In 1997, after acquiring enough savings, I moved my wife (Deborah) and two daughters (Shirley and Clarice) into the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. The house in particular was a large duplex with friendly, inviting neighbors and a generally warm atmosphere, so we expected nothing more than the usual living accommodations. The history of the house was never explained to me thoroughly by the manager, but this did not bug me in the slightest.
The first several weeks went by with little to no dilemma, as we managed to unpack and setup our belongings rather quickly. Deborah would call me while I was at work at a local computer scripting service, telling me how great our new home was and boasting about the easy living, which included enough rooms for all of us and a pool out back. I would smile and agree.
Shirley and Clarice also loved the house and found plenty of games to play around in the large space availability. The two slept in the same room together near ours, so they could easily access us in case of an emergency.
By the fifth week of living here, the two came storming into our bedroom doorway very late into the night, both claiming to hear a "little boy crying" near their bedroom window. Deborah and I both exchanged confused and frightened looks, but proceeded to examine their room. It was relatively empty, save for a few toys lying about.
"We heard it, Daddy!" they both exclaimed.
"Heard what?" I asked, puzzled.
They both began to describe the boy as sounding very much afraid and crying through the night, even singing to himself quietly at one point. I peered out the window and turned my gaze downwards. Nothing. I exchanged them both confused looks and decided it was best to have them sleep between Deborah and I in our bedroom. They nodded in agreement and I tucked them inside.
Granted, I was unable to fall asleep for awhile, but eventually drifted off after an hour or so, throughout which I did not hear the mysterious crying.
A dream began, however, and I found myself in an open field bound plentiful with wheat. I shoved through the tall grass and our new house eventually came into view, but the houses that would be around it were not visible. I entered the threshold and saw that the house was empty and that pieces of furniture had been randomly stacked atop each other.
Odd. I thought.
I made my way to the curio and approached the swimming pool. I slowly turned my attention to the very bottom of the pool, for which a young boy lay in a sleeping position below. The boy promptly disappeared and reappeared before me on dry land.
"Wh—who are you?" I asked nervously, clenching my hands in disbelief.
The boy, who was around six or seven years of age and dressed in rusty overalls and a striped tee, slowly looked up into me, his misty eyes staring right up into mine. Despite this outward appearance, he seemed friendly and I perished any thought of trying to fight him.
"I'm sorry," the boy responded.
"It's okay," I replied back, patting him on the shoulder.
We talked for awhile and he seemed content during the conversation, almost pleased that I was with him. At this point, he grabbed my hand and began to mutter gibberish under his breath. I stood motionless and urged him to quit, but he seemed to have entered a somewhat possessed state and the strange words became louder.
"Where is she?" he suddenly asked, his face now wrinkled up in anger. He repeated this several times, each time his grip became stronger.
"I don't know!" I snapped back, attempting to break free of his iron grip, to no avail.
He remained silent at this point and continued to strengthen his grip, becoming more and more persistent by the expression on his face. After an intense struggle, I pulled my arm free and pushed him away, making a beeline for the front door and making no stops to look behind. I finally exited the door and ran out into the fields. The house was now lit aflame and I could see the boy screaming in agony from one of the upward windows. I felt guilty and ashamed, but I could not do anything to help the boy.
I awoke into the dark of night, breathing heavily and sweating intensely. Deborah took notice and calmed me, using the sheets to wipe me down.
"What happened, dear? Did you have a nightmare?" she asked worried.
"Y... yes," I replied.
"Just go back to sleep," she said.
We managed to fall back asleep shortly afterwards and I could not recall any dreams afterwards.
The next morning, I asked the manager to evaluate more on the building's history. He gave me this look of despair and finally delivered. He told me that the building once burst into flames some twenty years prior due to an accident of unknown cause. According to his claim, one of the past owners' sons died in the cataclysm and was unable to be rescued by firefighters.
"The house was rebuilt," he continued, "but some say it has remained the same."
Written by Curly-BraceXD