ding us tonot only fear for the characters within the novel but for ourselves as the ghosts seem
to follow the reader around weeks afterwards. It is the mastery of description that
enslaves our minds as readers. Ghost stories paint vivid pictures inside the mind as they
force us to come face to face with our deepest fears. Imagining ourselves as the main
characters we become a part of the story, seeing, hearing, and feeling everything that the
author is courageous enough to delve into the darker side of his or her subconscious. The
stories give a sense of escape, by allowing the reader to partake on the journey along side
the characters, they are given the chance to become larger then life, doing things they
would never be able to accomplish in their everyday life. They defeat the monster and
come out the conquering hero, never forgetting the memory of their battle. Even after the
book is done the scenes replay themselves over and over within the reader’s mind. They
have such an impact over their reader’s, and that is a true accomplishment, not all genres
of novels can succeed in such a feat. Now, I want you to sit back in your most
comfortable chair, pull a blanket up around you, and grab a nice, warm cup of cocoa while
I tell you one of my favourite ghost stories.
Vivian plunked the last of the dusty, cardboard boxes down on the wooden floor.
She breathed heavily as she finally allowed herself to collapse into the burgundy softness
of the cushioned chair seated in the far corner of the master bedroom. Thunder tore its
way through the silence of the room. Vivian jumped, she didn’t like being alone in
the dark, musty house, especially during a thunder storm. She remembered when she and
her husband, Jake, had first visited the house. It had been the middle of summer and after
reading an article in the paper about the house, they had made the drive out to Osgood to
see it. They fell in love with the house from the moment they laid their eyes on it. A large
bay window looked out over the front lawn, and next to it were french doors leading out
to a wrought iron balcony. A white washed porch encompassed the body of the house, it’s
rails intertwined with red roses that blessed the thick summer air with their sweet aroma.
It had seemed so welcoming then, Vivian thought to
herself as she rose from the chair, wearily getting ready for bed. She pulled one of
her husbands sweat shirts from one of the many boxes that were spread across the room
and put it on. Vivian laughed to herself as she passed by her reflection in the antique
vanity mirror, the shirt hung off of her small frame almost reaching all the way down to
her knees, and her long auburn hair was piled messily upon her head. Another crash of
thunder sent her diving childishly to the safety of the king size, four post bed where she
pulled the lavish wine coloured duvet up over her head. Jake will be here tomorrow she
repeated after she had turned off the light. He’ll be here tomorrow she kept reassuring
herself as she fell into an uneasy sleep. Vivian hadn’t spent a night away from her husband
since they had been married eighteen months ago, the mere thought of him not being
beside her haunted her subconscious as she slept.
It was dark outside when Vivian awoke, a wash of pale blue light cast itself over
the bedroom. Slowly Vivian eased herself out of the warmth of the immense bed and made
her way towards the hallway. The hall was dimly lit with candles and it seemed to go on
forever, the glow of amber from the candles fading as you followed them down into a dark
cave. The sound of the enormous, oak door opening followed by a strong gust of crisp,
early winter wind sharpened Vivian’s senses as she began to run down the dark hall
towards the top of the staircase.
“Jake?” she called, reaching the top of the stairs. “Oh Jake, honey, is that
you?” she said running down the stairs. When she reached the bottom she let a small sigh
escape as her spirit sank, he wasn’t there. I couldn’t have just imagined the whole thing,
Vivian thought to herself, someone came into the house I heard them. “Jake? Are you
here?” she yelled stepping into the middle of the foyer, her echo bouncing off the empty
walls of the house, resonating inside her head. The house is too quiet Vivian thought to
herself as she inched her way back to the staircase. “Jake?” she whispered desperately.
She placed her foot softly onto the first step, a sickening slurp arose from under her foot.
Instinctively she looked down, her stomach churned as all the colour drained from her
face. A steady stream of blood had made its way down the stairs, it dripped warmly off of
each separate step filling the ruby pool on the one below it. Vivian stood frozen unable to
believe the oozing mass that was collecting at her feet. Behind her the heavy wood of the
door crashed open sending icy gasts of harsh, bitter wind spinning through the house. Not
able to control her terror any longer Vivian darted up the stairs, the thickening pools of
blood sticking to the bottoms of her feet, splashing up over her bare legs with every step.
