All the family members wore black on the day of the funeral. Not many have come for the funeral, it was just Mr.Hoyurpants, the postman who delivered Edgar’s mail, the old lady who lives next door, and the Hollow family. The event took place outside of the local church. Everyone was sitting in a row, a few cried but some were mostly silence. As the priest said some words about Edgar, the clouds grew darker and darker, it was as though they were also grieving. As it started to rain, the funeral ended much earlier than planned. The Hollows were the first to leave.
They drove to a restaurant close by to eat, the food wasn’t that great but the kids took it as it is. After lunch, they were back on the roads but it soon was crowded with cars. They were stuck in traffic and it began to rain harder. Phoebe was looking out the car window watching the different cars and buildings of the small town. There was smoke coming from the distance, Phoebe saw it and stared at an empty road. The road had large cracks like a big earthquake had happened, smoke was coming out of the cracks.
There on the road was a big sign that said: “WARNING: UNDERGROUND MINE FIRE! WALKING OR DRIVING IN THIS AREA COULD RESULT IN SEROUS INJURY OR DEATH PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM THE GROUNDS OF THIS AREA”
Phoebe had no idea what that meant but she was new in Pennsylvania, she didn’t know there was underground mine around the area. She told herself that she’ll ask her parents later if she remembers. The traffic soon lessened and the family finally drove on the road leading home.
That night the rain continued to pour down. Matthew was on his bed, still up and reading one of his Marvel comics. The rest of the family was asleep but he didn’t feel tired. Matthew yawned as he read trying stayed up as he read how Spider-Man was planning to defeat the Green Goblin. Eventually, he was getting bored so he put the comic down and stared up at the ceiling. Lost in thought he slowly starts to fall asleep.
Not after a minute later, he wakes up from the loud thundering noise from outside. It startled him so much Matthew could have sworn that loud boom came from inside the house but wasn’t sure. His room was so dark that he feels he was lost in a cave. Matthew didn’t want to admit but the more he was in this new home the more he was becoming overwhelmed.
His shook this thought out of his head and covered himself with his blanket. He relaxes a little so he could fall asleep again and he did.
Meanwhile, his little sister was sleeping peacefully in her room with her favorite doll by her. For some reason, the storm didn’t really bother her. She was sleeping with the two pearl necklaces in her small hands under the pillow. As the storm calmed down and the wind was now cooler and gentler, blowing the small tree branches. The raindrops stained the little girl’s windows causing oddly shaped shadows to form when the moon's light appeared. Everything became quiet both inside and outside the Victorian home.
Suddenly out of nowhere was a creaking sound, it was really faint but it was enough to stir Phoebe half wake, hearing it clearly. That creaking sounded very familiar to Phoebe but thought she was dreaming it and closed her eyes again. As she drifted back to sleep the sound was still going,
Creak, creak, creak...creak….CREAAAAKKKKKK.
That last creak was eerie enough for Phoebe to wake up with wide eyes. Her pupils shrank to the size of peas. She then heard the most disturbing sound that made her shiver under her blankets. It was a kind of sound that an animal makes when it’s irritated.
There was someone in her room.
The creaking noise became low thumps, they were getting louder and closer to her bed. The growling was now clear to hear. Phoebe clutched her blankets tight as she starts breathing harder, her heart beating faster. She didn’t dare to move, shivering in fear as she felt the presence of someone standing beside her. The thing was some dark shadow like a black mist. It had no shape, it had no face but its shadow can be seen. Its oddly shaped hand slowly crept to the blanket. When Phoebe felt that hand she closes her eyes tight, waiting for something to happen. She didn’t know what was going on but she wished for something to make the thing go away. She heard another sound only this time it was a hissing sound as if the thing was in pain. And then the presence was gone, just like that.
Phoebe opened her eyes, nothing happens, she waited for a moment but everything was dead silent. In a swift moment, Phoebe sat up, turn around and saw nothing in her room. She looked around a second time and realized that she hadn’t noticed her door was opened. She gasped and quickly whispers for her fox. Zoom-Zoom woke up and feels his master shivering in fear. He quickly jumped on the bed and comforts her by licking her face which calms her a little. The 9-year-old still felt frightened after what just happened and ran with Zoom-Zoom to her brother’s room. She shook him to wake up.
