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The Abandoned Chateau in Brittany

Fan, Claw, Heir

By Gal MuxPublished about a year ago 8 min read
The Abandoned Chateau in Brittany
Photo by Mihail Tregubov on Unsplash

"If walls could talk… huh? Isn't that what you ask all the time when you enter places like this…?" 

Marpe's head shook. A chill flashed through her body. 

Deaf silence followed. Then suddenly, the hoarse voice came again.

"But they do!"

Marpe struggled inside. She couldn't tell where the voice was coming from. 

"We see things others don't. Secrets. Big secrets. And we want to share them with the world," the voice continued.

Marpe frowned. Disturbed, she wanted the voice to stop. 

"How do you think you took your first step into the chateau? You knew you should have left when you saw the cobwebs weaved as though permanent on the doorframe. They showed that many had not dared to, but you ignored the thought. Even when you heard the clang of the door when you pushed, you still dared. 

Why did you take that first step in?

Why did you take the next step, and the other and the other?" 

Marpe shivered. She felt her bladder loosen. Her legs felt frozen solid yet firmly held her body in a standing position in front of the large wall whose fresco had faded. Some of the paint that seemed to have drained away left the faces on the fresco looking grotesque and frightening. A large line of deteriorating plaster zigzagged its way down the fresco seeming to divide it diagonally. 

She tried to call the others for help but no sound came from her mouth. She still couldn't tell where the voice was coming from yet she could hear it clearly. 

"It was me inviting you in. I was the one calling your name. Luring you in with my enticements. And you listened! You allowed me to get into your head and so you wouldn't know I was really talking to you as you lifted one leg and placed it on the ground, and as you lifted the other and placed it on the ground. You came right where I wanted you to. From the moment you opened that door, I knew my fun would begin. I saw it all!" 

All of Marpe's adventures flipped through her head like a reel in fast forward. She saw her most recent activity. Herself recording the YouTube short for this exploration. 

" Guys, we have finally arrived at the secret location," she said winking to the camera, " You know for security reasons we cannot tell you exactly where we are," she laughed. 

She then took a few steps and flipped the camera before flipping it back. 

"But we are in Brittany, France. Behind me as you can see is this abandoned chateau. According to the grapevine, it has been abandoned since the 40s when the marquis who owned it died bankrupt. Without hoards of servants to care for such huge properties, these things are just money pits really. 

Anyway, the marquis' only son and heir could not afford to maintain it and so the chateau was left to the forces of nature. It is said that the son who had no heir disappeared shortly after with no trace leaving everything in the chateau. Some say he died inside it in a gruesome murder and was buried in an unmarked grave on the grounds. Maybe it is now owned by distant family. I mean the land is still valuable…

They also say the ghost of the marquis still haunts the chateau and its vast grounds keeping away vandals from stealing all the artifacts that remained. 

Urban legends huh? 

Guys I can't wait to explore this chateau tomorrow and show it to you guys. Right now it's time to rest. We have been traveling for sixteen hours straight!" 

Marpe had posted the short to her channel when she got back to her Airbnb. She hoped to garner at least a million views from this exploration so that she could break even. Every other view she would get after that would be profit. 

Due to the size of the chateau, its vast grounds, the story behind it, and the effort needed to get to its remote location, she had recruited two of her explorer friends Pim and Tammy, and had promised to cover a huge portion of their costs if they agreed to accompany her on this one. They would also be filming for their individual channels and earn for themselves, so they had taken her up on the offer. 

Marpe had been doing this for a year now. She visited abandoned houses, sites, parks, office blocks anything on the verge of dilapidation really and filmed it for her channel. She had enjoyed watching other urban explorers on the internet and felt inspired to start her own channel. 

Over the course of time, she knew she had to keep it interesting each time if she wanted to maintain her viewership and earnings. That's why she had chosen this apparently spooky place after reading an article about it on the internet. Plus she figured any fan of hers would enjoy it. 

" Am I as scary as you thought I would be?" came the voice again, " How many views do you think you will get…? Huh! I am going to show you a secret that will give you millions of views." 

Marpe felt weaker as the voice continued, but she knew she had to be strong if she wanted to survive it. She needed to find her way out of the chateau she thought. She turned her head and looked behind her but couldn't see an exit. Only a spiral staircase that seemed to lead to nowhere. 

She looked again at the fresco on the wall right in front of her. It seemed to change. It got more and more colourful every second as though unfading revealing details of what seemed to have been a man of nobility probably the marquis she thought seated on a log in the middle of a vineyard at harvest and a young boy perched on his lap. At the lower end of the fresco was a lake that seemed to have a water creature coming out of it one large claw reaching for the young boy. 

At her feet, Marpe could feel sudden gushes of water pushing onto her shoes. Suddenly, the wet creature from the fresco jumped from the lake toward where she stood the claw scratching her. 

She flung her hands in the air attempting to shield her head. Her eyes closed afraid to see the creature. She opened her mouth to scream. No sound came out. 

She sprang raising her wet feet. She felt a huge splash of water on her face. 

