Ring. Ring. Ring. My newly bought iPhone vibrated in the pocket of my bright red hoodie as I strode down the sidewalk towards my house. I slipped it out of my pocket and held it up to my ear while using the dim street lamps as my guide through the dark night.
“Hello?” I spoke, holding the device in a firm, but careful, grip.
“Jake! Hey bud, how are you?” my dad boomed into the phone. I winced and held it a bit further from my ear.
“I’m fine, Dad. Shouldn’t you be in a Casino or something? I mean, you are in Vegas after all.” I answered. My parents won a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for the week and they’ve been there since Sunday evening, which was about five days ago. I was a bit disappointed, but I can’t really complain. I’ve got the whole house to myself until tomorrow at 6:30, which is around the time that their flight comes in.
I turned onto my driveway of my house. We just recently moved here to Philadelphia, PA from our old house in Portland, Maine. My dad got a cool new job, and they told him that we had to move here. We had to move quite quickly, so we didn’t have much of a choice for the house. It’s an old, beat-up looking gray building with vines creeping up its side and a bit of the front. The old owners planted bushes and poor-looking topiaries, but most of them have already died. My friends told me that my house was haunted by the people who previously lived here, but I don't believe them. Ghosts aren't real.
I leapt up the front steps and switched my phone to my left hand.
“Your mother and I are planning to go to one in about twenty minutes, so I don’t have much time,” he replied, “I have some good and bad news.”
I sighed, fumbling with the keys for a moment before I found the right one. While I waited for him to continue, I shoved the key into the lock and it opened with a click.
“The bad news is that our flight was canceled and we will be home a day later than planned,” Dad went on, “The good news is that you get the house to yourself for one more day!” He went on in a slightly quieter voice. “That means that you get an extra day to clean up the party you threw,” he joked. I heard my mom snap a quick Devin! And he burst into laughter.
“Kidding! I’m kidding! You had better not be throwing any parties without me,” he chuckled. I snorted and stepped into the house, the wooden floors creaking under me. I walked into the kitchen and tossed my keys onto the counter before plopping onto the couch. I grabbed the remote and turned on the TV, flipping through the channels.
“Ha ha,” I muttered sarcastically, “you’re so funny Dad.” I finally found a football game between the Eagles and Panthers. “Can you just leave me in peace now so I can watch TV? The Eagles are on!” I whined. My dad laughed.
“Yeah I guess, I have to go anyways. Your mom is getting impatient.”
I rolled my eyes, imagining my mom glaring daggers at my dad. “Okay, see ya Sunday. Don’t get too drunk,” I yawned. He said a quick goodbye and hung up, giving me some time to relax. I heated up a piece of pizza from yesterday and settled onto the couch.
The game was tied, and Jeremy Maclin raced to make a touchdown. “Go go go go gO GO GO!” I roared jumping to my feet. He was so close to making the touchdown and one of the Panthers was on his tail. Just as he got close to the line, the TV turned to static. “Agghh!” I growled, covering my ears and shutting off the TV. I stiffly stood up and paced in front of the TV. I let out a shout of frustration and drew my foot back, slamming into the couch.
The lights flickered for a moment, casting eerie shadows on the unpainted walls. I let out a curse and trudged upstairs, muttering some why me’s and stupid house and a string of curse words that would make my mom wash my mouth thoroughly with soap for saying.
I had just entered my room when I heard the doorbell let out a shrill, short ring. I sighed, and marched back down the stairs. I approached the deep green door and peeked through the peephole. Nothing. I frowned and opened the door slightly. Greeted by nothing but the darkness of the night, I went to close the door, but stopped halfway. On the ground in front of me was a small, black cat with piercing golden eyes. Its eyes seemed to glow in the light as they bore into mine. The cat sat quietly and just stared at me.
I knelt down and reached out towards it, but I didn’t get very close before it let out an awful hiss and scrambled away, gracefully leaping off the front porch into the night. I jerked my hand back and jolted to my feet. I wiped my hands on my jeans before pushing the door closed, an echo sounding off the walls. I started forward, but immediately froze in my tracks. It echoed. It’s never done that before. I whipped around to look at the door, but before I even had time to react, an earsplitting scream pierced the air behind me.
I let out a shout and turned back around. I looked around the room slowly, hands shaking. Another scream sounded, louder than the last. This one seemed to be coming from the kitchen. I had had enough. Blood roaring in my ears, I blindly raced up the stairs and into my room. After slamming the door shut, I jumped into my closet, shaking violently. My heart pounded repeatedly in my chest like a drum as the bloodcurdling screams continued, increasing in volume every second.
I covered my ears, pulling the knees up to my chest, silently willing it to stop. My head was spinning and I was sure that I would go deaf. Tears rolled down my cheeks as panic engulfed me. My voice soon joined the screams, yelling at the top of my lungs.
“STOP!” I cried, pulling at my short, auburn hair violently. The scream abruptly cut off and I was left crouching in my closet in dead silence. Surprised, I sat there frozen. I didn’t have time to feel any ounce of relief before slow, clear footsteps sounded down the hall. Click. Click. Click. The heeled shoes got closer every minute, stalking agonizingly slow past my parent’s bedroom, the bathroom, until it finally stopped at my door. I held my breath, and the person ever so slowly pushed the door open with a creak.
I was done hiding and cowering in the dark. I snatched the thing closest to me, a pencil that had somehow ended up in my closet, and kicked the door open. I let out a fierce battle cry, but it was laced with fear that was very obvious. My eyes scanning the room, I was immediately filled with confusion. There wasn’t anyone in sight, and the door hadn’t moved a bit. I shook my head, still shaking, and made a decision.
“I’m outta here,” I whispered, panic and fear visible on my tear-stained face. I bolted out of the room towards the front door, not even looking for another being that could possibly be the source of the wails and footsteps. I was never so happy to see the green colored door in my life, but as I went to turn the handle of the doorknob, the bolt on the door clicked into place. I desperately clung to the doorknob pulling with all my might, but the lock was jammed into place. Practically jumping on the windows, I tried them, but found that they had been locked also.
The footsteps sounded again, and I whipped around, my back against the door, breathing heavily. Now, a strong wind had started to blow through the household, knocking vases off the counters and anything else it encountered. Pure terror took over my body as I helplessly waited for the end. For my life to slip away from me so that I can finally be a peace. Standing there in defeat, my hair whipping in the wind, I waited. When the footsteps finally stopped, so close that I was sure the person was in my line of view at last, I peeked my eyes open. Standing at the foot of the stairs was a short porcelain doll staring at me with blank eyes, its curly blond hair blowing all around.
It was dressed in a pure white wedding dress, splattered with a red liquid which I assumed was blood, and a small dagger clutched in her right hand. Blood dripped off the blade and down her arms as she stood there examining me. She tipped her head to the side and her mouth curled into the creepiest smile I have ever seen in my life. She let out a small giggle, her tiny and high voice echoing throughout the household.
“Hello, wanna play a game?” she chirped, giggling once more, and with that the locks all clicked open in perfect synchronization.