As Alexandra drove down the road, she could see the mansion from a distance, it was more creepier than she had imagined, the mansion of horrors, the mansion she had agreed to spend a night in, in exchange for it's ownership but owning a mansion wasn't the reward she craved.

What she wanted was fame, the fame that would make her channel popular, the fame that would allow her to quit her hated job and become a full time vlogger, greed and fear had compted within her equally but it was eventually greed that won.

As she came closer to the mansion, she could feel the eerie vibes of the place engulf her like a monster that threatened to consume her with it's darkness, she felt like a prey that had allowed herself to be captured in false hopes of a reward.

Stepping down from the car, she held the sight of the mansion, it was a marvel of gothic architecture, it was both beautiful and terrifying, she was mesmerized by the beauty of the mansion but at the same time a sense of dread enveloped her, but she continued walking, the imagined aftermath of her success leading her.

She stopped near the entrance, she debated going in or not, a part of her told her it was a bad idea but another part of her pushed her to venture further. Her mind was filled with the thought how scary the inside of the mansion might be, if the outside was this creepy.

She stepped in, her heart beating with an intensity she had never felt before, as she explored the rooms, she realized there were more than she could count and the hallways seemed to be endless.

Panic seemed to grip her but she calmed herself down, this feeling was only because she had never seen a mansion as huge as this one before, she took out her phone and decided to take a video, she thought of uploading it on her channel after she was over with all of this.

She knew the owner had installed cameras to ensure she went through with the dare and not faked it, that was part of the agreement, it gave her a sense of security rather than a feeling of dread that she was being watched.

The rumors she had heard about the house began to fill her mind, her mind had the ability to heighten her distress at the worst possible moments, there was one rumor that the family who had built it had died under mysterious circumstances while others said that children who happened to explore the house out of curiosity had disappeared without a trace.

A chill ran down her spine as she recalled all the creepy rumors, the more she tried to not think about it, the more her mind thought of it, every little sound like the wind blowing the curtains was enough to frighten her, as a teenager she had laughed at horror movie characters being spooked at a haunted house but that was in the past, now she felt a sense of empathy for them.

She searched her bag for something to eat, she took out a sandwich, her stomach was twisting in panic and fright, she didn't feel like eating but she felt hungry too at the same time, it was a strange feeling, a feeling she couldn't put into words, she took a hasty bite and gobbled up the sandwich as fast as she could.

After much thought she decided to go and sit on a chair in the corner, as she sat she felt paralyzed by fear, the sky had become pitch dark and she felt her heart leap in her mouth, there were still hours before dawn and she was here in this mansion alone!

She stayed frozen in the chair, hypervigilant for any sound or shadow, but nothing happened, she felt scared thinking a ghost was playing tricks on her, hiding somewhere, playing with her mind and would suddenly appear to frighten her when her defense was at it's lowest.

Hours passed by and she felt she was going insane, to distract her mind she again took out her phone but the signal was too weak, she put her phone away disappointed, she felt angry, scared and at the same time tired of all this.

She regretted agreeing to all this, she had let greed get to her, maybe she should have listened to her fear, it came from a place of survival but now there was no turning back, she had to go through with it whether she liked it or not.

Sun shone down on her from the window, she woke up in a state of panic, had she really slept off or was this just a dream?, maybe it was a dream that was soon about to turn into a nightmare, maybe a ghost was playing tricks with her or she had been killed by a ghost.

Reluctantly she got up and walked towards the window, as she touched it and looked outside, it all felt so real, she could see her car outside. Instinctively she ran out of the door towards her car, she searched her pocket for the keys, she couldn't find them!

She was about to give into panic when she recalled that she was searching in her right pocket and she had kept her keys in her left pocket, how silly of her!, she slid her hand into her left pocket and the keys were there to her relief, she started her car and it was working perfectly fine, she wasn't in a dream nor in any kind of afterlife!

She sighed with relief, she got down from her car and looked closely at the mansion, it didn't feel as creepy as earlier, she went inside and was awestruck by the way sunlight shone inside, she snapped a picture and posted it on her social media, this time even the signal was strong.

Weeks later as she sat in her favorite red dress recounting to the interviewer how she spent the night alone in the mansion, she felt a certain pride on achieving her goal but a part of the pride was also there because she hadn't given in to fear, her greed had lead her forward, maybe greed isn't a bad thing after all.

September 25, 2023 13:27

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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