The cracked windows and broken frames were a sign of time and location.
Kegan pointed the flashlight toward the worn out steps. “That’s the house, where the witch lived.”
“Oh, whatever man,” Neav said, brushing it off with the gesture of a hand. “Witches don’t live in Traverse City. They aren’t even real. Who told you that anyway, the fairest of them all?”
Horace nudged at Neav. “Maybe little red riding hood?”
“Or maybe Sleeping Beauty,” Neav added.
Terrance stepped in and said, “Or maybe it was—” He stood there like a deer in headlights then belched and dropped to his then fell to the side, bringing both arms out.
Horace and Neav stepped back.
Neav plugged his nose and said, “That’s disgusting!”
Horace held a hand over his mouth. “Gross, Terro.”
“Terr…” Kegan helped him up again. “…Open your eyes.”
“The zombie is out tonight,” Horace said.
“If you’re going to joke about this you can babysit him,” Kegan said.
Horace shook his head. “No I’m not.”
“Then stop it. As I was saying, a witch used to live here.” The exciting idea of the house and what he read on the internet engulfed Kegan with curiosity. He’d never been inside or near it before. He wanted to go in. To see. To wander off into the unknown.
The stairs creaked under his shoes.
“Wait … what are you doing?” Neav asked, as the other two just stood there in silence. Terrance finally was coming around.
“I’m going in.”
“Either am I, Keg.” Terrance stepped back and shook his head. “It’s cursed man.”
Kegan pointed the flashlight toward him. “I thought you said you didn’t believe in this stuff.”
“Then why did you say it’s cursed?”
Terrance stood there as the others waited for an answer. He shrugged.
“We better go in and see if it’s still cursed, then.” Kegan stepped toward the door and stopped.
“I hope we don’t find hooded people in there dancing around a fire,” Horace said.
“Or the big bad wolf hiding in the bed,” Neav added.
Kegan noticed the door wasn’t completely closed and without thinking something bad could happen, he kicked it open. Dust floated up into the breeze. Darkness flooded the entrance.
Kegan stood in the doorway, gawking in like a little kid on Halloween night. Being the bravest one out of the four, he stepped in first. Wow. A witch’s house. He observed the small open space.
Caked with dust and cobwebs had Kegan thinking it had been a while since someone stepped foot in here. The kitchen off to his left had no door. Pots and pans hanging from a nail on the wall were matted with white spider webs.
A gush of wind blew into the house, pushing leaves past Kegan’s feet.
It caught his attention and a cold chill crept up both his arms. Goosebumps rose along his arms. He turned around and looked at his friends.
They just stood there, staring at him.
To the right, another room had a big red ripped curtain in the doorway. Their flashlights were their only guide through the strange atmosphere.
Kegan walked over and felt the red fabric. Thick and heavy. It reminded him of the cloth in his dad’s casket. He pulled it back and stepped through.
His flashlight caught a glimpse of something on the floor. He took a second look. A pentagram with candles placed at the tips of the odd symbol marked the middle of the room.
The red candle in the center was the most eye-catching one. It had a black pentagram on the front of it.
In his research, he had discovered that the Jews used the star for protection.
He stepped closer with curiosity. “Whoa, a pentagram.” I should have brought my Ouija Board.
In the middle of it were red dried stains.
Could those be from a sacrifice or did an animal get in here and die, leaking blood from an attack? The door was open he recalled.
He stared at the pentagram. Would it still work?
Glass vials with different colors lined up in a row on an old wooden shelf. He pointed the light toward the ledge and stepped over.
Dang, these look cool. I wonder what’s inside? The clear ones were easy to see through. Where are the fingers and eyeballs? That’s a bummer. He turned back to the ones that were hard to see inside. Maybe they were in these. He picked one up and shook it enough to hear if something were inside. Liquid splashed around. He set the flashlight on the shelf and held the bottle in the path of the light. He popped the cap off and smelled it. No smell. A little taste wouldn’t hurt, what harm could it do?
Before taking a sip he heard a crunch under his shoe. He pointed the flashlight toward the floor and saw rock sized chunks of blue and green crystals.
He set the vial back on the shelf and knelt. He picked a few up and rubbed them between his fingers. It felt like gravel. He thought to himself what these were and how long they have been here?
He stopped and stared at the candles at the tail ends of the large pentagram. He wondered what would happen if he lit them? He remembered reading the article that the young girl had made some kind of wish and a loved one came back. Could it all be true? … what would happen if he lit these candles? Would his dad come back?
He raised his head. He wanted that more than anything in the world. To see his dad again, if only for a few minutes. Just one last talk with him. He squeezed both eyes shut. After his dad’s death, he always wanted to contact him through an EVP or his Quija board. He was never effective. He never knew why his dad wouldn’t come through.
Kegan moved closer, but then stopped. He reached into his pocket for the zippo lighter.
Past the pentagram, he saw an outline of a person standing across the room. He blinked and widened his eyes.
The outline became more visible. Now he could see who it was. Dad.
