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The Thing Across the Street

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The Thing Across the Street

The Thing Across the Street

It's hard for me to think straight. I'm afraid to leave my house, because of the...thing out there. It's constantly watching my every move, and I don't know what to do or what it is.

I am a historian, or at least I was. I live with my girlfriend Christie in a little suburban neighborhood in Minnesota. We had been dating for 2 years, and I was planning on popping the big question on our 2nd anniversary.

She had just moved in with me, and I was helping her unload her belongings. Suddenly, she walked up to me carrying a small box. She pushed a button on it and it opened, revealing a small spinning ballerina. There was an old abandoned house across the street from us, and she said she bought the music box at an auction of things the previous owner of the old house left behind.

Now, once again, I'm a local historian and I've done some research on that house. It was built in the late 1800's, and it has belonged to the same family for several generations. The guy who originally lived there built the house for his wife after they married, and he gave her the music box as a wedding present. The most recent owner, an older woman named Mrs. Carmilla, recently past away the week before my girlfriend moved in, leaving the house ownerless.

My girlfriend thought the music box was absolutely beautiful, so she HAD to buy it. I wanted her to be happy, so I let her put it on my mantle above the fireplace. She kept going on and on about how the porcelain dancer on the music box resembled her, claiming it was "made for her". We finally got her settled in and we decided to go out to dinner as a little "celebration". That evening was amazing; nothing could ruin it. When we returned home, I was shocked. It looked as if the house had been ransacked; everything was in disarray. Chairs had been flipped over and a broken vase was lying in pieces on the floor. Then something strange hit me: the only thing that had been untouched was that music box.

Even stranger, the box was open and it was playing. We had left it closed before we went out, so SOMEBODY had to have opened it. We closed it just before it finished the song, as it was beginning to irritate me. I went to look for more signs of damage while Christie called the police to report a breaking-and-entering. As I entered the kitchen, I saw: a white scrap of paper. I picked it up and read it.

Hum a merry little tune

I was somewhat confused and freaked out at the same time. I went downstairs and the police had already arrived. They were making a list of everything that had been damaged. I tapped one officer on the shoulder and showed him the note. To my surprise, he took it as a joke!

"Is this some kind of prank?" he said. I assured him that I meant no disrespect. He looked at me with a stern look and said, "Pack it up, men." They all left, thinking us to be pranksters. This was turning out to be a horrid night.

That night, Christie and I were lying in bed. She was somehow sound asleep, and I felt jealous of her. I couldn't sleep a single wink, no matter how much I tried. The only sounds were the sounds of her snoring and the sounds of crickets chirping in the night. I laid there for hours. Suddenly, something caught my eye; something in the window. I got out of bed groggily and walked to the window. I wasn't sure what I was looking at; I was looking towards the window of the old house across the street.

Two white lights shone back at me from the top window. I didn't know what the heck they were, but they seemed to be looking directly at me. I stared at them for a good 20 minutes, and they never moved or disappeared. It was a good 20 minutes before I realized something else; the music box was playing. It was almost like background music as the thing and I had our staring contest. Suddenly, there was a flash of black in the distance; the curtains of the window swathed over the thing, obscuring it from view. I snapped out of my trance, and shook Christie several times. She woke up with her hair in her face, and looked at me: "What....what's wrong?"

"I think there's something in the old Carmilla house," I replied. "I'm going to go see what it is."

"Be careful," she said sleepily. She immediately went back to sleep.

I put on some jeans and crept downstairs. I put on my sneakers and headed out the door. The night was quiet, and it was pretty much silent. I slowly approached the front door of the rickety house. I looked up at the top window where the thing was, but there was nothing there. I tried to open the door, and not surprisingly, it was locked. There was nothing I could do to get in, since breaking and entering was not on my list of things to do. I just started to return home when a scream shot through the night; it was Christie. I rushed across the street, assuming she had fallen and hurt herself. I rushed inside my house and saw that the furniture had once again been turned over. However, this time, the furniture looked as if it had been partially eaten. I heard something in the bathroom get knocked over, like someone was ransacking the room. I rushed inside and everything seemed fine. The mirror had fogged up, but that was it. Then it hit me; as I gazed at the steel shower nozzle, I saw the reflection of the mirror in it. A message started to write itself in the fog on the mirror. I whirled around, but there was nothing there and no message.

I looked back at the shower nozzle as the message only manifested in the metal of the nozzle.

"H.....u.....m......a.....m.....e....r.....r....y....l....i....t....t....l....e....t....u....n....e...."

The same message as before. At that moment, all the lights turned off. The music box started playing by itself. I looked out of the bathroom, but all I could see was the moonlight shining off the porcelain surface of the music box as it played. But there was something else; those same two white eyes, staring back at me. They were right next to the music box. I heard another scream from upstairs. I was desperately wanting to run upstairs to Christie's aid, but that thing...just stared at me. At last, I broke free from its gaze and ran up the stairs; it didn't seem to follow. I saw Christie on the floor, lying on a blood-soaked carpet. She was lying on her back, with her legs straight out and her arms tucked at her sides. I held her in my arms as she began to choke on her own blood. I looked up, only to see that thing....staring at me. It was tall and covered in hair, but the only thing I remember clearly are those glowing eyes... just piercing me.

Christie continued to gasp for air, and that thing kept on staring at me, never moving. I had drowned it out at first, but then I realized that the music box was still playing, still nearing the end of the song. Time seemed to slow down, as the being and I had our staring contest. The end of the song was getting closer and closer, and then suddenly...it happened. The end of the song. All I remember about the end of the song is hearing music box play the words:

"Hum a merry little tune"

At that moment, the lights came on. The creature was gone and so was Christie. Terrified, I ran downstairs. I noticed something: the music box was no longer on the mantle. It was now lying on the floor, and the dancer was in a different position. She was lying on her back, with her legs straight out and her arms tucked at her sides. Then something else stood out to me: another music box was lying next to the first. I looked at the dancer on this new one and was horrified; the dancer was a man with an uncanny likeness to me, lying in a completely different position.

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