What is this page? Glad you asked. Melissa's Heart is an online interactive game (like an RPG you can read) unlike anything you have ever read. This is horror with a twist. Instead of railroading the reader into one perspective, you get to choose which character you wish to play. Yes, you can be the bad guy.

So, want to play a game?

Click the page numbers to advance. If a page number isn't clickable, it hasn't been written yet. Check back in a few days and it will likely be posted.

Warning: this story contains adult content. It is also a horror novel, so it gets graphic at times. Happy reading!

 

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Melissa's Heart

“I can’t believe Darren and Heidi are going to prom together again,” Melissa says with an over exaggerated scoff of disgust.

“I’m still amazed that slut isn’t pregnant by now,” Andre replies with a mouth full of cafeteria cheeseburger.

Melissa stares at the popular couple, her so-called friends, with more envy than anything else. Ever since the second grade, Melissa has been the nerdy girl of the group. Her parents entered her in a district wide spelling and geography bee which Melissa had the audacity to win. Had she known what it would do to her social life eight years later, she would have missed every single question on purpose.

Darren, the dreamy star of the Coventry Hills High School football team, would never give a girl like Melissa a second glance. Well, that would be the case if their families weren’t inseparable best friends. For as long as she can remember, Melissa has dreamt of falling in love with Darren. The popularity, the attention, the Friday night football games – Melissa craves the side effects of dating the school superstar almost as much as she craves his tanned body.

She turns back from her momentary trance and watches Andre spoon several mouthfuls of strawberry milkshake into his mouth. Andre, the captain of the chess team and proud winner of several county-wide hot wing eating contests, is Heidi’s stepbrother. That makes him, by default, Melissa’s only real friend.

Forced to spend countless family dinners and hundreds of other awkward activities with Darren and his cheerleader girlfriend, it just made sense for Melissa and Andre to become close. Most people at Coventry Hills think the pair are more than friends, but Melissa would do anything, anything, if it gets her closer to Darren.

“How much do you want to bet that Darren shows up drunk to prom again this year?” Melissa muses with a laugh. Last year’s prom turned into a total disaster when the administration tried to kick Darren out for drinking in the parking lot. The intoxicated football star led the principal, two assistant principals, and a rent-a-cop security guard on a wild foot chase for nearly an hour. Even drunk, that boy could run.

Andre tries to reply, but his mouth is so full of milkshake that he does little more than spray a disgusting mist of pink dessert all over the table.

“Gross,” Melissa says, referring to both Andre’s etiquette and the kiss Darren and Heidi share as they get up from the lunch table at the sound of the bell.

“Only two more classes and we can go home,” Andre chirps once he swallows his food.

“Ugh,” Melissa pretends to gag when Darren grabs a handful of Heidi’s rear as the two part ways. “We have to spend all damn weekend with those two.”

For the past three years, the weekend before prom has been utter hell for Melissa. Her family owns a cabin in the Smokey Mountains and, despite Melissa’s pleading, they insist on inviting Darren’s family every single year.

“Three days with those two lovebirds…” Melissa shakes her head and walks next to Andre to calculus class.

“Who knows,” Andre jokes and punches her in the shoulder, “maybe this year you might finally catch a glimpse of Darren skinny dipping in the hot tub.”

Oh, how wonderful a sight that would be, Melissa thinks to herself. She looks back at Andre and wonders how her life got so far off track. Damn spelling bee, she silently curses.

Melissa clears her head and takes her seat in the front row of calculus, right next to Andre. “I think I’d be more likely to get mauled by a bear.”

Andre winks and tries his hardest to look sarcastically suave and seductive. “Or maybe…” he hesitates for dramatic effect, “you might be lucky enough to catch a peek of me taking a late night dip in the hot tub wearing my birthday suit.” He smiles and bats his eyelashes.

Luckily, Melissa is so engrossed in the mental image of Darren rising up from the steamy waters of a hot tub that the visual of Andre’s two hundred and fifty pound naked frame doesn’t quite shatter her afternoon reverie.

 

*****

The car ride into the Smokey Mountains is even worse than the cafeteria. Melissa drives her family’s old station wagon along the windy roads as Andre stuffs his face full of barbeque chips in the passenger seat. Behind them, making full use of the wagon’s bench style seating, Darren and Heidi cuddle under a blanket and whisper back and forth with bursts of suppressed giggling.

