Allison: I’ll start by apologizing for the delay. Since our last escapade in the caverns ended in Tess getting injured, our work got halted for a bit while we waited for her to recover. She was quite bitter at me and keeps telling me that somehow this is all my fault.
Tess: Was? I still am! Not only did you make me go on a trip that I didn’t want to go on in the first place because you said it would be good for me, you then decided to do something completely idiotic and put your life on the line! And, while I am grateful that you did, I’m still blaming you!
Allison: Okay, fine, I’ll admit that what I did wasn’t the smartest thing in the world to do. But the trip was still fun overall right?
Tess: If you call “fun” getting stuck underground with an angry psychopath chasing you and then getting injured then, yeah, I had a blast.
Allison: *sigh* Whatever, Mrs. Grumpy Pants. I, on the other hand, still think that trip was a blast, despite the little, slightly dangerous adventure we went on. You’re just mad because you’ve pretty much been housebound for the past two weeks.
Tess: Can you blame me? It was torture! I felt like I was on house arrest! How am I supposed to get my project done when I’m stuck in my house just sitting around while my mom and my best friend take care of me? I would have made much better progress if it wasn’t for you two holding me hostage!
Allison: You know, it wouldn’t hurt to hear a “thank you”. If it wasn’t for all of that resting, you wouldn’t have recovered nearly as fast as you did! Would you have been able to start up again today if we didn’t keep pestering you?
Allison: You would have fallen even more behind if it wasn’t for us so, I don’t want to hear it!
Allison: Anyway, while you were at home resting, sorry, “being held hostage” as you say, you’ll be happy to hear that I did a little snooping around and was able to get my hands on a little something. Something that I think a certain grumpy little Tess might find quite interesting.
Tess: Oh yeah? Go on.
Allison: So, before we left school for the summer, I had been emailing back and forth with a friend of mine and helping him edit some of the essays that he had. Poor guy can’t write to save his life, it’s actually pretty funny…
Tess: Stop talking about your imaginary boyfriend and get to the point!
Allison: First of all, he is not my boyfriend and he is definitely not imaginary so, cool it! If you would stop being a sulky little human being I would be able to finish sooner! Anyways, a couple of days ago, he had sent me an email that said that he had started interning with a production company to try to get some experience in. He’s taking classes for movie making and is really interested in the whole world of films and such so, this is something right up his alley. He said that a producer and his cast had taken him under their wing and is letting him be on the set with them until the movie is completely finished.
Tess: So, what is so interesting about that?
Allison: It’s the things that happened while he was there that are interesting. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading and I knew that you would need to read it yourself to understand what I’m talking about.
Tess: Ah, that’s why you brought the laptop. I was wondering…okay, give it here and let me have a look.
Hey there Alley,
I’m glad to hear that your summer is going well so far. Being in Los Alamos for the whole time definitely sounds like quite the adventure. I can’t wait to hear about all of the things you’ve done in that weird little town.
How’s my summer been going? Well, I finally managed to find a place to do an internship, if you can believe it. I didn’t think I was going to find anybody that would want to intern with a college kid but then, out of nowhere, I got a call from a producer who said that he was going to be filming a movie here in Santa Fe and wanted to know if I’d like to work with him. Of course, there was no way I was going to turn that down so, I agreed and we exchanged information. I was told that they were going to be starting at the beginning of the week and that I would need to make sure I was there on time. Punctuality was of the utmost importance and that I would need to take this quite seriously, so I was told. I got this news a week prior to the start of production so, I had plenty of time to get my things in order and get everything squared away.
I arrived on set the next Monday morning at a nice, early time of 6:30. Normally, the start time would have killed me but, my nerves were running pretty high at the moment and were helping to keep the exhaustion at bay. The place I arrived to took my breath away. It was located a little way outside of Santa Fe in the middle of nowhere. The set we were working with was an abandoned mansion that looked like if you just breathed wrong it would fall over. The movie we were working on was supposed to be set back in the day so, the location couldn’t have been better. It gave me chills just looking at it.
