Callie started at the smooth tile floor of her new house. The checkered black and red pattern reminded her of something you would see at a carnival. Pushing long strands of blonde hair behind her she further observed the room. Large blank picture frames lined the walls. The golden and silver frames shimmered in the sunlight that streamed through the large glass windows that loomed over them on the far side of the room. The smooth glass reflected a full picture of the room.
Callie slowly slides her hand across the wooden railing that lined the stairs. The cold wood slid effortlessly under her fingers lacking rough patches and splintered sections like the railing at her old home. Suddenly, the truth struck her. Tomorrow the moving van would arrive and she would be whisked away from her old home. Her true home.
Even though her family was only moving across town, due to the new member that would be joining them soon and their old house being too small, she would miss the old place. With its chipping paint and cracked sidewalk. Her two step brothers on the other hand were thrilled about it.
"Callie!" Sammy, the youngest of the brother's, called from the top step. "This place is so cool! It reminds me of one of those funhouses you see at the circus. All we need now is a clown and a ring master and we are ready to go!"
Callie sighed clearly annoyed. She glance up the stairs at Sammy and was surprised to find him missing. She turned around ready to go investigate the rest of the house, but jumped back when she was meet by her step brother's dark gray eye.
How did he move so fast?! I swear this kid isn't human! She thought pushing him away.
"Get back you freak!" She yelled pushing the younger boy to the ground.
"Don't you dare touch him again." A voice growled behind her. She whipped around to find the oldest brother , Justin, standing behind her. His large form loomed over top of her. Whenever she was around him she felt like a child, too small to do anything.
"Well then tell him to get away from me!" She yelled up at Justin staring into those gray eyes that matched his little brothers.
"One day you'll be sorry that you were mean to him. One day very soon." Justin said as a cruel smile appeared on his lips.
Was that a threat? Callie wondered as both the boys trotted off.
Later that night Callie lay in bed for the last time at her old house. She had lived in the house her entire life. It was full of so many memories and happy times. She hated to lose all that. As her head lay tenderly against the ragged old pillow her thoughts wandered back to Justin's words.
One day very soon, he had said. What could that possibly mean? She rolled over on the bed trying to get comfortable. Staring out the window at the bright full moon her eyelids slowly began to close as she drifted off into sleep.
When she awoke all the comfort of her old bed and old home were gone. She could feel something cold and smooth under her feet instead of the soft blanket that had been draped across her body hours earlier. She tried to move her hands but it was to no avail. Her hands were tightly bound behind her. A thin sheet of white cloth covered her eyes allowing her to see faint outlines glide around just beyond her reach. Suddenly, the cloth was pulled from her face.
Justin stood in front of her a deadly smirk on his face. They both sat in the new house. Callie's hands were bound to the chair she was sitting on. Glancing down Callie realized she was no longer in her pajamas. A short red and black dress fell about her skinny frame matching the tiles on the floor. The gold pearl necklace around her throat felt heavy.
"Justin!? What is going on here? What is this?" She cried motioning with her head towards the dress.
Justin just smiled. For the first time she realized Justin was not in his usually night wear either. Instead of his boxers and a t-shirt which he always wore to bed he wore a black jacket and top hat. White gloves laced his fingers as he spread his arms wide. A gasp escaped her lips as she noticed his eyes. The gray color they were before use to disturb her, looking unnatural. They were nothing compared to this. His eyes were a bright shade of crimson and seemed to glow brighter by the second.
"Welcome to our funhouse! Enjoy your stay!" He whispered. His voice was a low growl and his eyes had a strange gleam to them.
He's a ringer master! The clothes! They belong to a ring master! She realized suddenly.
With a flick of his hand and wrist the candles around the room went out plunging the room into total darkness.
"Welcome to the show. Or in other words welcome to your worst nightmare." He said.
A chill ran up Callie's spine as she saw the red eyes gleaming in the darkness. She always knew her brother was a monster. She always knew there was something off about him. The only question was, what was going to happen to her now?
