Hell Awaits

The following short story was presented at the Jersey City Writers’ monthly genre event–Creepypasta: A Literary Reading of Web Horror. Please enjoy.

 

“Connie, will you shut your trap, I’m tired of this nonsense already” Bill said as he threw back a half opened brewski, with holes punched in the Tin can. Connie ignored her bothersome “man friend.” He was prone to mouthing off and showing off when he had one too many drinks. She kept rummaging through the aged wooden chest that Bill, Carol, and Donavon brought with them on their yearly trek through the Canterbury Highlands. She was feverishly looking for something, tossing about the tattered contents of the box, which consisted mostly of old clothing.

“And why’d you bring that thing damned thing anyway? Remind me again!” A semi-belligerent Bill huffed.

“He’s pretty stupid, but he has a point. I thought there was something of value in there?” explained slightly annoyed Donavon. “I hope we didn’t come all the way out here, to sit in front of a random, rundown shed and start digging through trash. We could have done THAT at home.”
Carol and Marcie were too busy sharing gossip about men they slept with to notice the commotion. Connie raised her hand to quiet the group. “Shut up, ya’ll I think I found it.” She pulled out a large, and old looking Tome that could best be described as an ancient ‘Grimoire.’
Bill scratched his head. “Man, I dropped out of college so I could get away from books. And you woman,” pointing at Connie, “never fail to bring them right back to me.”
Connie laughed as she blew dust off the worn-out cover with what appeared to be claw-marks on the binding. From the cover, two words stared her back in the face: “Hell Awaits.” She smiled as she carefully opened the book. Donavon suddenly grabbed it from her. “Connie! What kind of nonsense is this? Are you messing with that Witchcraft stuff again?”
Connie furiously grabbed the book back from him. “It’s not witchcraft, dumbass. It’s…it’s…” she smiled strangely “…a story.”
She opened to the middle of the rather thick book. The pages were covered with un-recognizable symbols. She flipped through a few pages until she arrived at one with the image of a blood red pentagram drawn on it. There were barely legible words scribbled all over. The sentences winded all around the image and in betwixt its various facets.
“Legend has it,” Connie started grimly, yet excitedly, “That in every city, of man, in every town, there is a doorway.”
Bill interrupted, “Sure there are doorways, I just gone mine re-done last week. Cost me five-hundred do…”

Connie shot back. “Not like this one. This doorway leads to a place of utter, and in-contrastable darkness. A place of sorrow and misery. A place that man was not meant to enter. A place called…”
Donovan interrupted this time, rolling his eyes “Hell! Very original. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that the Tooth Fairy’s behind that door, setting up a Tea Party for the Easter Bunny and Santa.”
The group laughed all together, all except Connie. “If you think it’s all a joke, you wouldn’t mind just going in there and proving what a ‘Big Strong Man’ you are.” She crossed her arms, looking aggravated at being mocked.
Bill scoffed at this suggestion. He thought any sort of mystical notion was synonymous with stupidity. “So why would the doorway to hell be here of all places, and how does a ditz like you find it anyway? That there little book tell ya?”
Donovan walked up to Bill. “Hey man, cut her slack. You’re her boyfriend for Pete’s sake. She’s just trying to liven things up a bit. This trip’s been dull.”

Bill shrugged, “Fine, Connie, you wanna have your little fun. Let’s go in, walk around a bit….make some ‘boo’ noises, and come back out. Then we’re going to Denny’s. Cuz I’m hungry.”
Bill walked right up to the door. It was made of aged oakwood, and had a rusty brass handle. He put his hand to the knob, which was deathly cold. He felt a strange sensation, like there was someone running his hand up and down his chest. Ignoring it, Bill opened the door, surprisingly easily. “Looks like Hell isn’t guarded very well.” He laughed snidely as he walked inside, disappearing into the darkness.
After a few minutes of silence, Donovan called him from outside “Hey, bro, you ok in there?” Bill responded, gleefully from inside “Hey come on in, the water’s just fine.” Donovan smiled at Marcie and Carol. Marcie skipped right up to the door with Donovan. “Ok let’s go!” she said. “You coming Connie?” Connie had blank look on her face. “Oh no, you go in, I’ll wait out here.” They both went inside.
“You’re not going in?” Connie asked Carol innocently. Uneasy by the whole experience she decided to hang back. “I think I’ll wait out here, it is actually kind of creepy.”
The trio could be heard talking inside, and laughing. Connie still facing the door said, “It’s ok, I only needed three.” She began to laugh, her voice becoming sinister. The door slammed shut, and the handle turned, locking tight. The voices inside suddenly stopped.
Carol looked at her confused. “What are you talking about — three? Three what?” Her eyes shot to the door. Blood started leaking through the keyhole. “What’s going on?”
Suddenly, a horrible scream could be heard from inside the house, followed by the sounds of a chainsaw slashing through flesh and bone. Blood splattered on the two front facing windows from the inside as the screaming was cut off abruptly. A horrified Carol screamed herself and fell backwards, tripping over a rock.
Connie turned around to face Carol, now on the ground. Where her eyeballs should have been, remained empty sockets. Blood trickled down her gaping mouth. Carol’s expression became pale. “What’s…what’s happening…”
Connie only replied “Welcome to Hell!”

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