Part 2 of My Fake Horror Novel

Part 1 is here. To Recap: Young couple Jessica and Stephen get engaged and buy a house together. Only problem is, the house is a decommissioned hospice for the criminally insane and built on an old Indian burial ground. There was also a graveyard built on top of the burial ground. Even worse, during its time as a hospice, the house was home to years and years of unlicensed medical experiments by the evil Doctor Saint Charles Berkeley. It may be haunted.

“How spooky was that?” Jessica asked her fiancée Stephen in the year 2015.

“2spooky.”

*

Stephen looked through his old collection of newspaper clippings in the atrium of the east wing of the left side of his new house and gasped. The headline read: MAN EXPLODES LIKE MEAT BALLOON, FOWL PLAY SUSPECTED. These headlines were common, especially in downtown Chatsworth, where Stephen lived. What caught his eye was the room in the photo. It looked familiar.

Stephen gasped again. He did know that room. It was his new kitchen.

“Sweet baby dumpling,” Stephen screamed over the house megaphone, “Come look at this.”

Susan came to look at this and started wildin’.

“That’s our kitchen!”

*

Stephen spent days pouring over news clippings of the previous occupants. It was “meat balloon” this and “meat balloon” that. Apparently the previous occupant lived completely alone and solitary except he had a wife and a son who lived with him. When he exploded she disappeared. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had investigated the crime (even though it occurred in Chatsworth, a suburb of Los Angeles, in America) concluded that the wife had exploded the husband and then ran away to avoid prosecution. She was never found, except for her body, which was found. She had also exploded, but the coroner had dismissed it as natural causes. The son was also never found, except for the fact he was found. It was well-known that he had become homeless and made it his life’s mission to warn people about the house.

“Oops,” Jessica murmured as she thought back to the homeless man she had stabbed several times the day before.

“This is all 2spooky,” Stephen murmured to Jessica who was still murmuring to herself.

“Why do we always murmur?” Jessica murmured aloud.

*

“What if the wife didn’t die of natural causes?!” Jessica screamed.

“What do you mean? What? Huh? Whatchu talkin bout? Huh? Willis? Huh?” Stephen whispered.

“What if she died of supernatural causes?!” Jessica yelled.

“That’s crazy,” Stephen responded as he observed a knife levitate several feet off the ground as if carried by an invisible hand, “Ghosts don’t exist.”

*

“Hey Stephen,” Jessica motioned, pointing to the empty gurneys and signs demarcating patient rooms, “Do you ever wonder if before we moved here this place was some sort of…. Hospital? Maybe for the criminally insane? I feel like every time I try and clean the house I find more and more surgical equipment and lithium. I mean, how many normal houses have an electro-shock room? How many normal houses have seven operating theaters?”

“Jessica, stop being crazy! Are you on your period? Jeeze.” Stephen remarked.

“No, Stephen, I’m serious. Remember that sign you found? “The Saint Charles Berkeley Hospice for the Criminally Insane”? What if it wasn’t just an ironic sign?! What if it was a normal sign?!”

“Shut your mouth, that’s crazy!”

*

Jessica typed “Saint Charles Berkeley Hospice for the Criminally Insane” into the google machine and the first result was: BILLIONARE PLAYBOY MADMAN MURDERER DOCTOR SAINT CHARLES BERKELY ACQUITTED ON ALL CHARGES VIA MISTRIAL. She gasped and opened the link. It was a news story about a doctor named Saint Charles Berkeley who was briefly arrested for experimenting on patients. The case collapsed when the head prosecutor, Dan Rydell Overstreet, couldn’t stop telling his star witness (a nurse) to “shut up” and so the judge declared a mistrial and Berkeley was allowed to walk free. Apparently, upon leaving the courtroom, Berkeley exclaimed he was “Off to kill more people. Mostly orphans” and went back to his Hospice for the Criminally Insane. Berkeley returned to the Hospice and was never seen again; it’s generally assumed that he’s still alive and/or a ghost, wandering the halls of the hospice. Despite this setback, the hospice continued to accept patients until the year 1972 when the Berkeley estate sold it to a young couple, who later both exploded. There was also a footnote about the hospice being built on ancient Indian burial ground.

“That was a whole lot of exposition,” Jessica murmured.

*

Jessica faxed the information about Doctor Saint Charles Berkeley to her fax machine which, in turn, splorted the pages across the intranet to Jessica’s printer, which spit out all of the pages. She grabbed them and ran to find Stephen.

“Stephen? Stephen?” she screeched.

Suddenly, she heard a blood curdling scream come from the atrium of the house. Susan ran into the atrium which, by the way, had a lot of really unsettling paintings that were very dark versions of religious iconography. Like Jesus covered in snakes or something. Anyway, Susan found nothing in the atrium, except for a giant pool of blood leading into the basement.

Jessica assumed it was nothing. Stephen was probably just bloodletting in order to Get Rich Quick, Cure Depression, Lose Weight, or Score A Perfect 180 on the LSAT. Jessica sat down to eat a burrito and forgot what she was doing for a bit.

Suddenly, she heard another scream, this one louder. Jessica remembered what she was doing and ran into the basement.

*

Jessica ran to the bottom of the stairs and turned on the light and screamed. Dead in the center of the room was her Stephen, body parts strewn about like avocados if they were all in a bag together but the bag had a hole so they fell out one by one in different places and probably got accidentally stomped on. She sprinted to what looked like a head and tried to feel for a pulse. She couldn’t, because there was no neck.

“Stephen, Stephen!” Jessica screamed, “Are you alive?”

The head gave no answer for obvious reasons.

Suddenly, Jessica heard a maniacal laugh coming from the corner of the room. She turned around like a lightly spun avocado but couldn’t see anything. Jessica decided it was probably nothing.

It was then that the room went black. Someone had cut the power. Jessica gasped.

All of a sudden, she felt a spooky hand rest on her shoulder and she began to scream.

She screamed until she couldn’t anymore.

Next Time: Will Jessica survive? Will Stephen survive? Isn’t a realtor legally obligated to disclose if a death occurred on the property? Can you overdose on Codeine? None of these questions will be answered.

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