The House Next Door

When I was a kid, that place scared the heck out of me. Who wouldn’t?

Grandma would often tell us stories back then of that house.

“A horrible monster lives there. It has white, sharp teeth that can crush your bones and long claws that can rip you apart! Stay away from that place. Kids who wandered in there disappear and are never seen again…”

She would tell it in a manner full of mystery. The best time for those stories was during Halloween. Oh, how scared we were back then! We would not even set foot on the tall, untrimmed lawn of that house.

Times are different now. I no longer am that little, gullible child. Stepping in high school had changed all of that. I know that those were just stories told to keep us away from trouble.

I looked across the street through the window and saw the house – a silhouette in the night. Its two floors and pointy roof cast a dark and ominous shadow on the world around it.

A knock on the door interrupted my thoughts.

“Matt, its Sean and Jeremy…” it was the voice of my mother who had answered the door.

I went over the front door to meet them.

“Trick or treat?” The two chorused as I came. Both were clad in monster costumes. Sean even went to the extent of bringing a bloody head as a prop.

“Very funny… So what are we up to tonight?”

“Why are you dressed like that?” Sean pointed at me in a voice filled with repulsion. “It’s Halloween. It’s the one night when we can dress up in costumes and have fun… Why of all the costumes you decided to dress up as the boring Matt.”

It seemed they noticed that I was not dressed in any fancy costume.

“I think those things are childish. I have grown past that.”

“Really now?” Jeremy questioned with a hint of sarcasm. “Is that so? You suddenly feel you’re a man, huh?

“Do you think you’re man enough to handle ‘Creep Manor’?” Jeremy pointed behind him with his thumb.

“Yeah, is your GAR level high enough for it?” Sean chimed in.

“Gar? What is this gar?” I asked.

“It’s like a measure of manliness…” Sean, rather annoyed that I did not know, explained.

So that was where it started. Later, we found ourselves stepping on the lawn and going over to the porch.

I looked at the house and chills ran down my spine.

“What is there to be afraid of?” I told myself. “It is just a house.”

I stood there transfixed in my spot.

“Hey! No spacing out on us.” Sean exclaimed as he pushed me forward.

“How do we get in?” I asked.

“We? Dude, there is no ‘we’…” Jeremy reminded. “From the looks of it, the window seems to be your best option.”

We were all standing on the porch. I took a deep breath and tried to lift the window. After I strained, it still did not budge.

“Hey! It’s open.” Sean suddenly said and startled me. “I just thought of twisting the knob, and look, it was not locked after all.”

“Strange…” I said as I tried to think of the event over.

“Well, there’s no more delaying it this time.” Jeremy said as he pushed me forward through the door. After I went though, they both closed the door shut. They left me alone inside.

I looked around the house and noted the dust and moth-eaten furniture. The air was thick and dank. It smelled of dust and other weird aroma that made me feel dizzy.

A scraping noise made me turn around. I stepped forward, and as I did, I stepped on a cylindrical object that made me loose my balance. I fell on my back hard.

I did not know how long I was unconscious. I slowly stood up and felt a stinging pain in my left hand. I took a look and saw that it was bleeding – there were some splinters of wood that were embedded in my skin. I removed them carefully. I was lucky that they were only shallow wounds. I must have fallen really hard, or the old wooden floors were weak, for I found myself in a sort of labyrinth.
“What strange place is this?” I asked myself. Ahead of me was a passageway which seemed to go on forever. I turned around and realized that I was in the middle of some kind of crossroad. All of the ways looked like they stretched for miles into the darkness.

I looked at my wound once more. It may have been shallow, but it was bleeding a lot. The blood was dripping from my forearm to the floor. I used my right hand to remove some of the blood. I then wiped it on the wall because I did not want to stain my clothes. What a mess this turned out to be.

I decided that I must have fallen in the basement of the house. It is strange though, that I could not see a ceiling. There seems to be some sort of brown haze that enveloped the place. I could not even see where I fell down from.

Since this was the basement, I thought that I could find the stairs and head back up. I started moving forward. It really did feel like I was in some sort of maze… Every few steps, I would find myself in another crossroad.

“Forward, left or right? Which way is the right direction?” I found myself mumbling aloud. I thought I will just have to rely on luck. I was a bit hesitant to make a guess, though, since it was my dumb luck that got me into this mess.

I took a left then after a few steps ahead, a right, then a left then straight ahead. It seemed like I was walking for ages.

Dread fell over me when I saw a familiar spot. I saw the blood stain where I had wiped my hand earlier. I tried a different route. This time, I made certain that I will not end up going around. Moments later, there was my hand print again. I was going in circles!

A sharp, scraping sound made me turn my head to the right. I had the feeling that I was not alone. I took the way to my left and started to run. A strange feeling came over me. My heart was racing, sweat was dripping and I could not think straight. I was afraid! I could feel a presence in this horrid place, and it does not feel very friendly.

