Hmph... just the boring old serial killer shit. Probably just some weird accident... Lots of things have been happening lately anyways. One more dead person isn’t going to hurt.
Emma rolled her eyes and continued scrolling through the radio stations as she drove back home, ready to cool off after a long day at work. Once again, she had been harassed by the other long-term employees, seeing as Emma was just an intern, working on her master’s degree. Over the summer, they were supposed to complete two months of internship at a business of their choice, so she had chosen to return to her old town and work during those two months.
However, the only position available then was the 12:00 am to 5 am shift, so she had grudgingly obliged, cursing every step of the way she turned in her application.
Emma turned into the street where she was renting a small penthouse, and had driven up the driveway, about to get out of the car, when she heard the screaming.
“Help...!” A high-pitched scream echoed from the top of the towering mansion situated to the right of her house. At first, Emma thought she had just imagined it, but then did a double-take, staring at the house with a perplexed expression as another scream arose, this time coming from a different part of the house.
There is no way you are going in there... no fucking way...even if there is someone trapped in there. You have seen enough horror movies to know that no one who ever goes in those things ever comes back out alive...
But there was someone in there... Someone she could save. She could be a hero... She could be famous, even if it was just for a while.
Oh, to be extraordinary for just a day...
She sure could be stupid sometimes.
The stairs groaned as Emma cautiously stepped onto the decrepit front porch of the house, armed with nothing but a battery-powered flashlight as she gently pushed open the front door, curiously already cracked open. The first step she took had almost led to disaster. The heel of her inappropriate footwear caught against a loose board, causing her to topple forwards, almost sending her flying face-first into a suspiciously placed bear trap. Not a good first impression. Her three-inch boots were definitely not suited for rescuing someone from a creepy, decaying house, but they were the most explorer-y thing she had.
Emma cautiously stepped over the vicious-looking, plate-sized contraption, and looked around, shining the flashlight into the dark void in front of her.
“Hello? Anyone there?” She quietly whispered, not expecting a response as she trudged through the abandoned house, wondering where the source of the scream had come from.
Maybe it was all just my imagination... I did have a tiring day today... and I didn’t get much sleep last night... It’s way too late for me to be walking around in here... maybe I should just go.
Something brushed the top of her head lightly.
Emma clenched up in fear, wrapping her arms up to cover her head, dropping the flashlight into a conveniently placed hole in the floor.
Shit. Well, that was a bad idea.
She reached up and gingerly felt for the foreign object, and she realized it was a rope, fastened into a noose, dangling from the chandelier on the ceiling.
The flashlight finally hit the bottom of whatever there was underneath the house with a loud snapping noise, the light going out almost immediately.
Emma lunged towards the door, but found that it had mysteriously shut on her own. She hadn’t recalled ever closing it, or hearing the telltale squeak of the hinge groaning to move the block of wood back into its frame.
She yanked on the handle, pushing, pulling, and turning in whatever way that she could, but the knob refused to budge.
This was always how the horror movies started.
Emma drew in a ragged breath as she tried to think. How could she get out? Maybe through a back door, or a window?
Something on the other side of the house made a miniscule “skritch-skritch” noise, making Emma’s breath hitch once more, as she made a split-second decision. She was not going anywhere near that sound.
Carefully stepping around the rotting holes in the wood, Emma climbed the stairs slowly, trying not to alert anyone or anything that might have been in the house with her. While climbing, she noticed all sorts of interestingly placed artifacts and dark streaks on the walls, confirming her belief that it was a very old house. Hopefully it wouldn’t cave in on her.
As she reached the top of the stairs, she noticed a door a yard or two away from the stairs, and decided to enter the room. There could be a window... or something... where she could get out. The sooner, the better. So she stepped in.
The second she did so, something in the house let out a foreign, shrill screech, and she threw herself under the nearest piece of furniture, instinctively ducking for cover.
Emma gasped as a tingling sensation, like shock, took over her body, rendering her unable to move. A creak sounded from just outside the room, and a heavy thud resonated through the empty stairwell just outside the unlocked door. The Emma’s eyes darted wildly through the dusty, abandoned room as she pulled her legs to her chest cautiously, trying not to make a sound. There was someone following her for sure. Maybe all the rumors concerning the murderer were true... and she was an idiot for not believing them.
