____________________ <o:p> </o:p> Story #1-Haunted <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">Mansion</st1:placetype> of <st1:placename w:st="on">Greywood</st1:placename></st1:place> Hill (Part 1) <o:p> </o:p> 10/30/2012 <o:p> </o:p> 9:00 pm <o:p> </o:p> <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Greywood Brier</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">Texas</st1:state></st1:place> ____________________ <o:p> </o:p> Day was at last growing into night on Halloween Eve in the quaint <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">village</st1:placetype> of <st1:placename w:st="on">Greywood</st1:placename></st1:place>. It was an old and superstitious, yet normally peaceful village that didn't experience too much action going on through out most of the year. It was a place where everyone knew each other and there were rumors aplenty going around as a way to help pass the time. One such rumor was that there was something horrible hidden within Greywood forest. It was like a labyrinth, destined to make foolish "adventurers" get lost before they'd even be able to find the supposed "Haunted Mansion of Greywood Hill" found at the forest's center. It was true that the mansion existed. The adults admitted as much. However, such stories of it's haunted nature had been greatly exaggerated by the children so that they'd have interesting stories to tell when Halloween season came around, which was a big deal for those of the village. It was this season alone that was the draw of so many tales, and it was that mansion that was the source of most of them. Children foolish enough to try to venture out to the mansion on Halloween night were never heard from again, having supposedly gotten lost in the forest and fallen down one of the many treacherous paths littering the withering trees. <o:p> </o:p> A lone figure was moving along an unkempt dirt road within, winding through the small forest from which the village got it's dreary name. Like the pitiful state of death and decay that the trees were in, so was the shape of the "man", if he could even be called that. Even with the tattered grey cloak covering it from head to toe, there was something oddly unnatural about it that gave one the feeling like it might not be human after all. It moved with an unnatural gait, as if both legs were wounded and it was struggling to even walk upright. Every once in a while the cloak was kicked upward, revealing a pair of unnaturally long and slender feet and legs shrouded in the darkest of black. The rest of the body jerked occasionally from it'shumped over stature, it's sharp spine visibly protruding from underneath the rags. A shrill hiss, sent almost as a whisper, was emitted from within the darkness of the hood, a sound far worse then nails on a chalkboard and enough to send chills down the spines of even the most courageous of humans, should they have been close enough to hear it. However, nobody was crazy enough to be lurking around even close to his earshot, especially on Halloween's eve. Sure, some kids might be stupid enough to try it out tomorrow night, but by then this thing's business would already be concluded. Perhaps they could be added succulence for this twisted creature, but other then that they were like insignificant flies. <o:p> </o:p> The thing shivered and wretched from some apparent pain yet again, paused for a moment, and then limped over to a body laying next to a thicket. Seeing them would be hard for a normal human's eyes in the darkness that surrounded the area, yet this monster had no difficulty taking in every detail of it's prey. The body belonged to a human, and they were still alive, although unconscious. They were still exactly how they had been left off after being dropped there by an assailant sent for this very purpose. The creature didn't want to venture too far from the mansion, so finding the proper humans that it needed was a difficult one without this added help from a "friend". Yes. This time the specimen would be a good one, it could tell. Perhaps the ceremony could finally be completed after all. <o:p> </o:p> Boney hands were shrouded in the same darkness as it's feet as it reached out and grabbed onto the limp form's ankles, pulling it toward what would most likely be their final resting place. The mansion had a single lit room on the top floor, but otherwise it blended in with the darkness of the woods. The human would wake up at around midnight to find themself in a small room on the second floor, of which there were three others, an attic, and a basement. Unfortunately the ceremony could not be concluded until tomorrow night, but there was no hope for any escape attempts by it's prey. Only two had managed to get even halfway to freedom before meeting their untimely end. While this human appeared to be even greater to it's needs, and thus posed a more significant threat, it would make sure that such an escape would not be happening. This mansion would only be a giant tombstone for anyone who stepped inside, and it was nothing more. For over a hundred years it has been like this, and this year would be no different. No...perhaps no different was not the proper word, but it would at least remain of no difference until the end that this would bring. <o:p> </o:p>The large doors creaked open as the figure stepped inside andall light was extinguished. andall light was extinguished.