300 Horror Writing Prompts
Book Written by Julie Wenzel
Writing Prompt # 20- A soldier comes home from the war to his family. He quickly discovers that his house has become haunted. Why wasn’t it haunted before? What caused the haunting to start once he returned home?
Aiden wipes his brow under his helmet, the heat getting to him as the sun beats down on him and his comrades. The war slowly trudges on with him and his brother and sister in arms, doing their best to fight. Finally, they get the call and the war ends. Aiden is excited to get home to his little family, having been gone for over two years in another country.
He helps his Marine buddy, Dave, pack up their gear in the back of the waiting truck. Behind him, others work on breaking down their rents and other places where they called home during the war. It takes most of the day but they finish and are on their way to the airport to where a huge military plane is waiting to collect the equipment and everything that had been taken over before the troops are to be flown home.
While in the sky, Aiden lays his head back against the plane’s seat, listening to the excited buzz of chatter around him but his exhaustion wins and soon he is fast asleep. He dreams about being home again with his wife and his son. He sees himself hugging them close and meeting his daughter and his son twins for the first time. He had been deployed a month before their birth and has only been able to see them in pictures or when he could video chat with his family. But now he will get to be home and be able to celebrate their third birthday that happens in five months.
He can’t wait to get to celebrate all of his family’s birthdays, his and his wife’s wedding anniversaries, holidays, and anything else he can find to celebrate. Several hours pass and Aiden naps, read, or chats with the others in order to pass the time. He wonders if his wife is waiting anxiously for his return or if she is actually asleep like, she should be since it is passed midnight out in Tennessee.
He watches the sky outside of his window on the plane; the plane starting to fly lower. Soon they will land and will hop on a different plane to head into Tennessee to get to their homes. He couldn’t wait o fly into Knoxville where he knew his family will be waiting to pick him up. He groans as he looks away from the window since he is beginning to grow restless. As the plane lands, Aiden lets out a loud whoop with everyone else on the plane. He laughs and yells out in joy until the plane comes to a full stop.
No one moves from their seats as their General stands in front of them looking tired and solemn. She smiles at them and waves her hands as they shout their appreciation for her. “I am proud of you all. You went in there ready to fight and protect those at home from the monsters in another country who wish to only do us harm,” she says once everyone has grown quiet. “We lost a lot of great men and women but their sacrifices will never be forgotten. We have one more flight until we can get home to our loved ones and until we can get away from each other. So what do you all say we get off of this military flying tub and get on with the last leg of our trip?”
Everyone springs up from their seats and they all trickle into the aisles with their personal bags on their backs and grins on their faces. They filter out of the plane and head to where a line of vans waiting to drive them to a civilian airport in order to catch their flight home. Aiden follows behind a few others once their next flight has finally touched down on the solid ground again. He repositions his bag on his shoulder as he walks into the airport, excitement pushing him forward under the weight of his pack. He is pleasantly surprised to see family and friends holding up signs and waving to the soldiers as he steps through the doors that lead into the airport itself. His deep gray eyes scan the crowds as he looks for a familiar long blond-haired woman that he married 12 years ago.
Not seeing his wife, his heart begins to sink, wondering if she may have forgotten that today was the day he is coming home. He tries to remember if he had heard the news that the Ombudsman had gotten out the news in enough time since it happened so fast. Maybe she is running late because of the kids or they forgot their signs and had to go back home. So many thoughts race through his mind as he continues to walk deeper into the airport.
His heart leaps at the sound of a familiar sweet as honey voice. He looks around, stretching his neck to look over the crowds to see a sign with his name on it and the words ‘Hurry up and get over here’ scrawled in bog black letters under it. Aiden chuckles at his wife’s humorous sign and excuses himself as he brushes past others to get to her. His jaw drops when he sees his wife in a pretty maroon dress, black heels, and sporting a new bob hair cut. Her hair is still the sunshine blonde, but she has added dark blue streaks here and there, making her face light up more.
He whistles at her, “Hunny, you look amazing.” He pulls her close, kissing her gently.
“Ew gross.” a little voice pipes in beside his wife.
Aiden breaks the kiss to see his now 8-year-old son, Marcos, standing there holding hands with two cute little children. Aiden holds back his tears as he kneels down in front of his three children.
“Marcos, you have gotten so tall,” he whispers, afraid that if he talks any louder, he will lose his battle against his tears. He sets his heavy bag down on the ground, before it takes him down with it as it shifts on his back.
