SIX MONTHS LATER
Kelly and James hadn’t told them where they were going. But now Rebecca felt an uncommon dread. Derek was sixteen. He opened the white picket fence. Her Mom and Dad followed close behind. Rebecca was looking at the green monster from her dream. It was real. A real house. She felt a chill. “Fuck.” She said under her breath.
“Come on, Honey lets take a look at it.” Her Dad said. He held out his hand. She took it. There wasn’t much of a preamble. Her Dad opened the front door. Kelly and Derek close behind. Rebecca went to the stained-glass window. It was clean.
“Dad, what’s the name of this story?” She asked.
He looked closely at the glass.
“Ha, the pied piper of Hamlin.” He said.
“That’s cool,” Derek said.
They opened the door and the group dispersed in every direction. Derek had his foot on the first step upstairs. Dad was going straight down the narrow hallway. Mom was going to the study. Rebecca was glued to her spot by the front door. She felt a creeping fear gathering in her chest. Déjà vu like this had happened to her before. She could usually sense it thirty seconds before something she knew would happen, happened. Most times she would say nothing. This time felt different.
“Stop.” She said. Raising her voice. They all stopped, they looked at her. It was cartoonish.
“I had a dream about this house,” Rebecca said.
“It isn’t the same house Becca,” Derek said.
“It’s the same damn house,” Rebecca said seriously.
“Hey, language. What the hell are you talking about?” Her father asked.
“I dreamed it, I walked through all the rooms.” She said.
James got down on one knee. She didn’t know if she liked it when he did this or hated it. On the one hand, he spoke to her on her level. On the other, he almost always said something. She couldn’t remember the word. (condescending)
“Honey, that’s impossible.” He smiled.
Derek bounded off the stairs into the dining room. He spoke loudly.
“If this is the same house, what’s behind this door?” They all went in the dining room.
“Don’t encourage her.” Mom said.
“It’s easy. The kitchen is on the other side of this door.” Derek said.
“That’s what I thought too, but it’s not. It’s a guest room.” Rebecca said.
“Is that your final answer?” Derek smiled and opened the door. It was the guest room just as predicted. Derek slowly smiled. Dad was confused.
“Is this you?” Mom was boring holes into Dad. They walked into the guestroom.
“No, it’s not me,” Dad said.
“Next room is lime green, kitchen, tile floor, the sink is rusted, bottom cabinet missing both doors,” Rebecca said. Derek looked at his parents. He smiled.
“This is weird,” Derek said. He opened the door. It was the kitchen. Lime green room, rusted sink, doors of the lower cupboard missing.
“Ok, so let’s just say this is actually happening, that you dreamed it,” James said.
“I dreamed it.” She said.
“What’s the point?” He said. “It’s a great house if we could fix the issues it could be worth a lot.”
“Did you buy this house?” Rebecca said.
“Yea, it’s a great deal.” He countered.
Rebecca grabbed her head. She was stressing out. Derek walked over to the corner. Becca called out. “That’s a restroom, toilet, and a sink.” Derek opened the door.
“Was it a restroom?” Mom asked.
“Can you get out of it?” Rebecca asked.
“Why would I want to do that?” Dad asked.
“There is something wrong with this house, that’s why I was dreaming about it,” Rebecca said.
“What’s wrong with it?” Dad asked.
“I don’t know.” She said.
“There is nothing wrong with the house, honey. It’s an inanimate thing, wood, nails, glue. There is nothing wrong with it.” He said.
She stared him down. He could sense all types of things in her gaze. Fear, disquiet, and probably worse of all. Certainty. It was the difference between someone knowing something and guessing. She knew. It frightened him. But he didn’t show it. Cause he was an adult. He was an expert at hiding his feelings. It wasn’t the first time he perceived Rebecca as being clairvoyant. His wife never noticed. There was one time. Rebecca must have been six. There was a baby in a floaty toy. In a neighbor’s pool. The child was two years old. Her parents were just within arms reach of the baby and the toy. Rebecca indicated to me urgently. She pointed at the child. Rebecca’s eyes were wide and her mouth was open in horror. But there was nothing happening. The baby floated there happily. Two minutes later the floaty flipped. The baby’s wet legs were flailing around for purchase uselessly. The parents reached. But the child was out of their reach, not to Rebecca’s father. He flipped the child back over. The baby wasn’t crying but he was blowing water out of his face. James pushed the floaty back towards his parents. When he looked at Rebecca she was smiling at him. She had known. He put it all out of his mind. This is fucking ridiculous he thought. He stormed out of the room. Derek on his heels. They started up the stairs. Kelly took Rebecca’s hand and they went up behind them. When the two men got to the top of the stairs. Her Dad went left. Derek went right. When she got to the top of the stairs. She followed her father. Into the master bedroom. Her mother followed her. Rebecca thought she was worried. James was standing in the center of the room. He looked frozen in place.
