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Are you Afraid?
“I swear to god Jude, you better not go in there, I’m serious!”
Bridgette tried her best to sound serious, but the fear was clearly painted on her porcelain face. Jude stared back at her, a mischievous smile on his lips. He was standing in the door frame of the uninhibited house, fiddling with a giant grey flashlight. The house was large and run down. The wood paneling was rotting and the paint was peeling off of the entire building. There was a plethora of windows covering the surface of the building, each clouded with dirt and mold. Weeds grew shoulder high all-throughout the yard and side walk. It was evident that no one had lived in the house for many years. With one foot in the house, and the other planted firmly on the porch, Jude yelled to Bridgette, reiterating his point,
“Bridge, the only possssible way you could keep me from going in is if you come up here and give me a kiss.” Jude’s face broke out into a goofy grin which spread from ear to ear.
Bridgette contemplated the offer.
“Okay listen up,” she said matter-of-factly, “I’m going to kiss you, but if you try and pull any funny stuff…you don’t wanna know what I gonna do!” She tried to hide the faint smile etched on her face.
She looked up the sidewalk to make sure no one was around and slowly walked towards the deck. Bridgette’s eyes burned right into Jude’s, she was clearly irritated with his antics. Evidently, he was desperate to kiss her anyways,
“Whatever it’s one kiss,” She thought, as long as she got to leave this creepy place, it was fine.
“I knew you couldn’t resist me,” Jude said with a wink. He proceeded to pucker his lips. Bridgette leaned in…
The next thing she knew, Bridgette was tripping over the foyer’s staircase. Jude had yanked her through the opening and had closed the old door.
“JUDE! What are you doing!”
That was all she managed to get out before giving in to a fit of hysterical coughs. Clouds of dust were now pooling in the air. She cupped her hands to her mouth and took slow breathes, she had forgotten her inhaler and didn’t need a trip to the emergency room. Once the dust settled, Bridgette had a revelation. They had to have been the first people in there in nearly twenty years.
“Jude, open the door. NOW! I can’t see a thing!”
Bridgette’s eyes were squinted and her arms were outstretched. Jude wasn’t answering her…he may have thought it was funny, but she was actually seriously creeped out.
After about thirty seconds of silence, Bridgette heard the slow shallow breathing of another human being right behind her. And then, a quiet whisper,
“Are you afraid?”
Bridgette emitted a high pitched scream and then punched in the direction of the voice. Her fist came into contact with a warm cheek.
“OWWW!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!”
Jude turned on the flashlight he was holding and shown it on her face. With this light, Bridgette was able to see the large red spot that was beginning to take shape on his face.
“I hope that hurt, serves you right for trying to scare me like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack.” Bridgette massaged her now sore hand. Peering into the darkness she just remembered the small pocket flashlight she had in her jacket.
“This place is seriously cool.”
“Wow, you’re easily impressed,” Bridgette thought with a smirk. This shabby house had bare walls and dilapidated furniture. Perhaps the most impressive piece was the massive couch that lined the back wall near the fireplace.
“Okay Jude you’ve had your fun, can we please go now?”
“Come on Bridge, can we go upstairs? You’ve managed to be in here for five minutes, a few more’s not gonna hurt anyone.” Jude was desperately seeking adventure. After all, nothing interesting ever happened in their town; the same old people and the same old stories.
“Okay fine. Maybe it’ll be cool, like a movie or something! Let’s go before I change my mind.”
The two began to ascend the staircase. About halfway up, there was a creak in the floorboards downstairs. Bridgette spun around quickly, trailing her flashlight on the source of the sound.
“Jude, I think I saw someone!” She narrowed her eyes. There seemed to be a small shadow coming from the hallway leading into the kitchen.
“Bridge relax, it’s an old house, the floors always creak! There’s no one down there. Besides, the door is closed, so we’d know if someone came inside.”
He had a point…unless someone was already inside! She shuddered, Bridgette couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched…
* * * * *
“Okay, this is actually cool.”
This time it was Bridgette gazing in amazement. The two had just entered what used to be the master bedroom. The room was decayed and rotted. The king bed was draped in a canopy that consisted of hundreds of moth made holes. The sheets were a deep burgundy, like blood. They had crimson detailing of flowers and buds along the edges. The old pictures were disintegrating in their frames. The area rug centered beneath the bed was slightly less worn then the bed. Bridgette stood in the doorway while Jude went to explore.
