Creaks and Freaks

Your house always had that spooky charm, what with the old chandeliers, cobwebs everywhere and the occasional knock no one could identify. Well that all came crashing back into your head as you looked down the dark hallway and heard something shuffling towards you in the darkness. Oh and it’s picking up speed. What do you do? What do you see?

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285 thoughts on “Creaks and Freaks

  1. rebekkalynn9800

    Please Help Me

    The day was going so well. It was a beautiful Saturday night and I had settled in on the couch. Everything seemed okay. That is, until I heard the crying. It sounded quiet at first but grew louder as I began to search for the source of the voice. The voice said one thing, over and over again.
    “Please help me.”
    I finally discovered where it seemed to be coming from: The basement. I opened the door and darkness reached out from every corner. I heard the voice again, but it seemed weaker than before. I knew that it was now or never.
    I entered the basement.
    I kept going down the stairs into the darkness. I neared the bottom and set my feet on the hard concrete floor. I began to feel the wall until I found a light switch. I flicked on the switch and light flooded the room.
    “There is nothing here,” I said to myself, “It must have been my imagin-”
    I heard the voice.
    But it was much closer this time. I froze in place. I looked around frantically, but I didn’t see anybody. I did however see a pantry not too far away. I ran over to it and opened it, but there was no one there.
    I began to pull food off the shelves until, finally, I saw it. A false back. there was a handle, but as I grabbed it I realized that it was locked. I didn’t see a key, so I took an alternative.
    I saw a hammer not too far away from where I was. I pounded at the handle until it fell off and clattered to the floor. I swung open the door and saw a little boy huddled in the small space. He looked half dead. I clung to the hope that he still was alive.
    I scrambled to my feet to grab a blanket. “Please don’t leave me.” The little boy said weakly. I grabbed a blanket that was in the corner of the basement. I ran back to him and said, “I won’t.”
    Wrapping the blanket around him, I got out my phone and called 911. “Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?” But there was no response. I checked that I dialed the right number and, sure enough, I had dialed the right one. “What’s your name?” The boy said. “My name is Rebekah Timber.” I replied. Pretty soon, I heard sirens coming from the front of the house.
    The police came in and I stood back as the came down the stairs to the basement. They saw the little boy and called in paramedics. They rushed in and placed the boy on a stretcher.
    In the hospital, the boy woke up feeling much better. Once they determined he was okay, the police began to ask him questions.
    “So, you were in there for three days after being kidnapped by the owner of the house you were in. Is that true?”
    “Yes” The boy replied.
    “And you escaped and got to a phone to call the police, is that true?”
    “No.”
    “What do mean?” the policeman asked.
    “I want to see Rebekah.” The little boy said looking around the room.
    “Rebekah who?” The policeman looked really confused now.
    “Rebekah Timber. She found me and called the police. She wrapped the blanket around me and told me that she wouldn’t leave until help came.” The boy said.
    The policemen glanced at each other with startled faces. Now it was the boy’s turn to be confused. “What?” He asked.
    “Well,” The first policeman said, “Rebekah Timber was the reason the owner of the house is in prison. We found her in the backyard of the house.” The second policeman spoke up, “She was beaten bloody and she tried to tell us something, but she never got the chance.”
    “What do you mean?” The boy asked.
    The policemen exchanged glances again and the first turned back to the boy.
    “She’s dead.”

