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A young boy kicked the door of a abandon mansion down and poked his head into the house followed by three other teenagers. His curly brown hair was messy around his head. A little girl tripped on a board, while she sneaked in behind the teenagers.
“Charlotte, I told you to wait in the car,” Joe tried to be stern, but his little sister's big brown eyes were hard to say no to.
“I don't want to stay in the car. It's boring in there, and besides if the Boggy Man comes, then I can protect you. ” She wore camouflage and a hat over tangled light brown hair. Joe just looked at her then kept walking, but Charlotte took the lead and went a different direction. Emily stayed close to Lance and kept a grip on his arm.
“Do you really think there's a Boggy Man?” Her voice was shaky, and her eyes were serious. Charlotte only gave her a confused look.
“Emily, you are the reason blondes have a bad name.” Macy didn't care for being to far away from the group, but she kept an eye on Joe. They entered a large room with a staircase, even in the dark, it was magnificent. There was a table with a vase of flowers at the bottom of a staircase. Charlotte smelled the flowers.
“Your know the family that lived here last left. They were living fine and one day they just left taking barely anything with them. No one knows where they went, or even if they're still alive.”
Lance looked at the beautiful room.“They were living pretty. It's like they thought they were coming back soon. ” Lance didn't mind Emily on his arm, but it was beginning to become awkward. Joe walked up to the flowers and smelled one.
“Of course they're real, I thought my older brother would be smarter. People who could afford a house like this, would never let fakes anywhere near them.”
“No, that's not it. The family left a month ago, then why are there fresh flowers here?” A sticky note was attached to the vase of flowers. Joe picked it up and read the message.
“Well... what does it say?” Charlotte was getting impatient. Joe looked at his sister then to Macy.
“It says, 'I'm watching.'” Joe felt a slight shiver down his spine. Lance noticed Emily's grip getting tighter.
“Maybe we should go back.” Emily was now pulling on Lance's arm.
“We just got here. Don't tell me that the cheerleader is chickening out.” Macy was fiddling her jacket string as a nervous habit.
“I'm not scared. Besides Lance will protect me, right Lance?”
“The quarterback and the cheerleader; how cliche.” Charlotte loved to mock her brother and his friends.
“Oh, we're not a couple,” Lance thought she was pretty, but he preferred his girls with a higher IQ.
“But Lance, I thought we were...”
“Oh, look cake!”
Joe began moving down a dark hallway. There was a painting of a man on the wall. His eyes looked almost like they were watching him. They blinked. Joe noticed, but he thought it was his imagination. Another sticky note was on the frame of the picture.
“Think of your fears,” He whispered to himself. His friends never noticed because they were too busy arguing. He didn't want to worry them further, so he hid the note in his pocket. He came out of the hall and stood at the end of the newly polished steps. “This way.” They suddenly noticed him there and ran after him. When they reached the top, they found a hallway with two doors on either side and one at the end. There was a note on each door. Joe looked at the first door to the right.
“No, that's what it says, 'Emily'” Emily let go of Lance's arm to take the note from Joe.
“Why is my name on this door?”
“I don't know.” Joe turned the knob, but the door wouldn't open. “It's locked.”
“No, let me try.” Emily opened the door without any trouble. She walked in to a room with no windows, just a dim light bulb hanging by a string in the middle of the room and a baseball bat in the corner. As soon as she was in, the door slammed behind her. She tried to open it again, but it didn't work. Lance tried to open it, but also failed. Joe and Lance both tried kicking the door down, failed.
“Emily, we can't get through!” Lance had panic in his voice. Joe ran and looked at what the other notes said.
“Each of these doors has one of our names on them. I think we should go through our door, then maybe it will let us out.”
“What kind of an idea is that?”
“That door had her name on it, and she was the only one that could open it. Something else is going on here, so this might be our best chance of ever getting her out.
“Do it!” Emily sound terrified. They all ran to find their doors until they each were standing in front of their own name. Lance's was across from Emily's. Charlotte's was beside Emily's. Macy's was beside Lance's. Joe's was at the end of the hall. Joe grabbed Macy's hand.
“Be careful in there.”
“You too.” He gave her hand a squeeze, then let go and they each opened their own door. After they walked in, their doors all slammed shut.
In Lance's room, there were two lit candles on tables either side of a black coffin. Just like Emily's room, there were no windows. In Charlotte's room, there were colorful, but torn curtains. A lamp was her light, but yet again, there were no windows. In Macy's room, there was a window letting in only the light of the moon, but the room was empty.