A rough hand grasped her shoulder. She felt the person's nails digging painfully into her skin. They felt more like claws than anything else. Suddenly, the lights flickered on for one second giving her a glimpse at the person behind her. It was Justin, but something was wrong with him. Horribly wrong. Black claws ripped through the white gloves on his hands. A row of sharp jagged teeth sprouted down over his lip. His head was bent in a unnatural angle giving the illusion that his neck was broken. The lights flickered again and remained on this time. Callie felt sick as she stared at the monstrosity that was once her step brother.
His lips poured blood as the sharp teeth ripped small gashes in his flesh. Reaching towards her he swiped his hands across the ropes at her wrists, slicing through them with ease.
"You have thirty seconds before the chase begins. Go!" He said. The words came from his mouth in a growl sounding more monster than man.
Callie ran, heading up the long staircase. She stumbled across the tiles heart beating fast. The strange sound of her step brother's counting lingered in the air. Once she got to the top of the stairs she froze. The hallway was completely covered in mirrors. They were full length circus mirrors that caused your body to stretch and shrink in an odd fashion.
Callie would have enjoyed standing in front of them if not scared for her life. She ran to the only door that was visible at the end of the hallway. Pulling at the door knob it refused to open. Suddenly, the echoes of laughter reached her ears. Whipping around she saw each mirror still held her reflection. Each one was laughing cruel at her a amused smile on its face.
"Not that way girl!" One hissed.
"Only he can open it!" Another one said.
Shaking her head in shock she backed up. Her back pressed against the door as she placed her hands harshly to her ears tying to block out the laughter. Her brother appeared at the end of the hallway. A strangled cry came from Callie's lips as she pushed on the door harshly desperate to get away from the creature she use to call Justin.
"Help! Help!" She shrieked ramming her shoulder into the door. Her brother moved forward menacingly. Turning back to him Callie stared into those crimson eyes. Making a split second decision that could either save or end her life she darted towards him. Ducking under his arms as she passed, just out of his grasp, she rushed towards the stairs.
Before she could place her first foot on the staircase a hand wrapped around her neck. Justin gripped the golden necklace in his claws.
"I told you no to mess with us." He growl. Pushing harshly on her neck Callie tumbled forward. The necklace snapped sending beads flying everywhere. Callie tumbled downwards smashing her head into the stairs. She lay sprawled at the bottom. Her vision began to blur. The last thing she remembers is Justin looming over her as she blacks out.
Callie jerked up in bed as the morning sunlight streamed through her bed room window.
So it was all a dream? She thought.
"Callie! Come on! We're heading to our new house!" Her mother called into her bedroom.
"Coming!" She called back.
Once at the house Callie walked into the living room. She searched for any signs of the ropes that had been used to restrain her hands or the candles that had been burning in her dream. She found nothing.
"You alright?" Justin asked her.
She jumped at his voice.
"Whoa. Take it easy." Sammy whispered.
"I'm fine! Leave me alone." She said trotting off towards the steps. She grabbed the railing, ready to climb up the stairs when suddenly she tumbled to the ground.
"Whoa! Are you alright? How did these beads even get here?" Justin cried helping her to her feet. Callie stared at the golden pearls on the ground. They were identical to the ones in her dreams.
"I don't know." She stuttered. Climbing up the stairs she made her way to the hallway. She approached the old wooden door to find it locked just like in her dreams.
"Hey! Hold on a second! I have the key to this door. I found it when I was exploring yesterday!" Sammy cried.
"You did?" Justin asked clearly curious as to what was inside the room. Sammy nodded quickly. He placed the tarnished silver key in the key hole. It opened with a click.
Only he can open it. The words repeated in Callie's mind over and over again. Scanning the room the three found a collection of strange outfits and costumes. Justin quickly plucked one off the hanger and held it up to the light.
"Cool! A ring master's costume! This would look great on me! What do you think Callie?" He said flashing her a devious smile.
"It really does." She replied quietly. The costume was a exact replica of the one in her dream. The black coat draped over the hanger, gloves stuffed in the pockets.
"Hey Justin! What happened to your lip?!" Sammy cried suddenly. Callie glanced upwards to stare at Justin. A line of small cuts laced across his lower lip in the exact place his fangs had been in her dream.
"Oh don't worry about it. It was nothing. Right, Callie?" He said. Once again he smirked at her. And once again a shiver went up her spine.