Ready or Not, Here I Come...

How about a simple game? Hide and seek, sounds fun. Try it by yourself in the dark, it get's the blood pumping. I have one small question. What exactly are you hiding from?

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1. One, two, three...

 

Everyone had heard of the rumors. People would play this game and then not too long they were found dead. If they were found, that is. There are only a few simple rules to the game, one being not to play with others in the house. The ultimate rule was not to be found until sunrise, which was how you won the game.

 Of course, that being said, the authorities would never admit that those killed were because of the game. It was because of a random break in. Regardless of the fact that there was no sign of forced entry, in fact the doors were locked from the inside. Coincidentally, at every crime scene there was a stuffed animal, mutilated in the same way, with a bloody knife laying close by.  

So, who in their right mind would continue to play such a dangerous game? Well, who actually takes those kinds of rumors seriously?  

“Okay, I can do this.” Anna whispered shakily to herself. Anna, normally a shy and timid girl, decided to accept a dare. The dare was to play hide and seek. Not just a normal game of hide and seek, this was one which you played by yourself in the dark. Supposedly, it was a cursed game.  

Anna sat in her small bathroom, all the items sitting neatly in front of her. She reached for the little stuffed bear that she had bought on her way home from school. “I suppose… I’ll name you Jim.” She half-heartedly laughed to herself. She didn’t want to admit it, but she was already scared.

Taking a pair of scissors Anna cut a hole into the back of the stuffed bear, she made sure that it was just big enough to fit her hand. She placed the stuffing in a zip block bag, something that won’t be hard to find because at the end of the game she is even going to burn that.  

After the bear was empty she laid it in her lap and began scooping her cup into the bag of rice and pouring the rice into the bear. Almost like a rice transfusion. That wasn’t all; she clipped her fingernails and put the clippings in the bear, too. Anna began sewing up the hole with a red thread, and after poking her fingers a few times she finally got it right. Tying off the thread, she wrapped the bear with the excess thread and sat it up against the tub.  

She had to wait until it was three in the morning to begin the game, which is why she was allowed to wait until the weekend. The minutes seemed to creep by. As if time was flowing by slowly, waiting to see if Anna would skip out at the last minute.  

The wind blew against the window, causing it to shake just slightly. It seems to always be windy in Peabody, Massachusetts, but on this particular night it seemed to blow harder. Almost like the wind was trying to sound some alarm, or give some unspoken warning. Anna rubbed her hand against her arm trying to calm herself down. This is only a game. Even though she was repeating it over and over in her head, there was a chill that raced up and down her spine. She couldn’t simply shake that awful feeling.  

It was now two-forty in the morning, so it was getting very close to the time in which she would start the game. She got up, needles shot up her leg since it had fallen asleep. Hobbling over to the tub, Anna began filling it with cold water.  

It didn’t take long for the tub to fill up, and now the time couldn’t slow down. It’s funny how before she wanted it to hurry up and pass, now she didn’t want her phone to flash the dreaded numbers of 3:00. Her palms were steadily getting sweaty.  

“For this game I, Anna, am going to be it.” Anna paused for a second while looking into the cold black eyes of the stuffed bear. “For this game I, Anna, am going to be it. For this game I, Anna, am going to be it.”  

As she tossed the bear into the cold water, she almost could have sworn she seen a flicker in those eyes. Ignoring it, she ran out of the bathroom, shutting the lights off as she went. The game requires you to turn off every light in the house, if you so choose, you can leave a television on a static channel. She raced through the house, her hand automatically knowing where each switch was. As light by light went off with a small clicking noise, her heart sped up. If anyone else were to be around her they probably could hear her heart pound from a distance.  

Anna stopped in the kitchen. On the counter there was a set of knives. She grabbed one and closed her eyes. In her head she counted off to ten and then quickly found her way back to the bathroom which was on the other side of the house.  

Anna’s hand dove into the water and snatched up the bear. She thrust the knife into the bear three times while saying, “I found Jim!”  

She placed the bear on the floor and grabbed her bottle of water; she had already mixed the salt in previously. “Okay, now Jim is it.” Biting her lip and looking at the bear one last time, Anna turned on her heels and left the room quickly and quietly.  

Now it was her turn to hide. She had to choose a good hiding place because… who would want to risk being found by something that you had stabbed previously?  

It was much easier finding her way back to the bathroom in the dark than it was trying to find her way to a hiding spot. It seemed everything was trying to get in her way. She felt her way along the wall, and eventually made it to her parent’s bedroom. She opened the door to their closet and crawled in, nestling in between the wall and the line of jackets.  

It smelt of leather where she sat. Mainly because her father had an assortment of leather shoes in which he wore to work, never wearing one pair twice in a week.  

