Sunday, February 14, 2010

Short story 2

The definition of fear is: anxious anticipation of danger, pain, etc. It is almost indefinable to some people, though. To me, fear is knowing you’re going to die and just waiting for it to happen...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

When I was younger, maybe 12 or 13, I had three best friends: Katie, Allison, and Danny. We were almost inseparable for a couple years, but as kids grow up, they grow apart. Katie, Danny, and I lived really close to each other, out of town, and Allison was our friend from school. We would always do things together, like go swimming, hiking, and camping. This one camping trip, in particular, will always live in my mind.

Katie, Allison, Danny, and I decided, at the end of May, that we were going to go on a camping trip. Being that we lived in the mountains, in upstate New York , this was a challenge because we had gotten snow as late as June before. But we made the plans anyway. We had a lot of planning and convincing to do. Our parents wouldn’t let us camp just anywhere. Allison and I were the decision makers of the group, so we decided that we were going to camp on a small strip of land, owned by my Grandparents, near Katie’s and Danny’s houses. There were a lot of stories about the area and we were a little hesitant about staying, but also, more than a little excited about the legends.

It is said that Native American people lived in the area and that there was a great battle on or near the spot we had chosen. Some people said that an evil spirit roamed the area and when people came into the area, it would do things to challenge their state of mind. This evil spirit, it is said, is the reason the battle took place and the reason for many more tragedies that happened over several decades.

The day we told Katie and Danny about the spot we had chosen was a little difficult. "We’re gonna camp in that one spot, by your guys’ house, by the brook," I said.

"In the woods?" Katie asked, you could hear the fear in her voice.

"Well, duh, why?" I asked.

"It’s supposedly haunted up there," Danny said.

"What, you scared, Danny?" Allison taunted.

"No, I’ve just heard about a lot of weird things happening up there," Danny said. "Your cousins told me about some stuff that happened to them when they were hunting. I don’t know anyone else stupid enough to go up there."

"I guess we’re going to be ’stupid enough to go up there.’ Right, Allison?" I said.

"Hell yeah, I think it’ll be fun. We don’t know what’s going to happen. It’ll be like an adventure," Allison said.

"Actually, it does sound fun. I mean, we’ll go up there and won’t have any parents around for the night and we can do whatever we want to. I’m in," Danny said. "Plus, you can almost see Katie’s house from there and mine is just up, over the hill, so if something does happen, we can leave."

"Awesome," I said. "Come on, Katie. Please say you’ll come. It won’t be as fun without you."

"Please Katie," Allison said.

"Yeah, please, Katie," Danny said.

"I don’t know, I’m scared and I’d have to ask my parents," she said.

Katie’s parents were notoriously overprotective. She had never been able to attend an after-school activity, sporting event, or even school dance. Religion was very important in her home and her parents saw every opportunity to "spread the Good Word."

"Just don’t tell them that Danny’s coming," Allison said.

"Oh my God, don’t do that," I said. "They’d never let you come."

"I’ll ask them, but they think you guys are a bad influence on…"

"What the hell? Why?" I asked.

"Well, I don’t know, maybe…"

"Because we don’t fucking go to church," I said.

"No shit, that’s messed up, Kate," Allison said.

"It’s not my fault," Katie cried. "I don’t say it, I love you guys."

"I know, Katie, it’s just that someday you’re gonna have to stand up to your parents," I said. "I mean, you’re 13, it’s time to grow up."

"I’ll ask, guys, okay? I just can’t make any promises," she said.

Two weeks later, we found out that Katie’s parents’ were going to let her go camping with us. They gave her a curfew of 9am.

It was finally the day of the big trip and we were all getting to go at our separate houses. Allison had called me on the phone at lest seven times, asking what she should bring. I finally told her to bring the essentials: hot dogs, marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, just to get her to stop calling. I had no idea what to bring, the only other time I had gone camping was with my parents, and my Mom had packed everything. I acted like I was an expert, though, calling all the shots and making all the decisions. I packed myself one pair of socks, a pair of sweat pants, one tee shirt, one sweatshirt, and one pair of shorts. Most importantly, though, was the roll of toilet paper I had managed to steal from my parents’ bathroom.

About an hour before I left, my Mother informed me that I had to bring my little sister with me. She was, after all, only three years younger and was old enough to go camping. Needless to say, I was furious. I wanted this to be the one chance I got to spend away from my family. There was no use in fighting, if my sister couldn’t go, I couldn’t go

Allison and her mother finally arrived to drive us to Katie’s house and I told her that my sister, Pearl, had to go. Allison was really cool about the whole thing because she knew that I had no say in the matter. We just loaded the car and left for Katie’s. Allison’s mom dropped us off at Katie’s and we walked down to the camp site...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"Hey, what took you guys so long?" Danny called from the site when he saw us. "I thought we were gonna get here at six in the morning?"

"Fuck off, Danny," I said. "It was hard enough getting here before noon."

"No shit, just shut up," Allison said.

We started unloading all our stuff and looked around, noticing Danny had brought all his weapons. He carried five knives of various sizes, a "blow gun" made out of bamboo and darts that he had stolen from his father’s dartboard. Danny also told everyone that he knew all sorts of martial arts, which was very far from the truth. The truth was that he carried all the weapons and lied about the martial arts because he was a very skinny, little, white boy. He was constantly in fights in school for shooting his mouth off and starting trouble with the wrong people. Allison and I always joked that he needed all of that stuff to fight off Katie incase she attacked.

