a house in the country

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Martin and Karen Brighton had been married for four years now and they felt that this was the right time to buy the house of their dreams. They were planning to have at least three children running around the house so they thought that getting a house in the country where they could have lots of space to play and run would be best. His job was an incredibly good paying one and Karen was a writer so she could stay home and watch the kids while he traveled if needed. They had been daydreaming about this moment since they got married but now it would turn into a reality. The Realtor lady had offered them a house in the country that seemed perfect. They were going to see it the next day. Martin woke up early and headed to the kitchen of their medium sized apartment and humming to the music in the radio started preparing breakfast. He went all out. Scrambled eggs, bacon, toasts, orange juice and of course a cup of coffee to top it all. He served breakfast on a big tray and headed to the bedroom. Sitting on the edge of the bed he kissed his wife cheek and softly called her name. A sleepy Karen moved and opened her eyes while stretching. A big smile appeared on her face and hugging her husband she said…

“Thank you honey, it looks delicious.”

“It is, but we have to hurry up remember we have to meet with the realtor today” he said in a mellow voice.

“Yes, I know let’s get started” she said and laughing grabbed a piece of toast and started eating.

Jenna Peltzer had been in the real estate business for a while, and she was a successful one in her area. She had sold many houses and her customers always spoke highly of her but there was one house that had proven unsellable, and it was driving her insane. It was a big and beautiful country home. The twostory house was surrounded by a luscious and breathtaking scenery. She hoped this time she would get lucky and that the couple that was going to see it in the afternoon fell head over heels in love with it. She had made some changes to the entrance in hopes to modernize it and she was sure it would pay off. At exactly one pm the couple arrived and the sparkle in their eyes when they saw the house told Jenna that she probably had a deal so she quickly moved towards them and after the initial presentations she gave them the basic tour of the house emphasizing on the big porch surrounding the house where you could see the beautiful sunsets of the area and the roomy and spacious living room where they could entertain their guests. The garden area was full of flowers giving the house a fresh look and a big willow three with two swings was the perfect spot for the children to play. After showing the house to the couple she left them alone and went outside to wait for them to come out with their decision. She was standing there looking at the house when a movement caught her eye. One of the swings had been moving as if someone had just gotten off it. There was no breeze, the place was quiet, and no one was around besides them so she felt a little tinge of fear grab her but she needed to remain calm, so she took out a cigarette and just when she was about to light it up the couple came out, so she placed it back in the carton and walked towards them saying…

“So? “What do you think, do you like it?” The couple looked at each other for a moment and looking back at her said with joy…

“We love it… when can we sign?” A rush of relief flowed down Jenna’s body and smiling at the couple she said…

“I will prepare the paperwork and as soon as they are ready, I will give you a call.”

A week later Jenna and the Brighton’s met again but this time the couple came out of the office with the keys of what soon would be their new house. Jenna could not be happier. She had made another sale, but not just any sale. She had finally sold that creepy country house that she had learned to hate since the first day she arrived there for the inspection. Her job was done, so turning around she grabbed her stuff and walking out of the office she smiled with mischief hoping that this time they would last longer. Karen was so excited about the move that the fact that the house was a bit far from the nearest town did not bother her at all. It was her dream house and that is what counted. When the realtor lady gave them the keys to their new house it was a dream come true. Moving from their apartment in the city to this gorgeous country house meant a lot of changes but they were willing to adapt. The house was big, so when the kids came there would have a lot of space to play without bothering anyone. She could have her studio and Martin could have his gym and they would prepare a side of the house just for the kids. The kids…she could not wait to get pregnant and have at least three kids running around, she came from a big family, and she wanted a family of her own. Martin was a great husband, and she was sure he would be a great dad also. He worked hard and he travelled sometimes but she was used to it so it would make no difference staying alone occasionally in that big house. She was not an easy one to scare. She would be fine. On a bright and sunny morning, the Brighton’s moved into their new house. Only laughter could be heard along the halls. Happiness filled the air and the couple felt that they had finally achieved their goal. The movers were busy placing stuff inside the house. Loads of boxes filled the halls and Karen was starting to wonder where had all those boxes come from. She never thought Martin and she had so many things in their apartment. It would take months for them to be able to clear everything. She wanted the house to look as splendorous and majestic as it should have looked long time ago when it was new. The house had been a real bargain for the price and even when she knew she had a lot of work ahead she could not wait to get started, and she did. Hours later Martin and her were still busy accommodating boxes in the different rooms of the big house when Karen said…

“Hey love, I think it’s time to stop all this work and take a break to eat something I am starving…what do you think? “That sounds great” said Martin with a big smile. An hour later they were both relaxing on the porch while having a sip of wine from the bottle Martin had opened to celebrate the start of their new life. Things were looking good for them. It would take some time for them to get used to the country life specifically the night sounds, but it was so beautiful that it was worth it. They watched the stars for a while and after three glasses of wine they were both ready to head to bed. Martin stood up and looking at his pretty wife felt like the luckiest man alive. He grabbed her hand and helped her stand up, grabbing her by the waist he looked at her and said…

“I love you so much, you are my world and I promise you under this beautiful sky and all those stars out there that I will never leave you” and kissed her lips softly while hugging her.