“Hey Bridge, come take a look at this.” Jude had a quizzical tone in his voice. She showed her flashlight in his direction to see him squatting next to the bed. Once Bridgette was closer, she saw a disturbing sight. There was fresh mud on the carpet.
“Jude…please tell me that that’s from your shoes.” Bridgette’s heart skipped a beat as he shook his head back and forth.
Bridgette turned her attention to the bed, she pulled back the covers and saw the imprint of a human body, still fresh. She gently put her hand on the covers…still warm.
“Jude we need to get out of here!” Bridgette turned on her heels and ran to the door. Jude sprinted to catch up and put his hand around her mouth.
Jude could feel Bridgette’s head throbbing through his hand. He pushed her hair back from her ear and whispered,
“If his bed is warm, he could still be here. I need you to be quiet.”
Jude went out first, slowly passing a closet. Halfway through the hallway, there was a groan from the floor and the door to the master bedroom swung shut. Jude turned abruptly and flashed the light on the door. Bridgette let out a scream of terror.
Standing there was a man unlike any they had ever seen. His head was bald and white, veins protruding slightly along the surface. His eyes were blood shot and pupils were like pinpoints. His lips turned upward into a snarl, showing yellowing teeth. Despite his face, his body appeared to be in decent physical condition.
Bridgette had just processed what she was looking at when the man began a full blown sprint towards the two. Jude grabbed her hand and yanked her down the stairs. They reached the bottom step. Jude grabbed Bridgette’s flashlight and quickly turned it off; he put them both in his pocket. Jude slowly dropped to his knees, yanking on Bridgette’s pants to do the same. The two managed to fit under one of the few coaches in the entire house. Bridgette had her back against the wall and Jude’s back pressed into her stomach. She could feel his heart beating erratically. Just then there was another crack in the floor, coming from across the room. Bridgette tried to get closer to the wall to allow Jude more space. In the process of sliding back, Jude accidently turned the flashlight in his pocket on, a beam of muted light shot out from under the couch, giving away their location.
Jude struggled to remain silent while wrestling the light in his pocket. After a few seconds he found the off button, extinguishing the light.
The two were silent. In the dark, a distant chuckling was heard.
The voice came out of nowhere. The sound of His voice sent shivers down Bridgette’s spine. It was faint and shallow, yet held a heavy presence.
Then it happened.
There was a noise on the other side of the room and then Jude was grabbed from beneath the couch.
“AHHH LET G---“
Jude’s scream was muffled completely. Bridgette lay there, rooted to the spot; silent tears sliding down her cheeks. Every muscle in her body was erect and tensed. She could hear the stomping of feet and an obvious struggle. Low grunts were heard and it appeared that Jude was free.
“Go Bridgette!! GET OUT OF HER—“
Once again Jude’s cries were muffled.
Bridgette slipped out from under the couch and felt her way along the wall, groping for some kind of light switch or window….
And then she heard a disgusting sound. The thuds of the fight had ceased…and a body slipped to the ground with a sickening crash.
Biting her tongue, Bridgette accidently walked into the fireplace. There was a stake on the stand…a perfect weapon. Gently she lifted the stake from its holding position and held it in a protective position in front of her body. She knew that the assailant was close because she couldn’t hear him. That’s when she heard a rustling behind her, but it was too late.
Bridgette had a fighting spirit in her now. Despite how terrified she was, she held onto hope that she’d escape. Despite the attacker’s arms being wrapped tightly around her, Bridgette managed to hit him in the groin with the picket, loosening his grip. That was enough for her to turn around and drive the stick into his chest. Blood spurted from his mouth and his throat emitted a revolting gurgle. Bridgette couldn’t believe what she had just done. Backing away into the empty hallway, she tripped and fell into another dusty pile.
This time when she fell, it was different. Almost immediately after her coughing began, it stopped; Bridgette found herself unable to breathe. Her chest was heavy and her muscles were tensed. The muscles in her abdomen and neck were sore and stressed.
“What’s going on?” Bridgette was getting confused. She didn’t just fight off a man that murdered her best friend and tried to kill her to die on the doorstep. She tried to get up, but her muscles seized.
Then the hysterics set in. She wasn’t going to escape. She was going to die on the floor. Slowly, she began to cry. This action made her breathing even more strained and soon enough…it ceased altogether.