Things to reveal themselves from behind a single, closed door to you were unlike any learning you’ve ever had. A door opening in the middle of a quiet night can reveal an entire, unknown dimension of the unthinkable, especially to someone as young as you. Do you step inside to uncover the truth, as horrifying as it could be, or stay within the blissful coma of your own ignorance?

The end of your regular, weekend visit to your father’s, it’s a Sunday night in your mother’s new apartment, the first school night before you begin the sixth grade. Wishing that the summer could just be a little bit longer, your mom tells you it’s time to go to bed. After all, the time glaring from the digital clocks in the apartment is reading, “10:31”. Perhaps only this once, you’re permitted to stay up a half hour late on a school night.

Shuffling your feet away from the television and towards your bedroom in a seeded regret, you ponder of the fondful memories of summer vacation. The times of sleeping in late, careless sleepovers with your dear friends from school, and almost three, whole months of not having to get up early, do homework, study, or attend classes no child would ever really have interest in dance lovingly in your memories. Thoughts like, “if only it could’ve lasted longer” float around in your head as you let it sink into your pillow.

Along with this, as it did for some time ever since it happened, the question of why your parents got that thing called a “divorce” haunts you. Like a malevolent ghost, it’s always waiting at your side when you don’t see it, coming to you in your most vulnerable of times. You’ve never even heard them argue much, so how could the separation have happened in the first place? Of course, after school, there were things to do anyway. There were friends to enjoy the remainder of the day with, and perhaps the extracurricular activity that provided far more interest for you than learning fractions ever could have.

Staring up at the ceiling as if it were to somehow provide any answers, you begin to think about what your new teachers could be like, or more importantly, if you could finally get a date to the school dances this year. Would you still have the same, smaller circle of class-spawned companions from schooldays of the past, or add to it? You might even meet someone new, and just cute enough to find yourself having a silent crush on. There were so many mysteries for you as you try to close your eyes that could only be solved at the beginning of the coming sunrise.

Your new bedroom, while comfortable enough to sleep and entertain your friends in, just doesn’t feel the same though. You were still more accustomed to the room for your slumbers from the old house your three-person family had when they were still one. The new room you had was comfortable, but it still didn’t quite have a soul to you yet. It carried not nearly the amount of memories the one before it did.

At last shutting your eyes to try and drift into unconsciousness, you can feel a small bit of unnatural warmth oozing towards you, but where from? Looking down your body, the only thing cloaking your flesh is your outfit of pajamas. All Summer, never have you felt a sort of warmth like this. This sensation wasn’t from the Sun beating down through your bedroom window all day. It was the same kind of heat, but rather than immediately engulfing the room in entirety, it was slowly standing higher from the carpeted floor around you. It was just now rising high enough to smother the majority of your body, but where could it have been coming from? There was no way it could’ve been the thermostat. After all, your mom was reluctant to lay a finger on the damned thing, even during the harsh winters because she said she couldn’t afford it, whatever that meant.

Moving around a little, and sitting up, you can sort of predict which direction it was coming from. Swinging your feet over the side of your mattress, you can feel more of it at your ankles. A leak of some kind? Probably not, as the oozing heat carried no smell, or any dtrace of color. It was merely something you can feel rubbing against your bare feet. Then, you get a hint of where it may be originating from. You find your eyes fixated on the doors of your closet. Is it possible that something could be hiding and dwelling behind them? No, of course not. That’d just be stupid. You’re a big kid now. You’re far too old to believe in monsters anymore.

Despite the times where your parents used to check the closet of your old bedroom for snarling beasts just itching to taste your cold flesh during your much younger childhood, it was still like some kind of breathing. It was something exhaling a strange fume not of the diurnal world. To your reasonable surprise and now growing fear, the closet doors creaked open. It was far too dark to see what may have opened them, but the darkness that could have been concealing any horrors draws your eyes in closer.

What could have possibly been behind it though? It’s not like you have any siblings who could be plotting to give you a quick scare for a laugh. There still had to be something inside. A pair of closet doors simply can’t open on their own.