Small tears of joy appeared in the corner of her eyes and a big smile crossed her face. They were standing there holding each other when something crashed inside the house. Looking at each other with concern they headed inside. Everything was in order, but Karen felt uncomfortable. She was trying to figure out where had the noise come from. Meanwhile Martin was checking the downstairs bedrooms and to his eyes nothing seemed out of place there either. He decided that it must have been one of the boxes upstairs. It was a big house, and any noise would sound louder in the dead of night. He walked back to where Karen was standing and assured her that everything was fine. He turned the lights out, bolted all doors and headed upstairs with his wife. Three hours later Karen woke up and her throat felt so dry that she got out of bed and headed to the kitchen to get a glass of water. The house was dark and quiet, and the corner shadows seemed to dance to the moonlight. In a hurried pace Karen reached the kitchen and quickly turned on the lights. She was still a bit drunk, and her head was throbbing, so she decided to grab the glass of water and head upstairs to get some aspirin. She walked through the big kitchen taking long strides and reaching the refrigerator opened the door and took the water container. After pouring some in a glass she opened the door again to place the water back inside. It was then that through the corner of her eye she saw a shadow move and disappear through one of the cabinet doors. Startled she let go of the door and grabbing a broom that was near she approached the lower cabinet door where she thought the thing, probably a rat; had entered. Using the broom stick she started opening the cabinet doors. After opening three of them without any luck she wondered if she should just leave it and head upstairs, but her curiosity was bigger. She wanted to catch that rat if possible, so she kept opening the cabinet doors. The fourth door was ajar, and no creature had come or lurked out yet. She was ready to give up when a sound came from inside the fifth door. She grabbed the broom and moving closer to the door opened it and looked inside ready to attack the intrusive creature that was trying to invade her space without permission. A shocking surprise was awaiting behind the cabinet door. One that she was not prepared for. The inside of that cabinet seemed darker than the rest. At first, she did not see it. She felt disappointed and was starting to close the door when suddenly she heard the noise again and whispering to herself, she said in a muffled voice… “I got you this time.” She opened the door and there it was looking straight at her with an evil grin. A devilish creature with big dark eyes and sharp teeth was standing in the corner ready to attack. A green slobber ran out from the corners of the creature’s mouth. The little monster was standing upright on its two feet and something that seemed like a tail to her moved beside it. A gasp of fear escaped her mouth. The fear that involved her was such that for a moment she felt paralyzed. It was when the creature started moving slowly towards her that she finally reacted and moving backwards grabbed the glass of water and threw it to the creature. Instead of scaring it away the water made it angry, and it came out of the cabinet with a vicious look in its eyes and quickly jumped towards the woman. Just then as if on cue the lights went off. Karen screamed and started to run but tripped and fell face down. The thing jumped on her back, and she could feel the small feet walking up her back. She started screaming again and with a big effort she managed to turn around and get up. She could feel the creature’s claws grabbing the back of her sleeping gown. It was heading up her back. Soon it would reach her neck and it might bite her. She had to do something quick. Running to the stove she grabbed the BBQ lighter and turned it on flashing it towards her back. The creature stopped moving and instead jumped to the floor in front of her and with a quick movement of its small hand scratched her leg. The pain of the scratch was so intense that her air faltered making her dizzy. Her head started spinning and for a moment she lost sense of what was happening. The lights started flickering and suddenly, the kitchen was not dark anymore. In her daze Karen saw the creature move its hands towards its face as if trying to cover it. It started retreating and running to the cabinet it jumped in and disappeared from her view in a flash. She was standing there barely holding herself up when Martin appeared and grabbed her just before she let go. Martin was sound asleep when Karen left the room to go downstairs. It had been a busy day and he was exhausted. At first, he thought it had been a nightmare what had awoken him from his sleep but then he looked to Karens side of the bed and noticed she was not there. Just when he was going to call her a scream filled the air and he immediately sprung out of bed and ran downstairs towards the kitchen. He got there just in time. He grabbed Karen and holding her up stopped her from falling to the floor. He looked at her pale face and looking around wondered what had happened.

Why had she been screaming?

