An already scary night takes a horrifying turn
|Rose had always hated Halloween. She was an admitted scaredy cat and all the creepy things that went along with the 'holiday' were her worst nightmare. Most Halloweens were spent holed up in her two-story Cape Cod, watching funny movies and gorging on junk food.
This Halloween was no different. Rose put on her favorite stretchy sweatpants and pulled her long brown hair into a sloppy bun on the top of her head. After making sure the front porch light was off, she headed down to the den, but not before looking out the blinds at all the trick-or-treaters running around and laughing. She wished she could enjoy the holiday half as much as they clearly were, but shook her head at the thought.
Even with the comedy film offsetting the eerie energy in the air, Rose still felt on edge. She clutched her bowl of popcorn and tried to pay attention to the buffoon of an actor who just couldn't quite talk to the pretty girl without being adorably befuddled.
Just then, there was a knock at the front door. Damn kids, she thought pessimistically.
She paused the movie with an angry punch of the button and stomped all the way to the door, flipping on every light along the way. "Don't you know what a turned off porch light means on Halloween?" she demanded as she threw the front door open.
As Rose's fate would have it though, there was nothing there but the brisk night air. She saw her neighbors across the street passing out candy and smiling at a group of kids all dressed as goblins, ghosts, and witches. Shaking her head, Rose slammed the door shut with an echoing bang. Halloween was the perfect excuse for kids to play Ding Dong Ditch.
She had just made it back to the den when she heard the knock again, louder this time and shaking the walls of the hallway leading up to the front door. "What the hell?" she asked, staring at the door as if it might swallow her whole.
This time, she crept up quietly, hoping to sneak up on the kids. Instead, she was greeted by just a folded note on the cement of her front steps. It read:
Rose slammed the door shut, locking the deadbolt behind her and dashed to the kitchen at the back of the house to triple check that the back door was locked as well. She briefly contemplated calling the police, but then thought they'd just laugh at her for calling them on Halloween about kids having a little fun.
Still, a gnawing in her gut told her that something terrible was about to happen. Before she left the kitchen, she walked over to the knife block and grabbed the biggest chef's knife in the bunch. She ran her finger over the smooth black plastic of the handle and instantly felt some extent of relief. At least she could protect herself now, just in case she needed too.
As she headed back down the hall to the den, she heard it again even louder, and watched as the picture frame next to the door fell off the wall and shattered to the ground. Rose gasped in horror and slinked against the wall, gripping the knife's handle. She used the toe of her sock to flip the picture around, the last photograph she had taken of her late mother. Sure enough, the glass had shattered, and now she was plain furious.
"God dammit!" she shouted, unlocking every lock in a hurry and swinging the door open once more. It seemed strangely still and quiet outside. "Stay away from this house! Do you hear me?!" she screamed into the nothingness.
Suddenly, an object came flying her direction, something large and black. Screaming, Rose turned on her heels and ran down the hallway. "WHO'S THERE?!" a voice shouted from directly behind her.
Rose's socks slipped against the hardwoods as she attempted to quicken her pace. Her legs moved wildly as she tried to regain her posture. Instead, she fell facedown, banging her head against the hard floors.
Laughter exploded from the doorway behind her, but stopped after a few moments. "Hey, lady! You okay?"
"Dude, she's not moving," another voice grew with concern.
Then a girl's voice entered, tight with fear. "What the hell, guys? I think she's hurt!"
"Should we go in? I just threw my sweater at her!" the first voice chimed back in.
"Ma'am, are you okay?" The girl's voice was nearer now. "Miss?"
The girl began to roll Rose's limp body over.
"Jesus Christ!" the guy's voice returned.
"What?!" the other demanded, farther away still.
"She- she's bleeding! Call 911! Oh my god. Where is the blood coming from?" the girl screeched.
"Her head may- wait, no. Oh god. She's been stabbed! There's a knife!"
The girl let out a shriek as she saw the huge chef's knife sticking out of Rose's chest, blood covering the front of her t-shirt down to her sweatpants. "We have to get out of here!"
"What about her?" the boy in the doorway asked.
"Forget her! We're going to get in trouble! Come on, let's get the fuck out of here!" the girl responded, farther away now.
The door slammed behind them as they ran back out into the cold night air, filled with children's laughter and smiling faces.