Twisted Fairy Tale: Maison des Lunes by Darci Cole
Welcome to the 8th annual #SpookyShowcase! The Spooky Showcase celebrates the dark minds of creatives around the world through short stories and artistic creations that are dark in nature, macabre, or horror themed.
This year’s theme is Twisted Fairy Tales. Expect twisted legends, creepy creations, and dark fairy tales that will keep you up at night. Visit each day in the month of October for a scare. The master schedule is here.
Maison des Lunes
By Darci Cole
The worn sign is barely readable above a cobweb-covered archway.
Maison des Lunes
House of Moons, Asylum for the Insane.
Crouched in the shadows, I press the charcoal pencil to my forearm.
Did you get in? I write in my terrible script.
The markings fade into my skin with a tickle, but laughter does not come. I stare, and I wait. Wind swirls leaves on the cobbled path before me, where no foot has trod for over a decade. The path leads to answers from our past, and possibly to our future.
My arm tickles again, and my sister’s curly handwriting appears as quickly as mine had faded.
I am inside.
I rub the coal off with my sleeve. I’m still not sure how we’re able to do this, exchange messages through our skin, but maybe here, tonight, we could find out.
A deep breath of nighttime mist, and I creep toward the archway. Our parents died here. There must be something about them we can find. Death dates, burial location, favorite meal…. One of the large double doors has fallen, and I step over it to get inside. The entryway is empty—ransacked after the place closed down when we were younger. My nose itches at the dust in the air. My arm tickles.
A chill runs through me, because the handwriting is not my sister’s. I rub the coal away and crouch against the wall as another message appears.
Are you safe?
Ami’s writing. I rub it off quickly and write, Fine. That was not me.
Wind scatters more leaves through the open doorway, and I write again, Meet in the courtyard.
Nearly there. Be quick.
I stand and turn down a hallway, pausing once to search a stack of dust-coated papers left on a table, but discover nothing of my parents. Only a few notes on animal anatomy.
Moonlight filters down in the courtyard ahead of me, and I run toward it.
“Shhh!” she hisses.
“There’s no one—”
Her eyes widen as she waves a hand, pointing to the ground.
Footprints. Many footprints have churned the dust covering these stones, and recently.
We’re not alone.
Ami clutches her forearm the same moment the message appears on mine. I meet Ami’s eyes, and see my fear reflected in them. Yet, if someone is here….
“Ami, if we help them, maybe they can help us.”
“No, we can’t—”
I put my charcoal to my arm. Who are you?
The reply is long in coming. My name is Belle.
Ami gasps. “The old inventor’s daughter? But they left—”
I write again. Where?
South hall, comes the reply. Be silent.
My heart races as I exchange a glance with Ami.
“We can’t just leave her,” I whisper.
Her face pale, Ami nods.
Part of me wishes she hadn’t.
We turn down a corridor with tall, thin windows, following the tracks on the floor. At the end of the hallway, a door to our right is locked, and I hear whimpers behind it. Rather than speak, I write on my arm.
How do we unlo
A clang sounds behind us, from the courtyard we just left. A moment later, frantic scribbles appear on Ami’s and my arms.
Leave! Go now my father is c
Ami grips my arm and I look up. My chest constricts as I stare. Ami’s breaths come in frantic gasps.
A huge beast of a man lumbers down the corridor, his silhouette like a mountain barring our way out. Each step shakes the ground. Moonlight reflects in his cat-like eyes. Ami turns her face into my arm, sobbing in fear. I cannot look away.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“Have you not guessed, boy?” the beast’s words slur together. His voice is like a rumble, I can feel it in my chest.
I swallow my fear, trying to sound brave. “You… you were a doctor, but you’re not now.”
“Oh I am,” he says, moving closer.
“What do you mean?” I ask, edging Ami toward the window closest to us.
“It’s an odd thing.” The huge man’s eyes glint knowingly. “My subjects are meant to grow great strength—via injections given over the period of a year. Unfortunately, only I have survived the entire process. Yet, somehow, an extrasensory ability has been passed on to my offspring. As I’m sure you noticed.”
My eyes flick to the door I’d almost opened. Understanding chills my blood. “You killed our parents.”
His maw curves in a feral grin. “Not intentionally.” He raises a hand, a dripping syringe clutched in his grip. “Let us hope you are stronger than they.”
Next thing I know, I’m shaking my head, waking up. My vision blurs, but I can hear…crying.
“Ami?” I say, but my voice is hoarse, my throat dry.
“I’m here,” she says through sobs.
I blink my eyes more. I don’t want to believe what she says. But as I try to move, the truth becomes clear. I’ve been injected. I’m starting to change.
Heavy footfalls approach, and Ami’s crying silences. The inventor is there now, in the corner of my vision. In the moonlight, I can see how his body has altered, like a human, and a tiger, and a bear all at once.
Is that what I am to become?
“You’re doing far better than I expected,” he rumbles. “But there is more to come.”
I strain against chains that bind me to the wall. Looking around, I see Ami, and Belle, chained up together some distance away.
“Stop struggling, please,” the inventor says, making notes on a clipboard. “You’ll never get out.”
I do anyway. I pull, I fight, I will not die like this, nor let my sister become some warped experiment.
Metal cries out, and one of my bonds snaps.
The inventor turns, cat-like eyes wide in the light of the moon. “How are you—”
I pull, I crack another, and the rest fall free. A strange lust fills my mind, and my vision goes red. I let out a growl I didn’t know I had within, and leap at the inventor.
I will never remember how, but soon he is dead, and I am in more pain than I’ve ever imagined. I stare up at the full moon, and a tear-stained face comes into my vision.
“J’aime ton frère,” she says, pushing my hair away from my eyes.
Something in me wants to attack, but I cannot. I can’t move. Then the one in front of me raises something high, something that glints, flashing light into my eyes.
A sharp pain in my chest, to add to the other pains, and I shudder.
And I fade.
About the Author
Darci Cole is an author and narrator, working mainly in the fantasy genre. She and her husband run Colevanders: a wand shop catering to lovers of magic and cosplay. Her YouTube series, The Darci Diaries, chronicles her personal writing journey. One of her favorite things is beta reading for friends and acclaimed authors. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and four children.