He took her in his arms and brought her to the couch. She was unresponsive so he tried to wake her up to no avail. Turning around he started walking to the kitchen when a movement in the corner of the living room caught his eye. He moved towards the corner, and he saw something run fast from the corner to the window disappearing behind the window curtain. The thing was so fast that he had no time to see what it was. His curiosity had been piqued so he started walking towards the curtain but not before stopping to grab the baseball bat that was lying on the floor. “Better be safe than sorry” he thought to himself. He could see that something was hiding behind the curtain and when it moved, he felt a tinge of fear grab him, but he kept moving and approaching the curtain he opened it with a quick move. He stepped back trying to make sense of what had just happened. He moved the curtain again to make sure but there was nothing behind it. He looked to the sides and even turned on the lights but there was nothing. He could not understand how the thing could have disappeared like that. He thought that maybe it had been a rat, but it seemed bigger. Well, it was gone so he decided to forget about it for the moment and concentrate on finding out what had happened to Karen. He walked back to where he had placed her and that was when he noticed the long and deep gash on her leg. How could he have missed that before? Dry blood surrounded the cut and it looked bad. He had to find something to cure it before it got infected. Walking down the hall he could see the trail of dry blood that had seeped from her wound, and it looked to him like a crime scene. Grabbing some gauze and alcohol from the bathroom he approached Karen and carefully cleaned and cured it as best he could. Karen had started moving so he moved closer to her and softly called her name a couple times. Karen opened her eyes and at once started screaming startling Martin. He tried to calm her down, but she was screaming hysterically so he had to slap her to make her stop. It worked, she had stopped screaming but he felt so guilty for having to hit her that he hugged her tight and asked her to forgive him. Karen had started crying and trying to understand what she was trying to say was not working so he just hugged her and after a while when she calmed down, he managed to ask her what had happened. He had heard a lot of strange stories during his lifetime but hers topped them all. Monsters in the kitchen attacking her … yes that was her story. Obviously, she had to be mistaken. It was just not possible, maybe in a campy horror movie but not in real life. He was convinced it had been just a product of her imagination. It was probably the wine still doing its work. She was adamant about not making it up, but he had disregarded it as a hallucination due to the alcohol. The only other plausible explanation would be to think it had been a rat or maybe a couple. The only thing he could not understand was the fact that she had such a deep cut on her leg. Maybe she cut herself when she tripped. However, he was determined to convince her it had been her imagination so he told her he would call an exterminator the next morning and if there was something, any animal inside the house the guy would find it and get rid of it. Of course, he would make sure to tell the exterminator to show him whatever he found before getting rid of it. He carried Karen to her room and gave her a mild sedative to calm her down. After a while she was sleeping like a baby. He returned downstairs to the kitchen and after verifying that everything was in order there and cleaning Karen’s blood trail he walked to the place where he had seen what he thought was a big rat behind the curtain and inspected the area. He found nothing suspicious there, so he decided that his mind was also playing tricks on him. He was walking towards the stairs when a scratching noise caught his attention. It was coming from the basement door. For a moment he stood still trying to figure out what to do. The scratching noise was subtle but continuous. He grabbed the bat again and swiftly walked to the basement door. He was a bit nervous by now, but he was determined to open the door and find out what was making the noise. He grabbed the door handle and without thinking twice opened the door. Suddenly from the darkness something jumped towards him, and Martin’s reaction was so rash that he started screaming while swinging the bat from side to side like crazy. He felt the bat hit something and stopping for a second, he focused on the thing lying on the floor beside him. He could not believe his eyes; he had just hit a cat. He knelt and looked at the bleeding creature and sadness overcame him. The unfortunate thing was agonizing but suddenly he noticed that the cat had been bitten. Looking at the bat he saw that there was no blood on it but cement powder from the wall. He had not hit the cat. He felt relief wash over him. The creature had lost too much blood and he wondered what had bitten it but there was no time to delve any deeper on it now. He had to clean he area and get rid of the cat as soon as possible. He did not want Karen to wake up and see that because then he would have her whining for a month. He cleaned everything as quick and silently as possible and after burying the dead cat behind a tree he ran upstairs and got into bed. He remained awake for a couple of hours trying to make sense of the night’s events, but he got to no conclusion.

“Rats, it has to be rats or maybe a rabid racoon” _ “Yes, that must be it” he said to himself and turning around in bed made a mental note to call an exterminator first thing in the morning.

The house was dark and quiet, the night shadows danced in the corners of each room. Small shadows moved in the dark, bright eyes looking everywhere as if planning an attack. The creatures whispered to each other. An evil grin played in their faces. Their chance would come soon they just had to wait a bit longer. The victim had been selected and this time would not be different from the others. They just had to remain vigilant… as always… The dark night turned into a beautiful sunny day and Karen had woken up in a better mood even though her body ached, and her leg was throbbing. Martin had convinced her that she had been hallucinating due to the alcohol and that what attacked her was a cat that he had killed by accident because it had also attacked him. He had also promised to call an exterminator to check the house for rats or any other pest just in case and that made her feel better. She had managed to go downstairs to prepare breakfast and she was singing to a song on the radio when the phone rang. Martin’s boss was on the phone… not a good sign for him to be calling so early she thought.

“Mr. Reiger how are you?” asked Karen.

“I am fine can I speak with Martin?” said the man’s voice in a serious tone.

“Sure, just give me a moment to go wake him up” _ I must advise you it might take some time because a cat attacked me last night and I have a deep gash on my leg,” said Karen.

“Well, if that is the case then never mind just tell him to give me a call as soon as possible” and after saying this he hung up. Karen stood there looking at the phone while thinking to herself that this was the rudest boss Martin had ever had. She put the receiver back in its cradle and started walking towards the stairs. Looking up the stairs she wished this were one of those houses that were equipped with an elevator because right now she felt disabled. Her leg pain had subsided due to the Ibuprofen she had taken but the throbbing was still there. She did not want to go up to the second floor so instead she started calling her husband from downstairs. The yelling had awoken Martin. He jumped out of bed expecting the worse after last night’s events. He ran out of the room and headed to the stairs in a hurry. There she was yelling his name as if the world were ending. He got mad and yelled back in an aggravated tone…

“Hey, what is wrong with you?” “Why are you yelling like that? “Sorry honey I just needed to tell you something,” said Karen.

“Why didn’t you come upstairs instead of yelling like crazy?” asked Martin.

“Honey did you forget I have a slash in my leg that hurts like hell?”

