Written and Created By: Mary Ann Moody
Someone’s in the house! Chelsey thought as she stared silently at her closed laptop. She left it open before she went downstairs. The silence inside the large two story house penetrated her mind, and made her body jump at the tiniest noise. There could only be one explanation why the laptop was closed. Someone closed it.
Chelsey lunged for the bedroom door. The idea someone was hiding in the house literally chased her through the hallway, and down the stairs. The silence scared Chelsey more than anything. Absent from the house were the ordinary home noises, a toilet running, the house settling, noise from the neighbors, a dripping faucet. Chelsey heard none of it. It made her feel as if she had been swallowed alive by her own home.
A door slammed shut somewhere on the second floor when she was halfway down the stairs. Chelsey screamed bloody murder and ran out of the house, forgetting her keys and cell phone. She stopped in the driveway to consider her options before running blindly into the quiet street. For one brief moment, Chelsey reconsidered what had actually happened. Maybe she was acting irrational? However, the thought of going back into her own house scared her. She went to her neighbor’s home, knocked on the door, and begged them to call for help.
The police arrived shortly afterwards, as did her husband, Steven. After Chelsey explained why she thought someone was in the house, the police and Steven searched their house from top to bottom. At Chelsey’s request, the officers specifically searched the attic. Steven assisted the officers with pulling the insulation out of the floors of the attic to make sure no one hid underneath. All searching came up empty.
“Maybe the perpetrator left after you escaped the house?” A young male officer suggested kindly to Chelsey afterwards.
“I guess so.” Chelsey relented.
“There’s no one here now. We searched every inch. We’ll have officers drive by every once in a while tonight, just to be sure everything’s okay. Your husband went through the house. Said nothing was taken, but we dusted your laptop for fingerprints since you said the perpetrator touched it. The person might’ve been wearing gloves, but we dusted it just in case. I’ll let you know if we turn up anything there.”
“Thank you, officer. I’m sorry I bothered you.” Chelsey said to Officer D. Rank, and his partner C. Greenwood, as written on their badges. The assisting officers left once the house was cleared.
“No worries, mam. That’s what we’re here for. You have my number, and my partner’s. Call us if you hear or see anything suspicious, we’ll be here to check it out. And we’re on duty tonight, so that number will route straight to our patrol car. We can be here in mere minutes.”
Steven put his arm around her as they watched the officers drive away. He felt the tension in her shoulders. Hopefully, this was something Chelsey would get over quickly, but he felt irritatingly wrong. “Ready to go inside?”
“Not yet. It’s a nice day out.”
He took a deep breath to control his patience. “There’s no one in there, Chelsey. The police made sure of it. Besides, I’m home now. I’ll make sure you’re safe.”
“I just ….don’t want to go back in there. It still feels as if ….someone’s in the house.”
“Are you telling me it’s haunted?” Steven scoffed.
“No. I don’t think it’s haunted, but something is wrong in there. Remember a few days ago, when I told you I thought someone watching us while we slept? I think someone’s in there, with us.”
“That’s ridiculous! The police just searched the house! Are you freaking crazy?” Steven shouted, but regretted it the moment the words left his mouth. He took a deep breath, and said, “I’m sorry. I’m really ….sorry Chelsey. I didn’t mean that. I just ….I’m confused, tired. I wanna take a shower and go to bed.”
“Then you do that. I’m going to a hotel.”
“Oh, come on Chelsey! Are you really going to leave me here, without a car, no food, and go to a hotel? You can’t be serious!”
“I’m not staying here tonight.” She declared.
“Okay, just listen to me for a second. Just listen to me.” He took a deep breath, and started over with a rational tone. “Even if we go to a hotel, we’ll still have to come back to the house. It’s inevitable. Babe, this is our house. It’s where we’re going to bring our kids home from the hospital. We’ve made so many memories here ….I don’t wanna throw all that away simply because you suddenly have the urge to do so-”
“That’s not what I’m doing, Steven. There’s someone in our house. I’m not crazy. I’m just trying to protect you!” Tears fell from Chelsey’s eyes. “I don’t think I could live if something happened to you.”
Steven hugged Chelsey to him. He smiled at her, and kissed her neck gently. He whispered, “Back at ya, babe. I’m sorry. I completely screwed up and said the wrong thing. If you want to go to a hotel tonight, I’ll come with you.”
Chelsey squeezed her eyes closed, and cried harder. Moments like these showed her how much Steven truly loved her. It made her feel guilty for placing her fears in front of the needs of her family. She wiped away her tears, and straightened her spine. “No. You’re right. The police searched. Even they said there’s no one in the house. I guess ….I’m being selfishly scared.” She chucked to relieve the tension in her body. “We can stay.”