My feet struck something solid and I fell to the ground. I slammed my fist on the floor and cursed. I seem to be tripping a lot today. I took a look at the offending object and it was a pile of junk. There were boxes and jars of assorted items in there. One item at the foot of that pile caught my attention though. It was a human skull! The sight of it was enough to send me hurrying back up.

A strong gust of cold wind suddenly blew from behind me and I felt giant spikes piercing my body, or at least I could have sworn that happened. Whatever sent that rush of air is filled with an aura of evil and malice. I could feel it to the bone.

I glanced behind me and I saw the walls being ripped apart by some unseen entity. I ran faster.

“Damn it!” I shouted aloud as I found myself in the same spot where I had wiped my blood earlier. I turned around and saw the destruction coming closer. I looked to my left and looked to my right and the same thing was happening as well. The entire place was crumbling apart.

“You want to get me? Then come!” I shouted aloud in defiance of the hostile thing that was slowly inching its way towards my. As if in answer, a section of wall somewhere in front of me blow apart, like some powerful being forced its way through.

Then, strange symbols in black ink suddenly appeared in the wall section nearest to me. They seemed to spread and multiply. They looked like circles, triangles and squiggly lines to me. I could not decipher what they meant. I did not have time to think about the meaning for as soon as they have appeared, red fluid seemed to ooze out of the walls. The smell told me what it was.

“Blood! It’s blood!” I said in horror, as I soon found myself ankle deep in it.

I looked to my left, and looked to my right once more. The wall sections being destroyed is getting closer, at an accelerated pace!

“Matt, where are you?”

I heard a voice from above. It’s Sean!

“Sean, I’m down here! Help me!”

“Jeremy, he’s down by the hole…” They were speaking some more but I could not hear them well.

“Help! Get me out of here!” I shouted at them once more. “Hurry!”

“Grab on!” It was Sean’s voice. At first I did not understand what he meant. The place was falling apart faster now, though that did not stop the blood that was coming out of the walls. I was waist-deep in blood by then.

“Help! Quickly, get me out of here!” I shouted at them once more. It was at that moment when I noticed a rope dangling from the brown haze above. I knew what they were planning.

“Lower it some more!” I shouted at them again. The rope came closer, and as soon as I was able to grab hold of it…

“Pull me up. Hurry!” I shouted as loud as I can. Panic filled me as a rush of cold wind blasted me once more. In the distance, I thought I saw a pair of glowing orbs that was shrouded by the dust and debris of the falling walls. I was up to my chest in the pool of blood when I felt myself slowly rising.

“Guys, hurry it up, please!” I was close to begging them. Whatever was in this place did not want me to leave. I felt my foot getting heavier. Was the blood holding on to me?

“Come on, Sean, pull!” I could hear Jeremy’s voice straining. I saw myself clear the haze, although as I did, I felt myself covered in some wet thing. I saw the broken floor and I grabbed hold of it as I tried to pull myself up.

“Je–*cogh*- my, Sean! Am I gla-ack *cough* to see …” I spoke strangely, as if there was something in my throat. I felt like I was being strangled. I looked at them both and saw fear in their eyes. I gave a stronger cough, and some kind of round object that was stuck to my throat fell out of my mouth, and into the hole.

“Monster! It’s a blood monster!” Sean shouted as he pointed at me. Jeremy screamed like a little girl.

“Guys, it’s me, Matt!” I managed to speak clearly.

“Matt?” They spoke in unison and looked at each other puzzled. Once they came to their senses, they hurried over and helped me out of the hole.

I was not even completely out when we felt the entire house shake. The floor boards rattled and four, huge, claw-like spikes burst through the floor. My eyes grew wide and as soon as I was completely out of the hole, I screamed at Sean and Jeremy…


They did not need to be told twice. We all bolted towards the door. It was locked tight. The house continued to shake and it feels like the place was falling apart.

Jeremy, being the biggest amongst us, summoned all his strength and kicked the door off its hinges. We ran out of there as if hell was chasing us.

We all dropped on my house’s front lawn, exhausted. We looked at the house, and it seemed completely normal. Well, normal, except for the broken door.

I had not realized it back then, but I found out I was covered in blood.

“What happened to you down there, Matt?” Sean asked me.

I did not answer him immediately. I heard my grandma’s voice once more during one of our story-telling sessions…

“It is believed that the creature is called to this world through a ritual. The initial ingredient for it is said to be…”

“Blood!” I said aloud. Sean and Jeremy looked at me like I just farted or something.

“My blood started this whole mess.”

I told them my tale. We later concluded that since I was able to get out of that strange place, the summoning ritual must have been stopped…that or the time when we got out of the house.

We swore an oath to never speak of the events that took place that night, as well as to do our best not to let anyone wander in there again.

I guess there were some truths in the old tales…


Author's Notes: This story is my entry to The 2008 Halloween Writer's Jam.

Hope you enjoyed reading.