Shut In

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Paul lives in a Victorian style house.

Submitted: November 17, 2015

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Submitted: November 17, 2015

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Paul Young was not the most socialable person. He was the kind of person that would make friends but never go anywhere. He found comfort in his home more than living beings with a conscious. Paul liked his solitude more than anything else, he even got to a point where he stayed in his room wrapped in a blanket just because he wanted to. He was introvertive to a point where he was a shut in, a hermit.

After he finished his first semester of his Sophomore year in college, Paul returned to his childhood home to live with his mother. He didn't have a father because his parents divorced when he was in the fifth grade, he coped with it well, but it took a toll on his mother when she got custody over him. They lived alone in Summersville, NJ, in a large Victorian house. Paul knew where most of his winter break would be spent, alone in his room like always.

On December 12, 2015, Paul departed from Manhattan by train and made the travel to Trenton. There he would wait for his mother to arrive and they would return to their home. Like every year. He sat on the train seat, huddled up. It was cold, this was an odd winter. It had been in the 70s in October, 60s in November, now in December it's a harsh 30. He put his bag on his lap in fear of his toothpaste and other items decided to get hard and stiff thanks to the cold ground. The train justled as they went over a bridge, Paul didn't care. This wasn't the first bridge he had gone over. A little kid just on the other side of Paul cried out for his mother, and she held onto him and pet his hair and said soothing words. The kid calmed down and smiled softly. Paul's relationship was rocky with his mother. After he had been able to drive he hardly remained at home. There was always a job opening, there was always a friend's house to stay at, there was always a movie, a concert, an excuse. He believed it was because of the way she thought she could say words to make the situation better. They didn't. They never did.

Paul opened his eyes a little and pushed his unkempt tan hair out of his eyes. He must have dozed off. The announcer boomed over the intercom, "WE WILL BE ARRIVING IN TRENTON SHORTLY. IF YOU NEED TO DISEMBARK, PLEASE MOVE TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE TRAIN. THANK YOU." Bzzt. He grabbed his stuff, he walked over to the other side of the train, the kid and his mother were gone. Their stop must have been much closer than Paul's. Lucky kid.

After the train came to a stop, Paul walked in stride to get to the car and out of the cold as quickly as possible. He was glad to finally be off that cold train, to get into a warm car and be greeted by a mother who loved him. And there she was, sitting in the parking lot, a green Ford Escape sat running. His mother, Grace, was fixing her brown hair when she saw him coming. She opened the door and opened her arms for a hug. Paul walked up to her and offered a hand shake, she took it reluctantly. You could tell she wasn't happy with that entrance, but it was better than nothing. They got into the car and started the long drive to Summersville. Paul was happy to be warm. He sat back onto the leathery seat and buckled up. Grace pulled the car out of the parking lot and they left the area.

"How was your trip, Pauly?" She asked him with a smile. He looked at her with a fixed stare and offered no answer. He sat stone cold. She pursed her lips like she always did when he didn't give her a direct answer. "Paul, how was your trip?" Paul only shrugged. He didn't want to answer, he hated the trip, she would understand. He always hated the trip in the winter. "Well, if there's anything you want to talk about, just talk to me. Your mother's here, pour your heart out whenever you need." On that note, Paul turned over to face the window and closed his eyes.

His mother nudged him awake when they arrived at the house. He opened his eyes and looked out the window. She had decked the halls alright, a bit too much. The driveway was shoveled and salted, and the edges were lined with candy cane lights that brightly illuminated the pathway. A giant inflatable snowman stood in the front yard and looked like it was waving. A wreath was on the door and the posts for the deck, string lights lined the gutter and made the house sparkle.

"Oh, isn't it lovely?" She hugged him and asked him that.

"It looks like you over did it." Paul said to her. "I like Christmas, but this is a bit much."

"Nothing is too much! In fact, I left things just ready for when you got home that I could start up and finish within 5 minutes!" Grace said with a smile. "So, get your bag and put it away upstairs. After that, come down and we'll enjoy a nice dinner while watching that show you love!" She was talking about Amazing Race. The only thing Paul loves about that show was to love to hate it.