“Wha-what are you doing up?” Matthew yawned.
“There’s something in the house and it was in my room!” , Phoebe cried frantically.
“You just had a nightmare now leave me alone-”
“No! Just look!”
Phoebe yanked her brother from his bed and dragged him to her room. Before they reach her room something moved from the corner of their eyes. They stopped only to catch a glimpse of a shadow moving downstairs. The brother and the sister looked at each other with disbelief and looked back to where they saw it. Matthew was a bit frighten and grabbed a candle from the picture stand. He goes to his room to find matches that kept after a fourth of July party. “O-okay maybe….it could be some animal that got in...”
Phoebe shook her head, “No, if it was Zoom-Zoom would have smelled something.”
Just at that moment, Zoom-Zoom did smell something. Using his tiny nose he sniffed down the hallway and children follow the brave fox. Matthew used the matches to light the candle, the small flames only give a little light in the room.
Phoebe stayed closed to Matthew as they and the fox go downstairs to investigate the strange shadow in the house. As they reached the last step they slowly walk into the living room but before they enter, Matthew shined his candle over the room.
“I don’t get it,” he thought “Everything looks the same and there’s no creature in sight.”
Phoebe, who was trying to be brave, also saw nothing in the room. They were disappointed but they continued to investigate. Zoom-Zoom stopped to listen to something and then went back to sniffing. He stopped again and he pointed at the door, with his tail up and ears pointed high.
The kids saw and looked at the door, both shaking in fear as the doorknob rattled. A clicked was heard and the door slowly opens.
Then they heard a “FLUSHHHHH”!
A man in pajamas came out from the room and looked up at the kids with tired eyes.
“Dad?” they both said in unionism.
“Oh, hi kids. What are you two doing up?”
“There a monster in the house! It was in my room!” cried Phoebe.
“Yeah and we saw a shadow and heard weird noises everywhere!” cried Matthew who sounded more frightening than his sister.
Their father was too tired to understand what was going on so he raises his hands at them to calm them down. “Whoa Pheeb, Matt calm down, it's late, we’ll talk about it tomorrow all right?”
He then notices the candle in his son’s hands, “And put that out, you’re gonna start a fire.”
So they all went back upstairs to their rooms and went back to sleep as if nothing happens. Phoebe, on the other hand, feared that whatever came in the house may come back again. Luckily, Zoom-Zoom was there, sleeping on the bed with her, that made her feel more secure. She then started to think about the events that happened: the creaking noise, the dead great grandfather they never knew, and now a shadow she and brother are seeing. Ever since they moved into the house strange things have happened. Something was going on and she going to find out.
It was a cold and windy day outside but that didn’t stop the neighborhood children from playing outside. Some kids were walking to the park or jumping in piles of leaves. The family stayed indoors because there were still things to unpack. Matthew was sitting on the couch reading his comics while his father was organizing all his books he on a shelf.
Later on that day his mother was outside starting on her new garden. Phoebe was also outside but was wearing her winter clothes. Her purple coat, her pretty red boots, and poke–a–dot gloves kept her warm. She held on to Zoom-Zoom on a leash as he was sniffing all around the grass.
“What are you planting mom?”
“Oh, just some bushes, nothing big since falls coming.”
“I found some rocks in the dirt. This one looks like a duck and this looks like a shark’s tooth.”
“What a great discovery dear.”
Phoebe and her mother talk about the funny rocks and how the garden will look. Their conversation didn’t last long, Kathrin went back inside to get more dirt for the plants.
“Yes, sweetie?” Kathrin asked.
She hesitated, “Do you think…there’s something wrong with the house?”
There was a moment of silence before Kathrin answered.
“Of course not, Pheeb. Is it because what happen last night?”
Matt and Phoebe explained to their parents what happen about the shadow, but like most parents, they told the kids it was probably some raccoon that got in the house.
“It okay pumpkin, as soon as the house is in order things will be fine. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
And with that Kathrin kissed her daughter’s forehead and went inside.
