It’s been so long since the house has been fed, Silas the groundskeeper thought.
It’s been so long since the house has been fed, Silas thought. It was the year 1989, and Mortis Manor seemed to be lying dormant after almost 100 years as a cancerous tumor on the hillside, but the caretaker knew it would be ready soon. So Silas trimmed the tall weeds that had grown up around the rusty wrought iron gate and left it unlocked. The house would take care of the rest.
It didn’t take long for Katie and her teenage friends to let their curiosity draw them up onto the decrepit porch and find that the door was locked, but the window next to it was open, completely devoid of glass, as if someone had carefully removed every shard. The dusty gossamer drapes beckoned them inside.
Silas watched from between the walls as Katie, Kevin, and soon more of their friends gathered in the house, thinking they’d claimed it as their own. They set up a television and liked to watch horror movies, which gave Silas some wonderful ideas. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. He planned to play with them, savor their young souls, before letting the house devour them. The house would allow him that.
One night, as Katie and Kevin nestle into the dusty, afghan-covered sofa watching a hockey-masked monster chase people through dark woods, a party rages in the kitchen beyond. It’s a night like any other, but soon people begin to disappear. First, Caroline and Jesse, then Kevin from right under Katie’s arm, when she looks away for only a second.
Katie is scared, but she feels a presence reach out to her, calming her mind enough to draw her upstairs in search of her friends. As she pushes open a door, she sees Kevin, half-crouched in the shadowy corner with a hockey mask where his face should have been. It’s the very one from the movie and she laughs at his pathetic attempt to scare her. “Kevin–” she starts, but Katie doesn’t get to finish her sentence. Katie’s sense of calm evaporates, and her laugh is cut short.
The last thing Katie remembered was being dragged down the hall by her foot, struggling for consciousness, unable to move, thinking hysterically Oh my god, it has us. It’s the house. Then, the Kevin thing pulled her through the door at the end of the hall where Silas was waiting, and she remembered no more.
Silas continued to play with his new toys for quite some time before letting the house finish them. He created some glorious creatures out of their raw material, derived from the monsters of their movies. He’d like to play with you, too.