“Sorry, I did forget for a moment.” he said apologizing and started walking downstairs. It was Saturday and he usually slept late those days but after being awaken like that he doubted he would be able to go back to sleep so he knew he was going to be cranky all morning. Approaching Karen, he asked her why she was yelling at that hour and her answer did not please him. He was not used to being called at home on weekends and less by the boss so if Mr. Reiger had called early on a Saturday something bad must have happened. He said a small prayer and picking up the phone dialed Mr. Reiger’s number. A deep voice answered the phone and Martin at once recognized his boss voice. Trying to sound cheerful he said…

“Good morning Mr. Reiger trying to beat the birds to the worm on a Saturday?”

“Look Brighton I am in no mood for your jokes today so let’s cut to the chase” said Reiger in a sharp tone and at once added…

“We had a major blow to one of your accounts last night and I know you are on vacation, but I need you at the office as soon as possible.” “Well, the soonest I can be there is Monday if that is ok with you my wife had an accident and she needs help walking around said Martin hoping that would buy him some time.

“Well Brighton sorry to hear about your wife…I will see you on Monday” said Reiger and hung up before Martin had a chance to ask what had happened with his account. Martin was not happy… swearing under his breath he headed downstairs to the kitchen for some coffee. There was Karen standing in the middle of the kitchen staring at the cabinet.

“Honey are you ok?” asked Martin. She turned towards him and said in a low voice …

“Martin, what happened last night?” “I would like to think it was a nightmare, but my leg is telling me it was very real.”

“It was but don’t worry it is all taken care of,” said Martin.

“What do you mean…you called the exterminator already?” asked Karen in a surprised tone.

“No, not yet…can I have some coffee?” said Martin.

“So, what do you mean?” asked Karen again.

“About last night, all I can tell you is that you had hallucinations and saw things that were not there.”

“Are you saying I am crazy?” He stopped to look at her for a moment and the expression on her face caught him off guard. She was pale and her eyes were open wide and watery as if she were ready to start crying. He approached her and holding her in his arms he kissed her forehead and said…

“My love, you are fine…you just got confused last night because you had a bit too much to drink…you thought you had been attacked by a monster but what attacked you was a cat, and it is gone.”

“A cat?” “That was no cat it was standing in two legs and_”

“Karen, some cats can stand in two legs and anyway you know monsters don’t exist.”

“So, you think I am making it up right?” asked Karen in a mortified tone.

“No, as I already said I know you got attacked by something but the only monster I saw last night was a rabid cat that came out of the dark and attacked me.” said Martin.

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“Last night after the incident I took you upstairs and came down to the kitchen to clean up the mess and while I was cleaning, I heard scratching noises coming from the basement door so I grabbed a bat and opened it and suddenly something jumped at me from the dark…I got scared and swung the bat at the thing. I felt it strike something and when I looked, I saw the cat lying there on the floor covered in blood.

“You killed it?” asked Karen in a sorrowful tone.

“No, I did not even hit it…seems it had been bitten or attacked by another animal” he replied.

“Another animal?” asked Karen. “Yes, probably a rabid raccoon but don’t worry I will call the exterminator as soon as I have my coffee… and before I forget something came up at the office and I will have to be there on Monday,” said Martin.

“That is not fair you are on vacation,” said Karen.

“Yes dear but Reiger does not care about that and unfortunately seems that one of my accounts is in deep trouble, so I had to budge,” said Martin.

A look of disappointment crossed Karen’s face. She could not believe he was going to leave her alone in that house now that she needed him more than ever.

“Can’t you call one of the guys to help you sort it out instead of you having to leave me alone in this house with a broken leg?” He could not help but laugh at her statement and walking towards her he embraced her and said…

“Honey your leg is not broken, and I will make sure to call Brenda before I leave so she can keep you company” he said.

“When are you leaving?” she asked.

“Probably on Sunday…I’m sorry honey but I promise I will make it up to you ... come on let’s have some coffee” said Martin and grabbing her by the hand he helped her walk to the kitchen. The weekend went out fast and Sunday arrived quicker than she would have wanted. He was already packing, and the day was gloomy. A storm was brewing on the sky and inside her also. She was not looking forward to being alone in that house after the incident. The exterminator had come around, but he had left without a word, so she had no idea if he had found something in the house or not. They had called the company, but the man had not reported to work, and he was not answering his phone either so that was a dead end. Martin had called Brenda, but she had not answered so he had left a message. Brenda had returned Martin’s call and had promised to arrive as soon as possible to keep her company but that had been yesterday, and she had not arrived yet. What else could she expect, Brenda had always been a wild one, a free spirit as she called herself. Commitments did not suit her well and Karen knew it, but she hoped this time it would be different. Dusk was setting in when a car made its way to the driveway and a redhead stepped out of the car yelling…

“Hey guys I made it” _ “Bet you thought I wouldn’t” and letting out a loud chuckle started walking towards the house.

The door opened and a frazzled Karen stepped out to meet her lifelong friend. Behind her stood Martin with a worried expression on his face. He wondered if calling Brenda to take care of his wife had been the best idea seeing that the woman had not changed a bit her crazy ways.

“Oh my God, girl what happened to you? said the redhead with concern looking at her friend’s bandaged leg.

