Satan’s Hand

Another old one, done as part of a school project.I approached the manor cautiously, and slowly thought through what I was going to say.
The weather was awful, and there was no other shelter on this bland moor. I walked up to the door and pull the chain to the bell above me in the porch. As I waited for an answer I looked around the courtyard I was in. The high walls were old stones, and the floor chipped flagstones. It didn’t look like it was looked after very well. Finally the door opened with an uneasy creak. A small, bald man, in pure black robes had answered it.

“Hello,” He said, “Are you here for the meeting?”
I replied, “No, but I was wondering if I could get some shelter?”
The small, ugly man told me that the meeting was very important, and that I was interrupting the procedures, but that he could see I was a traveller in need, and he had a spare room in the tower I had seen as I approached the mansion. I thanked him, and he opened the door wider, so I could see the dark, grimy walls and the steep, stone steps. He told me that he was busy, and directed me to my room. He asked if I wanted food brought up later, but I refused- all I needed was a bed to sleep in. As I passed the heavy black door I heard voices in a heated debate- I thought I heard something about Tammyd, the town recently hit by an army of creatures seemingly from hell, but I told myself I was being silly. As I started up the long spiral staircase I felt glad I had found a place where I could stay, safe from the wolves and
the weather outside. I put my bag down on the floor, and collapsed on the bed. Later that night I was woken by the sound of footsteps outside. Two people came up, paused outside the door, and started whispering to each other franticly. They seemed to be having an argument.

One of them hissed, “I don’t understand why you’re so against it. It’s a simple experiment. We
are the Hand, this is what we do!”
The other argued, “A simple experiment that will lead to death! We might be the Hand, but that doesn’t give us the right to torture innocent people!”
Torture? I sat bolt upright in my bed, and looked around the room. There was only one door, and they were standing outside it. There was a small arched window, but outside was a long drop, not one I’d survive. I wondered what they meant about the hand, so I decided to listen more.
“Our organization was put together for this purpose!” The first one said. By now they’d stopped whispering. The other replied, “So what? I’m not letting you go in there! There is no need to harm innocents!” I finally recognized the voice as the man who’d let me in. At least someone was on my side.
“What about Tammyd? We killed plenty of innocents then. You helped.”
“Tammyd was commissioned. This, this is your hobby!”
This was shouted. Commissioned? They were assassins! I gasped as I came to that realisation.
There was suddenly silence. Then, the first one said in a whisper “Your traveller is awake. We have to kill!”
“No, I won’t let you! Peril, you may be the boss, but Satan’s Hand makes group decisions! We are a group of assassins!”
I heard a thud, and the door slowly creaked open…


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