“I can’t believe someone finally told you what happened in this joint!” Sam grunted as he struggled through the rickety, wooden window Dave held open for him. “Who told you?”
“Old Jim.” Dave replied smugly, letting the window fall shut.
“Well, what happened?”
“Okay, brace yourself for the most spectacular horror story Australia has ever seen.”
“Dave, just tell me what happened!” Sam whined.
“Okay! God you such a wiener!”
Sam rolled his eyes and waited for his friend to continue.
“Now, it all started in 1932 a young couple moved into their newly built house.” Dave began looking around. “They were a quiet couple, never really socialised much, and the neighbours were never disturbed by them.” Dave paused for the dramatic effect. “But, one night when the lady was home by herself, the neighbours heard a blood curdling scream. The police were called instantly, and what they found inside was so horribly disgusting, one of the officers feinted.”
“What was inside?” Sam whispered.
“Dunno, Old Jim didn’t say.”
“What about her husband? Who killed her?” Sam asked eagerly.
“Well, when her husband came home and saw the police, he obviously panicked. He ran inside and found his wife lying in a pool of blood. Only a few days later he disappeared. They found him hanging in the same room his wife was murdered in. As for her killer, well, no one really knows.”
“That poor lady.” Sam said softly after a slight pause. “No wonder this place is deserted.”
“There’s more,” Dave said. This time fear edged his voice, “c’mon, we’ll find the room and I’ll tell you.”
“How will we know which room it is?”
“Trust me, we’ll know.”
Within a few minutes they found what they were looking for. The room was bare except for a single cupboard, and on the wall hung a portrait of a very beautiful lady. Her blue eyes seemed to follow them, as though she knew they weren’t supposed to be there.
“What’s the rest of the story?” Sam asked, his curiosity sparked.
“Well, Old Jim said at the exact time of her death each year, she will reveal to anyone who wants to know the secret of her murder.”
“How?” Sam asked confused.
“Well, they reckon her spirit is still in the house.” Dave paused before continuing; Sam could tell he was nervous. “They say the painting will show how she died. Apparently, the first thing you’ll see is the last thing she saw.”
Sam looked at the portrait nervously. “It’s not like it’s real or anything though.”
“No of course not.”
“So when did she die?” Sam asked, trying to appear nonchalant.
“Umm… March fourteenth I think.”
Sam paled. “Dave, that’s today.”
“What?” He whispered the blood draining from his face.
Suddenly, the room went icy cold. The door slammed shut making the two boys jump. They both looked around wildly in fear.
Dave raced to the door and tugged on the handle. “It’s not opening!” he panicked, “Sam!”
Sam didn’t answer; he was turned, facing the portrait. Dave followed his gaze and froze. There, in the lady’s eyes, was a reflection of a single candle. Dave ran over to Sam and attempted to drag him away.
“Sam, come on!” As he shook his friend, he saw in Sam’s eyes identical candle reflections to those in the portrait.
Dave stumbled back in horror. Panic and fear washed over him as ugly red marks appeared at the lady’s neck. Blood dripped from her chest and stomach, soaking the pink dress she was wearing. Bruises appeared on her face and dry blood matted her golden locks.
Traumatised, he pulled his gaze away from the portrait, only to watch Sam slowly drop to the floor, blood streaming from his torso, which spread into a thick, red pool beneath him. His face went a deathly white, accenting the bruises that now marked his face. Dave curled into a ball and wailed.
Then it stopped, and everything went still. The door they came through creaked open, but Dave couldn’t find it in himself to move. So he sat there, hoping by the time morning came everything would be better again.
Old Jim gazed at the run-down house across the road sentimentally as he finished his tale.
“What happened to Dave?” one of the children asked.
Old Jim looked at the two boys sitting in front of him.
“He’s still alive. Every year on the same date, if you are patient, you’ll see Dave place two bunches of flowers against the door; one for his best friend, and one for the lady who was murdered.”
“Is the lady still in the house, Old Jim?”
“Oh I think so.”
“How do you know all of this, Old Jim?” The other child asked.
Chuckling Jim replied, “That, young one, is for me to know and for you to find out.”
This is just an assessment piece for English. i got an ‘A’ for it.. yay!