Ghost Hill

Moving in i knew that this town was bad news. When dad said we would move to "Ghost Hill" for his work i thought he was joking. Ghost Hill. Who named this city?

The day we moved in i knew what why it was called "Ghost Hill". The town was a cluster of old looking houses in disorganized streets. Some of the houses were settled on small hills which looked like they were build together with the houses and if a house wanted a hill of its own it had gotten a hill of its own. The only thing i could not figure out was who lived here or what dad would be doing here. The town looked abandoned.

Dad said he would maintain the houses for this corporation he was working for. Dad had been out of a job for 2 years after moms disappearance. He send out resume after resume which had all been rejected. We lived from the money we had saved up for my college.
Than this corporation has approached my dad with some strange job, he did for them. He never talked about that job or the corporation, but this company was what saved us. Dad worked with them for a few years and i moved from town to town with him, always following wherever "Cataclysm International" wanted my dad.
When i looked into the group i found out that they were a wide spreed company in plastic, microelectronics and entertainment. For some reason there was not much press about them. With a name like Cataclysm i had expected doomsday machines and secret underground bases filed with monsters.

Our house was a surprisingly modern house (on a hill). Dad told me that these houses all over town were movie sets that Cataclysm had set up here for a theme park, but the project was on hold do to security risks. He than mumbled something about woodworms and ants.

We started unpacking. When I informed dad that i would go look for some shop to buy dinner he got pale and explained hastily that the Company was very secretive about this place and that the shops would most likely not open until the town was ready for its unavailing. He went to the car and pulled out some cans. We surprisingly had electricity here, provided by a generator in the basement. When we finished with unpacking after our dinner, we fell into our beds like rocks. In the middle of the night i awoke with a shiver. Some of the houses of the city had the lights on. The wind made quite the noise outside, like the howling of hundreds of restless souls. First i thought the hauling or the lights of our neighbors had woken me, but then i heard something else.

Dad was talking to someone downstairs. I went down to check if he had gotten the phone lines working or found a spot with mobile reception. Dad was arguing with a man in a red suit, that looked like his hairs were pieces of ripped flesh. My dad throw him out of the house as if it was normal for him to get visitors looking like they were freshly murdered or dressing up in Halloween costumes in November.

I hesitated to go down and ask him. He looked like he had just ran a few miles to many. He hated talking about his job and what else could that thing be at this time in the middle of nowhere, in a park of Cataclysm International?
I went back to bed and the next morning thought i only dreamed the Visitor in the night.

Dad had made some scrambled eggs for breakfast. He smiled at me. "I found a store this morning. Seams like we are not the only people here." Dad was right. Ghost Hill almost looked like a town now.
There were kids in costumes running around and now there were sounds all around. The old houses looked almost inviting and comfy.
I found the store my father had talked about. It was more of a niche in a building that looked like a church from the outside, but as soon as you stepped throw the door you could see the things that were off. The electronics and monitors on the walls were the first sign that this was not a conservative church. The priest that ran the store looked like a normal priest until you saw his legs or arms. First they looked like he was just wrinkly, but than you saw the synthetic nature of his skin. This man was a walking, talking and very polite prosthetic.
When i asked him about it he started telling me about the wonders of god and technology while he sometimes confused the two, as if technology was his god.
When i asked him about the town he became… it was not quite nervous, more like he was ashamed to tell me.
"There was something the CI, no, he did. This town is a way of easing his guild. He wronged them all, but in this town the dead can life. We are all ghosts here. Maybe more real than what lays outside of this city."
He shuck his head.
He had noticed my dad standing in the doorway. The priest excused himself, "The rambling of a broken servant of god." I could not discern what relationship he had with my dad for him to make such a turn, but i had no time to ask.

Even if we were well into walking distance of the church dad had come with the car. "The guys of the Cataclysm are strange people and they employ strange people. Its what they do." was all i could get out of my dad.

We spend the rest of the day unpacking the cartons we had brought into our house yesterday.

I heard dad leave the house that night. He was heading for the church. I slipped into some clothe and followed him. Dad was talking with the priest, which seamed to still be up at this late hour. I could not hear there exact words, but the word Technology and Chaos fell a lot.