Katie was famous for falling in love with any guy that talked to her and Dany was no exception. She had never had a boyfriend, although she had plenty of make believe boyfriends. Most kids at school picked on her because of her weight and her ability to get really mad and say stupid things. There were several times, at school, when she wore skin tight mini skirts or spandex pants. She also wore a lot of make-up and hairspray, more than any other girl in the eighth grade.

"Okay, I didn’t ask at my house, but I have to know, what’s she doing here?" Katie asked, referring to Pearl .

"Mom made me bring her…"

"Mom made me come," Pearl said.

"Are you serious?" I asked. "I can’t believe her. She told me that you asked to come and that I had to bring you. OH MY GOD! I can’t believe this shit."

"Jesus, get over it," Allison said. "We can still have a good time."

"Yeah, I guess," I said. "Let’s get the tent set up and make some food."

Allison was my best friend of all three. We had been friends for longer and had introduced Katie and Danny. Allison had an older brother and a sister, both of whom were very athletic. Allison was a bit of a disappointment in her family because she didn’t want to play sports. It hurt her a lot, but she hid it by buying tons of designer clothes and shoes.

After we got the tent set up, I looked around at the campsite and my friends. Katie was still complaining about how tired she was from the long hike to the campsite. She sat on a log, ogling Danny and going on and on. The brook that normally flowed steadily next to the campsite had dried up to a trickle. There was enough water, though, incase we needed any. Danny had set up his own teepee style tent near a tree.

"It’s so cool here," Allison said. "I’m glad we came."

"Me too, it’s gonna be fun," I said.

We had finally finished unpacking and Danny was trying to start a fire. I had put my sleeping bag in the middle of the tent because I was the tallest and I needed the extra room to put my feet outside the tent. I was worried about having enough room for all four girls because it was, technically, a two person tent. It was pretty big, though, so I thought it would work.

"Hey, what is that, Ali?" I asked.

Allison was pulling a long, flat box out of her bag and said, "My Ouija board. I thought it would be fun to play up here. Ya know, see if there really are any ghosts in the woods?"

"Cool idea," I said.

"Oh HELL no," Katie said. "I hate those things."

"It’ll be fine, Katie. Don’t worry so much," Danny said.

"If my dad knew that it was even here, he would kill me," Katie said.

"God, if he knew I was here, he would kill you," Danny countered.

"Katie, he won’t find out. We’re all the way up here," I said.

"Quit whining, Katie," Pearl said. "Who the hell is gonna tell him that you were playing with it, anyway?"

"Shut up, Pearl! Jesus, you’re no help at all," I said.

"It’s not even that, I don’t like ’em. They can open up a door to Hell," she said.

"Who the hell told you that?" Danny asked, laughing.

"My father."

"That’s a bunch of shit. It’s just a game," Allison said.

"It’s made by Milton Bradley, for Chrissakes," I said. "Don’t worry avout it, okay Katie? You don’t have to play."

"Fine, just promise you won’t tell my dad," she said.

"We promise," I said...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

So, we got out the Ouija board and Allison and I started to play. We messed around with it for a while before we gave up because we couldn’t make contact. All of us decided to sit around the fire and just talk and make dinner.

We ate our dinner, mostly raw because the fire just wasn’t hot enough and Allison and I decided to go into the tent to try the Ouija again. It was raining a little but Pearl , Danny, and Katie sat outside.

"Is there anyone here?" I asked the Ouija board at least five times before there was any movement.

"Who are we talking to?" Allison asked.

The movement stopped.

"Who are we talking to?" I asked.

"ME," it spelled out.

"Who is ’ME?’" I asked.

"YOU WILL DIE TONIGHT," it spelled out.

Allison and I exchanged nervous looks. Katie, Pearl , and Danny came into the tent.

"What does that mean?" I asked


"Who will die tonight?" I asked.


Suddenly a tree crashed behind the tent. We all jumped and Katie let out a small scream. The plastic planchette on the board turned and pointed directly at me. The wind outside the tent picked up and with that, and the rain, the fire went out, completely. Katie started to sob.

Both Allison and I started to laugh.

"What is so funny?" Katie asked, between sobs.

"You sound like the Cowardly Lion," I said, Allison and I still laughing, Pearl and Danny joining.

"It’s not funny. This is why I didn’t want to camp here," she said, crying harder.

"Okay, okay, Kate, I’m sorry," Allison said.

"Will you stop playing with that stupid board?" she asked.

"We just gotta close it out," I said.

Allison and I picked up the planchette.

"Good bye," I said.

The planchette started moving around the board in circles. Slowly at first, and gradually picking up speed until we could barely control it.

"What the hell is going on?" Allison cried out.

"I don’t know, it’s your board," I said.

The planchette continued to move rapidly. Then it suddenly stopped. It was silent in the tent, with the exception of the occasional sniffle from Katie. The only other sounds were the rain and the wind.

Just as the tension started to ease a bit, and everyone resumed breathing, we heard footsteps. Heavy, deliberate footsteps. They started quite a distance behind the tent and started getting closer and closer. We all looked at each other, waiting for something to happen when we heard something splash in the little pool in the brook outside the tent.

Katie screamed.

Allison and I threw the Ouija to the back of the tent.

Danny jerked forward, trying to look outside the tent, through the door.

Pearl looked behind her, at the side of the tent.

I said, "What the hell…."

Something hit the tent. Not hard, on the side nearest the brook. This time, everyone jumped.

"Oh my God," Allison said.

"Let’s get outta here," Katie said.

Danny stepped out of the tent and looked around. "I don’t see anything, guys."

