Things are heating up at Grimm Manor as Bethany begins to sort out the secrets behind the walls of MURDER MANSION. Who will survive, if anyone?
Listen and find out!
Murder Mansion part 4 by Rob Fields
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Things are heating up at Grimm Manor as Bethany begins to sort out the secrets behind the walls of MURDER MANSION. Who will survive, if anyone?
Listen and find out!
Murder Mansion part 4 by Rob Fields
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Murder Mansion: Part 4
Previously on Murder Mansion . . .
Bethany Martinson is returning to Strickfield after spending a week in Shore City. It’s a very dark and stormy 4th of July night as she’s almost home when she’s forced to take a detour.
She hits a car in the middle of the main road. Upon seeing that the car has dead people inside from well before wrecking her car, she walks in the storm until she comes to Grimm Manor and enters. Trapped inside the mansion, she meets up with three former detectives she has history with and the owners themselves, August and Dorothy Grimm.
Bethany is escorted to a bedroom where she goes to sleep.
In the middle of the night, Bethany decides to explore the mansion. As she crosses the living room, she sees both Dorothy and August Grimm are dead – hung by their necks.
Shortly after, a ghostly apparition appears to snatch Bethany and take her away.
The three former detectives are racing against Bethany to try and find the hidden fortune of Beauregard Grimm. They end up in the attic, where they narrowly escape from their near-death experience.
When they’re back in the mansion, they see things that make them regret coming to Grimm Manor and manage to escape to the seemingly endless graveyard out back.
Back in the mansion, Bethany survives and manages to solve her way through a few more challenging escape room scenarios. However, the apparition returns for her. As she tries to run, a trapdoor opens and makes Bethany fall to what seems to be certain death.
And now . . . the CONCLUSION to Murder Mansion . . .
I don’t know what really happened. I just know that I fell into this black void. I couldn’t see a floor or anything. Now I sit up and see I’m in what looks like an attic. I stand up and look around. How many attics have I been in in my life? I remember how Mom and Dad set me up in the attic when we moved to North Ridgeway. That was around the time when they were having me tested so that people in white coats could tell me I have a mutant brain and belong in a special school for the gifted.
Now that I’m in this particular attic, I’m reminded that I’m potentially in terrible danger. It’s obvious I’m in another escape room and have to figure my way out. Then I see the obvious door and make my way to it. I grab the knob and start to open it.
Suddenly, the door yanks itself out of my hand and slams shut.
“Aw, come on!” I mutter.
And then the weirdest thing happens. The door suddenly becomes . . . sucked right into the wall until it’s gone and there’s only the wall itself now. Like there was never a door to begin with. Remembering this house has power, I look around and find a light switch. After turning the lights on, I look around some more.
I see something weird in the far corner near the window, like something’s moving. I walk to it and see a full-length mirror behind some stuff. I gasp at the reflection looking back at me now – with purple hair and red eyes.
Remembering that hall of mirrors, I quickly back away from it.
“Ya can neva escape me, Bethy.” My reflection has a Brooklyn accent. “You an me are togetha fa life.”
I shake my head quickly. “Go away, Harpy! You’re evil! Why are you torturing me like this?”
“Call Harpy whatcha want. I just wanna experience life tha way you do. Ya can’t keep me locked away in our body foreva, Sissy. It’s just as much Harpy’s body as it is yours.”
I tighten my fists. “No! You’re evil! How do I know you didn’t kill August and Dorothy Grimm?”
Harpy laughs and smiles her wicked smile. “Accuse Harpy all ya want, Bethy. Howeva, ya got bigga problems ta deal with right now.” She points to her right – my left. “Look!”
I see the floor is starting to move in that other corner. And then my stomach drops fast!
“Spiders!” I scream. “Oh, God, not spiders!”
My heart’s really pounding, and I’m so dizzy! Then my eyes roll up in the back of my head as I fall and pass out – from extreme fright!
I open my eyes an sit up. Those spidas are almost ta Harpy, an they ain’t comin’ ta me ’cause they wanna get friendly. No, they’re black widows. Harpy’s here, an she’s in full control now. No way things’re endin’ like this!
I quickly move to my feet, which actually scares the spidas so they back off. “Boo!”
Then more a tha creepies move away. They want nothin’ ta do with Harpy. They could get Bethy ’cause she’s always been scared a spidas. Not Harpy. Harpy ain’t scared a nothin’!
Time ta get outta here. I look around an see a portrait a Dorothy Grimm to tha left of a trunk on tha floor an go examine it.
There’s a numba here on tha frame – 39. Numbas are clues! Tha lady in tha portrait’s pointin’ right at Harpy. Then, I spin around an see tha trunk behind me.