This was not what dad would do. Sure, he did not like talking about his work, but now he was going out of his way hiding it from me.
The night was getting colder by the minute. Dad and the priest had leafed to god knows where. Hands in my pockets i marched back to our new home. It seamed like the houses were empty again. The windows, like lifeless eyes starring at me all the way home.
Just before i had reached our door i heard a growl and moments later the night was filled with screams. I ran into the house and slammed the door behind me.
Silence, only the old clock was ringing. I looked down on my phone. Exactly midnight.
I opened the door again and the screaming was back, apparently our house was soundproofed.
There weren't as many voices still screaming and thous how did went silent one by one. I saw some lights flashing throughout the streets and than i noticed something. There was no one else on the streets, no one, even the windows of the houses staid dark. I was still torn whether to go search for dad or stay in the house and try blocking all the doors, when i heard it.
Silence again, than i heard the engine of our car. Dad was coming home. I went back inside and seated myself on the sofa. Dad had some explaining to do.

When i sat down i noticed the hat. On the sofa there was a white hat. When i had leaved, that thing was not there for certain.

Dad walked in. His clothe were torn and burned. He fell uncontentious the moment he closed the door with the three locks. One moment i was glad i did not followed him, i would be stuck outside now. I only had chills for a moment, than felled guilty even thou there was nothing i could have done.
I could have tried to bring dad to the sofa to have better light to attend to his wounds, but i didn't wanted to touch him in case his wounds would burst open. I patched him up as best as i could with our first aid kid we had in the house. I could have gone outside to get the one from the car to, but that seamed like suicide to me at the time.
When i went to wash my hands to get the ashes of my fingers i heard a clicking. When i returned dad was gone, as was the hat.

I awoke the next day with a sharp knocking on the front door.
With the sun out i mustered up the courage to go to the door and look outside.
The streets of the town were busy as if the last evening never happened.
The man in the white suit that stood in front of our door wore the hat and a logo reading CI in red on black.
This guy was from Cataclysm.
I opened the door leafing the chain lock closed.
The man looked at me with a hard to read expression, before i had spoken a word the man had already answered my question.
"Your Father is save. We had a meeting arranged yesterday. He showed up, but not like i would have expected. I immediately brought him into a hospital. As this is a work related injury we will cover all necessary treatment."

With a cold expression the man turned to leave.

Me struggling to get the chain open, shouted something like:"What was that last night? Were is he?"

"There was a breach in one of our installations. Insects. They activated parts of our security system and an unfinished attraction.
Be assured that i will make sure to inform you on further developments."

The man had not even turned around.

When i finally could leave the house the man in the suit was gone.

I had not seen a car drive of so i assumed he had parked nearby.
While running down the street i saw the man walking on the side walk.
Placing myself behind corners i followed the man.
He walked into a part of town i had not seen until now.
A large chunk of the road was damaged.
Something big and heavy had been dragged here.
The houses were damaged and the house the man was walking towards looked like it had recently been on fire.

The man made a sharp turn and picked up a briefcase from a side ally, before going into the middle of the street.
He opened the case and drew something like a walking stick out of the case.
The inside of the case smoked like it had been cold, but the staff did not smoke.
I heard the man make a series of clicking noises and the ground began to shack ever so slightly.

Than i knew what was up.
Out of the burned building a worm rose.
Its skin riddled with bruises and burn marks.
That thing was more like a underground train than a creature under the sun.

The man in the middle of the street raised the staff, i saw a metallic glitter from the handle, than the handle grow.
Becoming at least twice as long as the staff and at least three times thicker.
From my hiding spot i stared at the scene unfolding.
The man, still holding the staff in one hand jumped at least 6 meters into the air and slashed out against the worm dividing its head in half.

The sword had left a metallic glitter on the creature and the metal was now eating away at the creature.
The creature expelled the material that was covered with the stuff the blade had produced.
The worm dropped the two halves of its former head each becoming its own worm.

The sword of the man pulsated, shifting its form becoming more fluid like.
Drops of the swords blade falling on the ground where the sword started to cover the ground around the worms.

The man jumped again, this time i could see that he was catapulted upwards by the liquids of his blade expending under him. He struck the three worms withe strikes from above while descending onto each one.

The worms lead out some kind of scream of agony, before fully melting in the metal.