Fully open now, there’s something radiating from the inner darkness. More of the odd heat emanates, gently pulling at your feet like shapeless tentacles. You find it strangely intoxicating, like glistening bits of sugar along the edges of your lips. You’re standing up now, the temptation to drag your feet towards it growing. God, you can almost taste the ever more intense sweetness. All you have to do is lick your lips, right? Taking gradual footsteps towards what may be waiting for you, you see the image of what was pure black morph into something else. It was the sight you were beginning to miss so dearly. The seemingly deep darkness was swirling into what was only so welcoming. It was the sparkling, sugary joy of being in front of the house you used to live in before the “divorce.” All you have to do is walk inside.

How could you say no? All it would take is one more step, and you’ll be inside. The itch to take that final step is as intense as the thirst of a wanderer in the Sahara. Come on, take it. That’s all you need to do. Just that one lifting of the heel, and what you’ve missed will be returned to you. Why shouldn’t it be? It was grabbed from behind you when you never could have expected, and taken without any sort of warning.

Giving in from inexplicable and irresistible temptation, you take that last step to be home, what was really home. As you enter through though, not that you would care to look back, the jaws of the closet doors behind you squeak shut. From behind you, they seal closed, fading out of existence. All that’s around you is the front entrance to your old house, a mere spec of architecture within the midnight hours of the quiet neighborhood the three of you once resided in.

Squeezing and turning the knob on the front doorway to the house, the memories of the dimensions of your real home tickle the surface of your heart. You can feel your chest beating in joyous excitement of being home again at last.

Not realizing the now unusual structure of your old house, you shut the door behind you, seeing the room around your being. Rather than the hallway leading into the living room that you expected, you ended up somewhere else in the house. As the exit you shut melted into nonexistence, you gain the understanding that you were in your unlighted, previous bedroom.

As if not touched by people, but only by time, the room around you is exactly like the day before your most recent moving day. The only difference, but a major difference is the thick layers of dust and cobwebs along the walls, ceiling, and mattress. Other than that, everything was in its proper places.

To your left is a calendar suspending from your bed. Your parents always hung a new calendar in the same spot in your room just after Christmas, but the one hanging on the wall isn’t of this current year. Also lightly smothered in dust, a calendar from two years ago gently sways back and forth, as if pushed by something.

On your right is a couple of small, framed photos from about the same time. The first one you look at is a school photo taken, and sent to your parents during the days of elementary school. You give a tiny smirk at the goofy smile you had in that photograph. The eyes of your former self in that picture shift to look directly into yours. Of course, you can’t believe the eyes in the picture are really doing that, but then the child in the photo gives you a mischievous wink. A sudden jolt to your heart makes you take a step back from the photo. Looking at it again in some disbelief, you examine it, but see that it’s back into its original, and probably permanent fixation. More of a smile comes across your face as you see the other picture beside the first one on your dresser. Although it’s also filmed with spider webs and dust, it carries a clear image of you and your parents in your living room at the end of your seventh birthday. It’s of your parents sitting together, hands joined on the couch. Then, there’s you, sitting on the floor, too busy playing with one of the new toys you shredded the wrapping off of to cooperate with the camera eye. As you look at the picture more, there’s an initiating, strange altering of the photo. It’s something about your mother. You examine it closer, seeing small, pinkish-red markings appear around her neck. There’s no recollection in your head of her ever injuring her neck somehow, so it naturally captures your curiosity and confusion. Trying to figure out what the markings may be from, you see them fade away, as well as your father from the image. The woman in the photograph wasn’t left alone though. He was replaced by two other men squeezed onto the sofa, but not holding her hands as your father did. The other men, you remember meeting in person maybe a few times at the most, as momentary guests in your old home. Across the bottom of the picture, covering the image of you, the word, “ADULTERESS,” whatever that word meant, was written in scratched, blood red letters.

Nonetheless, you felt chills in your lower stomach, crawling like small parasites. Slowly backing away from the picture at the two men and scratchy letters around your mother, you reach for the dusty door knob to exit, your eyes still gazing at the altered picture. Feeling the dust grab on to your hand, you push the exit open, still staring at the picture. As you’re stepping out, closing away your bedroom, it just occurs to you that you have no idea what else might be ahead.

