HOW THE WICKED DOES CRAWL

1972

“A Ouija Board? Come on, Micah, we aren’t ten years old,” Kat said, looking at her younger brother by one year.

“What else is there to do in this shitty old house? Mom and dad will be at the Lansing’s until later tonight. All we have is a pizza and two working channels on tv. We can’t even see any movies because mom and dad said you couldn’t take the car while they are gone. So what else?” Micah smiled at his sister, and Kat rolled her eyes.

“Fine, should I light some candles?”

“Yeah, the spookier, the better,” Micah said, opening a beer.

“Where did you get that?”

“Oh, stop being such a prude. I’ll be seventeen in a month, and you are already an adult as of next week. We are mature teenagers,”

Kat rolled her eyes and continued lighting the candles. 

They lit all the available candles and then opened the large box with the Ouija Board inside it. It wasn’t anything special. It had letters, numbers, and a little device called a Planchette that had a plastic piece in the center for pointing out the exact letters spelled out.

The two teenagers sat across from each other at the coffee table in their family room as a gentle breeze blew in the window from the chilly summer night. The house was dark now, and it was nearly nine o’clock when they began.

“Okay, so who is going to ask the questions?” Kat asked.

“We can take turns,” Micah said, chugging the last of his Budweiser.

“It says in the directions that two or more players have to put their hands on the planchette, place it in the center of the board, and then ask one question. It says it may take a while to answer the question, and you may have to play more than once.”

“Okay, so I’ll go first,” Micah said.

“What will you ask it?” Kat was eyeing her brother suspiciously.

“Will I make the football team this year?”

The planchette began to birth a slight vibration, and both Kat and Micah were caught off guard by the sudden jolt of movement when the planchette slowly moved to NO.

“You are doing it!” Micah was irritated by the answer.

“No, I didn’t,” Kat exclaimed, feeling a little in awe by the fact she knew neither of them had moved it.

“Fine, ask your stupid question,”

“How will I die?”

The planchette didn’t move at all now, and all the energy seemed to stay in one place.  

“That is a stupid question. It probably can’t tell you.”

“Well, I want to know. It can tell me; it isn’t like I asked when I’d die.” Kat was sorry it did not want to answer her question, which she felt was crucial.

Suddenly the planchette moved around the board slowly, starting with the first letter S. Then it went to the second letter A, then T, U, R, D, A, and Y.

“It just spelled out Saturday,” Micah said, looking at his sister with fear in his eyes.

“This game is stupid, and I know you did that! I’m done! You can be a real dick, Micah.”

“But I didn’t do it!”

“Whatever,” Kat tossed the game back in the box and slid it towards Micah. She left him alone in the family room, and Micah had a weird feeling come over him being alone with the board. He placed it on the shelf with the other board games and thought no more of it.

The next day was Friday, and Kat was with her mother, Joanne, shopping for her college dorm room. They were at Hagarty’s Thrift Store, trying to find some home items like rugs, some old towels, and some other things that Kat needed to go to college.

Kat spied a small black jewelry box and immediately picked it up. When she did, she noticed something black and sticky on the bottom of the beautiful jewelry box. Kat figured that a little bit of soap and water would clean it right up. She opened the box, a dancing ballerina and some pretty tune in the center of it. Kat fell in love with it and took it to her mom.

“Hey, what about this to put my jewelry in,”

“Okay, fine,” her mother looked at the clerk. “I guess we will take this too.”

“Can we get a discount? There was some sort of sticky goo on the bottom of it.” Kat asked the clerk.

The clerk inspected it and noticed it did indeed have something on the bottom of it.

“Sure, instead of ten dollars, I’ll charge you seven,”

“How about five?” Joanne asked now that she had gotten a good look at the dirty box herself.

The clerk sighed, “Okay five,”

Kat and her mother seemed pleased as they walked out of Hagarty’s Thrift Store. 

When Kat got home, she put her other items like the towels and blankets in the wash and then grabbed a rag and some soap and water to clean the box off.

When Kat opened the bag with the box, she noticed black goo seeping out from the music box and into the bag’s bottom. When she grabbed the box, it seemed stuck to the bottom of the bag. After some push and pull, she finally got the little music jewelry box out of the box. She sat it on the edge of the sink in the utility room and began to scrub. After some time, she was finally able to get the goo completely off of the box.  