I stepped out of the tent and looked toward the back of the tent. "I don’t…oh my God, look at that!" I whispered.

There was a dark, human figure standing about 50 yards behind the tent. It wasn’t moving, just watching us. "Do you think it sees us?" Danny asked.

"What? What is it?" Katie asked.

"Shhh…" Danny and I both said.

I moved toward Danny, closer to the opening of the tent. The figure moved the same direction as me.

"Of course it sees us," I said. "It’s watching us."

"What do you see?" Allison asked, sticking her head out of the tent...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"Wait, Ali," I said. "There’s something there."

"Let’s get back in the tent," Danny said, starting to push me back into the tent.

As he did that, the figure started slowly moving toward us.

"Get in," he shouted. I saw the figure start moving toward us quickly before Danny pushed me into the tent, diving in behind me.

Danny reached up and zipped the tent closed. We heard footsteps stalking around the tent. The steps were very heavy and very deliberate. "What the hell is that?" Allison shouted.

I said, "I don’t know, it’s like a…"

"Dark, human figure," Danny said.

"What? What do you mean?" Pearl asked.

"There’s like a guy out there?" Katie asked.

"Yeah, I think, I don’t know," I said.

"All we could see were shadows," Danny said. "But there was definitely a human form to it."

Then, it was like someone was trying to reach through the tent, all four sides and the top, all at once. Everyone screamed and everyone jumped.

"Oh my God," Allison screamed.

"What is happening?" Katie cried.

Whenever a side was pushed in, whoever was sitting closest to that side jerked away.

"We have to get out of here," Allison said.

"There’s no way, that thing moves fast," I said.

"I wanna go home," Katie said, crying very hard now.

Suddenly, everything stopped and was quiet.

No one breathed. We all sat, huddled together, in the middle of the tent.

"Do you think it’s over?" I whispered.

"No way," Danny said. "It’s just messing with us."

We waited for something to happen and when nothing did, Danny finally moved to the door.

"What are YOU DOING?" Katie screamed, pushing him away. "You can’t go out there."

"I’m just gonna look to see what’s happening. If it’s still out there."

"No, no, no, you can’t," Katie said.

"We have to see, Kate," I said.

And with that, Danny opened up the zipper of the tent and stuck his head out. Very cautiously, he stepped the rest of the way out. "Jess, come out here," he said.

I slowly stepped out of the tent and looked around.

"I don’t see anything," I said. "Do you think…"

"No, no way," he said. "It’s still out there."

We made our way back into the tent.

"Was it still out there?" Pearl asked.

"We didn’t see it," Danny said.

"Do you think we should try to leave?" Allison asked.

"No, it’s still out there," Danny said.

"If you didn’t see it, maybe we have a chance…" Katie said.

"Yeah," Pearl said.

"No, it’s definitely still there," I said. "I can feel it watching us."

"What do you see?" Allison asked, sticking her head out of the tent...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"Wait, Ali," I said. "There’s something there."

"Let’s get back in the tent," Danny said, starting to push me back into the tent.

As he did that, the figure started slowly moving toward us.

"Get in," he shouted. I saw the figure start moving toward us quickly before Danny pushed me into the tent, diving in behind me.

Danny reached up and zipped the tent closed. We heard footsteps stalking around the tent. The steps were very heavy and very deliberate. "What the hell is that?" Allison shouted.

I said, "I don’t know, it’s like a…"

"Dark, human figure," Danny said.

"What? What do you mean?" Pearl asked.

"There’s like a guy out there?" Katie asked.

"Yeah, I think, I don’t know," I said.

"All we could see were shadows," Danny said. "But there was definitely a human form to it."

Then, it was like someone was trying to reach through the tent, all four sides and the top, all at once. Everyone screamed and everyone jumped.

"Oh my God," Allison screamed.

"What is happening?" Katie cried.

Whenever a side was pushed in, whoever was sitting closest to that side jerked away.

"We have to get out of here," Allison said.

"There’s no way, that thing moves fast," I said.

"I wanna go home," Katie said, crying very hard now.

Suddenly, everything stopped and was quiet.

No one breathed. We all sat, huddled together, in the middle of the tent.

"Do you think it’s over?" I whispered.

"No way," Danny said. "It’s just messing with us."

We waited for something to happen and when nothing did, Danny finally moved to the door.

"What are YOU DOING?" Katie screamed, pushing him away. "You can’t go out there."

"I’m just gonna look to see what’s happening. If it’s still out there."

"No, no, no, you can’t," Katie said.

"We have to see, Kate," I said.

And with that, Danny opened up the zipper of the tent and stuck his head out. Very cautiously, he stepped the rest of the way out. "Jess, come out here," he said.

I slowly stepped out of the tent and looked around.

"I don’t see anything," I said. "Do you think…"

"No, no way," he said. "It’s still out there."

We made our way back into the tent.

"Was it still out there?" Pearl asked.

"We didn’t see it," Danny said.

"Do you think we should try to leave?" Allison asked.

"No, it’s still out there," Danny said.

"If you didn’t see it, maybe we have a chance…" Katie said.

"Yeah," Pearl said.

"No, it’s definitely still there," I said. "I can feel it watching us."

"What the hell does that mean, ’you can feel it?’" Allison asked.

"I don’t know, it’s just…" I said.

"I feel it, too," Danny said.

We waited in silence for something to happen. Virtually the only sound you could hear, besides the wind, was our hearts beating. The time seemed to creep by.

"I can’t sit here like this," Katie screamed.