You don’t fully shut the door, letting it stay somewhat open. Your eyes pointed down the main hallway ahead, also a bit covered in cobwebs and dust, the only light is one at the hallway’s very end. Letting your guard down for a second, the door behind you slams shut, locking itself. As you turn to see what may have shut the door, no seeable entity to have pushed it is around. This entrance back, like the closet door out of your new bedroom, blends into the wall.

Turning back around, you face the empty hallway that waits for you. Perhaps there’s a bit of faulty, electric power through some parts of the house, since the only light turned on in the hall is starting to flicker on and off. Surely, if it’s really two years back, one of your parents at the least would be in the house, and probably know of the issue. You don’t see, or hear them around anywhere though. At least, you don’t at the moment. There is something at the end of the hallway now. Unsure of how this person before you got there, not seeing them walk there from another room, you find yourself fascinated with whomever this might be. Squinting at the dead-white apparition, you can’t help but notice it looks almost exactly like the child in your school photo in your previous bedroom.

Its veins just barely noticeable under the flickering light, they stare back at you with marble white eyes like the hungry undead, craving for more living tissue. The little kid isn’t moving though, only looking back at you with those cornea-only eyes. It simply stands, his limbs and neck limp, as if dead or dying.

What would happen if you moved anywhere closer though? There’s no other way to move, except towards it. You take a step closer, but see that it isn’t doing the same at all. All they’re doing for now is watching you as you carefully creep, one footstep at a time. Your scrutiny of it is red alert-high, your body readying itself to sprint away at their very first movement, but to where? Perhaps the bathroom, or your parents’ dormitory, those rooms being along that same hallway that you tread.

Immediately, you stop at the sight of its mouth gradually open. Having absolutely no idea at what this child may do, you jump to the room closest to you: the bathroom. Struggling to pull the door open, and continuing to observe their movements as the freezing sweat forms on your body, you can’t get inside and away. The door’s locked, but no light from within is on. Why would that be? If someone was inside, using it, the light would be on by proxy. Your veins pumping blood at an insanely rapid frequency, you watch its mouth opening, concluding there isn’t any getting away from what this former self may possibly have planned for you.

A loud whisper echoes loudly down the hall from its currently unmoving jaw, “You will see the truth.” At the end of that echo, their head pointed up, as if to another world, and its head began twitching and spasming at a speed faster than any human movement is capable of.

Your breathing just as rapid as your heartbeat, you see the flickering light go out, possibly burned out. What was that kid going to do? Where was that kid? It was too dark in the hall to see where it might have gone.

The light flickers back on, somehow having repaired itself. The flickering ceases, lighting a bit more of the hallway. Pivoting your head quickly in every direction you can without thought, you see absolutely no sign of the child. Maybe the kid was gone, or not. It’s not easy enough to say for sure. This deathly-looking child may be lurking in another part of the house for all you know, or perhaps just a corner around you that you managed not to see.

The door at the end of the hallway, the one you distinctly remember leading to the basement, opens without any person responsible. It swings open, as if welcoming you, wanting you to step through.

Walking away from the door you desperately tried opening a moment ago, you can just faintly hear something being muffled from inside the bathroom. It’s panting, heavier and more audible than the kind your lungs were beating in and out. The sound coming from the inside though, was a full-grown man. You could tell by how deep the muttering you can hear now. Putting your ears more to the bathroom door, you can hear words under your father’s breath, and one of his dress shoes for work tapping against the tiled floor.

You ask, expecting a response, “Dad?”

Nothing though. He resumes his muffled mumbles, just he can’t hear you. Maybe he can’t, or is he ignoring you for some reason?

You can hear him chanting things like, “That son of bitch. It’s him. I know it’s him.” You say in a louder voice, knocking on the door, “Dad, is something wrong? Are you all right?”

No response from him anyway. All you can hear from him is the same kind of muttering, going, “I’ll fucking kill him in his sleep. That son of a bitch thinks he can do that, and get away with it? No way I’ll ever let that bastard take her from me.”

