Haunted

"The bitter autumn wind bit at the back of my neck. Leaves were scattered across the front yard. I held myself together and rubbed my hands against my arms. I had hoped to produce some warmth, but it didn't seem to be working.

I saw the smoke coming out of my mouth from my warm breath into the cold air. The house in front of me loomed over the horizon as I brought my head up. The darkness from the setting sun produced a shadow large enough to cover up the entire street.

A fear crept over me. Something was definitely wrong. I told myself to back away from the house, but my feet wouldn't listen. I dragged myself forward and somehow reached the front gate.

Home. There was never such a word for me. I was adopted since I was a little child. My step parents didn't really mean much to me. They just treated me as extra baggage. I wouldn't know why they bothered taking me in.

The thoughts crept through my brain as I placed my hand on the already opened gate. It was always locked. It was a rule to lock the gate whether you go in or out of the house. If the rule wasn't followed, you were strictly punished.

I remembered I had locked the gate. Alex had reminded me to lock it before I walked away. It was a sad day. Nothing too well to even remember about.

I steadied myself and began to walk again. Footprints were imprinted on the soil, ones too big to be mine or my step parents. This strangeness kept telling me that it was a bad idea. Yet for some reason, I still had the will to go on. It felt as if I still wanted to know what was at the end of this trail.

I fumbled in my bag for the keys. The front door was unlocked with the shiny brass one. I slipped my key in the hole, but didn't use much effort for the door to swing ajar. I placed one foot in and heard the creak of the floorboards.

I've always suggested to change them, but it was found unnecessary. They were used to detect if someone was trying to sneak out late at night. Of course, that person would be referred to as me.

I was sure it was a bad idea, yet I shut the door the same as always. I silently took off my shoes and changed into slippers. I walked until I was face to face with the grand staircase that branched off to two sides of the house.

It was more like a mansion, but my stepmother kept insisting it was a house. Truthfully, there were a small number of rooms, and the size was kept decent. So it was just a "larger" house.

I swerved left into the living room. "Mom?" I whispered into the darkness. There was no answer. "Dad?" Only silence would answer me.

I went over to the right and went into the kitchen. Once again I made an effort to call out their names in failure.

Squeak. I stood there frozen. At that moment, I realized I was not alone in this building. There was probably someone, somewhere, keeping a very close eye on my every move. I knew I should have backed away. Why was I always so stupid? But I have nothing left to lose. Even the one I love left me.

"Emily, I'm sorry. I just don't think I have feelings for you anymore."

Just remembering that line brought a tear rolling down my cheek. I didn't bother to wipe it away and just let it cloud my vision.

Once again, I stood in front of the grand staircase. I climbed each step one by one carefully in the darkness of the house. I could only make out general shapes of the familiar objects that I knew.

I headed to the left again, and into my room. I steadily pushed the door inward. Nothing was behind it. My room looked utterly untouched. There was barely anything in the room in the first place.

I looked up and saw a shadow move across the window. I flew out of the room and my back was to my wall. I panted heavily from the shock. Whatever was in this house doesn't seem too friendly.

I still wanted to explore even though everything told me it was about time I had left and told the police. I didn't even know what I wanted to find. There was probably a thief. Or some crazy lunatic seeking shelter for the night. Maybe I was hoping for a little more, like a goblin or monster.

I moved away from my door and headed over to the other side. The last main room of the house was my step parents' bedroom. I was never allowed to go in there. They were always afraid that I would touch something and ruin it. Now, I see it to be an exception. I had thought that they would forgive me if I told them about my situation. If not, I'll just have to receive more punishment.

I gulped and felt my saliva travel all the way to my stomach. It gave a turn. This was my last chance to back away. This was probably my last chance to survive and I just threw it away. I yanked the door open.

My legs gave way underneath me. I had no more energy to stand. I wouldn't have wanted to stand even if I had the energy. The sight was enough for me to lose all motivation.

My parents, yes, this was my first time and probably my last time calling them parents, were slaughtered on the floor of their room. Their guts were all over the place. The blood was starting the harden in some areas, but it indicated that their deaths were still recent.

A hand flew all the way to the back wall. In it was something glittering in the moonlight of the open window. I held myself against the wall. I couldn't hold back my tears though. No matter how badly they treated me, I still owed them my life. My parents still meant a lot to me. I went over to that hand and pried it open to find a locket. It was the locket that I had bought for my mother when I was a little kid. Just thinking that that was the last thing she was holding on to made my heart burst.

However, I knew that there is no way for me to escape. The creaks of the floorboards were getting louder. It was very stupid of me to come into the house. The only two options that I have was to either to jump out of the window, or to get killed by whoever was behind the shadows. Surely, this thing was not human. Ripping a human into shreds is unable to be done by any tool or by human hands alone.

And I continued to sit, awaiting my death... Until I saw you."

"No need to retell your story. I don't need to know."

"Then know that I would always love you..."

*****

Soon after, the house was deemed haunted. Three dead bodies were found, but the killer has yet to be captured.

A young man walks past the building. He paused right in front of the gate, lowered his head and bit on this lip. His fist tightened while the object in it scarred his skin.

"Stupid girl."

The End

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