Tears poured down her colourless face as she ascended up the stairs. Turning down the
amber hall she collided with a dark, pillar that was blocking the corridor. She had collided
with such force that she had been sent flying backwards, landing in a crumpled heap about
four feet away. Vivian rose painfully to a sitting position glancing towards the shadowed
figure she had hurtled herself into. Slowly, it started to close in upon her. The figure was a
mass of darkness, it draped itself over her, bringing with it the pungent stench of decay.
Slowly the figure bent down until what was left of his face rested only inches from hers,
the smell invading every pore of her body causing waves of dizzying nausea to roll
through her. The mans pale face moved with cascades of maggots as they fought to escape
the deep pits where his eyes should have been. They fell onto Vivian’s legs, should could
feel them crawling all over her. She tried to move but found that she couldn’t, a bear-like
grasp had clamped itself around her arm effortlessly holding her to the ground. With his
free, icy hand he started to caress her cheek, wiping the tears away as they fell from her
eyes, he moved in closer, opening his chapped mouth, a black slime poured from it,
trickling down over Vivian’s grey sweat shirt. The figure climbed on top of her, she was
powerless to stop it. She was surrounded by the smell of death, the hungry maggots, and
the putrescent black that dripped its cold wetness onto her face.
Vivian woke up screaming. Her body trembled with complete and utter terror, her
clothes and duvet were soaked with sweat. The dream had been so real, she could still feel
the stinging cold from the man’s touch, her nostrils still consumed by the odour. Just then
she heard a clamor of footsteps racing towards the bedroom, Her muscles stiffened and
her stomach lurched, the door burst open.
“Viv? Are you all right?” Jake raced to the side of his convulsing wife and
her into his arms. “Oh my god, what happened?” he cupped her face within his hands and
looked into her eyes.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” she said wrapping her arms tightly around his
warm body. “Our first night away from each other and I have a nightmare. I guess it all
goes to show how independent I am.” she joked, adverting her eyes away from her
husband’s worried gaze. Jake gently pressed his lips to her forehead and smiled, taking her
clammy hand within his own and drew her up.
“Come on, I made us some breakfast.”
Vivian clutched on to his hand as they entered the hallway, it looked nothing like it
had in her dream, it was brightly lit with wall lamps allowing her to see the very last door
at the end of the hall. Relief came to her as they reached the inviting smell of bacon in the
kitchen. Everything was as it should be, there was no trail of warm, sickly blood dripping
its way steadily down the stairs, there were no wintry breezes that stung her body, and
there had been no dark figure waiting for her. It was for that fact that she was most
thankful. Jake set out the white china plates heaped with steaming pancakes and sparkling
bacon, as well as rich, dark cups of coffee, filled to the brim. Vivian curled her fingers
around the warm walls of her mug and sipped at it sparingly as she told Jake about her
dream. She sat in a daze, reliving the whole experience, she couldn’t remember a time
when she had been so scared. Jake’s being there helped her to stay strong, he comforted
her through the whole thing, reassuring her that it was just a dream. When she was done
he crouched down beside her chair and looked up at her.
“ell I’m here now, and I’m not going to let anything hurt you, not even in your
dreams.” Vivian knew that he was telling the truth, he wouldn’t let anything hurt her,
she trusted him with her life. Upstairs in the house a picture frame crashed to the floor,
spraying it’s shards of glass clumsily across the wooden floor.
“What was that?” Vivian had jumped from her chair and now stood clinging to her
husband’s fleece chest.
“Don’t worry, it was probably nothing.” he said as he unhinged her fingers and
started for the stairs. Still shaken from her dream and not wanting to be left alone Vivian
followed cautiously behind his sure, steady steps. Jake entered their bedroom leaving
Vivian waiting in the doorway. “Damn it! Ahh, god damn. Viv, you’re not going to
believe this.” Vivian entered the room warily. Jake was sitting on the burgundy chair
nursing a bleeding foot. Blood, Vivian thought as she remembered her dream once more.
she began to run over to where her husband was sitting “Careful!” he shouted. “There’s
glass all over the floor.” Vivian stopped dead and looked about her, a silver frame with
vine like coils engraved in it lay on the floor, the picture inside it was of their wedding day.
