Humble Abode

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Stand your ground, or die trying.

Submitted: June 17, 2016

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Submitted: June 17, 2016

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It was a Saturday evening. Around five o’clock, the doorbell rang and I heard my dad open the door to greet someone. The door shut and I listened as the clatter of footsteps approached my door and came to a halt as a sharp knock rang in my ear drums.

“Ash?” My dad asked, as he turned the doorknob and stepped inside.

My dad was dressed in a blue and black plaid dress shirt. His solid blue tie was swinging loosely with every step. I could see my mom standing behind him, peering into my room over his shoulder. Her shimmering blue earrings dangling from her earlobes matched her indigo colored dress that resembled an ocean at the fall of darkness; the ripples in the seams of her dress fluttering against her skin imitated waves crashing softly against a sandy shore.

“Ash, honey, this is Sara. She’ll be your babysitter for the night”.

My parents stepped aside to reveal a teenage girl in blue jeans and a white band t-shirt waving at me. She had a smile on her face and a gleam in her green eyes that brandished her innocence. Sara was small in size and had a frail frame to her that resembled my own (taller by an inch or two), but she was at least twice my age.

“Hey Ashley! My name is Sara. Nice to meet you!”. She stepped forward into my room, leaned over a bit and motioned her hand towards me to shake, but I only sat on the edge of my bed and stared at her. No particular reason behind my snubness; I just didn’t like it when people, especially strangers, called me Ashley.

Sara returned her hand to her side and shot my parents an innocent, but awkward look.

“Don’t take offense Sara. She doesn’t really like being called Ashley, so we call her Ash.” My mother chimed.

“Oh.” Muttered Sara. She turned around to face me again and this time knelt on one knee and extended her hand towards me again.

“Let me start over.” She cleared her throat.

“Hello Ash! My name is Sara Fullerton. Nice to meet you.”

That made me smile a little bit. I extended my arm and our hands met in a handshake.

“Hi Sara” I mumbled softly.

Sara smiled at my response.

“Are you ready to have fun tonight Ash?” she asked.

I bobbled my head slightly, but didn’t say a word. Our handshake had ended and my eyes were focusing down at my legs which were dangling droopily over the edge of the bed.

Sara stood back up as my dad then took his turn to kneel by my side. He grabbed my balled up hand and placed it in his. It was like a baseball sitting inside of a glove. I wiggled my fingers out of the fist and spread them over the palm of his hand, feeling the soft texture of his skin. I was still looking down at my legs and feet when he lightly lifted my chin and my eyes met his.

“Sara is in charge tonight while your mom and I go out, okay?”

I nodded slightly and he smiled. His blue eyes pierced my own and his hand cleared the bangs from my face as he leaned over and kissed my forehead.

“Now say good-bye to mom, Ash.” He said as he repositioned himself back next to his wife.

I waved good-bye to my mom as she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

“Goodnight sweetie. We’ll see you tomorrow morning okay hun? Be on your best behavior for Sara.”

“No worries Mr. and Mrs. Muertas! I’m sure Ash and I are gonna have a fun time!” Sara chimed.

“I know you two will.” My dad replied.

“Our cell phone numbers are on the fridge and you can help yourself to whatever is in the kitchen, but I left thirty bucks for pizza in case you guys get hungry later.”

My parents turned to head for the bedroom door.

“Thanks Mr. Muertas.”

And with that, my parents exited my room and made their way towards the front door. Sara turned to me and clasped her hands together,

“Well Ash, looks like it’s just you and me now. What do ya’ wanna do first?”

I lifted my head up and shot her a blank stare. I didn’t say anything and merely looked on as she smiled an awkward toothy smile. Her gums peeked their head out from underneath her lips and contrasted the whiteness of her teeth.  She sighed and plopped a squat next to me on the bed.

“Do you like card games?” she asked optimistically.

I focused my eyes back on my swinging feet and shook my head in disagreement.

“Hm…okay how about board games? I think I spotted Monopoly on the coffee table when I walked in.”

Again, I said nothing, but tenderly shook my head no.

“Do you just want to watch TV together?” she asked, sounding defeated.

At the time, I didn’t realize how difficult I must’ve been acting. Poor Sara. I know she only meant well.

I shrugged my shoulders at the idea of watching TV with Sara.

