Friday the 13th

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“I thought they were expecting us” I turned to my friend, Andrea, and frowned.

“Knock again” she urged me, biting her lip and darting to the side of the porch to try and peek in the dark, shuttered window.

Raising my hand once more, I raped my knuckles hard against the closed, red door, wincing as the unrelenting wooden barrier grazed the soft skin of my hand.

Stepping back, Andrea and I waited a few more minutes in silence. An ominous buzz filled the dark night, and I shivered as a roll of thunder echoed in the distance.

“I think I know where the spare key is.” I said, turning and walking around the side of the house. “I still can’t understand why they’re not home or answering their phones – they knew we were coming!” Scooping up a small pot plant to the side of the house, I prised an old, slightly rusted key from the ground.

“Got it!” I sung out to Andrea, who was still staring nervously up at the house.

“Something just feels off.” She murmured to me as I walked back over. “The fact that they weren’t at the station to pick us up and that we can hear their phones ringing in there… It just doesn’t feel right.” Another roll of thunder clapped across the sky, closer to us this time. Jumping we looked at each other in worry.

“Yeah, I know.” I said quietly, pausing for a moment before putting the key in the lock and turning it softly. A sense of forbidding filled me inextricably as I felt every gear grind and click in the lock. I breathed in deeply as I twisted the knob slowly in my hand and pushed the door open, scared for what I’d find inside.

Taking a step inside the threshold, I immediately became engulfed in thick, stifling darkness. The closed shutters blocked out any sliver of natural light the night offered, and the air smelt stale… and almost metallic. Wrinkling my nose, I reached out and edged along the wall, feeling for the light switch I knew was there somewhere.

Click.

Finally finding the switch, I flicked it. A sharp burst of bright light flooded the room and with a bang, disappeared, the bulb still glowing faintly after blowing out and tainting the room in a dark, hazy, residual glow. Adrenaline flooded my veins as I squinted my eyes and tried to make out my surroundings in the small glow that was left, my breathing increasing as I got more and more worried.

I could just make out a small shape at the end of the hall; something big and hunched. A person? “H-h-hello?” I stammered out, my heart beating frantically against my ribcage. Forcing my legs to move forward even though my instincts were screaming at me to run in the opposition direction, I inched forward. “Kate? Mike? Is anyone there?” I called out again, my voice a little stronger this time.

“AHHHHH!!!!” I screamed, as a hand grabbed my arm and yanked me back.

“Shhh, it’s just me.” Andrea whispered as she came up behind me and pressed against me. “This is all just plain creepy.” She said.

Breathing hard, I struggled to get my heart rate under control as Andrea pulled out her phone and opened up her flashlight app. I closed my eyes to blink, scared to reopen them for what I’d see at the end of the hallway. Don’t be silly, I told myself, there’s nothing there.

“Oh my god” Andrea mumbled behind me, backing away.

“What?” I asked sharply as I opened my eyes, looking towards the end of the hallway. “Oh my god.” I repeated, feeling sick. At the bottom of the staircase lay a slumped figure in a dark pool of liquid. It couldn’t be blood. Those things just didn’t happen.

My legs seemed to have a mind of their own as they made their way slowly towards the body. Shakily I bent down, taking in Kate’s small, slumped form. Her auburn hair fanned across her face covering her features. Reaching out, I lowered my hand to her neck and felt for a pulse. Nothing. Pulling my hand back, I recoiled as I felt a sticky, wet warmth between my fingers where I’d touched Katie’s body.

“Ohhh” I moaned as I looked back down at her laying in the puddle on the floor. Slowly lifting the curtain of hair away from her face I recoiled in horror and screamed, falling down in my haste to stand up and run away. Her once pure, beautiful face was marred with gashes, smears of blood. Her eyes were frozen open in a look of horror and upon closer inspection I took in the unnatural angle of her arms and legs, the shredded clothing barely covering her body, the stains and gashes spilling her insides onto the floor in a puddle I was now sitting in. Someone had done this to her. Someone sick and terrifying. Crying out, I turned and ran from the house, stopping just outside the door to heave up the contents of my stomach. This couldn’t be happening.