They were sitting on a white bench with crimson roses blending into the background of
the slowly setting sun. She was wearing a simple ivory gown with tiny pink flowers
embroidered carefully onto the bodice, her hair swept upwards with soft wisps hanging
loosely across her neck. Jake wore the traditional black tuxedo which complimented his
broad shoulders and strong build that he had been naturally blessed with. The sun danced
across his golden hair giving it a reddish glow. That had been the happiest day of her life,
now the picture lay torn in half on the ground. “Viv, can you go find us a broom so we
can get this all cleaned up?” Jake asked trying to hide the pain of his burning foot.
“Of course. Are you all right? Want me to get you anything?” as she drew her
attention to the gaping cut in his foot. “Oh my god, the looks like it needs stitches.” she
was horrified. “I don’t even remember unpacking that picture, I’m so sorry babe.”
“Just what are you apologizing for?” he laughed. “It’s my own fault for charging in
here without watching where I was going, so don’t you even start to blame yourself. I’ll
be fine, you just go and find that broom, okay?” he forced a smile, Vivian smiled back and
left the room. She ventured out into the hallway, she had run into a storage closet the
other day while exploring the house, she was sure she’d be able to find something to
sweep up the glass in there. She had reached the closet, the knob on the door was ice cold,
sending goosebumps immediately up her arm the second she touched it. Ignoring the small
jolt of fear that had passed through her she opened the door, the broom was lying in the
corner, a dust pan near by. Bending down to pick up the rusting metal of the dust pan
Vivian got the sense that she was not alone, someone was watching her she was sure of
it. The heavy glare of eyes was suffocating, causing the air around her to thin until she had
to heave in deep breaths. Slowly standing up she saw something move out of the corner of
her eye, a quick flash of colour interrupting the stillness of the house for a momentary
second before vanishing into the watching air. Vivian dropped the broom and dust pan,
letting them fall thunderously to the ground, as she sprinted down the hallway and into her
her husbands arms.
“Viv? What’s wrong?” Jake asked staring down at her on his lap, he stroked the
hair back from her face.
“I swear to god something’s in the house. I saw something out in the hallway. It
was there and then it just vanished.” she cried. “I feel like I’m losing my mind, first the
nightmare and now this, god, what’s wrong with me?” she wrapped her arms around
waist and buried herself in his chest.
“Vivian, look at me.” she looked up, her eyes were swollen and red with tears.
“You’re not losing your mind, I promise, you’ve just been under a lot of stress lately, with
the move and all. Here’s an idea, I’ll clean up this mess and unpack the boxes that are left
while you rest.” he rose from the chair, Vivian still in his arms. The first step down on his
foot caused him to moan in pain.
“Oh, Jake your foot, you can’t do all that work, you can barely even walk. You lie
down while I clean the mess, I’m fine now really.” she said as he plopped her down onto
the bed collapsing beside her.
“No you’re not.” he laughed. “Look at yourself you’re trembling.” Vivian knew
that he was not going to give in, she hated it when he became stubborn like this and stood
up briskly in protest. Her head spun, the objects in the room became a kalidoscopic blur,
the sound of Jake’s voice was distant and clouded, everything bled into one another until a
curtain of black swept in.
Vivian awoke an hour later, her head was pounding and her back felt like
someone had thrust a knife into it and twisted the blade so that the wound wouldn’t close.
Jake raced to her side, his face was creased with worry. “Hey you, how are you feeling?