Paul walked into the foyer and looked around. There was a rug and a chandelier above them, on the walls there were some paintings and, wouldn't you know it?, some more wreathes. The staircase went up to the second floor which was about as empty as can be. Why only two people occupy such a big house, Paul will never know. He started up the stairs and looked out the window. The snowman looked creepy from where he stood. He was glad it was out there and not inside. He continued up the stairs and stopped at the landing. Everything just felt wrong. The area wasn't as warm and inviting as the downstairs or outside was. Two halls, each with three rooms, opened out from this landing and a small cushioned area where the window was jutting out a little. Paul walked down the right hall and got to the last door, his room. He opened the door and it was just as he had left it. Movie posters on the wall, a queen sized bed, a TV and PS4, and let's not forget his bookshelf filled with books and comics. Paul closed the door and threw his stuff on the bed and layed down beside it. He stared at the ceiling for a good five minutes, then he got up and put some stuff away. He finished in about three minutes and put his journal next to his bed. He started having bad nightmares since he was a freshman in high school. He doesn't remember why, just that he does. He took off his shoes and smelled food. He opened the door and padded down the hall. Then he heard a thump coming from behind him. He turned around and saw the door shake a little, he must not have put the doorstopper down. He continued walking down the hall and down the stairs to the dining room.

"Paul, you really need to start going outside more." His mother striked up a conversation while they ate. "It's not healthy for a young man like yourself to be stuck inside this house." 

"I don't like to." He responded. "Plus, Tanner and Casey moved out of this neighborhood years ago. Trevor is still at military school and Diane probably still hates me."

"She does not! She kept asking when you were going to come back." His mother responded. Diane was a childhood friend of his that attends the community college nearby. They were really great together, until they fought over a trivial matter in high school. He never talked to her since. "She would like to see you." Paul did not want to hear this. He shoveled his food down, put his plate and glass in the sink, and went straight upstairs. He put himself in his room and threw his blanket over him. He looked out the window and saw Diane's house. Her room was dark, she was probably out on the town. Who cares.

Paul turned over and looked at his clock. It displayed 3:00, he fell asleep thinking about Diane and woke up at 3 AM. He sat up and looked across the room, he never noticed how dark his closet really got at night. He turned on his lamp and shut the closet door. He can't handle creepy things well, it made him feel uncomfortable. He layed back down and fell back to sleep.

A loud bang woke him only forty minutes later. He jolted up and looked across the room for the source of the noise. He saw his bedroom door was wide open, the stupid thing must have made the noise. He got up and went to close it when he saw someone in the hall. He distinctly knew it was someone because they were moving towards him. He slammed the door, and locked it. Huddled in the corner and held his phone.

"I AM CALLING THE POLICE! GET OUT!" He screamed at the person. He feared for his life.

"Pauly, open this door! Please don't call the police on your own mother!" Good. It wasn't an intruder. Paul breathed a sigh of relief and opened the door. Nobody was standing there. He shuddered and closed the door. He sat down in bed and fell back to sleep.

After waking a few hours later, Paul looked at the door, it was still closed, and he was under the covers. Was the whole person in the hall a nightmare? Paul grabbed his journal and jotted that down. He got his medicine and gulped down a tablet. He would be good after a little relaxing. He looked at the clock and saw that it was 9:56 AM. He went downstairs to get breakfast, but there was no food, but a note on the fridge. It read, "Pauly, I'm going to the next town over to find some books. I'll be back in a few hours. If you get bored, there's always the TV. Plus, Diane said she would like to talk to you! - Your mother!". Paul opened the fridge and prepared himself some eggs.

Paul sat down to eat when he heard a creaking noise come from upstairs. He gulped down the bite he had and scooted out from the table. He went to the bottom of the stairs and looked up. Nothing was there. He went to go sit back down when he heard the creaking noise again. He ran over to the foyer, pulled on his snow boots and plodded next door. He got to Diane's house and rang the door bell. He waited a few seconds and nobody answered, he rang the door bell again and waited. Diane opened the door and saw a shivering Paul standing on her doorstep.

"Paul, what are you doing here?" She asked. "Nevermind that, come in! You'll get a chill out there." She ushered him into her house. He had not been in here for a few years, the place had changed quite a lot. He sat down in the living room and she went to make coffee. He took off his snow boots and threw them into the foyer, she came back and gave him a cup and sat down across from him. "Paul, what are you doing here?"

"I was in my house. I was eating, when I heard creaking noises above me, I went over to the stairs to check it out, when the creaking noise happened again! I was so scared, I left immeadiately." He recapped for her. She sipped her coffee and put it down.

"Paul, is everything okay? You're shaking a lot, was it really that traumatic?" She asked with her kind eyes shining towards him. "Is the place that scary for you? You've stayed in there since 2nd year of high school." She stopped and sighed. "I might know what you think is happening." He beamed at her, finally someone agreed with him! "You are so used to the house that every noise seems out of place, scary. But there's nothing to be afraid of." His heart sunk. He thought she was on his side. He took a gulp of the coffee and sighed.