“Perfect! TV it is.”

She extended her hand and I stared at it for a second or two before meeting it with my own. We hopped off of the bed together and walked out of my room and into the living room.

~

The light from outside was receding away behind the rooftops of houses and through the large bay window in the living room, I could see the street lights coming on. The once baby blue sky had become orange as the sun had begun to set and the laughter of the neighborhood kids playing outside dimmed down as they retreated inside of their homes for the night.

“So Ash…” said Sara as she took a seat on the leather armchair adjacent to the window.

“What do you want to watch?”

I chose to sit on a blue bean bag chair that sat directly in front of the TV. My dad had initially gotten me the bean bag chair for my room, but I would always drag it outside to the living room to watch TV comfortably on.

I shrugged my shoulders.

“How about I scroll through the guide and you let me know when you see something you wanna watch? Sound good?”

I nodded in agreement.

She flipped through the guide for about a minute until we came across the classic Scooby Doo, Where Are You! series from back in the 60’s.

“That one!” I chimed as I pointed to the screen.

Sara laughed.

“Scooby Doo huh?” she asked sounding surprised.

“I would’ve figured you for a Powerpuff kind of girl.”

We watched Scooby Doo till it became dark out. That was when Sara asked me if I was hungry.

“Ice cream!” I replied with my focus still on the Mystery Inc. gang. Scooby and the gang had been exploring a supposedly haunted island and were just on the verge of unmasking the bad guy.

“Ice cream? Don’t you want some real food?” asked Sara as she stood up and walked over to the kitchen. I could hear her open the fridge and explore its contents a bit. I shook my head and replied,

“No. I want ice cream.”.

I heard her giggle in the background as she replied,

“Alright alright. Ice cream it is! But don’t tell your parents I fed you dessert before your dinner or they just might kill me!”.

Sara served me a bowl of Neapolitan ice cream and brought it over to me. She then took a seat on the couch directly behind me and began to eat her ice cream. I stood up and joined her on the couch as we finished up the rest of the episode and enjoyed our delicious dessert. With our bellies full and our eyes heavy, Sara and I napped next to one another as a new episode of Scooby Doo was about to start.

~

I awoke to the sound of a loud crash that had come from upstairs. Sara must had heard it as well because I watched as her eyes opened almost immediately.

“What was that?” she muttered and looked wildly around the room for the source of the noise. She turned the TV off and we heard the floorboards creak above our heads and Sara stood up and walked over to the end of the stairs.

“Ash, you don’t own a cat or a dog do you?”

I shook my head. Her eyes were alarmed and wide in a way that made me feel disconcerted. The creaking of the floorboards above our heads carried on.

“Ash you stay right there.”

Sara had set one foot on the bottom step of the stairs and was looking up them as if whatever (or whoever) was up there was just going to show its face and reveal itself.

“I’m going to go check upstairs. I’m sure it was just the wind from an open window that knocked over a vase or something.”

Her tone of voice implied that she was, in fact, not so sure that it was merely the wind knocking over a vase. What about the creaking of the floorboards? Was that merely the wind as well?

The lump in her throat was the size of a golf ball. She shot me one more unsettling look and walked slowly up the stairs. The old wooden floorboards screeched with every step she took as she descended further into the darkness that was the second floor of my house.

I sat on the edge of the couch and waited for Sara to return. The creaking of the floorboards from above my head had ceased and I heard Sara flip on the light switch as she reached the top of the staircase. Now the only sound was that of Sara’s own footsteps as she explored the upstairs region of my home in search of her open window.

Her footsteps halted. Complete silence now. I stared at the bottom of the staircase as the silence pierced my ears. Then, I heard the slow creak of one of the doors opening upstairs. Sara’s footsteps picked up again and I heard her close shut one of the windows. She shouted down at me,

“Hey Ash! I told you it was an open wind-”

Then I heard a loud thud hit the floor as Sara was cutoff midsentence. The creaking of the old floorboards intensified and it sounded like a stampede of footsteps trampling around upstairs.

I remained seated on the edge of the couch as the I listened on, frightened and unaware of what was going on. At that moment, Sara let out a loud scream,

“ASH!” she bellowed.

