The sky is red as I walk home to an empty house. My parents are out of town for a funeral. They told me that it was best for me to go to school. They’ll be home tomorrow evening. I don’t know why they have to go to a funeral of a relative we hardly knew, but apparently they knew better.
We moved into the house last night. The halls and rooms are filled with unpacked boxes. We unpacked only what we needed right away.
I walk up to the house as a light breeze blows. The sun hides behind a group of clouds as I walk up to the front door. The house sits at the edge of town on a hill giving you a great view of the entire town.
I look back at the town, people going home from work and school, as I dig into my pocket for the key. I wonder where my parents are as I open the door.
The house has the smell of being empty for many years. It’s dark in the house, so I turn the closest light on. For a moment I think that I see someone down the hall but when I blink no one is there.
I walk up the creaky steps to the second floor, where my room is, and I take each step with my hand gripping the rail because my dad told me that some of the steps need replacing.
In my room I throw my books into a corner. I have turned on every light I came across since entering the house. My bed is still unmade from last night. I sit on the bed and look around the room. I will have to make some changes but I can get comfortable here.
I feel tired, my eyes are heavy, but I don’t realize that I have fallen asleep until I wake with a startle. The lights are on in my room but I can see that the light in the hall is off. I stand in the doorway. The rest of the house is dark. I mean so dark that you cannot see a foot in front of your face.
I try to remember if I had turned on any lights or if I had turned them off. I seem to remember turning on every light between the front door and my room.
The tree outside my room scrapes against the window as the wind howls outside. I grab a flashlight beside my bed and begin down the hallway towards the stairs.
I think of every horror movie that I have ever seen. This moment feels like a scene from one of those movies. I try to calm my nerves but the wind and darkness does not help.
I pass a mirror in the hall. I look into the reflection. My flashlight a bright spot in the corner. I see my tired eyes looking back at me. I close my eyes and try to think of something calming. I open my eyes to see children standing behind me. I look around but the hall is empty. I look back into the mirror. They stare at me. The word “Leave” appears in the mirror as though it were written in steam.
I close my eyes trying to remind myself that there must be an explanation to all of this. Maybe it’s some sort of reaction from my medication or maybe I forgot to take my medication which would explain the faces I see in the mirror. I open my eyes to my reflection and only my reflection.
A noise from down the hall away from the stairs causes me to turn around. I shine the flashlight but nothing is there. The hall is long with portraits of past tenants of this house. This house has been passed from generation to generation of my family. The relative that my parents are going to the funeral of is the previous occupant of this house.
I walk past the faces watching me like I were a thief in the night. They do not move but I can feel their eyes following me. I hear a loud bang and a set of stairs lowers in front of me. Stairs leading to the attic. I wonder if I should leave. Where would I go?
If this were a horror movie where would I go except up into the attic to find out what is up there. There is cobwebs on the stairs and the smell of moth balls meets me as I take on step at a time up towards the unknown. I can feel my heart pounding through my shirt. I am sweating rapidly despite the fact that I am so cold.
The attic is damp and hot. I walk a few steps from the entrance when the stairs raise. I look around the room at the dust covered boxes and trunks that fill this small space.
A voice echoes throughout the house. I cannot understand what it is saying but I know that I should be afraid. I look down as I walk deeper into the attic. There are shoe prints in the dust. Fresh prints. I consider that my dad or mom must have came up here.
I walk on despite my fear of what I will find. It’s very hot despite being an October night. I take off my shirt and use it to wipe the sweat from my eyes.
A trunk in the far corner catches my attention. I walk slower now. With each step I think about how fast I can make it out of the house.
The trunk opens on the first pull. I hear voices. They sound close. They sound like they are near me. I look down at the trunk. I blink trying to rid myself of these visions. From the trunk are children reaching out to me as to pull me into the trunk.
They pull at me. They tear at my clothes trying to pull me towards them. Their hands are cold against my bare skin. They have ripped my clothes from my body in a desperate attempt to get me inside the trunk. Their hands grab onto me, but I pull away.
I lose my balance avoiding the hands. I fall back into the darkness as my flashlight falls into the trunk. I keep falling. I fall though the floor and everything goes black.
I wake on my bed, under the covers, and I can hear the voices of the children calling me. I dress and walk down the hall towards the stairs. I hear the voices and I see the faces in the mirror, but I keep walking. I do not stop until I am on the front steps. I sit and wait for my parents to come home. I have to tell my parents that we have to move before the voices call me again.