“Andrea” I called back into the house. “Andrea, we have to go. We have to call the police, lets get out of here!” I cried.

Scrambling to get the use of my body back after the shock, I turned to grab Andrea from just inside the house. As I moved back inside I realised something was different. The deep darkness was back. The silence was deafening. There was no other living person standing in that room except for me.

“Oh my god!” I cried, “Andrea! Where are you!?” I yelled into the house, fighting my urge to turn and run out the front door; to run far far away. I couldn’t run, I had to help her. Where was she? Had the killer taken her? The tears streamed down my face in fear, sadness, frustration and I willed myself to summon the courage to find her. I couldn’t let him take her.

One step.

Two steps.

I paused close to Kate’s body, taking a deep breath and quickly walked around her into the kitchen. Screaming I fought to turn and run the other way as I took in the sight of Mike’s body spreadeagled across the kitchen floor, his blood streaming through the grout in the tiled floor and forming a grotesque mosaic. My stomach churned again as I dropped to my knees and dry retched on the floor. Crying, I looked around the room, taking in the fallen curtain rod someone had grabbed in their struggles, the broken china hurled from the cabinet and smashed against the wall behind the killer. The kitchen door swung wide open, and sitting beside it on the counter was Andrea’s phone, silently vibrating.

Lunging for the phone, I took in the ‘blocked’ caller i.d. and tentatively answered the call.

“Hello?” I answered.

“SUSIE!!!” Andrea screamed in the background, “HELP ME!!!” Sobbing, I looked out the kitchen door. I could hear her voice echoing through the yard, bouncing off the trees that fenced in the property. She was close.

“I’m coming Andrea!” I cried, running out the door into the night. I reached the smooth, cold colour bond fence cutting off the yard at the back of the property and scrambled to get myself over it. She’d sounded so close, somewhere in those woods. I just had to find her!

BOOOOMMMM. I shrieked as another roll of thunder crashed above my head, and a flash of lightning lit up the yard. Looking back towards the house I saw him. A shadowed figure, carrying a large knife in his hand. It was still too dark to see who it was, but those eyes… They drilled across the yard straight into me as he determinedly made his way down the back steps and across the yard towards me.

I flung myself off the fence and rolled onto the ground below me, barely feeling the sharp impact on my shoulder. Jumping to my feet I took off in a run as he began scrambling up the fence behind me, hoping that if I was going to die, I could at least I could lead him away from Andrea.

I ran through the trees, breaking into the next-door neighbours yard and using the darkness as my cover. I knew this yard; Kate and I had played in it as kids. There was a small entry to an old underground cellar that we used to sneak into. It was connected to the house, but well hidden from anyone who didn’t know it was there. I could hear him behind me, but he wasn’t close enough to see what I was going to do. I slid under the back veranda and shimmied into the small crawl space, its opening tight around my body. The hard packed, dirt walls pressed against my sides and I could only wriggle forwards or backwards in there. I knew the cellar was behind me, but I was scared to push back. Claustrophobia strangled me and tried to surmount my fear of the killer coming towards me. This hole seemed a lot smaller when we were kids. Frantically fighting for control of my breathing, I urged myself to stay quiet. I could hear his footsteps cracking the small twigs on the ground, crushing the fallen leaves into dust. As I peered through the small opening between the deck and the yard I took in his old, steel capped boots, stained with Kate and Mike’s blood. The large knife swung methodically back and forth in his hand as he walked past.

And past again.

And again.

He was pacing. He knew I was here. I had to get into the house and make a run for it before he figured it out. Fighting my fear, I began to inch backwards down the hole, praying the cellar hadn’t caved it or been covered up after all these years.