Tha spidas keep movin’ around fast. They want Harpy, but they’re afraid a her. Without anotha thought, I grab tha lid an rip it off. Hey! There’s a ladda in here! I git inside tha trunk an stawt climbin’ down.
When Harpy reaches tha bottom, she’s in a corridor. Only got two directions ta move. I see tha burnin’ torches lightin’ tha way an follow’em. I turn down one corridor an then anotha. Harpy walks for many minutes.
Then I rememba August Grimm’s story about how people who die in this area come ta this place. Well, Harpy ain’t dyin’! An Harpy ain’t lettin’ Bethy die, neitha. But Harpy’s gotta problem now. Harpy’s gettin’ hungry, an she’s gotta eat just like Bethy. I’m thinkin’ lotsa sweets! But Harpy’s gotta get outta here first.
I follow tha torches an come out a secret panel ta end up back in tha house an on tha first floor.
Suddenly, that phantom that’s been shakin’ up Bethy appears. Aw . . . It wants ta play with Harpy. I scream in delight an run. The phantom stawts chasin’ Harpy, all while laughin’ like in those scary movies Bethy watches.
“Harpy’ll play with ya!” I call ovva my shoulda. “C’mon!”
The phantom keeps chasin’ Harpy. I turn down anotha hallway an keep runnin’. When I see tha phantom’s hand’s almost on my shoulda, I laugh a little.
“Oh, ya wanna play tag?” Then Harpy runs fasta.
I reach a door at tha end a tha hall an open it. When Harpy slams tha door shut, tha phantom floats right through it an keeps laughin’. Then I move ta anotha door an open it ta take me out into tha storm.
“Yes! Harpy is free!”
I laugh joyfully as I experience bein’ outside for tha first time evva. Yeah, Harpy’s all wet now. Tha clothes I’m wearin’ are clingin’ ta my sexy chassis. But now, that phantom ain’t chasin’ Harpy no more.
I wanna play with tha phantom again, but I just hafta be out here now.
“Let me out! Goddamn you, Harpy! LET ME OUT!”
“Ain’t happenin’, Bethy,” I say. “It’s Harpy’s body now. And . . . it’s Harpy’s world ta play in.”
“I know what happened now. You got out somehow and killed August and Dorothy Grimm! I know you did!”
I sigh. “Ya know, Bethy. As much as I wanna stay out here an be free, I think I’m gonna give ya control back afta all. Ya smart, so I know you’ll learn tha truth.” I’m mad now. “Neva point ya fingas at Harpy unless ya can back it up, Bethy!”
I feel myself in control again. Oh, my god, it’s so cold and wet out here. I hold myself and shiver as I start to walk a little. Soon, I see three figures making their way toward me. It’s the three former detectives that I’ve bested in the escape rooms: Ed Smith, John Riddle, and Brian Davenport. When they see me, they come right to me.
“Forget about trying to get out through the cemetery, kid,” Ed Smith tells me.
“Yeah, we tried and tried,” Brian Davenport says. “There just ain’t no way outta here.”
“Looks like you’re stuck here with us, little girl,” John Riddle mutters.
And then my mutant brain turns on the light bulbs again. Something’s wrong here! I’ve read plenty of science books and have seen enough movies to know that these men . . . aren’t wet in the slightest. It’s been raining like Niagara Falls ever since I got within thirty miles of Strickfield coming home from Shore City. The lightning flashes again, same as earlier.
I keep remembering my accident from earlier.
The accident . . .
Oh, my GOD! That’s it!
I know exactly what happened with that car in the road now!
I look at the men. “You want to know why you can’t get out of here? It’s quite simple really. You’re all dead.”
The men are quite surprised by my statement.
“Have you finally lost it, little girl?” Riddle demands. “Have you turned stupid now?”
I laugh a little. “Let me point out a few things here.” I raise my hand and touch my index finger. “One . . . In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining like a really good 4th of July fireworks show – complete with explosions and booms! Now, how about you three take a good look at each other? Your clothes aren’t even wet. The rain’s just sloshing everything, including me. In fact, I’m cold and soaked right to my bones. My glasses are wet. I’m even trying to keep my hair from matting to my face. Are we understanding the big picture here yet?”
The men look at each other now. Then they look back to me.
I tap my second finger. “Two . . . I’m hungry. My monster tummy’s been growling for a good half hour now. When was the last time you three felt like eating a good meal? Do any of you even feel like drinking that cheap liquor I’ve smelled on your breaths at some of the escape rooms we’ve met up in? And for the record, I’ve eaten two huge meals since I got here.”
I tap my third finger. “Three . . . You want to know how I actually came to Grimm Manor? It’s how I know now that you three are dead.”
I tell them about my coming home from Shore City and having to take the detour to get back to Strickfield.