As I hopped out of my car and shouldered my backpack, I was met by a middle-aged man, I would guess he was in his 40’s, who introduced himself as Thomas Bradley. He was followed by a young woman who carried a clipboard in hand and a steaming cup of coffee in the other. I assumed she was the assistant and soon found out I was right. He told me that he was the producer and that he was glad to have me on board. Getting straight to the point, he said that his assistant would help get me settled in my camper and show me around the place. Then, in half an hour, we would get started. After snatching the coffee from the assistant and at the same time making her jump, he took off and we headed in the direction of the campers that were set up.
After getting settled and getting a tour of my new place of residence, the day officially began. Honestly, it was pretty stressful to watch. The producer was yelling at everyone who was in sight, barking orders at his poor assistant and then letting her have it when she didn’t complete her tasks fast enough. I tried to take as many notes as I could but, it was hard to process everything that was going on around me. I started to understand why Mr. Bradleys assistant was so jumpy.
When they finally called a break, I decided to take this time to do some exploring of the house. I ran it by the assistant, who said that it was fine as long as I didn’t touch anything. So, I busted out my trusty notebook and made my way inside the house. Allise, if you could have seen the inside of this house, I think you would have immediately fallen in love. It had this really old, antique feel that made you feel like you were in a museum. Everything around me was covered in a thin layer of dust and the only light that was coming in was from the sun shining through the windows. Above me was a gorgeous chandelier that the crew had set up for the film. I didn’t even want to think about how much that had cost.
I made my way to the different rooms, making little notes of the things I saw as I went along. Eventually, my curiosity and awe took over and I completely forgot about taking notes. Everything around me was so well made and it looked amazing. It made me feel like I was intruding on someone’s memories. I’ll mention one room in particular that really affected me. Once I do, you’ll understand why. I can still picture it in my mind quite clearly.
My first thought was that it could have been a nursery at one point. There was a set of three beds on the right side, that I assumed were for the children that used to be here. On the left, there was a separate area for who I assumed was the nanny who would take care of the children. All it had was a single bed and a dresser. Nothing more. What really shook me up was that as I went to leave the room, I saw a doll laying on the middle bed. I know that doesn’t sound like something that would bother a person but, what got me was that it didn’t fit in with the rest of the room. While the rest of the objects in the room had a thin layer of dust on them, the doll looked like someone had just placed it there. It looked too new to have been sitting there for years and years.
Not liking the eerie feeling that was creeping up on me, I decided that my adventuring time was done and that I needed to leave. I could also hear the sound of voices and footsteps so, the film crew was back from lunch and ready to continue.
As the rest of my day progressed, I tried to keep that room out of my head but, no matter how hard I tried, I still couldn’t help but feel a little creeped out by it. Little did I know, that was going to be the least of my worries as the week went on.
The first few days went smoothly. It took a little bit, but eventually, I started to get used to the chaos of a film set and actually started to enjoy myself. I also managed to make friends with the timid little assistant, whose name was Tanya. Having a friend helped to make the place a little more fun. Right as I started to get into a routine, which was towards the end of the week, I had another incident happen.
It was on Friday morning, right as we were getting ready to start. We were filming a scene in the living room area where our star couple would be acting out a heated argument. We were all getting ready and I was helping the producer look over the script when we heard a shriek come from down the hall. Mr. Bradley went to go look, taking me with him. When we arrived, his assistant showed us what had scared her so badly. On the door to the room we were supposed to film in, the doll I had found earlier was pinned to the door with a knife in its chest. With the doll, there was a folded up note. When Mr. Bradley unfolded it, he read it out loud. It said:
“You shouldn’t be here. Leave now while you still have a chance. We wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt, now would we?”
Me, Tanya, and the rest of the crew were quite spooked by this and suggested that we listen to whoever it was that left the note and leave. Unfortunately, Mr. Bradley didn’t have the same idea. He insisted that this was probably just a practical joke and that everything was going to be fine. I almost wanted to tell him about where I had found that doll originally but, one thing that I learned early on was that once Mr. Bradley was on a roll, nothing could stand in his way. So, I just brushed it off and we continued on our day. Thinking back on it now, I should have been more persistent about stopping. Intern or not, it wouldn’t have gotten worse if I would have just spoken up.