Joe's room was made of mirrors. The four walls were each a mirror, even the door had smoothed into the mirror. The floor was also a mirror, but the ceiling was a skylight, letting the moonlight reflect off the mirrors.
He heard a whisper but it was too quiet to tell what it was saying or even if it was really there, but the voice was familiar. He had heard it before once. When he was eight, ever since his grandfather died, his grandfather's old room whispered to him as he walked by. He never went in that room, since his grandfather's death, but that voice. It was the voice! Joe looked at the moon, but when he looked back down, there was a man behind him in the mirror.
“Grandpa?” He turned to look at the man, but he wasn't there. He was in the mirror, but not in the room. No matter which mirror he was looking at, the man was always behind him. He stared at the image in the mirror and the longer he stared the more he was convinced it was his grandfather. The flannel sleepwear, the white hair and wrinkles; he was just as Joe had remember him. He gestured toward one of the mirrors, where there was now an open window.
It was the front yard of the mansion. An old fashion car drove away, turned a corner, then disappeared, but then it was in the drive way again. It was in a constant loop of disappearing and reappearing.
“What is this place?” Beside him was a man with black hair and a black suit to match. Joe's grandfather was gone. As if opposite to Joe's grandfather, the man was seen in the room, but not in the mirrors.
“Have you forgotten your friends already?” It was the voice. Was this the form of nightmares? The voice wasn't masculine of feminine, but it was a feeling. Like that feeling you get when you think you're being watched, or the feeling you get when you're in complete darkness. Joe looked around, the window was gone again and there was no sign of a door. He didn't even remember which wall had the door.
“What have you done with them?” As he looked back at the man, it was no longer a man, but a woman. She didn't show in the mirrors either. She had long white hair, white skin, and a white dress. The only color on her was her bright red lips and rosy cheeks, but it was the same voice.
“First, there is the acquaintance,” one of the mirror walls became glass to see through to Emily's room. “The blonde with the low IQ that you never really cared for. Her fear is spiders.” Joe could see Emily, but he got the impression that she could see him. She walk to the corner of the room read the note on the bat. It said, “You might need this.” She picked up the bat and began hitting the door with it, but failed. Then she suddenly stopped and looked at the middle of the floor, to which a small spider stood. She lifted the bat and began hitting wildly at the spider, but as she did so another spider jumped on her back, but it was much bigger. She threw it off with a scream and hit it, but more spiders kept coming the next always bigger than the last.
That glass wall became a mirror again. “Second is the best friend,” the next wall became glass just like the last time, but this time, it showed Lance's room. “The jock who has known you for years, but he still makes you angry sometimes. His fear is the dead.” Lance picked up a sticky note attached to the coffin. It said, “Step back.” He touched the coffin, but the lid moved. He backed up to the wall as the lid fell off and a body rose from the coffin. It was a slow body that was in the middle of decay. It's hair was half gone, and skin was green with purple cold lips. It slowly stepped out of the coffin and hobbled toward Lance. He shouted and banged his fists on the door.
Again the glass became a mirror. “Third is the beloved sibling,” the next wall became a glass window just like before. This time it was Charlotte's room. “The little sister whom you tolerate, yet love. Her fear is clowns.” She walked around the room with three piles of or hung up colorful torn or burnt off curtains. A note was attached to one of the curtain piles. It read, “Hide.” She raised an eyebrow at the note, but then the pile began to move. Before long a clown emerged from the pile. It had much energy, as it bounced off the walls. It had a large white smile, a round red nose, rainbow Afro, stripped shirt, and red suspenders holding up polka dot trousers. Out of the other two piles came identical clowns. They began to walk toward Charlotte as the lamp light began flickering.
Just like before, the glass became a mirror. “The last is the lover,” Joe sharply looked at the woman then at the changed wall. It was Macy's room. “The love to which you regret that you never had. Her fear was harder to find. So, her most cherished dream is now a nightmare.” She leaned on the window sill looked at the moon, but there was a knight behind her on a white steed. The knight looked at Joe while Macy's back was turned. Could he see Joe? He lifted his helmet and flashed a devilish smile with red eyes. It was Joe's face. Joe was in the armor. A note on the window sill read, “Jump.” Macy looked around to see her knight in shinning armor. She smiled and looked into his red eyes and evil smile. He drew his sword and pointed it at her. The horse looked like it was bleeding yet it showed no pain through it's red eyes. It became angry and tried to trample Macy as the knight swung it's sword at her. She kept dogging. The glass turned into a mirror once again.
