The following story is brought to you by isopropyl alcohol. It’s cheap and it removes calcium deposits in the shower, leaving your bathing area sparkling clean.
Of all the countries of the world, there is one that’s far more superior to the rest. This country, as you all may know very well, is called France. They have no wars and they have no crime. There is no violence in the streets of France. The French just don’t put up with any of that wishy wash. They know what causes the calamities that bring a country down. It isn’t the criminals and the murderers that cause the problems. It’s the instigators. Behind every murder, behind every psychopath that drops a bomb or thief that steals the china and the silver cocktail forks, there is an instigator, a crazed person who drives a person to commit their misdeed.
Since it isn’t socially acceptable to chop off the head of a person who hasn’t “technically” done anything wrong, the French government just sends their instigators to Chesky Island in the Gulf of Lion. (That’s pronounced Lee-own, and you’d better pronounce it right. The French don’t take kindly to stupid foreigners who can’t speak their language appropriately. So say it right or don’t step foot on the French soil, okay?)
House Number Nine
Lewis Harvey of house number 9, third house downtown, was perfectly sane until he moved into that old run down house on the South side of Chesky Island. He never saw ghosts or suffered from any sort of hallucinations whatsoever. In fact, he’d lived in house number nine for quite some time before strange things started happening. And even though he saw it with his very own eyes, he still didn’t believe in the supernatural. Why should he? The very idea of it was absolutely ridiculous.
Early one Tuesday morning, Lewis Harvey woke up from a horrible nightmare. In his dream he was lying in a dark alley getting his bone marrow slurped by the dreaded lurch. He woke up so suddenly that he fell out of bed and knocked his head against the bedside table. He laid on the bare wood floor for a moment and waited for his heart to stop pounding.
Lewis was still in that place between dream and awake where things never seemed normal. It was for this reason that the newly formed hole in his bedroom wall didn’t quite register as something odd and peculiar.
Lewis picked himself up, sat down on the edge of his bed and lifted a pocket watch from the bedside table. It was a lovely watch with all sorts of decorative designs, but the time always said 10:19. He’d had the watch for as long as he could remember and it had never worked. He’d tried winding it up, smacking it against the wall, and even mind control. But it was pointless. He couldn’t get that stupid thing to work. It was evident that the watch was broken. It was also evident that watch repair was impossible.
To make things worse, there were no watch repair books on Chesky Island. There were no clockwork repairmen, and no clock fixing vending machines. People would always tell him “Throw that old thing away and get a new one that actually works.”
Lewis didn’t have any money, and even if he did have extra change to throw around, he certainly wasn’t going to buy a piece of junk watch they sold in the vending machines. He liked his watch and he was going to figure out how to fix it. And besides, if he really did have money in his pocket, he’d use it to build some sort of teleporting device that would transport him as far away from Chesky Island as he could possibly get.
Needless to say, Lewis wasn’t thinking of watch repair or emancipation that morning. He was thinking about his nightmare. It was horrible. It seemed so real.
Lewis rubbed the knot on the back of his head and walked down the corridor to take a shower. When he got there the door was locked and he couldn’t get in. Steam was coming from underneath the door. As he turned around and walked back down the corridor to his bedroom, he rubbed his head again. Still in a half daze the words “hole” and “wall” popped into his head, but he didn’t think anything of it.
Lewis plopped back down into his bed and tried to go back to sleep. However, as he lay there in his bed, it suddenly dawned on him that wall holes weren’t normal. All at once, he jumped out of bed and ran over to the hole in the wall to make sure that he hadn’t dreamed it. Sure enough, it was still there. As he was examining the hole carefully and trying to figure out how on earth it had appeared there, he came to another realization. Someone was in his laboratory, and using his shower.
This wouldn’t be so strange if Lewis was living in a house filled with brothers and sisters. However, this was not the case. He lived alone with his mother. It couldn’t have been his mother in the shower. She had loopies and hadn’t been out of her automated chair since he was six years old. Who in the world was in the shower?
Lewis ran back down the corridor and found that the lavatory door was opened, and there was not a sign that anyone had been in there at all. He rubbed his face vigorously and looked again. He walked over and looked into the claw foot bathtub. There was not a single drop of water lingering behind, and it had been scrubbed clean and polished to a high shine. This was impossible. The lavatory had been filthy the day that he and his mother had moved into that house. The idea that it could be cleaned had never even crossed his mind.
Lewis decided that he was just stuck in one of those dream within a dream situations where it was impossible to wake. He trudged down the hallway, stuck his hand in the huge hole in the wall, shook his head and slipped back into his bed. However, when he woke up a few minutes later, the holes in the walls were still there. In fact, they were there all day long.
For the next few weeks, things got stranger and stranger and it was completely blowing Lewis’ mind. He’d hear footsteps and doors creaking. If he got out of bed and left his room, he’d come back and the bed would be made. This might not have been so bad if holes weren’t popping up mysteriously all over the house.
He told his mother about it, whilst winding the crank on her automatic chair one afternoon and she told him that it was his imagination. When he insisted it was real she said that he was hallucinating because the diet drink powder that he’d been selling with his friends was most likely spiked with hallucinogens.
Lewis didn’t like that explanation, he wasn’t imagining things, and he knew it couldn’t be a ghost. He didn’t believe in ghosts.
So one afternoon, he hid under the bed to try and catch the phantom hole gouger red handed. Only moments after he snuck under there, he saw a girl climb in through his window wearing a long white chiffon cloth that was held on by a knitted cap.
The girl began prying up floorboards and searching around frantically for something. Lewis lay quietly underneath his bed for twenty or so minutes and watched to see what she was up to. But when she busted out the pocket knife and started gouging a huge hole in the wall of his bedroom, he peeked his head out and said, “Hello there, my friend. Just what exactly are you doing in my house?”
The strange intruder just stood there, frozen like a frightened deer that was about to get ran over by a truck on the freeway. Perhaps she was hoping that she was invisible and if she was quiet enough he would think he was imagining her, because she stood there, still and silent for seventy five very strange and uncomfortable seconds.
“Who are you, and what on earth do you think you’re doing?” He asked her rather firmly as he stood up and stormed over to where she was standing. The strange person sighed and continued to gouge a very large hole into Lewis’ bedroom wall. “Oh. Never mind me. I’m just your house ghost.” She said in a spooky tone of voice. Sandy bits of plaster spilled onto the floor, followed by a huge chunk of wall.
“I don’t believe in ghosts.” Said Lewis folding his arms in a very intimidating way. The ghostly figure stuck her arm into the wall and pulled out a red velvet bag of coins. “Oh really?” She said in a matter of fact sort of way. “Well then, if I wasn’t a ghost, would I be able to do this?”
Lewis’ house ghost quickly turned around and turned up her chiffon veil. What Lewis saw was the most terrifying thing that he had ever seen. It was far worse than any nightmare that he had ever dreamed. The female figure in front of him with flowing black hair, blood red lips, and skin as white as the fallen snow, was missing an eye. Her empty eye socket was stretched wide open revealing what looked very much like maggots devouring her eye socket.
Lewis screamed out so loud that every window in the house rattled. He jumped out of the bedroom window and took off running. He didn’t stop until he was at the house of his comrade, Zhon-Claude Baguette.