Knocking the bathroom door even louder, there’s still no answer, as if you were never there to interrupt his chanting to begin with. You turn, looking down the hall, at the open door. As you wonder what may be through it, unable to see what waits beyond it, you can feel the same kind of warmth seeping from it. The same, tantalizing hypnotism of the closet door beckons you, just as the morphing innards of the closet did, but now, you can feel the chill of curious terror in your veins.

Attempting to open the bathroom door one last time, there’s yet again, no success. You look back into the black void at the end of the dusty hall, seeing only thick shadow engulfing everything within the next room.

The closest door now was, unlike most of the other ones, to your left. This was possibly your only way out. It was the front exit from the house itself, as you remember it. Trying to turn the knob, it just comes to you that the lock is in place. Reaching for the lock to turn it so you can escape this realm of hellish terrors, it’s stuck in place. The damned lock refused to move at all. Of course you haven’t the strength to kick down the door to run out, or burst through the boards you just noticed covering the windows around it. You’re only twelve, for Christ’s sake.

Instead of going into the void wanting you to come towards it, you try the next door in the hall: your parents’ room. Maybe Mom was inside, and could tell you what was going on with Dad. That gateway was locked away from you as well.

You go further down the hallway, feeling as if the long room itself was only getting longer with every step you take. Past your parents’ room was another, shorter hall to the right that quickly lead to the kitchen.

Wandering into the empty kitchen, aged with dust and webs like the rest of the house so far, only darkness fills the room. You see how the window that gave a view to the outside world from the kitchen is also boarded up. Why were the views from the windows blocked off with large, wooden boards? It was never like this before. There was no way your parents could’ve abandoned it, or let it go to ruin to the point to where the two-by-fours were necessary. Dad was even still in the bathroom, right? Sure, he’s swearing, and chanting weird things to himself, but he was still there. Besides, Mom never let the place get dirty anyway. She’d clean while Dad would go to work.

There was nothing in the kitchen to be explored though. There was nothing really out of place to see. Not now. Leaving the kitchen, you face the only way out: that door at the end of the hallway. It’s not your bedroom, but the one that was opened on its own, leaking that inexplicable sensation of heat you could feel at your feet before. It beckoned you, began to persuade you without any need of words to walk inside. God, there was that same, hypnotic, sugary sweetness that had your closet door lure you, but this time, it was only stronger. It was only a little stronger, just enough to pull you to look beyond the open, wooden border.

Knowing it’s your only, possible way out, you find your feet almost taking themselves to the dark void of whatever sort of realm it might be hiding. What was waiting for you though? Was it harmlessness, or maybe something even more horrific than the deathly white child of yourself in days past?

Ankles shaking, you have the trembling rising up your legs as you slowly leave the kitchen, and go towards the void. Although you were now just at the doorway, all you see in front of you is a complete darkness. No details of anything were seeable at all. Finally dragging your body in, the mouth of the door slammed by itself behind you. What was presented before you isn’t anything you could’ve expected though. No, not at all.

It was the same hallway. Yes, the same, goddamn hallway. The door you normally would vision to lead to the basement only took you back through the same, long and narrow room again.

There was the same lighting after that apparition left your sight, but possibly a little brighter. However, your father isn’t audible this time.

Of course, wondering if he might still be in the bathroom, you walk over, towards it, and listen again. This time though, he wasn’t muttering at all. You try again to knock on the door. Just like before, there’s no response.

Figuring the door would still be locked, you rotate the door knob, and to your surprise, it’s now unlocked. He wasn’t in there, but it seems like you were, at that period in time, permitted to go in. A fast glance around the lavatory, and all you see is more cobwebs and dust. There’s a new sound, however, from the drain of the bathtub. This was the sound of a child. It wasn’t that of the sort of child capable of speaking linguistic words. This sound bouncing through the drain was most likely that of an infant, its cries that would have been emitted at its birth. The crying channeling through the pipes were liquid-like, sounding as if barely escaping from some surface of what might be water.

Your eyes gazing down the drain, but your being not daring to go any closer than to the point to where you can see it, God you wish you could just turn around. It isn’t that simple though. It never is. Of course, you want to help the baby, wherever it might be, but how could you? How would you track the pipes, wherever they might lead, and find the helplessness at the end?

