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● R e c a p e ●

My heart raced and my breath quickened as I attempted to see without fully turning around. I stood frozen as the moonlight made the shadow of my intruder loom over me. My hands fell to my side.

It can't be...

● C o n t i n u e d ●

"Oh my god, Toby! It's you, it's you!" I bent down to greet our neighbor's cat and she purred when I rubbed her.

"You scared the shit out of me, buddy!" I pulled her up to my face and rubbed behind her ears a few times, then put her back down.

"Okay, girl, back you go. Lauren has some plans to burst." It was like the cat understood every word and continued walking without any fuss.

"Now that's done, brace yourself, everyone! Someone is ready to rock your world around," I rubbed my both hands together and smiled evilly to myself.

I squealed silently when door clicked open in one turn, but my smile dropped the next minute. No one came to the door and all the lights went out in the house. Not even a single lamp, candle or illuminator is turned on, on the ground, there is not even the littlest light which peeks through windows. It was almost like someone had specially created the darkness.

I had thought my whole family would be at the door side, watching me through the peephole, laughing at my silliness, but they weren't anywhere.

"Please, people who goes to this extent just to scare someone?" I whispered to myself.

"Yooouuuu dooooo..." A singsong voice replied from behind me.

I swirled around so quickly that I lost my footing and banged my head on the nearby stairs handrail. I rubbed my head after gaining my footing again and I looked around to find the person of that voice, but my eyes couldn't seem to adjust in so much blackness everywhere.

Feeling immensely stunned, for, in my whole life I have never felt a voice so close to me, without knowing who it is. Maybe they had recorded something up to play with me, after all, I have done that trick on Uncle Jordan before. What a copycat family mine is.

I decided to think of my next step, so I could put a stop to this whole stunt. Okay, here we go. I started feeling up the walls for switches, and after few odd seconds I found them. It felt like winning a Powerball when the tips of my fingers brushed the switch.

I switched on all the buttons at once and braced myself to see the odd positions of family hiding and enjoying my fallout. My mouth almost dropped to the floor.

"Are you seriously kidding me?!" None of the button worked, not even one. I flicked them on and off a few times rapidly.

"Come on, work! dammit, please, one, at least one." None of them worked. Whoever planned this through took their work quite damn seriously.

I took a few deep breaths to control my slipping nerves. "No worries, Lauren, it's family. No one's gonna hurt you. It's a pity prank. Let them have a little fun and everything's going to be alright."

I tried to assure myself as best as I can, being alone in an utter frightening situation.

As I tried to come up with my next move, something flickered on my right side, making me jump out of my skin and hold the wall for my dear life. The light on the far corner of the room popped up to spread a much needed light beam. I watched it a few times to make sure wasn't going to switch off. When it didn't for a few seconds, I turned my eyes to look at the room, but something pulled my eyes right back at the lightning lamp.

I stumbled back and my fear rose with the eeriness and gloom drifting in the air. It was not any lamp which lit up, but the lamp that was fitted by my dad, at my special request when I was six years old due to my fear of dark corners.

Don't laugh at me, genius, I was six at the time. Every toddler has its own set of fears. What took my breath away was that the light was taken apart from that corner when the renovation was done few years ago, but I was sure it is the very lamp my dad fit for me because it still had my Barbie sticker on it.

I wanted to scream at the very thought, but my voice was stuck inside me, and my eyes started widening with every next moment. The light start to flicker again, and when it flickered once, a big fly started rounding it, followed by next one, then next...


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