  2. Molly Volts

    Hi! I’m new 🙂 I just wanted to give this a shot 🙂

    ~~~

    Mommy, I Went to the Bathroom

    I kind of forgot that I was asleep, but I knew that I was asleep. It was one of those dreams where you’re just walking around in different places and the scene around you changes constantly.
    In one scene, I was at our school, having fun with my friends. And then it suddenly changed and I was at a mall. I didn’t know which one but I saw DJ and Kat perform on stage. Everyone was ecstatic but I didn’t care. And then the dream changed again and this time, I was in my grandparents’ kitchen. It was quiet and I sensed that it was midnight. I was facing the kitchen’s bathroom. The white door was wide open and the toilet seat looked very inviting. As a matter of fact, I wanted to pee in the dream. So I quickly walked to the bathroom, took off my pajama pants and sat on the seat. Suddenly, the world began to rotate and I was no longer sitting vertically but horizontally. And then when I was about to relieve myself, I realized with a start that I actually wanted to pee.
    I woke with a start and was assaulted by the discomfort in my bladder. I had to go out.
    It was simple: get off the bed, turn on the lights and run to the bathroom. The only problem was, I was in my grandparents’ house and I didn’t have pleasant experiences here at night. Well, I’ve only had two experiences but I was a kid and what kind of kid wouldn’t be scarred by the things she saw? By the things I saw?
    The first time was when I was in third grade. I was getting ready for the final examinations that night and I fell asleep in the living room. I woke up at two or something and heard boxes being shuffled outside. I ignore it at first, thinking that it was just rats. But when it kept on going, I checked outside and saw a lady all dressed in blood-stained clothes. She was sobbing and banging her head against the box. Sometimes it would hit the target, and sometimes her head went straight through it. And when she looked at me, I ran. That happened in my grandparents’ house. I could still remember her dark, hollow eyes.
    The second time, I was in sixth grade. It was three in the afternoon. I was in the forest-like garden of my grandparents’ house playing with my big cousin. The sun was glaring down at us but the shade of the trees protected us from the heat. My cousin was shooting water at me with his gigantic water gun when suddenly a towering shadow emerged from behind him. Its black arms loomed over my cousin. It had a face with hollow cheeks, and its eyes were like dark pits. I thought that it was going to take my cousin’s soul so I grabbed him as I ran to the house. I never let my cousin go out that day without my permission. He was pissed but I didn’t care; I was protecting him.
    Now that I’ve replayed those memories in my head, my fear grew. My bladder felt like it was going to explode in minutes. It would have been ridiculous to wake up Chelsea just because I was scared to go out in the dark.
    I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I had to go. Carefully, I stood up, turned on the light and peeped at the living room from behind my door. It was dark. Unusually dark. Grandma always left the kitchen lights on, but tonight, there wasn’t even a ray of light outside. The switch was too far to reach. But I didn’t really have to since the bathroom was just across my room.
    Abandoning all thoughts of ghosts and monsters and shadows, I swiftly ran to the bathroom and hit the switch. The light brought me a little comfort (emphasis on the “little”).
    Just when I had one foot inside, I heard a growl. It must’ve been the dogs. I ignored it, but then it came again. Curious, and a bit worried and scared, I stepped away from the bathroom and into the living room.
    There was only darkness. Then, I saw a slight movement in the tiled floor; the slither of a tentacle. I felt a flower of anticipation bloom inside my chest. I stepped forward, wanting to see more. And then there was that growl again. It came from something in front of me. Then in the darkness, the thing started moving. I could hear its slimy tentacles slithering on the floor. It moved toward me as I scurried back to my room.
    I felt something cold and wet curl around my bare ankle. And then a burning sensation rose from my ankle up to my leg. I yelped in pain as I fell to the ground. I twisted my body to get a better kick at my slimy attacker and regretted it instantly. When I turned, a whitish sticky liquid spurted from the creature’s mouth and it hit my face. I cursed in disgust. I desperately tried to wipe it off but apparently, it wouldn’t come off.
    I began to panic; I couldn’t see and I could barely move.
    Left with no choice, I screamed, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”
    The creature hissed and its grip around my ankle tightened.
    “Foolisssssh child,” it said. I stopped moving. Through the goo in my eyes, I did my best to see the creature. It was closer now, but I could only make out a blurry image of tentacles and a blob-like body. Great. I was up against a talking, slimy, stinky Octopus beast.
    “You think I haven’t taken care of them?”
    Taken care of them?
    “Chelsea! Chelsea!” I called. No answer.
    I kicked and kicked but its grip tightened even more and the burning feeling was worse.
    Discreetly, I searched the floor for anything hard and possibly sharp. It hissed again and I tried hard not to whimper.
    “Insss-olent child!”
    “What do you want?” I yelled.
    “‘Tisss not I that wantsss you but Tisss my masss-ter.”
    “Let my family go.”
    It laughed a throaty laugh. It sounded like stones rubbing against each other.
    “Sss-tupid child. They are dead!”
    I felt something at the tip of my fingers.
    “Sss-o hungry…”
    I felt the fat and round end of it in my palm.
    “Eat this.” I swung the bat at its head. It squealed and hissed and I wrung myself free as I distracted it with my baseball skills. I didn’t have any, really.
    I flew to my feet, but still blinded by the white goo.
    “Sss-cum!”
    That was all I needed.
    I hoisted the bat up to my head and brought it down hard. I heard something squish and more liquid flew to my body.
    I raised the bat up and brought it down again, over and over, until the Octopus-monster stopped wailing, shrieking and hissing insults at me.
    I stepped over the monster and carefully made my way to the bathroom to rinse the goo off. Miraculously, the goo began to peel and I was able to see again, and got a better look at the monster. It did look like an octopus, but its body was just as big as its crushed head. Green blood surrounded its corpse. Its tentacles lay limp on the floor. I tried not to retch at the rotten smell.
    I would have celebrated my first kill in the weirdest way possible but my family was gone. I knew they were gone. Because if they weren’t, they would have heard me scream and Chelsea would have come running to my room with a butcher’s knife.
    I was alone.
    But I did know this: someone wanted my family dead because of me. I just had to find this “master” dude.