"No, I know for a fact something is off about that place." Paul looked at her. "I know it!" He pulled on his boots and ran out the door. Diane followed to the doorway shouting after him. But he didn't care. He needed evidence. He got home, slammed the door shut and locked it. He went into the garage and brought back a metal baseball bat. He went upstairs and held the bat in an position ready for swinging. He got into his room, and bolted the door closed. He collapsed onto his bed and looked out the window towards Diane's. He saw she was sitting in the window, looking at him.

Paul woke a few hours later, it was 7 PM. He picked up his phone, he had a text from his mom. He got up and started for the door when he decided to look out to Diane's. She wasn't looking at him anymore, so he went back to the door. He needed to go to the bathroom, he opened the door and went across the hall. When he finished, he left the room and saw his mom standing at the edge of the hall. She was turned to him. She was smiling at him, it made he feel uneasy.

"Pauly, come here for a second. I want you to help me bake some cookies. Does that sound fun?" She asked while smiling.

"Yeah, I'll be there in a second." He started back towards his room and grabbed his phone. There was still the message from mom. "I guess it's no better time than now to start actually appreciating living with her." He mumbled to himself. He swiped to read the message. His eyes grew wide. He was scared to turn around. He recieved the text message at 5:06 PM. And it read "Pauly, the snow is just too heavy! I will have to stay over in this town for a few hours until they can get the roads cleared. I'll be home around 9-ish!" Paul turned to look at the doorway. That was not his mother, whatever it was, it was smiling at him. He saw the lifeless eyes, there was a great evil in this house. It was now trying to kill him. Paul grabbed the bat, it stared unblinkingly.

"What are you doing." It demanded without breaking eye contact. He charged at it with the bat and screamed. The bat made contact, the wind made one loud blast, and the lights went out. Paul opened his eyes to see something escape into the shadows. He shut and locked his door and kept his eyes on the door. He ran over to the window and opened it. Diane was still looking at a TV in her room.

"DIANE!" He tried shouting over the wind. "DIANE! PLEASE OPEN THE WINDOW!" Nothing seemed to work. Paul looked in his room for something to throw. Then he grabbed his phone, he flipped through his contacts and found Diane's. He pressed for a speed-dial for her number. It rang. It rang. He saw her pick up the phone, she looked back at him. He signaled frantically.

"Paul, what's wrong?" She asked.

"Diane! I told you! There's something over here! The power's out! And it looked like my mom! It took the form of my own mother! I hit it and it disappeared!" He screamed at her all at once.

"Paul. Calm down." She said. "Why did you hit your mother?" She sounded scared to even look at him.

"I didn't hit my mother! SHE'S. NOT. HOME!" He said all at once. She looked at him with wide eyes. She was getting it now, she was terrified.

"Well, what do you want me to do about this?!" She asked.

"I WANT YOU TO CALL THE POLICE AND SEND THEM TO MY HOUSE! PLEASE!" He shouted into the phone. She said she would. He hung up and slammed the window. He knew for now he was going to have to face this head on. He gripped his bat tight. There was no going back now, he knew that he had to either face this or lose his mother and maybe himself. He opened the door and entered the hallway. The lights blinked on and off, he heard something distorted calling "Paul...Paul stop..." out to him. He blocked it out and continued on. He got to the landing and heard a crash, he turned and saw it dash across the way, out of sight. He held on tightly and prepared to strike. Then it jumped. It knocked him down the stairs. The last thing he saw before blacking out was that stupid snowman, it was laughing at him, he knew that Paul has lost.

Paul shot open his eyes and looked around, he saw in the foyer, his mother standing there. "Paul, are you all right?" She asked him. "What's going on. Put the bat down, now." He gripped the bat tightly. He wasn't going to be tricked again. He glared at her.

"I WON'T BE TRICKED AGAIN!" He screamed as he darted down the stairs. He smashed her head into the wall on the first strike. After that it was blow after blow on her chest, legs, arms, and head. He kept going on and on. Nothing would do it for him until he opened his eyes and got a load of it. He threw the bat to the side and opened his eyes. He saw the body all smashed in and bloodied. There was some blood spray on the wall, floor, and him. It was everywhere. He had won. "I GOT YOU! I GOT YOU! YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD RUIN MY HOME AND MY LIFE! I GOT YOU! I GOT YOU!" He pulled out his phone to check the time, there was another new message from his mom. It was 9:04. He checked the message. "No, no. No. Please. No." It read "I finally got through to Summersville, I'll be heading home now. I'll see you in a little bit. I love you." He looked down at the body, it was no "thing". That was not his mother, not anymore. He felt the tears hit his cheeks and roll down his face, he picked her body and held on tight. "NO! NO! NO! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!" The time was now 9:07, the police sirens rang in the background, they rang a sad story. Just in time for Christmas.


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