{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Colin Milroy would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Sold As Is

By Colin Milroy All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Sold As Is

Despite their Realtor’s warnings about foreclosed properties, Daryl and Julie Grant included them in their home search. “The reduced price carries risks,” the Realtor said. They did see instances of “foreclosure rage” in some badly damaged houses. But after months of searching that lasted into the late summer, Daryl and Julie found a charming home on Chicago’s Northwest Side. They fell in love as soon as they saw it.

Unlike other foreclosed properties, the house on Summerdale near Cumberland Avenue did not have damage on the upper level. Summerdale Avenue was quiet, and the house was a fit for almost everything they needed. There was even a striking orange maple tree next door on an otherwise treeless street. The basement, however, was different. There were deep gashes in the concrete on every wall, even in the foundation itself.

Julie squinted at the damaged walls. Maybe it was the late afternoon light trickling in from the cloudy basement windows, but she imagined the angry slashes came from claws tearing the walls like flesh.

“Boy, that’s weird,” Daryl said. “I just got a chill.”

“Daryl, honey, I need to go sit down,” Julie said.

She walked upstairs and leaned against the basement door. A few deep breaths later, she felt better. There was a lingering unease, but the foreclosure price and the otherwise perfect fit for their needs drove all the dread away.

It was an easy choice, really. The foreclosure status knocked the price down 60 percent. They could get on I-90 to commute together into their downtown jobs. It was a quiet neighborhood and the house had space to start a family.

Julie and Daryl secured the property by early October. A surprisingly quick transaction, as if they were doing the Realtor a favor.

They patched up the basement walls. A coat of warm yellow paint made it look almost cheerful. The only issue had been the wiring. The fuses blew regularly with no warning. Even though the wiring was more than adequate.

The night before the electrician’s visit, the main fuse blew again.

They were reading in bed when the furnace shut down and their bedside lamp went dead. “How can this happen? There’s barely anything on!” Daryl groaned, rolling out of bed.

After 10 minutes, there was still no power. Knowing she married a man who could get lost in his own house, Julie decided to check on him.

The stairs creaked as she walked into the basement. It was cold, and she pulled her robe tighter across her chest. At the bottom of the stairs, she encountered a thick wall of darkness.

“Daryl?” she called. Her voice sounded muffled, as if she was talking into a blanket. No answer.

She turned, expecting to see the stairs, but there was only more darkness. How had she lost her bearings?

Her breath quickened a step. Why wouldn’t her eyes adjust? Putting her hands to her face, she could feel yet barely see them.

She was starting to panic. She was about to scream when the furnace suddenly burst to life next to her as the power turned on again. A low reddish light outlined Daryl’s form by the electrical panel.

“Jeez,” she breathed. “What were you doing?”

He didn’t move.

She smiled. “Okay, you got me. Can we go back to bed now?”

She took his hand.

Julie saw the stairs leading to the kitchen. Relieved, she walked toward them, gently pulling Daryl’s hand.

As she started up the stairs, the lights suddenly turned on in the kitchen. She froze.

“Daryl,” she breathed, “I think someone else is in the house.”

A voice from the kitchen said, “Julie?” Her chest tightened.

The voice said, “Honey? Are you in the basement?”

An approaching shadow slashed down the steps.

“Couldn’t see anything down there, so I got candles from the dining room.”

Daryl’s face appeared in the basement doorway above. “Oh, there you-“

The warm smile dropped from his face.

Julie looked down at the hand she was holding. It was pale with patches of gray, visible only to the elbow. The darkness swallowed the rest of the arm. The hand pulled her backwards with surprising force.

A boy’s face tore through the darkness, appearing inches from Julie’s face. She saw burning bloodshot eyes. Clammy, dead skin. A horrid stench invaded her nostrils and bile rose in her throat.

A whisper blew into her ear, “Don’t go. He’s up there.” A boy's voice. Terrified. In pain.

Julie felt numb.

“He’s coming back.” The voice was lower. Angrier.

The grip tightened. Julie’s fingers started to fold into themselves from the crushing force. She tried to scream but her voice was only a wisp of frozen fear.

Broken, blackened teeth appeared from the thing's mouth as its shredded lips curled into a crinkled whimper.

She never knew how Daryl pried her hand loose. She remembered outstretched fingers beneath a dessicated face as Daryl pulled her up the basement stairs. The boy's scream of horror and agony echoed in her mind and woke her screaming from nightmares for the rest of her life.

When the house went back on the market, the Realtor again failed to mention that it was the former property of John Wayne Gacy.

Reduced price carries risks.


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Colin Milroy
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Sharon Bergevin: iIt was a good story line...The characters were very colorful and i liked the various direction of each character.. The direction of the story was very smooth and direct.....i would recommend it for others to read this. .....great job ending it with hope......i was impressed by the way each char...

Emperor2000: I joined Inkitt and downloaded this book following a friend who has been on here sometime recommending it. After they spoke about it a bit, I thought why not give it a go. Initially I only expected to read a few chapters, as I have little time to spend reading (not as much as I like). However I c...

Dina Husseini: What a story. It may be short and small but it is mighty and massive in creativity. However, I did not feel any romance in the story rather than a lot of horror. It was a great read and I cannot wait to see what this author has next on the agenda. Sometimes short stories have the best content and...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

maewilde25: I liked this, though it dragged on for over 200pages and heaven knows I did not expect the plot twist in the middle. David being Cristiãn. I was wondering when he would show up and didn't know he was there all along. it looks like there should be a sequel, please let there be a sequel. I know the...

Erica Mifflin: is very very neat and is one of my favorite novel of all time I want more stories like this please write another one. I love it so much thank you for your stories it was like a good book to my heart and I want more stories like this

Hemanth Thiyagarajan: MA'AM the story was really good as well as the plot and your catchy writing style.Would i were give a rating it would 9 out of 10A few drawbacks were that you hinted about the upocoming danger in the nd of each chapter of the beginning i felt that it was not necessary only once you could have put...

danijelstoilkovic: I really like this story. The characters, the mysteries, that bonding in the end, but I would really like to see what happened next. Is there a second part? And this would really be one cool horror movie and if I was the director, I wouldn't change a thing.It's awesome!

More Recommendations

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...

poosa13: I actually really liked it. Kept me interested all the way through and never really had a dull moment. But for some reason, I just didn't like Tanya. I'm sorry 😐 but I just don't. She makes my stomach hurt. But that's just me. Other than that everything was cool.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.