Brandon stumbles out of my room, an axe embedded in the side of his neck. He reaches out towards us as he staggers towards forward, blood already soaking his shirt and dripping on the floor. A hand reaches around Brandon and pulls the axe free, causing blood to squirt out all over my walls and ceiling. Brandon falls to the ground, twitching until death finally taking him.
Standing behind him is a young woman, a stranger to our quiet neighborhood. She smiles as she waves the axe at us, blood splattering more on the walls and ceiling. “He told me he didn’t want to go outside with me to look at the moon. But it’s such a beautiful night. And I insist that the three of you come outside with me and we can enjoy it together.” She giggles uncontrollably as she walks towards us, the axe hanging limply by her side.
Before Rick can get a shot at her with his shotgun, the woman stops and looks down at the bloody axe, confused. Without warning, something violently yanks the axe upwards out of her hands and it slices into the middle of her face. The blade splits her surprised face in half before she topples forward; the axe digging further in her skull, almost ripping out of the back from the sheer force of the fall.
Helen covers her mouth with a shaking hand when she watches the woman’s blood seep into my carpeted hallway, “What just happened?”
I smile and lower my machete, turning to face the old couple, “Rick, Helen, allow me to introduce you to my roommate. He died in this house several years ago and basically never moved out, since he loved this house so much. He actually built my house and quite a few others in the neighborhood, but this one was always his favorite.”
Helen stifles a scream when she sees the spirit that lives in my house walk down the hallway to stand beside me before disappearing. Rick lowers his shotgun and chuckles before he says, “I always thought the stories were just that, stories, when I first heard about a haunted house in the neighborhood.”
Helen walks out from behind Rick after composing herself and says, “If I remember correctly, the man’s name was Josh Weber. He also built our home all those years ago.”
The shadow appears again when Helen says his name and gives a little wave at the couple. I nod my head, but I freeze when I hear someone in my bedroom again. “It’s no longer safe here. I guess we will have to leave after all.”
Josh flickers for a moment before he glides back towards my bedroom. I look at my room sadly, not wanting to leave Josh or my house right now, but I know that I have to in order to stay safe. I peek my head in the closet to see Shadow and Tiger snuggled together in the corner. “You two stay here. I will come back for you two in just a little while. The sun should come up soon.” I shut the door, then look at my bedroom when I hear someone screaming and cursing. I glance at Helen and Rick before I inch my way down the hallway to see what is going on inside my room. I turn the corner just as I see two strangers climbing back out of my window, both looking as if they have just seen a ghost. I grin, knowing that Josh is doing his best to keep my home, our home, safe from others. Once the strangers are out the window, I run into my room and push my heavy dresser in front of the broken window so no one else can use it to come inside.
I walk back out of my room to see Rick and Helen pushing Steve and the young woman’s dead body out of the front door. I join them and help, feeling the light of the deadly moon on my back. Helen turns to look up at the sky before either Rick or I could stop her. Her jaw hangs slack and her eyes glaze over as she stares up at the brilliant moon.
Rick grabs her hand and gently tugs on it while he pleads with her. “Helen, no sweety, please don’t look at it. Look at me.”
Helen flinches at Rick’s touch and looks down at her husband, her eyes still glazed over. “Oh Rick, the moon is so beautiful. Just take one quick look to see what I mean.” She lets Rick’s hand go and reaches down, forcing Rick’s head around so he can see the moon.
I jump back when I hear a sickening crunch, watching as Rick’s lifeless body drops to the ground, his head still facing backwards. Helen looks down at Rick, crossing her arms over her chest, and shakes her head as if she didn’t understand why Rick wasn’t answering her anymore. I keep my head down even though the moon kept calling to me to look at it, a small voice whispering my name in my ear. I shake my head to push the voice out and grab the shotgun Rick had dropped. Once I have a secure hold on the shotgun, I jump backwards over the woman’s body and back inside my house, slamming the door before Helen could talk to me next. I quickly lock the front door with the lock on the doorknob as well as the chain lock I had installed after I first moved into the house 7 years ago.
“Diana, dear, let me in. Rick needs to rest,” Helen says as she tries to open the front door. The door knob jiggles this way and that as Helen continues to try to open the door. “Diana? Can you hear me, sweety?”
I back away from the door, catching my breath and tightening my grip on the shot gun before I glance around the house, not seeing any movement from Josh. “Josh? Helen looked at the moon. She will be in the house in a matter of time. What should I do?”
I feel an icy breeze, then two hands pulling me back towards the hallway closet door again. I understand what he wants me to do and go back inside the closet, shutting it behind me. I call to my cats, who scurry out of their corner to my feet, sensing the danger we all were in and keep close. I push my coats aside until I can see the back of my closer and run my hands around the wall until I find what I am looking for, a small button.
“Diana, sweety, it’s so beautiful out tonight. You should really come out and join me,” Helen says as she, and from what I can hear, a few others, breaks through my front windows.
I grab my bag of writing items and laptop to carry with me downstairs. I push the small button and the back panel of the closet slides open, revealing a dark entryway. I sneak down the stairs with the cats at my heel, to an apartment that sits snugly under the house. I can hear the door slide back into place, hiding the entrance to the best kept secret of the neighborhood. I hear several feet run around the house above as Helen and the other search for me.
I flip on the light at the bottom of the stairs and enter the front hallway of the underground apartment. I remember when Josh had first shown me the secret below the house. I had just moved in and found out that Josh still roamed my home. Josh tried to scare me away, but when he saw what I wrote, paranormal horror mostly, he stopped and accepted me. After that, he showed me his vacation apartment under his house, a place he escaped from everyone when he needed a vacation but didn’t want to actually leave his house.
Now I use the place from time to time for my writing space and like him to get away from the world from time to time. Lost in my memories, I enter the living room and sit on my blue couch, exhausted from the long early morning. It seems that the sun is refusing to raise and the deadly moon will forever be stuck in the sky, making everyone act murder-y crazy. The lights flicker off as Josh joins me and I yawn widely.
I listen to the people upstairs as they continue to search for me. I flinch when I hear them destroy my house, glad I hid my laptop bag and other writing materials in the closet instead of leaving them upstairs in my room. I glance over at my bookcase, also glad I moved all of my books down there so none of them will be destroyed tonight. I hear meowing and smile as Tiger and Shadow enter the living room, their little noses sniffing the air since they haven’t been down in the underground apartment for at least two months.
I yawn again and stand up. “Let’s try to get some sleep. We’ll see what happens next when the sun finally comes up.” I trudge back to the bedroom and climb in under the covers, ready to get more sleep.
Tiger and Shadow leap up onto the bed and get comfortable while I turn on my phone to see if the text messages have stopped. Groan as I see my phone is still being flooded with messages from strangers. I suck in my breath when I scroll through the messages and see some from a few friends and even a few from my family members. I turn off my phone again and lay it down on the side nightstand. I fall asleep to the sounds of the house being destroyed above me.