Melissa’s dad works as a dispatcher for the police department and rides up every year with Darren’s family on Saturday morning. Her dad always says he can’t take a Friday night off, but Melissa knows the truth. He likes to pretend that the station wagon is Melissa’s car and not his own – a sad lie that her dad somehow thinks impresses Darren’s rich family.

As though having a muscular body so evenly tanned that it looks like a calendar photo shoot isn’t lucky enough, Darren was born into the Polcheq family. Bartholomew Polcheq, Darren’s grandfather, is a retired US senator and Amilcar Polcheq, Darren’s father, is a plastic surgeon. The Polcheq family has more vacation homes around the country than the number of times Melissa has even been on vacation.

“Hey, slow down up there,” Heidi purrs from the back seat. “These winding roads make me sick.” She is lying down across the entire seat and her feet press up against the window.

Melissa glances in the rearview mirror for a split second and presses the accelerator down a little harder as she takes the next curve. Andre nearly dumps his bag of chips all over his lap as the old station wagon careens up farther into the mountains. 

A beep from Melissa’s phone lets her know that the cell service has almost vanished. She scrolls through her phone’s list of premade text messages and sends the almost home text to her dad.

“Last spot for service,” Melissa cheerfully tells the two lovebirds in the back seat. “That means only twenty five more miles until we get to the cabin.”

“Ugh,” Heidi groans, pulling herself back into her seatbelt. “Twenty five miles? That’s like two hours!” she exclaims.

How dumb can that bitch be? Melissa thinks. “We will be there in forty five minutes, Heidi. Calm down.”

 

*****

 

The station wagon pulls up the long gravel drive an hour before dusk. The cabin, overlooking a small lake, is the nicest thing that Melissa’s family has ever owned. The land had been in the family for four generations, but the house wasn’t built until the early 90s when Melissa’s grandfather sold his tire store. Sadly, he died before the construction was ever completed.

Melissa parks the car, engages the emergency brake, and steps out to revel in the sight of the cabin – the only thing her family has that she can take pride in. The house is three stories with a big wrap-around porch that overlooks the lake. The whole thing is built from logs like a ski lodge and smells like fresh cedar and pine.

“Top floor is for the parental units, as always,” she explains with a monotone voice. The key clicks in the lock and the door swings open, revealing the open floor plan and large glass windows opposite the entryway. A fireplace sits in one corner across from a pair of couches and not a single T.V. or phone or any other electronic device can be seen.

“Darren and Andre, you get the moose room this year.” Melissa’s mom has all four of the bedrooms decorated with a different wildlife theme. “Heidi, you and I are in the bear room,” she says, trying to keep the disappointment out of her voice.

Sharing a room with Heidi for a weekend means waiting nearly two hours for the shower and being forced to listen to her talk all night about the children she plans on having with Darren.

“I’m hungry,” Andre states as he tosses his empty bag of chips into the kitchen trash can.

Melissa rolls her eyes at him. Andre is always hungry. “Let’s bring our stuff inside and then we can start the grill,” she tells him.

Heidi’s silky blonde hair whips Melissa in the face as she darts down the hallway with her Louis Vuitton suitcase. Melissa is just about to yell at her when Darren calls out from the kitchen.

“Hey, Melissa, check this out,” he shouts with a voice a smooth and rich as honey.

“What is it?” Melissa purrs, relishing her moment with Darren away from the blonde tumor that is his girlfriend.

“Weird, the back door isn’t locked.” Darren twists the handle and the door swings open freely.

“Huh,” Melissa responds. “That is weird.” She steps through the doorway onto the back deck, making sure that the side of her hand brushes gently against Darren’s leg. She takes a deep breath of the mountain air and forgets the possible implications of an unlocked door. “My parents must have forgotten to lock it the last time they were here.”

“Should we check to see if anything was stolen?” Darren asks. He steps onto the deck next to Melissa.

“Nah, there isn’t anything to steal,” except my heart, Melissa wishes she could tell him. “Fire up the grill and let’s eat.”

Melissa turns to get the cooler from the kitchen when Darren nearly makes her faint.

“Hey…” he hesitates. “Can I tell you something?”

Her heart stops. Her lungs stop. Is this when he tells me that he loves me? That he has loved me since the first day he met me? Oh no… Her mind spirals down the most pessimistic path it can take. This is where he tells me that he knows I like him and that I creep him out. He’ll tell me not to ever speak to him again.

Darren opens his mouth to reveal some deep secret, but an ear-splitting scream interrupts him. From inside the house, Heidi wails like a banshee and Darren takes off running.

“Shit,” is all Melissa can manage when she regains control of herself. She takes off after Darren.