"What do you think we should do?" Pearl asked.

"I don’t know, but I just don’t think we should stay here."


"Calm down, what’s that gonna prove?" Allison asked.

That’s when things changed. The world around me went dark. I saw tiny, white lights all around me. When I closed my eyes and opened them again, I was no longer in the tent. I was standing, facing the tent, about 200 feet away, close to Danny’s tent. I looked up and saw the Dark Figure behind

the tent. He could see me but was frightened by something and wouldn’t come closer. Next to me was a shadow. I couldn’t see what was casting the shadow or what the exact shape of the shadow was, but it was there...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

I looked into the tent and things changed for me. I saw all my friends panicking. I looked closer. It was me. I tried to scream out to my friends to tell them I was okay, but no sound came out. I tried to run toward them but my legs felt like they were stuck in molasses. I looked at the Dark Figure and he had retreated backward. I looked at the Shadow and it had grown in size, it was now twice the size it was, which was originally about the size of a young boy. And it continued to grow. Soon, it was all around me and was spreading to the tent, where my friends were still huddled around me. It stopped growing when it reached the back of the tent, almost all the way to the Dark Figure. Suddenly, it felt as if I had been punched in the stomach.

I woke up in the tent again, gasping for air. "What the hell?" Allison said, immediately after I awoke.

"Oh my God, you guys are not going to believe me," I said.

"You scared the shit out of us," Katie said. "You are such an ass hole."

"No kidding," Pearl said. "What the hell happened?"

"I was standing outside the tent, like, watching you guys," I started.

"And you didn’t say anything?" Allison asked.

"I couldn’t, just listen." I said. "Everything was dark and then there were these little, white lights…"

"Angels," Katie said.

"Whatever," I said. "Anyway, I saw the Dark Figure. He was scared. He even backed off. There was this shadow next to me and when I first saw it, it was small, like of a kid or something."

"What the…" Danny interrupted.

"Shut up," I said. "Then it started getting bigger and bigger until it was all around like the tent and everything. I watched it. The Dark Figure backed up more and everything. Then, it was like I got hit in the stomach and I woke up here."

"What? How do you expect us to believe that?" Katie asked.

"Just watch," I stood and walked out of the tent. I was dizzy for a moment and stumbled but recovered. "See? Nothing’s going to happen."

They watched me for a moment, waiting for something to happen. When nothing did, Pearl came out.

"It’s different out here now," she said.

Danny stood and came out. "She’s right. The air feels different."

Allison came out. "It’s like it’s not as heavy."

Katie stayed in the tent. "I’m not coming out."

"Why not?" I asked.

"I don’t want to die. It said it was going to kill us."

"It can’t now," I said.

Katie waited a few seconds and then stood and, very slowly, walked out of the tent.

"See? It’s different," Danny said.

"Yeah, I think I feel it," Katie said.

Everyone looked around a little, breathing in the air. I looked toward the back of the tent and saw the Dark Figure. He was still watching us. He was still afraid. But he was also waiting for a moment where we let our guard down.

After a while, we settled into the tent (everyone, including Danny) and went to sleep for the night. None of us got much sleep. The Dark Figure made his presence known throughout the night. Each of us were kicked, repeatedly and things were thrown at our tent. And then there were the screams. I will never forget those screams as long as I live. I cannot even begin to describe the sound and do it justice. The best I can do is say that it was a human-inhuman sound like something being tortured and in immense pain.

We awoke the next morning to quite a scene. Katie was the first to wake up. She went out of the tent and began to scream at us.

"GUYS! Wake up! Get out here!."

All of us woke up and got out of the tent. All around us was wreckage. Danny’s tent had been shredded. All of our belongings were thrown around and destroyed. There were huge boot prints in some of our stuff and in the mud around the area. None of us could fit our feet into the prints. The fire place that we had made had been kicked around. Some of our clothes were thrown high into the trees and others were in the water. There were even some clothes that were even shredded like Danny’s tent. The only thing that hadn’t been harmed was out tent. But, the damage hadn’t been done to the tent, but to us.

"Was I the only one who got kicked in the night?" I asked.

"Hell no," Katie said. "I did, too."

"Check this out," Danny said, lifting his shirt, showing us his bruised ribs.

We all looked at our ribs and all our ribs were very bruised. Allison and I had the worst of it because we had slept on the outsides of the tent. My friends even told me I looked like I had a black eye forming.

We spent time cleaning up our campground. It took about an hour. Most of the time we were silent, just taking in the damage and clearing our minds of the night before. The only words spoken were when someone asked if something belonged to someone else. We were supposed to have a ride home, but we didn’t wait. We walked Katie and Danny to the ends of their driveways and said goodbye. Allison, Pearl , and I walked down the hill, over the highway, and down the road to my childhood home. Allison called her mother and soon, she too had gone home.

Over the next few months our friendships changed. Danny started hanging out with an older, rougher crowd. Over the years, he really got into drugs and in our senior year, he left town and we lost contact with him. Katie didn’t really change much, just became more involved with her church. She tried and tried to get Allison and I to join her. We always gave her an excuse. Allison and I were really the only ones who stayed in contact throughout our school years. We made a few mistakes, like most kids do, but we got through everything. In our senior year we also grew apart. We lost our friendship because of a boy. It’s kind of sad, looking back.

