Sept. 22, 2020

Part 3: The Mansion

THE MANSION

 

Baby Cries

Gasp.

Arthur, move!

Where am I? What the fuck happened?

She followed us.

Is she still-

Yes. You need to move. She’s behind us on the road and she is following.

Is the baby okay?

She seems fine… Arthur you need to climb out, then get the baby and move!

I can barely think straight…

You’re facing the back of the car. You need to climb towards the cabin. The baby is near the front.

I can’t…

Arthur. Breathe. We need to focus. Now.

You’ll have to squeeze past the seat. The car is on its side. 

Why?

Because you got hit by a fucking car.

Right. Right.

Eerie laughter.

I can hear her approach. The baby is to your right, she’s still moving.

Come here. It’s okay. It’s alright.

Climb out. Yes. You can do this.

Where is the other car?

It’s all over the place.

And the driver?

All over the place as well.

God… Why did she attack us?

We need to run.

Okay. Where?

The other side of the road. Back into the woods. Now!

Arthur, if you don’t move, she will catch us and she wants to hurt us.

I’m trying. I know. Shhh. Shut up. I know.

Hurrying away.

Why did she attack us?

I don’t know, Arthur. Maybe she wanted the child back.

Then why did she give her to us in the first place?

Again, I don’t know!

Is she still behind us?

I don’t know, I can’t see anything.

I left the light in the car… what’s left of it.

It’s fine. Just keep moving forward.

What is our plan here?

I don’t know but Amanda Cummings and what has happened to us is on the back burner. There is something much bigger going on…

What do you mean?

Arthur, something more powerful is at play here.

And we are its pawns.

Yes.

There is a clearing up ahead.

Thank god.

Oh… it’s… it’s a house.

Wonderful.

It looks like there’s a light on in the attic….

Just the attic?

Wait… no. Never mind.

Did it go off?

I… I don’t know… I don’t know if it was ever there.

What?

Arthur… I have a bad feeling about this place. We should go somewhere else.

 

We need help. We need to get somewhere dry, and this baby needs our help, let’s worry about your feelings later. Is this the way?

Yes.

Why do you have a bad feeling? What does the house look like?

It’s three stories tall…

Wow. That’s interesting.

It’s honestly impressive. It’s in the middle of this clearing…

The grass feels quite tall.

It doesn’t look like it’s been cut in a long, long time. The house is a bit run-down. It looks old… Arthur…

It’s still a roof over our heads, even if we just wait until morning.

There’s a pile up ahead. Overgrown but about waist high.

Of what?

I’m not sure. Move to your right a little bit.

It looks like… some debris… maybe a mirror. Multiple mirrors. All broken and a... I think a baby crib. It’s difficult to tell. All of it looks burnt.

Is there anything coming from the woods behind us?

Not that I can see.

Regardless, we’ll still be safer inside.

All the windows look boarded up.

Where is the front door?

There is a porch around the front of the house. Move wide to your right.

There, that’s the porch, it wraps around.

Stairs? Oh.

Creaking stairs.

Where is the door?

It’s in front of you.

Right. Well, maybe we should knock just in case?

Arthur, no one is home.

Well how can you tell?

Because the door is open.

But… you said there was a light on.

I thought there... I think my eyes were playing tricks.

MY eyes.

Alright.

Enter house.

Does it lock?

Yes.

It’s okay, shh, shh. It’s alright.

Well… This looks lavish, or at least was at one time.

How so?

There is a large chandelier scattered on the floor in front of us. The walls are dark, purple wallpaper; all faded and peeling. There are sconces on every wall. Some with candles still, but they look burned down to the wick. There’s a table to our right.

Anything on it?

No.

We need to find matches and someone to put her down for a moment… any idea where the kitchen might be?

There are a few doors off of this room. One to the left of us… No this looks an office.

Somewhere to put her down?

Yes, there’s a couch in the room. 

Alright.

Sets baby down.

The next room?

Along the same wall to the right. More.

Walking.

Here. Here. this is the kitchen. There is a stove is near the back by the back window.

Does the window look where we came? From the woods?

It does.

Is she out there? 

Lean forward and let me look.

CAW!

Jesus Christ! What was that?

A crow hit the window.

Oh god.