“Macy!” He ran to the wall, kicked at it, and tried to break it.
“Don't you know. It's seven years of bad luck to break a mirror.” He turned around to see the black haired man again, but still the same haunting voice.
“You're killing them!” He threw his fist at the man, but it went right through as if he were only fog.
“Keep watching.” Joe turned around to see the man behind him. He got ready to throw another punch, when all the mirrors became glass windows. At each four corners of the room, there was a different friend struggling, and all he could do was watch.
Ten spiders, three feet tall each overcame Emily as a million tiny spiders crawled over her. They covered her completely. The dead man got a hold on Lance. He threw Lance across the room over and over again, then stuffed him in the coffin to suffocate as it held the lid down. Two clowns pulled at Charlotte, while the third put a rope around her neck and pulled hard, while the lamp was still flickering. Macy tried to jump out the window, but the knight caught her and held the sword to her throat. He kissed her then began to press the sword to her throat. Joe fell to his knees and put his hand in his face. He couldn't watch his friends be murdered. Their screams came through the walls and echoed in the room.
“What's my fear?”
“You said that this is each of their fears. Then why me? What's my fear and why do I not have the same fate as them? Am I not worthy to die? Is this how I suffer?”
“This is your fear. Your biggest fear is to watch all who matter to you die in agony. Other than that, your only fear is me. You've known me ever since your grandfather died and you've always feared me. You didn't know why, but it was because in the back of your mind you knew I was there, and that scared you.”
“Who are you?”
“I am the past and the future, but I'm always in the present. Just remember where you are.”
Joe then looked at the windows and all his friends lay on the floor of empty rooms. There were no spiders, walking dead men, clowns, or knights, but just empty rooms with a loved one in each. He jumped up and ran through the glass into Macy's room. He couldn't find a pulse, so he held her dead body I his arms, but there was no bleeding. Her neck was flawless, there was no sign of cause of death.
“Do you know what the cause of death was?” The voice spoke as if it had nothing to fear. Not even the revenge of a brokenhearted boy. It spoke like it knew everything there is to know.
“He slit her throat. I saw it, but there's no bleeding or even a scar.”
“There is nothing more horrifying than our own imagination. The knight was from her imagination, he never existed.” The man was no longer there, but the voice still haunted the room.
“Then he was a nightmare, and nightmares can't hurt you, so she can't be dead!”
“That's where I come in. You see during a nightmare, somewhere in the back of your mind you know it's not real. That's what keeps you're nightmare in the land of make believe, but I can take your nightmares and make them real enough to destroy that part of your mind that separates nightmares from reality. If your mind thinks you're dead, you are. She died from her own nightmare; just like the rest of them.” A tear rolled down his face as he looked at the bodies. A roaring laugh erupted of the voice.
Joe jumped out Macy's window and landed painfully on his back. Then he got up and ran to the street in front of the yard. He paused for a moment to clear his vision. The street sign read, “Ghost Lane.” Joe pulled the note from before out of his pocket, but it read differently this time. It said, “Remember where you are.”
He ran at a sprint down the street then to his house. When he got into his house, he knocked on the door and a woman answered.
“Joe, I was so worried about you. You shouldn't stay out this late.” He hugged her and held her tight. He wasn't much of a huger, but he really needed one.
“Mom, I'm so sorry. I lost Charlotte. She's gone.” He looked down in self pity and sorrow.
“Who is Charlotte?”
“My sister. Mom, Charlotte is your daughter.”
“I never had a daughter. Joe, I think you need some rest.” She sat on an old torn up couch.
“What about Lance? Lance Smith. He comes here all the time, usually after school. He has black hair, tan skin, and he always wears a blue and yellow football jacket. Emily would come over here with him sometimes, too. What about Macy? I've known her ever since I was little. We would build a fort out of blankets in the living room.”
“Joe, you have obviously had a long night. I've never heard of a Lance, Emily, or Macy. You should really get to sleep. Give your grandpa his medicine, then head straight to bed. Here's his night pills.” His mother handed him a pill container.
“Grandpa?” Joe stood up and walked down the hall slowly then stopped at the haunted door. He could even smell his grandpa, but that smell had filled the room and door for years. He turned the knob and opened the door. When he looked inside, his eyes grew wide. He saw an old man sitting up on a bed.
“Joesph,” the old man seemed happy to see Joe.