“H-hello?” the little girl uttered, her voice quivering with terror. Screams rang out all around her as she stepped further into the house. A wooden floorboard creaked under her gently toes as she crept step by step. The sound of a knife being sharpened jarred her senses even more awake, and she pinched herself again. “I’m not dreaming,” she told herself aloud, looking around hurriedly. She had reached the center of the house; an elegant living room with comfortable-looking chairs and a green fire burning in the fireplace. She looked around, her teeth chattering, for this room seemed to be at least 10 degrees colder than any other part of the house. There was a rocking chair creaking in the corner, odd, she thought, there was no one there. She blinked, but when she looked again, there was a translucent figure of an old woman sitting in it with an eerie smile across her shriveled lips as she knitted a seemingly long scarf. The old woman winked at her, but when she blinked again, the woman was gone. More blood-curling screams burst through the house, seeming to come from upstairs, followed by skin-crawling laughter. The little girl whimpered as she moved towards the chair, gulping as she tentatively stretched out her arm to touch the thin air that just a few moments earlier was being taken up by the old lady.
Suddenly, a gnarled old hand clasped her shoulder with nails digging into her flesh. “Are you lost, my dear?” an innocent voice asked as she turned around slowly. It was the old woman, now standing behind her.
“I-I-I’m good,” the girl replied with an attempt at a smile.
“I know you are,” the woman said with a smile. “But that doesn’t answer my question.”
“N-no,” the girl answered with a slight nod.
More screams burst throughout the house, and the cackling pierced the air again, this time closer to them. The little girl whimpered, and the old lady smiled. “Not long now,” she hissed.
“Until what?” the little girl panted.
“Until you’re one of us.”