  3. lionetravail

    Dear friends, I have been fortunate enough for one of my stories to earn third place in the Morning Rain Publishing Freaky Flash Fiction Contest (which Reaper was extremely kind to share the link with us a couple of weeks back).

    The link: http://morningrainpublishing.com/third-place-2014-freaky-flash-award/

    I am, as one would imagine, ecstatic. Thank you all for your words of support, the kind comments and congratulations, and your friendship in this community.

    David/Lionetravail

  4. Observer Tim

    Don’t know if the prompt will change today, but I actually found time to write something. No offense, Reaper.

    THE REAPER

    I spent yesterday repairing leaks on the roof and cursing Vicky. She said that my lighting a candle for St. Paddy and one for St. Simeon was silly superstition, but I figured I was going up on a slanted roof on a rainy Friday the Thirteenth, so I needed all the help I could get. And just to prove I was right, nothing untoward or strange happened all day.

    I had a good laugh at Vicky’s expense when I got in. She’d said that two dates were enough that we should keep an eye open; after all, both previous hauntings of Ferguson House had occurred on Friday the Thirteenth and this was one as well. I told her two dates don’t make a pattern any more than two beers make you drunk.

    I ate my words when I heard the thump in the hall. I picked up my flashlight and put the cardboard shield in front of it. For some reason, you couldn’t see the shadows of the haunts in a direct beam. I pushed open the door and shone my indirect flashlight down.

    “Sorry, Pat.” Vicky was standing by the side table with a wee candle from a birthday cake. “I bumped the table while setting up my light source.”

    “What’re you doing with that? A child could blow it out.”

    “I wanted to see if candlelight worked where a flashlight doesn’t.” She dripped a bit of wax onto a coaster (at least that) and stuck the candle to it so it would stand on its own.

    “There is no way that’s going to work, girl. A candle isn’t…”

    A shadowy form rounded the corner into the hall. It was cloaked and hooded, carrying a long staff. It started moving inexorably down the hall accompanied by the sound of heavy bootsteps.

    I gulped as it drew nearer. I fumbled with the cardboard over the end of the flashlight; certain things deserve to be unseen. I turned the flashlight off, but the shadow could still be seen in the flickering glow of the tiny candle. It strode past me, effortlessly pushing me out of the way.

    Vicky picked up her candle and we followed the ghost down the hall into my room. It came to a stop beside the bed, which was depressed as though someone was lying in it. Someone very small and fairly light: a child.

    Now I’ve put a bit of the Irish in a number of ladies, but never had a child of my own. Even so I couldn’t stand by when the Reaper took one. Some might say I’m brave, others would say stubborn, and more stupid. And that would be my excuse before St. Peter when I pushed that cloaked monster out of the way and grabbed the invisible child.

    It was cold, but that could be because it was a spook. I didn’t care. I held the child close to me, deliberately shielding it from the Reaper with my body. Any moment I expected the blow of a scythe to slice my soul away. Which is why I was totally surprised by the small cough from my arms.

