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I had a dream of people trussed up and tied to the walls of a screened in front porch. They were reaching, yearning towards something behind me. I remember turning, seeing the house. It was flooding. It was screaming. Then I woke up.
I found the house. Drove right by it the next day. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to go in.
I took Jesse and a few other people with me to investigate. As soon as I saw it the foreboding feeling from my dream washed over me, and I knew this house would try to hurt us. I warned Jesse and one of the others and we agreed to proceed with caution. No more than five minutes inside, meet on the front porch. Six, seven, ten minutes go by. Me and Jesse waiting. I go in after the other.
Jesse waits outside in case I need coming after, too. I find her with a knife, staring at a power outlet. I grab her and drag her outside.
I yell, "Where were you, what were you doing?!"
She doesn't remember. Doesn't remember what happened inside. Doesn't remember that the house is trying to kill us. She wants to go back in. No, needs to go back in. She doesn't think the house is evil. Jesse Thinks it loves her. We tie her up with a string from the blinds and leave her on the front porch.
We go back in. The others join us. Jesse and I split up. I peek in cabinets and pick through rooms. I'm in the kitchen. I don't remember going in there. There's a disposal in the sink. I wonder why I'm not putting my hand down there and flipping the switch. It seems so logical. Once my hand is gone, I will have less to keep track of, more room for the house. My hand reaches for the sink and brushes the tap. I'm momentarily distracted. Out of curiosity, I turn one of the taps in the kitchen. Water flows. I remember my dream. The water feels cool and clean. There's a spring nearby. I run my hand under it. I splash some on my face. My mind seems to clear. I stand, horrified, staring at the disposal.
I hear laughter.
I run towards the sound. It's Jesse. He's in the bathroom, and he's found a razor. The angle of the blades makes it hard to slice, but he is taking small bites of skin out of his wrist. He is laughing. I call out to him. There's no recognition in his eyes. I scan the room. Taking a deep breath, I slam my body into his and we both tumble backwards. He loses the grip on the razor and starts to scream. I reach behind him and turn on the shower tap. The water flows clear. He quiets. We look at each other and an understanding is had. We travel together now. There are small paper cups under the sink. We fill our cups and take a deep breath. I stopper the sink and the tub and turn the taps on full. We watch the sink fill and spill water onto the floor. The floors groan as if under heavy weight. As if in pain. We continue.
The house has many taps, and many rooms. Our friends have also succumbed to the house. Some accepted the water. Some we had to tie up outside to keep from coming back in. It takes a lot of refilling of our cups before we are finished. Jesse and I are the last ones inside. As we walk to the front of the house the last tap is running and the water rises. Our feet slosh as we walk. We see out the front door to our friends - the ones who were tied look dazed, like they are waking from a long sleep. I smile. It's over. I raise my hand in greeting to them. The door slams in our faces and pitches Jesse and I into darkness. I remember my dream. I remember the screaming.
We stand in total darkness that should not be possible in the daytime. Like the windows have ceased to exist. I hear pounding on the door from the outside. They won't get in in time. I can feel it. I can hear movement in the belly of the house - knives sliding across each other in the kitchen. Lamp cords twisting around themselves. I see the lights flicker briefly in the bathroom, down the hall. Then in the bedroom. Closer. Then in the hallway.
I realize what it's doing. The water is rising. It's around our ankles now. Any moment, and it reaches the outlets. I shout at Jesse to get to higher ground. I end up on the arm of the couch - he is on a side table. The water reaches the outlets and charges. I can hear the crackle. We made it. I sigh. Then I realize. We've lost the water. The mind-clearing, life-saving water. The placid, dark water, just out of reach. It looks so calm, so peaceful. Like I could spend eternity there. I hear a shout and a crash right before I let myself tumble off the couch into the dark, crackling pool.
I feel a weight slam into my chest, over and over again. I feel air slash through my lungs like knives. Shards of light pierce my head and I realize I have opened my eyes. There is grass beneath my head and sunlight above me. The crash. They must have made it through the door. The shout - I look wildly around for Jesse, still mostly unable to move. I see him a few feet away. Dry. I sigh in relief. It's over, I thought to myself. It's really over. I let myself relax and sink down into a real and restful sleep.
The house stands an empty shell behind me.