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New Blood At The Old House

By: Perry Ellison 4/16/2004

I knew something was different the moment I entered the House. The stench of decay and rot had been replaced with a sickly sweet fragrance. Cain, my hero and mentor, didn't greet me at the door as was his normal custom. Instead, I found him near the fire, reading from a large leather bound tome of ancient lore.

"I'm back, Cain," I said. My voice echoed softly through the crumbling house. "Are you ready to give me a few more nightmares?"

Cain cleared his throat and glanced up from his worm riddled book. "Ah, yes. back again, eh?"

"Of course I'm back. This is home for me. Those stories of yours help keep me young."

Cain placed his book on a side table and rose slowly from his favorite chair. "No more nightmares for you, I'm afraid. Follow me to the kitchen and I'll introduce you to your replacement."

Replacement? The words stunned me like a surge of electricity. Still, I followed the great storyteller to his kitchen. Along the way I noticed little things: live flowers in clean vases, old portraits no longer hanging at odd angles, and a lack of dust.

"You've cleaned the old place up since my last visit."

"Yes, well, right this way."

As we approached the kitchen, I began to her the low bubbling moan of a wounded creature. I guessed the source of the whimpering, but I was still shocked at the sight waiting behind the door. Abel, poor fat miserable Abel, was strapped to an over sized cutting board. Don't ask me how many knives were sticking out of his body because I never counted.

"Now where has she gotten to," Cain asked himself aloud.

"Holy lord! Did your fruit loop wife do this to Abel?"

"No. I'd never allow her the honor. This is the handy work of my new tutor. Melody, where are you, girl?"

A nurse in blood splattered attire walked out of the pantry. "Just looking for lemons to squeeze over Abel's wounds, Cain."

"You replaced me with an Elvira clone," I shouted. "You never let me kill Abel."

Cain turned and stared at me with his cold eyes. "First, she is not an Elvira clone. Second, she is not killing Abel. None of those knives touched anything vital in that fat oaf's body. It's your own fault I've decided to replace you. I've been supplying you with nightmares and mysteries for years and you've done nothing with that knowledge. Besides, look at her and then take a glance at your reflection in a mirror. Who would you rather tutor?"

She was beautiful, but I wasn't going to acknowledge that fact.

"If there's a problem, I can step out for a bit," Nurse Melody offered.

"No, my dear. This miscreant was just leaving. Isn't that right boy?" Cain gave me the old stare again.

"Please excuse my rudeness," I offered. "This old House means a lot to me and it pains me to leave. I meant no insult."

"Awww, isn't that sweet," Nurse Melody said. "Can he stay a little longer, Cain? At least let him watch Abel's demise."

"Oh, all right. I can never turn down a request from my number one fan."

I'm your number one fan, I thought.

Cain grabbed his ax from the corner of the kitchen. "When she gets through playing with Abel, I'm going to end his misery. Unfortunately, the blade has dulled from bouncing off Abel's thick skull. I'll give you the honor of sharpening my ax."

He handed me the ax. The splintery wooden handle bit into my hand. "This is truly an honor."

"Wow, aren't you the lucky one." Melody gave me a smile and a wink.

She was still smiling when I buried the ax in her right shoulder.

"What have you done," screamed Cain. He rushed to her side and lifted her in his arms.

"Is sh-sh-she o-o-o-kay," whimpered Abel.

" I just did you a favor, you fat glob of donkey excrement. That chick used you like a pin cushion."

"B-b-but she was so n-n-n-nice. And k-kind. Much kinder than C-Cain."

Tired of Abel's whining, I yanked a steak knife from his gut and slashed his fat throat. Able spasmed like a hooked fish, then grew still. I turned toward Cain, who was still holding the fallen nurse.

Cain whispered a single word. "Gregory."

The beast moved faster than a freight train. It slammed into me so hard that I was catapulted through the back door. The world spun as I tumbled down the hill. (Luckily, crashing into a granite headstone stopped my spinning.)

Gregory swooped down, pinned me with his razor talons. When he sank is ragged teeth into my side, I awoke screaming and drenched with sweat.

That was the last time I visited the House. The last time I saw my hero. I no longer have nightmares. Those precious gems are forbidden to me forever. Once I dreamed of great mysteries and living nightmares. Now, I'm barred from entering the House.

One image still haunts me. Before Gregory attacked I caught a glimpse of something on Cain's face. I thought I saw a tear sliding from Cain's left eye. Couldn't have been a tear. Not shed for her. Could it?

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