On a sunny day, on a grassy hill, at the end of a peaceful village there stood a house. The house had a flowery garden at the back and a gravel path leading to the front door.
A young couple, Amy and Derek were moving into the house with their baby daughter Olivia. As Derek spent time taking boxes from the mover’s van to the house Amy sat with Olivia, excitement beaming from her smile as she was ready to move into her first house. Not rented, not let out, it was hers. Bought with a mortgage and a deed in her name. Nothing could ruin her day.
When the pair decided to explore the house properly, seeing what lay behind every door they found one door that would not open. Derek being the heavy set, well built man that he was tried to break it down, but his attempts proved futile. Fruitlessly smashing his shoulder against the door caused Derek a great deal of pain, undeterred he kept on hitting that door. Amy knew that he had a do or die attitude to everything he did, she did the only thing she could think of to stop him, she handed him the baby.
Annoyed but uninjured Derek took his child to the playroom he had set up for her while Amy started cooking their midday meal. As the day went on Derek calmed down and life went on the way it usually did albeit in a new house with the excitement that went with that.
The unopened door was forgotten about.
The next day was fairly normal too, bright, sunny and generally cheerful all round. Amy had decided that she didn’t like the colour of the living room walls, so Derek had taken a stroll into the village to find some paint.
The locals were friendly and welcoming, giving him directions and offering advice. A little old lady approached him, she asked if he was the one moving into the house on the hill.
Since he was getting along with everyone so well he offered an invitation to any who would come to be at his house, bring a bottle by eight that night.
Looks of uncertainty briefly crossed the faces of each of the people he had spoken to before one by one they politely declined his kind offer and the small crowd that had gathered around him quickly dispersed.
One person remained. The old woman. She told him how that house, his house was a source of tragedy for the village. From when the village was first established and a tyrannical leader had bullied the people to countless years of people that went into the house having themselves or loved ones suddenly die or go missing. She even told the tale of how one occupant had gone crazy, set her hair on fire and nearly managed to burn down the entire village.
Troubled by the words of the old woman Derek bought some paint, went back to the house and retold all the woman’s stories so Amy could hear. She assured him it was nothing to worry about as he left her to do the painting.
Derek had other plans, he was going to get past the door. He hadn’t forgotten about it. When he bought the paint, he had also bought a sledgehammer. If he couldn’t smash it down, then he could at least try to sash it in instead. Heaving the hammer back with all his might he swung bringing all the force he could down on the centre of the door. The hammer just bounced off without leaving a mark on the time-toughened wood. He tried again. He tried repeatedly until he fell over from exhaustion, not realising that the hammer was as pointless as when he’d used his shoulder.
Hearing the clatter of Derek falling over Amy rushed in to see if he was alright, leaving baby Olivia on the living room floor. As soon as she saw Derek she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and poured some into his mouth while shaking him back to consciousness. Once he was on his feet again Derek supped more water then raided the biscuit tin. The couple then went back to see to their child.
Olivia was gone. They searched everywhere for her, but she was gone. All the doors and windows were and had been shut so there was no way she could have got out plus Amy would have heard if anyone had come in and taken her. They did what anyone would have done in their situation, they called the police.
The old woman’s words haunted Derek as he tossed and turned in bed. What if it was the house? What if it was a source of tragedy? What if they had made a grave mistake moving there?
He looked at the clock on his bedside table, four zeros, midnight. He knew he couldn’t settle so he decided to go get a drink. Slipping his dressing gown on he crept down the stairs, into the kitchen where he discovered that Amy couldn’t sleep either. She was sat on the kitchen surface guzzling wine from the bottle. He could see the tears flooding down her face. He tried to comfort her.
Holding hands, the pair made their way from the kitchen to the bottom of the stairs. As they started heading up they heard an ominous creaking sound. Turning around they discovered that the unbreakable door had swung open on its own. In the darkness of night, the dim glow of light coming from beyond the threshold proved an eerie sight.
Cautiously stepping towards, the light they entered the room. From where they stood descending a spiral staircase was the only way onwards.
Continuing down they found that the glow was candle light. Candles went out as they neared them meaning the only light to see by was still just a dim glow.
Upon reaching the bottom they were met with another door, this one grey and metallic looking. It was the door to a bunker hidden in the hill. It was another door that opened seemingly of its own accord. They entered.
The candles in this room burned bright enough to see by. The walls were lined with shelves stacked with baby dolls, similar dolls hung by nooses dangled from the ceiling. Derek felt something crumple under his foot, looking down he saw that the dolls were scattered across the floor too.
Olivia lay on an altar in the centre of the doll infested room, unmoving. Neither Derek nor Amy could understand. They just wept for their child.
Elsewhere in the village, the little old woman sat in her own home in a rocking chair. She looked at her son the local constable and softly said “The ritual is complete.”