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The House the Dead Won't Walk

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"They won't walk this house. They can't. They refuse. They are refused. They may tread blindly along all other lands, towns, and homes, but they can't walk here. The ground... it has been soiled, made rotten by the stench and foulness of a thousand slaughters. It is in which God has forsaken, and the Devil is too cold to take. Forever lost in a limbo state it shall remain. Like an abandoned child. Oh, my sweet little one, sing to me. Sing your song of reckoning and doom. Sing it to me... once more. Sing me away from the sky. Sing me away from the ground. Sing me to you. Sing us all to you."

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Kathy and Jacob read the note aloud to each other, looking at one another to see how the other would make sense of their finding.

"The guys here before must have been out their minds. It's a ghost story bullshit load," Jacob shook his head, crinkling the old paper in his hand in which the passage was written. Kathy, however, was not as convinced as her partner.

"Really? It seems pretty vague for a ghost story. I mean, it didn't say anything about ax murders, creepy demons, or satanic rituals gone wrong. It's just... I dunno," she shook her head and proceeded to go back to the hole in the wall where they found the note.

The couple had recently bought a home in a remote part of Kansas. The home rested nearly 10 miles away from the nearest town. It was an older, shanty like home, but the two felt the house had a welcoming presence to its self. They invested everything they had saved up for the past 8 years to move into that old home, possibly intending to make a family as Kathy was 8 months pregnant at the time.

Kathy bent down to rummage further through the hole they had found while trying to paint a new coat onto the walls, "What the hell were these people hiding down here? Jesus it stinks!"

Jacob knelt down next to her, holding a flashlight, "Could have been an old slave holding hideout. I think the realtor said something bout the house being built around the early 1800's right?"

Kathy shook her head in disbelief, "The hole is pretty tiny, but it looks like it could go on forever or something." The light from the flashlight couldn't illuminate anymore than 15 feet into the hole. The darkness past the light refused to move, or startle. It simply sat there... with a determined patience.

"To hell with it, I got a board out back we can use to cover the thing until we get a carpenter, or someone to look at it," Jacob went on his way to the back of the property to retrieve the board.

Kathy stood up and walked over to the table where she placed what she had originally found in the tunnel like hole. In the hole in the wall, she had the note from earlier and one more peculiar item. An old, dusted book bound in several layers of chains. The chains were very old, as their rust was a dead giveaway to their true aged value. Kathy wondered about why exactly such an innocent looking notebook would have a savage binding around it. She pondered about what the previous tenants could have been hiding, or tried to lock away. Murder? Rituals? Treasure locations? But if all so true, why keep the book bound, and not simply burn it, or shred it? The contradictions in thought in Kathy's mind only further clouded it begin with.

Time passed as the two were preparing themselves for bed. Jacob was brushing his teeth as Kathy took a seat on the bed. She looked over and smiled at the photo next to them. It was a picture of the two on their wedding day, looking radiant, happy, and youthful as ever. A small tear ran down her face, with a smile to greet it as she looked down at her golden wedding ring. Jacob jumped onto the bed, looking into his new wife's eyes.

"Can you believe it's been 6 months already?" he asked her.

"Hardly, guess I didn't start to really live until 6 months ago," she smiled, kissing him warmly. The two headed to sleep. For the first few hours, the house was as quiet as the dead... if only the dead were there.

Kathy woke up. Her eyes still groggy from the sleep she was enjoying. She looked around, blinking many times to clear her vision. Small, little shadows escaped from her vision, but she didn't mind, or too much as notice since her mind was still waking up with her. Foot steps could be heard in the living room. Kathy put a robe on herself and walked slowly to the door, opening it with carefulness to not creak it too loudly. The hallway was dark, she reached to her right to flip on the light... until she saw something down the hallway, towards the living room. The T.V. in the living room must have been left on a static channel, casting a faint yet erratic light in the room. Kathy walked down the hallway, looking around. It was obviously not out of the ordinary to find the T.V. on, as it can be accidentally left on, but left on to pure static, however, was something that none of the two have been known to do. The most alarming of the scene was the object lying in front of the static T.V. The object was that of the notebook from earlier, unwrapped from its chain prison. The book was wide open, to a completely blank page, with a pen sitting next to it.