Once finished, she took the box to her bedroom and placed it on the small night table next to her bed. 

Kat went about her day usually and then later that night, she went to sleep, but when she woke up the next morning, she reached over to look at her alarm clock, and her hand hit something sticky. She sat up, looking at her hand. It was more of the black goo. What on earth?

Kat got out of bed and inspected the box. Sure enough, there was a stream of goo coming from the inside of the box. Kat took the box into the bathroom to get a better look and wash off her hands.

Kat tried to see inside the box, but there was no sign of where the goo was coming from; it was as though it had a life of its own.  

Kat cleaned off the box again and her nightstand, and this time she guessed she got all of the potential goo left inside it. She opened the tiny drawers and took them out. There was not a speck of any of the goo. 

Feeling satisfied, she realized she would be late to meet her friends at the city pool.  

Kat sat her music box on the tiny table and then got ready to go to the pool. It was one of those hot August days, and they met at the city pool every Saturday.

When Kat got in later that night, it was late, so she went straight to bed. 

It was about thirty minutes later she felt something crawling up her arm towards her neck. She got up and realized it was the goo. There was a ton more of it now. Kat screamed, but no sound would come from her mouth. She realized that the goo had somehow entered her mouth and was now crawling inside her throat. 

Kat stood choking on the deliberate wicked substance that seemed to take pleasure in eating her from the inside out.

Kat squirmed and fought to no avail, and soon she was in front of the big bay window, her lovely victorian home afforded her. She backed into it and fell against the glass, causing it to shatter, and before she could grab hold of something to stop her fall, she fell atop one of the panes of glass that she took with her cutting her face in half.

When her parents found her, there was no longer any sign of black goo. It appeared to the coroner that she had eaten something that caused an allergic reaction.  

It was as if the black goo disappeared. 

Micah was a complete mess, and it was days before he would come from his room. 

The family decided to move away from the house, too many memories of what could have been.

Micah was packing the board games and came across the Ouija Board. It had said his sister would die SATURDAY. She was killed on a Saturday.  

“Fuck you!” Micah said and took the board to the back yard and tossed it into the grill. He sprayed lighter fluid all over it and then tossed matches on top of it. He stood watching the board burn to ash, and it seemed so uneventful. He hoped that it would scream like he heard it could happen in one of his paranormal books he read from the library.

Instead, it burnt and turned to ash the way anything normal that you would burn would.  

The family moved from the house but had forgotten to take the little music box.  

Six Months Later

When Jason and Allison McGregor bought the old victorian home on Willow Lane, they cleaned the house from top to bottom. There were still some items left by Kat’s family, like her little black music box. Allison had decided the room would be a perfect master bedroom if they knocked out the wall to the adjoining room, a tiny bathroom. They tossed the box and an old carpet in the garbage for pick up, and that was the last time anyone saw the little music box.

After cleaning and painting the room and a few more remodels, McGregor’s master bedroom was complete.  

It was sometime later that Allison noticed a black stain on the old wooden floor that no matter how many times she cleaned it up, the black stain seemed to come back.

Allison commented to her husband about the strange occurrence.  

“Probably nothing, maybe it is oil,” Jason said to his concerned wife.

“It isn’t oil, Jason. It is sticky.”

“Call in a professional cleaner. A specialist should be able to get rid of it.” he kissed his wife’s cheek.

Allison agreed that sounded like a plan.

So the very next day, she called a local cleaning crew in, and they inspected the black stain, and one of them looked at her before touching it himself, then immediately wiping it back off onto the floor.

“Did something die in this spot? This looks like coagulated blood,”

“What? No! We just finished remodeling, and it seems to come from the wooden floorboards. I don’t know what it could be.”

“Okay, I’m sure whatever it is, we will get it right up for you.” The man smiled at her, and then his team went to work. Once done, the entire room smelled like soap and flowers. The stain was indeed gone.

Allison was able to rest in peace now that a few days had gone by and no new black stain.

Jason and Allison were in bed reading one evening when the lights in the house went out.  

“What on earth?” Allison looked at her husband.

“Let me see if we are the only ones.”

Sure enough, they saw other lights on in the other houses on their street.

“I’ll go take a look at the fuse box and see what could be the matter,” Jason said, getting up.

Jason grabbed a flashlight from the kitchen and walked down into the basement. He walked over to the fusebox, and he had a bit of trouble opening it up. The door to the fuse box seemed to be stuck, and when he finally opened it up, covered entirely in a black gooey substance.  

