It was a dark and rainy night, no literally, it was, they were touting it the worst storm this century, regardless of what it was, it meant there was no going out and no one coming to visit. Kelly opened up her textbook and decided to get some studying in before bed. The kids were at their Dads for the weekend and she had two days of promise ahead of her but this first night was turning out to be a bust.
Her girlfriend had already called to cancel their wine and scary movie night because the buses weren’t running due to flooding, so she decided to make the best of a bad situation by forging ahead with her studies. She was working on a business degree to hopefully get a promotion at work since her mortgage wasn’t getting any cheaper and with the kids getting older, even with their Dads support payments, she was feeling the pinch here in her small suburban neighborhood.
She wrapped a blanket around her shoulders to keep out the damp chill in the air, curled up on the couch, textbook in her lap, television muted and….”I want tea. Oh, this would be so much better with a warm tea to sip on.” She busied herself unwrapping and detangling from her cocoon, both textbook and tv converter flying across the couch. “Grrrr.” She snatched the converter just before it slipped from the couch.
There was a loud thump at the front of the house and she froze. It sounded like something had hit the front door. She padded down the hallway to peek out the side window – nothing. She peered through the peep hole, again, nothing. She strained to make out the detail in the convex edges of the peep hole view. Nothing. Well, maybe something lying just at the end of the front walk, small, maybe the newspaper? The rain, darkness and warped view from the peephole made it too difficult to determine. She tried to remember if she’d picked up a paper when she’d come home earlier. She shrugged. It was dark and not likely the paper boy would be out in this storm, it had to be something else.
She turned away from the door but as she took her first step, it came again. Whhhhhump! So loud she nearly jumped out of her skin. Instinctively she covered her head and jumped away from the door opening. In shock she stared at the red metal door. “There is NOTHING on the other side of that damned door! I just looked!” She placed her eye again to the peephole. The porch light was on now. She could see a line on the stoop where the rain was dancing with the wind. At the edge of the view, that same little lump was still there on the walkway. The heavy metal chairs were still in their place and nothing seemed awry. She was baffled.
Even though she saw it happening, she still sucked in her breath and pulled back from the door as the topiary beside the door that she’d tied to the chair, tipped in it’s pot and tethered, smashed against the door, bouncing backward, only to roll into it’s upright position again. The wind was making a mockery of her attempts to secure it. She flung the door open, grasping the small tree by it’s bare trunk, she quickly loosened the tie and dragged the tree and pot into the house. She slammed the door shut, leaned against it and laughing, admonished the little tree, “You had me scared outta my mind, tree!” She pressed her hand over her heart, “Now, you get to stay in here for the night, safe and sound, okay?”In her head she imagined the little tree saying, “Thank you.” in a squeaky little kid voice.
Kelly made her way back toward the kitchen and plugged in the electric kettle; time for that tea she’d imagined herself curled up with. She busied herself picking out a mug, because, you know, you just have to have the right mug to set the mood. A soft thud sounded from the front hallway. She paused, listened and didn’t hear anything more so she went to peer down the hall. There was the little tree lying on it’s side, soil spilling onto the wooden floor. “What the hell?” she thought. The door to the laundry room was slightly ajar. A chill ran down her spine and she chastised herself, “Oh come on woman, life isn’t a scary movie!” She moved toward the little tree, pushing the laundry room door shut as she passed. “Dammit tree, how in hell do you flip over and dirty my floor!?” She didn’t bother to flick on the overhead light, there was enough illumination from the livingroom lamp for her to see the mess. She righted the tree and made sure it was sitting flat. “Ugggh, I’m gonna need my broom and dustpan. Now you just stay put and don’t go running around my house tracking dirt everywhere!” She stood and made her way back toward the pantry just off the kitchen. She giggled at the image of the little tree hopping down the hallway in it’s pot, trailing black soil behind it. Her hand paused over the bottle of red wine and she thought, “Hmmmm, maybe this would go better with studying….”
Another soft thump from the front hall.