    The arms of a child of eight to ten years wrapped around me and squeezed. The Reaper backed off and another figure came forward. This second figure was the type I was more used to, with curves in the right places. A little hand held mine as its mother took the child from me.

    “I guess it was you then.”

    “What was me?”

    “You made another appearance in Victoria’s diary. March 14, 1801.” Vicky held the book out to me.

    Young Angel was nigh taken by the fever last even. The prieft came to perform last rites, but was pushed away by a haint. I scarcely believed, but she was held up from the bed before our eyes and the fever broke. She came to me slowly and told me it her daddy faved her. Had I not seen her floating in the air I would scarce believe it. Father says she it was the work of God, but methinks it was he who blessed me with my girl in the first place.

  5. Eisenbartl

    Just A Midnight Mystery

    I was standing at the opening of my bedroom door, peaking my head out to see what the shuffling was in the hallway at that ungodly hour. It was a faint, slow, dragging shuffle at first, shff… shff… shff…, predictable in it’s timing. I squinted trying to enhance my vision and cut through the darkness, but the hallway was too long and there was no light other than the one coming from my fake bedside kerosene lamp. The flickering of the electric flame threw my shadow on the wall opposite my door, making it perform a wild, epileptic jig. Shff, shff, shff. The shuffling began to quicken and I thought about closing my door on this mystery, but my lucky pajamas gave me strength. Shff, shff, shff, clack. Whatever it was must have bumped into one of the many priceless paintings hanging from the walls, or a wooden shelf displaying tiny, dancing figurines. The shuffling stopped for a moment and I turned my ear perpendicular to the hall, waiting. Not a second after turning my ear, the shuffling began again. A few seconds after that, whatever it was began to make out the sounds of labored breath. He, he, he. It was getting louder and I began to fear what I might see. My comfortable cotton superman uniform seemed to fail me a little more with each passing shff and he. I promised God then and there that if I lived through this night I would never put gum in Becky Nusbaum’s hair, or steal the decorative rhinestones off my mom’s purse ever again. The mystery was close to being solved now. What would I see? A twisted face of rotten flesh? A transparent man in dated clothing, holding his head in his hands? Shff, he, shff, he, shff, he… NO! I wouldn’t look, but I turned too hastily and tripped on my own right footie and hit the floor. SHFF, HE, SHFF, HE, SHFF, HE. It was right outside my door. I turned just in time to see a pale stooped figure cross into my vision, and so let fly a blood curdling scream any banshee would be proud of. The figure in the hall turned its gnarled decrepit face towards me and let out a wale of its own, jumping back against the wall as it did so. I threw my hands in front of my face to guard me from the midnight ghoul, but I knew it wouldn’t do any good. Then came, “Buh, Johnny! What in the world are you doing scaring me half to death?” I slowly removed my hands to my sides and for all the gold in the world I couldn’t tell you how happy I was to see who I saw. It was just Grandma Higgins and her asthma.

  6. acre19641

    My house on Halloween has it’s usually look with the spooky charm of chandelles, cobwebs everywhere and the knocks nobody can identify. On this Halloween something ran in front of me and it’s a five foot rat.
    The rat said to me on Halloween we eat humans and then started chasing me around with a meat cleaver in one hand plus a giant fork in the other.
    I ran under the dinning room table. The rat ransacked the place saying come here little human I am hungry. I have not had human for a year. Thank the god of rats for Halloween for human hunting time. Then he got close to the table and I hit me head.
    I woke up at the bottom of the stairway with a small rat climbing on my leg. Then I started screaming I have fallen and I can’t get up.
    Happy Halloween
    By Shawn Acre

  7. Savannahhh24

    Wiping sweaty strands of hair out of my face, I crouched, back against an old oak, panting. Heart beating violently within my chest, I tried to steady myself. My spine tingled, every nerve standing on end. I tried to hold back the tears, and shakily took a deep breath, as quietly as I could. The fear was consuming, frantically I begged myself to calm down and focus.

