Monday, October 25, 2004
While baby-sitting the new neighbor's children for the first time, Katie answered the phone.
"Hello?" All was silent on the other end of the line. "Hello?" Again, nothing, but this time Katie could hear the soft, raspy breath of someone on the other end.
She hung up, slightly frustrated at the distracting phone call. She opened the popcorn bag and poured the buttery corn into a bowl and returned to the family room to join the children who were watching an animated movie. She sat down on the old couch with a thud, sending the little kids upward from the bounce, leaving them giggling with joy. Katie joined in laughing with them and began eating the hot popcorn. She took a handful and put her corn on her personal paper towel. She occasionally licked her buttery fingers, but she always made sure to wipe them off before taking another kernel from the bowl. Suddenly, the obnoxious ring of the phone flooded the family room, and the teenager quickly got up, leaving the children and the popcorn, to go answer the phone in the kitchen. She quickly wiped her greasy hands on her jeans while trying to get a kernel out of her teeth, and then grabbed the phone. "Hello?" she asked.
"Do you baby-sit often?" inquired a raspy voice in a hurried fashion.
"Who is this:?" Immediately the porch door flung open and an icy chill flew into the room, blowing papers off the counter and sending the little pictures the kids had drawn off the refrigerator. A figure cloaked and hooded in deep, blood red flashed by the doorway making Katie shriek. She nearly tripped over herself as she made her way into the family room.
"Kids! Come on, we have to go some-:" Katie choked on her sentence to find no one in the family room. She became frantic. "Kids! Where are you?" she yelled, trying to get their attention wherever they were to realize something was wrong. She got no response. The shrill buzz of the smoke detector invaded her ears, making her wince in pain. Katie quickly ran back into the kitchen, finding the children's drawings on fire on the stove. She ran frantically, searching every cupboard for the extinguisher, not finding it. The room filled up with a foggy haze at first, and then gradually became thicker and more painful to breathe or see in. She finally found it! She pulled the peg, clenched the handle, sending white foam spewing out at the stove! She sprayed until the entire fire was put out, but immediately when she stopped putting out the remaining flames, the phone rang once more. The teenager reluctantly walked to the phone and crouched down on the floor in the corner of the cupboards, her lip quivering, not knowing what to expect when she picked up the phone. She lifted the receiver to her trembling mouth and tapped the 'answer' button. "Hello:?" To her relief, the calming sound of her father warmed her thoughts, only to realize the children were still missing.
"Hey Katie, just calling to see if everything's all right." Katie sobbed in terror,
"No dad, everything's not all right! Someone's in the house, and the kids aren't anywhere to be found:" She heard the soft click of hard shoes stepping on the hardwood floor in the kitchen, and then a pause. She immediately stopped talking or even breathing.
"Katie, what's going on? Talk to me!" insisted her father, growing more and more nervous to what he was hearing.
"It's here:" whispered Katie. Katie's father gripped the receiver, trying to hear anything she might say. All he could hear was quick and heavy breathing:
The taps of the intruders' shoes became louder and clearer as they rounded the corner around the island in the kitchen. The cloaked being came into view:it slowly crept forward towards Katie; her mouth gaping open, trying to scream but only silence coming out. Suddenly, it lunged at her! Her silent cries became audible, only for an instant:the phone dropped to the hard floor, the batteries popping out. Her father heard her screams, and immediately sprinted out the door to his neighbor's house. The kids were outside running towards him. He yelled, "Kids, get inside my house!" They continued running as he bust through the doorway of the house next door. A smoky haze had flowed throughout the first floor, and he squinted, trying to make out a form at the end of the hallway. Quickly, in a red flash, the figure was gone, leaving a swirling cloud of smoke behind. He crept into the kitchen, searching for Katie, knowing that from the way the phone went dead, she had to have been on a hard surface. He turned the corner:Katie lay in a large puddle of deep crimson blood, her face slashed and her arms cut up and down. He tried to scream, but he choked on his own throat. He tried again and just about succeeded when the figure in red turned the other corner of the kitchen, now facing Katie's father. He charged the figure in the blood red cloak, trying to knock the devil down, but the demon quickly evaded the attack, and Katie's father charged into a large, blood-stained butcher knife. He crumpled to the floor, twitching, his sight failing and his hearing fading out. Just as Katie's father was closing his eyes for the last time, the cloaked demon leaned over his nearly lifeless body and bore long, dripping fangs and said,
"Trick or Treat:"