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Haunted Mansion Stories/02/Ch1

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The bus pulled up at around 5pm. It wasn't the best time of the year for a "summer trip", what with it being late October, but no one really complained. The sun was setting on the horizon, but visibility wasn't an issue. There were several lights surrounding their destination, and spotlights all around the vast grounds. The mansion that the Legacy team was having a break at wasn't renowned for its hospitality or its comfort, but the main idea was team bonding and getting to know each other.

The first to get off the bus, behind the driver, was G4lyfe. He wasn't the tour leader but was eager to stretch his legs, having been cramped in a seat for the past 16 hours. Everyone was in a similar situation, but some further back were too stiff to move and others sound asleep.

"Hey guys, come check this out!" G4lyfe shouted. Falcon, Jake and thepig were the first to hear and get off the bus to investigate the call.

The entrance gate to the mansion was tied shut, with a wooden board covering most of it. "CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT" the sign read. It looked pretty old, and the paint was wearing off, and underneath was a faded picture of what some deluded artist had imagined what the property would look like after its improvements. A flowing stream down the middle was surrounded by gardens lined with colourful flowers, and the mansion itself bright and full of life and activity. This was far from the situation. The "stream" was merely a large trench in the ground, with the occasional puddle along the bottom; the gardens were not so desireable, merely patches of grass and the occasional bag of compost lying about; and the mansion itself was old. It looked fit to live in, no windows were boarded up, and while not gleaming and clearly transparent, only one of them was smashed.

"What the hell have we come to?" asked Jake, thinking that this was some sort of absurd hoax.

"How should I know?" shouted G4lyfe back.

"Well, when they said they don't usually take bookings anymore, I didn't think they meant it was completely closed," came a voice from behind. The two at the gates turned around as if intrigued by the statement.

"What are you on about Vader?" replied Jake.

"The guy I spoke to on the phone said they don't really get any guests anymore. Apparently team bonding isn't the 'in thing', but I assumed it was still y'know... open for business, so to speak. Unless, of course, this is part of the whole package-- working as a team to get into the damn place!"

"Right, well if thats the case, this place is lame. I hate tests!" Jake said in a rather arrogant tone, "But screw it. Let's climb over this damn thing."

Everyone proceeded to give everyone else a lift over, and a couple on the other side managed to pry the gate open from the inside to let the remaining few in. The whole group got to work carrying all the bags to the front doorstep, piling them up in no specific order.

"God knows why we couldn't have just driven the bus up to the front doorstep," moaned Jake, still complaining about having to come in the first place.

"You think my bus can fit up that pathway?" replied Adam from quite a way away.

Jake was silent for a second and turned to look at G4lyfe again, whispering to him, "How the hell did he hear that?"

Before G4lyfe could reply all speech was cut off by Vader, who stood on top of the stairs and demanded everyones attention.

"Right, I can't get any signal on my PDA, so trying to see if anyone is going to answer this door is out of the question. Anyone got any ideas before we kick this door down?"

"I KNOW!" cried Jakes voice, and almost instantly everyone ducked for cover as a window smashed, "There you go... there's a window open!" he smirked, kind of proud at the fact that he'd just wiped out a whole sheet of glass with a single stone.

Everyone was silent for a second, and then came a piercing cry of a security alarm, almost deafening maddoctor, who stood directly underneath it. The vicinity cleared as people got as far back from the entranceway as they could without falling into the large tunnel in the ground, which the poster on the gate made out to be a clear, flowing stream.

After about 10 minutes, the alarm changed pitch and finally stopped working.

"Thats 10 points right there," Vader told Jake sarcastically.

"You'll thank me in the long run," came the reply.

Night was falling fast, and it became a race against time to get into the building. The window Jake had smashed turned out to lead only into a small room just inside, with a door equally as strong and heavy as the main, and seemingly only, entrance.

"Round here guys!" came a shout from someone.

Everyone who was making an attempt to get inside, and not just sitting about waiting for the job to be done, ran to the side of the building. There was Nitrous, stood with a beaming look on his face.

"Looks like a door from the kitchen or something, can't believe we've not seen this already... pretty well hidden by all this overgrowth though!"

He yanked the handle and the door shot inwards, taking Nitrous with it and throwing him straight into the path of a guillotine. The next sequence of events was a blur to the two stood directly behind him, Falcon and Vader. The force of him hitting the table caused the large meat trimmer to kick into action, swiping its large blade down at high speed. The next thing they saw was Nitrous's body face-down on the floor, spasming wildly, and the back half of his head jammed in the machine.

Falcon passed out straight away, and Vader, whose face was hidden behind his hands still, followed suit.