Ugh. There. Matches.

Right. Any candles?

Candle to your left.

Brilliant.

Baby crying.

Coming.

Now what?

Now we work on staying safe until morning. Then we and the child leave this place and find someone to help. Worst case, we walk back to the road and hitchhike. When we get to town, we’ll give the baby to the authorities, and -

The ones searching for you?

I don’t know. Let’s just cross that bridge when we need to, alright? For now, let’s just focus on staying warm and staying safe. I doubt we have much to worry about in here.

Where is the couch?

In front of you.

Where…

She’s gone.

What? Where?

I don’t see her. I don’t hear her.

What?

She’s not in the front hall either.

The door?

Is still locked.

What?

Arthur.

This doesn’t make any sense. How can…

Something is wrong here. We aren’t alone.

 

Alright, alright, we’re not alone. Maybe a vagrant? Or someone -

Or maybe it’s something entirely different.

What do you mean?

Something is drawn to you Arthur. To us. The child, the book, the laughing woman… There is something otherworldly going on and we need to start thinking not only in terms of this world, but others…  

Others?

Yes. Just… start by finding the child.

It looks like there is a basement door as well as the stairs leading up.

I suppose we should check upstairs first.

Alright.

When you said others…

I mean other worlds, other evils, other monsters that lurk in the dark. This house is old, Arthur. It is decrepit and reeks of history. There is no telling what horrors have been committed here. We need to tread carefully. We don’t want to wake something up.

Right.

Arthur.

Y-yes?

Cover the wick of the candle, your breathing is sputtering the flame.

Right… sorry.

Alright, we’ve reached the top step.

What does it look like?

There are a number of bedrooms it looks like. The hallway here is carpeted but soggy with time, mold and animals living here. There’s something in the middle of the hall.

What?

It’s… I remember it… not that I’d…. it’s a chair… with wheels.

A wheelchair?

Well, yes, I suppose it’s that simple a name, isn’t it?

Why on earth would a wheelchair be here?

Your guess is as good as mine… probably better actually since you knew what it was called.

What do the bedrooms look like?

Well, the one to our left seems pretty straightforward. We’ll have to move closer to see, but the one on the right… there are rotten pieces of wood around the door.

The door fell off?

No. it looks like it was boarded up.

And someone took the boards off?

Or something broke out.

Jesus.

Move towards it, Arthur.

I…

We need to find the child, don’t we?

Right….

Well… there is a layer of mold on the floor in this room.

Jesus Christ.

Yes… there’s a bed. It’s sagging with time and water the walls are nearly rotted through. This room looks so much worse than the rest of the house.

Why…. Why would….

Wait. There’s someone on the bed.

What?

No, it’s…. they’re long since dead.

My god, I don’t understand. Why would-

Move closer.

What?

Arthur, move closer to the body.

I can’t tell how they died, but I think it may have been a woman.

Why would she be here?

There’s a photo on the nightstand beside her… it looks, it looks like a young girl.

Her daughter, maybe?

Possibly.

Why was this door boarded up?

I don’t know….

Was she killed?

Arthur, there are many things we don’t know right now. We need to search the house to understand what happened. Move back out to the hall.

Where is the other room?

Straight out across from you.
This room is fairly small, and relatively empty. The walls look like they’re faded blue and it’s overlooking the front porch.

Is there anything outside?

No. Just the rain and road.

Road?

The driveway. It’s fairly long.

Right. What are we looking for exactly?

At this point anything that stands out.

Well talk to me. It’s awfully quiet and uncomfortable.

Right, well, it looks like there were pictures on the walls that have been taken down.

Why? What happened here.

I don’t know but I’m beginning to suspect that this house may have a story.

You don’t say…

Wait.

What?

There is a ladder here.

Leading up?

Yes, it’s a fold out ladder to the attic.

Well.

Well.

After me, I suppose.

Huh.

What?

There’s a man here, laying on the floor – dead.

Damn.

He’s been dead a long time.

How do you know it’s a man?

He’s wearing a suit. What’s left of him… it loose in the clothes.

What in god’s name is going on?

I don’t know, but it looks like this is a common room of sorts. There are holes in the roof here… wait... there’s another small doorway in the back. Be careful, Arthur, some of the ceiling beams have fallen.

