A Halloween Special 2010 Tale
It was the end of August and summer was ending, but that was when the real fun had started for Kris, who owned an old factory in the bad part of town. The city offered her a deal of no property taxes until she could find new people to rent or buy the factory she had inherited. The tax board figured correctly that she couldn't afford the taxes, and if they forced her to demo the building, it would turn into a Superfund site and use up millions in tax money. If that happened, those jobs had a less than zero chance of returning to the community. The local thugs left the place alone, possibly because there was a rumor that the place was haunted, a rumor that Kris perpetuated. As a result the place looked much the same as when her relatives made whatever mechanical things the factory was known for.
Kris was allowed to use her building for one week per year without incurring taxes on the building, as long as she paid any sales taxes she owed the city for that week. That was a special deal for Kris because ever since she was a kid Halloween was one of her favorite holidays. Her family always decorated their yard like a spooky amusement park, and they always had to "one up" the neighbors until they just stopped trying. It was natural for Kris to want to use the factory for a large haunted house, and she hired some local actors and she and her friends made a pretty good haunted factory tour.
Pretty good was an understatement, the first year it grossed over one hundred thousand dollars, and after taxes and expenses, Kris didn't have to worry about how to fund an even better haunted factory next year. The second year Kris advertised like mad and it paid off, she also had more staff, and all the things like tee shirts that she neglected her first year. Kris paid her taxes and it pained her because her tax bill was several times what her profit was the first year. There were lines around the block and the "bad side of town" got an influx of money for that one week of the year that ended on October thirty first.
The third year brought more money, but also competition as others saw her business model and tried to emulate it. Kris knew she had the whole basement floor below street level to work with, but she didn't think more of the same thing would bring more profit. Kris knew she needed something different, and she decided to sleep one night alone in the spooky basement for inspiration.
Kris had been in the factory alone countless times, and surrounded with the props that were used with the tour as well. But those didn't bother her because she either designed or built most of them and she knew they weren't real. The basement spooked out Kris, and that is why she HAD to spend the night, the thought popped into her head like it wasn't even her own! Kris had done her homework on the building and found out it was built on limestone, and supposedly that attracted ghosts and demons. At home on the computer her thought was "bullshit", but here, at night she was a believer.
Kris had a cot and sleeping bag and just laid there and tried to imagine what she could do with this room. She finally fell asleep and had dark and disturbing dream after dream, all night long. Her first was her being tortured on a rack, her nude body being stretched until she promised, screaming in agony she would deliver another to take her place. The second dream also had a medieval theme to it, in it she was hung by her wrists and whipped as she screamed for mercy that didn't come until she promised again to deliver another, just like her, to pay her price.
The third dreams voice was more evil than the last two, and Kris found herself hanging in a gibbet cage, nude and starving with crows picking at her flesh as her arms were pinned in the evil contraption and unable to scare the scavengers away. In this dream there were hundreds of people watching impassively as she was eaten alive, her pleas for mercy falling on deaf ears. Again the voice boomed, bring another to us or this is your eternal fate!
In the last dream there was no pain, only fear. Kris saw herself dragged to a gallows by her three torturers, her battered body was nude and shown the abuse of her torture. Her arms were tied behind her back and it felt so real to her she felt the thick hemp rope bite into her tender and bruised wrists. The noose was placed over her head and behind her. Kris knew from the news that the noose is placed by the right ear so the long drop breaks the neck quickly. She felt the noose like no dream she ever had, it was so real! In her dream, she wasn't dropped through a trap door like the way they do it now, she was hoisted up slowly and the placement of the knot slowly strangled her over the course of a half of an hour. In this dream there were hundreds of cheering people to watch her execution, and the way her body kicked and twitched until the end.
When Kris woke she was cold, she had somehow kicked off all of her clothes, and her thin sheet was wrapped tightly around her wrists, and neck! She untangled herself and lit her lantern only to find her note pad with all kinds of notes in her own writing! The notes were details of her dreams, like she could ever forget something like that! She was also convinced there were powerful demons down there and vowed never to go there again. Kris was so frightened she almost ran onto the sidewalk nude, until she got control of herself and wrapped the sheet she was still clutching around herself. Kris got into her car around two in the morning, wearing only her improvised toga, her clothes and cot never to be retrieved from the basement by her.
Kris couldn't sleep but felt better with some space between her and the basement. The next night after a hard day at her real job, brought sleep, but also dreams, the demons were back, and apparently had no trouble finding her. Each night she was tortured in her dreams, and she KNEW she would continue to be until she provided a replacement for herself.
Kris wasn't a bad person, just a desperate one. After a month of nightly dream torture she came up with a desperate plan, Kris would put an ad in an adult magazine looking for a woman to star in a kind of show for an adult haunted house. Kris wouldn't use her real name, and would pay in cash. Kris would buy all the equipment in her dreams to supply the basement, and find some excuse to trap the actress down there, like an audition. Kris thought she wouldn't be guilty if the demons did the dirty work.
The woman Kris found was very sexy and looked good in the thin dress she wore to the "audition". Kris took her to the factory and explained that the actors wanted to get a feel for her, and that she would stay up here. The sexy actress walked down the dark stairs and Kris locked the door and never saw her again.
Kris didn't put on a show that year, or any other year either after that. She would walk past the factory at night sometimes and hear the screams and the pleading for mercy that would never come.