The Baby Isn't Dead
by Sheila Jecks
The room was almost dark. The only light came from a naked bulb hanging from the middle of the room. The bed was pushed away from the wall and there was a young girl in a white nightgown lying on the bed. Two women and an old man were hovering over her; she was screaming and thrashing around. There was blood all over the girl, the bed, and the floor. The old man holding the knife, turned to the door and looked directly at him.
Joel could feel the cold knife slice through his heart. When he looked down, there was no blood on his clothes, and when he looked up, he was alone.
Terror griped him as the hair on the back of his neck stood up and he ran down the steps and made for the outside door. Before he could turn the handle, the front door opened, something pushed him through onto the porch and slammed shut. He turned and looked back, but couldn’t see anyone standing in the hall through the dirty window in the front door.
Joel sprinted for the car started it up and slammed it into reverse shooting up the road, “well,” he said, trying to sound normal, “it looks just like I thought it would.”
There was no way he was going to tell Sam what he saw upstairs. He needed time to think about it, time to understand.
Trying for normal, he started to talk about the other rooms in the house. “I don’t understand that wall in the kitchen. It was the only one that had snow piled up against it and I checked, there was no way the snow could get in and pile up there, besides, I couldn’t seem to get close to it to touch it and see if it actually was wet, that was really weird.”
I just looked at Joel. Didn’t he see… the house didn’t want him to touch the wall? It was protecting itself from him.
As we drove back to town we talked about the work I had done on the house. Joel finally brought up the cellar door, or lack thereof.
I looked at him astonished that he was so focused on that. There was no cellar door because there was no cellar. There was a low dirt crawl space under the house and there was a trap door in the corner by the ‘wall’ in the kitchen, but there was no cellar window and no cellar door. I hadn’t thought it important to send one of the renovation crew under there as it looked pretty dirty, and besides, what could be under there?
Joel kept his eyes on the road but his mind was racing. He clamped his jaw shut and turned around at the next cross road. Storm or no snow storm he had to go back and make sure of what he saw.
The Volvo skidded and slid into its’ old parking place in front of the house. Joel got out and taking my hand said, “get out; we’re going in there again. You need to see what’s in the upstairs bedroom.”
I hung my head and held back. I didn’t want to see anything in the old house, especially I didn’t what to see what was in the upstairs bedroom. That was the room Kristi had been staying in and I was sure it was haunted by now.
But Joel wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I gritted my teeth and hanging on to his hand for dear life crept up the front steps behind him.
On the porch Joel was prepared to battle the front door again, but it swung open at the first touch. We found ourselves in the front hall and I pushed Joel in front of me as we made our way up the stairs to the bedrooms.
“Now,” said Joel, “is this the room Kristi stayed in? Or was it the other one?”
“Yes, this is the room, I don’t want to look in there this house doesn’t like me anymore. I want to go back to the car,” I whined.
“You’re getting bizarre you know, how can a house not like you. Just look in the room and tell me what you see.”
Joel opened the door wide.
We both stood and looked into the room.
It was empty and forlorn.
Joel took me by the elbow and turned me around and we both ran down the stairs and headed for the front door. We just made it out when the door slammed shut behind us.
- Sheila Jecks, April 2012
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