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Rated: E · Chapter · Mystery · #2244221
"Hi there, Would you like to play hide and seek?" Lights flicker in the room."Sssshhh!"
The fan in the hall rustled as it lost its torque. The sound of water, dripping from the bathroom faucet caught Sam’s attention. He turned his head around. His focus now shifted to the room from the hall. He walked into the room. It had Pink-colored walls and a king-sized bed in its middle. The bed faced an open window. A canopy covered the bed. It was pretty dark except for the moonlight through the open window. Sam viewed the backside of the bed and the canopy that sifted the dim moonlight. He held an EVP recorder in one hand and an audio recorder in the other. Sam closed the door, turned around, and closed his eyes. He played the audio track. There were five listeners in the room: Sam and the four walls.

“Is this thing on? Yeah…it is. Okay…[breathing intensifies] We are now heading to Nev Residencies in Houston, Texas. There are around 20 apartments in it. We will be investigating Mr.Robert’s apartment. They live on the 19th floor. They have been complaining about paranormal activities in their apartment. There are three rooms in this apartment and one hall. Mrs. Robert sleeps with her husband. Their two kids, Ross and Robin sleep in separate rooms…” Sam wanted to skip this part. His hand oscillated between the pause and the play button. After a long fight with his thoughts, he continued to listen.

“…is said to be the room of the greatest activity. Others complained about a banshee. But he complained of shadowy figures walking across the room…” Sam moved back the audio track by thirty seconds. “Ross’s room is the creepiest of all the rooms. The room has a blue carpet and pink-colored walls. He hears water dripping from his bathroom faucet. His room is said to be the room of the greatest activity. Others complained about a banshee. But he complained of shadowy figures walking across the room. He is ten years old…"

A loud sound of thunder distracted Sam. He looked at the casement window. It was raining. He enjoyed the chills in the room. What more can we expect from a paranormal investigator like Sam. He paused the audio recorder. He was relieved. Sam wanted to feel the rain but he continued his investigation. As his eyes gazed past the window to his audio recorder, the EVP recorder beeped. It sensed a signal, the presence of an entity in the room. His eyeballs, bluish like the carpet in the room over the wooden floor, contracted.

Sam saw a shadowy figure on the bed. It faced the window. The dim moonlight projected the figure over the canopy. The grandfather clock in the hall struck twelve at midnight and that created a sound. The whole apartment now bore this sound. The lights in the room flickered. The shadowy figure was now visible under the flickering lights. It looked like a girl with unkempt hair facing the window, sitting on the bed, behind the canopy. He walked to the bed. The ticking clock resonated with his pounding heart. The wooden floor creaked as he walked and the figure turned its head around every time the wood creaked. Sam realized it and crawled on the wooden floor. He approached the bed. The sound of water subsided in Sam’s ear. The ticking clock and the creaking wood were his soul speakers. He saw its dry lips as he approached the bed. Marimba… his iPhone rang. Sam gasped. It gave him a panic attack. He relaxed, reached out to his pant pocket, and took his phone. It was from an unknown number. Sam gathered enough courage to attend the call.

“Hello…” muttered Sam. His heart pounded faster than the ticking clock. “Hey, when will you come home? It is already twelve-thirty. Are you ok? I can hear you gasping for breath. Can you at least listen to me now? Quit it. We have never been together since our marriage, six months ago. Please…” Rebecca, Sam’s wife pleaded. Sam interrupted. “Come on… I will talk to you later.” He cut the call. It disappeared. He dropped his audio recorder on the blue carpet and threw his phone into the darkness. He reached the bed and found nothing except for a wind-up toy. He looked out the window. The moon disappeared into the clouds. The room was dark. Rain splattered on his face. He closed the window.

He took the wind-up toy. It wore a brown jacket and blue jeans like Sam. He could not see its face in the darkness. He took a torchlight from his pocket and flashed it on the toy. It had a black-colored beard and hair with reddish eyeballs. This frightened Sam. He winded the key and placed the toy on the wooden floor. It stood still on the floor. Sam sat on the floor, feeling his bushy brown beard. The doll started walking. The wood creaked as it walked. The toy sang as it walked, opening and covering its eyes with its hands.

“Hide and seek. Hide and seek. Let’s play hide and seek. Hide and seek. Hide and seek. Let’s play hide and seek. Are you ready?… Are you ready?…”

“ Yeah!” a mellifluous voice from the room exclaimed. The doll stood still at the room door. Sam sat with his mouth covered by his hands. The doll again continued.