This,” he said extending his arm to a husky, little man with white curly hair. “is Dr. Myles
Jeffery, he’s going to take a look at you okay? If you need anything I’ll be just outside.”
he squeezed her hand tightly, nodded in the direction of Dr. Jeffery and left the room, the
door clicking shut behind him. Jake paced back and forth outside the door, his mind was
racing, how could he have let her do all the unpacking by herself? He knew that she had
been under a lot of stress. He should have been there for her, not out in Philadelphia
wrapping up a business deal that could have been managed over the phone. “I can’t
how stupid I am!” he scolded himself, he had never been so scared for someone in his
entire life. The hallway grew cold, Jake hugged himself absently, still pacing , the hairs on
the back of his neck stood on end as a shadow swept by him. Jake flung himself around,
nothing was there. He laughed, the lonely voice danced down the hall and died. The sound
of the bedroom door opening behind him brought Jake back to full attention. Dr. Jeffery
“You can see your wife now, she has something to tell you.” he said in his soft,
kind voice. “I’ll let myself out.” Jake ran into the room, Vivian sat on the bed her arms
folded across her stomach, her face soaked with tears. When she saw Jake she drew her
palms up and rubbed at her eyes. Jake didn’t know what to make of the picture he
saw before him and slowly inched his way to the bed, expecting the worst. Vivian patted
the duvet beside her and obediently he sat down. She took his hand and looked
into his eyes and started to cry.
“What is it?” Jake was couldn’t comprehend the look on his wife’s face, he’d never
seen her look this way before. “What did Dr. Jeffery say?”
“He sa…he said.” she paused choking back her tears and smiled. “We’re going to
have a baby.” she laughed bringing on more waves of tears. Jake could feel his eyes
beginning to well up, as he started to laugh.
“Were having a baby?” Vivian nodded as Jake leaned over cupping her face and
began to excitedly kiss her face again and again. “We’re having a baby. I can’t believe it.”
he said placing his hand lovingly onto her stomach, brushing his thumb across it
“Well believe it, in eight months you are going to be a dad.”
“And you,” he bent down to kiss her stomach. “are going to be a mom.” he kissed
her again and again, she reached her hand down and pulled him up to kiss her mouth, the
warm weight of his body pressed up against hers. He stopped to pull the navy fleece up
over his head exposing his still tanned skin, Vivian’s hands immediately went to touch the
bare flesh, while’s Jake’s hand crept it’s way to the lamp beside the bed. “I love you.” he
whispered into her ear as he climbed in-between the covers.
Vivian sat in dreamily in the bath tub, letting the steaming water ripple around her
body, coaxing her to sleep. She looked down at her stomach and patted it gently,
everything is so perfect now, she thought to herself. A small splash caught her attention, a
small, white worm riggled for life in the peaceful water, Vivian’s stomach sank as more
and more of the worms splashed sickeningly into the tub. Leaping out of the water she
wrapped herself in a deep red towel slinking away from the crawling bath. She backed up
against the door, trying to turn the handle but found that it would not budge, tears welled
up inside her eyes as she sank helplessly down to the floor.
“Stop, please stop.” she whispered as she banged on the door. Why is this
happening to me? She thought. “Please, just go away.” she pleaded over and over again.
The tub was now overflowing with the small ,white worms, they poured onto the floor the
pile wriggling over one another. The dark figure she had seen before passed through the
door. Vivian drew in a deep, staggered breath, the figure took no notice of her, it walked
right past her crumpled form into the middle of the bathroom. He turned, his feet sliding
over the masses of maggots and stared right at her. His face was different this time, his
were visible and his mouth didn’t drip with the black liquid, it drawn and pale, his eyes
communicated a deep sorrow, he tilted his head precariously as he raised a finger to
Vivian. He extended his hand, a snake slowly started to coil around it, he looked down
his eyes filling with hate then looked back up at Vivian. A shrieking noise assaulted her
as he viciously whipped the snake against the large, crystal mirror.