Walking.

This looks like a bedroom of a young girl.

Do you see -

Damn.

What?

The candle just went out.

It feels cold in here.

There’s a breeze from somewhere.

I don’t feel a breeze. I just feel cold.

Something blew out the candle.

Woman humming.

What is that?

I can’t tell it’s too dark. There’s a small window, but the light is dim from outside I… There’s someone sitting on the bed.

What? Another corpse?

No.

What?

She’s holding the baby, Arthur.

P-put the baby down.

She’s looking at us.

Spectral roar.

She’s not alive Arthur, she’s…

Jesus. What the fuck just happened? I feel, it felt like my heart stopped.

Arthur, this is a wraith.

A what?

A ghost of a living person bound to a place.

What on earth are you talking about?

Listen to me. She is the woman from downstairs.

The dead one?

Yes.

Why?

I don’t know.

How?

Wraiths are bound to a location sometimes. We need to understand what she wants.

What if it’s the child?

Well yes, wraiths would be attracted to life... but we need to understand the reason she’s bound to this house.

No. Remember out back in the pile, the one you said was burnt. There was a baby crib.

Yes.

Maybe she had lost her own child? Or it was taken away. Or…

So, you think she’s taken the child? Not just because it is a source of living, but…

Maybe it’s why she remained?

It’s an idea. Regardless, she cannot keep the child.

So how do you destroy a Wraith?

We need to find an object she possessed while living. We also need to burn her bones and we need to lure her to a place where we can take the child from her before…

Before what?

Before she kills it.

 

Alright, I think… I think we need to move. Let’s stop this creature before it hurts the child. What is it again we need to find?

An object she possessed while living; it doesn’t have to be anything special, but we have to know it was hers.

Alright. Her room may be a good start?

Definitely. We also need to burn her bones.

Well, we know where those are for sure. Where we need to burn them is a bit of a mystery.

There was a fireplace in the office.

Large enough for her bones?

It could work with some effort.

Otherwise, there is outback… if the rain let’s up.

Wherever we decide to burn the bones it’s likely, she’ll do everything she can to try and stop us. So we’ll need to prepare.

What do you mean? How can she-

Arthur. This is a creature bound to this place through tragedy. She is not only a shadow of her former self, she is something that has chosen not to move on to the Dark World. She will do everything in her power to stay here.

Well then…. We’ll just have to make sure we’re ready. So, what do you suggest we do first?

We need to assume this creature is as smart as they come. Which means…

Which means if she figures out what we’re doing, then she may kill the child.

Possibly.

Right. Let’s start by gathering something she owned, we’ll head to her room and find something. I’ll slip it in my pocket, so she doesn’t see.

Sure. With the child…. the way she held it upstairs, the way she sang to it…

You think she might be caring for it?

I don’t know.

Alright. What is clear is we don’t understand what’s happened here. Let’s head to her room and find an object she owned. While we’re there… maybe we can find something that will tell us of what happened?

What happened to her?

What happened here! Perhaps if we know what happened, we can better understand her intention with the child.

We know the baby crib was burned.

Yes, but why?

Let’s look around here in the attic before we head back down…This room clearly belongs to a young girl. Her pictures seem sad.

Perhaps the crib was hers and they no longer needed it?

Perhaps. What little writing there is here seems to be in another language.

Is there anything that says her name?

Yes, a few pictures have her name. Anna.

Anna. Sad.

Alright, let’s head down.

Alright.

Walking downstairs.

So how do you know so much about this creature?

I… don’t know actually.

You seem awfully confident.

Yes. I’m certain of what I say but… why I say it….

I’ve begun to trust that at this point it’s easier to just accept that you are truthful.

That’s comforting.

It’s clear to me that what is happening to you and me, while important, doesn’t have an answer right now. I don’t want to waste anymore time thinking about the Cummings girl or why this befell me. At least not right now. Right now, we need to focus on the task at hand and singularly devote our attention to this problem. Otherwise…

Otherwise, the child will die.

Perhaps not only her.

Bang!

The wheelchair

Thanks for the heads up.

The bedroom is as we left it.

And the body is still there?

Yes.

One small blessing. Well, let’s take a look around then.

Rummaging.

Is there anything we missed on the body?