“ Everybody… HIDE!” the doll walked into the hall. Sam decided to leave the apartment. The lights in the room flickered. The audio track played automatically. “A rich man lived in this apartment with his two daughters. But, due to falling stocks and shares, he shot…” Sam crawled to the audio recorder to listen. “… his two daughters with a shotgun. He shot one daughter in the chest and the other in the eye.” The audio track stopped.

The lights in the bathroom flickered and the bulb burst. Sam looked into the bathroom. He could again hear the sound of water, dripping from the faucet. Due to the flickering lights in the room, he saw something standing near the bathroom door. It had long hair covering half of its face. The other half of the face bore an eye, staring into his eyes. It started moving towards him. Frightened, Sam got up and ran into the hall. He picked his backpack, from the sofa in the hall. He took a notebook from it and switched on his flashlight. He had sketched the ghost’s face based on the audio that his friend recorded for him. The notebook had 15 pages, with varying shades of the face in increasing order. He dragged the center table in the hall and placed his notebook over it. He shaded its face with a blunt pencil he had in his pocket. He wanted to get out of here, so he fastened the process. The wooden floor creaked in the hall. The sound approached the center table with a glass top.

He started flipping the pages. He could not close the notebook, as the last page was stuck to the glass top. He gave force and the page came off. On the glass top, from where the page was removed, the reflection of the face was seen, half of it covered by hair and it's remaining with half a nose, half the lip, and a missing eye. Sam gasped for breath. He ran to the door. The handle did not work. He turned around and it was not there. He slid his back over the door, with tears rolling down his eyes. A drop of tear fell on his hand. He lifted his right palm to look at the drop. It signified the tiniest possibility to get out of this apartment.

Marimba… His iPhone rang. He remembered throwing it into the hall. That was his only way to escape. He wiped his eyes and ran in the direction of the sound. He kicked the center table away and ran to the junction of three rooms. He reached the junction. There were three rooms around and a grandfather clock opposite Mrs. Robert’s room. To the clock's right, there was another pathway. The sound came from there. He skidded because of a mat lying before the clock and crashed on it. The clock struck again. The time was 1:00 A.M. The sound deafened his ears. Moonlight hit the phone. The pathway leads to another room with no door and the phone was in the room. Sam grabbed the phone, answered the call.

“Hello, this is Sam. I need help. Call 911 and direct them to…” Sam paused. “Are you depressed? Do you have suicidal thoughts? We at DepFon help people to…” Sam cut the call. These robocalls were pretty common and Sam fell for it again. He got frustrated. He searched for Michael on his phone. Sam dialed Michael. “ Respond, Respond…” Sam murmured. The wooden floor again creaked. Sam heard it. He rested over a large glass window in the room. Sam closed his eyes. He sensed a touch on his leg. All he heard was the dial tone. He opened his eyes to see the doll. But, the doll’s face was replaced with the audio recorder that Sam dropped in Ross’s room. “The person you are calling is not answering the call” Sam kept his phone on the floor. The doll started its routine and its hand hit the play button. “There is a special room in this house with no door. Why special? According to sources, Alex, the rich man I had mentioned before, stored guns in this room. It was in cupboards and under the wooden floor. But, the shotgun he used was not found anywhere. Alex kept it to himself. The police could never extract the information from him. Otherwise, all his other weapons were confiscated. They were all unlice…” The audio faced a distortion. Sam looked around for the shotgun. He broke the wooden floor and checked all cupboards but in vain. The audio recorder started its track.

“Hi there… Can we play a game?” It was a little girl’s voice. “The one who stays quiet wins.” Sam leaned over the glass window that was as long as a door. He stayed quiet and looked out the window, hoping for light. The memories of his wife and their estranged relationship faded in and out of his mind. Marimba… his iPhone rang. It was from Michael. He answered the call. “Hello, Mike I need…” Sam could hear the sound of a gun cocking. “Hello… Sam…” responded Michael. “Sssshhh…” the voice ordered. A shotgun popped out of the shadows. “Noooo…” Sam screamed. The bullets were fired. Sam gained momentum and crashed out of the apartment on the 19th floor.

A security guard of Nev residencies, James walked around the apartment, talking over the phone. “ You are asking me to go to hell. Not funny.” Said, James. A corpse fell in front of James and blood splattered all over his face. His hands were quivering. He called the police and informed them about the corpse.

He flashed his torchlight on the apartment. As the light ascended to the nineteenth floor, A man looked at the corpse from the broken glass window and smiled.

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