TO BE CONTINUED… 

Photo credit: http://www.badhaven.com/film/film-features/dans-meanderings-why-dont-they-remake-movies-that-need-to-be-remade/attachment/jasonvorheesfridaythe13thremake/
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A Nightmare on My Street

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Screech. Screech. Screech. Fighting the urge to scream, I clasped my shaking hands tightly over my ears and huddled in terror further into my cave of blankets, trying to block out the horrifying sounds grating against my bedroom window. It had to be the wind… There was no other explanation. I was on the second floor, and it was a stormy night. I knew I was being silly; imaging things that weren’t there. But the uncontrollable and suffocating blanket of horror coursing through my veins didn’t accept that reality. The bone-chilling shriek of fingernails down a chalkboard continued to permeate my senses, even with my ears covered, as the inky darkness of the night fought to scratch through my window to get me.

Lowering my hands from my ears slowly, I tensed as the silence weighed down around me. “Lissssssaaaaa” the wind whispered. Whimpering in fright, I huddled further down in my bed and curled my arms around my legs in a foetal position. I was too scared to get up, too scared to call anyone, too scared to move. My limbs felt frozen, my body paralysed by fright. I could do nothing but cry in terror as I cocooned myself and prayed for salvation and safety.

“Choo choo!” The loud chirp of my phone cause me to shriek in shock, and I quickly reached out my arm from beneath the doona to grab it and pull it back under the covers with me.

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door… The scream ripped from my throat before I could stop it, and I started sobbing in earnest as I shook under the covers. There really was someone out there. I was going to die tonight. I always wondered what I’d do in this situation. Watching movies it always seemed so easy – RUN YOU STUPID WOMAN – GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!!! WHY AREN’T YOU RUNNING? ARE YOU THAT GODDAMN STUPID?!?! YOU DESERVE TO DIE!!! But now I understood why they stayed. Why they didn’t run screaming for their lives. I couldn’t move from fear. I don’t think I would ever move again. I just wanted it over with already. Maybe if I were lucky I’d die of a heart attack from all this fright first.

“Five, six grab your crucifix… seven, eight gonna stay up late…” The next two lines of the rhyme floated through the air softly from outside my window followed by a sharp bang as the person outside slammed their fist against the window and tried to break the pane. I screamed again and realised I needed to move. I needed to get out.

Stretching my leg out the side of my bed, I tentatively lifted the corner of the duvet, squeezing my eyes shut so I wouldn’t have to see anything. I would not be a victim. But I didn’t want to look either. No no no no no! I rolled out of the bed, wincing as my knees gave out and I crashed to the cold wooden floor beneath me.

Bang, bang bang! Slammed his fist against the fragile window pane. I cringed as I heard the first crack splinter along the glass.

 

“Even if you run I’ll catch you. You’ll never escape me” The voice whispered through my room, still diluted by sounds of the wind outside and the thin pane of glass that separated us. I leant my hands on the hard floor and cried in earnest, unable to get up, unable to move. Then the phone rang.

Sobbing, I realised it was still clenched in my hand and vibrating against the floor where I had it pressed. “He-he-hello?” I choked, unable to hold back the sobs wracking my frightened body.

“Turn around” the cold, clear voice demanded through the speaker. I couldn’t turn around. I couldn’t move. “TURN THE FUCK AROUND!” The voice screamed through the speaker; the words echoing around my room from both the outside and the small phone.

I guess this is it, I thought as I squeezed my eyes shut and started to stand on shaky legs. I’m too young to die, too pretty to be maimed, I thought frantically as I slowly turned to face the window on unsteady legs, unable to open my eyes.

But I guess it’s just my time. Resignedly, I opened my eyes. But I couldn’t stop the soul wrenching scream that tore me apart as I stared into the illuminated face grinning ghoulishly at me from outside the cracked window.

And then I woke up screaming. My poor household. My poor cats – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them leap so far so fast as they took off from their comfortable positions on the bed. If only I’d been able to do that in my dream! So, I guess the lesson I learnt last night was no more scary books before bedtime, and no more Freddy Kruger-esque delusions! Can’t shake the dream today though- that rhyme has just been on repeat in creepy children’s voices through my head all day… *Shiver*.