Updated: Apr 24
a horror-fiction piece by Andrea Davenport, Junior Secondary English Education Major
Content Warning: Graphic Violence
It was a beautiful home. A two-story plantation-style made of old oak with dark green paint in perfect condition. There was a wrap-around porch and a white picket fence and grass that was a little too tall.
It was eerily quiet that evening. The rustic wallpaper slowly peeled from the wooden base, revealing a rotting interior that carried the slightest sounds across the property. No one could hide. She walked slowly across the creaking floorboards. Her black skin blended into the darkness around her, the only visible color was in the white apron she wore. It obscured the abnormally large, rusting nail she had found in the dining room. She was supposed to be cleaning.
A girlish squeal echoed through the decaying home and her head slowly spun left. Her eyes squinted as her body shifted to meet the direction of her button-like nose and she walked toward the romantic winders that led to the second floor. There was a rattle somewhere behind her but it was of no concern to her. She focused on the stairs. Up, up, up she went, nail enveloped by her ruffled skirt. Each stair whined as it bent under her small frame, mimicking what should have been coming from what followed her. But the pitter-patter of little feet was in front ofher, not too far. A slight breeze tickled her legs and sent a shiver up her spine. She shuddered in anticipation. Her hazel eyes witnessed a pink skirt turn the corner not far from where she stood. She smiled. Still walking lazily, her smile grew as the closet came into view. The door was slightly ajar and little huffs could be heard through the small opening.
“Now I wonder where she went,” she said. She heard a muffled giggle from inside the closet and moved a little closer, the scuffing of knees and palms against splintered wood moving with her. “I guess I’ll go check downstairs.” Another muffled giggle. Her grip tightened on the nail. Her teeth were too white and too sharp and her lips were too thin as she grinned. Reaching for the knob, she took a deep breath to control the shaking excitement that coursed through her chest and arms. She readjusted her fingers on the nail and gently pulled the door wider, just enough to fit inside. The little girl looked up, eyes wide and unblinking. Swiftly, the woman snatched her by the throat. As she swung the nail around, she watched as the little girl’s mouth widened as if to scream, but she plunged the rust into her soft skull before she could make a sound. She heard a small thump behind her but paid no mind to it, only watching the little girl start to smile. There was no blood. She twisted the deteriorating metal and dragged it down until it reached the little girl’s neck. Dropping the nail, she grabbed her by the hair and rotated her, letting her arms and legs dangle limply. She reached into her pocket and pulled out
a small key-shaped pin and put it halfway into the hollow, wooden inside of the little girl’s head. After rotating the pin clockwise three times, she gracefully placed the little girl back on the ground. She turned around and saw the house’s little boy sitting in the doorway, staring at her. She nodded, smoothed out her apron, and slid past him. He stared at the young girl who wasn’t a girl. She started to move forward, crawling as if her joints were held together by screws, her elbows stuck in aslightly bent position. Her head slowly shifted toward him, her eyes wide, wet, and unseeing. He continued to stare. She crawled past him.
He watched her move toward the romantic winders and tumble down until she was out of sight. He knew she was at the bottom when one final thump worked its way through the walls of the house.
Sluggishly, his little lips began to lift at the corners and a giggle erupted from his throat, turning into laughter that joyously floated through the chilled air. He crawled toward the staircase and continued to laugh, splintered skin sticking to the wood underneath him. There was no blood.
And then it was morning and it was still quiet. The rustic wallpaper was still peeling and the inside of the house was still rotting. Sounds still echoed through the walls and still, no one could hide.
But from the outside, the home was still beautiful and the dark green paint was still in perfect condition, and no one would know what happened every evening in the empty house that sat in the middle of an empty overgrown field of grass.