Jason was at a loss as to what was causing the goo. The fuse box directly aligned with their bedroom and kitchen. He shined the flashlight onto the basement ceiling and saw that the goo was coming from inside the wall.  

How the hell was this even possible?

Out of curiosity, he grabbed his toolbox and went up into the kitchen. The wall directly under their bedroom and directly above the basement’s fuse box had a wooden wall panel. He took a hammer and ripped off one of the wall panels to see if there was goo behind the kitchen wall. Sure enough, when he ripped the wall panel off, he saw more of the black substance.  

Perplexed, Jason decided he would have to call someone to look at this in the morning. In the meantime, he would try to get some rest.

The next morning an electrician was called, who in turn called a friend of his who inspected for household hazards such as mold, vermin, and damage that insects caused.

“Looks like a case of some kind of black mold,” said the inspector.

“Black mold? We just bought this place, and there were no signs of it when the place was inspected!”

“I guess that there was some sort of leak or opening letting the mold grow. That is probably why it keeps coming back. Once we find the culprit, we will seal it off. That should take care of the issue. The only thing is this stuff is pretty bad, and you may have to go to a hotel for a few days while we work on it.”

“How much is this going to cost me?”

“I’ll get you the estimate, but I’m sure we can work something out. I have never seen anything like this in my life!”

“Makes two of us,” Jason was now sure he would be putting out a lot more money than he wanted to.

Three days passed, and Jason and Allison were still waiting on a call about an update from the crew’s head cleaning up the mold.

On the fourth day, Jason and Allison decided to go to their home and see for themselves.  

When they got to their home, there was a white pickup truck in the driveway, and the side door to their home was wide open. They both went into the side door, and Jason called out.

It was eerily quiet when they walked in. No answer came from inside the house.

Allison began to get fearful that maybe they had skipped out on finishing the job. Then Jason and Allison stopped in their tracks.

Above them on the kitchen ceiling was the man they had paid to remove the black substance. He was pinned to the top of the ceiling by whatever this goo was as it crawled inside his mouth and eyes. Allison screamed and tried to run out of the house, slipping on the goo on the kitchen floor.

Jason, in the act of trying to help his wife fell backward, hitting his head against the refrigerator, knocking himself out. Allison tried unsuccessfully to stand up. She hit Jason on the shoulder, trying to get him up when the goo seemed to move up her legs, pinning her in place on the kitchen floor.

Screaming, Allison felt it lurch upwards towards her waist and slowly move up her blouse, up her neck, and then as though it sealed it with a kiss, it slowly worked its way inside of her lips and down her throat.  

Allison could see the man on the ceiling now falling to the ground. Every part of his body was consumed from the inside out. She looked over at her husband, who lay passed out on the floor, now receiving the same brutal treatment as she was. Allison could not breathe any longer as the goo seeped inside the corner of her eyes and in both nostrils.

Her screams were left inside her mind as the world she had known turned black.

Present Day

The old Victorian on Willow Lane sat untouched by human hands with the overgrown grass, and crooked pines remained unlived in and unloved by all who would see it.

The home was condemned in the 1980s; in the 1990’s it was listed to be torn down but forgotten in the red tape and paperwork; in 2010, a man who bought the property and was going to flip it to make a quick buck disappeared after inspecting the home.  

Again the house would sit for another ten years until Marco Valenti, a scientist who had studied paranormal activity for years, heard the rumors of the living house. The home had a reputation for “eating” the inhabitants. Marco, always a Macabre lover, had read about the family in a magazine that mentioned it was cursed. It had been sold over and over again but never lived in long enough to be home. It all began when a young girl, Kat, jumped to her death a month before college, so the story began. Then it was followed up by a chemical leak that killed inspectors and the owners Jason and Allison McGregor. That was what the media had reported at the time.

Marco Valenti was sure it was just another house that was rumored to be haunted. He was sure he would find that it was indeed just a house filled with skeletons built on rumors of superstitious people.

Marco got out his equipment such as an emf reader, lab equipment to take soil samples, a video recorder, and set to work. He found one of the doors to the inside unlocked. When he got inside, he noticed that there was absolutely no light coming in from any of the windows. It was as if someone had painted the windows black. Marco shined the flashlight in the direction of what used to be the family room and found that the entire room looked like it was covered in black cobwebs. It was the only way he could describe it.