Vivian’s eyes shot open. She lay in the comfort of Jake’s arms, she was safe. She
breathed a sigh of relief as she carefully slipped out from under Jake trying not to
wake him. Out of the bed she reached for her snow white, terry cloth robe and wrapped it
around her shivering body. She made her way down to the kitchen, the clock read eight
o’clock, she and Jake must have slept through the entire evening. She made her way
sleepily to the bench seat by the window, outside all that could be seen was the vast array
of trees that made up the Osgood forest. Vivian curled up onto the blue checkered cushion
tilting her head, resting it against the frame of the window. She stared out the window
watching intently as a cardinal landed in the square soft light from the window, and started
to peck the damp ground in search of worms. “I’m coming for you.” the words rang
thorough Vivian’s head like a fog horn blaring through the deadly silence
of a warm summer’s night. She looked up and screamed, the man from her dreams stood
four feet from the window. He stared at her, his deep, black eyes didn’t move, they just
peered through the window. I’m dreaming, I have to be dreaming Vivian thought
frantically but she knew it was not true. This time she wasn’t dreaming, there was no
escape. She sat staring at him, too petrified to turn away, trusting that if she did he would
walk through the window and kill her. The cardinal that she had been watching flew up
and perched on his shoulder, without tearing his eyes from hers he snapped his hand up
and flattened the bird, removing the mutilated ball of feather’s from his coat and threw it
away. The birds still warm blood could be seen on the dark shoulder of his jacket. His
hand too was stained with the blood, Vivian could see it trickle slowly down his arm, he
brought it to his mouth and licked the ruby juice away. Vivian felt like she was going to be
sick. He smiled at her. “Soon.” the silence spoke to her.
“Hey gorgeous, how long have you been up?” Vivian broke the hypnotic trance
that the figure had placed upon her and looked away to see Jake walk into the room. A
second later, when she looked back through the window, the man was gone. Unable to
control her queasy stomach any longer she sprang up and ran to the bathroom just outside
the doors of the kitchen. When she finally emerged from the bathroom, twenty minutes
later, Jake greeted her with a kiss and a big bowl of steaming chicken noodle soup. “I
thought that morning sickness was strictly designated to the mornings.”
“I saw him Jake.” Vivian said, staring in the direction of the window. “He looked
right at me, oh my god I was so scared.”
“What? Who did you see?” Jake asked taking the bowl from her hands placing it
carefully on the table before returning to his wife.
“The man from my dream, he’s real I saw him right outside the window. Oh my
god Jake I saw him, I watched him kill a cardinal with his bare hand.” Jake brought her
closer to him, trying to give her at least some comfort, he knew that it wasn’t working but
in all honesty he held her close for his own comfort as well, there was something about the
house that frightened him too.
“Are you sure it was him?”
“Of course I’m sure.”
“Okay you stay here while I see if I can find anything, okay? I’ll be right back, I
promise.” he said and was gone out the door before Vivian had time to protest. She ran to
the kitchen window where she saw Jake stumble around in the cool night, he stooped
down over the body of the small cardinal, looked about himself and then disappeared from
sight. A moment later he walked in through the kitchen doors. “Well I saw the cardinal,
poor thing, but there was no sign of anyone creeping about the house, not one single
footprint.” he rubbed Vivian’s shoulder’s reassuringly.
“No, of course there were no footprints. He’s a ghost.” she said coolly not taking
her eyes from his for an instant. At that exact instant the lights began to flicker throughout
the whole house, both Jake and Vivian looked about desperately as the lights flashed on
and off above them accompanied by the unmistakable sound of laughter.
Six months later Vivian and Jake found themselves relaxing in their hammock,
in the warm may sun. There had been no sign of the white faced shadow that had haunted
Vivian’s dreams since the night he had shown himself to her. From that point on
everything had just stopped. The voices, the nightmares, even the unwelcoming air that
seemed once to consume the house had vanished. Vivian was now in her seventh month of
pregnancy and she looked it, her stomach had swollen out so greatly that it looked as if
she might explode any second. Jake slowly combed through her hair as they lazily rocked
back and forth. “What do you think about the name Bailey?” Vivian asked.
“For boy or girl?”
“Either. Hmm, how about this, if it’s a girl we use it as the middle name and find a
more girlie first name, what do you think?”
“What about Laura? Yeah, Laura Bailey. I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you?”
he went up on his side to look down at his wife a large childlike grin sweeping over his
“I think that it’s perfect.” she said reaching up to kiss Jake’s smooth lips. “Now
what if we have a little boy? I know, Benjamin, Benjamin Alan, do you like that?” she said
searching for a sign of approval on Jake’s face. He nodded happily, using his right leg to
gently rock them. “Well, I don’t know about you but we are ready for dinner.” Vivian
chuckled as she waddled her way out of the hammock.
“Now that sounds like a good idea.” Jake sprang up and bounced his way in
through the heavy front doors and into the kitchen, holding the doors and bowing as
Vivian walked through each one.
