Saugus.net

Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2008
High School Winners

Third Place



Our third place High School winner is Victor Galli, a student attending the Revere High School in Revere, MA. He was also a contest winner last year.




Penitentiary

by
Victor Galli

“So, are you ready to die?” growled the prison captain mockingly; that was his famous line before he ended a life. “You two, strap him to the chair!” the captain ordered. The prison captain was a big, burly man. Standing a towering six-foot-four and weighing close to three hundred pounds, his orders were never questioned. His size, plus the scar running vertically from the top of his eyebrow, over his white glazed eye, and down his right cheek made him very intimidating. There was something about him…something evil in the way that he showed complete disregard of human life .The two guards violently grabbed the prisoner and dragged his limp body across the rough stone ground. The candlelight illuminating the room cast eerie shadows across the cold, dark, grimy walls of the execution room. The prisoner’s bloody, tattered clothes didn’t look as gruesome through the dim light, nor did the cuts and abrasions on his face, arms, and legs.

“Why….why are you doing this to me…?” croaked the prisoner with all the energy he had left. “I did not kill anybody…my crime was benign! Please sir… have mercy!”

“I love it when they beg!” exclaimed the captain, and then turned to face the prisoner. “Let me tell you something…. I could not care less about you, or any other prisoner in here. You’re all scum to me, and to tell you the truth, I actually enjoy doing this,” the captain said with an evil smirk as he strapped the cold, iron cuffs of the electric chair tightly around the prisoner’s wrist. He tightened the strap around the prisoner’s forehead; he liked to see the expression on his victims’ faces as the high electric voltage passed through their bodies.

“Wait! Wait! What is this?!” cried the prisoner helplessly.

“It’s a new little toy of mine..” grinned the captain. “It’s called…the electric chair. See you in hell…” the captain muttered as he walked out of the room towards the control panel.

“NO!!” cried the prisoner is in a long, dragged out way. His voice was muffled as the door to the control panel slammed shut. The captain threw the switch and watched as the prisoner writhed in pain. The captain loved every moment of it.

“Clean up the body,” the captain ordered, and then he walked down the dark hall of the prison. Screams filled the corridor, and as the captain looked left and right he saw the hangings, shootings, and medical experiments being conducted. He walked past the entrance lobby and observed the statue in the middle. It depicted a muscular prison guard standing over a kneeling prisoner with a victorious fist in the air. The plaque below it read “Dark Woods Penitentiary - Justice Is Done.”

“I love it…” declared the captain, as he walked down the dark hallway to claim his next victim.



(One hundred and fifty years later)


“Whoa, check out that statue!” exclaimed Mark as he fought his way over the debris of the fallen ceiling and broken front door.

“Hah, more like check out that graffiti,” Sam said as he glared up at the stern face of the stone prison guard. The two boys clicked on their flashlights and rolled the light over each of the walls. Underneath the faded names and gang symbols that were spray-painted on the walls, they could see the old, decrepit stones that created the skeleton of Dark Woods Penitentiary.

“Well Sam, I guess we aren’t the first people in here since this place was abandoned,” Mark said while closely examining the floor and the walls.

“I would imagine that someone else would have gone in here over the course of one hundred years,” said Sam, still gazing at the statue. “I heard they did some really sick stuff in this prison, like really gruesome executions and experiments and stuff.”

“Yeah I heard that too. Hopefully we can find some crazy things like nooses or iron maidens or something!” Mark said with a childish, giddy tone.

“You idiot, this place was a prison in the 1800s, not the Middle Ages….moron..” Sam said as he rolled his eyes and continued down the hallway.

“Way to be a buzz-kill, Sam…” Mark muttered as the two boys continued down the dark corridor they found. The air was thick and stagnant, and there was an overwhelming stench of mold. The flashlights shone over the rusty bars of the old cell doors; inside the soft, rotting wood of the bed posts lay still on the ground.

The boys reached the end of the hallway and passed through a large doorway with a crow carved in the top of it. They found themselves in a pitch black atrium with four different passages leading from it. “Let’s go to the right,” Mark said.

“No way. I want to go left. Let’s flip a coin for it,” said Sam.

“Alright then I call hea….” Mark stopped as a white cloud emerged from his mouth. “Whoa...it’s freezing…what’s going on?”

“I…I dunno, do you want to leave?” Sam asked with trepidation.

“No way, let’s just…just flip the coin.”

Sam took a coin from his pocket and flipped it high into the air. On its way down the flashlights started to flicker and then went out. The boys felt cold breezes encircling them and they started to panic, frantically running and fighting through the darkness to find some way out.

“MARK, WHERE ARE YOU?!” Sam screamed, but Mark was already sprinting down one of the hallways, too scared to speak. Sam hit a wall running, and then quickly felt the sides of it until there was an opening and he took off running down it.