“But then, I ended up hitting a car that was right out in the middle of the road,” I continue. “Since my car was wrecked, I got out and took a look. The car I hit was a burned-out wreck. There were three – three – charred skeletons inside. Those skeletons were you three. Weren’t they? Let me guess how this happened here. You three were on your way out here, since you like to hunt for treasure in addition to trying to best me in escape room challenges. Yeah, I know all about the treasure hunting. I’ve seen your pictures in the papers for that. And good for you, by the way.
“Getting back to now, you three were on your way here to Grimm Manor to look for Beauregard Grimm’s fortune. The way the front end of the car was totaled, you three were going way too fast. Not a good idea on a road that’s really wet, with lots of dangerous curves. But you went off the road and slammed into a tree. Your momentum brought you back onto the road. The car exploded either upon hitting the tree or when you came to a full stop on the road. You three were burned alive in the vehicle because you couldn’t get out. I didn’t see a car out front when I came here, unless you stashed it somewhere before coming here yourselves. Prove me wrong!
“You three became ghosts and found your way here to Grimm Manor. August Grimm said that ghosts tend to find their way here. You three certainly did. I don’t know how long you were here before I arrived. But you three didn’t look the least bit wet. I was soaked through to the bone. Or don’t you remember that Dorothy Grimm took me to get me some fresh clothes?”
I tap my pinky finger. “Four . . .” I reach out to touch the men. The looks on their faces are priceless when my hand passes right through each of them. “I rest my case.”
I raise my thumb. “And five . . . Why did you all got fired from being detectives? Because you don’t pay much attention to details. And details are so very important. If you did pay attention to details, you would have figured this out for yourselves already.”
Having mentioned details, I’ve just made a startling realization!
The men are still shocked at having been proven they’re ghosts. I look at them and wave. “Ta-ta . . . I’m going back inside to finish solving this mystery.”
I turn around and head back inside the manor. I walk until I’m back in the big living room. I still don’t see the bodies of August and Dorothy Grimm hanging in here.
“Okay, Beauregard Grimm!” I yell. “Show yourself! I know the truth now.”
Suddenly, the phantasm that’s been haunting me drops down right in front of me and looks me right in the face.
“I’m not afraid of you anymore,” I tell it defiantly. “Get lost!”
The phantasm begins to change. In seconds, it becomes August Grimm.
“When I first entered this house and found all of you here, you were already ghosts. You, your wife, and the three men. I’m the only living person in here,” I tell him. “All this time, August, it’s been you.” I point to the portrait behind him. “You’re Beauregard Grimm! You’ve got a beard there, but you don’t have one now. Or is your real name August Grimm?”
Dorothy’s ghost now appears right beside him.
“It’s time yew heard tha rest a tha story, young lady,” August concedes.
“I’m listening,” I reply.
“Yew know now that Dorothy an I are since departed,” August says. “Yew see, when yer a war deserter, people don’t tend ta fergive an fergit. It’d taken some a muh fellow soldiers quite a while but they finally came across me an Dorothy, they did. By then, Grimm Manor had been standin’ as yew see it now. Those men broke in an found Dorothy an me. Yew know what became a us from there.”
I look at the place where I first saw them hanging. “I’m so sorry this happened to you both,” I say with a heavy heart.
“August had tha last laugh, darlin’,” Dorothy says with some humor. “Greed can make people do most anythin’. They tried lookin’ fer August’s fortune. August is Beauregard’s middle name, in case ya’ll hadn’t figured it out by now. Anyway, our murderers ended up in tha trapped rooms an died when they couldn’t figure their way out. Now their souls are here, just like tha many others who’ve come here an will continue ta come here.”
Then I’ve got concerns. “I wasn’t here to look for your fortune. All I wanted to do was get out of the storm, call for help, and maybe get some food. Yet, you put me in all those rooms and scared the hell out of me. Why?”
“Because yew was a very intelligent young lady,” August replies. “Those men who found their way here brought yew up, they did. Said yew solved trapped rooms.” He smiles. “We’d a never let any harm come to ya. I just wanted ta see if yew could solve an survive all a tha rooms. As a now, yer tha first.”
“Not only that,” Dorothy adds. “Yew also found all tha numbers. That was my idea.”
“That’s right!” August cheers. “An if y’all can figure out how ta use’em, yew may just end up leavin’ here with muh fortune after all.”
Now I feel excitement. “I can leave?”
“You’re a Mortal, child,” Dorothy replies. “Yew were just here ta seek shelter from tha storm. Like August said, we’d a never let any harm come ta yew.”
“But you kept me trapped inside this house,” I argue.
“Ah done told ya about them front doors – twice!” August replies. “They tend ta stick real good like that when it rains heavy. When tha storm’s over, yew’ll be able ta walk right on outta here. If’n not for that, yew’d have been free ta go whenever ya liked.”