“You’re so crazy.” Vivian laughed, slapping his buttocks.
“Hey, you keep that up and we’ll never get to dinner.” he said lifting her up on to
the island in the center of the room. He kissed he neck tenderly, running his fingers up and
down her spine in a rhythmic pattern.
“How about we take this upstairs?” Vivian breathed into his ear.
* * * * *
“Here we go, one double fudge brownie sundae, just as you ordered.” Jake
announced as he entered the bedroom carrying a wooden try in his arms. He set it down
on the bed and then climbed in beneath the light weight sheets. “Personally I think that all
of our dinners should be like this.” Vivian leaned her head against his shoulder.
“Mmm, I agree.” she said as she placed the first spoonful onto her tongue. “But
know what I like even more than this?” she lifted her head on an angle to meet his
downward gaze. “You, I love being with you.” she said kissing the tip of his chin.
“And I you,” he whispered. “and I you.” he lifted a spoonful of the rich chocolate
to her lips, she ate it feverishly. They stayed lying in each other’s arms until every last bite
of the mountainous dessert was gone and afterwards, too full to move fell fast asleep.
Gregory emerged form the shadows silently, his pale face was luminous in the soft
light of the moon. He inched his way towards the bed where Vivian and Jake slept, staring
at the synchronized rise and fall of their bodies. He stared at them for what could have
been an eternity then floated onto the wine coloured sheets, his body leaving only the
slightest indent where he lay. He reached out and touched Vivian’s bare back with a long,
boney finger, his nail digging into her flesh leaving a small cut, “Tomorrow” he whispered
in to her exposed ear. Vivian stirred in her sleep. Gregory disappeared.
“Oh my god Viv, what happened to your back?” Jake burst out in the bathroom
the next morning. “Did you hit it on something sharp?”
“No. Why, does it look like I did?” she said trying to see it in the mirror.
“What, you didn’t feel that when you did it? Viv it’s a gash, like someone cut you
with a razor blade.” he said shocked. “Let me bandage you up okay? Let me know if I’m
hurting you.” he had retrieved the gauze from the medicine cabinet and quickly began to
bandage up the infected wound. “There all better.” he kissed the bandage.
“Thank you.” she said. “You’re my hero.” she mocked.
” Well, I try.” he grinned. “Okay, so Dr. Jeffrey is coming for your check up today
around seven right?” Vivian nodded. “Well then, that leaves us with exactly ten hours to
ourselves, sound good?”
“That sounds amazing, maybe we could even…”
“Work on the nursery?” Jake questioned.
“Am I that predictable? Would you mind?” she slumped against the counter as
she always did when she was feeling unsure of herself.
“We can do anything you want to do gorgeous, all you ever have to do is ask.” he
said, leaving the washroom. Vivian took one last look at herself in the mirror, I can’t wait
until this is all over with and I can shrink back down to my normal size she thought to
herself as she sighed and left to the nursery. They had painted the room a pale yellow with
blue and pink ducks swimming along the boarders. A lacy crib had been set up within the
indentation of the bay window that overlooked the front lawn of the house, a mobile with
purple clowns danced above it. Already the closet was filled with an array of small powder
smelling clothes, and the hand carved toy chest brimming with teddy bears and dolls.
Vivian smiled, it wouldn’t be long until the room was complete, all that needed to be done
could be finished within the day. She was so excited she could barely keep from jumping
up and down. Jake and Vivian spent the whole day in there placing everything in just the
right order so that when the baby came home it would be as comfortable as possible. At
five o’clock they had finished, it was the epitome of perfection, they had found a special
place for everything.
“Do you mind if I take a quick nap?” Jake asked, he had been up early that
morning to settle a business deal in Japan. The rest of his company had flown over seas to
see the deal to a close while Jake had told them to “have fun with out him.” when Vivian
heard this she was so proud of him, he had finally done it, he’d said no.
“Of course you can baby.” she said wrapping her arms around his waist as they left
the nursery. “Want me to wake you in an hour for dinner?” she drummed on his hard
stomach. He turned around and kissed her passionately before stepping through the door
and out of sight. “Is that a yes, or a no?” Vivian laughed, through the door she heard the
triumphant scream of “yes.” and still laughing waddled her way slowly down the stairs to
Jake undressed, put on his waiting bathrobe and climbed under the beckoning veils
of blankets on the bed. He lay his head down on the feathery pillow and closed his eyes.