“I was attacked” replied Karen while a grim expression crossed her face.

“What?” said Brenda alarmed and shifting her gaze to Martin started looking at him suspiciously. Noticing Brenda’s eyes were locked on him Martin quickly explained to her that his wife had been attacked by a cat in the kitchen to which Brenda started laughing hysterically making Karen mad.

“Why are you laughing? “How can you find this funny?” said Karen in an altered tone. Looking at her with teary eyes Brenda tried to stop the laughter that was trying to escape her mouth and composing herself she said…

“Oh, I am sorry honey I did not mean to make you mad I just started imagining the scene he just described, and it sounded funny for a moment” said the woman giggling. The expression on Karen’s face did not turn any friendlier so feeling guilty Brenda apologized and giving Karen a hug said…

“My dear you know I love you” “Please forgive your crazy friend I promise to behave” Karen’s anger dissolved and hugging back her friend she said…

“I forgive you” Martin that had been looking at the scene in silence interrupted.

“Excuse me ladies it’s great to see you have mended this misunderstanding and I would love to stay with you and talk about it, but I am sure you have a lot to catch up and I need to be heading out if I want to be on time for work tomorrow”

“I thought you would stay longer but if you have to leave that is fine, she is in good hands” said Brenda amused. Martin stepped inside and gathering his briefcase and luggage headed out to the car. After placing everything inside he went back and hugged and kissed his wife goodbye promising her that he would be back as soon as possible to help her with the house renovations. Approaching Brenda, he made her promise not to leave Karen alone for anything and to make sure that she took the sleeping pills so she could rest because she had been very fidgety lately to which the woman agreed. The look of sadness in his wife’s face made him think that maybe he should stay with her but instead he got into his car promising himself that he would be back soon. Karen and Brenda sat on the porch swing and started walking down memory lane together. They had been close since their teenage years but after Karen’s marriage they had drifted apart. Each one of them had taken a different path. Karen had turned into an independent writer and an interior decorator who owned a successful online business while Brenda still struggled to make her mind up about her role in society. Going from one job to another had proved to be her best bet until she decided what was next for her. At least she was making good money with her last job and if she knew how to manage her income, she would be fine. She enjoyed life and getting married was not one of her main goals in life, but she had to admit that seeing Karen’s happiness when she spoke about Martin and their marriage made her a bit jealous. She wondered if she would ever find someone good enough for her. She was lost in her thoughts when a sudden jolt brought her back to reality. Karen had pushed her. Looking at her friend she said _

“What is wrong with you woman?”

“I have been trying to get your attention for about five minutes, but you seemed to be somewhere else,” said Karen. Standing up with some difficulty she added…

“We need to go inside it is getting dark and a bit cold and I don’t like to be out here in the dark.”

“Can we stay a bit longer it is such a beautiful night” said Brenda looking at the star filled sky.

“You can stay if you want, I am going inside to take a shower” said Karen and started walking towards the door slowly. Brenda wanted to stay outside but since she had promised Martin not to leave Karen alone, she stood up and followed her inside. Helping Karen get upstairs was easy for her. She was a big girl, and her well-formed body was strong not like skinny model type Karen’s. It seemed to her that she had lost weight, but she did not venture asking this time. Karen was in a better mood, and she did not want to spoil the night. She prepared the bathtub with warm water and left everything set for her dear friend to take a good bath and relax while she went downstairs and looked for something to eat and of course for a good bottle of wine or whatever they had that she could indulge herself with.

“Well, everything is ready madame,” said Brenda making a vow. This time Karen smiled and said…

“I am glad you are here … I really missed you all these years.”

“Me too girl, me too but now I am here, and I promise that from now on I will keep in touch and that tonight we will have a blast like we did when we were younger” said Brenda and a big mischievous grin covered her face making Karen burst out laughing.

“Ok, enough of that for now I am going downstairs to fix me something to eat…want me to bring you something?”

“No, I ate already but there is tuna and chicken salad in the fridge if you want,” said Karen.

“Sure, I can eat that skinny diet for today but tomorrow a want a pot roast” she said and both women started laughing again like the old times when everything and anything seemed funny to them. Brenda left and Karen walked towards the bathroom and getting undressed got into the bathtub. The warm water felt so soothing that she relaxed immediately and letting her hair down she accommodated her neck on the plastic pillow and closed her eyes drifting into a peaceful state of mind. The small radio on top of the vanity started singing startling her.