Nothing I can see. Her legs looked… deformed slightly. Most of the flesh has been lost to time, but strips sit leathery on her chest and neck still.

This is the first time I’m glad that I cannot see.

Wait…

What?

I… it’s thin but it looks like there is a line running down the dried strips of her neck.

What do you mean?

I think she was wearing something around her neck when she died.

How so? Like what?

I’m not sure, a necklace or a locket.

But wait, it’s gone?

Yes.

She wore a necklace long enough after her death to leave a mark, but now it’s gone.

Correct.

So…

Someone must have disturbed this place. But why? And who?

Robbers?

There are many other things in this house worth value.

You mentioned the door was boarded up as well.

Yes.

So, someone broke into this house, broke down those boards, came into this room and took something from this body?

…and told no one.

Squeak.

What is that?

Quiet… I’m not sure.

Let’s hurry up and find something.

There’s the photo of the girl?

No, it should really be something we’re certain was hers.

Do we think this is her Anna?

Yes. Likely.

What about the wheelchair?

We know that she used it.

She had to.

It’s large. It may make the spirit suspect what we’re doing, but it would work for sure.

Let’s just leave this room.

Wait. 

What.

She’s clutching something.

What?

It’s nearly impossible to see…

He hand has almost completely deteriorated around it.

It’s a small metal portrait.

Of what?

A baby. A boy.

So, the crib out back…

Could have been his

But why burn it?

Perhaps something happened.

Please let us leave this room. God even the air, out here feels different.

Pull out the photo. I want to see if there is anything on it. It’s quite faded and has something written in another language but… there is a name.

What is the name?

Erik.

Right, well, that means we have two options for the object now – the wheelchair and this portrait.

Why would someone disturb this woman’s resting place? The boards were torn down, she was found and then something was removed from her, years after her death.

Who put her in there?  I assume she was already dead when they did that…

I don’t think so.

Jesus.

Look the important thing is that we now have names. That gives us power. If she believes that this child she has taken from us is her baby, then we can use that to lure her where we need her.

But which name; we have Anna and Erik? Erik was clearly younger, but the wraith was in Anna’s room with the child. Regardless, so we lure her somewhere and then we take the child before burning the bones?

I think it makes the most sense to move the bones first… if we want. We can always just burn them where they lay but… we’d have to leave the house quickly and it would be very dangerous.

Hmm…

I think the fireplace in the office or out back make the most sense.

How does the object come into play?

It will be used to tie her to the spot while we burn the bones – she’ll retreat to something she possessed in the world – whatever is nearest, and it has to be a strong connection.

Why not just have all the items there?

Because she’ll just bind from one to another – tethering her in more ways than one. We need one item. More than that around us is equally dangerous.

Alright, so move the bones somewhere, lure her with a name, burn the bones and bind her with an object and then….

And then, if we’ve done everything correct - we either kill her or set her free – but let’s not get ahead of   ourselves. Where we burn the bones, which object we use, and how we choose to lure her all matter. We need to be smart about this Arthur.

 

If we need to be smart than perhaps, we should learn all we can.

How so?

I think it’s time we check the basement.

Are you sure?

There are pieces missing. We know enough to confront this creature, but there are still variables. Maybe the basement will have the final piece to this puzzle.

You speak at length about a puzzle as if there is one to solve.

You don’t think so?

I don’t know.

The child has been gone for some time now. We need to move.

Alright.

Walking.

Where is the door?

It’s under the stairs. Feel along the wall as it rises from the bottom step.

Right.

There. Do you feel the knob?

Yes.

Well?

Just, give me a moment. Alright?

Open door.

Well?

It’s dark. An abyssal black lay beyond, Arthur. The stairs disappear into it, as if being enveloped by ink.

Of course, it is.

Slow walking.

I can feel the humidity on my skin and… what is that smell?

I don’t know. It’s almost sweet. Sickly sweet.

Yes like… blood.

Wood snaps!

Fuck!

Calm down.

What the fuck happened?

It looks like maybe the stairs gave out.

You think?

You asked, Arthur.

Sigh. Well, what’s the damage?

To yourself or the stairs?

The stairs.

They don’t look climbable.

What? What do you mean?

You can’t get back up that way.

Bullshit.

