It was the morning of October 30th, The day before Halloween. I have just woken up from the light shining in through the blinds and the smell of bacon and eggs across the dorm room hall. I looked at the clock and it was 7 A.M. My eyes lit up at the fact I was up so early. I finally got up from the bed and walked to the kitchen to make coffee with some breakfast. One good thing about living in Tennessee is the views in the morning of the Smoky mountains as the sunrise is coming up around the mountains with the sound of the cars and trolleys outside and the birds chirping.
As I get my coffee and breakfast I open my sliding glass door and sit outside. My phone goes off. It was from Jake. He asked, “ Hey you wanna go to a Haunted House Tomorrow at 7 with Ivory, Ben, Jess, and me.” I glanced at it with a big sigh. I know I have so much work to catch up on and Professor Lewis has me doing so much make-up work but I thought to myself “ It’s almost halloween it’ll only be an hour.” I texted Jake back saying I would go. I knew I was gonna regret that, I hate haunted houses. I hate being scared but that’s probably just the nervousness kicking in. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen? The idea starts to become a reality and the characters actually become killers. That’s impossible Right?
It turned 12 and I decided to go on a run with my other friend Becca. When I picked her up we decided to go get some smoothies and the new shop down the street. As we walked down the street the smell of the rain that had just passed by with the scents of all these restaurants with Tennessee’s known barbecue and the smell of the flowers and leaves blooming gracefully in the air made us happy at the fact we could call this beautiful state home. As me and Becca walk around the corner to the Shop we see a huge line waiting outside the door. We both looked at each other and decided it was best if we went on a run before so the line wasn’t as big, if we came back a couple hours later. We agreed to go on a hike trail that leads to the view of the Smoky Mountains because since Becca is new to Tennessee I thought she would fall more in love if she saw the mountains that create Tennessee.
A couple hours later after we ran up hills, hikes, and trails we were parched. Thank god there was no line to wait in. We walked in and ordered this smoothie that had Orange Juice, Blackberrys, strawberries and bananas in it. It was delicious. Becca got this Smoothie that had protein powder mixed with bananas and strawberries and she said that it was the best smoothie she has ever tasted. I guess everything tastes better in big cities.
After we were done with our drinks I dropped Becca off at her house and drove to my Dorm Room. The rules with living in a dorm room down here is you have a curfew so if your car isn’t in the parking garage you have to pay to park out of the facility. That’s why most people from my school take an Uber but I didn’t know I was gonna be out that late so I didn’t think much of it.
As I locked my door I thought I saw a person standing around the corner just looking at me. I looked back and didn’t see them, “ It’s just my eyes messing with me”, I thought to myself. Until I felt something touch me on my back. I turned around so fast and just yelled for help. It was a man whose face looked blurred out with a black suit on. I began to scream more but no one could hear me. It felt like I was screaming into a pillow. I was silent. I ran to the elevator with him chasing me in the corner of my eye. With every step I took it felt like the elevator was just getting further and further. As I pressed the button frantically looking all around me I couldn’t see him, I took a big deep breath and walked in. I knew something wasn’t right, it just didn’t feel like it was over. As the elevator closed I saw a hand reaching in, I knew it was him. He reached in and grabbed me.
I woke up in heat flashes with tears strolling down my face glad that it was just a dream. I couldn’t quite remember how I fell asleep. I think I passed out after dropping Becca off. I went to look outside to see if my car was actually in the garage or if my dream wasn’t really a dream. I walked through the parking garage and finally saw it there. I could feel the stress lift off my shoulders.
As I turned around BOO! Screamed Jake, Ben, Ivory, and Jess. My heart dropped and I screamed the loudest I have ever screamed. They all started laughing at me. I asked them what they were doing here and they looked at me like I was joking. “ The Haunted House”? Jake said. I told them “yeah but that’s at 7 this morning.” They looked at each other and laughed “ It’s 5 crystals”. I looked at my phone in astonishment at how late I woke up. I told them I had the craziest dream ever and I would tell them about it as I got ready.
An hour passed by and we were only 30 more minutes away from the Haunted House. I was so scared my stomach felt like there were little butterflies turning around and around in it. We kept telling scary stories in the car and scary stuff that has happened to us to make us more scared of the haunted house. Since this was only my second time going to the haunted house I was more scared than them because all the movies I have seen about Haunted Houses nothing ever goes right.
We finally arrived and it was weird how we were the only people there and it was almost open for more than 3 hours. I asked them if they had a good feeling about this because my gut told me something. They replied with “ Yes we’re just lucky we’re the only people here, people are probably just scared to come to a haunted house.” I went along with it because I felt like I was just being paranoid. We went up to the ticketbooth and got our tickets. The lady gives us a creepy smile and says enjoy. As we came up to the entrance there were 5 people. A Nun, A Witch, A Mummy, and A Person with a mask. They weren’t scary at all but they were intimidating because of how close they got in our face and how loud everything was.
