If the shrill beeping of excavators, the booming sounds of interior being pummeled into and her stepmother’s whinging voice pertaining to her, quite frankly, atrocious excuse for ‘art’ — one sculpture in particular currently being used as a substitute for a wrecking ball — were an indicator that Lydia Deetz was dreaming, then God, was this by far the damnedest dream she’d ever been a part of. All she knew for certain was that she A) had definitely seen two odd figures that didn't appear to be workmen in the third-story attic window of her rustic Connecticut manor, and she was sure they'd seen her as well, and B) now in her possession was a skeleton key that opened every door in the house, granting her the incentive to investigate and deduce who those figures were. She made a mental thank you note to the rather-odd and boastful realtor for presenting her with this opportunity as she defied the woman's instructions to give the key to her austere father and traipsed into the house on her own.
She trekked up the stairs, slipping past the idling workmen to whom she distantly heard her father yelling, which she tuned out like a professional; it'd been customary for her to hear during her entire childhood. She stepped around fragments of broken glass from the windows and other debris littering the house, letting the frays of her black dress tread behind her gracefully as she did so. Finally approaching the attic door, she made an attempt to insert the key into the keyhole when, suddenly, she heard loud, frantic footsteps coming from inside, and felt an immediate heavy weight on the door — indicating that something or someone was barricading it.
She stood there, inquisitively, looking to see what else she could hear - and, vaguely, she could hear a commercial on television blaring, and the hoarse voice of an advertiser of something that she was unable to conclude - accompanied with 'old western' background music. Intrigued, she attempted to turn the key into the lock once more, and it was expectantly fruitless. She stopped in her tracks, coming to a revelation that these might be the ghosts of the manor's previous inhabitants trying to forestall her exploration of the attic. She pondered for a bit, shaken out of her thoughts by the key falling out of the keyhole, at which she peered inquiringly. She could hear the faint sounds of voices on the other side, although she couldn't make out what was being said. She didn't feel anything close to disconcert, and she was about to give up and reassure herself that there were no such things as ghosts and that she was merely being crazy, that somebody might've left the TV on or something—
—until she saw the green light from underneath the door crack, incandesce before her very eyes.
That was when she began to run for her dear life.
Charles Deetz was in the midst of indulging in his obscure proclivity of birdwatching; recoiling at a curassow perched on a fence picking at what appeared to be human tissue, when his daughter’s distraught voice shattered both his indulgence and his eardrums. “Dad!”
“Can’t you see I’m relaxing in here?” he responded, aggravated.
“But I wanna tell you what I saw,” Lydia pled.
“What is the point of my coming up here if you people won’t let me relax?!” Charles groaned. “Pumpkin, sweetheart,” he kissed her cheek then whisked her away hastily, “...go help your mother.”
Stepmother, she wanted to snarl. But she held herself back from making the inflammatory remark and settled instead on, “Maybe you can relax in a haunted house, but I can’t.”
Traipsing the hallway again, overlooking the journeymen working beneath her from the atrium, Lydia decided then and there that she was done being fearful and she was done fooling around. Ghosts or no ghosts, she was going to take whatever it was in that attic with great stride.
She ran to the door again and budged the key through the lock once more, until finally...
The sight before her was marvelling. The attic was particularly large – bigger than her bedroom back in New York – and standing before her was an artifact that truly held the power to make her sweep off of her feet.
A fun-sized replica of the entire town of Winter River, with fairy lights hanging luminously above it to represent the night sky and its litany of stars and constellations. Ensorcelled, she slowly sauntered through the attic to take a closer look. It was beautiful, marvellous, an endless slew of positive adjectives the girl could muster up in her fascinated mind.
Then, she noticed something else. A book sat on a table next to the model– a rather large one, she noted. She stalked towards it curiously.
Handbook for the Recently Deceased, the title read. She flipped through the pages, awestruck at the details and information it contained. So there were, indeed, ghosts in the household. That used handbooks. Lydia flashed a self-assuring smile.
She was keeping the key.
Betelgeuse watched as the odd girl, clad entirely in black, meandered about the model wherein he was, he should say... an interloper. She looked as though she'd come from, or was about to head to, a funeral. He began to feel... something he'd practically never felt in the last six-hundred-some years or so, a feeling for which he couldn't ascertain the reason. Primeval desire, of which was to play with this strange girl in more ways than one. He had a carnal need to make her his, and the thought of fucking around with her concomitant with the fact that she was alive and her mitts shouldn't even be on that damned handbook - it electrified him at a higher wattage than what those goddamned fairy lights could ever compare.
