12:03 AM – Part II

The living area looked like it had not been disturbed for years. Dust covered nearly every visible inch of space, partially obscuring all the furniture in a thick grey veil. Dated floral wallpaper peeled away from the walls and thick brambles and mounds of trash shot up from the parched wood floors. There was a different smell in the air, like baby powder and cheap flowery perfume mixed with eons of collected dust and old papers.

Ornately-carved bookshelves filled with literature and small trinkets lined the back walls, piquing my interest. I ran my fingers over the peeling spines and discovered they were mainly books for children written by the same author.

I found the only chair in the room that didn’t look like it would buckle under my weight and sat down with the largest book I could find from the shelves. The candle’s light covered just enough area to read with comfort. There were hours to pass until it was time to return to the clearing, and nothing passed time faster than reading a good book.

While I was absorbing myself in the adventures of Louis and his trusty giant apricot, a soft sound rang out above me. It was a baby’s cry—I was sure of it. But what would a baby be doing in such an old house? It wasn’t rational. I ignored the sound and began reading again, but the crying only intensified. It was a soft and delicate cry, like a newborn’s.

It was time to investigate. The candle I brought along had already melted halfway through, not giving me much time.

The only set of footprints disturbing the inch-high dust were my own, so it would have been nearly impossible for a baby to get up there unless the child took wings. The stairs leading up to the second floor looked absolutely unsafe, but my curiosity was quickly overpowering any rational thought. I climbed each stair carefully, making sure to avoid the holes barely covered by the moth-eaten track runners. The banister’s wood splintered under my palm and hot candle wax oozed onto my fingers.

By the time I reached the top flight, I was out of breath and my knee felt like giving out at any minute. If the wound wasn’t cleaned in a timely fashion, it would begin to fester.

There were three doors on the second floor. The two closest to the stairs were quite unremarkable, but the door at the end of the floor made up for it in its complexity. Ornate carvings of small children and various fruits covered the curved frame and the door itself looked like it came out of some fairy tale. Part of the door was covered old boards held together by nails that looked older than the house itself. The closer I moved towards the it, the quieter the crying became. When I touched the doorknob, the crying stopped completely.

The boards were easily pulled away. The door was in excellent shape to be in such an old home and when I peered through the large keyhole, I discovered the room inside was as well.

It was a brightly-colored nursery filled with everything a young boy could ever need or want. A large crib stood in the corner of the room and dressers lined the side wall. Modern toys and colorful rugs littered the polished floors and vases filled with flowers and knickknacks topped the dressers. A checkered lamp illuminated the entire room in a warm light. There was no need for the candle.

My body kept giving me signals to turn around at this point, but my mind brimmed with story ideas featuring phantom babies, magical rooms, and old houses that swallowed anyone who dared to enter. The only thing missing was the object that tied everything together in a logical manner and I couldn’t leave the area until I found out what it was. A niggling thought in the back of my mind told me I had gone far past things that could be explained away so easily.

I opened the door and crept towards the crib, half-expecting to see a corpse like in one of those scary movies my wife watched. Instead, all I saw was a brown teddy in a worn pair of blue overalls. It was a bit of a disappointment. The bear looked like any other toy and didn’t have any sort of voice box capable of producing sound. I wrapped it in one of the baby blankets in the crib and shoved it in my bag. My son would love it.

Before turning to inspect the dressers, something caught my eye. Right above the lamp, my son’s name was painted on the wall. But something was off; when I touched the first letter, the paint smeared and came off on my fingers. Someone had just painted it. But who? I was in the house for nearly an hour and did not see or hear anyone capable of painting upstairs. And why? Why would someone keep a single room in excellent shape while everything else in the house rotted away?

Nothing was making sense. My head spun with ideas in an attempt to rationalize everything until something pushed to the surface, becoming frighteningly clear.

“Take what you want to grant it.”

What had I agreed to earlier?

“Take what you want.”

Did it have something to do with this?

“What you want.”

Was my son the thing that was ‘wanted’? I thrived on having everything make sense, but there was nothing logical about any of this. I didn’t know what to believe. All I knew was that my son could be in imminent danger.


The final part to this story is coming up. Thank you so much for the comments. : )


4 Responses to “12:03 AM – Part II”

  1. 1 thelunarfox June 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Nice job with the ambiance in this one. Very creepy as he’s wandering around this abandoned house.

    I loved the last few shots. Just wow! The second he realizes what he’s agreed to, I felt chills.

  2. 3 E December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Spooky! It was really really good! But…James is still alive? So, the creepy…ness… it doesn’t take James does it!? It can’t!!! Eee…

  3. 4 Velvet February 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Dude should have been more specific me thinks! You created a very real but spooky atmosphere and the images are stellar – I’m not just being nice. This is really good lhasa! 🙂

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