Chelsey lied through her teeth, but she felt silly over calling the police and getting so worked up over a closed laptop. But one tiny piece of her brain reminded her, she didn’t close the laptop or slam the door. She forced the thought away. She had confidence in herself. She would be safe.
Steven made dinner in the kitchen while Chelsey worked on her novel. They made conversation about Steven’s day, trying to be ordinary people locked in an ordinary day. For Chelsey, it worked. After they ate dinner, she went upstairs into her office to work on her book. The day’s events were lost. The music played, and she was doing what she loved.
Twenty minutes later, Steven walked into Chelsey’s office to check on her. He smiled when he saw Chelsey typing rapidly on her computer. “Hey babe. Coming to bed?”
“In a minute. I want to finish this scene.”
“Okay. I’ll leave our door open. Just holler if you need me.”
“Thanks. Nite babe.”
Chelsey worked on her novel until her eyes started to close. She must’ve fallen asleep at one point because her forehead smacked the keyboard. “Ouch.” She muttered as she rubbed her head. Only the light from the outside street lamp, and her computer screen, kept the room from total darkness.
Right as she clicked on the menu to shut down the laptop, Chelsey heard a scratching sound. She spun around in her chair to see if the source was Steven, but he wasn’t standing in the doorway. Before she could wonder about the noise, a piece of carpet near the door rose up from the floor. Her eyes widened, and she held her breath as a flash of heat started at her toes and rushed into her face. Panic made her limbs turn into rubber. She felt paralyzed with fright as the sound of the carpet flopping backwards reached her ears.
Then it hit her. Between the ceiling of the garage, and the floorboards of her office, there was a crawlspace. Chelsey nor Steven had been in there, even when they bought the house. The previous owner used it for storage, and it was the one place Chelsey didn’t ask the police to search. She heard something shift in the dark. The sounds of a second breath in the room forced her to panic. Her heart beat so fast and furious, it echoed through her body, and pounded in her ears. The will to scream or move was lost to Chelsey. Once her eyes adjusted to low light, she saw it.
It was a creature with brown scales for skin, and large horns protruding from its head. Big red eyes filled with a mixture of interest and malice shined brightly in the light. It watched her, never allowing Chelsey to break eye contact. Large globs of drool fell from the creature’s long, sharp teeth. It sat on its rear haunches, waiting patiently for the right moment to strike. Chelsey jumped up from her chair. At least, she tried to get up. Sitting in the chair for such a long period of time made her legs numb, and she fell straight to the ground the moment she stood up. As soon as she was on the floor, it pounced on top her. Chelsey finally found her voice and screamed before it clasped its hands tightly around her throat. She tried to punch and kick it off of her, but the creature painfully dug its knees into her chest. Chelsey didn’t give up. She used all of the strength she could muster to fight it, but the creature was much stronger. If only she could take a breath.
The creature threw its head back, laughing with glee when Chelsey’s body went limp. She stopped struggling, and her lips turned blue. But the laughter emanating from the creature didn’t sound demonic. In fact, it was high pitched and feminine. Like a woman’s laughter.
Monica Cartonie breathed heavily under the monster mask. She knew strangling someone wasn’t as easy as it was in the movies, but man, this took work. She watched Chelsey for a few seconds to make sure she was dead.
“Is she dead?” Steven asked from the doorway.
Monica removed the mask from her sweaty face, and said, “Yeah. She’s dead.”
“Then we better get started.”
“Yeah, we should.”
“I’ll go get the curtain, we can drag her down the stairs easier with it.” Steven said. He reached for Monica to kiss her deeply. They clung to each other in a passionate embrace.
“I’ll help you, lover.” She giggled as she took off the rest of the monster costume and dropped it on the floor near Chelsey’s body.
They left to grab a plastic shower curtain to place Chelsey’s body in. Steven said the shower curtain from the guest bathroom would work best. Together, they laughed in the hallway at the fact that their plan had worked. No messy divorce, a huge insurance payment from Chelsey’s life insurance, and Steven would finally be with the woman he truly loved.
“Let’s get this over with.” Steven said.
They went into the office. The light had gone out. Steven flipped the switch on and off, and finally, it came on. The light exploded into the big room, temporarily blinding them. When Steven could see, he saw the monster suit standing upright in the room as if someone were wearing it.
“What the hell?” He muttered just as the light went out.
The closet door creaked opened slowly, and spilled light into the room. A tall dark shape stood in the closet, projecting its shadow across the carpet. Steven held his breath when he realized Chelsey’s body was gone. They watched in horror as Chelsey staggered out of the closet to stand beside the monster. Gradually, Chelsey turned her head reveal her white face, and silver eyes boiling with a burning malevolence.
“Kill them.” She whispered to the demon, and pointed at Steven and Monica.
Chelsey’s ghost listened to the bloodcurdling screams of Monica and Steven as the monster tore them apart.