 No one answered but she was sure it had been her friend who had turned on the radio. She remembered her doing that when they lived together at the college dorm so closing her eyes again, she accommodated herself in the prior position and started thinking about Martin wondering if he was ok. There she was almost drifting into a sleeping state when something startled her again. Sitting up she looked at her hand that moments ago had been dangling in the air. She had felt something brush her skin and it had felt cold and damp. The sensation had made her cringe and looking around she wondered if there was a rat in there with her. The sole thought of having one of those creepy things around made her sick so getting up she closed the curtain and turned on the shower. A quick one would be enough for now she thought. Right then the bathroom light started flashing and noises that she could not identify filled the room. It sounded like scratches and small steps that made her skin crawl. Her heartbeat accelerated and her skin grew pale. Remembering the kitchen scene, she started gasping for air. It had returned for her and again she was alone. Brenda was downstairs and she was defenseless. Turning off the faucet she listened carefully to the sounds that were coming from behind the shower curtain. The scratches and the noises told her it was more than one. She needed to see what she was fighting. She knew it was no cat like Martin had said. She needed proof so trying to muster all her courage she started moving her hand slowly towards the towel that was hanging outside of the curtain and grabbed it wrapping it around her body. The noises stopped suddenly and wondering if whatever had been out there was gone, she opened the curtain and stepped out of the tub. A flash of movement caught her attention making her lose her balance. Falling to the floor she injured her leg again and a cry of despair escaped her mouth. The bathroom light turned off completely and the sudden darkness that engulfed her made her gasp. Something was moving towards her. She could see the small figures approaching her, but she could not distinguish what they were. They were too close she needed to stand up before they got her. Grabbing the edge of the tub with her wet hands she tried to get up but the pain in her leg turned so intense that she felt like knives were trespassing her leg and a loud scream escaped her mouth stunning the creatures that stopped moving and remained in silence looking at her from the dark. Feeling completely defenseless the woman covered her face with her hands and tears of despair started flowing down her face. The creatures that had stopped moving looked at each other and whispering something gathered as if joining forces for the attack. They started moving again and this time they were doing it faster. She knew they were coming for her and again she tried to stand up. The pain in her leg was unbearable but she needed to be brave and get out of there. Turning her body around she grabbed the edge of the tub once more. The bathroom light flashed turning on and the room filled with light. She turned her head, and a loud scream came out. The longfaced creature with sharp teeth that she had seen in the kitchen was standing there looking at her with evil eyes and behind it stood five more and they were covering their eyes from the light. She started screaming and the creatures moved disappearing from her sight. A woman’s voice filled the air. It was Brenda. She had heard her friend scream and grabbing an umbrella she hurried upstairs to find out what was happening. Karen was sitting on the floor screaming like crazy and blood was coming out of her wound. Brenda grabbing the closest towel approached her and covering her leg with it tried to calm her. She was hysterical and Brenda’s efforts to calm her down were not working. She was mumbling about creatures that wanted to hurt her. Losing her temper Brenda slapped her. A surprised Karen touched her cheek and looking at Brenda with teary eyes she asked…

“Why did you hit me?”

“I am sorry, but you were hysterical I had to stop you” said Brenda apologizing.

“What happened? “Why were you screaming?”

“They were here, coming for me” “It was more than one” she said looking around her with a scared face.

“Who was here?” asked Brenda in a concerned voice.

“Them, the creatures” answered Karen and her voice faltered.

“Did you fall and hit your head?” “I hope so because right now you sound like a crazy person to me” said Brenda and grabbing Karen’s arms pulled her up.

“You have to believe me I am not imagining things” The look of disbelief in her friend’s face saddened her and forgetting about the excruciating pain on her leg she stood up with Brenda’s help and walked as best she could towards the bed. She understood that there was no point in trying to make them believe she was not lying because she was uncertain about it herself. One thing she was certain about. She could not stay inside that house another night. If by any chance she was not imagining things she was in danger and she needed to do something before it was too late. Brenda had cured her leg and the painkiller had done its magic. Thank God she had stopped Brenda from giving her the sleeping pills. She needed to be fully awake to find the chance to get out of there. She would wait until Brenda fell asleep and even if she had to crawl to the car, she would get out of there. She would call Brenda and Martin when she arrived at the nearest motel just to let them know she was all right.

“Hey, how are you feeling? asked Brenda that had entered her room with a cup of tea in her hand.

“I am feeling a lot better thanks to your magic touch” she said faking a smile.

“Here I brought you some tea to calm your nerves and since you did not want to take the sleeping pill, I am not leaving your side until you drink your tea like a good girl,” said Brenda.

“Are you serious?” said Karen with an amused look on her face.

“Of course I am… I promised your husband I would take care of you and that is exactly what I plan to do” said Brenda seriously.

She did not need to antagonize Brenda. She knew how stubborn she could be so taking the cup of tea in her hands she started drinking it while Brenda watched her like a hawk. She thought it needed more sugar because it tasted a bit sour, but she said nothing because it would keep Brenda in her room for a longer time and she needed to be alone to pack a bag at least so she could be ready to leave when the opportunity appeared.“Good girl” said Brenda patting Karen in the head and taking the cup she said good night and headed out of Karen’s room with a look of satisfaction in her face.

Martin had asked her to take care of his wife and that is exactly what she planned to do even if that implied lying to her best friend. Heading downstairs Brenda went through the house making sure all doors and windows were locked. The house looked very secure, but it was in the country, and she was not especially fond of wild animals. She could hear the wild animals roaming outside and it sounded nearby. “Better be safe than sorry” she thought to herself.

“Well girl your party time has started so let’s go get your booze” she said to her reflection in the mirror and headed to the bar.

The bar was stocked, and she was happy. Yes, she had to admit that drinking was her weakness but as long as she did not hurt anyone she did not care. Karen woke up feeling groggy and her senses immediately alerted her that something was not right. The last thing she remembered was that she was standing in front of the closet trying to decide what to place inside the small backpack she planned to take with her.

“When had she fallen asleep and why did she feel groggy and nauseous? “Brenda” “Had she given her something?”