Jake had been lying there for seven minutes when he heard movement within the room, a
few moments later and he felt a slight weight join him in the bed.
“Supper done already?” he asked sleepily as he opened his eyes to slivers and
over onto his side to look at his wife, Jake froze in terror, in Vivian’s place lay a pale
faced man in his early thirties his eyes solemn pools of black that were fixed un-moving
into his own. Jake scrambled up off the bed falling onto the unsympathetic, wooden floor
with a thud. He crammed himself up against the wall, trying to find protection within it.
*censored*, he thought aloud, it was the man from Vivian’s nightmares, what the hell was he
going to do? He glanced back towards the bed, the figure had vanished. Relieved Jake
rose to his feet and collapsed into the wall resting his forehead on the palm of his hand he
exhaled slowly. An icy, cold grasp shot out suddenly and enclosed around Jake’s neck,
lifting him two feet into the air. His eyes bulged from their sockets, Gregory looked
maliciously up at Jake, a smirk passing over his blackened lips as he tightened his grip,
cutting off all Jake’s air way. Jake’s feet lashed out against what should have been his
attacker’s legs but there was nothing there, he gasped for what little breath he attained,
frog like gurgles bubbling up in his throat. As Jake’s struggle weakened the hand loosened
and brought Jake down so that his feet could scrape against the wood of the floor as
Gregory leaned over placing his mouth over Jake’s.
“Hey babe, are you up? Dinner’s ready.” Vivian chirped as she entered the chilled
bedroom, the door swung shut behind her. The only light in the room came from the rays
of early evening sun that managed to sneak their way past the heavily drawn curtains. She
walked over to the bedside lamp and clicked it on, Jake sat in the middle of the bed
staring out into space. Vivian walked over to him, sitting down on the bed. “Jake?” he sat
undisturbed by her soft voice. “Oh my god, what happened to you?” she cried out in
alarm, touching the purple bruises that had started to appear around his neck. His neck
was freezing cold. “Jake?” she whispered, at this he slowly started to turn his head to face
her, Vivian could feel her stomach leap into her throat, the eyes that stared back at her
were distant, black. She jumped off the bed, crying. “Oh god, Jake.”
“Jake is no longer here.” the voice protruded from her husbands mouth, yet she
didn’t recognize it, it was harsh and crackled with a vibrating bass tone. Vivian ran
out the door as fast as she possibly could. The tears were pouring down her face as she
walked down the hallway, the lights in the whole house flickered and went out leaving
only the wash of the dying sun to light the way. Down stairs the front doors crashed open
a howling breeze charged inside.
“Jesus.” Vivian muttered as she kept inching her way towards the stairs not
knowing whether it was safer to turn back to what was left of her husband or keep going
forward towards the unknown. The breeze disappeared and the distinct sound of the
gigantic oak doors rang throughout the house. “Hello?” she could barely get the words
out of her mouth.
“Vivian?” a familiar voice called out to her from down stairs. Dr. Jeffery. It was
Dr. Jeffery, she ran down the stairs and into his arms, unable to control her violent
trembling. ” Vivian? Vivian what’s wrong?” he asked leading her to a near by chair in the
foyer. Her breathing was rapid and her heart beat so insistently that she thought it might
explode within her chest.
“I…it…’s Jake.” she stammered out through her convulsions and gasps of air.
“Okay, I’ll go and check on him while you sit here and try to calm down, okay?”
he said brushing the hair off her face. “I’ll be back in two minutes.” he turned and walked
away, Vivian watched him climb the stairs until he was out of sight down the amber hall.
Ten minutes later the sound of laughter flittered through the air, Vivian sat up to attention
as she watched Dr. Jeffery and Jake walk in stride down he corridor. “Vivian, your
husband is fine, you have no need to worry.” Dr. Jeffery smiled as they approached the top
of the stairs, Vivian’s gaze focused on her Jake, he looked normal, she thought, there was
no resemblance to the distant face of death that she had left behind upstairs, but still she
did not relax, something wasn’t right. Her eyes widened in terror as Jake’s eyes flashed.