I could hear the terror in her voice as the ruckus of footsteps grew louder, faster and closer to the top of the staircase. Sara’s shriek was followed by another loud crash. It sounded like glass breaking. My eyes were dead set on the stairs and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sara turn the sharp corner at the top of the stairs and nearly fly down them. She was hysterical. Her hair was a mess and her eyes were pouring with tears.

“Ash hide!” she screamed at me as she reached the bottom step.

I caught a glimpse of another figure round the corner at the top of the stairs. An unknown figure dressed in all black. They too began fumbling down the stairs; staggering almost as if they were hurt.

Sara grabbed my arm and yanked me off of the couch. She led me to a closet near the kitchen and opened the door, motioning for me to get inside.

“Ash, stay here and don’t make a sound okay?” she said to me as tears flowed down her cheeks and splashed onto the floor. I did as I was told without saying a word. Sara tossed me her cell phone once I was inside.

“Dial 9-1-1, and tell them your address okay Ash? Can you do that for me?” She stared at me and the gleam that was once in her eyes was now gone. Replaced only with glistening tears and the look of absolute terror. I nodded at her, and at that moment, the unknown figure’s hand came into eye shot and grabbed Sara’s hair, yanking her backwards as she let out a loud shriek of pain.

Her thrashing feet kicked the closet door closed and there I sat motionless, listening to Sara’s cries.

I looked out the blinds in the closet door and saw the intruder toss Sara’s body towards the kitchen counter as her body slammed against it, creating a hollow ‘thud’ sound. Sara was lumped over on the kitchen linoleum floor. Her attacker was standing over her and was about to grab her hair again when in the blink of an eye, Sara thrust her head upwards and made contact with the attacker’s chin, sending him collapsing backwards.

Sara jumped to her feet and ran towards the other end of the kitchen. She grabbed a kitchen knife from a drawer near the sink, but by now her attacker had clambered to his feet and had lunged after her. Grabbing ahold of her and hugging her from behind, the assailant tossed her aside and reached for the knife their self. Sara stumbled, but dropped to her knees and grabbed a hold of his left leg. I watched as my babysitter practically unhinged her jaw and bit down on her attacker’s calf, sending them into an enormous amount of pain. The assailant thrashed their leg wildly, trying to buck Sara off like a bull would a rider. They punched at Sara’s head until she had let go, but by now there was blood from their calf dripping down her mouth and onto the kitchen floor.

Sara looked like ferocious rabid dog. Her hair was wild, her face was scratched and bruised and her once white shirt was stained with drops of blood.

For her size and stature, Sara had put up quite the fight in self-defense. As her attacker howled in pain, muttering profanities out loud, Sara crawled to the end of the kitchen and hoisted her self up with help from the refrigerator handle.

“You bitch! You fucking bit me!” screamed the attacker.

It was a deep and bellowing voice – like that of a man.

Sara grabbed ahold of a teapot kettle on the stove counter top and heaved it at the attacker, striking him in the head. He howled in pain and removed his black balaclava to reveal his scarred and bleeding forehead underneath his crop of dirt brown hair. I could see blood dripping down from the hole in his black jeans where Sara had bitten. He tore his balaclava in half and had used it to wrap around his injured calf to stop the bleeding. I looked at Sara as she had once again collapsed onto the floor; probably from her own exhaustion. The sweat was beginning to weigh down her hair and I could no longer see her face as she began to crawl in my direction. I heard her grunt with every inch forward and she tried to get to her feet again as the man loomed ominously behind her. He limped slowly after her with the kitchen knife in his hand and winced in pain with every step he took with his left leg.

Sara’s cell phone vibrated in my hands. It was a text message from my mom asking if things were going alright.

If only she knew.

I heard the cry of Sara’s voice as I looked up and saw the man grab a hold of one of Sara’s legs. She kicked and she screamed as the attacker held on and lifted his other arm high above his head. With the knife in hand, he leaned over and swung the knife down, planting it in Sara’s belly.

Sara had turned her gaze to me and I could see that her hair was out of her face now. She didn’t cry out in pain like I thought she would, but instead opened her mouth as if to say something, but no words left her mouth. Like her once white shirt, blood stained her white teeth and I could see her gums sticking out again, except this time, it wasn’t because she was smiling. I watched as her pupils dilated and the vibrant glow of green that once resided in her irises seemed to fade to an ominous shade of black as little red veins began to drown the remaining white surrounding the pupil. The weight of her head caused her chin to hit the wooden floor and her mouth closed shut. I stared at her and she stared right back at me. Her glare was cold and it sent goose bumps up and down my body, but I did mot move from my position.

