Title: Pinned on a Board
Fandom: American Horror Story; American Horror Story: Murder House
Characters: Violet Harmon, Tate Langdon, Leah
Disclaimer: American Horror Story belongs to Ryan Murphy and company.
Prompts: Written for 500themes for #102 - urban legend.
Notes: Set during an alternate Season One, where the Murder House is abandoned.
Summary: It's just supposed to be a bet for an easy $300, can Volet survive a night in the Murder House?
Word Count: 2041
Leah had dared her to enter the infamous Murder House and as Violet stands just outside of the decrepit house, she feels a tremor of something . It's not quite fear but it slows her movements and makes her second-guess her plan. Twelve hours in the Murder House (dusk to dawn) had seemed an easy way to score some cash since her parents were trying to pull some sort of tough love bullshit on her. Now those twelve hours seem a little foolhardy. The house has been whispered about for sometime: it kills anyone who dares to call it home and the last person to spend the night there was never seen from again. Countless of urban legends centre on this house. Leah had made sure that in the last two days since Violet had said that she'd do this, that people had told Violet each and every one of those urban legends. In all honesty, Violet knows that it's impossible for all of the stories to have actually happened. However the fact that this place is nicknamed the "Murder" House means something. Just what it means, she's not sure.
Leah's voice startles her but Violet manages to scoff at the other girl. Even if she was (and she's not just for the record), she'd hardly admit it to this vapid and plastic girl who's somehow become her frenemy.
"Hardly," Violet quietly says. "I was just waiting for you. Don't want you trying to welch on our bet."
"They'll be finding your corpse in the morning." Leah spits out. "That is if you're foolish enough to go in there."
"Don't bother," Violet says. "I'm not scared. It's just a house."
"Fine," Leah coldly replies.
Violet watches as the other girl marches back to her car and she wonders how long Leah will hang around before boredom and addiction have her anxious. Violet has a feeling that she'll outlast Leah. She tightens her grip on her bag and she marches towards the front door. It's just a house and there's three hundred dollars on the line. An easy three hundred dollars.
The front door squeals as she pushes it open and Violet chuckles at the stereotypical Hallowe'en movie vibe the house is already giving her. It doesn't scare her at all since it's just the affect of an old house that isn't cared for. It actually reminds her of her grandmother's house back home in Boston. Well aside form the dust, debris, and trash lying about. The fading rays of the weak winter sun seem to glance off of the stained glass windows that have somehow managed to remain intact. The entrance room is bathed in blues and greens and Violet is suddenly certain that she'll easily win this bet.
She turns around and gives Leah a final wave before she pulls the door close. It's not quite dark enough to need a flashlight as she moves about the house trying to find a place where she can camp out for the night.
Dissatisfied with the main floor, Violet finds her way upstairs. It somehow seems cleaner up on the second floor. Every now and then she catches the hint of beeswax and vinegar on top of the scent of neglect and decay. She finally finds a suitable room upstairs that overlooks the street. Almost as if it's on cue, her phone rings.
"You're gonna die in there," Leah spits out. A cackle punctuating her statement.
"Of boredom, if you keep calling," Violet retorts.
"Wait and see," Leah mumbles.
The line goes dead and Violet shoves her phone in the pocket of her skirt. No doubt, Leah will call a few more times, hoping to scare Violet. Not that it'll work.
* * *
It's an hour before midnight and Violet is lying on a mattress that she found in another room and had dragged into her chosen room. Her sleeping bag is covering the mattress and she's humming along to a song by the Smiths. The room is lit by candles. As the song changes, she takes a drag from her cigarette. So far, nothing has happened aside from Leah's pathetic attempt to startle her. Violet is actually rather relaxed. Then again she's not having to listen to her parents fight yet again. Moving to LA hadn't solved anything and she hates the fact that her parents were so stupid to believe that it would.
"You shouldn't be here."
Violet startles as the male voice surprises her. As she leans up on her elbows, she can't help but smirk at the blonde boy. There's something vaguely familiar about him and she can't help but think that Leah's has actually surpassed her expectations. The boy clearly doesn't go to their school and Violet likes the obvious bad boy image that he's projecting. He doesn't scare her but she likes the lengths that Leah has gone to.
"Nor should you," Violet responds before taking another drag off of her cigarette.
She exhales the smoke as he comes closer to her. She suspects that he'd be menacing to someone like Leah in his scruffy, grunge outfit but Leah's forgotten that Violet looks like a mid-1990s reject most of the time.
"I belong here more than you do,"
"Is that a fact?" Violet asks.
"You should go while you still can."
Violet laughs. "Why? Is the house going to kill me or something?"
The boy's eyes narrow as he kneels down in front of her. His hands are on the mattress and Violet's mirth dies. There's something about his eyes that unnerve her. Maybe Leah wasn't wrong in hiring him.
Violet leans over and violently stubs out her cigarette on the floor.
