Madman's Mansion

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While I'm not working on my videos or reviewing movies on the net, I tend to do three things:

1. Have my own little 'movie night', watching a movie for my pure enjoyment
2. Catch up on the latest movie news and signs of the Moviepocalypse
3. Write

While expressing philosophical ideas and exploring the human nature is fun and all, sometimes, it's fun to just sit down and write a simple horror fan fic in the traditions of Goosebumps. I've followed the series since I was a kid, and, though the style is simple, the cliffhangers are brilliantly done.

So, here is my attempt at recreating that experience. Hope you guys would enjoy Madman's Mansion.


I shivered. We were at the food court inside the mall, just by the beach. I could see outside the window the huge black cloud hanging low over the sea. A few minutes ago, we had been swimming and playing under the hot sun.

"It's going to rain," I said, as the air got colder. "Hurry up and finish eating!"

Kwan pushed away his bowl of porridge. He was my younger brother, always arguing with everyone.

"I don't want to go home," he moaned. "There's nothing to do."

Kwan looks like me, only I'm twelve and he's ten, and I'm skinny and he isn't.

My little sister Charmaine pulled a face. She was chewing on a prata.

"There is!" she said. "My new computer game."

Charmaine is nine. She looks more like Mum, with big eyes and long hair. Everyone says how pretty she is.

"Stop fighting," I told them. That's the trouble with being the eldest. Mum and Dad keep making me responsible for the others. "Let's go!"

I led the way to where our bikes were leaning, on the fence not far from the mall. We packed our towels and swimming costumes into our baskets.

"It will take us twenty minutes to ride home," I calculated. "I hope we can beat that storm."

"Leng, let's take the short cut!"

Kwan pointed to a track which led into the trees behind the beach. It wasn't really a jungle, just a lot of trees and bushes on a small hill. And I knew the main road was on the other side.

"You're not allowed!" Charmaine protested.

"Who said?!" demanded Kwan.

I tried to make peace. As I would soon find out, it was the worse thing I ever did in my life!

"Kwan's right. We could save ten minutes," I said. "Otherwise we have to go all the way back through the car park."

"But it looks scary!" Charmaine looked so frightened that I put my arm around her shoulder.

"Why are girls always like that?" chided Kwan.

If only I'd listened to Charmaine!

"Come on..." I started to ride along the rocky track away from the hawker centre. I glanced out to sea. The cloud was much closer and the ships had disappeared behind a curtain of rain.

As we drew nearer the trees, they seemed a lot bigger. We had never been along this path before. Come to think of it, I'd never seen anyone else going this way either.

We had just cycled into the shadowy trees when the first drops of rain fell. Big, cold splashes that stung my hot skin.

"We're going to get wet," grumbled Kwan.

"You were complaining how hot you were on the beach," I reminded him.

"Leng, let's go back and wait at the mall," pleaded Charmaine. "It's creepy in here!"

"There's nothing to worry about," I called back.

After all, it was broad daylight.

The hawker centre was only a few yards behind us.

And the main road was just up ahead through the trees.

What could possibly go wrong, I asked myself. Hah, stupid question!

The path became narrower. And darker. And the trees were even taller, with branches that drooped down like big hands. Tangled vines and bushes blocked out the view on all sides.

And there were no sounds. No birds, no insects. Just the scrape and swish of our wheels on the sandy ground.

The little forest seemed to be swallowing us up. But that was ridiculous, wasn't it?

Suddenly, the path took a sharp bend. Our way was barred by a big metal pole. It had been painted red and white, but now it was chipped and rusty. It rested across the track on two blocks of concrete. Someone had chained a sign to it.


Kwan's bicycle wobbled to a stop. Charmaine cycled up beside us. We looked at the words.


Well, we had been warned!

I clambered down, looking all around. Have you ever felt that someone, somewhere, is watching you? It was crazy, I knew. We were alone, weren't we?

"I want to go back," whimpered Charmaine.

"We can't," Kwan started to say.

We jumped. The flash of lightning had burst around us. It was blinding. The ground shook. A roll of thunder cracked above our heads. I looked ahead. The path was deserted.

"I can't see anyone building anything," I told them. More spots of rain fell, heavier now. "Look, we'd better keep going. It's not far to the road."
"Leng, no!" Charmaine shouted.

But I was already crouching down, slipping under the pole. I lifted my bicycle over to the other side.
"Come on!" I signalled them.

First Kwan hoisted his bicycle up and over the pole. Then I lifted Charmaine's bicycle across, while she darted beneath the pole.

Kwan looked down the path, frowning. It twisted off into the trees. For the first time he looked uncertain.

"What if we get into trouble?" he asked.

"If people were working here, the path would be a lot wider. There'd be tyre tracks of lorries." How clever I sounded! "We've come this far, we might as well keep going."

Charmaine shot me a glance that was as black as the sky.

We rode forward in silence. The leaves were rustling in the chill breeze. My thin tee-shirt was flapping against my skin. I forced myself to look back and smile.

"Not far now," I reassured them.

And that was when it happened.