He walked in a little further and looked at the substance. It was wet, and so he touched it. Marco smelled it to try and understand what it was. Then he tasted it. Oddly, it tasted like honey mixed with other spices.  

He looked around some more and realized he had seen this substance before. Then he grew anxious.

Three years earlier, he was part of a research group working on the Egyptian tombs. The mummified individuals were covered in a black goo purposely in the representation of Osirus. It was to help them reach safe passage to the netherworld. One thing he had always been sure of, the substance was also used to protect the mummies from robbers. He was confident that this was the same substance, but how? Why?

How was it that this substance had taken over a simple Illinois home in a quiet American neighborhood?

Marco no longer wanted to stay, but he did take out his camera and began to film the substance. It slowly started to move in his direction as he backed away from it.  

When he shined his flashlight at it, it seemed to back away from the light. It was as if it were a living breathing thing, and it seemed to multiply by the second.  

Marco decided it was his cue to get the hell out of here.

He went out quickly the way he came, and once he was out into the sunlight, he could see the black gooey substance stop at the doorway of the side door and linger there as if it were waiting on him to come back. 

Marco got into his jeep and drove away. He would come back with help.

The following day Marco contacted one of his colleagues that specialized in Ancient curses. Her name was Mariam, and she had worked in the study of curses and cures for years at the University of Chicago.

She knew everything from pagans at Stonehenge to modern-day practices of New Age religions.  

Marco spoke to Mariam about his findings, and she listened but did not seem concerned.

“What a find; I’m sure it is only something caused in nature. Real curses do not work that way because they have to be believed to work.”

“Mariam, I don’t think you understand; look at this,” Marco had her watch the video he took of the goo. 

She began to get concerned when she saw it and then had Marco put the camera away.  

“I see, you do not lie.”

“Can we do anything? This can’t be released into the world.”

“Marco, it has already been released. Someone has brought it from the source and released it. The only way I see to get rid of it is to burn that house to the ground.”

“How could an Egyptian’s curse be released into the world?”

“Chances are someone removed an object from the tomb, and someone or something came in contact with that object. You know, many high-end shops sell items from tombs and have no idea of the curses they are getting. Thieves steal things, and to make a quick buck, they pawn them, then they get into the hands of someone completely unsuspecting.” 

Marco thought about it and agreed.  

“We have to rid that house of that substance.”

Marco returned the following night, ready to do combat with the cursed goo. He did not want to have it get out into the world the way it had. He now realized that the goo was most likely the reason so many had died inside that house.  

He knew that his arson could be suspect, but chances are no one would care about a house that no one could live in anymore.

He knew it was criminal, but he would do it to save a future unsuspecting person from being killed.

He set off his fire traps around the house and broke out a few of the windows to toss in small bottles with gasoline in them and cloth at the end. He lit each one and tossed it inside. Soon the entire home was up in flames.

Marco was almost sure he heard a scream as the house burnt to the ground.

######################

Marco felt rather good about his accomplishment, and when he went home, he showered off the smoke and gasoline smell.

He sat down in his chair to relax for a moment and take in his recent findings. That is when he saw something dripping from his coat sleeve.

He got up from his chair and looked at it.

Marco’s heart sank as he realized some of the black goo must have gotten on his sleeve when he broke the windows out of the house to toss the bottles in.

He tossed his shirt into his fireplace and watched it burn.  

Marco looked around and did not see any other signs of the goo.

He relaxed with a glass of wine and then went to bed. Exhausted, he fell into a deep sleep.

However, Marco was not aware of the tiny microscopic drop of goo that was now growing under his floorboards.  

Within hours it spread into the crevices in his walls, attic, and out into the sink where he got his water.  

By morning Marco was stuck to his bed.

The goo had trapped him as though it were deliberately angry at him for trying to kill it.

How dare he stop it.

Marco opened his eyes, and the windows were black. The clock on his bedside said it was 8 a.m., but it was nearly pitch black in his room.

Then he felt his mouth. It had gone dry; the panic set in, and he felt it slowly moving up to his face.

Marco screamed just as it entered his mouth, forcing its way down his throat puncturing his lungs as it went.

The last thing Marco saw was two eyes that seemed to appear from the darkness, and Marco could feel this thing smiling as he faded into the dark void of death.

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