He contemplated making himself known, but forewent that idea, as it would ruin the premise of his little game he was ultimately planning to rope her into. She was going to belong to him and him alone, she was his plaything for nobody but him to touch, whether she liked it or not. As of right now, he owned her. He had a monopoly on her entire existence, the air she breathed for survival, the intricacies of her body; they were all his to indulge in, use and abuse however he pleased, irrespective of her significantly young age or her willingness.
"Now lookie what the poor ol' curious dead cat dragged in; whatta we have here?" Betelgeuse smirked to himself, then looked up at the sky for comedic effect. "God, 'ya didn't have 'ta do this for me, but I owe 'ya. Heaps."
Oh, it's fuckin' showtime now, he thought haughtily. Let's get this shit on the road.
this chapter does contain some somnophilia (the act of performing sexual acts on someone who is sleeping therefore they are unable to give consent) and suggestive acts with an individual under the age of eighteen performed by an individual over the age of eighteen, so you've been warned.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Betelgeuse couldn't recall a time in which he was ever this excited. Six hundred and thirty six years of being dead and four hundred and fourteen of those spent working for that dastardly Juno had really had quite the adverse effect on his grasp on pleasure. Meaningless, passionless sex with practically every female ghost and other undead being in the Neitherworld, then discarding them when they'd served their purpose and were no longer useful was all he was accustomed to. Prostitutes, strippers, call girls - he's had 'em all and exhausted 'em all.
But this girl... something about her just utterly captivated him, and he couldn't quite pinpoint what it was, but he knew then and there that this wasn't somebody he could just use and abandon. She might've been his plaything for now, but this wasn't a toy he would ever outgrow or get bored of, and he felt that with a certainty he probably wouldn't have felt even whilst he was still alive. If he didn't know any better, he would've thought about wanting... more, out of this little game with her. Perhaps, for the game to come to its end entirely. After all, every game comes to a halt eventually, no matter how long - with or without a winner.
It was the midnight after she'd made her discoveries in the attic, and Betelgeuse was in her bedroom, floating, watching the little girl sleep intently. The drool she was leaking, the matted tendrils of her hair draped all over her face; it was a decidedly adorable sight to Betelgeuse. But his gaze soon began to grow more lecherous in nature as he focused on the curvature of her breasts in her laced, décolleté black nightshirt and her pale, silken thighs on display in matching velvet shorts. A flurry of tantalizing thoughts swirled through Betelgeuse's mind and he couldn't help but dig his talons into his palm at the thought of taking advantage of this girl as she slept.
He knew, of course, he couldn't be inside her; no, that wouldn't be any fun. She'd have to be awake, aware, alive when he did that - and she'd have to be begging for it. It was a matter of self-control to not reveal himself earlier than what he considered to be the "right time". So, he decided to try something else as a compensatory gift for himself, something that would have the same livening. He stalked towards her and began coursing his hand up her thigh, wanting desperately to just encroach the barrier of her shorts and have her moaning, whimpering, pleading for him. The concave of her throat Betelgeuse ran his tongue along slowly before he metamorphosed into a beetle with a quick snap of his fingers.
In his beetle form, he began trekking his limbs up Lydia's legs, leaving distinctive bites on her thighs. Betelgeuse groaned, relishing in the texture her tender flesh had against his lips and the saccharine feeling of her blood soaking his canines. He moved upward, pulling down the waistline of her shorts only slightly and leaving a slew of deep bites on her hips next. She tasted so sweet and salty, and Betel lived for it. He thrived off of it, the fact that this girl – Lydia, he quickly figured out; what a name – was under his power, his control and she didn’t even know it. Betelgeuse was finally able to settle on her chest, moving aside the décolletage and grazing his teeth along her breasts as well as her nipples.
As soon as he felt Lydia begin to stir, though, back into a conniving poltergeist he became with yet another finger snap. He took great amusement in the fact that he was on top of Lydia now, and the prospect of her waking up at any second and seeing this man on top of her, horrified, her screaming for her daddy and trying to fend him off as he covered her mouth - just enraptured him. But she was apparently quite the deep sleeper, which gave Betelgeuse the perfect opportunity to sink his teeth into her neck and his nails into her throat. He wanted to just taste her, taste her for as long as he roamed this wretched realm with no hindrances. He'd have permanently abstained from unleashing all the natural disasters and economical plunders onto the world that he could, if it meant that he would have her all for himself.
That was a for-sure conclusion.
