It was quiet, too quiet as she slowly made her way back to her room at the end of the long wooden hallway. It seemed to stretch on for miles, old pictures and paintings lined her path along with potted planets and small decorative tables. The dark wooden floors creaked beneath her tennis shoes, her Keds leaving tracks in the soft red carpet that acted as a runner.
Finally she opened the door to her room. She was told that it had been grandma’s child hood room before her, and her great grandmothers before that. This room that stood before her had been passed down in many generations, each child leaving a peace of them behind as a mark, a token that they had been there.
Grandma’s doll collection sat carefully on the shelves, along with her tea set neatly placed on the small table in the corner. Books of many different stories lined the second bookcase, stories that were so old, when Kassie opened one, the pages cracked and broke under her fingers. The walls had once been papered with a pink tulip pattern, now faded and pealing, the tulips a pale yellow.
She carefully took off her shoes and plopped on the bed. No shoes allowed on the bed, grandma would be very upset. The bed… she sighed, falling onto the soft velvety covers and pillows, letting the lush splendor surround her in comfort. This was her favorite part of the room, she couldn’t understand it really, it was a large bed, it didn’t quiet fit into the little girl motif, one expected a small twin bed or even a crib, but a large canopy bed that sat regally in the center of all this fluff was almost funny. Did they run out of beds when they furnished this room? Did they decide that anything will do so let’s get the largest one? She wasn’t complaining, she loved this bed…there was something about it… she felt safe. It was as if as soon as she had her feet up, no limbs hanging…she was safe. Nothing could get her.
Nothing could get her.
She gulped as she thought of this, what would get her? The monster that lived under her bed? The one that kept her up all night by walking up and down the hallway? Grandma blamed it on the old house, it was “settling”. No monsters here… don’t be absurd. She shuttered, her arms beginning to prickle with goose bumps.
It was back. She took in her breath, digging her toes into the bed covers. It’s not real… it’s not real… it’s not real…
Don’t I even get a thank you?
She closed her eyes, her heart pounding, don’t open your eyes, don’t you dare, it will get you.
After what I did for you, you owe me now.
Why was this happening? She shook her head, wrapping her arms around her thighs, rocking back and forth. Please go away, your not real, your just my imagination.
Is that how your grandma raised you? To be rude and ungracious to those who HELP you?
The voice had become angry and loud; she could feel a cool breeze circle around her, the golden tone behind her closed lids turned darker.
All right, you have chosen to ignore me, but heed my words, I have done you a favor in turn, you must now do me a favor. This must be done before the clock strikes midnight tonight, or else you will be trapped in your own hell forever. You will not wake up; you will be forever trapped in darkness, aware of your surroundings but never able to see light again. I will take away what you take for granted… your eyes.
Under your bed is a loose floor board, lift it up and you will find a sword, it is very sharp and deadly, take it out after bedtime tonight, you must make sure your grandma is sleeping and there are no others in the house. It must be only you and her. I want you to go to her room as she is sleeping, take the sword and slice her neck, she will die instantly, you must do it exactly that way or she will not die.
Kassie shot open her eyes and sucked in her breath, her lungs bursting from air she hadn’t realized she was holding.
“You aren’t real…” She said; her voice high and quivering to her ears.
You know I am REAL Kassie, I have already proven it. If you complete your task, I will reward you, you will no longer be an outcast at school, you will have everything you ever dreamed of. You will have friends, you will be POPULAR.
She shook her head…”I can’t…”
You CAN… I KNOW you can. Or else… you will be an even bigger freak, a no eyed freak, people will stare at the poor girl that lost her eyes in the unfortunate accident, no one will ever be your friend, they will point and laugh and watch as you stumble, unable to see were you are going. They will play tricks on you.
“NO.” She found her voice; it was strangely sturdy and firm.
You leave me no choice… I have given you the chance to do this on your own free will, but now, I must take over.
The room began to spin, the faded wallpaper turning into spirals of faded pink and yellow. The cool air became cooler, her teeth clattering against the sudden cold. She looked down at her feet in horror as they began to turn transparent, and soon, fade away to nothing… she fought to keep her eyes open, something told her to keep them open, to close them would mean surrendering to the voice’s evil power… she had to keep them open… she had to stay aware.
But it was too strong; almost as if fingers were forcing her lids shut and holding them there… she plunged into darkness, falling deeper and deeper into the hole of deep sleep. Her mind urging her to wake up… but she couldn’t.
The voice had won.