After all, Emma had found her former best friend’s chopped-off left hand on her driveway a week ago... still with the hand-crafted friendship ring on her pinky finger, but she had brushed it off as a prank... After all, her friend had moved hundreds of miles away years ago, and her peers in this old town were known for their pranks. Maybe they had gotten information from the people who used to know Emma.
However, Emma was pretty damn sure that this was not a prank. The smears of brown pigment on the walls and wooden floors? Probably not what Emma thought they were in the first place. The inconveniently placed knives all over the house? The holes in the floor, the trip wires, and the noose hanging from the chandelier in the entrance hallway? The curiously placed human-like bones, all carved with the word “Horrors”? Who would go so far to do all that for just a prank? No one in their right mind.
She curled up in a ball underneath the bureau, tucking herself away from the view of the entrance way. Her god damned ego had gotten her into this mess... and it was obviously not just something someone would do for a laugh. This. Was. Real.
what do i do what do i do this isn’t just a joke i could die in here those stories about the murders must have been true oh my god what if the person-- no the thing comes to kill me what if i die here i don’t want to die--
creeeeeaaak.....BAM! A cautious creak, followed by an ear-splitting slam echoed through the same stairwell as Emma felt her heart hammering in her chest, slowly starting to increase as her breathing became labored and uneven.
The adrenaline surged through her veins, making her heart beat impossibly fast, and inadvertently causing her to take the latter choice of the famous ‘Fight or Flight’ response.
She shoved open the door and burst down the unbelievably long corridor like a bullet, no longer worrying about being found. She had to get out. No matter what it took.
She ducked out of the hallway into a room, but was immediately stopped by something hanging just past the doorway, further into the room than she would have ventured into.
Squinting, Emma tentatively stretched out a hand to try to see what was there, and her entire body tensed up as she felt something waxy and foreign underneath her fingertips.
Her breath rattled in her throat as she grabbed her phone with shaking hands, turning on the makeshift flashlight.
The dried, dead body of a teenage girl was tied upside down, anchored to the ceiling. From the looks of it, it had been there for weeks. Various bugs had slowly eaten chunks of her flesh so that parts of her skeleton were visible, shining white even in the darkness of the empty room
Emma stumbled backwards, screaming, and whatever was behind her started heading in her direction. She dashed out of the room and saw a shadowy figure racing towards her. She turned and ran down to the end of the hallway, practically ripping the door that connected the two halves of the house off its hinges in her fear.
As a surge of adrenaline raced through her, Emma shoved a nearby chair under the doorknob, barring it in place for maybe a few minutes. A defeated wail and a few thumps on the door later made her blood rush and her breathing catch for a moment, but it soon fell completely silent after whatever was pursuing her gave up and returned to... wherever it came from. She had a few more minutes to find a way to make it out.
As she carefully walked through the secondary part of the house, she heard a loud banging, and then the splintering of wood as the door was ripped apart, her pursuer stepping into the corridor.
Emma’s sense of tranquility was once again gone, and she carefully slipped into a room nearby, not making a sound, and closed the door silently behind her. She exhaled slowly as her fingers fumbled for the lock, keeping her safe and sound for a few more moments.
She spied a small walk-in closet just opposite the window, and eyed it suspiciously before deciding to check it out.
Emma swung open the closet door, looking for a good place to hide, and after a quick inspection, saw that it was clear, and stepped into it, quietly closing the door. An eerie beam of light crept underneath the edge of the door, fanning out so that it glinted off the queer color of the carpeted floor. A curious scent was hidden by the musk of the rotting wood and decaying paint, but in the darkness, she couldn’t quite figure out what that smell was. She inhaled cautiously, so as to not get caught, and took a cautious step backwards.
Her eyes widened, not sure whether to be more scared of the thing searching for her or what she was about to find stuck to her shoe.
She turned on her phone, the electronic glow from the screen illuminating the hair-raising scene behind her.
The back heel of her combat boots had sunk itself into a pile of decaying human remains. An intestinal tract and a now-crushed jaw bone had taken residence underneath her shoes, and Emma stifled a scream as she took in the rest of the room.
Piles and piles of human flesh, sinew, organs, and bone were crammed into the back of the walk-in closet, blood dripping from the fresher pieces hanging from the ceiling. The little light she possessed gleamed off of the polished white of the skeletal remains of what seemed to be dozens of victims.