Satisfied over the amount of playtime he'd had with her - more than enough of it, he rationed, Betelgeuse retreated his fangs from her neck, propped himself up from atop her and teleported back to his grotto in the model with lingering thoughts about wanting to play with little Chucky next.
lydia ruminates quite a fair amount.
betel is a little shit.
gorey scene up ahead, you've been warned
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lydia awoke feeling as though she had been pricked by a thousand spindles. Bug bites and other markings littered her body, and discontent pervaded amongst her face both at the unwavering desire to scratch until she was red and the envisaging of bed bugs in her brand new, shiny estate in the foothills of Connecticut. Lydia groaned lowly; lamenting that if this was how she was going to spend the remainder of her adolescence, with ghosts and bed bugs and yet another boarding school where peroxide-blondes slathered in fake tan would give her a hard time, then she was content with just moving back to New York, facing the music and taking it like a champ.
Lydia trudged out of bed, the urge to dig into her skin until blood emerged overwhelming. She made her way towards the bathroom, recoiling at the creaky sound the door made at such an early hour in the morning as she turned the knob. She ran a hot shower, hoping that the scorching hot water would lave away the itch, even if temporarily. Lydia had a love-hate relationship with lengthy, hot showers, because usually they led to her overthinking, and overthinking led to languishing, and languishing led to a myriad of thoughts & rather creative ideas pertinent to how she planned to wipe herself off of this accursed earth.
So, she tried to get the upper hand on thoughts of arsenic-laced chocolate cake, and instead focus on what kind of monster mauled her body last night and how/why on earth had she not felt such ravaging of her skin as she slept. But despite the attempt, the efforts to stop her mind from wandering were fruitless. It wasn't just the prospect of suicide Lydia was preoccupied with; so too was her family's reactions were she to actually commit suicide– particularly, her father's. Lydia had always felt uncomfortable around her father– and she couldn't ascertain why– but, concomitantly, she also vied for his attention since she was sans her mother and she didn't want to feel... alone, in a sense. When he met and married the raucous Delia, Lydia felt at peace, but simultaneously she felt... threatened. Jealous. Envious. Paranoid. Lydia knew all about the Electra complex ('Lydia' and 'Electra' are both Greek names, she mused, smiling to herself), although she would never in a millennium dream of applying it to herself; she was perfectly at ease with her father and his hedonistic lifestyle, but she also wished
people he would just... pay attention to her. Notice her. Delia wasn't the only goddamned lady in his life.
And that's why Lydia was lavish in the thought of her father crying upon entrance to her bedroom and seeing her on the floor with a butcher knife impaled through her heart and her blood on the wall; she thrived off of the concept. She smirked to herself at how the only thing to vary in this little self-indulgent fantasy of hers was her suicide method, and alongside she wondered if she could even capacitate herself to enact such esoteric methods. Fascination with death and wanting to commit suicide aren't the same thing, a microscopic fragment of her brain told her. But Lydia ultimately decided that little thought had to be ignored in addition to her having had enough of a shower for the day and so, she turned off the faucet, basking in the billowing steam of the hot water's remnants, then draped a towel over her frame.
The shower only provided a minimal satiety regarding the bug bites, and Lydia sighed, sorrowing in the fact that she'd probably just wasted her time and for no-good-reason encased herself in thoughts that she was trying to suppress, goddammit. Creeping out of the bathroom and shyly admiring the sunrise that peeked through the old antiquated lace curtains of which Delia was trying to destroy (for fuck's sake, couldn't she just leave things alone?), she made the stroll back to her bedroom in search of a change of clothes.
One hour later, she was roaming down the stairs in her characteristic gothic look: a black cathedral veil in accompaniment with matching black lace stockings, platformed shoes, a frayed-edge lace dress, and a choker with small chains fastened to the base. The pattering of shells and the sizzling of yolk against the pan and the tantalizing aroma of eggs captured her attention wholly. Entering the kitchen, she found Delia making her favorite sunny-side-up eggs garnished with pepper, and Lydia smiled. Sometimes Delia tried her best, Lydia rationed, then all of a sudden a frown manifested upon her face, ...but it wasn't enough.
Lydia sat down at the rather-huge dining table, that precise moment during which her father, donning one of his more austere suits, chose to saunter into the room. "Morning, sweethearts," Charles gripped Delia's waist and kissed her on the neck– an act that made Lydia recoil– before he zigzagged over to his mentioned daughter and kissed her forehead, furthering her revolt. She absolutely despised when he was affectionate to her, and the lack of a particular reason she had for feeling such ate away at her insides like voracious mealworms. Yet at the same time she felt comforted by it, a reassurance that he was at least trying.
"Lydia," Charles spoke as he sat down at the table, awaiting Delia's servery of their breakfast, "The realtor, Jane, told me of a so-called 'skeleton key' that can fit through every door in this house, and she said she gave it to you to give to me, but it hasn't arrived to me yet," Charles raised an eyebrow at her in suspicion. "Do you know where it is?"
