Claire didn't enjoy staying in her home. Most nights she would flee to her friend's house down the street. Other nights she would be forced to sleep in her own bed on the third floor of her mansion. She would always ask herself why she would be afraid to stay in this beautiful home, though her answers would always be the same.
'I don't want to feel it anymore'.
It started but a week after she had moved in with her roommate, Justine. The two had been friends since high school, and are in college together. Claire had won the lottery just a week before moving in and decided to purchase the mansion at the end of the street. It was wonderful, however, it was so large that she couldn't possibly stay in it herself or afford the bank payments on the mansion let alone the bills.
Justine moved into the four story mansion. She couldn't resist living in a place with a personal pool and garden. When Justine moved into her large bedroom, she found a blocked off door inside of her walk-in closet. She was hanging clothes when she discovered the barred up and painted-over wall of beige. She had asked Claire what was there, but had gotten no answer.
She went to the garage and found a crowbar inside of a toolbox left out by Claire's boyfriend the other night when he was working on her car's engine. Justine took it and went back to her room where she pried open the false wall. Behind it lay a wooden, unpainted, and unfurnished room of about ten feet. It was unnoticeable, as it was buried in the middle of the home with no windows looking out.
She went digging and found some pictures in a few crates hidden off to the side. The pictures were of various families and little girls playing in parks. In each of the pictures, Justine found a dark smudge in the backdrop that seemed ominous and vague.
After digging for a few more moments, she came across a locked chest. She left it be, and went back to her room and shut the door. Claire had been at work all day, and Justine was going to ask her if she knew what it was and who the people were from the pictures.
Exactly three hours after the discovery of the box, Claire came home with a plate of food leftover from an in-work lunch. Justine asked her what was inside of the chest, but Claire hadn't the foggiest idea. Justine lead her upstairs into the hidden room and discovered that the box had shifted out into the center of the room.
Naturally, they were afraid to even go near the chest as it was the middle of the night at this moment. They looked into the crates left behind, and Claire managed to find a small and rusted key. She brushed the ash of the rust off with her index finger and saw the written words Wra***. The key was still badly rusted, so she could only make out the three letters by squinting. She took the key and slid herself over to the chest where she stuck the key inside and twisted it right.
It popped open. Inside was a book labeled Encyclopedia of Fictional Creatures and a bottle of water that had turned green over the years. Claire lifted the book out of the chest and sat it down to her side and lifted up the bottle to inspect it. Justine lifted the book into her lap and began to flip through the pages where she found a page labeled as the Red Eyed Wraith.
Claire told her to put it down, but Justine didn't listen. She read the page further and further, until finding a line written in ink at the very bottom of the page. She looked at the incomprehensible words and said them quietly to herself.
At the final word, the book slammed shut and fell from her lap. Claire turned around to look at what was happening and she managed to drop the bottle to the floor, spilling the liquid all over the place. Some of it managed to leak onto the book itself. Justine forced herself out of the room, and dragged Claire with her. They slammed the door and never went back inside.
Two days later, Justine awoke in the middle of the night to find a ball of floating ash in the corner of the room. She heard a faint whistling sound and called out to the shadow of ash, "Claire?"
It was at this moment Justine began to hear whispers. Dozens of disembodied whispers filled the room. Justine hid herself under her covers. The whispers stopped. She peeked out and the shadow of ash was gone.
Was it a dream?
Claire awoke in the next moment to find a floating ball of ash in the corner of the room. She called out to it, "Justine?". She began to hear the disembodied whispers and she panted silently and ducked under her covers. The mysterious shadow made it's way over to her bedside and ripped up the covers. Claire screamed, and the shadow vanished.
She never slept in the house again.
Days had gone by since the occurrence. Justine, still with Claire in the home, would witness shadows in the corner of her eye in the daylight. Claire would leave her alone for hours just to be somewhere else where this spirit was not.
Justine sat on the couch, reading a book, when she noticed it had begun to rain. Perfect, she thought. It started to downpour when she noticed her lamp lights flicker. She looked over at the flickering bulb and stared for a moment. When she returned to her book, the lights in the house ceased to be on.
In the pitch black and pat-pat-patting of the rain, Justine reached behind her to a counter with a plant on top to find a small flashlight for just such an occasion. She switched it on and looked around, wondering where the circuit box could possibly be. She stood from the couch and screamed when she saw two red eyes in the outside bay window.
They vanished as she spotted them. She turned and backed away towards a closet on the stairway. She opened up a service hatch sized door and found nothing but empty space. She pressed down on the inside area and the walls collapsed downward to reveal a box attached to a string.
A service box? When did we get one of these?
She looked down to find it had gone a floor below her, which would mean she had a basement. But when did she ever have a basement?
She wanders the home, looking around for a way to get downstairs. She reaches the kitchen and looks around for some sort of note left for her in case Claire had said something about the basement. Nothing. She turned around to see a chair, floating in the air behind her. She screamed, and her flashlight flickered off.
The chair fell flat to the ground, and Justine cowered into the corner for a brief moment before realizing her tormentor was gone. She left her corner and lifted her flashlight. When she turned it back on, it barely glared a light. She left the kitchen to the foyer again and then walked up the stairs.
Here she found her bedroom door was wide open. She walked inside, and saw her closet door and the secret hatch both had been flung open by something. Her flashlight flickered again and flew from her hands. Justine screamed again and fell to her back from something tripping her.
She was dragged into the secret room by an invisible force, where the doors shut behind her, locking her inside. Justine tried to crawl away, but couldn't. She was lifted to her back against the wooden wall. The ball of ash appeared in front of her, revealing a sort of hand against her neck. It had glowing red eyes that taunted her in the darkness.
In one short moment, a picture of a smiling girl in a deer park appeared on top of the chest. Justine was the smiling girl, and in the background of the picture was a ball of shadow.
Claire came home the next day to get Justine's rent payment. She couldn't find her anywhere, and assumed she had gone out. None of the lights in the house worked when she flicked them on or off. She too found the compartment and went searching for a basement. She went outside of the mansion and fled over to the pool, where she saw a small pool house.
She opened the white double doors and saw a set of rounded stairs leading down to a cellar. She walked downstairs and discovered the service box, a boiler, and a breaker box. She lifted the hatch and flicked a few switches on and off and shut it back.
In her vision, she saw a brown door covered in mud on the left hand side of the cellar. She walked over to see it was locked down tight. However, she was determined to get inside. The door was loose despite the planks on the inside. She rammed into it three times until it collapsed under her weight.
Inside was a storage chamber with several shelves containing glass jars with various liquids inside. She walked inside to further see a pentagram drawn onto the floor with a copy of the Encyclopedia in the center. "That was what Justine read the other day..." Claire muttered to herself.
She entered her mansion once more to look for her friend. She shouted up the stairs to find her, "Justine! I found something you might want to take a look at!" She marched up the steps and went into her room to find all of the doors locked down. Within moments, she was thrown to the floor and dragged into the now opened and unlocked doors of the mansion by the wraith.
And now, in her picture, Claire and Justine were hugging gracefully in the deer park. The shadow in the backdrop was barely noticeable despite Claire's beautiful smile.
Written by 1dra7