It all started with a teaching assignment. Korowitz, professor of FA150, Art History, assigned the final project for her class. She separated the class into groups, and then gave them a house they had to go and take pictures of. A week later they were to give a presentation to the rest of the class, discussing the architecture found within, what time period it was from, and why they thought that. Her final group consisted of Jeremy Power, Zoe Sawyer, and Chance Spires.
The trio headed out to the house a few days later. It was far away from Asheville proper (or seemed to be — on a map it’s close; it just so happens that the only way to it happens to be on a long and twisty road that takes an hour to drive on) and, when they arrived, they found a beautiful three story mansion. Their instructions were to go around back and get the key from the turtle statue.
While back there, the group noticed several things. Some things several people noticed included the tribal drum set as well as the baseball field. Chance split from the others to go check out the baseball field; Zoe and Jeremy went inside.
Temporarily following Chance
Out back, Chance found that the baseball field was well-kept, and included a dugout in the ground, with some wire-mesh instead of a ceiling so that whoever was in it could look out on the field. He also saw a baseball bat signed by Babe Ruth and a baseball signed by Ty Cobb. Thrilled, he was going in to look at them when the sky overhead rumbled. In a panic and cursing the house’s owners lack of affection for their worth thousands if not millions dollars in good, he snatched them and ran for the car as it started raining horrible sleet. Once he’d stuffed them into his trunk, Chance turned and ran inside.
Inside with Jeremy and Zoe
Mostly ignoring each other, Jeremy and Zoe begin exploring the interior of the house, taking pictures. Zoe discovered a padded room with a Steinway piano on the inside—a soundproof room built for music practice, with awesome acoustics? Distractedly, she began playing piano. Meanwhile, Jeremy went upstairs, where he discovered a little boy’s room with an old worn stuffed rabbit in a cowboy hat as well as a few well-tended Dr. Seuss books.
When Chance burst in to the house soaking wet, the group ventured downstairs and started going through each and every room. It was during this that Jeremy noticed that each picture he took was odd — the house they were seeing seemed overlayed (like in old school cameras, rather than the digital camera he was using — when two photos were taken on the same bit of film) with an ancient house, old and rotting. He took a picture of Chance in the kitchen getting in the fridge, and the fridge — rather than nice and new and filled with delicious looking foods like it really was, instead was rusted out and gutted, filled with rotting slime, broken jars with earthworms crawling out of it.
It was in the study that Chance and Zoe looked over Jeremy’s shoulder and noticed this, but after a few minutes of arguing, the group decided maybe they were all going crazy. Jeremy led the way back upstairs. There the group found a nursery, the walls painted with scenes from children’s books. While in there, the group heard someone singing.
‘“Oranges and lemons”
say the Bells of St. Clement’s
“You owe me five farthings”
say the Bells of St. Martin’s’
Everyone immediately moved for the small child-sized door in the room that seemed to be locked. The voice grew silent as they talked. Chance had palmed a key from downstairs and tried it on the door and it opened to reveal a completely black room. Chance took a picture and saw shadows seeping out from the room. When he told Jeremy it might be a good idea to back off, Jeremy harrumphed and crawled inside, talking to the kid in the room — and the door slammed shut behind him.
Briefly with Jeremy
Inside the dark room, Jeremy found a small boy, maybe six or seven, curled in a tight ball. He started talking to the kid, and as he did he noticed a few things: purple splotches up and down the kid’s arms, blood seeping through the back of his shirt, and at one point when the boy uncurled his arms briefly to offer Jeremy a candy cane, a gaunt, bruised face with bleeding slashes down the cheeks. Jeremy talked to the boy and learned a few things.
With Chance and Zoe
Chance and Zoe tried frantically to get the door to the child’s place open when they heard someone behind them. They turned to find a large man standing there, brawly, thick with muscle. He had dark shaggy hair, a five-o-clock shadow, and thick body hair. He asked what they were doing, and when they explained, he offered to show them the third floor and said there’d be something they liked upstairs.
Once upstairs, the man showed Zoe to his wife—who was playing a violin quietly. The woman spoke to Zoe for a few minutes, and then the two began a duet—the woman on violin, Zoe singing. As they were performing, Zoe noticed the woman seemed to be becoming soft around the edges, as if she were going out of focus, and Zoe felt a thrill through her body, felt drums pounding in her head, and felt oddly attached to the music.
Meanwhile, Chance was dealing with the man showing him around his den. The man wrapped his arm around Chance’s shoulders and offered to show him his baseball signed by Sanchez, who he had met personally. Alarm bells went off in Chance’s head, considering Sanchez died in 1979. He started trying to get away, but when the man noticed this, he started changing into a sort of shadow monster.
The group then joined together to fight off the shadow man — who took a large chunk out of both Chance and Jeremy before being put down. The trio escaped to Chance’s car as the house seemed to revert to an old and falling apart locale, and they left to head home.