“Dad?” Rebecca said.
“You can feel it?” Rebecca asked.
“Feel what?” Mom said exasperated.
“The house is bad Mom,” Rebecca said.
“Honey, this isn’t funny anymore.” Mom said.
“I’m not playing- It’s real, I promise.” Rebecca began crying.
Her mother hugged her. James was frozen in place. It was a hollow fear. The fear of knowing that you fucked up. But you still have time to correct it. But you needed to act fast. Real fast. When you knock a glass off the counter and you catch it. Because you still have time.
“Rebecca’s right. I was wrong.” Dad said
Derek came into the room suddenly. Everyone looked at him.
“What’s going on?” He asked reading the room.
“We should leave, I’ve changed my mind about the house,” Dad said.
“Are you serious? It’s nothing. It’s a Déjà vu, everyone has them, they don’t mean anything.” Derek insisted.
“We should go.” Mom said.
“Becca, what’s behind that door?” He pointed to the door in the closet.
“I don’t know, this is where my dream ended.” She said.
She knew at once that this door and whatever was behind it was the reason for the dream. Derek went into the closet.
“Don’t open it!” It was her voice and her father’s. They had screamed the same words at the same time. Derek looked back at both of them. He held up his hands. But he didn’t come out of the closet.
“We should go now,” Rebecca said. Her father was walking towards her mother and the door. Derek stopped at the closet door. He turned around. He stepped back into the closet.
“There is nothing to be afraid of.” Derek snatched open the door inside the closet. It opened outward.
“NO!” Becca said. But it was too late.
It was perfect black in the doorway. Becca ran out of the bedroom. Her mother ran after her.
“Derek!” His father screamed. He didn’t hear him. You see the darkness was moving. Derek fell backward in the closet. An oversized black hand came through the doorway. Each digit was extremely long and slender, slimy. Derek was dumbfounded he couldn’t move. Another hand of equal size sunk its claws into the closet wall on the left. A hideous face was emerging from the darkness. Derek didn’t move. His father grabbed him from behind and dragged him into the bedroom. But the right hand grabbed Derek by the leg.
“Fuck fuck fuck!” Derek said. “Dad!” The giant hand tugged on Derek. His father lost balance and went headfirst onto the floor. Derek banged the back of his head against the floor. James didn’t pass out. He was dazed. But he knew that his son was in mortal peril. He grabbed under his son’s arms with all his strength. He would not let go. It was then that James realized that he had his feet on either side of the closet door. He looked down, what he saw horrified him. The Giant black hand which wasn’t holding Derek reached for him. It dragged its index finger across his midsection. Derek screamed. It sliced him open. Derek’s body couldn’t take the stress. His abdomen was tearing. His father looked him in his eyes. His Son said.
“Daddy?” His final words. There was a crack of bone, the tearing flesh made no sound. Derek’s body tore in half. James was thrown back to the floor, his son’s upper half on top of him. James was covered in guts and gore. His son’s blood. He wept. He needed to get out of here. For his wife, his daughter. He got up and ran for the door. The Black hand grabbed his right shoulder. The fingers curled diagonally across his chest like a perverse sash. It pulled him back towards the closet, towards a perverse gigantic face, pressed against the doorway. James put out his hands and feet to arrest the descent. All four of his limbs bounced off the jamb uselessly. The hand-pulled back James so quickly and violently, it knocked off his head as he was torn through the second doorway. His head landed, just in the doorway. The door slammed shut. It knocked the father’s head around the closet like a pinball.
Rebecca knew what was happening. She could see it in her mind’s eye. She knew her brother and father were dead. She ran down the stairs. Her mother behind her.
“Be careful MA!” She called. She didn’t want her mother to fall down the stairs.
They ran to the front door. Outside. They ran to the minivan. Kelly was scared out of her mind. After the door opened. She felt what James and Rebecca were feeling. She had faith that James and Derek were right behind them. Becca took the phone from her mother, seeing she was lost in thought. She dialed 911. When the police came. Rebecca told them where to go. She implored them not to open the door in the closet. They thought the child was traumatized. When they found Derek’s upper half and her father’s head. Not one of them opened the door.