The air seemed to be thick, and it was harder for her to breathe. Was this her nerves? She could barely hear anything over the loud beating of her heart. Calm down. Nothing was going to happen, this was just a silly children’s game, something told to each other to scare one another. It was a morbid children’s game…

  It was no surprise that the game originated from Japan. Anna was reasoning with herself. All she had to do was make it until morning, in which she would spit the water on the bear, and call her friends and laugh at them. The sun would rise in approximately three more hours, that’s all she had to do.  

It wasn’t long, right?   She ran her fingers through her hair. She was trying to pull it off of her neck, because of the sweat her hair was sticking to her. She didn’t think about how hot it would be hiding in a closet. She should have turned on the air conditioning. Not that she was able to think, all week she had been dreading this game. She had also been secretly hoping that her parent’s trip would be canceled. Not like that would ever happen.  

“Hide and seek…” she heard softly.   No, she couldn’t have heard anything. There is no one else in the house. She’s imagining things already, how funny is that? The voice was far, she couldn’t tell if the one saying it was male or female, in fact she couldn’t even tell if she had actually heard it. It had to be a figment of her imagination.“Ready or not, I’m gonna find you.”  

Anna’s heart could have beat out of her chest. The voice was traveling down the hall. It sent a sharp chill up her spine. Her eyes darted around the small closet and she covered her mouth with both hands as her breath was becoming more erratic.  

Anna pulled her knees to her chest as she listened. She even began holding her breath to hear everything that was going on outside. What would happen if you were actually found? I mean… those rumors of the people getting killed, that couldn’t have actually happened. A stuffed animal can’t kill anyone… well, it shouldn’t even be moving in the first place.  

She could hear furniture moving from the living room, which just so happen to be on the other side of the wall. Something was scraping along the floor. The sound was so loud, if Anna hadn’t known better she would say that it was in the closet with her. A bowl of keys crashed to the ground.  

The radio in Anna’s parent’s room suddenly came on. It was music she had never heard before; it was more like chanting voices instead of a song. She wanted to cry.  

There was a tapping on the door to the closet. “Hide and seek. Close your eyes. “ She could hear something sharp digging into the closet with each word. “I can smell you in there, Anna.” The voice hissed through the cracks.  

Anna tried to push herself further against the wall. A hanger was digging into her side, but all she could focus on was the rattling of the door knob. Her eyes were glued to the door. Whatever was on the other side was breathing slow and hard.   

What was it thinking? What could she actually do? Tears began streaming down her face as the noises outside grew louder and louder. Her mind was racing. She felt that at any moment she could just burst and die, if only things were that simple.  

She tried to pull her legs tighter against her, and with her trembling she knocked over the bottle of salt water. It was worth a short, right? Anna stood up and hastily wiped the tears from her face. She popped off the lid and poured the liquid into her mouth.  

The door was ripped off the hinges and thrown across the room. What was in front of her was not the bear she had cut up. It was something entirely different. It reached out its long thin arm and wrapped bony fingers around Anna’s neck. Anna dug her on fingers into the arm of the thing holding her, to no avail. All it did was make the demon smile more. The skin around its mouth was peeled back, like it had been burnt. She could see its sharp teeth, they were yellow and black, rotting.  

It seemed to enjoy watching Anna squirm in its grip. Her legs were twitching. She then decided to spit everything out of her mouth onto the figure before her.  

It dropped Anna on the floor and clawed at its own face. A simmering noise came from beneath its hands, along with a terrible blood curdling scream.  

Anna was choking and rubbing her neck while crawling back. Not to waste any time Anna got up and began to run, leaving the demon to wither in pain. She had to find the bear, that is all she could think of. She had to find it, and burn the bear. The game had to end.

  She crashed into the door of the bathroom, and burst through. The bear wasn’t there. The knife was gone as well. She even looked into the tub. When she had left it was clear water… now it was some black liquid.   Looking around the room she saw writing on the walls. Hide and seek. Let’s have fun, since the hunting has now begun. Everywhere she turned it was the same.  

Anna ran out of the bathroom and ran towards the front door. She pulled and twisted the knob as hard as she could. It wouldn’t budge, it wouldn’t even turn. She was trapped in this house with nowhere to go.   Heavy footsteps were coming from the hallway. Anna ducked behind a chair while clutching the water bottle to her chest.  

“I’ll count to ten again,” he sung in a twisted voice. “One,” it counted slowly and a step would be heard. “Two,” Anna heard it digging its nail into the wall. She focused on the sounds, he sounded like he was going further away from her.  

She let out a strained sigh of relief as she couldn’t hear it anymore. So, she began crawling along the floor and the rolled under the couch. She didn’t even mind the bugs crawling over her face, as long as she was safely hidden.  

Just until sunrise. It would disappear then, right? That’s the rule of the game… that’s the rule.  

She felt a sharp pain in her shoulder as if someone had poked her with a needle. She turned her head to see the same cold black eyes.  

“I found you.”

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