A couple years ago I went home to visit, living 600 miles away now. I heard that Katie had met and fallen in love with a married man. They lived together and, at that time, had three kids together. I ran into Allison. She had changed a lot. She had become a completely different person, opposite of what she had been when I knew her. Pearl and I live in North Carolina , now. We’re very close and each have little boys. I sometimes miss the friendship I had with Allison, Danny and Katie but that’s what happens when you grow up.

Short story 1

I remember the first time we stepped into the house. It was very old and very quiet. Quiet houses frightened me. When we walked in, it was like all outside sound stopped and you could only hear the house breathing. My father told me that the quiet would be good, that we would have privacy and wouldn't be bothered by what was going on outside. I really didn't care about what was going on outside, it was the inside that bothered me. My sister was two years younger than me and when I looked at her, I knew she was feeling the same thing I was feeling. But my parent's were happy and it had been a long time since I had seen either of them look happy...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

The first few weeks we lived there, everything was quiet. Mom took some time off from work to unpack and get everything settled. It was the summer, so Debbie and I were out of school. Dad still had to work. The first time something happened was July 9, 1968.

Debbie and I were home alone. Mom and Dad had gone out bowling and then were going to a party afterwards. They trusted us home alone because we were old enough. I was 10 and Debbie was 8. It was a different time.

The sound that we heard was a sound I'll never forget in my lifetime. It came from upstairs, our bedroom, and started very low. We heard a woman crying. Both of us went upstairs to see if it was Mom because it was something we had heard quite a lot before we moved into the new house. Dad would drink a lot after work and come home angry. When he came home like that, Mom would have Debbie and I hide under our beds and they would fight for hours. After a while, we would hear Mom crying and Dad would be passed out somewhere. Usually the couch. That night when we heard the woman crying, we figured Dad had gotten drunk while they were out bowling and Mom had come home and came in the back door and went upstairs without us knowing.

We searched our room and then Mom and Dad's room. We didn't find Mom anywhere.

"Mom?" I called out as Debbie and I stood in the hallway.

Nothing, just more crying.

"Mommy?" I called, a little scared this time.

Still the crying, but Mom didn't answer.

"Mommy, where are you?" Debbie called.

The crying got a little louder.

"Let's check the bathroom," I said.

Debbie walked into the bathroom and flipped on the light. The shower curtain was moving slightly. We looked at each other and smiled, we found our Mom, or so we thought.

"Mommy? Is everything okay?" I asked as I reached out to the shower curtain and pushed it back.

Debbie and I jumped back and she screamed a little when we saw no one there.

The crying got louder and sounded more pained.

"We've checked all the rooms, Robin, where is Mommy?" Debbie asked.

"I don't know, we'll find her," I said.

We walked through all the upstairs rooms again, looking for Mom. We had turned all the lights on while we were looking for our Mom.

The crying got louder, it was almost screaming now.

"Let's go downstairs and look," I said.

We walked down the stairs and started looking for Mom. Again, we went through all the rooms, turning on all the lights. We couldn't find Mom but the crying continued. Debbie and I went into the living room and stared at each other. She was starting to cry.

The crying turned into screaming. It wasn't like a scream I had ever heard before. The screaming came from a woman, the woman who had been crying, I think. She was obviously in immense pain. The scream was blood curdling. And it was loud, so loud that we had to cover our ears.

Both of us were crying now.

"I don't want to be here anymore," Debbie cried.

"Let's go outside," I said.

We ran to the front door and as we did, it seemed like the screaming, which was already very loud, got louder. I grabbed the doorknob and we ran outside. It was hard to know what to do next because we lived so far in the country that we couldn't see our neighbors. I looked around and Mom and Dad had taken Mom's car and left Dad's truck so we jumped into the truck to wait until they got home.

When Mom and Dad finally got home that night, they found us asleep inside Dad's truck. Luckily, I had left the door open and they saw us right away.

"What are you two doing out here?" Dad asked.

"There was a woman crying…." Debbie cried. "And then she was screaming and she wouldn't stop and it kept getting louder and louder…"

"And so we came out here to get away from the noise," I said, crying too.

"What do you mean?" Mom asked.

"We…were…sitting…" Debbie sniveled.

"Robin, you tell me," Mom said.

"We were sitting in the living room and we heard this woman crying upstairs and we thought it was you," I glanced at dad and he looked at the ground. "So we went upstairs looking for you and we couldn't find you and we went downstairs and the crying kept getting louder and louder. And then we looked all through the downstairs and you weren't here. So, then the woman started screaming and screaming and it was so loud and so we came out here because we were scared."..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"And you had to turn every damn light in the house on?" Dad asked.

"We were looking for Mommy and we were scared," Debbie said through tears.

"You didn't need to turn all the lights on," Dad said, getting a little angry.

"It's okay, Ronnie, we'll go turn them off," Mom said.

Dad didn't say anything, just turned and walked away.

"Do you think you two could go in the house?" Mom asked.

"Mommy…" Debbie started.

"I'll be right here with you," Mom said.

We held Mom's hands and went into the house.

"There's no one screaming and no one crying," Dad said, walking from the back of the house.

"Girls, are you sure you heard what you said you heard?" Mom asked.

"Yea, Mom, we heard it," I said.

Debbie shook her head yes.

"I don't know what it could've been, then," Mom said. "Were there any doors or windows open?"

"No, there were no damn doors open and all the windows are open. It's July," Dad said.

"All right, maybe it was some kind of bird you've never heard before," Mom said. "That must be it, right Ronnie?"

"Yeah, a bird," Dad said. "A cuckoo bird."

"Mom, it wasn't a bird," Debbie said.

"Honey, you're in a new house and there are gonna be lots of new noises," Mom explained.