Sam’s flashlight came back on, and he found himself in what seemed like a medical ward. As he walked around he peeked into different rooms with old, rusty gurneys and IV stands. All of a sudden Sam was surrounded by whispers; they were very faint – barely audible - but they created the atmosphere of a bustling emergency ward. Sam picked up the pace and frantically looked over his shoulder as he felt breathing on his neck and rushes of wind burst past him. The whispering got louder and louder until it turned into mournful wailing and screaming. Sam made a mad dash for the first room he could find and slammed the old, rotting wood door.

Sam dove onto the floor and the dust and cobwebs kicked up then disappeared into the darkness. There he lay, prone and motionless in the pitch black room. Several minutes passed without him moving a muscle, but he gradually curled into a ball as the temperature dropped once again. The room was getting ice cold, so Sam knew that he was no longer alone in the room. He blindly reached for the door handle without success. He finally grasped a hold of it and pulled with all of his might, but it wouldn’t budge. All of a sudden a bright, blinding light illuminated the center of the room. There was an old operating table surrounded with trays of rusty, decrepit operating instruments. With the room’s temperature below freezing, Sam approached the light to try and find warmth. He reached out to touch the single hanging light bulb above the table, and then with a flash everything went white.

When Sam regained his vision, he looked around and his stomach dropped. A sick feeling overwhelmed him when he tried to move his limbs; he realized he was strapped to the operating table. He was stripped down into nothing but his underwear, and his body started to turn blue from the cold. The door crept open to reveal two tall women in white gowns with long veils covering their faces. They slowly approached Sam; by this time his flailing had stopped due to complete terror. One of the women stood on each side of Sam and looked him over. They poured a warm, clear liquid over his chest and then stood silently. Sam started thrashing around, so one of the nurses raised her hand to cover his mouth. As the hand approached Sam realized something wasn’t right; the hand was dark blue and cold, and the stench of rotting flesh overwhelmed his nostrils. The nurse smothered him with her hand until his limbs went limp from the lack of oxygen.

The door creaked open once more, and instantly both nurses snapped upright and stood silent once again. The figure of a man, a surgeon, walked in. His face was dark and missing chunks of flesh, his clothes were blood-stained and ripped. He slowly approached the table; each step he took caused a deep echo to fill the room. Sam was paralyzed with fear and could not move a muscle; all he could do was lay frozen and stare wide-eyed as death approached him. The surgeon got to Sam and ran his cold, decayed finger down the center of his chest. The touch sent waves of chills down Sam’s spine. A motion was made to one of the nurses, and she grabbed a rusty, old scalpel from the tray. It was handed to the surgeon, and he placed it against Sam’s chest. The white line on Sam’s now-purple, goose bump-riddled skin was still visible from the pressure of the surgeon’s finger. “PLEASE, SOMEBODY HELP ME!” Sam cried, but his screams were quickly muffled by the nurses once again. He cried out until he heard a slight popping sound and felt a warm, flowing sensation on his chest. The pain didn’t hit for another few seconds, and by that time the surgeon was slowly running the scalpel down Sam’s chest. Sam thrashed about, screaming and crying from fear. The sickening crack of his sternum caused him to vomit off the side of the table. All of a sudden he felt a tear, and he settled down for a minute. The doctor stopped his frantic slicing, and slowly started to remove his hands from his chest. Sam looked at him, but now the pain was all gone. He eyed the surgeon’s arms; they were up to his shoulders in blood and more was spurting from his hands which were still rescinding from his body. His eyes widened as he saw a beating mass covered in blood being cradled in the surgeon’s hands. He stared at his own beating heart for a moment, the severity of it not registering in his mind. He stared until the gruesome image was burned into his mind…and then everything flashed white once again.

“Sam! Sam! CAN YOU HEAR ME?!” Mark yelled as he slowly fought through the darkness. He didn’t know where he was, but he knew that something wasn’t right. As he walked down the hallway he noticed that the number of cells began to dwindle. Soon, he was walking down what seemed like a stone tunnel with no destination in sight. He kept walking until he could faintly make out an opening. It was a sturdy wooden door; but it was different than the others. It looked almost like it was used frequently; the wood did not fall apart when Mark pulled on the handle, and there were no rusty snaps when it crept open and slammed shut behind him. Mark found himself in what looked like a waiting room, and there appeared to be even more graffiti on the walls.

“Oh thank God. Signs of human existence….” Mark muttered as he ventured deeper into the room. “Who in their right mind would come all the damn way into an abandoned prison to graffiti walls that no one is going to see?!” Mark exclaimed to himself. He walked over to the wall and froze. There was something different about this graffiti, it was a deep crimson color, and it all said the same thing: “So, are you ready to die?”

