The rising sun cast a warm glow over the large iron gate. Attached to the gate a fence stands seven feet high and stretches around the whole property. A long narrow driveway snakes up to the house. Skinny trees dot the line of pavement. The yard is beautiful. The grass is lush green, and the colourful flowerbeds are free of weeds.
The house is old and large. It is three stories high, made of red brick, and nestled on a small hill. Several plants creep up the sides of the building threatening to block out the sun. The pavement is as black as the day it was put down. No one’s been inside since the last tenants left.
A large moving van appears in the driveway. It approaches the main building and comes to a stop. Four people, a man, a woman, and two teenage children, get out. They are all carrying boxes with bags draped over their shoulders. The father and mother make their way to the back of the van and speak in hushed tones. The teenage boy stares in awe at the house. The daughter leans against the van and stares into at her cell phone.
The boy turns to his mother and speaks to her, his voice full of excitement. A smile spreads across his face, and he dashes up to the house. The mother trails behind him and pulls a set of keys from her bag. She struggles to get the door open. After three tries, the massive wood doors swing open, and the pair disappears inside.
The father motions for the daughter to come. She is reluctant but complies with his request. He loads her arms with small boxes and directs her into the house. He follows behind her seconds later carrying three large boxes.
The family spends most of the day moving boxes from the moving van to various rooms inside the house. They carrying them from the van to the designated room and put them down in the middle of the room. Then they repeat the process.
Later that night, the mother and father are in their bedroom. It is a large room, perfectly square. A large window sits at the head of the bed letting in the dying light. The red carpet clashes with outdated wallpaper covered with mauve flowers.
The mother is pulling clothes from boxes. Folding them and putting them into the dresser. The father is lying on the bed admiring her as she works. On the far side of the room, five steps lead up to the sitting room. It is thought to be empty.
The mother hears a noise and turns her attention towards the sound. It is coming from the sitting room. Mother and father walk towards the doorway and peer inside. A figure looms in the darkness and the mother and father jump back. The father grabs marches to the closet and grabs an item. He returns to the doorway.
The figure stands in shadows, and they call out to him as they advance into the room. They walk slowly up the steps, and the father holds the object in front of him as a weapon. It is long and skinny, a baseball bat.
The mother and father reach the top of the stairs. They enter another massive room with twelve-foot high ceilings. There is a couch in the middle surrounded by several monitors and television screens. Cords and wires hang from the ceiling coming from all directions and meeting above the couch.
The mother and father continue to look around. The walls have been knocked down, and the floor has been ripped up. Nails litter the floor, and piles of drywall and brick dot the subfloor. Cobwebs hang in every corner.
The figure clears his throat, and the mother and father stare at him. The man apologizes for the mess. Dust and grime cover his skin and clothes, disguising his age and race. The man informs them that he has been working day and night, renovating to get ready for the fight.
The mother and father exchange nervous glances. The father tells the man that there has been a mistake. He tells the man that the family has bought the house and moved in, and he must leave. The father tightens his grip on the bat as he speaks to the intruder.
The man tells the mother and father they are too late, the date set, the place decided, and the fighters picked. He tells them once the fighters are selected, nothing can change until one of them is dead.
The father begins to protest, but the man interrupts. He asks him if he knows of the famous, Neil Compman. The mother and father do not. The man tells them that he is not a man to mess with. He made fortunes writing, illustrating, and produces comic books. What he wants, he gets.
The mother and father again exchange nervous glances. The father again tells him there has been a mistake. The man says there is not a mistake. With the details confirmed, the audience will follow Mr. Compman wherever he goes.
The father panics and suddenly runs forth, tackling the man. He shouts to the mother to find some rope as they hit the ground hard. The mother disappears out the door and returns seconds later with a long coil of rope. Together they drag him down to the bedroom and tie the man to the bed.
The father questions the intruder. He asks who he is and where he came from. He asks why this house? Without waiting for a reply, he asks the man tied to the bed many questions .
The man asks him to free a hand and let him show them what will happen if they do not cooperate with Mr. Compman. The mother looks wearily at the father, pleading with him to refuse. The father is curious and relents. The father loosens the rope on the man’s right hand and steps back from the bed.
The man reaches into his shirt pocket and produces a small spray bottle. It is no bigger than a lighter. At first glance, it appears to be green. With closer inspection, the father sees that it is in fact green, but it seems to shimmer and change shade with the light.
As the man moves, the father holds the bat out towards him. A layer of sweat has formed on his forehead, and his hands are clammy. The mother stands behind him, her eyes wide with curiosity. She is too scared to move any closer to the intruder and peers over the father’s shoulder.
The man pulls the cap of the spray bottle and squirts one time over his face. The skin on the man’s face starts to ripple and bubble. It becomes bright orange in colour. Boils form and his features blend. The hair falls from his scalp and scales form in their place. A terrible gurgling sound ensues, and the mother and father step back, eyes wide with horror.
The mother and father stare at the man, speechless. He stares back at them. In a raspy strained voice, the man tells the mother and father, this is what happened when you refuse Mr. Neil Compton. The man waits a minute to let the sight of his horrendous face sink in before producing another small spray bottle.
This one is similar in size but blue in colour. It also shimmers and changes shades with the light. The man cradles it in his hand. His human hand looks out of place against his now grotesque face.
The man again sprays his face. A white cloud forms over his head. It shimmers and dissipates within seconds. The grotesque orange face that was before them is gone and in its place the normal dirty looking man they originally found.
The man tells the mother and father that they require only three days. He tells them to let them have their fight, and they will be on their way. The mother and father agree but force the man to promise not to wander into the any further into the house. The man agrees, and they shake hands.
The man vanishes into the upper part of the room and the mother and father return downstairs. They have dinner with the children and send them to their rooms. The mother suggests sleeping on the couch for a few nights and the father disagrees. The father informs the mother that he wants to keep an eye on the man and returns upstairs.
The mother and father enter the bedroom. As they walk to the bed, they see a new unknown figure on the couch in the upper room. The father shudders and continues to walk to the bed. He sits down on the edge as the mother continues folding the laundry.
The father can see one of the screens from where he sits. The unknown figure is playing a video game. He appears uninterested in the couple that owns the house. The low hanging wires catch the father’s attention and his body stiffens.
The father watches in horror as one of the wires sparks and catches fire. He watches as the fire spreads, and the far room goes up in flames. The father takes a deep breath and calmly tells the mother to gather the children and get back in the moving van. His eyes never leave the sitting room as he speaks.
The mother follows the gaze of the father. A small scream escapes her lips, and she runs from the room. In the hallway, she screams for the children to join her. The father watches mesmerized as the intruder approaches the figure on the couch. The man collapses into the couch, and the two of them burn.
The father walks calmly walks down the stairs and picks up his keys. He looks around slowly and sees the flame peak at the top of the stairs. He joins the mother and children at the van. The father gets in, starts the engine, and drives away from the cursed house.