~

 I could hear the man wincing in pain and breathing heavily as he stood over Sara’s motionless body. He retrieved the knife from Sara’s abdomen and with that, Sara’s eyes closed. The man caught his breath and I watched as he walked over to the living room couch. He grimaced in pain and discomfort as he leaned on the couch to check on his calf. Unwrapping the balaclava from his leg, he used the kitchen knife to cut open his jeans below the knee and leave some breathing room for his wound.

Sara’s cell phone began to vibrate in my now sweaty hands and it slipped from my grip onto the floor, reverberating loudly against the wooden floorboards.  I gasped and looked down to see that it was my mom calling; probably checking up on us after Sara had not answered her previous text message. I looked through the blinds in the closet door, but the man was no longer leaning against the couch. I fumbled to grab the vibrating cell phone off of the floor and with my sweaty fingers, answered the call.

“Sara? Hello? Sara are you there?”

I heard my mother’s panicked voice through the phone and placed it up to my ear.

“Mom…” I whispered.

“Ash? Honey, where’s Sara? Why are you whispering?”

As my mother spoke, I pushed open the closet door a bit to see where the man had gone. I figured he had panicked and left as soon as he heard the vibrating phone, but I didn’t remember hearing the door open or close. I poked my head out the closet door and looked around the room. There was a puddle of blood near the couch, but other than that, the there was no sign of the man.

I was about to reply to my mother when I felt a heavy hand grab a hold of my shirt collar and yank the rest of my body out of the closet. The phone fell from my hands as I let out a surprised cry. The man had flung me across the room and my body had crashed against a wooden stand near the couch. I lifted my head too see the man limping towards me; bloody kitchen knife in hand. In the distance, I could hear a muffled voice screaming something through the phone. The man inched closer as I sat up and tried to scurry away. My feet treaded the floorboards, but between the concoction of blood, sweat and tears on the floor, my shoes could not find a grip.

I was about ready to just close my eyes and ball up like an armadillo when I heard a cry come from behind the still impending man. Then I saw as the kitchen knife flew from the grips of the man’s hand and crashed against the floor. He turned to find a beaten and bleeding Sara standing before him with a broom stick in her hands. Her shirt was now almost completely black from the blood that had gushed out of her belly. She looked wild with adrenaline as she lunged at the man with the broom stick in her hands. With the wooden end of the broom stick, Sara jabbed at the man’s face and head as he turned to focus his attack on her instead of me. He lifted his hands up to shield his face from the fearsome blows that Sara was dealing, but between his injured leg and his own exhaustion, the man could not block the blows.  

With jab after menacing jab to the man’s face, head and throat, Sara pushed forward as the man began to fumble backwards. All it took was one swift shot to the man’s knees to send him tumbling to the ground. He was still trying to shield his face as Sara pounced over his body and unrelentingly continued her flurry of jabs with the broom stick.

Soon, the man’s hands fell lifelessly to his sides and with a loud cry, Sara dealt one final blow to the man’s head and thrust the now broken broom stick into (what looked like) the man’s mouth.

A pool of blood surrounded the dead man’s head. Sara stood catching her breath over his body, leaning on the other end of the broom stick that stuck erectly out of the man’s mouth. I cowered in the corner where the man had flung me and looked on as Sara collapsed to her knees. She looked at me, sweaty and out of breath, then turned her focus on the intruder that lay dead before her.

 

 I watched as Sara applied pressure to her wounded belly and lean back against the end of the couch. She nodded over to me and requested I come to her side. I stood up on my own two feet and winced at a throbbing pain in my lower back where the end of the wooden stand had met my body. I collapsed next to her on floor near the end of the couch and she leaned her head onto my head. Her breathing was heavy and there was a hint of wheezing with every breath she let out. With her free hand, she grabbed my balled up fist and placed it in her hand. I wiggled my fingers loose out of the fist and lay them gently across her hand, then interlocked them between her fingers. Together, we listened to the approaching sound of police sirens.

 

FIN


© Copyright 2017 Winston Erebus. All rights reserved.

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