His father lifted his hand like he had always done if he was about to do something stupid like playing with fire or being mean to Maddisyn. “NO SON, DON’T DO IT!” …then he disappeared.
Kegan stood there speechless and had tears fill his eyes. He saw his dad, it was him. But why did he yell “No, Kegan…”
He looked around upon hearing the voice. Nothing’s going to happen. The witch was probably long gone. So what was there to worry about!
In a way, he felt like this all was fate. Like it had all been set up for him. Like everything had directed him to come here in the first place. To be able to see his dad again.
Kneeling down, he began lighting each candle. He moved around the star and lit them all.
The air in the room became subzero. His own breath puffed out. His chest grew tight, and the beating thudded faster.
A creak in the floorboards crept closer.
A hand gripped his shoulder, bringing him down to the floor.
Blood pumped through his veins and his face flushed. He fell to the floor and turned around, expecting to see one of the guys pulling a prank on him like they always did. When he realized it was only him in the room, the thundering in his chest caused him to whimper.
He stood to his feet and waited to see if one of them would jump out and scare him.
A dark black misty figure shot across the lane of light.
Rapid breathing dried his throat. The room grew cold as if he were standing outside in the snow barefoot.
He reached a shaky hand over to the flashlight. Once his fingers touched the handle, it rolled over the edge and dropped to the hard wooden floor. A moment of silence and fear had him paralyzed. It tumbled past the candles then spun like a bottle and came to a stop. He ran to it and grabbed it. What’s happening, what’s going on? Looking around to see who or what grabbed his shoulder nobody was in sight. “Hello, is somebody there?”
A brush of hot breath traced by his ear. “Kegan,” a female voice whispered.
He screamed and yanked the curtains out of the way.
Neav and Horace ran from the kitchen and came to a stop.
“What’s going on?” Neav asked.
“Didn’t you hear her?”
“What happened to you?” Horace asked.
“Yeah, you look like you just saw a ghost or something,” Neav said.
The female voice still remained on his mind. He knew it wasn’t the guys.
Terrance ran up the basement stairs at full speed and stopped.
“What’s wrong with you?” Horace asked.
His face grew ashen and his hands trembled.
“Where you going, Terrance?” Neav asked.
Terrance ran straight for the front door.
It slammed shut, forcing him to fall to the hard wooden floor. He scrambled to his feet and pulled on the door latch, but it wouldn’t budge.
“Terr what is wrong?” Kegan asked.
The room grew dead quiet. No sound of the wind or the birds.
An eerie feeling settled in the pit of Kegan’s stomach.
Each second traced by like waiting for a ticking bomb to go off.
The glass in the flashlights exploded one by one.
Kegan screamed as it loosened from his hand and fell to the floor. “What’s going on?”
Terrance banged on the door with his two fists. “Let me out!”
“Oh, child,” an eerie voice muttered.
The boys stood still as if they all heard it at once.
The hairs on Kegan’s neck and arms stood.
“You have awakened me, child.” The voice cackled and echoed the room.
The massive red curtains flapped violently as if a hurricane came in and swiped by them.
“That’s impossible; it can’t do that,” Terrance yelled.
The window’s in the house shattered one by one. Kegan knelt down and covered his face. He got a glimpse of the others doing the same thing.
Kegan looked up and for a brief second, flying black creatures with bright red glowing eyes and thin bony body’s darted around the high ceiling. Torn wings and long sharp claws gave Kegan an eerie feeling. Their wicked blood stained sharp teeth could tear through flesh.
There wasn’t just one or two of these creatures; there had to be at least three or four.
Kegan couldn’t keep track as they moved so fast.
They flew by the ceiling then dove down over the boys.
Kegan felt the breeze over his sweaty neck and screamed.
Terrance ran to the window and jumped out. Little bits of glass in the frame, had been knocked out by his foot and shattered to the floor. Kegan and the others trailed behind him.
Kegan ran for the car and got in.
With hands shaking so bad, the key wouldn’t go in the hole.
“Hurry up!” Neav screamed.
“I am!” Kegan yelled back. He pushed the key in and sped down the road. He kept looking in the rear view mirror as he felt an unseen force rush behind them.
Again, he took a second glance in the rearview mirror and saw the black flying creature lift its legs out toward the car.
Kegan’s eyes widened. “Oh, god!” He slammed on the brakes, gripping the steering wheel and squeezed his eyes shut, bracing himself.
When he opened his eyes, the claws of this thing landed on top of the car as all the boys screamed, ducking down in the seat, almost sliding to the floorboards, covering their heads.
Their high pitched shrieks were like speakers at a concert. It grew louder and sharper.
Kegan’s eardrums were about to blow out.
Claws pierced through the metal. The roof caved in causing them to lower down in the seats even further.
In those passing seconds, Kegan heard a deep heavy growl that only evil would make.
He looked up and saw a little black eyeball with red in it looking down at him as if this thing had found its target.
Pressing his foot on the pedal, he sped down the road back onto the highway. He peered into the rearview mirror and saw the black-eyed, winged thing roll across the gravel.