There isn’t really so much, but a fuzzy degree of dubiousness as to how you moved up so close to the tub in the first place. Is it that your fascination drew you towards it, like it did when walking into portals disguised as doors?

Managing to move one foot back, and then another, your back is now up against the bathroom door. At every footstep dared to be closer to what you perceived to be a way out, the echoing crying appears to be booming louder in volume, gradually shattering your eardrums. Your imagination may be spicing the paranoia floating about inside of you, or perhaps whatever would be found at the end of the drains, child or abominable creature, knows somehow that you’re attempting to lead yourself away from it.

For once, your mind is emptied from words, but not emptied completely. Rather than verbal thought, your head churns with snowy, blizzard-like terror. Squirming your hand around, reaching for a way out, though not daring to turn your head, you can’t seem to locate any knob to find an escape from the cries. The sweat helps slide your hand around the dust-filmed wood of the closed gateway to a differing piece of the house. It’s as if the knob vanished, like the child reflection of what was once you that may be, to what little knowledge you have, preying on you.

After what appeared to your fear-warped perception of time to be an hour or so, you finally grasp the brass device to led to your momentary escape. The cries that scraped rusted nails against your ears, and whatever fragments of a sense of tranquility you have stop just as you leave, slamming the bathroom door shut. Your body slides down the other side of it until your tailbone gently touches against the dirty floor. Beating harder than ever before, you question how it is that your blood vessels haven’t already died out from exhaustion.

Heavy, short breaths start elongating into those of an almost normal rate when you take the chance to gather what your surroundings are. Gathering that you’re probably in the same, main hallway as before, and before that, the notion that there may be some amount of logic in this dimension brings you a small, but cooling idea of security. Whether or not the idea itself is nothing more than an illusion, seeing nothing coming down the hallway alone is at least somewhat relaxing.

Your body still shaking, you regretfully arrive at the understanding that you are your only way out. Nobody can find a real exit, whatever it could be, except for yourself. The creeping spiders of being alone unexpectedly crawl up your pant leg, and tingle your skin. Spreading out across your whole body, they fully gather to the inner depths of your instinctive terror of what isn’t known to you as of this fading moment.

Looking down to your right, you look upon the same ending of that hall, the same door you crossed just minutes ago. Making a whining, creaking noise, that door opens for you, like an invisible bellhop trying to be polite, and earn that measly tip. Seeing this is the one, and only one opening for you as a welcoming sign, you’re already sure that any other door probably wouldn’t be so kind as to open at all.

A weight of hesitation makes your feet much heavier as you gain the courage to stand back up. Your raw flesh resuming how it’s been trembling for who knows how long now, you try to ignore it. Staring straight ahead, you understand that the only way is through the open pathway.

You’re forcing your feet to make one step at a time, closer to whatever room is designated to be next at this point. Going to the entrance of your parents’ bedroom though, you hear things you’ve never quite heard before. You were typically out and about after school anyway, so this sort of thing could’ve been going on in the hours of your absence. Part of you cries for you to simply ignore it, but this would easily be your only opportunity to find out. The door that opened for you isn’t shutting at all, so it could probably wait for you for just a minute. It isn’t like you have to go in your parents’ bedroom. You probably won’t be able to anyway, you can still learn something from simply listening, right?

Putting your ear on the border between you, and your mom and dad’s dormitory, you begin hearing some kind of sounds of a struggling woman. Hearing a sort of blocked voice, and small but loud gasps for air, you can recognize your mother’s voice from the other side. Whatever words she had turned into a sharp, long moan.

“Oh yeah, like that!” She hollered, her voice joined by a rather faint squeaking from the mattress inside.

Jesus, you know that’s something you’d never want to hear, but then, you heard something else launch from her vocal chords.

“Yeah, oh, you’re so much better than my husband!”

When you can’t help but listen a little closer, at the male grunting, tremors of disgust in your arteries, the grunts have another voice attached to them as well. However, you jump away, closer to the open door, at hearing a voice too deep to be your father’s say back, “Yeah, yeah, you like that, Little Girl?”

