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The hot summer day made packing and unpacking boxes even worse. Alice’s sweating forehead could have made up an ocean. Alice Devont, her little sister Emily, her older sister, Ashley, her mom, and her dad had just moved into a new house. The new home was on 21 Jackstraw Path. “Mommy,” Emily began. “Why is there only one other house around?” Mrs. Devont looked around to think of an answer that would satisfy her young daughter “Because they didn’t want to hurt the trees.” She lied. The real reason was that the builders discovered that the ground was haunted. They had already built two houses when they were so freaked out, every builder quit. But at least they were able to sell the two houses to non-believers. The previous owners became believers, and put their house on the market. The kids had never been in the house before, and taking a break from the heat to go inside would be a great way to explore their new Rhode Island home. “Mom,” Alice asked. “Can I go inside? I feel like I’m about to faint.” Mrs. Devont sighed and said “Sure. Why don’t we all go in and take a break and have a look inside.”
The three girls walked through the large front door with amazement. “Wow. This place is huge.” Ashley spoke in astonishment starring at the highly detailed ceiling. “It’s gigantico!!” Little 5-year old Emily declared. “First one up stairs gets the bigger bed room!” Alice shouted, and the race was on. Mr. and Mrs. Devont just laughed and fallowed their kids up the stairs. Ashley pushed and shoved to get to the top of the long, twisting stair case. She got to the top first. Coming in at a close second was Alice, and last was Emily. “No fair!” Emily shouted. When Mr. Devont reached the top of the stairs, he reassured Emily that even though she may have gotten the smallest room, all the rooms were really big. Ashley was poking around from room to room to decide which room was larger. “Ok. We should just shove everything in the garage for now and go back to the hotel.” Mr. Devont said.
About five days after, everything was put where it belongs. Sure there were a few boxes of trinkets lying around, but at least all of the main furniture was placed in their proper room. “Dad,” Alice called. Mr. Devont trotted down the large, spiraling stair case. “What’s up kiddo?" “Can I go take a walk in the woods?”Alice asked. Mr. Devont thought for a moment. “Sure. We could all go. Just the five of us, it’d be fun.” He answered, knowing that that was the wrong answer. Emily, Ashley, and Mrs. Devont all came down the stairs when they heard that they were going somewhere. “Where are we going?” asked Ashley. “Alice thought we could all go take a walk in the woods.” He turned his head to Alice as he spoke. “Actually, dad I’m not feeling so good. Can I just stay home?” Alice asked, clutching her stomach. “Fine, but next time your coming even if you’re puking your guts out,” He stated firmly. “Eeewwwweee.” Emily couldn’t even imagine her tough, 13-year old sister throwing up.
“Ok, we’re leaving. We’ll be gone for about an hour. The dog is coming with us.” Mrs. Devont said, and then closed the door. She never liked Botis Alice thought after they left. Alice ran to the window to see if they had left yet. YES!! Alice thought. She unlocked the front door, and headed to the closest house within miles. The house was much smaller then hers. She rang the doorbell. An old man came up to the door. “Well hello miss. Are you here to sell me some Girl Scout cookies?” He asked. “No. I’m Alice Devont, the new people. I was wondering if you could tell me about some of the things that have happened around here.” He smiled. “I’m Teddy Ritzma, nice to meet you. Come inside and I’ll tell you some stories.” Alice was captivated by the stories about King Lusha, and his evil army of Smuffs. The stories told that the Smuffs would sneak about, looking around for human flesh for their king to feed on. “Yea right.” Alice huffed. Teddy ignored her comment, and continued. The Smuffs will one by one capture and kill ones that non- believers loved. “Ok, I guess it’s time for me to go. Can I come by sometimes and listen to more stories?” Alice asked. “Sure, why not? Come by anytime.” He answered.
While Alice waited for her family to get back, she drew pictures of King Lusha and the Smuffs. The Smuffs were bare and brown-skinned with a big head, big ears, and bulging blue eyes. These creatures stood only about two feet tall. King Lusha was as pale as pale could be. He was a good seven feet tall with a large, black robe. He had a few long, grey strands of hair. The door opened and Botis ran through the door. Alice held her palm high above the ground and she waited for his golden fur back to run underneath her hand. Alice looked back at her drawings. There was just one thing in Alice’s mind that didn’t make sense. She had always done terrible art and just could never think of anything to draw. Why did she somehow feel she knew who these people were?
That night, the worst sleep overcame her. Alice was taking a walk in the woods. In this dream, she saw King Lusha and the Smuffs standing over a white sheet with something under it. A thin, wrinkly, boney arm popped out from under the blanket. But there was also something wrong with the setting. Around her, the trees were a glowing auburn with lush, green leaves. But where King Lusha was, the trees were almost a grey with not a single leaf. The trees had jagged and rough braches, many of which had fallen to the ground. They removed the sheet and revealed a long, black box. Alice crept up closer until she could see what was in the box. What Alice saw shocked her. Mr. Ritzma was in it. The Smuffs were too short to see over, and Alice was behind King Lusha. He bent down and made some weird slurping noise. Suddenly, it stopped. King Lusha stood up and turned around. Alice’s heart was thumping, her body was sweating. “BOO!” She sat up and screamed. She looked around her. She was back in her room, sweating like a hog. She heard ridiculous laughter. Sitting on her bed, Alice found Emily, laughing her head off. “Man, I wish I had a video camera with me!” Alice got up, shoved Emily out of her room, and went back to bed.
That night, Alice heard a voice taunting her. It told her she missed something she would regret for the rest of her life. Alice heard a crippled voice yelling, “NNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!” She sat up in her bed, trying to catch her breath.
The next day, she wanted to hear another story from Teddy. She walked to the house, rang the doorbell and waited a minute. No answer. She rang again. “Mr. Ritzma, are you here? Hello?” By this point, Alice had lost her patience. She turned the handle. The door was unlocked. She walked inside and immediately smelled something terrible. She looked around with Botis by her side. He wasn’t there. She decided to walk in the woods since she had nothing else to do.
Alice and Botis were having an awesome time, until Alice saw a part of the woods where the trees were grey and the braches were rough and jagged. She saw the same white sheet with the same boney hand. Alice walked toward the sheet slowly and carefully. She quickly pulled back the sheet. Like her dream, there lay Teddy Ritzma. Dead.
She crept up the basement stair, knowing she would be in huge trouble if her parents found out she left the house. Thankfully, she got home before Emily got home soccer, Ashley got home from getting her nails done, and her parents from picking out new furniture.
“Who shall we get next, master?” A muffling voice croaked. “Emily.”
The next night, Alice had the same dream she had before Teddy died. Except this time, Emily was in the coffin. Alice’s eyes popped open. She ran over to Emily’s room before it was too late. She was gone. Alice ran down the stairs, walked out the door, and headed trait to the deep dark forest. She didn’t even care that it was 1:30 A.M. She saw the coffin with Emily in it. She scooped up Emily in her arms. Alice felt Emily’s heart beating. She was alive. “Alright King Lusha, I know you exist. I believe all of it. Just leave me alone.” Alice declared. She turned and walked home with her sister.