"It wasn't the house," I said.

"Let's go take a bath and go to bed," Mom said. "Maybe in the morning you'll think differently."

Mom marched us upstairs, put us in the bathtub and then to bed.

A few weeks passed without incident. No noises, no crying, and no screaming. Mom and Dad were even getting along really well and Dad seemed to be drinking less. Then, one night, after we had taken our baths and were getting ready for bed, something new happened.

"Robin, come here," Debbie called from her room.

I went into her room to see what she needed and she was standing in the doorway.

"Look at my chair," she said.

Debbie had an old, wooden rocking chair sitting in the middle of her room and I had an old arm chair in my room. The chair was rocking back and forth on its own.

"Real funny, Deb," I said. "You'd better knock it off and get into bed before Mommy and Daddy come up here and you get us in trouble."

"I didn't do it," she said. "Watch."

She walked to the chair and put her hand on it to stop it from rocking. She walked back over to me and stood in the doorway.

No sooner had she turned around and the chair had resumed rocking on its own again.

"How'd that do that?" I said.

"I don't know, it's been doing it all night."

"Do it again."

She walked over and stopped again. And again it started once she got to the doorway.

"Wow," I said. "I'm gonna do it."

I stopped the chair and ran back to the door. The second I turned around, it started rocking again.

"Go get Mom," I said.

Debbie ran downstairs and I heard her say something to Mom and then both of them came back upstairs.

"What's going on? Why aren't you girls in bed?"

"Mom, look at the chair," I said.

Mom looked, "What about it?"

"It's doing that on its own," Debbie said.

"I don't think so," Mom said.

I went over and stopped the chair and came back. We watched for the chair to start moving and it didn't move...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"You girls need to get your little behinds into bed."

"But, Mom," Debbie said.

"No 'but Moms,' move it."

I went to my room and Debbie to hers. Mom kissed us both goodnight and went back downstairs.

"Robin," Debbie whisper-shouted from her room.


"Can I come sleep with you?"

"Is the chair still rocking?"


"Come on, then."

Debbie ran in and jumped into my bed. We slept like that for several days before Mom and Dad made her go back to her own room. She hid under her blankets for a while, not looking at the rocking chair. One day, though, she figured out that if she ran into her room, right after cleaning up for the night and jumped on her bed and under the covers, she wouldn't have to look at the chair at all. She didn't even want Mom or Dad to go into her room to kiss her good night. If they did, she'd have to come out from the safety of her blankets. She'd run downstairs and kiss and hug them before they came upstairs. They got used to it and I had to go downstairs and do the same thing every night.

August 27th everything changed. Debbie and I had spent two weeks at our cousin's house. We were finally home and knew nothing had changed. We took our baths that night and brushed our teeth. Then, we went downstairs to kiss Mom and Dad goodnight. Debbie ran upstairs and ran into her bedroom to jump on her bed. I wasn't all the way up the stairs when I heard a loud crash and Debbie scream and then cry. I started running toward her room with Mom and Dad close behind me.

The sight we saw when we got to Debbie's door was horrifying.

"Mommy, why did you move my bed?" Debbie cried.

"I didn't move your bed, Debbie. What happened?"


"Calm down," Mom said, taking her and holding her.

"I ran in and went to jump on my bed and it wasn't there," Debbie said. "It wasn't there."

"Who moved the bed?" Dad asked.

"We haven't been here, Daddy," I said.

"Did you move it, Fran?" Dad asked.

"No, I haven't been in their rooms since they left, just like I told them. I said that if they wanted any clean clothes, they'd have to bring them out because I wasn't going to go in their rooms to clean up after them."

"Well, who moved it, then?" Dad asked.

"The ghost did it," Debbie cried.

"Oh, Debbie," Mom said. "There is no ghost."

"Yes there is, Mommy," I said. "That's what was crying that night."

"And that's what makes my rocking chair rock," Debbie said.

"Christ, enough of this," Dad said. "There is no ghost. I don't want to hear another word about it."

"Ronnie…" Mom said.

"Debbie, get up and get into your bed." Dad said. "Robin, you get yourself into your room and get to bed. I don't want to hear anything else tonight. You understand me?"

"Yes, Daddy," we both said.

I got into my bed and Debbie into hers.

An hour passed with both of us still awake. Suddenly, my clock radio comes on. The music starts and then goes to static and on to more music, as if someone were browsing through the radio stations. It kept doing this for a few minutes before I got up enough nerve to look. It was off. I buried my head under the blankets but the sound kept on. Once again, I built up my courage and peeked my head out and unplugged the clock radio. Then, I buried my head again. The sound kept on.

Meanwhile, in Debbie's room, she was so scared that she buried her head under the blankets and pillows. She knew the chair was rocking. She also heard footsteps pace around the room. Twice she felt something tugging at the corner of her bedspread.

I lay in my bed, crying now. The music from the clock radio had gotten louder now. I could hear footsteps pacing around my room, too. Then, I heard something I thought was one of the most glorious sounds. Mom and Dad were coming upstairs.

"Robin, Jean," I could hear Dad saying. "I thought I told you…"

"Oh my God," Mom said.

I looked out from my hiding place to see my clock radio floating about six feet in the air, about 10 feet away from the table it had been sitting on...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"Robin," Dad whispered. "Get out here."

That's all I needed to hear. I ran out of my room and into Mom's arms.

"You have to believe us, now," I said.

"Debbie!" Mom said.