As Phoebe waited on the stairs she thought about last night. She couldn’t shake the thoughts out of her head. She started thinking of the possibility that maybe her home could be haunted. She knows that it has to do with her great grandfather, maybe he was haunting them. Then again, she was told that ghost only haunts if they're angry, so it couldn’t be the case. Lost in thought Phoebe looks around her at all the tall trees, falling leaves in the air, looking at her fox who was licking his paw. She then saw two girls staring at her behind the fence. They waved at her and she waved back, and then they keep walking down the street.
She hears a noise in the bushes and a brown squirrel comes out. It jumped and scurries in the grass, quickly it stands up looking up and down, left to right. It looks at Phoebe’s direction and she smiled at it. However, Zoom-Zoom didn’t seem pleased with the rodent as he started growling at it.
“Stop it Zoom,” whispered Phoebe, “He’s not bothering you-”
Zoom-Zoom stood up with his tail raised, as he runs after the squirrel. Phoebe didn’t react in time to grab the leash. Seeing the orange fox coming closer, the poor squirrel zipped through the yard like a speeding race car. Zoom-Zoom chased after the squirrel in circles.
Phoebe was trying to catch her fox but when the squirrel jump over the fenced yard, Zoom-Zoom did the same.
“Oh-no! Zoom-Zoom come back!” cried Phoebe as she opened the fence door.
She ran into the forest to catch up after the zooming fox. As she ran the wind was picking up and it started to get colder like winter was coming. She tripped on a few branches but still keeps going. It wasn’t until long that she finally gave up, her pace was slowing down losing sight of the fox. Catching her breath Phoebe looks up now realizing what she’s done: she ran into the forest with no grown up and has no idea where she’s at. She turns to see if she could see the house but the house was no longer there. She was hoping to see a tiny dot of it but she didn’t. These woods had many trees that were tall, thin and thick. Thick enough to hide a Victorian house from sight.
With a sad sigh, she had no choice but to find her way back. She stopped when she heard barking, that was her Zoom-Zoom. She looked around to see her fox, slowly she walked to the animal as she stares at the trees. The trees were pale looking, most of them still had bark. It started to rain red and yellow leaves as the wind became stronger. She saw the fox sitting on a pile of leaves as she came closer.
“Zz-zoom-Zoo-om”, started Phoebe trying to sound mad but was shivering of the cold, “Don’t-t everr-r run away ll-like that or you-u gg-ge-t no treat…”
Phoebe froze still as she saw something not far from where she was standing. It looked like a black void in the shape of a square. Rocks were around this strange shape as if holding it in place. Whatever it was it made Phoebe very curious and she walked closer to the shape. Zoom-Zoom saw the curiosity in his master’s face and followers her to where she was walking. As they walked towards the shape the wind was blowing in her face, it turns out that the black void was more like a tunnel.
It was some rocky tunnel that appeared to be leading down. It didn’t look scary from the outside but it was a huge tunnel and the darkness made it look scary. Phoebe tilted her head to the side, thinking what was this it doing here in the first place. She walks closer to the tunnel suddenly the wind dies down. On one side of the tunnel’s wall was a sign nailed all covered in dust. With one gloved hand she wipes off the dust and it reads: “Tunnel 004”
“Wow. This is really cool, but why would it be here?”
She wanted to see what was inside the tunnel but Phoebe knew that wasn’t a good idea to go down, not by herself. She got closer just to take a peek in the, she couldn’t see anything at all. “Maybe I should go tell Matthew or dad about this.”
Phoebe was about to go back but heard her fox growling at the tunnel as if he sees something there.
“No Zoom-Zoom”, she told the animal, “You are not running away this time. Now c' mon.”
She pulled on the leash to make Zoom-Zoom follow her but no such luck, he was looking at something. The fox tugged more, pulling Phoebe closer to the entrance of the tunnel. She pulled harder, however she tripped over her own feet and tumbled deep into the tunnel. The ground in this cave was very soft and muddy like slimy water, it was too soft to hold her weight.
Phoebe noticed that she was quickly sideling down the tunnel. Panicking she tried to get up fast but the mud was really slippery and she landed on the ground again. Zoom-Zoom tries to garb the sleeves of her coat but only managed to tear a bit of the sleeves with his mouth. It was already too late, sideling down faster Phoebe cries to her fox and gave a high pitch scream as she falls, sideling down into the unknown.