Dorothy raises her finger. “The clothes yew wore on yer back when yew came here are all nice an dry now.” She looks past me. “Well, it’s lookin’ like the storm’s clearin’ up. It’s gonna be mornin’ soon.” She takes my hand in both of hers. “We gotta be gettin’ along now. We appreciate yew comin’ an spendin’ some time here at Grimm Manor. Ain’t often we get Mortals that come here, ya know.”
“Goodbye ta yew, child,” August says. “Don’t ferget to claim what’s rightfully yers before ya leave. Yew earned it!”
August and Dorothy disappear, leaving me all alone now. I walk through the house and make my way to the back doors. I look outside to the graveyard and see nobody’s out there. Even the three former detectives are gone. They’re a part of Grimm Manor now and have to leave when the night’s over. They’ll return when it’s sunset, I’m sure.
I definitely want my own clothes. I move and head back up to my room. I walk in and see my clothes laid out for me at the foot of the bed all folded nice and neat. I yawn and am so tempted to just get naked and get back in this comfy bed again. I’ve been up nearly all night, and I want to go to sleep. Then my tummy says don’t even think about it.
Also, I remember how Harpy took over in the attic. I won’t be able to sleep knowing she can take over again.
Then I see her in the mirror again, purple hair and red eyes.
“Ya ain’t neva gettin’ rid a Harpy, Sissy,” she says. “Where you go, Harpy goes.”
I groan. “I can’t believe I’ve got multiple personality disorder. Why me?”
Harpy laughs. “Harpy’s got personality, honey, but I sure ain’t one a your personalities. Wake up, will ya? I’m ya fuckin’ sista.”
I put my hands to my ears. “I don’t hear you!”
“Have it ya way. Now get us outta here an go eat, will ya? An we ain’t done. We’ll neva be done. We’ll always be a part a each otha . . . For betta or for worse.”
When I look in the mirror again, Harpy just smirks. I ignore her and remove my soaked Civil War-era clothes. After putting my original clothes back on, I wipe the remaining rainwater off my glasses. When I put them back on, I look at the portrait of Beauregard Grimm again.
It can’t be that easy, can it?
I reach out and find I can open the portrait like a small door. There’s a safe here! Yeah, I guess it was that easy. At least this part. However, I could never open the safe without having been through those escape rooms. That’s what those numbers I found represent.
The combination to the safe is a combination of 38, 6, 24, and 39.
I quickly work the permutations in my head and come up with all the possible combinations using those four numbers. I only have to work the dial with the order I found the numbers. I turn the lever and open the safe. My heart’s really pounding now.
I take out a few stacks of bills from way back when. This old money’s got to be worth a lot in today’s money. I almost wondered if it was worthless Confederate money, but it’s not. I hadn’t given any thought to hunting for this money. I hadn’t even known about it until August Grimm told the story.
If those former detectives were still alive, they’d have many more reasons to be pissed off at me now. I find two suitcases big enough to put all of the money in and close everything back up. Just looking at all this money . . . My tummy growls again to remind me of what I’m going to be spending both this fortune and my escape room prize money on. Okay, I’m not likely going to eat up all the money for quite some time. I can honestly say I’m quite rich now, at least for the time being.
When my tummy rumbles and starts hurting, I know it’s time to go.
I take the suitcases of money and head down to the front doors. I try the knobs and find both doors open quite easily. It’s dawn and the storm is gone. I step outside and close the doors behind me. Then I walk back to the road. I’ll have to flag down somebody who can call me a tow truck.
“No way!” I cry when I reach the road.
My car is sitting on the side of the road, and the car I ended up hitting isn’t even here. My car doesn’t even look damaged. I load the suitcases and get in. The car starts right up.
“Yes!” I shriek happily. The downside, however, is that my smartphone is still damaged. I’ll just have to buy a new one later on when I’m back in Strickfield.
I follow the detour signs and eventually enter Strickfield. I never thought I’d be so happy to see this beautiful village again. My tummy really growls and starts hurting more as I make the turn onto the main road . . . and see Denoyer’s Grill. I waste no time in getting into that parking lot and getting inside.
The smells of heavenly breakfast foods hit me right in the face. Once I’m seated. I order four breakfast platters, two pitchers of orange juice, and some coffee to get me started. You get such great value for your money here at Denoyer’s Grill. That’s why people love coming here so much. That, and the food is just amazing. And with all the money I got, I’ll be eating good here for quite some time. This was truly a 4th of July to be remembered indeed.
However, I’m not okay. I can still feel the vengeful Harpy inside me, waiting for her opportunity to take over again. I can keep her contained inside me.
But for how much longer . . . ?