“Disappearance of the hospital director and patients. An anonymous letter claims that there are bodies left in the hospital.”
“A changing bloody message, moaning from a closed room, who opened the locked doors at midnight?”
“What have they seen to cause them to go crazy in one night? Who is the patient, and who is the doctor?”
“Screaming, cutting, sewing, the twisting of human nature, the hospital where the sun will never rise.”
Liu Dao only glanced at the headlines, but his heart started to race, and his breathing became uneven. “Are you sure about this?”
Before he arrived, he had worried about Chen Ge rejecting him due to salary or location safety, so he had prepared many different proposals. He had come up with many different negotiation tactics, but after talking to Chen Ge, he realized that things were already out of his control from the beginning.
The Haunted House boss not only did not worry about safety but also complained about their locations being too fake. He even had selected an abandoned hospital that sounded creepy from the internet searches alone!
Is this person insane? Liu Dao grumbled internally as the smile froze on his face. “Mr. Chen, the people from our studio might not be brave enough to enter the location that you selected. If you think the script is not suitable, we can still edit it.”
“It’s alright.” Chen Ge waved him off.
“Thank you for your understanding, shall we discuss the script?”
“I don’t need people to follow me; I can enter it alone.”
“Have you misunderstood me‽” Liu Dao was covered in cold sweat. He formed his thoughts clearly before asking, “Do you really plan to livestream at this type of location alone at midnight?”
“Is there a problem?”
Looking at Chen Ge, Liu Dao felt like the proposals that he had spent days and nights preparing had all gone to waste. “No, of course not. Please take a look at the contract; if there’s any request, do name them.”
He pulled out a temporary contract from the suitcase. Chen Ge skimmed through it. The contract was lax. This was their first cooperation, so it was just a trial, testing the waters. Chen Ge needed to promote Liu Dao’s studio in his livestream room, and in return, they would fight for more recommendations and exposure from the platform.
“I’ve seen all of your livestreams; the content is perfect, but the equipment is not that professional.” Liu Dao opened the black suitcase again when Chen Ge was reading the contract. He placed it between them. “This is the livestreaming equipment that we can lend you, namely a GoPro carry-on waterproof camera—it is normally used for shooting extreme sports like air-gliding or deep-water diving. This beside it is the anti-slip chest bracket camera and arm camera. Then, these are wireless earphones. When you’re ready for the livestream, we will have professionals help you retransmit the footage, and you can look at the livestream through your own cellphone.”
Liu Dao introduced the items in the suitcase one by one. “I suggest you go and familiarize yourself with the equipment as soon as you can. Qin Guang’s next livestream has not been announced yet, but it will definitely be within the next three days. We will set our livestream at the same time as him, and the result will be fully dependent on this crossfire.”
After all, this was going to be a battle with the most popular host on the platform, and Liu Dao had no confidence that they would win, so the contract he provided was temporary. It would be void after this first livestream. Avoiding risk was the nature of a business—Chen Ge understood that. After signing the contract, Chen Ge accepted the suitcase from Liu Dao.
“When I confirm Qin Guang’s livestream schedule, I’ll contact you. Hopefully you’ll be ready then.” Liu Dao extended his hand toward Chen Ge. “Happy cooperation, and be careful.”
After sending Liu Dao off, Chen Ge walked to the staff breakroom with the suitcase before returning to the front door to sell tickets. The sky suddenly started to darken, and at around 2 pm, it started to rain.
The rain chased away the few visitors the park had. Looking at the deserted New Century Park, Chen Ge did not feel so good. The number of visitors who came to the Haunted House was slowly increasing, but the overall number of park visitor was dropping. If New Century Park was forced to close, his Haunted House would be affected as well.
“The number of scenarios is not enough to use the Haunted House to support the entire Haunted House.” Currently, New Century Park was still surviving because there was no competition in Jiujiang, but after the new park was built, the visitors would abandon New Century Park.
“Boss, what’s on your mind?” Xu Wan came out with umbrella and stood beside Chen Ge.
