This story is by K.I. Stoehr and was part of our 2018 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Amanda sat in the front seat as her mother drove her to Aunt Lucinda’s house. She always hated that place, the old house looked to be haunted and it even had the smell of a dead rat, but the part she hated was all the dolls her aunt collected over the years. Old baby dolls and antique porcelain dolls made most of her collection, however, every once in a while you would see ventriloquist dummies lying around. The car pulled into the drive, “Mother, do I really have to stay with Aunt Lucinda?” Amanda whined refusing to get out of the car.
Her mother sighed, “How many times do I have to tell you? Yes. Now go get your stuff from the back.” Feeling hopeless, Amanda got out of the car and grabbed her stuff from in the back. (She didn’t like going to her aunt’s sketchy house, but she was forced to and it was all because of her mom’s boss, who said she couldn’t go with on the trip so instead, Amanda had to go to the only person her mother trusts…Aunt Lucinda)
She then started making her way up the creaky porch stairs towards the front door. Amanda hesitantly reached her hand up to the old creepy door knocker, the eyes of it started glowing red as the girl was about to knock, making her gasp and trip falling on her back.
The door suddenly opened as a tall black haired woman stepped out and seeing the girl on the ground, immediately she grabbed Amanda’s hand and pulled her up to her feet.
“Did I scare ya Amy?” The woman asked calling Amanda by her nickname.
“…Yea, I guess…” Amanda said as she brushed the dirt off her jeans and shirt.
“The door knocker was a Halloween decoration that I decided to keep up to scare those kids who dare come to my house, that’s why I was asking.” Aunt Lucinda explained. Amanda looked at her aunt with confusion, “It’s a long story.” Lucinda said noticing how confused her niece was.
“Come inside.” The woman said gesturing for her to walk in. Amanda hesitantly walked into the creepy house, everything was the same as it was the last time she had been there, the wallpaper was faded and coming off in some areas, there was a noticeable water stain on the ceiling in the kitchen, and the floor boards creaked loudly. Everything seemed normal, but yet something didn’t feel right… there was a noticeable breeze in the air that sent a dreadful chill down Amanda’s back as she gazed across the room to see a new ventriloquist dummy sitting in a chair, staring at her… He was ginger-haired with slightly faded green eyes, arched eyebrows, red orange lips that curled into an evil grin, and wore an Italian style, maroon tuxedo with a maroon bow tie.
“Oh, yes. I found him on the side of the road just this morning, his name’s Hugo.” Lucinda announced when she noticed Amanda staring at the dummy.
“It’s a shame that no one wanted him… he’s in good condition too, well except the paint on his face is a little worn and faded.” Her aunt finished. The 14 year old girl just nodded in response and started towards the stairs, (Making her way past two antique porcelain dolls on the shelf) then went towards the staircase that looked like it could break at any minute. At first she hesitated, but walked up the steps anyway. Her trembling hand gripped the wooden railing tightly as she cautiously made her way up; with every step the stairs moaned and groaned under her weight.
Making it up the last stair, Amanda felt a sudden cold draft of air brush against her, frightened a little; she quickly hurried through the hallway to the guest bedroom which happened to be at the end of the hall. The room was untouched (it seemed), the bed sat by the window with the nightstand next to it, and the dresser still sat against the back wall. She sighed setting her clothes case down and fell onto the bed; just a little later she slowly drifted off to sleep…
“H-Hello? Is anyone there?” Amanda called out in a trembling voice. Strange high-pitch sounds traveled through the air as the darkness closed in on her; though she couldn’t see very well, Amanda slowly started to walk through the darkness when she gasped as she stumbled forward expecting to hit the ground, but kept falling.
Amanda waved her hands around her, trying to grab onto something; nothing, but blackness surrounded her as she fell. Suddenly it stopped, the feeling of air passing her by, the creepy screeches, it all stopped as she just lay there on what seemed to be the dirty floor of a basement. She quickly got to her feet and gazed at her surroundings, the lighting was dim which made it hard to see, though she could make up that it was unfinished and had an old musty smell. “Where am I? Hello? Can anyone hear me?” she asked out loud.
“I Can Hear You!” A dark sinister male voice spoke from behind her and was then followed by a creepy chuckling laughter. Amanda spun around startled and let out a horrified scream as the laughter just grew louder…
The brown-haired girl jolted awake from the nightmare, her heart thumping loudly in her chest as the laughter echoed in her head as she sat up on her bed.
“Just a dream, it was just a dre-.” she stopped short when she felt a sudden presence that wasn’t there before, the presence of someone in the room… Amanda turned around to see Hugo sitting on a rocking chair in the corner of the room facing away from her, looking lifeless. A scream of both horror and pain came from downstairs turning Amanda’s attention away from the dummy a moment before she glanced back at him in time to see his faded emerald eyes slide towards her direction…
Her hand covered her mouth as she gasped and backed away a few steps. The dummy’s lipped grin opened as he gave off an evil blood-curdling laughter.
At this point Amanda was scared stiff and let out a petrified scream then ran out into the hall. Her shoes thudded against the wooden floors as the sinister male voice of the dummy called out, “You can Run, but You CAN’T HIDE!”
A gust of cool air swept against the girls back once she reached the stairs; Amanda didn’t even think about the odds of falling through the dilapidated stairs as she raced down them making the staircase creak miserably by her quick movement. Finally making it to the main floor she ran past the two dolls on the shelf then, turning into the living room, called out for her aunt, “Aunt Lucinda! Aunt Lucinda! The dummy’s ALI–” but got cut off when she reached the living room and gasped.
The living room looked to be set for Halloween; thick cobwebs filled the room from ceiling to floor covering everything in the room. She snapped out of her gaze when the same evil laughter rang up behind her; she spun around to see Hugo the three foot tall dummy standing just a few feet away.
“What did you do? Where is She!?” she asked still shuddering with fear as she looked into the eyes of something that shouldn’t even be alive. Hugo just grinned evilly, “Why don’t you see for YOURSELF!” He turned his gaze to her left making her look as well. Scared to death, Amanda stared at a gigantic harry eight-legged creature… a spider.
She then let out a horrified scream and took off running the opposite way and not thinking, ran back towards the old run-down stairs. The wooden stairs creaked even more then before and just when the girl was about to reach the top, there was a loud ‘SNAP!’ and Amanda’s screams where heard as she fell down. Hugo stood at the stairs and looked down the hole, smiling at how his plan had worked. When down in the ‘pit’ laid Amanda on the basement floor as the giant man-eating spiders scurried towards her… all could be heard was the poor girl’s screams when the closest harry spider bit her…
Amanda jolted up in the car’s seat, her face pale from the terrifying nightmare, “Bad dream?” her mother driving asked; all the brown-haired girl could do was nod. The car pulled up in the driveway of her house, Amanda got out and started walking up to the front door when her mother called out to her, ”You got a package in the mail, it’s sitting in on your bed for you.”. The girl nodded and walked in.
Setting her stuff down, she went up to her room and shut the door, but as soon as she turned around, she uttered a frightened gasp. The ginger-haired dummy sat on her bed looking up at her, “Did ya miss ME?”