We went into Debbie's room and were all shaken by what we saw. Debbie was lying on the bed, not covered anymore, a frozen scream was on her face. The chair was rocking quite violently, her curtains were blowing even though her windows were closed, and it looked as if there was someone sitting on the edge of her bed, even though we couldn't see anyone there.

"Debbie, hurry, get out here now," Dad shouted.

Debbie couldn't move, we could see her crying.

Dad ran in, struggled to pick her up and ran out. Then, the four of us, Dad still carrying Debbie, ran out the front door and to the car.

Dad fired up the engine and drove as fast as he could to Gramma and Grampa's house, about 15 minutes away. Debbie and I sobbed the entire trip.

"I'm so sorry, girls, that we didn't believe you," Mom said.

"What was it? Did you see anything?" Dad asked.

"No, I didn't," I said.

Debbie was silent.

"What did you see, Debbie?" Mom asked.

"Please, Mommy, no."

"Okay, baby, you don't have to talk about it," Mom said.

"I'm gonna call that landlord in the morning and give him a piece of my mind. He'd better give us our money back," Dad said.

"Don't worry about that now, Ronnie," Mom said. "Just get us somewhere safe."

Dad drove straight to his parent's house. He was one of 16 children, so our grandparents had a lot of room.

"What's going on?" Grampa said, opening the door. "Why are you here so late?"

"You get the girls into bed, Fran," Dad said.

"Ronald, what's wrong?" Gramma said, coming from the bedroom, fastening her robe.

"Nothing, Mom, go back to bed," Dad said.

"Fran, what's the matter?" Gramma asked.

"Mom," Dad said. "We'll talk about it in the morning. She needs to get these girls to bed."

"Good night, girls," Gramma said. "Get some sleep."

Mom pushed us upstairs to the bedroom that we stayed in whenever we visited. Debbie and I got into a bed together and almost immediately fell asleep. Mom crawled into the bed with us and she cried herself to sleep.

"What's going on, Ronald?" Grampa asked Dad again, downstairs.

"Dad, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"Try me."

Dad recounted all the incidents that had happened in the house for Grampa that night. They stayed up all night, trying to figure out what to do and how to handle the situation. Grampa believed Dad because he had seen some things when he fought in World War II. All they could come up with was to go to the church and talk to the minister.

The next morning, Mom and Dad left early to go talk to the minister. Mom and Dad had gone over what had happened with Gramma when she got up. They told Gramma that we'd probably be pretty shaken up and to just keep a close eye on us.

Being that we were in a safe environment and we were comfortable, we played and played that day. We climbed trees, rode bikes, went in the creek. Did all the things kids do when they feel safe and secure. It wasn't until Mom and Dad got home that we remembered what had been happening.

"Do we have to go home?" Debbie asked.

"Not tonight," Dad said. "I think Gramma and Grampa would like you to stay here for a while with them."

"Oh yes," Gramma said. "We'd love you to stay here and play with us."

"Can we, Mommy?" I asked.

"You sure can," Mom said.

"Why don't you girls go out to play," Grampa said.

"I'll call you when supper's ready," Mom said.

We ran back outside to play and the adults sat down to talk.

"The minister said that he can come by and bless the house, that that may work," Dad said.

"Are you gonna do that?" Grampa asked.

"Yes, he's going to come by next week," Mom said...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"Are you going to stay here until then?" Gramma asked.

"If it's okay with you, well, at least the girls. We want to go back and stay to see if anything happens when we're there, without the girls," Dad said.

"It's perfectly fine," Gramma said. "They're always welcome here."

"Thank you so much," Mom said. "If you want us to, I'll call my Mom and ask her to take the girls for a few days, too."

"They're fine here, Fran, don't worry," Gramma said.

"I just don't want to take advantage…"

"They're fine."

"Thank you," Mom said, though tears.

Later that week, Mom and Dad went back to the house to stay before the Minister came. Nothing happened while they were there without us. The only thing that they noticed was that our rooms were freezing cold, even though it was late August. The minister came by later in the week and blessed the house. After he left, the freezing left our rooms and things seemed to get back to normal. So, Mom and Dad brought us home.

A few weeks went by and the house was quiet. Debbie and I felt comfortable, finally, in our home. It was nice because, once again, Mom and Dad were getting along and Dad wasn't drinking much.

One night, Debbie and I got to stay up late with Mom and Dad and watch a movie on tv. I don't remember the movie at all, but I remember the conversation.

"Remember that night when we left and went to Gramma and Grampa's?" Debbie asked.

"Yes," Mom said.

"When I was laying in my bed, I saw a lady sitting in my rocking chair. She was crying and holding a baby, I think the baby was dead. Then this man came into my room and started yelling and stuff but I couldn't hear what he was saying. He looked at me and when he saw me, he grabbed my blankets and pulled out a knife. I think he was going to kill me. He came at me and he was yelling and the lady grabbed at him and he pushed her down and put the knife in her chest and there was blood. And then the man came back over to the bed and leaned down over me and that's when Daddy came in and grabbed me."

No one said anything. We just stared at her. She said everything with no emotion. It was like she was trying to separate herself from what happened. She just stared off into space.

Finally, Mom broke the silence, "Oh, sweetie, come here."

Debbie ran into Mom's arms and she cried. Mom held her and rocked back and forth.

"That man is never going to hurt you, Debbie. He'll never, ever touch you," Dad said.

"We took that chair out of your room, honey. And the minister blessed the whole house, and really spent time in both your rooms," Mom said. "He said that whoever was here just needed to be told to leave and now, they're gone."