The blade and the metal on the street started twisting and taking the shape of the damaged caused to the street.

The man with the sword directed the metal with the staff like a director of an orchestra.
Before my eyes all damage on street and houses was filled up by metal that than took the normal structure of whatever it was fixing.

Only now i noticed that it had become colder throughout the street.

The staff handle returned into the metal ball it once was and the man placed the staff back in the suitcase.

The street now looked like any other part of town.

For a moment i saw him directly staring at me, smiling, but still with these cold eyes.
I ducked back into cover.
When i looked back up the man was gone.

I could have just turned and go back to our house, but the silence there would be unbearable.
So i turned to the house that just a few minutes prior had spawned a worm of unreasonable size.

The front of the house had a sign with a word inscribed on it.

The moment i stepped from the street onto the grounds of the house something changed. The hill of the house was now bigger and the house itself seamed to have expended. It looked like a mansion before, but now the house had at least tripled in size. I turned to go back, but the street of "Ghost hill" was gone. The house was now surrounded by a forest going all the way to an iron gate at the end of a gravel way. I stood at least 15 meters away from the gate.

I made a step towards the gate and stood in "Ghost hill". The voice of reason in the back of my head whispered: "Turn around. You have seen movies. There is no way going in there will help you."
I turned again towards the house.

"I have seen the Impossible. What ever is going on in this Town, they wont tell me.
I can ether live here not knowing or knowing. The voice whispered back:"You have missed the other option. If you die here what worth do the answers provide you?"

"Its brought day, nothing supernatural will be going on in there now."
I knew how stupid this sounded.

I should not go there.

I stepped towards the house. Again i stood on the gravel path leading towards the house. I took another step towards the house. It became colder.
"I really should not go there." I took another step. Again it became colder.

The voice was now almost audible "This is my last warning. Leave or don't, but don't come crying to me afterwards."

I took a couple more steps.
I realized what was going on.
The closer i came to the house the darker the sunlight reaching the house.
Before i stepped onto a small veranda i looked back.
The gate had disappeared in darkness behind me.
The house was completely dark.

I stepped onto the veranda. The door before me opened with a creaking noise. I should run. Run and don't look back.

Than i saw a light within the entrance hall.
Someone had placed a sign there, reading: "You have permission to enter."

I stepped through the door, once i had made 2 steps in the door closed with a creaking. The sigh started to turn.
There was another message on the back. "Welcome, this way, please"

The hallway to my right lit up in the light of neon tubes that had been crudely screwed into the walls of the house.
"Than show me what you got."

Some places are bad. Some structures are bad. Sometimes some thing near you is bad.
Whatever the case may be, we get it here. This place was part of Cataclysmic International. It surfed its purpose and was handed off. But places like Ghost Hill don't just stop to move after the last member of staff has leaved his post or the mission is deemed a success. During the time we knew what Ghost Hill was and knew what it was doing, everything was fine. Than Cataclysmic International got what they wanted and moved on.
We now had something on our hand that was not even unexpected. A place build to collect the places that were unable to let go of the past, had been leaved behind. Where previously agents of flesh and blood had traveled the world to collect the places to be added to Ghost Hill now something else did.
The largest collection of hunted buildings ever to be created, just kept on growing, while no one was looking.
Cataclysmic International had taken all of there assets out, but the very reason they had to collect these places still remained. They could never nail down what made these places bad in the first place. The blocks were the same, but taken apart and put back together, but not discriminating against a part. Whether a brick in the wall was in the cellar or the attic mend little to the way these places came here. A brick was a brick from wherever in the house he might have been, except that particular brick was marked in some way.
This means that what stands in Ghost Hill has been reshuffled, with only very little staying in its original place. In normal places this is not of concern, but when you shuffle the past of something that clings to it…
Some of the buildings did not care, some cared very much. When Cataclysm International leaved they took everything with them. All we knew about these places is gone, looked in a file cabinet fare away. So what is one to do, when he finds what was once a test-tube for the rebuilding of humanity, reverted into its original untainted form?
You could turn your back and run, like a sane person, or you could wait until midnight grab a flashlight and pick a house. I did the later. Sane persons don't find treasure, adventure or a fulfilling death. I plan on getting at least one of the three and Ghost Hill is the best place to be for finding it.

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