"You don't scare me," Violet tells him. "Nor do all of the bullshit stories about this house. You can stay or go but I'm gonna get that money from Leah tomorrow morning."
There's a hint of confusion on his dark eyes. The candlelight flickers as a cold breeze wafts into the room. Violet's attention is distracted as one of the windows slams shut. When she turns back, the boy is gone.
"Good one," Violet calls out. "But you don't scare me."
No doubt the boy is one of Leah's actor friends from the countless workshops that her mother forces her to attend. Violet wonders just how much Leah is paying him to scare her. She laughs at the thought of Leah's face in the morning.
* * *
Another hour's passed and Violet's bored out of her mind. There's only so much time that one can spend smoking and listening to angsty music that came out in the 1980s. For a brief second, she wonders if she'll lose the bet out of boredom rather than fear.
The house is still and she decides that maybe she'll sleep when a low moaning echoes throughout the lower floor. It's not even intriguing enough for her to investigate whatever Leah's up to.
"I thought I told you to leave."
The boy is back and Violet rolls her eyes at his dramatics. He's definitely one of Leah's actor friends.
"Actually you told me I didn't belong here," Violet points out. "If you think that spook house sound effects are enough to scare me, then you're mistaken."
"You should leave while you can."
"Thanks for the warning but I don't scare that easy."
She blinks and he's suddenly looming above her. And for some reason, Violet realizes that his clothes are different than earlier. This time he's in tight, black clothes that emphasize the size difference between them. A harsh exhale of breath escapes her body as he moves so that he's straddling her thighs, he's barely touching her but she can feel a thrumming sensation arcing between their bodies.
"You should leave before the house decides to keep you forever, like a butterfly pinned to a board."
His fingers ghost the curve of her job.
"It's just a house, not a living thing," Violet whispers.
"Are you so sure about that?"
A part of her wants to yield to the danger that's rolling off of him in waves but she refuses to admit defeat.
"Yeah," Violet says.
"You're either very brave or very foolish."
She feels a sense of disappointment as he pulls away from her. Violet doesn't care if he's just playing a role. She wants him, she wants the danger that she's certain that's just part of the act. A faint scream from the depths of the house startles her out of the mood. Violet chuckles as she recognizes Leah's voice.
"You're good but the two of you aren't that good," Violet informs him.
Something twists in the pit of her stomach as he smirks at her.
"You think you know everything, don't you?"
He leaves her alone then and Violet snuggles into the warm comfort of her sleeping bag. The house might have scared her on it's own had Leah avoided the theatrics of the screams and moans along with the pretty boy.
* * *
Something wakes her up and as she searches the shadows of the dark room, Violet knows that wasn't the pretty blonde boy from earlier. She reaches for her flashlight but the pale light it emits barely illuminates the shadows. Violet suddenly wants out of the house when one of the shadows move forward. It's an oily blackness that seems to dim her flashlight. As it moves closer to her, Violet tries to move but she becomes tangled up in her sleeping bag.
"Fuck," Violet curses as she drops the flashlight.
The pale lemon glow of the flashlight briefly illuminates the corner and Violet can just glimpse a human shape in the oily blackness before the flashlight's dim glow fades. The shape moves towards her and she's bathed in a cold sweat, her heart in her mouth as she realizes that this isn't either Leah or the cute blonde boy. This is something else, something that her rational mind can't wrap itself around. Suddenly that thing is pressing down on her and she can't breathe, think or even function. Fear is smothering her as surely as that thing is on her, touching her, violating her.
And then it's gone, dissipating into thin air and her teeth are chattering as she trembles. The blonde moves to her and wraps his arms around her.
"Wh-who are you?" Violet asks, stumbling over the words as she avoids asking what that thing was.
She feels his answer rather than hears it. She's still terrified even in his arms, especially when the flashlight flares to life, illuminating the room in a bright, white light. Maybe just maybe this house's reputation isn't all bullshit and urban legends.
"Don't go," Violet quietly asks Tate.
"I'm not good," Tate says. "Just because I saved you from that thing doesn't mean I'm not just as dangerous."
"I know," Violet says. "But I don't want to be alone."
He's quiet and still for some time until he finally whispers okay and they lay down on her sleeping bag. She recognizes who he is now and it doesn't make any sense because he is dead. A murderer who tore up her high school in a hail of bullets and he's been dead for a long time but he's here and Violet feels safe in his arms even though she knows that it's wrong, terribly wrong.
* * *
He can tell by her breathing when she wakes up. Still he stays with her, basking in her warm humanity because it allows him to pretend. He's not sure why he had stopped the house when he had.
Her terror had been delicious and he could have had her forever by doing nothing. If he had stayed quiet, she'd never have the chance to leave. Then again, Tate knows this house rather intimately; he knows the games it plays.
As soon as the dawn comes, she'll run but she'll be back. The house has it's claws in her now and she won't be able to ignore it's siren call for long. No one ever can. And then she'll be his. She'll belong to him on his terms and not the house's. He can wait a while longer.
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