Penguins was bored. This wasn’t unusual for a Friday night, since all she usually did was sit around on Facebook chatting to her friend, Tom. But tonight since Tom had decided to get off Facebook and get a life Penguins was left sitting around on Facebook, chatting to no one and she didn’t expect him to appear again at any point in this story. Penguins decided it was probably best if she got off the computer as well and she wandered into the lounge room to see how her siblings had decided to entertain themselves that Friday evening.
The Chairman was lying on the couch reading (his third Terry Pratchett for the night) while Lara Lou (the only sensibly named sibling) stared dreamily at Angel while watching Buffy. Penguins shrugged and sat down. “Put on an episode with Spike in it.”
Lara didn’t even have time to change the disk before there was a knock at the door. Penguins sprung up to answer it with her brother and sister trailing behind. “Wazzup!?” the trio were greeted by their hyperactive, overenthusiastic friend, Private Donut. “Guys! I heard there was a hidden treasure hidden in the haunted house, over way. Want to go check it out?” he said, without giving them a chance to respond.
The siblings glanced at one another and the Chairman punched Donut in the nose. “Ow! What was that for?” Donut clutched at his face.
Penguins rolled her eyes. “Last week you told us, and I quote ‘It's been pointed out to me lately that I'd be that dumbass character in the horror movie who convinces their friends to go into the haunted house under the impression they'll be just fine. And on that note, if I ever try to do so, just punch me in the face.’ We’re just carrying out your bidding.”
Donut didn’t seem to hear. “So now that we’ve got my perfect four man team together, let’s get going!”
“Is it a mistake if I ask him what his perfect four man team is?” Lara whispered to the Chairman.
“Well,” Donut replied, somehow overhearing, “I’m glad you asked. I’ll be the comic relief guy. You three are the jerk, the final girl and the bitchy chick I’m always hitting on.”
“Donut, I’m not being the bitchy chick you’re always hitting on.” Penguins told him, dryly.
“Why do you think you’re the bitchy one?” Lara asked her sister.
Donut looked at Lara for a second before turning to Penguins, “She just doesn’t understand our love.” Penguins punched him in the nose.
“At least you get to be final girl, Lara.” Penguins said, bitterly.
“Final girl?” Donut recovered from the face-punch surprisingly quickly, “Lara’s the Jerk. The Chairman is the Final Girl.” In the end, no one was happy (except for Donut who was very pleased).
“Are we sure we want to be doing this?” Penguins whispered, looking up the cobbled path in front of them.
“I can’t believe we let Donut talk us into this.” Lara whispered back. They were outside the haunted house and it seemed to stare down on them with hunger and wrath.
“This is such a bad idea.” The Chairman said. “Can I punch Donut again?”
Donut was about to bite back (probably literally. You can’t trust that guy) but he never got the chance. “Hello everyone! ♥” Cried a cheerful voice from behind them. “Whatcha doing?” Donut’s Four Man Team turned around to see a jovial girl in a Collingwood jersey waving at them. A shyer girl stood a little distance behind her cradling an armful of books.
“Hi Laura. Zella.” The Chairman nodded at the two girls. “How you going?”
“We’re about to explore the haunted house. Want to come?” Donut asked, putting on a macho voice that didn’t really suit him. “There’s supposed to be treasure in there.”
“Oooh!” Laura oohed. “That sounds like fun!”
“I’m not so sure…” Zella began to protest but before she could finish Laura and Donut had already dragged the group inside.
Inside it was both eerie and dusty, but mostly dusty. And kind of dark and dank as well. It wasn’t very pleasant. Penguins wasn’t impressed that she had been dragged here. Although, there was a spiral staircase to one side of the foyer that Penguins found pretty awesome. Donut immediately bounded up them with Laura following after him.
“Shouldn’t we go after them?” Zella asked when she realised no one else had bothered to move.
"No, let them go. If we're lucky, Donut, at least, will die a horrible death and we'll never have to see him again." The Chairman said offhandedly.
They did end up following after the two, because, really, who doesn’t want to climb a spiral staircase? But at the top of the stairs they were nowhere to be seen. They were in a long hallway with five doors leading off it. “Perhaps we should each search a room for them. It’ll be quicker that way.” The Chairman suggested. “We’ll all take the last door.”
“Are you trying to get yourself murdered?” Penguins replied. “You are in a haunted house and you’re suggesting we split up?”
“You take movies to seriously, Penguins.” Lara said, agreeing with the Chairman and entering the doorway closest to her. Zella and the Chairman each chose a doorway and did the same thing.
“Uh…” Penguins was still hesitant but staying alone in the hallway was just as likely to get her killed as going into a strange room. She opened the fourth door and found… a bathroom. A plain ordinary bathroom that was entirely empty. Except… there was a sound from the sink. Penguins edged over to it nervously. What if it was full of blood? Slowly, bitting her lip and with one eye closed, she peeked at what was inside.
