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Diaboliknacht d'Maison – by QDesjardin
A Halloween one-shot.

"Irene..!"

Tre's hand is outstretched, helpless against watching her getting sucked up the ceiling, into the swirling vortex of phantasmal energies. He's holding onto the window curtains, the gusts of electrically-charged wind sucking everything up indiscriminately. Amidst his adrenaline, dread settles in his gut; he'll be the only one left once she's gone.

And nobody else outside can help him.

The curtain starts to rip at the top, and he can just feel the weight of his own body dissolving its threads, his converse shoes slipping on the hardwood. It's not very befitting for him, dressed like a noble knight, to be on the verge of failing his mission – saving his friends and even his worst enemies from this house's evil.

I'm sorry I couldn't do anything to stop it..

Then he turns his eyes to the vortex one more time, mustering all his will not to turn away from its brilliance.

/

How would anyone expect themselves to be caught up in the gusts of supernatural forces? If you live in the northern suburbs of Grayson City, you might have encountered that one house that sticks out uncannily – not just because of its Victorian design (in sheer contrast to the mid-1980s housing around it), but also because of its disorienting aura.

It's hard to look at the house without starting to feel a little dizzy, and even harder to go on its grounds without swearing you've seen a goblin out the sides of your vision.

Nobody lives in it, so far as everyone knows, and the city council elected to have it bulldozed over – except on the day of its bulldozing, the construction workers got so spooked that they ran away, and so a brick wall has been built around it to safeguard people from its presence. One old geezer, Nebbercracker, has personally appointed himself to ward away anyone from entering its grounds; even if they've lost their valuables over the walls, they won't be getting past him.

Well, not while he's awake.

But because he gets sleepy when its colder, people would dare each other to climb over the graffitied walls, pick up something that's lost on its frontyard, and climb back – without chickening out to frenzied fear along the way. Bonus points for touching the front door, and everyone would kneel at the knees of the one who manages to get in.

Tre has been dared before by Alistar, the school jock, and he did manage to climb on the tree's branches, getting a peer over to the house, before he notices that from the house's windows,

he see their white faces peering out

at him

"Waaah!" He's told this tale to his friends, and they all surprisingly believe him. Irene especially, for she's always taken an interest in the occult and mysterious – many girls in her grade think she's weird, even for a geek.

"Isn't the house haunted?" she asks. "Many hauntings are usually from a poltergeist – a ghost who's jailed in a place out of resentment, and so cause trouble upon the people who are also attached to the place. But this is far different than any case I've heard of."

In the lunch hour, they're in the library – C.C., Max, Grassy and Piper have joined Tre in going along with Irene's research. They're huddled over her while she's on a computer, moogling info about house hauntings, cross-referencing it with the Victorian home in Huntersville, the large and bustling neighbourhood where they all live.

"This is so freaky.." C.C. goes, nervously twirling her hair. "The thought that we actually have a haunted home. I wish Mythbusters came and proved it's a sham, cause I just have nightmares."

Irene shows them a YouTube clip of the Mythbusters, running away from the house at night (after they've been denied permission from the city, so they had to sneak in undetected).

"I've never been to the house," she admits. "So I have no idea how it's actually like, to be so viscerally scared by its aura."

"You haven't?" Max grins, as if his experience of being scared were a badge of honour. "Man, you're sorely missing out sista. It's like you glance at it, and you begin to slip into a nightmare. The panic just builds inside you, and you start seeing goblins, or all the shadows slipping away, and you're paralysed. Not that you can't move, just that you're so arrested by the fear that it just seems anything you do will make it worse. And then you start to hear them laugh, like high-pitched whistles, in a cacophony of delight-"

"Hey Max, stop!" C.C. goes. "I'm getting post-traumatic flashbacks already."

Grassy hands Irene some minty gum.

"No thanks," she says.

"That's how you make the fear stop," he goes. "You chew gum. Like on an airplane and your ears start hurting when they're landing. Dunno why, but it works."

June 2017

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