Hi, I'm Eleanor. I'm fifteen, nearly sixteen. My younger brother Thomas is six and lives in the room next to me. We live in an older home, with big windows with long curtains and dining rooms that could stretch to nearly two individual rooms.
It was summer, which I was excited about. I've been planning to go play monopoly and have dinner at my close friend Ruth's house, but I haven't heard from her since yesterday. Perhaps she's busy, but it feels like it's been ages since we've last talked.
Anyways, this morning I woke up and ran down the two flights of stairs to the kitchen where I met the maid and my mother having a small conversation about cleaning, maybe. I didn't pay too much attention to their talking as I was eating my toast.
Thomas runs down the stairs, with tears in his eyes.
"What's wrong, dear?" My mother asked sweetly, holding him.
"I saw more shadow people this morning," Thomas said hesitantly.
For as long as I can remember, Thomas has been seeing "Shadow People" which he believes are ghosts, spirits, whatever of the sort.
"They're shadows, they won't bring you any harm," my mother sweetly replied, still concerned for her son.
"Maybe our house is haunted," I teased, giving my plate to the maid.
"Stop it, Eleanor," Mother nagged as Thomas whined.
I rolled my eyes and ran back up to my room to change my clothes. Today I decided to explore the spare rooms that were still empty from us first moving in. We moved in about three months ago, as I remember, and there are many extra rooms on the top floor of our home that I was dying to snoop around in.
I go into the piano room, which I call it, since everything is covered in dust, white sheets, and there is nothing but boxes and a giant piano in the middle of the room.
I open an old box and start digging through the old eighteen-hundreds pictures that remained.
The maid then came upstairs to greet me, I suppose Mother had her come and check on me.
"What is this?" I ask, handing her a memory book from decades ago with old pictures.
"Well, it might seem creepy, but this photographer from the late eighteen-hundreds, would be hired to take pictures of dead loved ones before their funeral. It may seem like they are lying there, but they aren't alive, and some even say their spirits live on through the photographs.
"So the shadow people that Thomas sees, are they these people? Ghosts?" I ask.
"I don't think so." She shrugged, handing me the booklet back and making her way downstairs.
I close the book and put it back in the box. Quite creeped out, I go outside to kick around in the fall leaves and Thomas joined me.
"Those shadow people, what are they?" he asked, confused.
"It's your imagination. They're just shadows." I sigh, trying to enjoy myself outside.
"Well, they are shadows, but sometimes I see them in my dreams. I can draw them if you'd like. There is a family. They talk to me, too," Thomas said, unsure.
"Sure, let's go inside.." I stutter, leading him in through the front door of the house.
I gave him a piece of paper and a few colored pencils.
"This is Emily," he said, pointing at a woman in a red dress he drew, "that is her husband John," he continued, pointing at a man in a suit, "and that is Vince. He is their son."
"Alright... who is that?" I asked quite frightened, pointing at an old lady that had a very unsatisfying face.
"I'm not sure. It isn't the grandmother, but maybe an old friend of theirs," Thomas replied, happy with his drawings.
"And, what are the numbers above their head?" I ask.
"Those are the times I've seen them in my dreams. I see their shadows all the time," Thomas explained, pointing at Emily, two, John, three, Vince, eight, and the old lady, seventeen.
"You see her the most?"
"Yes, she doesn't make any sense. Sometimes her words aren't clear and she just freaks out."
"Oh, what else do they say to you...?"
"Vince says he is my friend, I'm not sure why. John and his wife Emily are often angry at our family, saying we must leave and the house is theirs."
"That's silly, this is our house, Thomas."
Thomas crumbles up the paper and throws it in the garbage. We spent the rest of the day running around outside and searching the yard for slugs.
As my little brother and I slump upstairs to get ready for bed, we hear a thump from the maid's room, down in the basement.
The last I remembered, the maid was outside turning on sprinklers.
We both slowly creep on our tip toes down to the source of the noise, and no one was in the room.
We investigate, and I see a small white corner by the edge of the maid's pillow.
I pull on it to reveal a 1800's picture of the maid, dead.
With the picture still in my hands, I throw Thomas in front of me and tell him to run up the stairs, and to get to Mom as soon as he can. I explained that I would lock the doors and close the curtains.
I get to the front door, and the maid is standing there, in the pouring rain.
I was too frightened to let her in, or even speak. I continue locking doors and shutting blinds all over the house.
I quickly run up to the base of the stairs to greet my mother and brother.
"What's going on?" my mother cried.
"The maid, she's... she's dead!" I scream, showing her the picture.
"What?!" she hollered in distress.
"Mom, we need to get out of here, or burn the picture so her spirit can't live through it. We need to destroy the whole book!" I exclaim, running up to the piano room, grabbing the memory book as Mother and Thomas follow, confused but scared.
Then we hear a thud from Mother's room.
My heart skips a beat, and I slowly walk towards the room, mother and Thomas following closely.
I creak the door open and see a wife, husband, little boy, and an old lady sitting around a small table with only a Ouija board in-between them.
"What...?" I whimper under my breath.
"Mother of the two children, please, speak to us!" the old lady cried.
My mother slowly approached the board and looked down at the lady.
"No!" my mother hollered, as the shadow people's hands moved to the "no" on the Ouija board.
"Who killed you and your son?!" the lady cried again.
"We're not dead!" My mother began to sob, dropping to her knees, as the board repeated what she said.
"Get out of our house!" I shouted, as Thomas hid behind me.
The shadow people said "goodbye" on the Ouija board and talked amongst themselves.
"It's obviously not safe to stay here, Vince is in danger. We all are," the father, John said to the woman, Emily.
"But what about Thomas?" Vince whined.
"He's not your friend, he's dangerous. We need to leave, honey," the mother said, comforting Vince.
"It's clear to see they will take over this house for generations to come. They have for the past hundred years, and they won't stop," the old lady said, "The teenage girl killed her single mother and little brother on a fall night during a storm as she was distressed of her father's absence, which the mother never explained to her."
"We're dead?" Mother whimpered.
"She's right..." I say, tears streaming down my face.
"Father died during the war, but I never had the courage to tell you, nor Thomas." Mother sighed.
"You killed me too...?" Thomas cried.
"I'm sorry... I tried to protect you, but, you swore to tell the maid, and eventually, I killed her too." I continued sobbing.
"But after I had killed you both, you came back. And you were happy. As if nothing happened. As if I had a second chance. But you never explained Father's death, and every day I relive the moment of killing my own family and then myself," I sadly admit to myself, watching the shadow people walk downstairs and leave through the front door, leaving an eighteen-hundreds photograph of all of us, sitting next to each other, including my father, as it used to be.
Before the shadow people came.
Written by Sararain