Boylan House
Boylan House
Boylan House
Boylan House

Boylan House

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Too many boys have vanished into the swamps behind the house.

For nearly three and a half centuries, the Boylan House has stood at the end of Meeting House Road. And something in that house has been killing boys for centuries.

The town of Monson is a quaint and quiet New England town. Yet the house is terrifying and has been for as long as anyone can remember. Adults put the thing out of mind and ignore the fears of their children, admonishing them to stay away.

Too many boys have vanished into the swamps behind the house. Bodies never recovered. Nothing ever recovered. The families are left with their memories and the disturbing thought that the Boylan House had something to do with it.

Mason Philips knows better than that. He knows that there’s something in the house. Something evil. Something hunting children from time to time.

And Mason has decided that it’s time for the killing to stop.

PUBLICATION DATE September 15, 2015


Chapter 31: The Second Floor of the Boylan House


Mason sat on the wide plank floor of the Boylan House. The shutters were closed. Beside him sat James on the right and Father Moran on the left. Father Alexander sat across from them.

They had listened to James’ tale, and they had believed him, of course. Even if they had wanted to doubt him, the fact that he knew exactly what horrors they had all been experiencing, erased all doubt. In the sickening silence of the house, the men tried to gather their thoughts and their courage.

The mere existence of Liam Boylan rattled the men more than they cared to admit.

“What do we do now?” James asked, reloading the shotgun which he had used so effectively.

“We need to find where he is hiding,” Father Moran said.

“And drive him out of it,” Father Alexander finished.

“And when he’s driven out?” James asked. “What then? How do we kill something that is dead?”

“We have to find his place of power,” Mason said, rubbing the back of his head. “With that destroyed, he won’t be strong enough to resist the prayers of exorcism.”

“Will we be able to get home?” James asked.

Father Alexander nodded. “With him gone,” he said, sweeping his hand around at the room they were in, “all of this will return to normal.”

“And if we don’t kill him?” James asked.

“Then we won’t have much to worry about anyway,” Mason said, standing up. “But the Churches know we’re here, James. Even if we don’t accomplish this, then others will come to finish the job.”

“That’s not a lot of comfort,” James said as he and the two priests stood.

Mason smiled. “I don’t expect that it is.” He looked around the room and then his eyes settled on the chimney and fireplace. It was a truly monstrous affair, built out of fieldstones and held together with some ancient mortar. A heavy mantle of thick, dark wood ran along all four sides, much like the one on the first floor.

But Mason remembered something.

He walked to the fireplace and held the shotgun in the crook of one arm, a hand on the butt of the stock. Reaching up, he ran his hands along the edges of the stones that met the mantle, then along those that formed the rounded corners of the chimney.

And he found it, just a slight depression. Enough for him to slip three fingers into and when he did, there was a loud click. With only a slight tug, the entire upper part of the right section of the chimney pulled away, swinging open on unseen hinges.

Stacked neatly, on a dozen rows of polished wood, were small skulls which had been bleached white. A neat hand had labeled each skull, the writing a fluid script that had the curious lettering of the seventeenth century. But the names were easy enough to read, and one of two rows from the top caught Mason’s eyes.

Kevin Peacock.

“What the hell?” James asked.

“Hell is right,” Father Moran said, and Father Alexander offered up a prayer in Greek.

Looking at the skulls, Mason saw there was a large, iron key hanging at the bottom shelf, barely visible in the small ossuary’s shadows. Mason reached in and took the key out.

It was large and bitterly cold to the touch. He put it on the mantle for a moment, pulled a handkerchief out of his back pocket and wrapped it around the key. The cloth helped a little, but not much.

“We need to find a keyhole,” Mason said.

“There aren’t any doors up here,” James said, and he and the two priests looked around.

“There won’t be,” Mason said. “It will look like a knothole or a stain. But it will be at the height of a doorknob.”

Stepping away from the chimney, Mason joined the other men, and they started walking closely around the room. They did one complete circuit around the room, then a second, and then a third. They started their fourth when Father Alexander called out, “Here!”

They hurried to him and found him standing before a shuttered window.

“I didn’t think to look at the shutters,” he said, pointing to a small keyhole in the left shutter of the window.

“Neither did I,” James said.

Stepping forward, Mason slid the key into the keyhole and turned it slowly to the right. A grating sound, like that of old tumblers in terrible need of oil, assaulted their ears.

Something clicked loudly, and Mason let go of the key, his fingers partially numb and complaining loudly.

The shutter swung out towards them, revealing a long dark hallway that stretched into nothingness.

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