What do you want me to say, Arthur?

Tell me that you’re lying and that we can find a way up.

I don’t think you realize how far you fell.

Sigh.

Are you okay?

Yes. Let’s just get out of here. What is down here anyway?

Steps crunch.

What am I walking on?

I can barely see. Use one of the matches and light the candle.

There is glass on the floor.

From what?

I can’t tell, but there’s a lot of it.

What else?

Well… there is a large stone pillar to your right. I can’t see far past it, but it’s facing a large open area down here.

Walking.

There… there’s a wheel on the pillar.

What kind of wheel?

It’s bolted to the pillar.

Can we turn it?

There is an easy way to find out.

Typewriter clicks.

What the fuck is that?

I don’t know. There are wires running up from it to the ceiling.

Well, where do they lead?

I’m not sure, look upwards and I’ll see. Move forward a bit.

Step forward.

They’re running along the ceiling…They look like they’re heading towards a dark corner. That way. No, turn. Yes… It’s running down the corner too…  a desk. A writing desk.

What?

It’s old but ornate wooden desk. It’s covered in cobwebs and there’s something on it. It looks like a typewriter, maybe.

Who would…?

The typewriter is not normal. Arthur, it looks like the creation of a madman. It’s a dead crow, but it’s been sewed back together with wire and metal. Its beak is bent upwards as if broken and taped back together. The wire is thrust through its open maw and into the mechanical gears of the machine.

Jesus Christ. Why?

Arthur, I have no idea, but this is not right. Something very wrong happened here.

So, the wheel on the pillar?

Looks like it activated the mechanics inside the typewriter and wrote something.

Really? What does it say?

I’m… it’s jumbled… it looks like a bunch of random… wait…. No… it says… the black goat comes.

Sanity explosion.

What the fuck was that?

I don’t know. It sounded like the basement door shut. Whatever it was blew the flame of the candle out. Light it again.

Okay. Is there anything else on the desk?

Yes, but none of that seems relevant.

How do you know?

It’s pieces of a dead bird, wires, and screws.

Fine. Fine.

I don’t know, Arthur. The desk does have drawers.

Well. Check them.

Papers... More things written in Polish. Wait... There’s a birth certificate her for an Erik Stanczsyk.

Stanczyk? That must be the family name.  Wait would that work?

What do you mean?

We needed a name, something to draw the Wraith but we didn’t know which… Erik or Anna. Would the family name work?

Yes.

Good, then this was worth it. Now let’s find a way out of here.

Typing.

Are you using the…?

No.

Does that mean someone is turning the…

Yes.

Sh-shall I follow the wall…

The walls are….

What? 

It looks like there are deep cuts in the stone… at least in areas.

What the fuck happened here?

I don’t know.

Walking.

Wait…. There’s something here in the wall.

What?

It looks like an alcove, duck down a little bit and more forward. It looks like we can stand up again. I think it might be a chimney. Running along the side of the house.

Is it large enough for us?

Yes.

Right. Well, we’re getting the fuck out of this basement.

Climbing.

Arthur. Arthur! Climb quicker!

Monster snarls

Arthur, keep climbing!

Faster!

That’s it. The living room. Climb out.

Sigh.

Alright, we need to make some decisions about what objects and where we want to do this.

Right.

 

Right. Okay. Well, the wheelchair is - without a doubt, and object that belonged to her. So, let’s use that.     

Agreed.

As for where… we’ll burn the bones in the fireplace.

Oh?

Yes. It’s the safest way to make sure they’ll burn.

Alright then. We know the fireplace is empty since you just climbed out of it.

Right.

How exactly are we going to fight this thing?

We’ll use the name Stanczyk to lure her into the office. That is the common name that the two infants shared.

What do you mean lure?

This Wraith is merely a shadow of itself from when it lived. For the most part, it may not even realize it’s no longer living. It is drawn to life. Much like the life in the child, but in this case – it seems to be replacing someone. If we can convince it that we have its child, then it should lure it here.

Won’t it just think it already has its child? 

I don’t think so. Possibly if that doesn’t work, we’ll just burn the bones. That will draw her to us.

If burning her bones draws her to us anyway, then why did we bother trying to find out the name? Why not just…

Because drawing her here in hopes of seeing her child versus drawing her here because her soul is being torn from this world will yield two very different encounters.