Full suits of human skin were stretched out and nailed to the wall; one of the most horrifying being the skin that had once belonged to a school-age child, with all sorts of intricate designs and words carved into the tender flesh of her stomach, legs, and face. Streaks of blood marked the ground where the dying victims were dragged into the room, and slowly, slowly disembodied and separated into those three components that she found their remains in.
I have to get out of here now. If I don’t, I’ll probably end up like them... or worse...
Emma tried to remain calm as she held her breath, quiet footsteps echoing outside of the locked room. As the footsteps continued down the hallway, she dashed out of the room, grabbing a blood-stained knife lying by the carved skins in case she had to fight her way out, and quickly unlocked the door. Unbeknownst to the other being following her, she sneaked back through the ravaged doorway, and arrived at the stairs. She descended the stairs, but couldn’t prevent the screeches that pervaded the silence with each step she took.
The thing that was once upstairs started to step towards the staircase where she was, and she dashed into the small room under the stairs. A small window, not enough to let in any light, showed the dark sky, scattered with stars. It had felt like she was in the house for hours. Shouldn’t it have been dawn soon?
Her thoughts were completely thrown to the wind as she heard a creaking above her, and footsteps approaching the closed door in front of her.
The doorknob slowly turned as she readied the knife.
Here it comes... I’ve got to do it... to keep me alive... I have to kill it to get out...
“Free me, for I have sinned...” a feeble, weak voice croaked out as her blade buried itself into something hard, yet giving, as it sunk hilt-deep with a loud snapping noise into the foreign being. An ancient, wrinkled man, hands covered in blood, doubled over in front of her as he grabbed the wound in pain. The old man, milky white eyes boring into her own, reached out for her and grabbed her shoulder, forcing her to her knees in front of him.
“NOOOOOOO!” She screamed, retracting the knife as she realized too late what she had done. An innocent person... She had stabbed... an innocent person...
The raspy, fading voice of the man croaked out an unintelligible phrase as he, with shaking hands, smeared his fingers in blood, wrote something out on the floor next to him, and grabbed her arm lightly as his muscles tightened for the last time and fell still.
An unmeasurable amount of time later, Emma was still shocked at the scene left by the man she had killed.
you're it was scrawled in thick, large, lowercase letters where the old man had fallen.
All around the room, there were bloodstains and splatters in various places, and some still decaying bodies, but they were all the same... Nearby every one of the marks and bodies were the same words, “you're it”, written in almost the exact same way that the old man had done.
Emma huddled there in shock, not believing the horror that her life had become. She needed to end the vicious cycle... and she was the next to pass it on. She had to... end it with her. But how?
Her mind began to turn fuzzy with the guilt of killing and an irrational fear that consumed her entire being. She deserved to be killed, lying dead like the others. But a small part of herself reminded her that she couldn’t let someone kill her.
Emma drew the knife against her wrist, cutting a vertical opening on her forearm, but quickly drew back as a terrible stinging and a flow of blood oozed out from the cut. She wailed in agony and shuddered, refusing to cause herself any more pain.
How could she kill herself... less painfully?
Emma ran with wild abandon, saliva bubbling within her mouth as she dashed up the stairs to end her living nightmare. She pulled a nearby stool underneath the pre-prepared noose as she frantically dipped her fingers in the gash she had sliced in her arm as her shaking fingers frantically scribbled out her repentance to the world, and the next person who would find her.
it wasn’t me
She jumped onto the stool, pulling the noose over her neck, and was ready to jump off. She took a deep breath and lifted her foot to step off...
When something... or someone... blew open the suddenly unlocked front door and skidded across the floor, crashing into the stool, knocking it out from under her feet.
Emma’s eyes bulged at the sudden forced constriction of her windpipe as she scrabbled to fix her mistake... if someone had pushed the stool, they had killed her... she had died for no reason...
The last thing she thought of was her unintended mistake...
The message she had left...
it wasn’t me
Helloooo out there! This was my first ever horror story that I have ever written~!
I freaked myself out multiple times over the course of planning and writing this entire thing T_T
I originally wrote this to submit for the "Nevermore" writing contest, but I ended up writing it to prove to myself that I could write things other than persuasive essays and fanfictions :)
Anyways, hope you enjoyed and please leave a review to let me know what you think! If you liked it, maybe I'll write more ;)