The white house stood up on a hill above the rest of the large homes on the street. It was the kind of fairytale home that people dreamed of living in. Clean crisp shutters outlined every sparkling clear window. The landscaping was professionally done and the bright white for sale sign sat perfectly in the front yard. It had an unbelievably low price on the front with a big red sold sign plastered on a diagonal, blocking the image of the house as Carson looked up at her family's new home. She couldn’t help but roll her eyes in boredom as her parents continued to chat with the anxious realtor. Her parents had already moved a majority of the furniture into the house within the past few days. All Carson had left to do was bring in her boxes of decorations and books to finish off her room.
“Just a reminder stay safe and good luck and see you again soon,” the realtor said very nervously, mumbling under his breath what sounded like a “hopefully”. He headed off to his car in a hurry with the papers.
“Can we go in now?” Carson said eagerly, excited to finally see her new home and get some time to herself. Together with her parents, Carson grabbed the boxes out of the back of the car and walked up to the front porch. Her dad pulled out the keys and stuck the brand new one in the lock. It took him a few seconds of fumbling with it, but he finally got it, swinging the old heavy door wide open. The inside of the house looked just as impressive as the outside. The new and modern feel of it made Carson feel like she was back in the city. There was red wooden flooring that ran through the entire house. Her dad led them through the entire home room by room, showing off all the new features.
“Welcome to heaven” he said as he concluded the tour. Carson couldn’t help but smile as her dad gave her a wink.
“What about the basement?” Carson asked looking at the only door they hadn’t opened.
“Oh the dreaded basement, where the radiator is a large monster there to scare everyone away,” he replied
“Come on dad, you’ve watched Home Alone way too many times,” Carson replied watching as her mom tried to hide a smile.
“Alright, guys, dinner,” her mom said picking up a phone book.
“Perfect,” Carson said to herself as she finished hanging the string of lights in her room. She had just finished setting things up and quickly changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. She laced up her sneakers and ran down the stairs. “Mom I’m going for a run,” she called as she ran out the door. Starting her watch, she placed her phone in the band on her arm and put in her earbuds, trying to forget the stress she was starting to feel about going to a new school tomorrow.
Her route took her down through all the other homes and into the main town where she passed a bunch of local store and shops. All of a sudden, a guy on his bike cut in front of her and she jumped quickly to avoid being hit.
Turning back around, she looked over and saw an athletic looking kid hopping off his bike and coming towards her.
“Hey buddy, would you mind watching where you’re going next time?” Carson started crossing her arms and looking at him.
“Sorry I was calling for you to stop, but you weren’t paying attention,” he answered.
“So, your idea of grabbing my attention was to cut me off?” she asked.
“Sorry I just wanted to ask if you are from the family that just moved to the house on the hill.”
“Ugh, yeah, why?” Carson asked looking for a way to get out of the situation
“My name is Reid and I’ve lived here for my whole life. Thirteen different people have lived there and they all came out saying that it was haunted, so be careful,” he said quickly.
“What?” Carson asked, not believing a single word he said.
“Look, I have to go, just be careful,” he said, turning and quickly biking off. Carson shook her head and turned her music back on and up loud as she finished her run and headed home.
That night, as she was trying to sleep, Carson couldn’t get what that Reid kid had said out of her head. The shadows moved and shifted against her wall and everytime she closed her eyes she felt like someone was watching her.
Stop, she thought to herself, as she rolled over. It’s just because it’s quiet, she told herself. She reached out and searched for a sound, any sound, to bring her some kind of comfort. All she could find was the whispering of the wind, sounding as if it was saying her name over and over again lulling her into an uneasy sleep.
Over the next few days, Carson adjusted to her new school, luckily, it was the beginning of the year so there wasn’t a lot that she had missed. Surprisingly, Reid was in all of her classes and even more shocking was that they actually became friends over the following weeks. Their sarcastic relationship was something she grew to look forward to everyday, and in the approaching of Halloween, they spent a lot of time watching horror movies, occasionally reading scary stories. They decided to hand out candy to kids on Halloween since her parents wouldn’t be able to be home for the week. A last minute business trip was pulling them across the country for the week.
“Where are all the kids?” Carson asked as they sat on the porch steps.
“I told you, Car, they won’t come up here. They all know the stories.” Reid replied.
“For the last time my house is not haunted,” Carson replied rolling her eyes and heading inside. “We might as well watch a movie or something while we wait instead of freezing our butts off on the stairs.”
They decided to watch, surprise, yet another horror movie.
As they settled in, Reid excused himself to go to the bathroom leaving Carson alone in the living room. She kept trying to make herself comfortable, but found that no matter what she did, something felt off. It felt as if there were dozens of eyes on her raising the hair on the back of her neck.