Fair enough.

Remember the goal here is to save the child she’s carrying. If she feels our intent before we can bind her properly in this room, she may just kill the child.

Fair enough.

Trust me, luring her here with the name will work and will be the better option.

So, once she’s in the room…

We remove the child, and we burn the bones.

Which will anger her. Greatly.

Exactly. Once the bones are gone, she’ll be bound to the wheelchair.

Then what? Kill her?

Yes. Or…

Or?

Or we could set her free.

What on earth does that mean?

Arthur, believe it or not, whatever horrors this creature may instill – it is and was a person. She desires to have her child back and that is her strongest motivation for lingering.

But she’s a creature, a – a demon. You can’t seriously be even considering…

Arthur, I have no say in this. This is your decision…Just consider what this creature did.

She stole the child.

Right, but why?

It doesn’t matter why.

Fair enough. Let’s just go get the wheelchair.

If we were to let her go free, how would we even do that?

You’d take some ash from her bones in the fireplace and spread it over an object she’s bound to. Then you’d need to give a cost – doesn’t have to be anything difficult – in exchange for her freedom.

What do you mean a cost?

You’re essentially offering her a deal. It could be as simple as a coin or as complicated as true love, but she has to be able to actually accomplish it in order to be free.

So, we could tell her we want the child back?

Well at that point I hope we have her back already.

So, I rub her ashes on the chair, tell her that I want a coin for her freedom and…then what?

You cut the object – score it, break it, whatever… and she would retrieve such object or perform said task.

And when she’s done?

Her spirit is no longer bound here.

That’s it?

That’s it. Here’s the chair.

What’s to stop her from lingering, or hurting someone else or… hell what’s to stop her from just not fulfilling our request?

Nothing.

Well then, you’re not really making the case you think you are. Are you?

I’m not making any case. This is your choice.

You say that but I sense that you do care about this creature’s redemption. Why? Why do you care?

I have to hope that any creature can be redeemed.

Wheelchair moved.

Now the bones.

And what if I chose to kill her?

You just need to burn the chair. The fire will take care of that.

So this exchange has to be something simple, yeah?

She’s not a genie, Arthur. She can only give you something she has. Or do something she can.

Bones moved.

Is there anything in this room that we can put them in?

There’s a hat box on her dresser.

Bones shuffled.

Why do you have to hope a creature can be redeemed, anyway?

Arthur, I don’t know who or what I am.

So? What does that matter?

So, if you suddenly found out that I was something, maybe even worse than a wraith. What would you do?

I mean…

That’s all of them. Let’s head downstairs and start this thing.

Fair enough.

Return to office.

No, leave the door open. Put the bones in the fireplace….

Here?

Yes.

Should I have something to light?

Maybe tear up the box, it’s pretty old and dry.

Move the wheelchair to the centre of the room. Alright.

Should I hold something? A bundle of cloth?

Sure. Now, Call her.

What do you want me to say?

Say, may god bless this baby Stanczyk.

What? May God bless this… alright.

May God bless this baby Stanczyk.

Repeated a few times.

There.

What?

The door.

Is she in the room?

…. yes.

Is she holding the child?

Yes.

Oh, thank god.

Keep talking.

May God bless this baby Stanczyk.

She’s approaching you.

What is she doing with the baby?

She’s holding it but paying it no mind.

What should I do?

Maybe put your bundle down on the floor and back away.

I need to take the child.

Yes but…

Just tell me where she is.

She’s right in front of you, looking at the bundle on the floor.

I’m going to take the child.

She didn’t move. She’s still fixated on the floor. Quickly to the bones. In the fireplace.

Striking match.

It’s not working.

Arthur, she’s picking up the bundle.

The match won’t light.

Arthur she’s looking through it.

It’s not catching.

Arthur, she knows it’s empty.

Ghostly screech.

Fire ignites.

Baby crying.

Where is she?

I think she’s retreated. Into the chair.

Thank god.

Arthur.

What?

It’s not over.

Right. Right. Just give me a moment.

What do you plan on doing with her?

 

 

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Transcribed by Carley McConnell, a sincere and heartfelt thanks to her and her amazing dedication.