Mark frantically scampered back to the door and tried, without success, to open it. Just then a dim light emerged from an opening on the other side of the room. Mark looked behind him, and frozen in place was a dark, wispy figure suspended in the air. Mark gathered up all of his courage and spoke to the figure.

“W-who are you…?” Mark asked wearily.

“Decessus….” the figure spoke in a hollow, raspy tone.

“W-w-when did you…live?” said Mark, beginning to tremble.

“….Never…..” growled the apparition.

Mark’s stomach dropped. Everything he had ever learned about spirits rushed through his head. All of the seemingly useless information he had ever learned about the supernatural came flooding back to him. He had heard about beings such as this before, and he knew exactly what he was dealing with. Mark was face to face with a demon.

Mark turned to run but the demon flew at him and pierced his back. Mark fell to the ground and he felt his entire body getting colder and colder as the demon further entered his body. He felt himself losing control of his mind, while whispers echoed around in his head, whispers that were not his own. He could not understand them, and it didn’t take long before he realized that they were backwards. He could still see but he could no longer think or act for himself. His body stiffly rose off of the ground and stood upright. He then felt a burning sensation on the right side of his face. It felt as if someone took a hot iron and ran it across the top of his eyebrow and down his cheek. Suddenly, he lost vision in his right eye.

“It feels great to have a body once again….” Mark heard the words come out of his own mouth but knew he didn’t speak them. He was trapped in his own body; he knew what was happening, but had no control. The demon controlled every aspect of his body now.

Mark could only watch through his bloodshot tunnel vision as the demon moved him deeper into the torture chamber that lay beyond the abandoned waiting room. Electric chairs, nooses, gas chambers, and various metal contraptions with uses Mark could not fathom passed before his eyes.

“Victim….victim….new victim…” was all he could hear swirling around his mind. The demon took him through another door, and the dead silence was shattered by cries and screams of the tormented souls that lay trapped in the cells along the walls. The demon turned Mark’s head into each cell as they passed, and Mark saw the shells of people of all ages ghostly white and naked. They were all broken, beaten, and scarred with lacerations and deep scars riddling their bodies. The empty look on their faces made it clear that they had given up; they have lost the will to live even in the afterlife.

Eventually the demon halted Mark’s body in front of a seemingly empty cell. There were no cries radiating from beyond its rusty, decrepit bars. The demon scanned the cell from right to left; all Mark could do was wait and see what horror lay within. His vision locked on something in the far corner submerged in the darkness. The longer he stared, the clearer the image became. The outline of someone kneeling on the floor started to emerge. Soon, the ghastly image was complete; a boy was curled up in the dark, dank corner of the prison cell shaking and blood-covered. The demon spoke something that Mark couldn’t understand, and the boy stood up. He slowly crept out of the shadows and Mark was not able to look away, despite the fact that he was staring at his best friend Sam. Sam was just a mere shell of his former self; his eyes were white, his skin was pale and his veins protruded through the top of his skin. The gash running down the middle of his chest was still damp and bruised.

“You….come…” spoke the demon and Sam’s cell flung open. Sam slowly stumbled out of the cell, moaning a terrible, inhuman sound with each painful step. The demon grabbed Sam’s arm and he let out a cry as the skin on his arm started to turn black. As the demon dragged what was left of Sam down the corridor again, the beings in the other cells were silent. Their screaming and crying stopped; they knew it wasn’t their turn this time. They knew that they had at least one more day before the demon banished one of their souls to hell.

Decessus kicked open the door to the execution room and strapped Sam’s body to the electric chair.

“Before…when I executed the living… I would ask them if they were ready to die…” the demon spoke in a hollow voice between deep, raspy breaths. “But now… since I am dealing with the dead…I feel I must change my saying…” the demon went on; he cracked a grin on Mark’s face. “Are you ready…to live all eternity in the inferno of Hell?”

With that, Decessus thrust Mark’s arm towards the electric chair, and it turned on. After a second, Sam’s mouth opened and a light emerged from it. The light was pure and glowed brightly as it ascended towards the ceiling. Mark could do nothing but sit, trapped in his own mind as he watched his friend’s soul drift slowly towards Heaven. Suddenly, the room reached a boiling hot temperature, and a fissure cracked open on the ground. Darkness poured out of the gaping hole, and a wispy, black dog leaped out of the crevice and devoured the orb of light that was ascending towards the sky. The hole closed up, and Decessus stared at the spot where Hell had opened, all while shining a sick smile on Mark’s face. Mark gave up; he quit trying to fight the demon possessing his body. After the sight he just witnessed he knew that this was a battle that could not be won. His thoughts faded away, and Decessus moved his body towards the old, rotted door once again. Screams filled room as the door opened once again, and again Decessus slowly walked down the old stone corridor, scanning for his next victim.





Continue to the 2nd place story




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