It’s nothing, she thought to herself re-situating on the couch. As she looked around, the shadows seemed to move around on the walls.
Stop! she yelled at herself, as the shadows continued to move, forming monstrous shapes.
Shaking her head, Carson stood up to go get a drink when a shadow took the form of a human figure. It seemed to move across the room. She spun around trying desperately to see the figure who was casting this shadow.
Her heart was pounding in her chest. The window over by the tv was open and outside not a tree was moving. Every limb was still and not a sound could be heard except for what sounded like the breeze blowing in the distance, whispering her name.
“Carson,” it called to her, as if begging for her to listen. That didn’t make any sense, there wasn’t any wind blowing outside, yet it felt as if someone was tugging at her long hair.
“Stop!” she yelled covering her ears. “Reid if you don’t come out now I’m going to kill you.”
Only the silence answered her, as the breeze stopped whispering in the still air around her.
“Reid where are you? This isn’t funny,” she called out, as panic started to flood into her voice.
She walked out of the living room heading quickly to what she thought was the bathroom.
“Reid come out,” she said pounding her fist on the door without getting a reply. She felt her unease turn to anger at the thought of Reid trying to pull a prank on her. “REID!” Looking down, she let out a scream of terror. A pool of dark liquid was pouring out from under the door. She flung the door open and to her horror, saw Reid bleeding out on the floor, his body mutilated.
“No no no this isn’t happening” she said as she shut the door and opened it again. His body was gone. The puddle seeming to have dried up. The feeling of eyes watching her came again and she moved down the hallway towards the kitchen.
I just need a drink of water. It was only the lighting making me see things. Reid is probably out in the living room waiting for me to start the movie, she tried to tell herself. Her unease only grew, as she walked down the dark hallway to the kitchen. The hardwood floors looked dark and the lines seemed to move together creating outlines of old blood stains.
“Reid, where are you?” she asked pausing when she thought she heard footsteps. She froze, the sound freezing with her.
“Who’s there?” she called, her voice cracking. Her heart was pounding, and she could've sworn that she heard the sound of faint laughter.
“Who is there!” she yelled her frustration rising to the surface. She was starting to panic. The shadows on the walls were starting to move faster as if they were closing in around her and she felt as if something was following her. She heard a faint growl like the sound of an animal chasing its prey. The dreaded thought came to Carson as she stood he back against the counter. It sounded as if claws were scratching on the blood colored hardwood floors upstairs.
What if I am the pray? she thought to herself sending a shiver down her spine. Suddenly, there was thudding on the stairs and she let out a little squeal and ducked down behind the island of her kitchen. Adrenaline pumped through her blood as terror spread through her body. Every muscle was tense in her body causing her to shake. The panting of whatever it was could be heard as it shuffled down the hallway, the sound of claws scraping against the floor. She stared straight ahead telling herself this wasn’t real. As she focused on the cabinets the sound faded a little, but handprints, dripping in blood, seemed to seep through her cabinets.
The panting was back and it was closer this time. It felt as if it was right over top of her, it’s hot breath blowing down her back. Whatever it was, and she did not plan on staying behind to find out, was right overtop of her now. She dove out from behind the island, not looking back as she took off running through the house.
Shapes moved around her, the wind calling her name and the sound of the monster following close on her heels. Her heart ached, as she thought of poor Reid and what had happened to him. Maybe whatever was chasing her had gotten him too. Trails of blood were pooling on the hardwood floors and dark hand prints lined walls that became unfamiliar to her in the dark. She bumped into something and screamed. It felt as if a hand had reached out of the dark to brush against her leg, the wind biting at her ankles. Her lungs burned and suddenly she was falling, Something like a tentacle reached out and wrapped around her leg dragging her down to the floor. Terror flooded through her and she couldn’t get up she screamed as the sound of the beast grew closer, the shadowed figures drew closer to her still. She let out one final scream of terror as she collapsed in a pile on the ground.
Reid shook his head as he looked at the girl laying on the floor in front of him. She lay still her eyes filled with terror as she whispered words that he couldn’t understand under her breath. This was his thirteenth. She had now been driven into insanity and it continued to prove his hypothesis correct. Now he had about three hours to dispose of her and find a way to make her parents forget she existed and move out. His lab partners entered and untangled her ankle from the mess of cords that had traped her. He took his notes and they move quickly out of the house removing every trace of her existence. He notified the head of his department that their work was done and the parents were to be returned tonight. He would have the memory wipe ready so they would be moved out by tomorrow. His next experiment was set to begin in two weeks.