“Nothing really.” Chen Ge turned to look at Xu Wan. “Thank you for your work today; you can go home now. I need to go to the workshop to finish off the mannequins anyway.”
After cleaning the place, Chen Ge locked the Haunted House and walked to the mannequin workshop. Before he reached the workshop, Chen Ge could see that Boss Qian was squatting by the roadside talking to the hawker stall cook.
“Why are you standing outside?”
Boss Qian saw that it was Chen Ge and stood up with some difficulty. “Brother, have you considered the high-end doll offer? I have a feeling you’ll lead a revolution in the industry.”
“Not interested.” Chen Ge entered the workshop to focus on his work.
“Just think about it. You could be the next king of adult sex dolls!”
All the mannequins were done by 9:30 pm. The twenty-four headless mannequins stood in the workshop, creating a harrowing scene.
“They’re so realistic; it’s like art.”
“I’ll leave them for the night, and I’ll come to take them tomorrow morning.” Chen Ge patted Boss Qian on his shoulder. “Watch only from afar, and please don’t touch them.”
After a few more words, Chen Ge left with his umbrella. He came out from the workshop, and the rain was still pouring.
How am I supposed to drag twenty-four mannequins to the park? I should call Uncle Xu for help tomorrow. He opened the umbrella and walked down the street. The shops on both sides of the road were packing up their stuff. Several shop owners were calling their children home, and they were planning to close already.
Chen Ge did not notice it until he passed a small alleyway, and he heard a child crying. He turned to look and saw several young boys tossing rocks and empty bottles toward a specific corner. One of the boys had scratched his finger, and as he cried, he picked up debris from the ground to toss it in the corner.
The boss of the lottery ticket shop next door came out to yell, “Jia Ming, Jia Bao, stop playing; it’s time to go home.”
“Dad, little brother was scratched by a stray cat!” one of the boys screamed.
“Scratched by a cat? Let me see!” The man rushed into the alley. After some hesitation, Chen Ge followed. When the man saw the wound on his boy’s finger, he hugged the crying boy and kept consoling him. When he saw his father, the boy cried even louder.
“Don’t cry, Daddy will help you take revenge. Is it this cat that scratched you?” He picked up a nearby brick and tossed it at the poor creature. The brick landed on flesh, and a whimper could be heard.
Chen Ge used his calf to block the brick. He stood in the middle of the alley looking at a broken paper box left in the corner. Inside the box was a white cat whose body was covered with bleeding wounds. The cat was fierce; its claws and teeth showing. Even though blood was flowing down its head, it still refused to leave the paper box.
“Why won’t it run away?” Chen Ge took one step forward and saw that there were four kittens inside the box, but all of them were no longer breathing. The chaos created by the boys littered the area around the box. However, inside the paper box was clean.
“What’s the matter with you?” The man grabbed a broom and pushed Chen Ge aside. “Move it!”
His calf was still hurting. When the man pushed him, it felt like something had come over Chen Ge. He grabbed the man’s arm and toppled him over. With his hand on the man’s head, he pressed his face into the muddy ground. His pupils narrowed to become incredibly scary; it felt like it was a gaze from beyond the grave.
Yin Yang Vision!
The man tried to struggle initially, but when he saw Chen Ge’s face, a chill covered his entire body; even his teeth were chattering.
“Chill, we can talk this out.” The man tossed the broom aside. With his face pressed into the ground, he said in a shaking voice, “There are surveillance cameras all over the area. A stray cat is not worth it. I’ll leave immediately.”
Chen Ge released his grip on the man as his gaze slowly returned to normal.
“Jia Ming, Jai Bao.” The man jogged off in a hurry, and the boys quickly followed after him.
Peace returned to the back alley. Chen Ge glanced at the broken paper box in the corner. He was about to walk closer when the injured white car arced its body and lowered its ears. Its eyes narrowed into slits as if it was about to attack.
It was afraid and cautious of any living humans.
Chen Ge slowly bent down. He did not do anything that might make the cat feel threatened. Instead, he opened the umbrella and placed it over the paper box.