Marcos lets his siblings’ hands go and leaps into Aiden’s arms, fresh tears springing into his eyes, “I have missed you, daddy.”
“I missed you, too, Marcos,” Aiden gently squeezes his son. He lets him go and looks as his 2-year-old twins, “And who do we have here?”
Marcos takes his siblings’ hands again, grinning from ear to ear at Aiden, “Daddy, this is my sister Leah and my brother Lance. Mom says that they are identical twins.”
Aiden smiles brightly at the two, “Hello Leah and Lance, I am your daddy in person.” He holds out his arms to them, unsure of what will happen. He is scared that the won’t come to him or that they will cry but he is also scared that they will hug him and he won’t be able to keep his tears inside.
Leah lifts her curious sea-green eyes and stares at him, cocking her head to the side while Lance smiles at him, his own sea-green eyes happy when he sees his dad’s face. Lance lets go of Marcos’ hand and walks up to Aiden, gently touching his face with his small hands if trying to memorize his face by touch. He then giggles and lets the dad he has only ever seen in pictures or on the computer wrap him in a bear hug.
Leah still hasn’t moved yet, watching to see if her twin will be okay or not. Seeing the one claiming to be her dad not hurting her twin, she toddles over to Aiden. Aiden stands up sighing happily as the hot tears win against him. He gently cradles the twins, kissing their little cheeks and laughing, his eyes bright as the tears slide. Marcos grabs onto Aiden’s leg and his wife hugs them all.
After several more moments of hugging and crying. Aiden and his family are standing in front of their two-story house. Marcos unclips his seat belt harness on his car seat and helps get the twins out of their car seats while Aiden grabs his bag from the back of the seat. His wife, Carol, opens the side sliding door of their Kia Sedona and helps Marcos. they troop inside and Aiden tiredly carries his big to the laundry room. The kids run into the living room to play while Carol follows behind Aiden into the laundry room.
“Do I even want to see your clothes?” she asks, leaning against the door frame.
“Nope!” he laughs as he opens the bag to take out his clothes to wash. “I need a shower.”
Carol pushes herself up from the door frame and shoves Aiden out of the laundry room, “Go take your shower then and I will take care of this giant mess.”
Aiden kisses her cheek, “Thank you, love!” He rushes out to the stairs and heads up them, skipping a few here and there so that he can get upstairs faster.
Hearing footsteps behind him, he slows his pace until he stops, thinking that maybe one of his kids is following him to see where he is going, “Hey bud, I am going upstairs to…” His voice trails off when he sees no one behind him.
The sounds stop and he looks around confused as to why he had heard extra footsteps behind him on the stairs. Not seeing anyone and hearing his wife starting the laundry, he shakes head and turns back around. He walks up the last few steps and walks across the rug that sits on the wood floor to the master bedroom. He shoves the door open and steps inside the doorway, looking around with a grin on his face, the grin getting bigger when he sees his bed.
Boy, has he missed this house and this room with is comfortable Cal King bed. He strips out of his uniform and piles them in front of the door so that he can take them back downstairs to wash after his shower. He pulls out clean clothes and heads in the bathroom, really looking forward to jumping in the shower and letting the hot water wash away the dirt, grime, and war from his skin.
Turning on the water, he turns to stare into the mirror behind him, seeing the dark circles under his eyes. He groans as he pokes and prods at the skin around his eyes, wondering if he should do a spa day with his wife, chuckling at that thought, seeing himself with a mask on his face and cucumbers hiding his eyes. He shakes his head and tears his gaze from the mirror and steps into the shower, ready to have the water prickle his skin clean.
Downstairs, Carol heads into the kitchen after having started her husband’s disaster he called laundry and opens the fridge, pulling out the bread and other items in order to make some sandwiches for lunch for everyone. In the other room, she can hear Marcos talking to his siblings, playing pirates out in the living room. She listens to them try to talk like pirates and can’t help but laugh at her children and their imagination play. She turns on the radio that sits on the counter and begins to dance around the kitchen as a country singer croons about love. She begins to sing along, making lunch for her family.
Behind her, a shadow slowly stands up, watching her for a minute before it turns and melts into the wall. Feeling eyes on her, Carol turns around expecting to see one of the kids or Aiden sitting behind her but there is no one behind her. So why does she feel like she is being watched? She shakes her head and gets back to finishing the lunch, hastily putting chips and carrots on the plate. “Kids! Come and get your lunch.”