January 23, 2008
By Michele Hoogmoed, Pompton Plains, NJ

It was a dark and stormy night, and behind the curtain stood Shelah. Shelah lurked behind the raspberry colored curtains like an eagle stalking its prey. Her eyes peered out on the night sky and shivers ran down her spine, her paranoia suddenly came across her mind she felt- no she was being watched. Shelah was a junior at Burgundy High, her and her best friend Riley decided on their Friday night to baby sit the Gullen kids, it was an easy job because they were all real young so Shelah didn’t really have to watch them all that much. But when Shelah arrived at the Gullen’s house with only a note on the door and a new message in her phone she felt as if everything could go wrong, in that moment a strike of lightening busted from the black holes in the sky. Shelah grabbed the note and slammed the big front door behind her. As she put away her soaked coat she started to read the note that was left for her she heard another beep on her phone, low battery, she thought. Quickly she read the note aloud mumbling most of the runny letters written in perfect cursive. It read a little bit like, “Dear Shelah, sorry we had to leave so early but we needed to catch our cab. So we left a list of contacts-“ At that time Shelah’s phone beeped once more signaling that it was just about to die. Shelah dropped the letter and ran to her mobile phone, picked it up and listened to her voicemail. It was Riley, she was babbling on and on about how she’s so sorry she had to bail out on our baby sitting time because Tom, her boyfriend, had called her up and he wanted to take her out on a romantic dinner date, blah blah blah. Aggravated Shelah hung up her phone and walked back to the letter she threw on the floor. “Dear Shelah…So we left a list of contacts. They’re in the kitchen posted on the refrigerator. Please feel free to call if you need anything. The house is all yours. We’ll be home real late so don’t worry if you fall asleep. We already got the guest room prepared for you. Just remember one thing our house is real far from civilization and the thunder scares the children so keep a baby monitor with you at all times and check up on them a lot. Thanks, Mrs. Gullen…P.S.- the phones don’t work.” And at that time Shelah heard the last of her mobile phone shutting down for the rest of the night. Lightening struck. A couple hours had gone by and Shelah had fallen asleep on the couch. Awoken by the crash of glass braking Shelah popped her eyes open and sat straight up. Shaking with every part of her body she arose from the couch and went into the dining chamber to see what had happened. She peered from the door only her head sticking out and saw shattered glass with blood all over the floor, and the maid lying down on top of the shattered bloody mess. Her head split open and blood pouring from the gauge. Shelah dropped the fire poker she was holding and was speechless. Shelah couldn’t manage to bring out a cry from her dry throat. All shelah could think now was to get out of the house with the children and walk a couple miles until she could find people. Shelah ran across the dim lit hall and through the family room and up the stars until she came to the hallway with the babies’ room slowly she walked towards the door. Shelah approached the door and when she touched the knob the lights darkened, black out, slowly she turned the handle and opened the door creek by creek. The door opened and… Shelah screamed than hit the floor.

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