Ten Steps of Hell

Submitted into Contest #64 in response to: Set your story in a Gothic manor house.... view prompt

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My house is black. Although, now since I think about it, everything is black. My clothes, my hair, eyeliner, bed sheets. I just loved black I guess.

I went to bed that night in my black bed sheets, staring at my black walls. I succumbed to the horrifying natures of sleep shortly after resting my head on my pillow.


I was moving through a house, fear carved into my soul. I wasn't sure why I was scared, but I was. The house was black, similar to mine in a way.

A chill could be felt throughout the halls and into my room. It was a strange feeling, to be cold but also comforted by it at the same time. I peek out of the room, looking down the hallway. At the end of this hallway was the door, the door I've seen a million times but could not open.

I creep out into the hallway, cautiously, carefully, expectantly waiting for the sounds to come. And come they did. The echoing whispers of lost and tortured souls came from within the walls, as they usually do. The whispers started to turn into screams, desperately crying for help.

The pained faces of these souls could be seen on the walls, dancing in the candlelight coming from the slight crack beneath the door at the end of the hallway. I was roughly ten steps away from it. I wanted to move, but my mind and my soul resisted. But my body moved regardless.

I took my first step. The temperature got slightly colder, the screams louder. I started to tingle, and a slimy green substance began to drip from the ceiling. A drop fell on me, burning my skin, leaving a bit of blood and an obscene amount of pain.

I plant my left foot in front of my right becoming my second step. The sounds from the souls could be clearly heard at this point. I could've saved her, one of the faces say. It wasn't my fault, another says. I let him die, I had to, yet another one says.

I take my third step, just to have another drop of the green substance fall on me. This one hurt much worse, and I scream. Hands come from the wall, torn up and bloodied, some with fingers absent. They grab me, their claw-ish like nails digging into my skin, ripping out chunks. I scream out in pain as blood slowly flows out of my arms and legs.

I take my fourth step unwillingly, wanting the pain to stop. The hands finally release me from their grasp. The screams continue, but at a much higher pitch. I felt like the voices of these lost souls pierced my head.

I moved to the fifth step. I wanted to stop, and wanted to so badly wake up out of this nightmare. But my mind wouldn't let me. The faces start to move out of the wall and into the hallway itself. They were ghostly images of those who were trapped in some distant world, pain written all over their faces. The hands grab me from the walls again, grabbing even more flesh. Hands come from the ceiling, stealing the hair on my head, ripping it out, causing me to fall to my knees.

I crawl to my sixth step and see even more hand-like things. They came from the floor and grabbed at my face, repeatedly. They took an eye, and then a tooth, and then part of an ear. Blood drips everywhere, creating a pool of the crimson liquid on the floor mixed with this green substance, still burning me.

I crawl to my seventh step, with the faces teasing me and the hands tearing at my flesh. One jumps at my face and it's claws dig into my right cheek. I yank my head up in an attempt to make the hand fall off me. It does. It recedes back into the floor... with a large piece of flesh and hair. I bring my hand up to feel my face. My hand comes upon my teeth, gums, and bone all the way up to the top of my skull. Our pain is yours.

I crawl to my eighth step, the faces still taunting me, with multiple hands stuck into my back. Stand up, the voices of these souls say to me. I look up at them, and unwillingly stand. So close, they all say in unison. Their faces fade back into the walls, and go back to the flickering and whispers that they were before.

I take my ninth step. The hands drop off of me and attach to the walls and become part of them again. The substance vanishes from the ceiling. We cannot go farther, the faces say. I smile, knowing that the pain of the hands and the substance is now gone. No more pain, I think to myself. As if reading my mind, the faces speak again. The pain has only begun. The faces completely vanish, nowhere to be seen. Even though I hated them, I still felt lonely without them.

I stepped the final step, the tenth step. I was right up against the door, which had a small mirror on it. I looked at myself, the holes all across my body, my face, my hair, and the burns caused from the last nine steps. I put my hand on the door handle and push it, not expecting it to open, but to expect to wake up in my nice cozy bed with black sheets in a black room.

But the door opens. A single candle burns in the middle, sitting atop a table. I walk in, not knowing what will meet me here. The door closes behind me. I look around to it, to see that it has vanished. I start to panic, my heart racing, at the fastest of speeds.

I hustle around the room, trying to find a way out, anything to get me out of this place. An even colder wind whips around the barren room. A shadow appears in the corner of the room, it's movements unrestricted even in the candlelight. I move closer to the candle to get a good glimpse of what this shadow was. I couldn't really see it and squint to get a better view. Wait... hang on...

And then it was gone, but only for a split second. It reappeared right in front of me, the only thing in between us being the candle, still burning. I got a good look at it's features. Ugly gray skin, in some parts ripped down to the bone. It's ribs could be seen with holes scattered all over it's abdomen. The organs were black. I look up to it's head. A hood was covering it, but I could still see the blackness of the eyes and the blood dripping from it's fang-like teeth.

It walks around me, and I try to move but am frozen in one spot. I feel a sharp pain around my back, not knowing what he did. I feel my warm blood spilling out of my back in a constant flow. It comes back around, and I look right into it's death-filled eyes as it's scythe glints of the candlelight. It smiles a horrible smile, and plunges the blade into my gut. As badly as I wanted to fall, I could not. I was frozen in place, unable to move. I felt the pain everywhere in my body as the creature twists the scythe over and over again. With the scythe still in me, it thrusts it's claw into my chest, a few inches above the scythe.

I scream, scared for my life. It rips it's hand out, covered in blood and organ. It had my heart in his hand. The creature brings it up to his mouth and eats it, with blood gushing out. I finally fall onto the ground, pain coursing through my body.

"You are mine," it gurgles, blood continuing to drip from it's mouth. With a swipe of it's hand, my mind goes dark.


I awoke, trapped in some realm, full of darkness. It was endless pain, like a thousand knives stabbing me. My eyes open, and I see a figure in a hallway, within arms reach of me. I knew what this was and I wanted to protest and tell the person to turn around. But I couldn't. My arms just reached out and grabbed at the figure, ripping off chunks of flesh, blood pooling beneath their feet. I continue to scream, feeling the eternity of pain as this figure falls to it's knees.

October 19, 2020 18:25

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1 comment

Ari Berri
18:45 Dec 07, 2020

This is an awesome story! Also, the poem in your bio is great.


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