"Marp, Marp, Maaaaarp!" 

She then felt a huge slap land on her face as she heard her name being called out frantically.

"Marrp, Marpe, Maaaaarp!" 

She felt a bigger flash of water on her face. She jolted. 

" Wake up Marp!" came the voice as she felt huge shoves on her shoulders. 

She struggled but managed to open her eyes and hazily saw Pim and Tammy looking down toward where she lay. She looked around wondering how she had landed on the floor. 

" What's up, men! You scared us! You were screaming so loud! We rushed here and found you on the floor, kicking hard and covering your head. We had to pour water on you. Are you ok?" Pim asked concern in his voice. 

Marpe attempted to stand up. The two helped her to the bed. For a few minutes, she couldn't find her words and only gazed at the wall right in front of her.

G...uys.. guys, we w… we…we can't go to the Chateau. I have a re… really bad feeling about it…" she finally managed to stammer. 

Pim burst out laughing.

" Did you have a nightmare about it? Is that why you fell and were screaming?" 

Marp didn't answer. 

Pim was laughing harder as he added, "That does happen a lot before we go to such places. Ask Tammy. It's just your anxiety acting up." 

Tammy chuckled as she tried to nudge Pim to stop laughing at Marpe. 

" Yeah, I had a really bad dream the night before we explored that creepy house with upside-down crosses with Pim," she tried to reassure Marpe, " And it's not funny Pim!" she warned him. 

Marpe didn't say a word. She wasn't convinced. The whole episode had felt so real. In her mind, she could still see the faded out fresco with the deteriorating plaster and the zigzag line cutting across it.

" We will be fine don't worry. We will stay close," Pim tried to reassure her, "We don't want to have come all this way for nothing, do we?" 

Marpe thought about it for a while. She had already spent so much and was already in Brittany. She had also already posted a teaser for her followers. She decided to brush her fear and summon the courage to do what had taken them there. 

" But we stay close guys, right?" she sought reassurance. 

"Of course!" Pim smiled. 

Early morning, before the summer sun got hotter, the trio was back at the chateau grounds. 

They refused to reveal their plans for the day to their concerned Airbnb host however much she had insisted. The screaming the previous evening had alarmed her. Even though trespassing laws differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the trio were well aware going into people's houses abandoned or not was universally frowned upon. On several instances, the police had been called when neighbours had noticed them strolling in compounds in their neighborhoods. 

At the chateau's entrance, the trio opened the door. It was unlocked, even though years of dilapidation might have been what had rusted and weakened the lock. 

They walked in. 

They had planned to explore the whole chateau together first so that they could be guided on their filming strategy. In such buildings, some structures were health hazards and they wanted to survey it all before they properly set up their cameras. 

Cobwebs floated around the hallway. They waded them with their hands as they followed it to what seemed like a large hall. They could also see nests of various animals and birds that had made the chateau their home since its abandonment. 

Marpe was quiet as they walked. Even though she had managed to brush most of her fear away, she still remembered what she had experienced the previous evening. The two would hold her hand from time to time in reassurance. 

Upon reaching the centre of the hall, Pim gasped, " Wow! Look!" Marpe turned around and looked at what Pim was pointing at, the wall in front of her. 

As though pierced by a thorn she screamed out loud. 

" Guys, we need to get out! Now!"

She then rushed out through the hallway out of the chateau and to the street. 

The duo followed her, running slower than she was confused as to what was going on. 

" What's up Marp. I thought all was ok. What happened?" Pim asked.

Marpe was shaking. She was trying to fan herself as she tried to catch a breath, fear unmistakable in her eyes. 

" The fresco… The fresco on the wall. The one faded out with the zigzag falling plaster on it. It was exactly like in my dream!" 

The two looked at each other and then at Marpe.

"Are you sure?" Tammy asked.

Marpe nodded. 

" But we didn't enter the house yesterday…" Tammy continued.

" Something is going on here… it definitely is. Let's go home…" Pim shot.

Marpe was leading them. 

Even at the Airbnb, she still couldn't brush the dream she had. She told it to Pam and Tammy who were reluctant to decipher its meaning. What was the wall telling her. Had the heir to the chateau met their death in the lake? 

Whatever this was, Marpe didn't want it anymore. But it seemed like the house wanted it. 

" Guys, should we go back? she asked. "I think the house wants us to know what really happened to its owner."

Young AdultShort StoryHorrorExcerptAdventure

About the Creator

Gal Mux

Lover of all things reading & writing, 🥭 &

🍍salsas, 🍓 & vanilla ice cream, MJ & Beyoncé.

Nothing you learn is ever wasted - Berry Gordy

So learn everything you can.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • Mariann Carroll11 months ago

    I love your take on the Walls Could Talk Challenge. This inspirational to look into the Roman Ruin walls and see what they would be talking about throughout history 🥰

  • Oooo, I would really love to know what happened too! I hope you write a part 2 where Marpe goes back to find out! Awesome story!

  • great feeling of disturbing dread generated here. Excellent challenge entry

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