“Look out!” she screamed to Dr. Jeffery but it was too late, Jake had already
swooped out a long, claw like arm raising the doctor high into the air before hurtling him
down onto the sharp steps of the staircase. His skull burst open with the sicken crunch of
bone, his lifeless body tumbled down the stairs leaving a trail of thick, warm blood behind
it. Vivian sprang from her chair and ran as fast as she could into the kitchen, grabbing a
small, sharpened knife from the counter where she had been preparing dinner earlier that
night, before returning to the dark foyer. Jake was gone. “Jake.” she screamed, the noise
through the house. She reached the stairs. For a moment she stared down at the rumpled,
heap that was left of Dr. Jeffery, his face was mangled beyond recognition, his brain and
blood pooled around him. Vivian clutched at the knife in her right hand as she placed her
foot onto the stair and began to climb. The blood beneath her squished up through her
toes, the revolting sound of suction slurped as she moved her foot from step to step until
she had reached the top. Silence was all around her as she walked towards the bedroom
doors. Just as she was about to open them she felt something brush against her back, she
turned, Jake was standing right in front of her. She tried to run but his hand snapped out
and held her fast. He threw her backwards into a wall with such force that she left a hole
in the plaster, a foul smell began to enclose upon her as she strived to stand but found that
she was unable to. She gave a painful moan as she crawled along the floor, Jake was right
on top of her, he bent down coiling his fingers around her slim neck. Vivian scratched
frantically at his face trying to get away. Panic overcame her as she began to choke from
lack of air, the knife where was the knife? She screamed inside her head. Out of the corner
of her eye she saw the light from the setting sun reflect off of it’s cool steel. She sprawled
out her arm, clawing at he ground, her fingers inching closer and closer to the blade and
with her last amount of strength she reached it tightly wrapping her hand around its
She thrust her arm upwards feeling the blade of the knife enter her husbands chest. Jake
sank backwards, clutching at his chest, a steady stream of blood pouring down from the
knife. The figure of the shadow remained over Vivian, it’s mouth oozed black blood,
maggots dripped from it’s eyes, she watched as the figure melted on top of her body,
her clothes with the vulgar slime and writhing field of worms. It’s over she thought to
herself as she crawled over to the place where Jake had collapsed. He was making short,
staggered attempts to breath, coughing up blood in the process. She crouched down at his
side bringing his head gently upon her lap, brushing through his hair with her fingers. He
looked up at her through teary eyes. “Hang on, I’ll get help.” she said bending down to
kiss his forehead before laying his head gently back on the ground and rushing to a phone.
The ambulance had gotten to their house in under thirty minutes, the hoards of
bright lights and people entered the house, helping Jake and Vivian escape. Jake was
loaded into the ambulance right away, they had stopped the bleeding but were unsure to
the amount of damage the knife had caused him internally.
“Well this was some night.” a police officer said to Vivian, she looked at him.
“There’s no trace of the intruder though, well put out a neighborhood watch for him
naturally, but it’s my guess that he won’t show up around here ever again.” he took a deep
breath as two more stretchers went by, one held the body of Dr. Jeffery but Vivian
couldn’t think who was under the blanket of the other one.
“Who’s that?” she asked pointing towards the almost flat, sheet covered stretcher.
“We found that in one of the walls upstairs, probably never would have found it if
the wall hadn’t been cracked down. I think it’s the fellow who used to live here, Gregory
Hanes, he was a real nut job. Yeah, he was rumoured to have snapped and killed his wife
one night, then feeling so guilty broke down a wall walked inside and plastered himself in.
No one ever believed the story though, but I guess this proves it right. Of course we won’t
know for sure until we get the bones run through forensics.” He said looking mournfully
at the gurney. Vivian followed his gaze before turning slowly away from the house. She
hopped into the back of the ambulance with Jake and breathed a sigh of relief as it pulled
away, it really is over now. The End.
Now why don’t you go upstairs to your nice cozy room and get
some sleep? Don’t worry I’m sure no one will laugh at you if you leave the lights on,
we’ve all done it from time to time.