Silently, something was smiling.

October 26, 2010
As soon as she stepped into her new apartment, a chill ran up her spine. Something was wrong. The air hung, dank and dark, like a wet rag on her skin. She quietly flicked on the light and found the apartment empty but for a few elementary, very old pieces of oak furniture. She realized she had been holding her breath, and exhaled, quietly terrified somehow. She hung up her coat and walked to the bedroom. It was grey, as everything else was, and quiet. Much too quiet. She noticed a 4th door besides the one she stood in, the bathroom, and the closet doors. Her heels clicking on the concrete floor, she went to it and laid her hand on the cold brass knob. It was like a block of ice. Tentatively, she turned it, and the door creaked open, ripping through the air that was so quiet it made her want to scream and play loud music, anything to break the apartment’s strange silence which seemed to be filling her very lungs. It was… a hallway. Another bedroom could be seen at the end. Sighing, she shut the door, and went to the bathroom to splash warm water on her clammy face. She turned the tap on and it ran, slow and thick, like jelly. She closed her eyes to savor the sound in the silence…
“Clare?”
She screamed, and swung around.
“Oh my gosh, Rebecca, you scared me.” Clare laughed, turning back to the sink to splash the warm water on her goose pimpled face.
“This place is like a tomb. I’m glad we’re room-mates or I might die in this ugly gray hole of a house.” Rebecca smirked, setting the box of her belongings on the bathroom floor. “Where’s my room?”
“At the end of the hallway past that door on the left.” Clare said, pointing to the door. Rebecca retrieved her box and scurried to the dark portal of ancient oak. She opened it and gasped.
“Good lord, it’s cold.” She said with a shiver. She went down the hall slowly. It was so narrow… cracks zigzagged up the walls and plaster pieces were missing from the ceiling. How could the hallway be this long? She must be getting close… and she was there. The final board of the hall creaked loudly under her foot and she gasped, catching her breath.
“Freaky…” Rebecca muttered. The room had only a dresser and a bed, scrunched to the wall and nailed down. She laid down on the bed and… screamed like a banshee. Painted on the ceiling was a terrifying face, smirking and evil, with a hungry expression playing on its dark lips... Rebecca suddenly couldn’t stop crying. Down the hall beneath her sobs, the door slowly closed with a click, and the lock turned, soundproofing Clare from her friend’s desperate cries…
“Hush, don’t cry…” said a voice.
“Clare, I hate this place, we have to move. I can’t stand it.” Rebecca sobbed, pounding her fists on the hard mattress.
“Don’t worry, we can make it work.” Soothed the voice. “Don’t be afraid. This is the right home for us.”
Rebecca sniffled. “You really think so?”
“There’s nothing to be afraid of…”
Rebecca suddenly smiled through her tears. “Yes, oh of course. How childish I’ve been….wait… who are you?”
“Do you find the bed comfortable?” Soothed the voice, silencing her uncertainties.
“Mmmhmm… yes… “ Rebecca cooed, smoothing her hands over the rough, sandpaper-esque comforter. “I think I might…just may…take a little…” She sighed as she drifted into a comatose sleep.
Silently, something was smiling.
Meanwhile, Clare climbed into bed, figuring Rebecca had just tucked in early. She sighed and pulled the comforter to her chin, cuddling into the blankets she had brought along for her new bed. The quiet was creepy, sure, but so calming for sleeping… so calming, she failed to notice the black smoke seeping from beneath the door to Rebecca’s room… seeping, tossing, rolling, like soft ocean waves, up, climbing, to the side of her bed, on to the pillow, and into her open, sleeping mouth… it didn’t even stain her rosebud lips as it filled her lungs with the ugly, thick vapor…



Three months later, Clare had settled into her new home. She had forgotten the quiet creeping agony of those first few days, and now kept the apartment alive with constant music and nightly parties with her friends. One night, after a late cocktail party, Clare stood in the bathroom, washing her face of her makeup and singing along to the blasting country song on the radio.
“Two-stepping, two-timing, son of a gun! Jump on your horse, boy, and run, run, run! I got your revolver, and I got my pride, and all you got is a scandal to hide!” She sang, twirling and laughing. Clare bent to the sink and rubbed the soap into her face. She hummed as the soap foamed, soft and warm. It had such a familiar smell… like a friend, or something… perhaps a gift.. a gift from… who… Suddenly, she began to cough. Alarmed, she looked into the mirror at her throat. Pink and healthy, no trace of redness… yet she hacked like an old woman. She bent, her throat aching, coughing, coughing, coughing, until something flew from her mouth into the sink. A black ball of something… what is that… like miner’s lung, like she smoked or something… she had had a nightmare like that once, the black smoke in her mouth, so thick, like tar in her throat… and it all came rushing back.
“REBECCA!” She screamed. Clare hadn’t seen her dear, best friend, her only roommate… in three months!
“Becca, oh my gosh, I have to call the police! Where did I last see her?”She frantically thought… and stopped, her heart pounding. The hallway, the room… her eyes filled with tears. Something in there had taken her…no. That was impossible. She was an adult. She would handle this as her father would want her to. March down there, check it out, and when she found nothing, call the police station. Easy. Or so it sounded. The sound of the radio seemed like a distant cry as she walked to the door as if to her own execution, and laid her hand on the knob, that ice cube of a knob in the middle of her warm, safe apartment… Taking a deep, gasping, rasping breath, she turned the knob, and opened the door with a long creak. That dark hall, waiting as it always had been, as it always would be… She took the first step and the coolness, the limpness of the wet air on her skin made her gasp for breath. The sound of her own breath terrified her, and she began to run, screaming, into the dark chamber. Never had she sprinted so. And now, a resounding note, the final creak of that fateful final board. Hyperventilating, she turned to the bed… on which her friend laid, cold and still in death. Sobbing, Clare ran to her sister of a friend and, overcome with grief, laid her head on Rebecca’s unmoving chest. It almost felt as if Rebecca’s arms were around her again, hugging her close… and they were. Clare’s sobbing grew quiet as Rebecca’s cold, corpse arms encircled her waist, and as Clare opened her mouth to scream, only black smoke hissed out from between her teeth… Rebecca’s grey fingers spread, long black fingernails curling…
Silently, something was smiling.





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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Jack Morris said...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm
You are so cool. I love you.
 
bowlerishappy said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm
WOW Caroline. WOW.
 
writer_chick101 said...
Nov. 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm
sooooooooooooo goooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
somebody said...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm
this is SO amazing!! you should be a writer
 
olp2121 said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm
Phenomenal! I love all of the detail you included and all of the suspense weaved throughout the story! It had me leaning closer to my laptop to try to read faster to get to the next paragraph! You are an amazing writer Caroline! :)
 
DogwoodDerby replied...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm
haha thanks olivia!
 
Somebody said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm
caroline is the coolest.
 
EmseaHailey said...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm
dang!  wonderfully crafted, kept me in suspense the whole freaking time!  It was so scary and amazing!  Oh man, I haven't found something like this in such a long time!  Amazing work! 10 stars out of 5!!!!
 
Caroliney replied...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm
thanks so much!
 
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