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patrick cunningham

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Excertpt From After Midnight volume one
By patrick cunningham
Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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This is a story from After Midnight volume one by Patrick Cunningham. The terror at Devils Mansion.



Many, many years ago in an old mansion about ten miles outside of town, there lived an old man and his daughter. He was a scientist obsessed with eternal youth and immortality. One day he went to Egypt for a six month expedition and while there he discovered a book. It was buried in one of the pyramids. He read through it and smiled. He hid the book in his suit case and sailed back to America. Upon his arrival home he immediately set up his laboratory and spent days and days mixing formulas and translating the ancient Egyptian text. He worked continuously for over a week when finally he cracked the code. He laughed aloud as he began to mix liquids together. Red, green, yellow, all combined in a vile. He spoke the words from the book and the liquid began to bubble and change color. A dark red vapor appeared in the vile and it drifted across the table. The liquid had turned to a bright gold color then it turned to black. He took a syringe and partly filled it with the liquid. He held up the needle and squirted a little fluid   from   its hollow point. He walked over to another table where he had four white rats locked in a cage. He reached in his hand and picked up one. The rat squealed as his hand clamped around its body, “Easy now, this won’t hurt a bit” he whispered as he inserted the needle and injected the serum. He placed the rat back in the cage with the others and looked in and waited. The infected rat lay there twitching as the serum took its effect. It seemed to be increasing in size. Its teeth grew longer as did its claws. Charles Bradford smiled as his new creation destroyed the other rats. His pet ripped the other rats to pieces and ear piercing squeals filled the room. But he was not happy. The formula was supposed to give immortality not create a monster. He had a loaded pistol in his desk drawer. As he was sliding the drawer out a terrible squeaking and creaking came from the cage. He grabbed the pistol and ran back. His eyes opened in amazement as he looked at the cage. The infected rat had grown almost double its original size. He pointed the gun at the rat and fired. It lay dead in the cage. It had been shot in the head. He lowered the gun and walked back to his desk and dropped the gun with a thud. He stood over the book reading it, looking for where he went wrong. He was studying it hard when a sudden noise made him jump. He looked around the room but there was nothing. His attention shifted to the cage. He slowly walked over to it. He could hear the cage rattling, and when he got to it he nearly fell backward in shock. The rat he had just shot was alive again and it was scurrying around its limited space in the cage. Charles was trembling as he looked at this thing he had made. Its eyes were almost snow white. Its hair had grown so much it looked like a miniature lion with teeth and claws to match “Good, god in heaven what have I created” he asked himself running his fingers through his matted grey hair. While he was concentrating on the rodent he never heard his twenty four year old daughter enter the room. From the shadows she could see her father holding a syringe and a terrible squealing. She moved closer right behind her father. She screamed as she saw the rat. Her father turned around startled by her scream, still holding the syringe. As he turned the needle jabbed Elizabeth in the arm. He stood back in terror when he realized what he had done “Elizabeth, My dear Elizabeth. What have I done” He said as he backed away from her with tears in his eyes. She looked at him and pulled out the needle. “I ‘am fine father See, it’s just a scratch.” she said with a smile showing him the little puncture mark on her arm. He fell backward clutching his chest and gasping for breath. “Father” Elizabeth screamed as he tumbled to the ground knocking viles of liquid and test tubes over as he tumbled to the floor. She ran to his side and knelt down beside him. She cradled him in her arms. His breathing was weak and shallow and he looked up at her with his grey blue eyes. “My darling Elizabeth, what have I done to you my daughter? I have been a fool to meddle with things beyond my comprehension. As one grows old the questions of one’s own mortality comes to mind. Death comes to us all, my dear Elizabeth and death scared me, so I wanted to find a way to defeat it and live for longer. But I know now that death is a part of life that we all must face because time eventually runs out for us all. I’m sorry my dear Elizabeth” he stopped talking and gasped for breath as he reached out his hand to touch his daughters cheek. His arm dropped to the floor with a heavy thump and he was gone. She cried and held him tightly in her arms, her dark green eyes and long flowing brown hair were wet with tears. All of a sudden her mouth opened wide as if she was choking on something. She dropped her dead father to the floor and clutched at her throat. She could not breathe. She got to her feet in a panic and crashed into book cases and against walls as she fought to catch her breath. She felt incredible pain all through her body as the serum began to change her from human to something else. She looked in terror as her fingers became longer almost double their original length. Her eyes turned to crystal white as she tumbled to the floor writhing in pain. Her breathing was faster now her chest rising and falling as she crunched herself into a ball. Her hair was turning to grey and the skin became taught and wrinkly as it was stretched tight over the bones. Her horrible hands slashed at the air as her face began to change. Her teeth became pointed as the jaws grew longer like that of a werewolf. Blood spurted from her mouth as the teeth cut through her lips as she grinded her jaws. Animal like hair grew from her body as the once beautiful young woman was now a hideous creature of darkness. Outside rain poured down and thunder rattled the windows of the house and a bolt of lightning strikes a tree sending sparks flying as a huge branch crashes to the ground. As the thunder roared so did something else. From deep within the mansion a horrible blood curdling scream rings through the darkness of the night. It wasn’t human. It was like a screaming wolf and banshee together. Inside the mansion candle light flickers in the laboratory and a hideous shadow was cast upon the damp grey walls. The shadow reared back its head and held its twisted clawed hands to the heavens and screamed again. It’s pointed canine teeth like daggers cast on the wall. It walked over to the dead man’s body and knelt down beside it. With one whip of its claws split the stomach open and began to eat the flesh. Blood dripped from its hideous face and teeth. For half an hour it ate its fill and the body was half devoured. It ran screaming from the house like a banshee from hell into a nearby wooded area, and there it hid away from the real world only coming out at night to hunt.

       Web Site: after midnight

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