fateful night she dropped a lantern on the floor, it struck the dry wooden surfaces and flames rose instantly, engulfing the house. Help came, but it was too late; the house was already falling apart, and no matter how much anyone searched, there was no trace of Irma. Some thought that she got out of the house before it was too late, while some thought she wasn’t even in the house at the time, but I guess we’ll never know... everyone agreed on one thing, though; they thought it was a good thing the fire destroyed that house. All Irma did was sit in her rocking chair, waiting for her husband who never turned up... The story’s been passed on for generations in these woods, kid, so don’t even think of trying to fool us with fake ghost stories. I’ve heard it all before!”
Kaize stared in disbelief at the shopkeeper and then at the hill. “This... this can’t be...” Kaize started, but nerves had taken over his body, and he was left unable to finish his sentence. From that day on, Kaize never spoke another word, and he would never turn out a light when it got dark. Who knows if what he saw that fateful night was real or his imagination, but one thing was certain, anytime anyone walked past that hill, they couldn’t help but look up and wonder whether Irma really did appear two hundred years after her disappearance and whether or not she is still waiting for her beloved Colonus to return home...
“The end,” Jubotica said with a smile. She looked at the clock, and was happy to notice that a fair amount of time had passed, meaning it was nearing the end of her babysitting duties. She couldn’t help but notice, however, that her younger brother’s paws were trembling rapidly into her chest, which made her release a joyful chuckle. “Haha, don’t worry.” She laughed as she patted the young Kougra’s head. “It’s only an old legend. It’s not true. Now come on, up to bed; it's getting late.” Jubotica led Biscottai up to his bed, with each creaking step on the stairs making the little Kougra jump, but he kept talking about the story the whole way.
“So it IS just a legend, right?” he asked, fidgeting with his paws.
“Haha, of course, we may live in the Haunted Woods, but that story is waaay too farfetched, even for here!” Jubotica replied as she opened the door into Biscottai’s cosy and colourful room. “Now you get fast to sleep. We’re going to go to the Deserted Fairground tomorrow, so you need to be up nice and early!” Jubotica placed the covers over Biscottai’s shaking body and puffed up his pillow. “Night, night,” Jubotica said as she closed the door.
Biscottai leapt up to his window almost immediately and stared at the house on a nearby hill, a few miles away from his house. There, on the top floor of the house, he thought he could make out a small light flickering on and off...