"Uh," she said. "I don't know anything about a skeleton key," Lydia cringed at how aware she was that her lie wasn't working, so she tried another furtive tactic. "How can you even be sure that such a key exists, I mean, one key that can fit through a bunch of different locks in the house? C'mon, Dad, no way." She smiled to give her lie a flourish.
Charles objectively knew his daughter was lying, but pursue the matter further did he not, and change the subject as his daughter had done did he with grace right as Delia finished preparing the eggs and gave two plates to Lydia and himself. "Where's Otho?"
"You rang?" The mentioned man strode into the room in a flashy robe that complemented his burly build, flute of champagne in his hand, and Lydia marvelled at the impeccable timing that seemed to accompany the already strange atmosphere of this house.
"This early in the morning?" Lydia made a face, clearly referring to the drink. "Really?" Truthfully, Lydia could give less of a damn what Otho's or anyone else's indulgences or asceticisms were at any time; she just needed a detraction–anything– from herself and the skeleton key business.
"I won't choose to entertain you, Lydia," Otho retorted. "Charles, she's obviously hiding the key so that she can have at least one room in this wretched hovel all to herself, much like you."
Lydia emitted a sarcastic remark to hide the metaphorical heart attack she had over not just the accuracy of, but the exact correctness of that statement. "Yeah, Otho, you totally got it. Good job."
Otho had nothing to say in response except for a meager "hm", as he too was handed a plate.
The conversation quickly diverged after that and the vapor of lies was soon blown away. "I'm going to try and convince Maxie Dean to come up here–" Charles said to Otho.
Good luck, Lydia remarked in her mind. Soon, the chatter amongst her became blurred and intermingled as she began to think hard and deeply – about life. About the essence and purpose of living; what the motivations were for human beings to be in existence, the petty human banality and arbitrariness of politics and society and how she yearned to get away from it all and explore the bottom of the ocean instead. She was so buried in thought that she almost didn't notice something encircling around her leg like dewy flowers on a trellis.
She looked down.
It was a rattlesnake.
Horrified, Lydia arose from the dinner table and made a sharp bolt for it, but the snake grew to beanstalk-size and had her fully furled in its tail, hanging her upside down by one ankle. The snake's head was not that of a normal snake's head but the head of a man with ashen, unkempt hair, bared fangs, and glowing red eyes, and a man's guttural voice emanated from its mouth. "Heeheeheehee!!" the chilling sound in addendum to the snake's rattle reverberated through the room.
Lydia, amidst the vicissitude, recalled that the man's voice sounded eerily similar to the one she heard in the attic; her look of terror transforming into one of fascination and admiration upon realization of this– realization that there were ghosts here. This snake was a ghost. Conversely, staring in horror were Charles, Delia, and Otho; each of them following in Lydia's (not quite enough) footsteps and, as had Lydia, failing to evade the creature in time. Otho all but was able to head up the stairs before being steadfastly thrown down them again by a second manifestation of the snake's tail whipping his backside. That same facsimiled tail rose Delia from her hiding place underneath the table and hung her in a height and fashion identical to the ones in which he was hanging Lydia; though, unlike Lydia, the snake–man dropped Delia to the ground aimlessly, resulting in Delia's skull shattering, blood sputtering out of her head and her eyes popping out of their sockets before Lydia's own very eyes, at which Lydia's look of horror returned.
Charles also made a frantic beeline up the stairs, a decision that ultimately came back to bite him as soon as the snake–man–creature–ghost–whatever used its second tail to grab ahold of him, he too being dangled upside down by one ankle. Lydia shut her eyes tight and pleaded for the ghost or whatever it was– to stop, fearing Charles would suffer the same grisly fate as Delia, but her efforts were to no avail and she received something far worse. Charles' eyes fell out of his head, blood oozing from their sockets and regurgitating from his mouth, and Lydia was met with the gruesome sight of her father's intestines unfurling from his abdomen like a looped ribbon, blood draping the front of his suit and his intestines binding around him and gagging his bloodied mouth. Lydia wanted to throw up, and not just because she felt all of the blood within her pool to her brain from the angle wherein she was. Why was the ghost– if that was truly what it was– doing this? What had she and her family done to evoke its ire?
Then, as the snake's final coup de grâce, it uttered a truly-haunting phrase in its gravelly voice that Lydia doubted she would ever get out of her head anytime soon.
"I've come 'fer your daughter, Chuck."
And with that, Charles' entire body exploded, his blood and innards spattering all over the walls, furniture, and over Lydia, who elicited a bloodcurdling scream. The creature then dropped Lydia to the ground, and Lydia felt herself plummeting through the wooden floor.
I haven't written gore in 5 years so apologies if it's subpar