After drying herself off, Jessica watched some TV in her room. As she flicked through the channels, she heard footsteps in the hallway.
“Is that you, mom?” There was no response. “Mom?” she called out again, but there was no answer.
Sighing, she got up and opened her bedroom door. Looking left and right, there was nobody around. “Mom?” Bertha didn’t respond. “Guess I must be hearing things.”
Laying back down on the bed, she picked up the remote.
Jessica rubbed her arms, now feeling cold. She felt a sudden chill in the room. She glanced at the window. It was closed and locked.
“Why is it so cold?”
As she stood up to get a warmer sweater, Jessica stopped. The girl swallowed hard and her heart thundered as her chair beside the door moved two inches...by itself.
“O...kay. That’s weird.” Approaching the chair cautiously, she pushed it back.
Opening the wardrobe door, she rummaged through all her sweaters. Jessica paused, hearing the wooden chair creak. Again her heart beat faster. Slowly, she half-closed the wardrobe door to take a look, even though every fiber in her being said not to. Shutting her eyes, the girl rattled off a quick prayer.
Turning around to face the chair, Jessica opened her eyes. She screamed as it now leaned forward, its two back legs high in the air. Tears threatened to drown her eyes as she jumped on the bed. Something dragged the chair across the room, stopping at the foot of her bed. It now fell back, resting on its four legs again.
Seizing her chance, Jessica bolted for the door. Just as she was about to make her exit, an invisible force slammed it shut. Jessica pulled at the handle, trying hard to open it.
“Come on, come on,” she said with a shaky breath, tears continuing to stream down her face. “Open, damn it!” When that didn’t work, Jessica banged on the door in desperation. “Mom, mom. Help!”
Her banging came to an abrupt halt when someone grabbed her ponytail, yanking it hard, pulling her to the ground. She cried out in pain as her back hit the ground hard. Ice cold fingers pulled up her sweater and t-shirt. Now they stroked and caressed her stomach.
“No, please, no!” The malevolent force ignored her pleas, continuing to crawl down towards her underwear.
Jessica wriggled and flailed her arms about to break free. Once more, she felt the acrid stench of a hot breath against her left ear.
“Get away from me, you sick bastard!”
She almost leaped off the floor when she heard his menacing Southern drawl, “You want me to leave you alone? Then forget about the well.” His ice-cold fingers no longer tugged at the waistband of her pajama bottoms.
The tight grip on her ponytail was gone. She waited a few seconds to see if Caleb had gone too. When the eerie icy atmosphere had lifted, she scrambled to her feet and ran to the bathroom.
About the Author:
Since 2004, Aidan Lucid’s work has been published in national and international magazines, as well as various poetry anthologies. For a period of nine months in 2007, he was a film reviewer for the award-winning Irish newspaper, The Kerryman. From 2009 to 2017, Aidan was an assistant editor for Bewildering Stories e-zine. Lucid began critiquing novels and short stories in 2018 and continues to do so. In October 2019, his debut YA fantasy novel, The Lost Son, was released.