Kathy's curiosity outweighed her frightened nature. Being a former scientist by trade, she wanted to learn more about the occurrence. She slowly knelt next to the book, picking up the pen. Her eyes slowly tracked back and forth between the book and the television. A little voice in her mind, or perhaps in her ears, she couldn't make out the origin, but she could understand the words clearly, told her: Say Hello.

Kathy then wrote the word 'Hello' into the notebook. A few seconds pasted, nothing had happened. But then something that ran her blood colder than arctic winds occurred. Her eyes widened in near sheer terror. Her word had disappeared before her eyes. Not only that, but the television screen static sounds broke for a mere moment and second. A scratchy voice came through. She could not make out if it was male, or female, but it spoke. It spoke straight to her.

"hElLo" it scratched from the static.

Kathy regained control over her cold body and rain straight back to her bedroom, slamming the door, and crying while she held her body against it. Jacob had awoken and ran to his wife to comfort her. The two held each other until morning had come. If only this was the end of their terror... if only.

"Do you wanna talk about what happened?" Jacob asked her as he handed her a cup of coffee. Kathy took the cup and cupped it in her hands, trying to warm herself up.

"It couldn't have been real. I must have been sleepwalking," she peered over to the notebook on the table. The book was now wrapped in chains once again, just as she left it the day before.

"I honestly think so. I mean, you said you woke up randomly in the night, heard some old house noises, and then dreamed the rest of it as you went along. I don't think it's anything for you worry about, honey," Jacob put on his coat to get ready to go to work. He gave his wife a kiss before he left, "if anything else happens," he pulled out his beeper, "I'll get here as fast as I can. I promise."

She felt warmed by his statement, but a small amount of hopelessness rested inside her. She watched him leave in the car, then afterwards she sipped her coffee, and turned on the radio. The song playing was Night Time Blues by Bert Jansch. The guitar riff slowly faded in, as Kathy walked over to the now off T.V. set. She looked at it, as if watching it to make sure it didn't make a move that she wouldn't first see. Kneeling in front of it, she flipped it on to a random static channel. She stared at the static in front of her, almost becoming entranced by it.

"Say something," she said in front of the screen. But alas, nothing came through. She figured maybe only that it would respond if the notebook were present. She walked to the table to pick up the chained notebook, wiggling the chains around to see if she could shimmy it out, but she was not successful. Jacob didn't own any bolt, or chain cutters, so the notebook would remain bound.

At that moment when Kathy was beginning to accept her dream explanation, the radio began to act... strangely. As the song progressed, it sounded as if it remained stuck on a loop. Kathy noticed this, as she walked over to the little radio and picked it up, holding it closer to her ear. The lyrics looped:

Still there's someone cryin'

Singin the Night Time blues

The second loop cut out the first part of the verse:

Singin the Night Time blues

The third loop was the last and most concerning. It only looped one word very fast before the radio died out to static:

NiGhT

Kathy dropped the radio due to the sudden volume spike on the third and final loop. The message had been heard and sent. And Kathy, as like any curious little fawn, would obey.

She waited until Jacob had fallen fast asleep that night. Slowly, she got out of the bed, careful not to wake her husband. Kathy crept slowly once again through her hallway... with a similar sound waiting for her. As it had been the night before, the notebook and pen waiting in front of the T.V. for her. She knelt again, looking at the notebook and screen in static. She picked up the notebook and pen, writing the word 'Hello' again. And just as before, a few moments later, the letters disappeared and the voice returned.

"hEllO AgAiN" it said to her.

She wrote a question into the book: 'Who are you?'

The voice replied again, "i AM thEn. I AM nOw. I aM whAT WiLL bE."

Her fear from before was now becoming... infatuation, strangely. She continued asking: 'Are you human?'