Rushing through the opening that waited for you, the door swung shut, but not too much to your concern. Who the Hell was that man? No, wait, Mom’s one friend she’d bring to the house sometimes. It sounded a lot like him. What was his name? Your memory is in a bit of shrouded mist as you try to dig up his first name in your mind. Tristan, right? Yeah, it was Tristan. You’d usually only see him just leaving, and just maybe greet you on his way out, on those rare occurrences where you’d come inside a little early from playing with your friends to maybe get a drink of water.

Which room of this house are you in now? Is it another repetition, or something almost absolutely new? Even though you weren’t able to get inside of it just before, you find yourself at the inside of your parents’ bedroom, looking around to what seems like an empty space. There were no people to be seen, but the majority of the things that probably belonged on the shelves and dressers were knocked off, the more fragile objects broken into pieces on the floor.

Although you don’t see any people in the room per se, you’re hearing familiar voices again. First was the sound of your mother again. Of course, you feel a surge of reluctance within your innards, but your need to know, your questionably out-of-control curiosity argues that it might be something important. Regardless of that curiosity, you turn to the door to pull it open anyway. What a surprise. It isn’t moving a single shard of an inch.

Perhaps listening was the only way out after all. It never made you even more trapped before. Besides, you know by know that if one of the doors in the house wants to be locked away from your seeing, oh, it will be.

Scooting your feet along the floor, towards where the sound appeared to be coming from. The source, if anything, appeared to be the underside of your parents’ bed. You looked underneath, though saw only empty shadows. Nonetheless, you can now hear the speaking voicing pretty clear.

It was your mother struggling. Sort of, but not quite like last time, she was periodically gasping for air. This time though, your mom wasn’t nearly as loud. Rather, her voice was almost totally muffled the entire time.

She was muttering, “Adrian…” The woman had no ability to yell. “Adrian, stop.” There was silence between every desperate sentence. “Adrian… Adrian, I can’t breathe.” Adrian? Adrian, your father, was doing this?

In a moment of silence, you hear a responding thump, and what seemed to be someone falling, literally falling to one’s knees. An agonized voice of your father yelled out, “You fucking whore! You really think I didn’t know!? I’ve seen it myself! Yeah, a used condom in the garbage wasn’t an obvious sign, or anything!”

Loud footsteps quickly faded out as you continued to listen in awe.

He still groaned in pain. “You think I don’t come home early sometimes!? All you gotta do is duck underneath the bedroom, you stupid slut!”

After that very exclamation, just a little bit of radiation can be felt, warming up a piece of your cheek, though not by very much. Looking underneath once more to see what it might have been coming from. Perhaps something caught fire. Staring back at you are two creamy green eyeballs. There were no pupils that you could see. They were much like those of the ghostly pale child who stood just before you. They could have been the eyes of that kid. The difference was that this pair of eyes was rolling back down from the back of its head. They stop once looking at you, gazing back into yours. The enlarged eyes of a snake paralyze you, not in body, but in mind.

You finally back away, not caring what fragmented pieces of cherished objects may be in your blind path, as whatever carried those eyes rushes closer at you. You’re finding yourself cornered against a dresser as whatever was staring into you, beyond any possible speed of a man, is upright on its feet.

This utterly whitish, translucent being looks exactly like a man, apart from the serpent eyes. In fact, other than that, this being looks exactly like Tristan. Looking down at you, standing still, it does nothing. It may be planning something, or just waiting for the right moment for all you know. Someone so young as you could only fathom the grizzly fate it might be conniving for someone so helpless.

Its mouth lowered, just like the child’s. Only this person, if you prefer to call it that, wasn’t creating words. The sound it made was more like incredibly frequent clicks of the vocal chords. Its head tilted clockwise, tilting into a perfect one-hundred eighty degree pivot, and then around to create a three-hundred sixty. The inhuman movement didn’t stop there. The turning and pivoting kept going, and gradually faster at that too. The horrid things eyes still gazing at you, its head ceased its unnatural pivot as a hole of only several millimeters large exploded into its forehead, coming out the back of its skull.