    I could feel his cold, clammy hands closing around my throat, the grip wrenchingly tight. I could feel the sweat on his cheek, as he pressed it me, roughly caressing my face. I could hear the low whisper of his words, my entire body stiff with terror. I feel his muscled arms wrapping themselves tighter around me. I could smell his breath on the back of my neck.

    I dug hands into my hair, trying to drive the haunting memories away. For now, he was not here. But when would he find me? How long did I have?
    I had run. But I knew he could come after me. He would never stop.

    Tremouring, I looked down at my hands. Even in the darkness I could see the dark liquid dripping off my trembling fingers. Beside me, on the wet grass lay my knife, glinting in the dull moonlight covered in blood.

    Terror again seized me, and the tears began to silently slide down my cheeks. What had I done? What was happening to me? Quietly trembling with my tears, I tried to breathe and clear my thoughts.

    If only I had never moved to this insane, ludicrous town. If only I had never wandered over to that house. The beautiful, vintage, Victorian era mansion at the end of my street. If only I had never let my curiosity get the better of me… I wiped at my wet cheeks, mentally cursing myself.
    Why had I been so enthralled with the place in the beginning. Why had I not run when I could?

    Now I was in too deep. He was after me.

    Jerking me from my thoughts, I heard the crunch of a dry leaf. A footstep, so soundless it was almost inaudible, struck me deep with panic. My vision blurry, I silently wrapped my sweaty hands around the handle of the knife. Trembling violently, I willed myself to be still.

    Drawing in an unsteady breath, I carefully listened to the night sounds around me. The quietness that surrounded me was consuming. Although I could not hear it, I could feel him breathe. I could feel his demented desire for me, almost as if it was in the cool night air.

    Nothing would stop him.

    “Scarlett, sweet Scarlett.” A low voice crowed.

    I bit my lip, my brow furrowed as my heart pounded with terror. His voice echoed from only a few feet away.

    He drew a deep breath in. “I know you are here, baby. I can sense you. I can smell you. I can taste your lips. I can feel the softness of your skin.”

    Vomit crept up my throat, and I struggled to hold it down. His words were nauseating. My stomach convulsing, I shakily drew in a breath.

    “I hear you, Scarlett. I can feel the desire you have for me. Oh, how I crave you…” His voice, velvety, and thick, pierced the stillness of the night. I could hear the lust in his voice. It made me sick.

    I heard him lick his lips in anticipation. The abhorrent sound made me feel light-headed.

    Crunch.

    The deafening sound of his footstep.

    Crunch.

    Another step towards me.

    “I am so close to having you, baby.” His voice growled, louder, it seemed close. The only thing standing between me and him was the large, old oak tree I was crouching against.

    Trying not to panic, I gripped the kitchen knife harder, the wooden handle digging into my trembling hands. I silently brought it closer to my body, ready, waiting. Briefly, I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to suspend the tears.

    His voice was sickly sweet. “Come to me, Scarlett. Make this easy for me.”

    I held my breath.

    “Fine.” His voice grew deathly quiet.

    Quite suddenly, everything was still and quiet. I heard the distant croaking of the frogs in the river, and crickets in the grass. My heart pounded as I listened.
    I counted to ten in my head. Nothing. I counted to thirty. Nothing.

    My entire body tingling, and on edge, I counted to sixty. Again, I heard nothing.

    Abruptly, a hand swiftly lunged at me and I screamed. Jumping up, I stumbled away, holding the knife up, eyes wide, filled with alarm. Swinging around wildly, my eyes searched the dense trees and shrubbery, as I tried to locate where he was. I could not see him anywhere in the consuming darkness.
    I heard a deranged chuckle and turned towards the noise, my body pulsating with terror.
    In the shadows, a dark form materialized before me. He stood only a few feet away.

    Hysteria consumed me. My heart seemed to stop. I could feel my grip loosening on my weapon as I blinked trying to retain my sanity. My tormentor was standing in front of me.

    I was going to die.

  8. Savannahhh24

    Wiping sweaty strands of hair out of my face, I crouched, back against an old oak, panting. Heart beating violently within my chest, I tried to steady myself. My spine tingled, every nerve standing on end. I tried to hold back the tears, and shakily took a deep breath, as quietly as I could. The fear was consuming, frantically I begged myself to calm down and focus.