"I hope so, Mommy. They really scared me," Debbie said.

"Me too," I said.

"Oh Robin, you come here, too."

I ran to my Mom and she held the both of us, rocking us and stroking our hair.

Three days later, the silence was broken. Mom was making dinner in the kitchen, while Debbie and I were setting the table. Dad was still at work. Debbie and I were making a game of setting the table when it started. The curtains started blowing, as if the wind were blowing through them. The windows were closed, though, as the previous tenants had painted them shut. We really didn't notice the curtains moving until the chairs started pushing out from the table. First it was a chair directly in front of me, then on in front of Debbie. Then another, and another, until all 6 chairs were pushed away from the table. Debbie and I started screaming and then the door to the dining room slammed shut. We ran to the door, trying to open it and it wouldn't budge. We banged on it, screaming for Mom. We heard Mom on the other side, banging on the door, screaming for us. Next, the plates started rising up and flying around the room, slamming into the walls around us. Then the glasses. One of the chairs flew across the room and almost hit Debbie, but I had pushed her out of the way.

We were panicking now.

"Mommy, please, help us," I cried.

"Mommy," Debbie screamed.

Another chair flew at us. It smashed into the wall, breaking into dozens of pieces.

Then, the silverware started flying at us. The forks and knives stuck into the walls while the spoons hit the wall and then fell to the floor.

Another chair started to wiggle and move.

Finally, the door burst open. Dad broke through the door with his shoulder and practically fell to the floor. He grabbed both of up and ran out of the room, a chair smashing into the wall as he ran.

When we got to the living room, almost to the front door, the screaming started. It was screaming like Debbie and I had heard the first time.

"What is going on, Ronnie? Why is this happening to us?" Mom cried.

"I don't know, Fran, we need to get these girls out of here, they're not safe here."

There was a large, very heavy mirror hanging on the wall in the living room. Mom stepped into the closet to grab our coats and, as she did, the mirror flew across the room, smashing into the wall where she had just been standing.

"Move it, Fran, there's no time for coats."

Dad, still carrying both Debbie and I, grabbed Mom's arm and ran out of the house.

"Oh my God, Ronnie, the stove is on. The house'll burn down."

"I don't care, let it burn."

"We can't afford to start over from scratch," Mom said.

"Get in the car, I'll be right back," Dad said.

Mom put us in the back seat of the car, sat in the front seat and we watched Dad run into the house.

All the lights were flashing, in all the rooms. We could hear the screaming in the car.

It seemed like he was gone forever and I still don't know how long he was gone, but Dad finally came running out, a look of terror on his face...:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"I couldn't get to the kitchen, I'm going around back to turn off the gas."

Dad ran around to the back of the house and was gone for a few minutes. Again, he reappeared with a look of terror on his face.

"What's happening, Daddy? What is it?" I asked.

"We're leaving, Robin," Dad said. "I'm never gonna make you girls come back here."

With that, he gunned the engine and tore out of the driveway and that was the last we saw of that house.

It was years before Dad told us about what he saw at the house that night. Mom and Dad had gotten divorced a year after the house and we spent most of our time with Mom. Both Mom and Dad had gotten re-married.

I had just had my first baby, a daughter, and had gotten married that summer. It was Christmas and Debbie and I were at Dad's celebrating. I was looking through the newspaper while Dad was playing with my daughter.

"Oh my God, that house is up for rent," I said.

"You're kidding," Debbie said, looking at the ad.

"Yeah, it comes up for rent almost three times a year," Dad said. "I like to keep track of it. A couple times I felt like putting my own ad in the paper, warning whoever is looking to rent it about what will happen there."

"I still have nightmares about it," Debbie said.

"Me too," I said.

"Remember that night we finally left?" Debbie and I nodded. "When I went back in the house to turn off the stove, I saw people there. It was like a death scene was being played out. These men dressed in long, trench coat-like things were there drinking. And there was this woman and her baby. She was screaming at them, pleading with them. They took her baby. While one of them held her down and I think raped her, another snapped her baby's neck. The woman was just wailing," Dad said.

"Oh my God," I whispered.

"I did some research on the house," Debbie said, "shortly after we left and that's almost exactly what I found. The woman was in the house while her husband was hunting and these bandits came in and repeatedly raped her and tortured her. They also killed her baby in front of her and eventually killed her."

"It was almost like she was better off," I said.

"The husband came home and found the bandits passed out, drunk, inside the house. And he also saw his wife and baby dead so he shot and killed all of the bandits and then shot himself. They say he couldn't live with the guilt of being gone while his wife and baby were tortured and killed."

"Wow," was all I could say.

"When I saw them in the house that night, it was like they were there. Like it was happening at that moment," Dad said.

"What about what you saw out back, Dad?" Debbie asked.

"I saw blood. It was like blood was everywhere in the house, from what I could see in the windows," he said. "I just felt like if we brought you girls back to that house, you wouldn't come out alive."

"I think so, too, Dad," I said.

"I'm just glad we got out when we did," Debbie said.

We sat in silence for a few minutes before my baby girl started crying.

"I think that means we need to change the subject," I said.

We laughed and had a wonderful Christmas together.

Dad died a couple years later. It was really hard on us because he was so young and it happened suddenly. I miss him every day.

Mom never talked about that house again. Sometimes I wish she did.

Well, it's been almost 40 years now, since we lived in that house. I'm a Grandmother now. I have 2 girls and they each have a little boy. I love being their Gramma. It's like it's been my life's calling. I never had anything as frightening as what happened in that house happen to me again.