A few seconds it took, but the voice replied again, "No".

Curious, she asked then: 'If you're not human, what are you?'

The T.V. began to make an odd sound, out of the ordinary to the context of the situation. Kathy was beginning to feel fear again, bringing her knees to her body slowly. The television screen began to flash, but not just of static, now it flashed it brief pictures. Soon the pictures stayed on the screen longer, eventually to the point where a news report was being played. The news caster seemed to be reporting on an attack in New York. The station was a local one, making no sense why it would appear on a T.V. in Kansas. She read the head line at the bottom of the screen:

TWIN TOWER TERROR. UNKNOWN ASSAILANTS FLY PLANES INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER.

They now began to cut to a first person perspective. It was as if the screen was being viewed through the eyes of a live human being. Kathy could hear the person speaking. They were making a phone call to a loved one:

Jesus Christ! Fucking shit! Someone's flying god damn planes into the building! Mary it's getting hot in here. Really hot...oh god.

The person is looking out the clear windows, seeing a massive plane coming straight towards them. The person's last words were heard:

Honey... I love-

The transmission ended just before the plane impacted the window. Kathy jumped back in sudden fright before the static on the T.V. returned. Although the images were static, she could still hear a news anchor reading a report of the attack. Kathy hatched a quick idea. She took the pen and began writing on her arm the exact words the anchor was saying:

Response crews are on their way now to help survivors. The death toll has been estimated to at least one thousand now, but recent reports are saying estimates as high as 4,000 is to be expected.

The notebook suddenly slammed shut, and the T.V. shut off by itself. Kathy was now in darkness, but now she had something: a test to see if her experiences was as dreamed as anything else... or perhaps something else entirely.

Jacob shook Kathy awake the next day. She had fallen asleep on the couch in the living room instead of returning to her bed.

"Kath, it's almost noon. The T.V.'s been going crazy all day," he pointed to the television.

Kathy peered closely at the T.V. in front of her, her eyes widening as she read aloud what was on the screen, "Twin Tower Terror".

The news reporter continued on, "Response crews are on their way now to help survivors. The death toll has been estimated to at least one thousand now, but recent reports are saying estimates as high as 4,000 is to be expected."

Kathy quickly looked down at her forearm where she had written on the night before. The exact words matched perfectly. "Jacob! Jacob! Look!" she pointed to her arm.

"What did you do?" he asked her.

"Last night, I came out here, and... and I dreamed it again... or I thought I did. I wrote down part of the broadcast on me. Look! I... I saw all of this... last night," she got up and showed her husband closely.

Jacob looked at his wife and then the T.V., then her other hand, "hun, you have a pen in your hand. How do I know you didn't write that when I wasn't looking?"

"What?" Kathy looked down at her right hand, she was gripping the pen from the night before tightly without even knowing, “no…no, no, I swear I wrote it and saw it last night! Jacob please believe me on this. I know what I saw, and I saw that damn attack happen on the T.V.”

Jacob didn’t know how to feel about the situation. On one hand, his logical brain said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove his wife’s point. On the other hand, his husbandry duties commanded that he believe and trust his wife. He was torn.

“Maybe we should just go into town and get some fresh air for a bit. Is that all right?” he asked her.

She nodded, turning to look back and forth between the pen writing she made and the television in front of her. The two got their coats and went into town, still hearing the news of course blaring the incident in New York. But the couple tried to get their mind off things, trying to focus on each other. No matter the activity, or time, Kathy’s mind stayed locked on the night before. Her obsession for what was communicating with her for the past two nights gripped her mind like a hostage. The questions she could ask, the answers to receive, the wonderment of the whole situation captivated her like an attuned audience.

The next few nights remained quiet. Kathy tried to return to the T.V. every night continuously, but would not be turned on waiting for her as it usually would have. And she would have no luck, or avail in trying to communicate. It wasn’t until a month later that one of her nightly visits proved to be successful. Everything had been in place and ready for her. The notebook and pen ready to transfer her messages, the television ready for answers. She wrote into the notebook: ‘I missed you’.

