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Arrrrr
It was a Saturday night, and I was spending it at a friend's house. Well, not so much a friend, but a kid my age whose parents went way back with mine. So, when my mom and dad got a call that my aunt had recently been in a fatal car crash, they dumped me at their place while they went to attend the funeral.

I actually asked for them not to leave, to let me go with them (Just imagine, a twelve-year-old girl begging to go to a funeral), but they told me I was being ridiculous and dropped me off at the house.

I walked up the steps of the place, and was greeted at the door by a small, pale girl with a hunched posture and beady black eyes. When she saw me, she didn't even smile.

"Hello." She greeted, her voice a monotonous whisper. I nodded my head in reply.

"Hi Lucy." She opened the door and led me inside.

Her house was filled with things that you would... well, that you would normally find in an art museum, I guess, or a sixties movie. Everything was old-fashioned and artsy, paintings on the walls, a record player in the corner.

Even had an old popcorn machine. Although I knew the house wasn't too old, the decor sure made it feel like it was. I'd been over maybe only twice before, I'm not sure why, and never had I been inside very long.

When I'd come over, Lucy and I would go on walks in the field in her backyard to pass the time. It was usually a silent walk, neither of us really wanting to get to know each other. Anyways, we walked on through the halls until we reached her living room, with leather furniture and a flat screen and other things that I'd never be able to afford.

Jeez, what do her parents even do for a living again? Are they here right now? I don't even think I remember meeting them at-

"We should probably get to bed." Lucy suddenly spoke up, interrupting my thoughts. "It's getting late." I looked around for a clock, and spotted one on one of the end tables on either side of the long couch stretching against the wall. It was only 9:30, but I didn't argue. It was better than trying to talk to each other.

I put on my pajamas, and settled down on the couch where Lucy had laid out some pillows and blankets for me. As soon as I had gotten comfortable, Lucy started climbing up the stairs.

"Wait," I called. "You're not staying down here?"

"No," She answered. "I have a sensitive back. I can't sleep on these couches, I'll just be up in my bed." Before I could say anymore, she went up the stairs and flipped the switch. I was left alone in complete darkness.

I waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. They didn't. This made me a bit nervous, since I have a very bad fear of the dark. The unfamiliar creaks and groans the house made certainly wasn't helping. I looked over at the clock.

10:30.

I needed to get some sleep.

Tossing and turning, I shut my eyes tightly wishing sleep to come faster, to take me away from the strange house and teleport me to the realm of my mind. After a while, I passed out.

But was awoken soon after by a voice.

"Shhhhhhhhhhh..."

I shot straight up. The voice had sounded like it had been right next to my ear. I froze in place, eyes wide but still blind in the darkness. I listened for the voice.

But was met only by silence.

I should have gone back to sleep, to just ignore what I thought had happened... I was just tired, right? But I didn't. Instead, I swung my legs over to the side of the couch and stood up, my feet freezing on the cold floor. I walked over to the wall, trying to find the light switch. As soon as I did, I flipped it on, and spun around to face whoever had spoken.

The room was empty.

But there were muddy footprints on the ground.

I should have gone back to sleep, but I didn't. I should have turned off the lights, but I didn't. I should have done anything else than what I did next, but I didn't. With a last glance to the digital clock on the end table, reading 12:15, I followed the footprints.

They led me down the halls, down the stairs, all the way to the back door. I expected something to jump out at me the entire time I was walking. The sliding glass door was wide open. I was freaked out, sure, but... I kept going anyways. I crossed Lucy's porch, around her pool, and through the wooden gate of the fence surrounding her property. I found myself in the field we usually walked in.

And then I heard it again, this time a bit farther ahead.

"Shhhhhhhhhhh..."

My breath caught in my throat. I couldn't see very well, it was a new moon that night and there were no lights on. But I knew I heard someone. And I heard footsteps walking ahead of me. I really should have gone back to sleep. I was terrified. But my legs moved forward as if I wasn't even controlling them. Silent as the darkness, I followed the sounds.

Being barefoot, my feet began to get cut up. The field was overgrown, thorns were scattered all around the ground. But despite the pain, I kept walking. I wasn't exactly sure how far away I was from Lucy's house. Suddenly, the sound of the footsteps changed. Instead of the slow, dragging sound and the grass brushing, it sounded like it was on concrete. And something... metallic scraping a hard surface. I should have gone back to sleep.

My foot ran into something in front of me, causing a loud clang. Reaching my hands out in front of me, I felt something rusty against my palms. It was large... and I soon realized it was a wall.

Is this a house...?

"Shhhhhhhhhhh..."

It was right by my ear.

I felt something grip my shoulder, and something sharp prick my neck.

I screamed, horrified, struggling to escape its grip, and started running. It was dark, I didn't know which way to go, which way I'd come from, which way the... the thing was, but I couldn't stop. I kept running, barely able to feel my feet because of the pain the thorns caused.

It was right behind me.

It was gaining on me.

Everything was black and dark.

But then I saw a light.

It was the window of Lucy's house, where I'd left the lights on.

I sprinted towards it, desperate at that point. But even with all my energy, I heard it close behind me.

"Shhhhhhhhhhh..."

I screamed and seemed to fly the rest of the way to the back door. I turned around to shut the door, and almost screamed again when I saw the shadow of a figure coming towards the door. I closed the door and ran up the stairs before it came into the light for me to see.

I ran into the living room and collapsed on the couch, wrapping myself in a layer of blankets as if it would provide protection. My breathing was ragged, and it was hard to try and be quiet. I didn't want it to break in and hear me, and find me. I stayed up all night, in a traumatized state. I should have gone back to sleep.

The next morning, when Lucy came down and saw me, she screamed.

My clothes were ripped, my eyes bloodshot, and I wasn't speaking.

Small, sharp stones were imbedded in my feet and legs, bleeding heavily.

And there were claw marks on my neck.

I've, uh... never really told anyone about this. When I try to bring it up with my parents they dismiss it way too quickly. I haven't been to Lucy's since, which I'm grateful for, but also find a bit odd...

And I haven't been able to speak since the night it happened.

I still hear it at night sometimes...

My advice if you ever hear it...

Go back to sleep...

"Shhhhhhhhhhh..."



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