    I could feel his cold, clammy hands closing around my throat, the grip wrenchingly tight. I could feel the sweat on his cheek, as he pressed it me, roughly caressing my face. I could hear the low whisper of his words, my entire body stiff with terror. I feel his muscled arms wrapping themselves tighter around me. I could smell his breath on the back of my neck.

    I dug hands into my hair, trying to drive the haunting memories away. For now, he was not here. But when would he find me? How long did I have?

    I had run. But I knew he could come after me. He would never stop.

    Tremouring, I looked down at my hands. Even in the darkness I could see the dark liquid dripping off my trembling fingers. Beside me, on the wet grass lay my knife, glinting in the dull moonlight covered in blood.
    Terror again seized me, and the tears began to silently slide down my cheeks. What had I done? What was happening to me? Quietly trembling with my tears, I tried to breathe and clear my thoughts.

    If only I had never moved to this insane, ludicrous town. If only I had never wandered over to that house. The beautiful, vintage, Victorian era mansion at the end of my street. If only I had never let my curiosity get the better of me… I wiped at my wet cheeks, mentally cursing myself. Why had I been so enthralled with the place in the beginning. Why had I not run when I could?

    Now I was in too deep. He was after me.

    Jerking me from my thoughts, I heard the crunch of a dry leaf. A footstep, so soundless it was almost inaudible, struck me deep with panic. My vision blurry, I silently wrapped my sweaty hands around the handle of the knife. Trembling violently, I willed myself to be still.
    Drawing in an unsteady breath, I carefully listened to the night sounds around me. The quietness that surrounded me was consuming. Although I could not hear it, I could feel him breathe. I could feel his demented desire for me, almost as if it was in the cool night air.

    Nothing would stop him.

    “Scarlett, sweet Scarlett.” A low voice crowed.

    I bit my lip, my brow furrowed as my heart pounded with terror. His voice echoed from only a few feet away.

    He drew a deep breath in. “I know you are here, baby. I can sense you. I can smell you. I can taste your lips. I can feel the softness of your skin.”

    Vomit crept up my throat, and I struggled to hold it down. His words were nauseating. My stomach convulsing, I shakily drew in a breath.

    “I hear you, Scarlett. I can feel the desire you have for me. Oh, how I crave you…” His voice, velvety, and thick, pierced the stillness of the night. I could hear the lust in his voice. It made me sick.

    I heard him lick his lips in anticipation. The abhorrent sound made me feel light-headed.

    Crunch.

    The deafening sound of his footstep.

    Crunch.

    Another step towards me.

    “I am so close to having you, baby.” His voice growled, louder, it seemed close. The only thing standing between me and him was the large, old oak tree I was crouching against.

    Trying not to panic, I gripped the kitchen knife harder, the wooden handle digging into my trembling hands. I silently brought it closer to my body, ready, waiting. Briefly, I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to suspend the tears.

    His voice was sickly sweet. “Come to me, Scarlett. Make this easy for me.”
    I held my breath.

    “Fine.” His voice grew deathly quiet.

    Quite suddenly, everything was still and quiet. I heard the distant croaking of the frogs in the river, and crickets in the grass. My heart pounded as I listened.

    I counted to ten in my head. Nothing. I counted to thirty. Nothing.
    My entire body tingling, and on edge, I counted to sixty. Again, I heard nothing.

    Abruptly, a hand swiftly lunged at me and I screamed. Jumping up, I stumbled away, holding the knife up, eyes wide, filled with alarm. Swinging around wildly, my eyes searched the dense trees and shrubbery, as I tried to locate where he was. I could not see him anywhere in the consuming darkness.

    I heard a deranged chuckle and turned towards the noise, my body pulsating with terror.
    In the shadows, a dark form materialized before me. He stood only a few feet away.

    Hysteria consumed me. My heart seemed to stop. I could feel my grip loosening on my weapon as I blinked trying to retain my sanity. My tormentor was standing in front of me.

    I was going to die.

  9. madeindetroit

    Exceeded the limit…Sorry about that.