Her head snapped around. “What the fuck!?” She grabbed the broom and went to look down the darkened hallway again. The door to the laundry room was open, further ajar this time but the little tree was still standing in it’s pot right where she’d left it. The chill crept up her spine again. An eerie thought crossed her mind, “Someone’s in the house.” Outside the wind howled.
She stood for what seemed like ten whole minutes trying to decide whether to grab the phone or just go shut the door again. Her logical mind was fighting with her stronger irrational fears. She put her mental foot down, “Okay, enough, it’s just the wind, maybe coming in from the window in the laundry room or the garage. There is no such thing as a boogey man, sheesh, woman get a hold of yourself!”
She stomped into the dimly lit hallway, dragging her broom with her and flung the laundry room door fully open. “Blahhhh!” She shouted in jest. Her eyes were met with blackness. She couldn’t make out anything. As they adjusted by the dim light through the window, she swore she could see a large shadow in the corner. She squinted and leaned forward, reaching out for the light switch. Just then she caught movement. Her hand froze. Something was in the house! Oh My God! Something was there, Right There In The Corner!
She pulled her hand back and reached to slam the door but there was a sudden flurry of movement. The light of the window was now drowned out. She felt more than saw something large moving toward her. She couldn’t make it out. A large dark and imposing shadow loomed over her. She felt cold. She couldn’t breathe to scream. Her face felt numb with terror. She leaned backward as the figure seemed to rush over her and dissolve up the stairwell into the house.
Her body was covered in goose bumps. Her heart was beating out of her chest. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know if what she’d seen was real. “Of course it was real! You saw it!” her mind screamed. She closed the laundry room door in a haze of shock and made her way toward the stairwell staring up into the darkness. Her logical mind took hold of her then, “Ugggh, don’t go up the stairs stupid! Get help! Get out of here! Call someone!”
She ran toward the portable phone on the table in the livingroom and punched the speed dial for her friend Karen,
“Karen! Oh Thank God! Something’s happened! Maybe I’m crazy or just scared, I saw something, Karen!”
“Hun? Kell? Oh my God, Kell, take a breath. What? What’s going on? Is it the kids? Is it Don?”
“No! No! I’m here. They’re okay, at least I think they are, but geez, Kare, I think somethings in the house!”
“What!? Oh my God, Kell, call the cops! Get out of there! Is it a person!?”
Kelly whined into the phone trying to hold onto her sanity but sinking quickly toward hysteria, “It was dark! I don’t know! I don’t know! It’s upstairs!”
“Jesus Kell, I’m coming over, I’ll call Greg, we’ll come get you hun, okay? Call the cops. For Christ’s sake get out of that house!”
A piercing scream shattered through the house.
“Oh my God, Kelly!!!??? What!! Tell me you’re okay!”
Kelly was now lost in shock staring at the dark stairwell, it was her daughter screaming. It didn’t make any sense but she knew that scream and it was coming from upstairs. She screamed into the phone, “Nooooo! Sasha!? He’s got Sasha!!!!!”
Lost in her own panic her friend Karen screamed back, “I’m calling the cops!!! Who is it? Is it Don? Kelly!?”
Her feet were moving before she realized it. With the phone still pressed to her ear, Kelly reached for the banister. Another scream filled the house, “Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, Mommeeeeeeeeee!”
“No!! No!! My Baby! No!! You leave her alone!!!” She began running up the stairs into the darkness.
Karen heard a loud thump on the other end of the line, then a crashing noise.
“Kelly!!! Get out of the house! The cops are coming! Kelly!!!? Answer me!”
The phone rattled down the staircase landing on the final stair.
*** I figured since it is Halloween this week, I’d give you a good old fashioned horror story. This is one of the horror topics I’m most partial too, the good old fashioned evil ghost type story. As a person who used to prefer Halloween over Christmas, having come face to face with true horror had turned me away from the genre but I’m learning now that some aspects of it can still be tolerable for me – in the light of day, at least. I hope you enjoyed this.***