I heard whispers. It was a woman whispering, or perhaps crying I couldn’t be sure. I was gasping for air, trying to reach the pier but I couldn’t. Every time I grasped the surface, my fingers slipped and I’d dip back into the lake.
I could see the house in my blurred vision far ahead of me, standing tall between the trees, looking almost ordinary and doing a good job of concealing the dark history that came with it.
The lady who was whispering sat close to the pier; she was wearing a dirty, ragged dress, her hair was disarray and her hands were covering her face. She had large gashes over her arms, raw, angry and on the verge of turning black-blue. She whimpered but made no attempt at trying to save me. I reached out towards her.
“Please help me!” I called out to her. “Please.”
“Jamie…” she whispered as she peered at me. “Have you seen my Jamie?”
I was going to drown tonight. I was going to lose this battle.
“We will look for him together if you help me out of here.”
“I need Jamie…” she whispered which sounded more like a strangled plea.
I looked towards the house again because I noticed a moment there. The boy stood close to one of the windows of the manor, looking down at me with a grim expression.
I tore my gaze away from him. “Can you please call someone?” I asked the lady.
When I looked up, she was gone and I felt a pair of hands grab my waist underwater and dragged me deep underneath. I tried to scream but my voice was muffled by the weight of the water as it engulfed me, and slowly entered into my body.
I choked and sensed the soul leaving my body…
I jolted upright, gasping for air, shaking the feeling of dread as it seeped into my bones. I sat looking around and tried to regroup my thoughts.
I’d been dreaming.
The old grandfather clock chimed three-forty a.m. It was the exact same time that I usually woke up, scared and covered in perspiration having these nightmares that I couldn’t explain to anyone.
This house was old or rickety, hearing the sounds of footsteps from the attic had become a routine. The sound of the blowing wind tonight sounded like a whistle, and just then a knock at the door nearly scared the life outta me.
“C-come in…” I said.
The door opened and heaved a sigh of relief when I saw who it was.
My younger sister, Avishka stood at the door; her hands clutched a teddy bear to her side. Her round dark eyes peered at me in the dark, she whispered, “Can I sleep with you tonight?”
“Sure,” I said as I scooted towards my right to make space for her on my queen-sized bed.
She quietly slipped into the covers, and I noticed her body was shaking. I caressed her head slowly, “Hey, what’s wrong?”
There was another knock at the door.
Did Mom hear the footsteps too? Was she here to check on me?
“Who is it?” I asked.
The door creaked open.
When I saw who it was, a cold sweat broke on my neck.
Avishka stood there, rubbing her eyes and clutching her teddy bear. “Myra, can I sleep with you tonight?”
It was like déjà vu, but it wasn’t. I looked towards the left side of my bed, but there was no one there. Instead, a small figure was standing in the middle of the room, facing towards the old closet, a white sheet over its head.
My sister followed my gaze and let out a sob. I pressed a hand to her mouth to silence her as I climbed to my feet and moved towards the short figure. My hands shook as I walked towards it. Avishka had my nightgown bunched up in her fists. I reached out towards the bed-sheet draped over the figure and pulled it.
There was nothing standing there.
Just then the door of my bedroom slammed shut and there was a sound of giggles followed by the loud thumping of descending footsteps.