Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Delmore Manor, Spooky Season, Writing

Delmore Manor – Part Two

Chris awoke in a dim room, lit only by a single candle that lay before him. For a few moments, he watched the flame flicker and bend as he tried to recover his breath. His throat felt sore and scratched, and his whole body ached in a way he’d never felt.

“Master Christopher.” A whisper wrapped its way around his ear, soft and almost comforting. “Mr Mitchell said that we should wait, but we were just so hungry.” Chris recoiled, his eyes wide as he fell back against the soft carpet, scrambling to stand but clattering back to the ground, his aching body too weak to keep him upright.

“What are you?” Chris asked, breathless as he struggled to stand again, despite the futility of it. “What do you want with me?” His throat began to tighten again, the familiar feel of fingertips gripping his neck as he began to choke and splutter.

“Don’t be afraid Master Christopher.” The candle before him lost its flame and he was plunged into darkness, his mouth forced open by fingertips he couldn’t see as he writhed helplessly on the floor. “You won’t even feel it after a while.” The childlike voice chilled him and he felt the spiky, spindly claws enter his mouth, burning and scratching his throat as they moved further and further down.

“Children, no!” The room flooded with light as Chris felt his breath returning, his body free from the grip of the strange entity as he fell back to the ground with a deep breath. “He’s not ready yet.” Mr Mitchell strode into the room, blowing out the candle and kneeling beside Chris.

“I want to leave.” Chris whispered, his voice hoarse and his throat sore as he backed away from the man, blinking back the sudden bright lights of the room.

“Master Christopher, I’m afraid that’s not possible.” Mr Mitchell looked at him with a pity that unsettled Chris. He stared around the room, his breathing erratic, wondering what the old man meant. “They need you to survive Sir… Do you understand?”

Chris looked back at him, confused and speechless as he continued.

“The children don’t mean any harm, it’s just their nature…” Chris looked around the room, unable to spy the children Mitchell described. “They’re just a little hungry.” Chris’s eyebrows shot up and anxiety flashed through his body as he recalled the strange sight he’d seen at the front door.

“They want biscuits?” He asked, apprehensively. “Like the ones you gave them earlier?” Mr Mitchell shook his head, and Chris felt a grave chill wash over him.

“No Sir, the biscuits just kept them at bay until I could explain the situation to you.” The old man sighed, pulling Chris to his feet as the younger man groaned in pain. “They need your insides, Sir.” Chris toppled back, falling onto the bed, shock and terror filling his face as the old man continued. “I kept them sustained while we waited for you to arrive, and your Aunt before me, but I’ve nothing left to give, Sir.”

Chris had heard enough, again. His body was screaming in pain, but he tried to ignore it as he stood, pushing past Mr Mitchell and hobbling towards the door.

“You’re insane!” Chris cried, throwing open the door and stumbling towards the stairs. “I didn’t want this house in the first place.” He whispered, resentment rising just above the fear in his voice as he began crawling down the staircase, his heart pounding.

“They won’t let you leave Sir, it’s no use.” Chris didn’t look back, struggling down the stairs with a grimace. “It’s only once a day Sir, and they won’t take you all at once!” Chris froze in fright as Mr Mitchell appeared in front of him, a look of pity on his gaunt face. “You’ll barely feel it after a while, Sir.”

The lights began to flicker as a low growl filled the halls of the house. Chris gasped as the familiar fingers gripped his throat. He fell against the bannister, clutching at his neck to try and free himself, hurtling down the stairs as he felt the icy fingertips push his lips apart once more.

“We’re just so hungry, Master Christopher.” A chorus of cheery voices surrounded him as he fell into silence at the bottom of the stairs, with only a faint gargle to be heard, as the children began to feed.

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