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by Katerina Charisi
2016-10-23 11:59:31
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Noises woke me up. A strange movement downstairs. I slipped out of bed and felt the coldness of the wooden floor. There was a dim light coming from the small opening of the door in our room but I remember we had closed it. I whispered to Michael but he didn’t move at all. The light flickered and went off. It was still dark outside and I could barely see. The moonlight hid behind fast moving clouds and came out again. I hated wandering in the darkness in this house, but I couldn’t help it this time. I walked to the door and opened it wide and checked the narrow hallway. Marianne and Bradford’s door was closed. I saw the closed doors of the kitchen in the back and the bathroom on the other side but then I heard the weird sound from downstairs and I decided to go down.

emily00001_400The moonlight came through the small windows and at least I could see where I was going. The sound went louder as I took the steps, it was like a crawl or something like that. I froze as I saw a dark shape moving along the floor, dragging something. The moment I took another step the wood creaked and the shadow stopped and darkness filled the house. I held my breath and a strange heat flew threw my fingertips to the top of my head and felt my face flashing red, veins bouncing inside, thinking my heartbeat was so loud that covered even the large clock on the wall.

I heard that crawling sound again and when the dim moonlight came through the windows, I felt the calmness of silence. Whatever it was, it was gone. I stood for a while not knowing what to do, then I took another step and another until I got downstairs. I went straight to the door and opened it and I found Jacob sitting on a chair on the porch, with his jacket on and slippers on his feet, smoking. I still couldn’t control my heartbeat. He turned his head. He looked pale and exhausted.

“What are you doing up so late, girl?” His voice was ...cold.

“I... hmm… something woke me up. I thought I saw... Never mind. Are you feeling ok? You don’t look well.”

He dropped the butt and stomped it with his foot. “I’m fine. Go to sleep.”

He looked away and I knew there was nothing else to say.

“Ok. I go now...” I said and stepped back inside and closed the door. I blinked a few times to get used to darkness and went to the stairs. My feet felt numb from the cold. I started climbing the stairs and I heard the same sound again, right next to me, to the side of the stairs, in the hallway leading to the rooms in the back. I just wanted to run upstairs and shut the door and close my eyes and leave this place. The day I was looking outside the car’s window as Michael drove the car bringing me up here, flashed in my mind. I held the handrail to my right and looked down and I found Emily lying on her back, her clothes wet, her white dress torn and dirty in mud, one foot bare, her hair sticking on her face, looking at me with glass, dead eyes. “Remember what they did”, she said and a black, stinking water ran from her open mouth. I shut my eyes and screamed.

I screamed and I felt hands on my shoulders shaking me and I screamed again, louder this time, though I didn’t know if there is any louder when you scream with all your strength. A distant voice dragged me out of my panic and when I opened my eyes I saw Michael’s scared face. I grabbed him and then saw Frances standing on the door, then Marianne and Bradford and I even heard Cornelia’s broken voice from downstairs. “Is it everything ok?” she asked.

“It’s ok, Jenny. I’m here. It was only a dream.

I wanted to say something, anything; but I shook so hard that I only rest my head on Michael’s chest and cried.


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