The car slowly navigated up the long, twisting, stone driveway. One had to be careful not to drive too fast because of the thick, tall trees that towered over this narrow passageway. A strong wind blew the giants from side to side, creating strange and ominous shadows on the ground. It was a clear night with the exception of an occasional harmless cloud dashing by a brilliant full moon. Finally, the car stopped a few hundred feet from an old, three-story, Victorian house. The two young people sat there at first, just staring. Then, looking at each other, they broke into sly, mischievous smiles. The moon washed over the old house, giving it an eerie presence that rivaled any Hollywood movie set, but that didn’t bother Tom or Louise. After all, that’s why they were there.
Tom stepped out of the car first. He was six-feet, three inches, two hundred and ten pounds, with jet-black hair. From what everyone said, especially the girls, he was drop dead gorgeous. The passenger-side car door opened and Louise got out holding a large blanket. Looking up into the wind, she brushed her long blonde hair out of her eyes. She was all that Tom was, but in a seventeen-year old girl kind of way. Beautiful of face and body, she had it all and had no trouble showing it off. Every boy in Blackstone High Virginia was after her and would gladly trade places with Tom any day, anytime.
Aside from their good looks, they had something else in common. They were totally and outrageously out of control. Tom and Louise did anything they wanted, whenever they wanted. They got caught having sex in one of the back stair hallways at school in their junior year, giving no excuse or apology for their actions, and even had the audacity to ask the principal what the big deal was. That was just the tip of the iceberg compared to some of their more famous exploits.
Now it was their senior year and they had every intention of making it memorable. The Oslow House was, by everybody’s account, absolutely, positively haunted. There was no doubt about it. Year after year, kids would pull up to the house and then drive away too scared to go in. Many said they did but no one ever had the guts to really do it. There was one case where a kid ran onto the porch, but then took off in a panic when he said he saw a tall, dark figure coming toward him.
The Oslow House had been empty for a little over thirty years. The Oslow’s, a couple in their late forties, were mysteriously murdered in this house thirty-one years ago this very day. Tom and Louise knew that and had been planning this escapade for some time.
Louise walked over to Tom, grabbed him by his belt, pulled him tight against her waist, and reaching up, gave him a passionate kiss saying, “Let’s do this thing, babe.”
Tom looked down at her, grinning, “All the way, Lou. All the way.”
The two walked slowly toward the house. The swing on its big wraparound porch swayed with the night wind, creating a foreboding squeak that only served to turn them on all the more. As they stepped onto the porch, they smiled at each other one more time and then opened the door. The door was solid wood and heavy, but no challenge for Tom’s physique. He pushed the door open and they walked inside.
The front room was dark except for the moonlight streaming through the broken glass of the windows. It was difficult to see much of anything except shadows of old furniture and pictures that still hung over the fireplace, just as the Oslow’s had left it thirty years ago. Louise laid the blanket on the floor and began to take her shirt off. Tom followed. It was clear that they planned on going for it right in the old house, defying every story they had been told. Arrogance was their forte. The two fell to the floor and embraced feverishly and passionately. Suddenly, Tom thought he heard the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs from the second floor and turned his head to see what it was. Looking puzzled, Louise said, “Come on, babe. What’s wrong?”
Then she heard it too. They both jumped to their feet. Tom looked up and saw a tall, dark figure coming down the steps. Louise stepped back and let out a blood-curdling scream. Tom looked for something to use as a weapon and, grabbing the fireplace poker, he stepped in front of Louise as they both began to move slowly backwards toward the door.
The figure stopped at the lower landing and spoke. “Well, look who we have here. I know you two very well,” it said in a voice so low and imposing that it shook Tom and Louise to the very core.
“You don’t know us!” Louise shouted nervously, her voice beginning to shake. Not knowing where the voice even came from, she held on tighter to Tom.
“Oh, but I do, Tom Stockshire and Louise Crowder. I’ve been watching you for some time. You’re in my house now.”
Though scared out of his mind, Tom still had enough arrogance to shout, “Oh yeah? Then come and get us, jackass!”
The figure moved at Tom without touching the ground. In less than a second, it was in Tom’s face. Tom swung the iron fire poker at the figure, but it passed right through it. Tom’s eyes widened and sweat emptied from every pore of his body.
Louise screamed again and ran to the door, shouting at Tom, “What are you doing? Run!”
At that moment, Tom felt himself lifting off the ground, still flailing away at the dark figure in vain. Stunned, Louise bolted out the door and began to run for the car. The creature let out a roar like a lion and flung Tom head first into the brick wall above the fireplace. His body fell lifelessly to the floor. The creature moved to the door, looked out toward Louise, and let out a sound so awful that it even shook the surrounding trees. Louise got to the car, opened the door, and began frantically locking every door by hand. Searching for the keys, she stopped and realized in a moment of disbelief and despair that Tom had them in his pocket. Reaching for her handbag, she fumbled around until she found her phone and shakily dialed 911.
“911. What is your emergency?”
Louise’s voice was shaking as she screamed into her phone, “Please help! We are being attacked!”
“Ma’am, I need you to calm down. Where are you?”
“We’re at the old Oslow House off of Conway Street! I think it killed my boyfriend!”
“Ma’am, the police are on their way. What attacked you? Was it an animal?”
“I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t human!”
“Are you in the house now?”
“No. I’m in the car, but I don’t have the keys.” Louise looked toward the house and screamed into her phone, “Oh my God!”
“What is it? Are you still there? Ma’am?”
“It’s coming! It’s coming! Help me, please! Oh my God!”
The creature was now standing just outside her car door. It peered through the window, staring at her. Louise was frozen in fear, her eyes locked with the creature’s. Its eyes were like deep, dark holes with no end. She was completely paralyzed. Louise could barely hear the voice on the phone asking her the same question over and over again.
“Ma’am, are you there? Are you there?”
Louise raised her hand to her ear, the phone still frozen in her hand, and spoke in a low, somber voice. “It’s here. It’s here.”
The person on the other end of the phone tried to stay calm, but even the pitch of her voice was getting higher and higher. “What’s there? Tell me what’s happening. The police are almost to you. Stay with me. Ma’am, are you there?”
There was no answer. Finally, a click and then silence. Nothing but dead silence.
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