The voice from before responds, “hEllO”.

‘Where did you go?’ Kathy writes.

“WaLLs” the voice responded.

‘How do you know what the future holds?’ Kathy asked.

The voice took a few seconds to respond again, “WhEn MaN TooK ThE EaRTh, i TooK Time”.

‘What is that supposed to mean?’ she asked

The voice remained silent.

‘Hello? Are you still there? What did that note in the hole in the wall mean?’ she wrote quickly

The voice returned, “tHEy wantED ME. I Sang To thEM.”

‘What do you mean?’ Kathy asked

Suddenly, the radio from behind jumped to life. The song that played was Singing in the Rain. Kathy understood the connection clearly now. The voice had been around before her and Jacob moved in. It used a radio in the past to speak to the last residents.

‘What happened to the people before us?’ she asked the T.V.

The screen began to flicker images once again. Kathy readied her pen again, expecting another big news story. Instead, she received many images, from gruesomely gory to entirely unexplainable to the human psyche. Kathy was being bombarded.

‘What are you showing me?’ she wrote down.

A different voice than before spoke. This one was deep, deeper than any man’s voice. Like an evil growl from the bellows of a Hell unknown. It had weight, it had boom, it had age, it had fury. This voice was clear and distinct. The voice bellowed, “Everything.”

Charred, blackened, arms and hands suddenly appeared from out behind the television set, grabbing and holding Kathy into place, keeping her eyes glued only an inch or two away from the screen. Her mouth was covered, preventing her from screaming out for her husband’s help. She was powerless to the screen. Thousands of images flashed in front of her each minute. She struggled and struggled, but alas, the arms and hands grew tighter and tighter around. All she could do was simply cry and watch the images on screen flash and become seared into her brain.

Jacob awoke the next morning to find his wife having a seizure, with water around her legs. She looked drained, pale as snow, her eyes sunken in like that of a skull. Writings littered all throughout her body in a combination of blood and ink. He knew immediately that she was going into labor. He picked up his wife and ran out of the house like all hell to the nearest hospital in town. Once arriving, he could do nothing more than watch as his wife be taken away by the nurses and doctors.

Hours passed as finally a doctor had approached Jacob.

“Mr. Shire…I’m very sorry to say this, but your wife is…” the doctor trailed off.

Jacob’s eyes began to swell red and with tears, “the baby too?”

“That’s the rather…miraculous part, and yet also the morbid one. The baby is alive and healthy, yet, your wife’s body appears to have been deceased for little more 16 hours. The baby would not have survived for that long with her being…gone,” the doctor added.

Jacob shook his head, “I want my baby”.

The doctor nodded, “we’ll need to keep him here a couple of days to make sure everything is fine. After that, he’ll be yours.”

Jacob nodded, sitting down, and beginning to sob into his hands, feeling his wedding ring starting to slip off due to the tears crashing down on it. A million regrets and memories flooded his mind. He wondered what more he could have done, wondered what more he should have done. Cursed God’s name and then begged the question as to why she was taken from him. He wrestled with his own questioning for the next couple of days until he could see his only son.

Days later, Jacob could hear crying coming from the living room. Groggy, he awoke, seeing a familiar sight in front of him. He saw the picture of his wife and himself at their wedding. A sleepy tear shed from him as he pushed himself off the bed and into the hallway.

The scene set is an all too familiar one. The T.V. static casted a faint blue light in the room. The crying was coming from there. Jacob looked over to see his baby laying down on his back in front of the T.V. He walked over and knelt to pick up his baby, when the deep voice from before barked at him.

“I have been heard,” the voice stated.

Jacob remained frozen in complete fear as the voice continued, casting a trance like state onto him.

“I have been seen,” the black hands and arms from before appeared, slowly grabbing, and pulling Jacob toward the screen. One of the hands had a familiar item on it. A golden wedding band.

“And now,” the voice bellowed, “I will be born.”