After that, everything seemed pretty quiet in the spooky department. Nothing out of the ordinary happened and filming continued on as scheduled. From my point of view, the film was coming together quite nicely. Sure, everyone was stressed beyond belief and always wanted to hurt the producer by the end of the day but, from what I could see, the idea that Mr. Bradley had for this was coming out exactly the way he wanted.
As I’m writing this now, thinking that everything was going smoothly was almost too good to be true. Allise, what I’m about to tell you still haunts me from time to time. Remember when I told you I have a fear of chandeliers?
We were about a month into filming when it happened. Like I said before, everything had been going pretty smoothly since our last little incident. Tanya and I had talked about it and we decided that it had to be just some kids pranking us, trying to interfere with our production. Nothing else that we came up with made any sense. Boy, were we wrong.
It happened as we were in the middle of filming a scene in the main area by the front door. Tanya and I were standing off to the side, looking over the notes that Mr. Bradley had specifically for this scene. We could hear him off in the distance, yelling at one of the sound guys for doing who knows what but we paid him no mind. All of a sudden, I heard a tiny little snip and as I glanced up, I could swear I saw someone in the shadows quickly disappear. Immediately knowing what was going to happen, I ran and tackled the actress, moving her out of the way. I didn’t even need to look behind me as I heard everyone gasp, followed by the sound of glass shattering as the chandelier crashed to the floor.
Once I got to my feet and helped the shaken actress up, I took a look at my surroundings. Where she had just been standing, there was now shattered glass everywhere. Everyone else was in too much shock to process what had happened. Mr. Bradley then came running into the room, demanding to know what had happened and who did it. Since no one could give him an answer, he immediately went after Tanya to clean up the mess and after one of the makeup artists to take care of the actress, who was now in tears.
As I went to go see if I could make myself useful and to try and steer clear of Mr. Bradley’s anger, I saw a piece of paper float down from the ceiling, landing right in the middle of the mess of broken chandelier. Stepping as carefully as I could, I made my way over and picked up the paper. Once I stepped back out of the debris, I grabbed Tanya and showed her the letter. It read:
“Ignoring my last note was a very bad mistake. I gave you your chance and now, you leave me with no choice. Starting tomorrow, if you still haven’t left with your film crew, I will pick off each of you, starting with you, Mr. Bradley. Since you are the one who ignored my previous warning, I shall punish you first. Choose wisely, my good sir.”
Without thinking twice about it, I immediately took the note to Mr. Bradley and showed it to him, telling him of my discovery earlier on. This time, seeing that there was a serious threat to his life being made, he made the right decision and called the authorities. When they arrived, they spoke to him, to the crew, and to me. After they had got done talking to everyone, they advised that Mr. Bradley shut the operation down and locate somewhere else. I knew that they didn’t believe us but, I was thankful that they were still willing to help. I could see the conflicting feelings that Mr. Bradley was having and I honestly couldn’t blame him. On the one hand, this was a movie in the works and if we moved locations then, we would have a lot of work to do with less time than we had before. On the other hand, if we stay, our lives are all on the line, starting with his.
Thankfully, he made the right decision and called it off. As everyone was getting packed up and ready to go, Tanya and I took one last look at the old house. It took me a second to see it but, in the very top left window, I saw someone standing there, watching me. I blinked a couple times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things but, when I did, he was gone. I shook my head slightly and went to go get my things to leave.
How do I feel about all of this? Honestly, I can’t imagine who would be so deranged to do something like trying to kill someone with a chandelier. What sort of secrets were they hiding in that house that they didn’t want anyone else to know about? Why didn’t they want anyone else in an abandoned old house to begin with? Whoever it was, they definitely knew how to get what they wanted, that’s for sure.
Tess: Wow, what a story!
Allison: See, I told you that you would like it!
Tess: Yeah, that’ll work nicely as an addition to the collection. Nicely done, Alleyway.