This thing let out an unearthly, maddeningly high-pitched shriek potent enough to make you rip out your ears. Before you could even gain the chance to react though, the being, perhaps the ghost, dashed out the bedroom door at an unbelievable speed. It was moving much too fast for you to really even see. At that immeasurable fraction of a second, the figure moving was more of a blur than anything.

It left your parents’ bedroom door open, but as you at last stand back up, look out the door, and then leave, no other portals are open at this point in time. You do recall though, seeing the blur flash out the front door. Like all the others, the front entrance was completely closed off. Never hearing the door make a single noise from this whatsoever, the idea that the entity went through the door itself is possible. There’s no way, you’d typically think before this moment, but the more you think about what you just saw, the more probable it becomes.

Your feet crawling out of the room like frightened roaches, the door to your mom and dad’s room shuts just behind you. Your head is going in every direction around a horizontal plane. Unlike the times before though, you see no doors open. Trying a couple of them does no good, being locked like the other rooms you weren’t meant to go in.

The only open path now is that to the kitchen. You creep little by little towards it, and as you do, you hear something you’ve just heard before. It was the small, squirming cries of the child that echoed from the bathtub drain.

Dust floating just a shallow distance into the air above the floor, dirtying your feet with each step, the cries of just being born shifted into harmless giggles.

Strangely, the infant’s laughs were accompanied by a boiling sound. Maybe this infant, or thing dressing itself as one, made its way from the bathtub drain to the kitchen. It didn’t seem plausible to you though. Come on, that wouldn’t make any sense. You never saw an infant in the house to begin with, and how could it wander through those pipes that narrow? It didn’t quite make sense. In one way or another, the sound could merely be deceiving you.

Having made your way to a full view of the seemingly abandoned kitchen, one of the pots, which was never on the stove to begin with, catches your eyes. You have no idea how, but not like the previous time your being was exploring the kitchen, a larger pot used to boil noodles was on one of the heaters of the gas stove, boiling water. The water boiling furiously, a constant stream of evaporation with maddened potency, you can hear the infant’s giggles again. As the other time you heard its voice, it seemed to be bubbling through a surface of liquid. The worst image possible struck your already shivered imagination. Rushing over to the pot, you did see the source of the giggles coming from inside it, though now that you’re trying to catch a glimpse of what the noise was coming from, the evaporation calmed down a tad. From the unstoppable, waterfall-like stream of rising, gaseous water, the steam slowed down to only rise to the point of invisibility. The tenseness was taken down instantly to that of a gentle breeze of calming warmth.

You have a better sight of the somewhat humanoid shape lying in the pot. Squirming its limbs about, and still going on with its gleeful giggling, the shape within the boiling water was more like a human fetus at roughly three months of pregnancy.

As you find yourself unable to take your sights away from it, and its umbilical cord fused to the bottom of the metal, like a biological piece of the pot itself, it spoke to you. This time, it was a string of perfectly understandable, but still child-like words. “I was gonna be your little sister.” A sort of secretive chuckle vibrated in its throat. “I didn’t stay awake past twelve weeks though. Mommy and Daddy always wanted me, but that didn’t matter.” It’s diabolical tone in those words gave a snowy sense of cold down your ears. A slightly louder giggle came out from the boiling water as the fetus concealed its mouth with its underdeveloped hands. “Doctors, and Mommy, and Daddy had no idea why it happened. At least I won’t be in the dark, like you were this whole time.” Its laugh became deeper, like that of a full-grown man, then to that of something more demonic.

You drag yourself back from the fetus, having no idea which way to go. Just as you turn away, the front door finally swings to open for you. However, you can’t see where it leads to, as what lies beyond it is merely the image of pure black.

Finally able to let out something from your vocal chords, you scream, as if it would do anything, running through the front door.

As the others did, the front door slams. Perhaps you’re even more confused as to what’s around you than before. The bedroom you slept in during your stay at your mother’s apartment.

The bedroom door open, with your mom standing there, her face flushed at you standing in front of your closet, she asks if you’re okay. Normally, you’d respond, but you didn’t say anything. All you did was stare back. She asked again, and what the screaming was about. Your skin white with its texture like filthy, lake water, and eyes frozen open, what could you say to her?

Credited to Dylon Winfield