    CRYSTAL LAKE LEGACY

    Seth tightened his grip on the steering wheel as the ’96 Cutlass rumbled along southbound I-75 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on bald tires, worn shocks, and two rolls of duct tape. He glanced at his watch. 5:45 PM. Michael Jackson’s Thriller blared from the car’s only working speaker while he agonized about the conversation he had with his sister the day before.

    “Seth, you’re not going to believe this,” she squealed. “I bought our old house on Crystal Lake. I got it for a song, bro!”

    “Sarah, you did what?” The news sucked the breath from his lungs. “Did you forget Otis Ludlow bludgeoned his wife and daughters to death and carved up their bodies with a chainsaw in that house?”

    “Are you still scared of Otis Ludlow? Seth, that was ten years ago. Besides, he’s locked up in the sanitarium in Marquette.”

    “Sarah, are you crazy? In case you forgot, it’s my birthday and I had plans with Bridget….”

    “That’s why I’m coming up tomorrow, bro, to celebrate my kid brother’s twenty-first. We’re going throw a bash in Crystal Lake for the ages. See you around 6:00.”

    “But Sarah….” he yelled. The line went dead.

    Twenty minutes later, Seth stared through the car window at his childhood house. Ten years ago, his mother sold the house to Ludlow and his wife before moving the family to Detroit. A year later, Ludlow went berserk and murdered his daughters in the small bedroom upstairs—his old bedroom. When Seth returned to the U.P. to attend college, he dreaded this day would come. Something tickled his morbid curiosity. What was there to be scared of? There’s no such thing as the Bogey Man he convinced himself as he stepped from the car.

    When Seth reached the top of the stairs, he paused to let his eyes adjust to the dim light before he stopped at the first door. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. The stale scent of mildew flooded his nostrils. He had his hand on the doorknob when heard a noise at the end of the hall.

    Thump. Thump.

    Seth turned his head and froze. A dark figure stepped from the bedroom at the end of the hall. A burlap bag with holes for eyes covered the head. A red plaid coat covered the arms and torso. With both hands, the figure held a chainsaw. “I’m Otis Ludlow and I’ve been waiting for you Seth,” the figure grunted in a raspy voice.

    Ludlow yanked on the starting cord and the chainsaw roared to life. Paralyzed with fear, Seth felt the blood drain from his legs. Exhaust smoke filled the hallway as the figure shuffled toward him and waved the blade through the air. Lightening cracked and sizzled outside and thunder rocked the floor. Seth bolted for the stairs. He turned in time to see Ludlow lunge at him with the chainsaw at full throttle. Seth’s ankle buckled under him and he tumbled headfirst down the wooden stairs. He struggled to his feet and hobbled into the living room. White light blinded him and for a split second, he thought Ludlow slit his throat with the chainsaw. His ears filled with the thunderous chorus of voices.

    “SURPRISE!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SETH!

    Seth gulped and pulled his hands from his eyes. “What…. the.…?”

    Gathered in the living room a large group dressed in Halloween costumes and masks hooted and hollered with laughter. Then he realized; a surprise birthday party for him. Dressed in a skimpy crimson she-devil outfit, Sarah lunged from the group and wrapped her arms around Seth.

    “I got you, little brother.” she howled with delight. “You’ve been pranked! Happy twenty first birthday.”

    Blood flushed Seth’s cheeks. “That was a freaking real chainsaw Sarah! I could have accidently lost my….my….manhood!”

    The group roared with laughter. The goon who portrayed Otis Ludlow, a two-hundred and eighty pound defensive lineman on the football team joined the group. “No worries, dude. It didn’t have a blade,” he said holding up the chainsaw for inspection. After Seth greeted everyone in the house, the beer flowed and the music vibrated the walls. Bridget Riley was no show.

    Sarah planted a kiss on Seth’s cheek and handed him a cold bottle of beer. “How are you doing, little brother?”

    Seth took a pull from the bottle. “Other than a bruised ego and sore ankle, I’m fine sis. You really didn’t buy this dump, did you?”

    “Hell no,” she said grinning. “It’s being torn down next week. I got a permit from the county for one last blow out.”

    Seth felt a tap on the shoulder. It was Bridget Riley dressed in the shortest and tightest nurse’s outfit he’d ever seen. “Sorry I’m late. I heard someone needed a nurse.”

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