The sound of something breaking caught her attention and standing up she looked around trying to figure out if the sound had come from inside the room or from outside. There was a storm raging outside and the lightning that entered the room made the shadows dance around making her shudder every time. Her head was spinning, and she felt nauseous, but her body was on high alert and ignoring her leg pain and everything else she walked as quickly as possible to the door and approaching it she turned on the lights. Inside the room everything looked the same, no changes. Nothing was broken and that meant that the sound that she had heard before had come from outside the room. Turning around she grabbed the door handle. The sound of thunder filled the air and the light flickered turning off leaving the room in darkness again. She needed to get out of that room but walking around in the dark feeling dizzy and with an injured leg was not a good choice. She promised herself that wherever she ended up she would make sure to have a flashlight handy to avoid being in a dire situation and then in darkness also. Suddenly the noises started, and her muscles tensed. They were back and she was alone again. Fear crept through her body and her mind started racing. “What was she going to do? Brend was probably downstairs and with the storm it would be difficult for her to hear her calling she thought. Moving slowly while trying to overcome her fear she approached the nightstand and taking out the camera she turned it on. The noises around her felt closer and menacing. Placing the camera in front of her eyes she took a picture of the room but what she saw in front of her was so horrible that a loud scream escaped her mouth. This time a complete horde of creatures stood in front of her with claws and teeth showing ready for the attack. The sudden flash of the camera had stunned them and even though she was scared she took another picture and taking advantage of their confusion she walked as fast as possible to the door. One of the creatures, the biggest one moved fast and grabbing her ankle made her trip and fall to the floor. The rest of them following the lead ran fast and with their small hands managed to immobilize her. A desperate Karen started screaming but the creatures kept holding her legs down making it impossible for her to move them. She felt a wave of nausea invade her and her head was pounding. She felt lost and for a moment she felt tempted to let herself go but her survival instinct kicked in and moving her arms in the dark she managed to find the camera that had fallen out of her hands when she hit the floor. A flash of light filled the room and the creatures stepped back in agony. The light burned their eyes and covering their faces with their arms they shrieked in pain. Karen mustered all her strength and standing up she managed to get out of the room. 

"Brenda, Brenda help me!” she screamed but no answer came back, and the darkness of the hall looked ominous.

The limp on her leg and the pain of her wound made it difficult for her to move faster and the desperation she felt was overwhelming. Placing the camera in front of her face once more she took another picture to make sure there were no creatures out there waiting to attack her. The quick flash of light had not revealed anything concerning so taking a couple steps she called her friend once more…

“Brenda!” Again, silence answered.

She was still dizzy, and her leg was throbbing. She would not be able to make it downstairs on her own in those conditions. The only choice she had was to hide so walking slowly along the hall she started taking pictures to see even if it was just for a moment where she was going. Approaching the stairs, she looked down into the dark and took another picture. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the picture but the feeling of being watched was growing inside her and picking up her pace she approached the hall closet. She would stay there until Brenda appeared or until daybreak at least. She should be safe from the monsters outside. Opening the door softly she looked inside but it was too dark so placing the camera in front of her eyes once more she took a picture. What she saw this time was something out of her worst nightmare. The big red eyes that stared back at her left her paralyzed. It was a bigger version of the creatures that had attacked her before. This one was bigger and the fierce look it was giving her told her it was ready to attack. She tried to close the door, but the creature jumped towards her and before she could close it grabbed her injured leg and bit her making her scream. A stream of blood started surfacing from the bite. The pain was unbearable, and the woman was screaming but no one came to aide her. With a big effort she moved back while the creature stood there in front of her with blood trailing down it’s open mouth. A screeching sound came out of its mouth and as if on cue a group of creatures joined it and taking hold of her legs once more made her stumble and losing balance she fell to the floor. They started pulling her towards the stairs. Karen’s agonizing screams of pain and desperation filled the house. She was being pulled downstairs by a dozen creatures whose sharp claws were tearing her skin. They were pulling her down so fast that her hands were unable to grab the bannisters. Help, Help!” she screamed multiple times, but no one answered. Tears of fear and desperation covered her face. They had managed to bring her downstairs and were heading towards the basement door. Her body was being dragged across the floor. She grabbed the leg of the corner table and pulling it managed to throw the phone to the floor pulling it towards her while the creatures kept hauling her banged body across the floor. Frantically she started dialing the police but before the call could go out another call came in. The unexpected sound of Martin’s voice on the phone startled her.

“Hello?... Brenda is that you?” “Hello, is anybody there? “Honey? said a worried voice at the end of the line.

“Help me!” screamed Karen in agony breaking the silence.

The sudden scream had raised all the alarms inside him.

“Karen what’s wrong? he asked hurriedly.

“Help they are going to kill me!” … “Help!” was the last thing he heard before the call got disconnected.