The path opened out into a clearing, fringed by high lalang grass and thick bamboo. There, in the centre, stood a ruined bungalow, the most forlorn house I had ever seen. It must have been a mansion once. The remains of a gravel drive, overgrown with trees, wound up to its old porchway. Tree roots and vines twisted around the huge columns. The walls were streaked with black and green. Empty windows stared at us like eyes. Rotting shutters hung beside them. Above the second floor, the roof had partly caved in, leaving rafters sticking up like fingers into the sky.

"Wow!" gasped Kwan. "Just like the movies..."

There was a shattering explosion of thunder. The rain hammered down. We raced across to shelter under the porch, as though as unseen hand was pushing us towards the derelict house.

We caught our breath, huddling under the porch. It looked like it could fall down at any minute. Water leaked through in places, splashing onto the old tiled steps.

"It's all your fault!" Charmaine accused Kwan.

"It's not!" He ducked aside as a stream of water suddenly poured through another hole in the roof.

"At least we have some cover here," I began, the peacemaker again!

Another roll of thunder echoed around the clearing. Was it my imagination or had it got darker?

"I wonder who lived here?" Kwan asked.

"Who cares?" Charmaine trembled. "I want to go home, Leng!"

"Shhhh!" Kwan's eyes were wide. "What was that?"

"What was what?" I shook my head. "I didn't hear anything."

"Stop scaring me!" begged Charmaine.

"Listen!" Kwan leaned towards the wooden door. "Inside..."

Charmaine gripped my arm and I hugged her.

"Just the rain," I told Kwan.

"No," he insisted. "It was-"

It was a creaking sound. We all heard it. Like ancient timber, being dragged by something. A groaning, weary kind of noise.

The old front door.

It was moving.

Very slowly.

It was starting to open...

Thought I'd try a book-like format of writing to see if it works.

Charmaine screamed.
Kwan jumped.
I could feel my heart begin to hammer.
The door seemed ro have a life of its own. It drew back, inch by inch, then stopped.
"It m-m-must be the wind," Kwan stammered.
I moved towards it.
"You can't go in here!" Charmaine dug her fingers into my arm.
"I'm not, I just want to have a look."
The door had opened about half way. Beyond it, a dark corridor led me into the gloom. The floorboards were rotten, all wet and slimy, and I could hear dripping sounds from deep within the house.
Moving closer, I peered up at the old ceiling. The plaster was dangling like tentacles. I sniffed. A dank smell filled the air.
"There must be somebody behind the door," Kwan whispered.
"I'll soon find out," I said. "You and Charmaine get ready to run!"
I pushed against the door. Nothing happened. I took a breath and shoved harder. There was a splintering sound. The door collapsed in a shower of dust.
"See, it's empty. There's nobody here," I told him.
Kwan swallowed. He edged forward, dragging Charmaine with him.
We could see other doors, all shut, lining the wrecked corridor. There were no sounds, just the falling rain and the water dripping down through the ruined roof.
"Yuk!" Charmaine screwed up her nose. "What a mess."
"We should explore it," suggested Kwan. "It doesn't look very scary now."
"I'm not going in there!" Charmaine declared angrily.
"Girls!" laughed Kwan. "Well you can stay out here, all alone!"
"Not fair!" she said.
"It could be very dangerous," I warned. "It's an old house, about to be pulled down. It may not be safe to walk around in there."
But Kwan had stepped inside even before I'd finished. He was heading across to the nearest door.
Charmaine folded her arms like Mum does when she's angry.
"Why are you walking on tip-toe like that?" she demanded.
Kwan waved back to her. "So the ghosts won't hear me coming!" He gave a cackling laugh.
"Be careful!" I shouted.
"Why? It's safe if you know where to put your feet-"
There was a sudden cracking noise and the floor gave way. Kwan dropped through, grabbing the edges at the last minute.
"Help me!" he wailed.
"Told you!" I shook my head.
Carefully, step by step, I made my way towards him. I was on tip-toe, too, testing each board before I put my weight on it. Once, I could feel the floor groaning beneath me. Quickly, I changed my position.
At last, I was beside him. I reached down and took his arms.
I hauled him out, and stood panting for a minute.
"Are you alright?" I breathed.
"Of course I am!" Kwan answered hotly, brushing dust from his shirt.
"Come out of there!" ordered Charmaine from the doorway.
"Let's go!" I told Kwan, grasping his arm.
But he slipped free and stepped across to the first door. He tried the old, rusted handle. It turned easily.
Kwan pushed the door. It swung open. He gave a loud cheer. Then, he stood to attention and bowed to me like a doorman. He did one of his terrible imitations, like those old men you see in the horror movies.
"Do come inside," he smirked. "This is where we keep the bodies..."
The next minute, he had vanished into the room, and there was silence.
"Kwan!" I yelled. I closed my eyes. Mum and Dad would kill me when they heard about this!
"Where did he go?" Charmaine yelled, stepping gingerly down the corridor.
I took her hand, and together, we followed Kwan...
...into a big, empty room!
"Kwan?" I called.
There was no sign of him. Just a vast, abandoned room, with walls decayed by mould and damp, and a broken chair lying in one corner.
"Look!" Charmaine pointed to the shadows on the other side.
A second door!
"He's hiding!" she whispered.
But he wasn't!
Because when we hurried across, opened it and looked inside...
...Kwan had gone!

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