Heidi screams and cowers in the corner of the bear room. Blood is splattered all across the walls and some of it pools on the carpet.

“What the hell happened?” Darren screams, but Heidi is too distraught to do anything but cry. Then Melissa sees what it is.

“It was just an animal fight,” she says, calmly walking to the bloody corpse of a raccoon. A few feet from the raccoon, a decapitated rattlesnake lies upside down on the carpet.

“How’d they get in?” Melissa wonders. Darren laughs as he picks his girlfriend up off the floor and comforts her.

“Check it out,” Darren says, pointing to the open window next to the bed. “They might have crawled in through there.”

“Ugh,” Melissa sighs, shutting the window, “what’s with this place? The back door was unlocked and now the window is open. We better check the rest of the house.”

“Do you think we need to tell your dad?” Darren asks over Heidi’s piercing sobs.

Melissa ponders for a moment before shaking her head. “Nah, I don’t feel like driving down the mountain just for cell service. Let’s just check out the rest of the rooms to make sure nothing else got in.”

 

*****

“Let’s get this grill started,” Andre shouts from the deck, “I’m starving.”

Melissa puts the cleaning supplies back under the sink and helps Darren carry the cooler outside. “We have steaks, burgers, and mettwurst,” she announces to the others. “Who wants what?”

“I’m a vegetarian,” Heidi scoffs like an aristocrat chastising a filthy peasant.

Melissa shakes her head and tries not to smile. “No you aren’t, Heidi. I saw you eat pizza last week at school – what do you think the little brown lumps on the pizza are, broccoli?”

“School serves sausage pizza, duh Melissa, how stupid can you be?” Heidi flips her blonde hair out of her face and leans back against the wooden railing, showing off her model-like figure.

“What is sausage made of, Heidi?” How much of a dumb blonde can she be? Melissa thinks.

Heidi brushes off the question in true aristocratic form. “How should I know what sausage is? I’m a sociology major, not a chemist.”

“You don’t pick a major in high school!” Melissa yells at her.

“Whatever,” Heidi casually responds. “I’ll take a vegetarian burger."

You have to be kidding me, Melissa thinks as she takes the meat from the cooler. “One vegetarian burger coming right up.”

 

*****

Darkness starts to fall as Melissa puts the dinner plates in the kitchen sink. A low rumbling from under her feet makes her stop and look to the sky.

“Did you feel that?” Darren calls from the deck. “Is it thunder?”

A second crescendo of rumbling vibrations rises up from beneath the house and Darren shakes his head. “What the…” he mutters as he covers the grill.

A third noise, like a great clap of thunder followed by the hissing of ruptured steam vents, shakes the house and Melissa has to brace herself against the counter.

Darren and Andre run into the kitchen from the deck. “Was it an earthquake?” Andre shouts.

“This isn’t California,” Melissa yells back at him. The hissing steam continues to build and she can feel a wave of heat rising from the floor. “Get to the basement,” she commands.

Without hesitation, the four terrified teenagers make their way to the basement door. The door creaks open on stiff hinges and a blast of hot steam hits Darren in the face.

For all of his athleticism and over the top machismo, Darren is plainly terrified. Another burst of hot steam travels up the stairwell and Darren has to shield his eyes.

“A pipe must have broken,” Melissa wonders aloud. The wooden staircase beneath her feet shakes and the railing begins to splinter.

Darren reaches the landing at the bottom of the stairs and steals a split second glance around the wall.

“The fuck-” he gasps, falling back against the staircase. A chunk of paint curls and falls from the wall. The heat is unbearable.

Melissa turns the corner and her face goes pale. Another rumble splits one of the wooden stairs underneath Andre’s weight and he collapses to the ground in a heap of screams.

A gout of flame spews from a massive fissure in the basement floor and knocks the group back. Everything is bathed in violent shades of red and orange and yellow. Melissa shields her eyes against the blaze and sees what made Darren faint.

A skeletal hand reaches up through the flames and grabs hold of the concrete flooring. It grips and flexes, pulling its body up from the fissure. The unholy skeleton climbs out and stands in front of the glowing chasm, bellowing a hideous scream through its bony maw.

“Melissa…” Heidi sobs. “Your basement is a portal to hell!”

 

What will you do?

(Click a page number to continue to that page) 

To continue as Melissa, turn to page 37.

To continue as Andre, turn to page 28.

To continue as Blascronoret, Warlord of Hell and Herald of the Dark One’s Coming, turn to page 666.