Running out of the motel room Martin got into his car and started driving like crazy down the wet road that led to his new country house. His wife was in danger, and he needed to save her. A million thoughts were racing through his mind. Stomping the accelerator, he rushed down the long and dark road hoping he would make it on time to save his beloved wife from whatever danger she was facing. Maybe it was just him thinking the worse. He knew Brenda had agreed to give his wife the sleeping pills so maybe Karen was having a bad reaction or a nightmare. Even though he was not a Christian he started praying that whenever he reached his house his wife would be fine and that it had all been a false alarm. The phone had gone silent. One of the creatures sensing danger had cut the line disconnecting Karen from the outside world. The storm raged outside, and the sound of thunder drowned out her screams. Her desperate moves were useless they kept pulling her relentlessly towards the door. Swaying her body from side to side she managed to grab the corner of the wall and with all her strength held to it. The flash of light that came from the thunder illuminated the living room revealing an unexpected scene to the eyes of the defenseless woman. Brenda was there laying down on the sofa oblivious to the horrific scene that was unfolding in front of her. A bottle of cognac laid empty on the floor beside her, and her arm was dangling out of the sofa. Traces of vomit could be seen running down her blouse. In that split second Karen realized it was her only chance to escape her grim fate.“Brenda…. Brenda, help they are going to kill me!” she screamed.

“Help me please!” “Wake up!” she cried aloud, but her friend did not even move.

She kept screaming and her screams alerted the creatures about the other woman’s presence sending them into a frenzy. Karen fought the pain and the desperation and screamed even louder while holding the edge of the wall with all her might, but the creatures had started pulling harder and her hands were tired. Her sweaty hands started losing grip and the terror that invaded her soul was intense. Her hands were sliding, and they would give out soon, but she was still holding the wall. Realizing that their prey was not an easy one two of the creatures moved towards the front and standing by her hands bit them with fury making her scream in pain. They had teared out one of her fingers and the pain was so intense that she let go of the wall giving them the chance to move her forward. This time there was no pause. They kept moving and dragged her to the beginning of the stairs that led to the basement. She tried once more to hold to something, but her torn skin only made her pain deeper. The creatures managed to push her down the stairs and the sound of her body falling was the last thing that filled the silence that night.

The birds were singing, and the sun was out. Brenda had woken up but last night’s drunken state still lingered so standing up from the couch she went to the bathroom and looking at herself in the mirror promised herself not to drink like that again.

“She must be awake” she thought and getting out of the bathroom started walking towards the hall to go upstairs and check on Karen. Suddenly her bare feet felt wet and looking down she saw a trail of blood. A gasp escaped her mouth, and a chill ran through her spine. A sense of alarm invaded her.

“Karen” she whispered and running upstairs she missed the piece of finger that was laying there in the corner. Screaming her friend’s name, she reached the second floor noticing that there were more traces of blood up there. The scared and clueless woman approached Karen’s bedroom and looked inside but her friend was not there. Only silence filled the air. Desperate she went downstairs and with trembling hands picked up the phone from the floor. She started dialing but noticing that there was no sound coming from it she followed the line and her mouth opened wide in disbelief when she saw that it had been cut. The house door opened, and a scream escaped her mouth. It was Martin. He had driven half the night through the storm and had finally made it to the house. A crying Brenda stood in the living room with the phone in her hands looking at him.

“Brenda, what is going on? “Where is Karen? he asked.

“I don’t know” she said with a strangled voice and added _ “I left her in her room last night and she was fine but now I can’t find her and there is blood everywhere” said the woman crying.

A pale Martin entered the house and seeing the blood on the floor started yelling Karen’s name. He followed the blood trail and after making sure she was not upstairs he came down and fearing the worst walked towards the closed basement door. He opened the door with a heavy heart. He would not be able to deal with the guilt if for any reason Karen had gotten hurt. The door opened to a dark basement and the man stepped inside turning on the lights. He started going down the stairs and every step he took made him more nervous. Reaching the end of the stairs he looked around but there was nothing out of place. Feeling relieved he headed upstairs closing the basement door behind him and called the police. The police came and searched the house, but Karen was not there. They interrogated Brenda but they could not draw any conclusion from her testimony. It was obvious she had been drunk. If something bad had happened in that house the prior night, they knew that woman was not a reliable witness. They gathered all the evidence they could and headed out leaving Martin and Brenda without an answer to Karen’s whereabouts. The police reports stated that there was probable cause of foul play in the disappearance of Karen Brighton and that the two persons of interest in the case had been cleared. The investigation led nowhere so the case ended up resting on top of the pile of unsolved cases that had been accumulating in the precinct for years. Martin Brighton stayed in the house for a year and even hired a private detective in hopes of finding his wife but after spending all his savings he had to let it go. He called the realtor and asked her to sale the house to which she kindly agreed and even offered no to charge any commission for her job. The day he left the house his heart sank and tears of pain for the loss of his loved one rolled down his face. He headed back to the city and promised himself he would never forget her. Three years later _ The beautiful country house had been on the market until now. A new couple had called the realtor and after seeing the house they had agreed to buy it. They would not find another house like that one for such a cheap price had said the realtor. The woman and the couple met on a sunny day and with a big smile on her face she congratulated them and gave them the keys to their lovely house. The couple could not be happier. The woman headed to her car while the couple entered the house with their luggage. Standing in front of her car she started looking towards the house and a mischievous look crossed her face.

“Can’t say I don’t fulfill my part of the bargain” she said in a muffled voice and added _ “I hope you like this one too” and chuckling she entered her fancy car and drove away. Small steps and strange sounds can be heard coming from the basement. They are planning their next move. It is once more time for them to feed.

Submitted: August 01, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Yvonne Varsan. All rights reserved.

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