“Eek!” Penguins screeched. “Maggots!” That was just as big a horror movie cliché as blood!
“Penguins! Are you okay?” The Chairman came running in with Zella close behind him. “What happened?”
Penguins didn’t get time to respond before they heard Lara scream. The three darted to the room Lara had entered earlier. She stood in front of an open closet staring inside with utter horror. “G… guys…?” she breathed as the others joined he by the closet. “I think we’d better get out of here…”
Inside the closet was Laura, her throat slit and her eyes glazed over.
“No.” the Chairman groaned. “Why couldn’t Donut have died instead?”
“We have to get out of here!”
“We can’t leave without Donut.”
“I knew it. We’re all going to die.”
A clatter came from the hallway causing the four to jump. “If we’re going to die, I’m going to let someone know where to find our bodies.” Penguins whispered while the others searched for anything that could be used as a weapon. “Does anyone have a phone?”
The Chairman and Zella both shook their heads. “I’m out of credit.” Lara shrugged, finding a fire-poker in the corner of the room.
“Then I hope this place has easily hack-able WiFi.” Penguins pulled out her iPod Touch.
“Okay.” Lara said, sounding more confident than she felt, “Now that we’re ready, lets go investigate that sound.
The hallway was empty but the far door, the one yet to be investigated, now hung wide open. “Do… do you think Donut might be in there?” Zella asked. The group raised their weapons and shuffled forward nervously.
“Hi guys!” Donut said cheerfully. He stood in the middle of the room smiling at them.
"Wait, you're still alive? Well, sh - I mean, oh good." The Chairman greeted Donut less than enthusiastically.
The room they were standing in took creepiness to the next level. The room was round with doors the whole way round. “Guys, isn’t this place awes–” before Donut could finish his sentence the door behind his swung open and an axe came flying through the air, embedding itself in Donut’s head.
The girls screamed and the Chairman cheered. A dark figure stepped through the doorway. “Who… who are you?” Zella stuttered. The figure stepped into the light, revealing him to be a rugged man cradling a ventriloquist doll in his arms.
“I am Till Hammerette.” The ventriloquist doll said. “And this is O’Malley.” The doll gestured to the man holding her.
“Why did you kill our friends?” Lara asked, still feigning confidence.
Till Hammerette laughed, “That’s what I –”
“Penguins! I’m here to save you!” a holler came from behind them and a man came charging through them towards O’Malley and Till Hammerette.
“Tom?” Penguins stared at the man in awe.
“I saw you Facebook message! I’m here to save you!”
O’Malley pulled the axe from Donut’s head and swung it, severing Tom’s head from his body. “Wow. That was kind of like in the Shining.” The Lara commented.
“O’Malley, Till Hammerette. I am here to stop you!” the masked man declared, drawing his rocket propelled chainsaw launcher.
“Who is that mysterious hero?” Penguins swooned.
“That’s Pieman!” Zella exclaimed. “But I thought he was just a legend!”
“Make your escape.” Pieman told the group and Penguins swooned again. “I’ll handle things from here.”
The Chairman nodded and grabbed hold of his flustered sister. Zella opened the nearest door and they ran inside to the sounds of a chainsaw starting up.
And there was the treasure. It had to be. What else sat inside golden, jewel embossed, chests? In fact, the chest could have been the treasure itself, but Penguins had to check. What if there was something more valuable inside? Penguins stepped forward and flicked the latch, lifting the lid of the chest.
“Wow.” Zella breathed.
“Is that what I think it is?” the Chairman’s eyes where wide.
“What’s so great about it?” Lara asked.
Zella, Penguins and the Chairman all stared to look at her. “Lara,” Penguins said as if she were speaking to a small child, “that’s the lost manuscript of H.G. Wells’ last book. It’s rumoured to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time!”
“It’s a sci-fi novel that I haven’t read!” the Chairman said, trying to express the importance of the manuscript to Lara.
Zella stepped forward and reached out to the manuscript. “This is one of the greatest literary discoveries in history!” as she touched the manuscript a trapdoor opened up beneath the four and they tumbled outside like a blind homeless man stumbling into a high school prom. That is to say, very suddenly, and with a sense of both panic and confusion.
“We’re outside!” Lara cheered. “We’re saved!”
“No! The manuscript!” Zella cried. “It’s the only copy of H.G. Wells’ last novel. We can’t leave it.” Before anyone could say ‘Going back in there is stupider than letting Pvt. Donut’ Zella had run back into the house.
Lara looked at Penguins and the Chairman in disbelief. The Chairman shrugged, “H.G. Wells.”
“Sorry.” Penguins told her sister, “Only copy.” They both disappeared back into the house after Zella.
I'm pretty sure everyone who gave permission was in this story but in the future I won't use everyone in each story. Thanks to Pieman, the Chairman, Lara Lou, Laura, O'Malley, Pvt. Donut, Till Hammerette, Tom and Zella for letting me use you.
Next week Zompocalyse!