Andrew

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"This country is fucked up,“ were the first words my friend Andrew said, after we left the plane on the small airport in this forsaken part of Russia. We went through the passport control swiftly and headed for our hotel. There weren’t any real taxis in this town; just old, rusty cars driving around and people who would take you to any part of the city for a few dollars.

The “hotel” was dirty and falling apart. It wasn’t even worth the price we paid – and that price was extraordinary low. Luckily we didn’t plan on spending too much time in the small hotel room. We came here to visit a haunted house southwest of the city. It was rumored to be one of the creepiest places in the world, and the internet claims that several tourists disappeared there. My buddy Andrew and I decided to take the risk and go on an adventure.

None of the improvised taxi drivers wanted to take us there after we named the address, so we agreed on walking there since it wasn’t too far, just about 7 miles. The weather was quite pleasant; the Russian winter was still months away and it wasn’t too cold. A fresh breeze was blowing so that we didn’t get sweaty either. The sky was pretty clear until we had to cross a forest; suddenly dark clouds came up and we heard thunder in the distance. The weather didn’t seem so welcoming anymore.

The forest was beautiful. We even saw a deer running by. After about an hour we left the forest again – right when it started to rain.

“Fuck, did we bring our rain gear?” Andrew asked me while we looked for a tree to hide under.

“No. We didn’t.”

This was when I first started to question our adventure that was supposed to be a fun trip. By the time we reached said house we were completely wet.

It was an eerie old villa, standing in the middle of nowhere. No neighbours for 5 miles in any direction. We instantly knew why it was said to be so creepy. All of a sudden everything seemed gloomy and dark. I felt uneasy.

“Listen, Andy, maybe we should…”

But he didn’t hear me; he was already running towards the big, wooden door. “Come on, you pussy! We didn’t fly for 8 hours just to turn around now!”

I couldn’t but agree. We spent quite some money on the tickets, and it wasn’t the time to chicken out just because I watched too many horror movies. This was first-class adventure tourism!

While we were looking for a room to sleep in, night fell over the forests surrounding the villa. It was a scary view. Dozens of yellow eyes were looking at us from the forest, the old, worn out wood made creepy sounds after every step we took and too often without any of us even moving, the rain was still falling.

“Okay, so… the basement is supposed to be haunted. Some lord killed and tortured peasants in there 300 years ago and their ghosts are supposed to still haunt this place. Other sources say it’s the lord’s spirit – he was hacked to death and burned by an angry mob if villagers. How about we go check it out, Jacob?”

That’s what I knew as well. We both had looked that up online months beforehand. The internet didn’t tell us about the motherfucking creepy wood freaking me out though.

I felt less and less comfortable in here. It was way too dark and the big, deserted rooms seemed to shrink once I set foot in them. I felt like the walls were attacking me.

“Jake, are you all right?”

“Yeah, it’s just… I feel a little claustrophobic, I guess.”

“The fuck? In here? It’s fuckin’ HUGE… This ain’t no elevator or shit!”

Oh, how I hated his southern pronunciation. But he was right. I should try to calm down and just enjoy our stay here. “Yeah, you’re right. Can I get some of the whiskey you brought?” He handed me the bottle and I took a deep sip. The warmth swept through my body and I started to relax.

Yeah, this wasn’t too bad.

We spent half an hour looking for a way to get into the basement since the staircase looked too dangerous. This place had been completely empty for at least a hundred years and was in a desolate state. After a while, Andy got too annoyed and suggested that we just took the staircase anyway. I agreed, afraid he’d think I’m a coward again if I declined.

“Okay, Jake, you go ahead and I’ll just bring our stuff. See you down there!”

What an asshole.

I walked down the stairs slowly, taking step by step, stair by stair, trying not to break the rotten wood construction. The sounds the staircase made were freaking me out badly. I had at least half a dozen mild panic attacks on my way down. Just when there were only about 10 stairs left, I heard a terrible, loud cracking noise and the staircase gave in underneath my feet. The old wood broke and I fell into the darkness.

I don’t know how much time I spent unconscious, but it must have been more than a couple minutes. The blood on my fresh wounds was completely dried. My head was pounding, my hands were shaking and I couldn’t concentrate at all. I tried to focus on my surroundings. All I could see was darkness, a never-ending blackness in all directions – shockingly even when I looked up. What the fuck happened? Where am I?

I tried to get up and walked a few steps. “Andrew?” I asked into the emptiness.

No response.

“ANDREW? Where are you?”

My voice was full of panic at this point. I couldn’t stand up completely; the ceiling or whatever it was too low. So I crawled through the shadows like a rat, trying to make out a point or orientation. My legs hurt badly, especially my knees. I could barely move forward. Suddenly, I felt something cold and wet in my neck. I gave in to the fear and ran away, screaming. Still unable to see anything, I crashed into what I thought was a wall. I fell backwards.

When I tried to get up, the next shock came: there were human bones on the ground. I had grabbed a thigh or an arm while trying to get up. By this point, I was a shaking, weeping shadow of myself. The complete silence and blackness was too much for me.

All of a sudden, I felt something grab my shoulder. I tried to focus this time and not to give in to the fear; whatever it was, I could fight back! I grabbed the thigh bone and swung it around like a bat. It hit something and I quickly crawled away. Before I was able to even take a breath, the thing I had just hit with the bone grabbed my feet. I was wearing steel toed combat boots. I kicked as hard as I could, about five times. I turned around to grab the silent monster. I was crept out by the fact that it hadn’t made a single noise in all the time.

My hands reached the thing. It wasn’t moving. I felt wet, slimy skin and sharp edges on its skull. It made me feel like puking. Completely devoid of light and sound, overwhelmed by the terror of the monstrous attack, I crawled into a corner and broke down. I cried like a little child, for hours.

I had abandoned reason once and for all; I didn’t think, I couldn’t focus, I wasn’t even scared anymore. I just wanted to flee this godforsaken hell, this infinite darkness. Nothing existed here. It seemed to be an endless void. It reminded me of a black hole. The enshrined madness in this horrible place seemed to suck up everything. I couldn’t even hear my own sobbing.

After what seemed an eternity my weakened body finally gave me rest and made my flesh give in – I fell asleep. Waking up was extremely weird. I just woke up; totally and fully. As if someone had screamed in my ear. I was still surrounded by emptiness and couldn’t neither hear nor see a thing. I got up and tried my best to find a way out. It was impossible. I crawled around; beaten, half-dead, depraved of light and sound, like a wounded animal I carried myself along. An inexplicable fear lived in every step. I was sure that I was being watched. My despair grew stronger and stronger.

Abruptly, my silent struggle ended and was replaced by a world of pain. Something had hit me in the kidneys. I reached around and grabbed it. A cold, dead hand was striking me again and again. Each beat made me cringe and scream in horrible pain. I couldn’t hear my screams.

Was this a nightmare after all?

The pain didn’t end.

I didn’t wake up.

I tried to grab the monster’s arm. I reached out and… something awful happened. A shrapnel exploded in my lower arm and I couldn’t feel my hand anymore. Had the monster bitten it off? I broke down in pain and begged for mercy. My last thought before passing out was about Andrew. We had been friends for so many years. I hope at least he was able to escape this living hell.

“Do you think he’s on drugs?” Vladimir asked his colleague.

“Probably. He killed that friend of his with a fucking table leg and then stomped on his head until his skull split. You could see his motherfucking brains. What a fucked up freak. Took some chemical stuff that made him blind and deaf, killed his friend and attacked a policeman. He's lucky that you just shot his hand off…”