All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Crimson oozed out of every crevice and corner of the room, coating walls and floor.
Sam glanced around nervously. Something was amiss.
“Ty?” he croaked. “Guys? This isn’t funny.” Hide-and-seek wasn’t supposed to be disturbing, especially not to teenagers.
He slowly edged towards the door. It’s just a joke, he told himself. They’re going to jump out and yell, “Surprise!”
Keeping his eye on the crimson, he fumbled for the doorknob. Fastening his trembling fingers around the freezing metal, he rotated his wrist and pulled.
With a creak, a crack, and a groan, the door opened to reveal a blackened hallway. A mere two minutes ago it had been completely lit. First goo, then darkness. A very elaborate joke, especially for Sam’s buddies.
Sam shuffled into the hall, also searching for his phone. He needed some form of light to play hide-and-seek. His fingers fumbled around in his pocket, trying to locate his only light source. His forefinger brushed across the familiar screen. He grabbed it and whisked it out, illuminating the overwhelming blackness.
A candle burst into life to his left. Sam jumped, his pulse escalating. Another candle lit itself, then another, then another. Now he could see, but an uneasy feeling moved about in his stomach in time with the flickering shadows.
Why had they come to this house in the first place? It had stood abandoned for a hundred years and no one dared go near it. Every child was told to never even consider going into it. The excuse was that it could collapse at any moment, but the rumor was that the old house contained the ghost of a murderer. It had been Ty’s idea to play a round of “haunted” hide-and-seek in the spookiest place possible, but Sam’s instincts had told him to stay away.
Well, the sooner he found Ty, Mike, and Owen, the sooner he could leave and forget this awful place. He began to walk down the hall, searching for doors.
Just ahead, crimson dripped from the ceiling, amassing in a sickening pool on the rotting wood of the floor. Sam’s breath caught in his throat. What was this stuff?
Blood, his mind told him. It has to be blood. But why would the guys go to all the trouble of getting blood just for a prank? On top of that, there was no rusty smell. It was probably just colored syrup. Nothing to be afraid of. Just a joke.
Sam stepped around the spreading pool and continued down the gloomy hallway. He tsked himself for being conned into being “it.” Now just to find them so that he could leave.
Suddenly, there were lots of doors. They could be behind any of them. He checked room after room for what seemed like hours. But everything seems like hours when your every instinct tells you to run.
He came to an ornate door. Sam twisted the knob and burst into a bright living room. He blinked, trying to adjust to the light.
This was just too weird. Lighting issues, syrup oozing around. It was like the whole house was haunted.
A low laughter rumbled through the room, icing the blood in Sam’s body and widening his eyes. He stood there, shivering.
“Shi-shi…” he stuttered, but he couldn’t get the word out. The icy cold fear kept his throat closed. His heart was screaming, begging for him to run. His legs pulled towards the windows. But he couldn’t move.
Something flitted in his periphery. He leapt so high that he could’ve grabbed onto the rafters. He landed ready to abandon his buddies and their sick pranks.
A browning piece of paper fell to the floor. Sam picked it up. It was a letter, dated… one hundred years ago, to the day.
He checked his phone for the time. It had been forty-five minutes. He had checked a lot of rooms. He shook his head and turned back to the letter.
He read the hastily scrawled writing.
“Melody,” it read.
Darling, I know I promised to return to you once I had finished with this house, but I may not ever leave it. I fear for my life. Do you remember the head of our preservation team, Mr. Hawthorne? He opened a door in the basement that we were told to never open under any circumstances. His curiosity got the best of him, but the consequences were high, and now I am the last man alive…
His eyes got wider and wider, his jaw dropped farther and farther. This explained everything. He had to get out. NOW.
“TY!” he screamed. “MIKE! OWEN! RUN!” But what if they were on the second floor?
Sam bolted up the stairs. He scanned for a door. There! It was right above the room he’d started out in. He threw it open.
It was only candlelight, but it revealed enough. Sam started gagging.
Ty lay spread eagle on the ground. His hand and feet were nailed to the floor. No, not nailed. Those were bones. Ribs. He had been staked out, his clothes had been ripped off. Cuts criss-crossed his now white skin. Deep enough to hurt, but not deep enough to bleed. Then Sam saw his wrists.
They had been slashed to bleed him dry. His neck had been punctured on each artery as well. Whoever had done this had known what he was doing.
There was another figure crumpled in the corner. Sam flashed his phone at it. Owen’s body had been broken in a thousand places. Candy floss dangled from the corner of his mouth. Sam forced himself to look at his chest. Someone- or something- had clawed it open. Four ribs had been snapped off. The rest had been crushed into his lungs.
Sam’s thoughts flashed back to the crimson in the room and in the hall. Owen and Ty’s blood had covered the room. Sam knew it. That meant the pool in the hallway was…
Sam screamed. His legs finally kicked into gear and carried him back down the stairs.
Thunder crashed outside. All went dark. Lightning flashed, lighting the way to the windows. Sam bolted for them, but his face smashed into the floor.
Sam sat up, glancing around. He was gasping for breath. Where was it? He cursed himself for forgetting his knife. He cursed Mr. Hawthorne for opening the door that led into Hell.
The lightning flashed again. There! On the other side of the room! Another flash. The demon was right in front of him, a wicked smile twisted across its face. Sam choked on a scream. Flash. A knife glistened out of the corner of his eye.
“NO!” he screamed as everything went black.