~4~ little house of horrors

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*** Please be sure to VOTE! Thank you! ***

There are times when you get a chill down the back of your spine. This is one of those moments.

I stood facing a neat, Georgian terrace house. There are fragrant flowers in the front-yard, giving the allusion that this is a harmless house. But I know better. I sense an evil presence lurking beneath the house’s foundations. Although, I can’t quite put my finger on it (I’m turning all psychic on you)… 

Well, I suppose I’ll find out soon enough, eh? Wish me luck. 

***

Memories stay with you for a long time. Especially scary ones. When I was seven I met a woman at a library. She gave me nightmares for a long time… It’s strange but I can still remember that day distinctly. My other early memories are like snapshots. All fuzzy. Never particularly happy. I blame the golddigger; she’d screw up anyone’s head. 

Dad was in the “spiritual” section talking to a librarian about self-help books. He was a big fan of Paul McKenna — still is. Anyway, I was in the kiddie section, flicking through “Where’s Wally?” and a couple of “Mr Men” books. Those were the good old days. Free from any responsibilities… 

Then I felt a pair of eyes on me. Watching. Waiting. A woman with Jackie O aviators and a fur coat was about fifty yards away from me. She was pretending to leaf through a children’s fantasy book… But I’d always catch her look up at me. Her scarlet lips were curved in a smile. What did she want?

The children’s section was empty. It was just me and her. She walked over to me and unzipped her handbag. 

Her voice was soft and feminine. “Hello, angel.”

“Hello, stranger,” I clutched “Where’s Wally?” closer to my chest as a shield.

“I have something for you,” she dangled a chocolate bar in front of my face.

C’mon, woman. You think I’m that stupid? I’ve heard of “stranger danger”…

But I had to admit, the chocolate looked pretty tempting — that shiny gold wrapping was sexy to my kid’s brain…

“My dad’s over there…” I pointed to a snoozing old guy on one of the sofas. Dribble was dripping down his chin.

“I don’t think so, Amelie…” She grabbed my jaw. Her painted nails dug into my skin.

She took off her aviators and then I saw. Her eyes were a deep, soulless black. This was no ordinary woman.

Dad!” It came out in a whisper. 

I’m petrified. The demon woman allowed her eyes to travel down my face. She was smelling my fear…and enjoying it. 

“Pretty little thing…” she remarked, “Young blood…”

I gawped at her in return. 

The snoozing old guy snorted loudly and surprised us both. “What the dickens!”

The evil woman jumped and saw Dad walking toward us. He stopped to help an old woman pick up oranges, which had escaped from her flimsy carrier bag. 

I finally found my voice and screamed. The snoozing old guy immediately started to pull himself away from the sofa. There’s a panicked look on his face. Demon Woman put her hand out towards him and the guy slumped back onto the sofa. His face was contorted. The man was finding it difficult to breathe. Eventually, all the life seemed to drain away from him and he died. Demon Woman quickly scurried off, aiming a final scathing glare at me. 

Dad strolled over to me — cool as a cucumber.

“Amelie, why are you making such a racket?” He took a seat on a baby stool. It was comical because he’s so big. I laughed despite my fear.

“Evil woman—” I rushed out.

“What did she look like?” He’s slightly worried, “I told you not to talk to strangers—”

“But Dad, she came up to me with chocolate—”

“And you accepted?”

“No! I’m not stupid—”

“I never said you were—”

“Black eyes. She killed that man. I think she was a witch or demon or—”

Skeptically, he glanced at the now dead snoozing guy. Dad’s mind was already made up. Once he’d decided on something, it’s incredibly hard to change his mind. I’d already lost all credibility in his eyes. 

“He’s just napping, Amelie. Television is a bad influence on you. You have an over-active imagination.”

“I’m telling the truth!”

“You know what I think, baby?”

“What?” I was close to crying. 

He scooped me up in his arms. “I think someone needs some lunch in their tummy…” 

Trust Dad to always think about his stomach…

***

Dad dropped me off. He’ll know if I wonder to the nearest town and have a bit of “Me-time” in Starbucks. He’s got that etiquette woman’s phone number… I can’t risk it — he’ll hunt me down and force me to listen to his eighties music… 

This session lasts for three hours! How does he expect me to survive for that long? 

Stop complaining, girl. Get it over and done with. I steel myself and stride over to the door. It’s crimson red, freshly-painted and uninviting. I press the button. Silence. The tweeting of birds…

Ah, some life from inside. The shuffle of footsteps. A woman opens the door. She doesn’t seem too friendly even though she’s smiling. 

It’s one of those forced smiles. 

“You Mrs Ibsen?”

“Yes.”

She’s young. I expected her to be an old woman on the podgy side. Mrs Ibsen seems like she’s in her mid-thirties. She’s a striking woman. If she walked into a room, your eyes would be drawn to her, that’s for sure. Her eyes are a brittle cornflower-blue and her lips are shaped in a cupid’s bow. She has the most youthful complexion… Literally, this woman is fresh-faced. No frown lines. No crows-feet. What face cream does she use? What’s her secret? 

I want some of that…

“I’m here for an appointment. My dad booked me—” 

“Van Hoff?” she’s looking at me like I’m diseased or something.

“Yeah. Call me Am—” I offer my hand out.

The woman doesn’t shake my hand. How rude.

“This way.”

I’m about to step into the depths of etiquette hell.

A/N: Please VOTE, COMMENT and SHARE! Leave Feedback. U like or hate? Is Evil Woman sexy or frighten you? xD My sister buy hockey mask - she do a Jason on me…arghhhhh. Help me defeat her!! ;) —Dmitri.

 

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