When I was sixteen, my family fell on hard times. We moved almost monthly to a different town where jobs might be open for my parents. We eventually came to a small town in Nebraska and stayed for almost two months before moving on.
The house was older, but nice. It was three stories with a European look to it. There was enough space for me, my little sister Emma, and my little brother Ethan to all have our own rooms.
The attic bedroom had to be mine. It was quiet and secluded, had a nice view of the yard, and it had a secret room.
You have to know just what pane of wood in the wall to push in, and it acts like a lever to open the door. I realized before I entered there would be no way to see, so I stuck my lava lamp inside and began to explore.
It was at least half of the attic, no smaller than my half of the room, and the darkness of the room made it feel bigger. There was one window at the very back, shaped like a fan and painted over, it offered no light. A seemingly random collection of broken things had been placed around the walls.
There was a small chair with one leg broken, a violin with no strings, and a dollhouse surrounded by flowers.
Something about the flowers made me uneasy. They were still fresh, no signs of wilting at all. I took one of the flowers back out to my room and gave it a vase. That night I left the flower on my nightstand and went to sleep.
The next morning the vase was on my floor and the flower was back in its place in the little room. All the flowers had died in the night leaving black stems and dusty petals. I decide the room is best left alone.
A week or so later I invite a guy from school over to smoke on 4:20. We start telling scary stories and I tell him about the little room. He wants to see it, so reluctantly I open the hidden door and go in the room. We agree it’s creepy and make a few jokes about being blind before leaving the room. When our eyes readjust to the light I notice a red stain running down his chest.
“I think you’re bleeding…” I say pointing out the red line. He quickly checks his chest and can’t fund any cuts, but is shaken by the sight of it. “This is real blood! I can smell it!” he said, checking himself again for any punctures.
“Where did it come from?”
We agreed not to go back in, convinced it was haunted. The next day as I walk into my room I see the hidden door slam shut. Thinking it must be my little sister trying to avoid being caught in my room, I went in and checked for her. There was no one in the room, but the flowers that had gone black were somehow alive and fresh again. This is impossible, I thought, so I brought two of the flowers to my room and placed them back in the vase.
That night when I laid down I couldn’t sleep. After I had laid still for about twenty minutes I heard the vase hit the floor behind me and immediately sat up only to see the tiny door slam. I sat there and watched to door until daylight. Nothing out of the ordinary happened for another week.
One day Mom asked me to watch Ethan for a few minutes while she went to the store. Ethan is two and a half, and hadn’t ever been in my room before. There’s dangerous stuff and paraphernalia, not a good place for kids to be, but I agree to watch him for a few minutes. We just stay on my bed and play paddy-cakes and sing baby songs and things like that until he starts getting distracted by something over my shoulder.
“What are you looking at, Ethan?”
“Who's that?” he says pointing to a really high shelf on the wall to the little room.
“Whose who Ethan?” He seems a bit frustrated with me.
“Whose that?” he asks again, but this time he’s asking the wall. “Ah-ah?”
“The shelf? The books?” He’s ignoring me now.
“Oh, Ah-ah, ‘m Eefan, dats sisi, how you get up there?” He’s carrying on a full conversation with my wall now. I walk over to my shelf and wave my arms.
“Nothing here Ethan…” He’s undeterred. He starts laughing, and then singing.
“Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!” he sings in a high pitched, but hushed voice. He continues to sing his made up song until he’s silenced abruptly by something that scared him. He jumped with shock on his face and started to scream. He was obviously terrified, but of what? His arms stretched out for me to hold him and I carried him out of the room.
When mom got home he wanted to tell her about it. His story went something like:
“The Ah-ah, said aaaaaahhhhhhh-aaaaaaaahhhhh!”
(That high pitched song)
“But then he look at me and say AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!”
(A very loud scream)
“So we go down here... and I cry... and he still say AAAAHHHHH!”
(My mother flinching every time Ethan would shriek)
“But he get quiet and say.”
After that episode, I'm afraid of my own room. I'm convinced there's some thing in there, always watching me from that shelf. I start to have a reoccurring nightmare about sleeping in my room. I wake up to the sound of the vase hitting the floor and sit up to see the door close, but it doesn't close.
Crouched down in the doorway to the little room I see Ah-ah. His shape is undefined but you can see his eyes. They're black, with a small white center. I'm shaking as I ask him a question:
"Who are you?"
It calmly replies, "Ah-ah"
Its voice is unnaturally deep, but calm. This makes me brave enough to ask another, "why are you here?"
"Ahhhhh-aaahhhh" it replies with pain in its voice.
Tears begin to well in my eyes as I ask, "What do you want from me?"
It begins to answer once again, "Aaaahhhhhhh.... Aaaaahhhhhh!" Its breathing is heavier and its tone more of anger than sadness.
"P-pp. Please" There is silence for a moment.
Its scream is like a fox in the silent night, a pig at the slaughter, and a woman engulfed in flame, everything fades to black and I wake up.