15 Manor Road

Vicky received a seemingly simple task: collect a suitcase. A quick, "in-and-out" job to fulfill a friend's last wishes. But when has anything ever been simple with Ray?

Vicky looked up at the house at 15 Manor Road. Manor Road was filled with suburban dream homes, lawns littered with children's bicycles and shiny family vehicles in the driveways. Moms were calling kids to dinner tables and television sets were glaring with evening newscasts and sitcoms. But at 15 Manor Road, there were no bicycles or moms or dinner tables to be called to. Although structurally intact, the house was clearly deserted, its spirit gone.

Like Ray's. Even so, according to the lawyers, this house contains a suitcase that was all that remained of Ray. And that it was critical that she, and only she, collected it in the event of him passing away. So here she was. Vicky lifted her hand to knock on the door, then shook her head and reached for the door knob.

Inside, the house was dusty with neglect. She wandered around the rooms, footsteps creaking on the wooden floorboards. Apart from curtains and dust bunnies, the house was empty. Only one more place to check: the basement. A strange sense of urgency took hold of her. She rushed down the stairs, yanked open the heavy basement door and reached for the light switch.

There! The suitcase. She leaped towards it, anxious to get out of this shell of a house.  As she reached for the suitcase, she heard a loud, ominous bang. She turned around, but didn't need to check to that the basement door had slammed shut. There was no knob on the inside. No windows. No exit.

Just the suitcase, and the second part of Ray's final wish: "Don't open it, unless you absolutely have to."

The End

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