It was finally time to go in. The Witch told me on my way “ Any Last Words Crystal ”. I thought, “ How does she know my name? I didn’t even tell her my name.” As we walked in all I could see was the flashing strobing lights with the sounds of chainsaws and clown laughs in the back. The formation of us walking in was me, Jack, and Ben in the front and in the back it was Ivory and Jess.
As we were walking in it was so hard to actually see where we were going. Imagine your eyes closed when you were little playing hide and seek counting down from 10. It kind of felt like that, the rush and adrenaline was the only thing racing through my body and mind walking closer and closer to each section.
As we went into clowntown that’s when everything changed. They showed us 5 doors to go in but they said we could only go in with one other person. So Ben, Jack, and Ivory went in the first door and me and Jess went in the second door. As we stepped one foot in the door I didn’t get a good feeling. I told Jess “ We should turn back around,” but she laughed and continued on. This door we walked into was very bright but only with strobe lights it was too fast for my eyes to focus so I just closed my eyes holding onto Jess’s hand continuing on.
A couple minutes passed by and all I heard was a big BOOM and a high pitched ringing sound that made me drop to my knees and cover my ears. I noticed that Jess wasn’t there anymore. I was holding onto what felt like something cold and fuzzy. I looked up still with the little bit of light wondering who it was and all I saw was a clown mask. I screamed “ Where’s my friend?”, “ This isn’t funny”. But there was no reply, he just laughed and said “ Gone.” I got my phone and held the flashlight around the room to find Jess.
“ There she is,” I said in relief. We both ran to each other, and ran towards the door we came in. As we tried to open the door it was locked. We were trapped. I could hear the screams of people in the haunted house not knowing whether it was my friend’s screams or not. Jess took her bobby pin out and tried to unlock it with the sharp point of it.
We heard a “Click” and saw the knob turn slowly. It was Jack. He was covered in blood, his eyes were open wide with his shirt cut in strands. He whispered to me with a shaky voice “ We need to get out of here and fast.” I looked at him and gave him the biggest hug not knowing if we would ever see eachother again. Me and Jess went out to look for an exit while Jack found the rest of the group. We tugged each other close and wrapped our arms around each other. We were careful of where to step and turn when we made our way through the haunted house. The silence itself was macabre as it was. As we walked we saw an exit, Jess and I decided it would be best if we didn’t leave eachother so I went with her. When we came to the door our hands were shaking with sweat dripping down our faces.
It was locked.
We became frantic and could see we were losing our minds while we were in here, which is what I would think was the plan all along as soon as we walked in. “ I knew this was a bad idea.” Jess became distressed and started to scream “Help, Help someone get me out of here.” I yelled at her to stop screaming or they would find us. “ I couldn’t blame her, she’s scared and I’m scared and we don’t know where our group is.”
A couple minutes passed by and here came Jake, Ben and Ivory running towards us saying “ There coming, There Coming.” He grabbed me and Jess and started running towards this blank area where nobody was. As we were running Jess stumbled on her shoe tie and when I looked up there’s a blank shadow standing behind her I screamed “ BEHIND YOU, JESS GET UP, GET UP.”
But it was too late . I saw how terrified she looked with tears rolling down her face as she got dragged out. “ I should’ve helped her, Jake, she was right there,” as I sobbed and screamed at him. I lost the feeling in my feet over how despairing it was to see my best friend get dragged out and not be able to say goodbye to her family.
We arrived at the blank area. We all slid down the wall out of breath copying what we had just seen. It was now Me, Jake, Ben, and Ivory left. We all talked about what our next move would be and where we would go. Jake decided it would be best if we ran through every part of the course hoping there would be an exit out at the end. We all thought and went through what each of us would be doing. Me and Ivory would be in the middle and Jake and Ben would be on the other two sides. We took a couple minutes to think and then we started our way. On our way down the hallway we tip-toed our way down so the shadow man didn’t see us. It was difficult especially when your legs are shaking and you can feel your heart coming up your throat. But we concentrated and worked together.
“ We made it through the first course,” I whispered to the group. We all had smiles on our faces. “ We might get out of here,” Ivory whispered. As we were approaching the second course something was wrong. It was quieter than usual. We stopped and thought if we should find another way to go through or not. We all agreed it would be best if we just ran this and got by it quicker. So we grabbed a sharp pole sticking out the wall and continued on. This town was weird; it was people with purge masks on and weapons. Me and Jake made a run for it and ran through the course. The screams and the cries of people made me so dizzy and sick. Ivory and Ben were behind us. I could tell there was something wrong with Ivory because I could see her getting slower and slower. So I decided to stay back with her and help her. I grabbed her hands and pulled her over my back and ran.
I put her down after I saw Jack and Ben. They told us that they don’t know where the end is and how we would do this.
All of a sudden, we saw him, the shadow man. My heart dropped down to my stomach as I saw him walking closer and closer to us. He grabbed Ivory by her head and pushed her against the wall. I came up behind him and hit him with the pole I had but he hit me with his shoulder and I fell and hit my head. Out of my blurry vision I saw Jack and Ben fighting him but it didn’t work. He shoved them off of him and took Ivory. They ran over to me trying to snap the unconsciousness out of me. I woke up a couple minutes later confused about why I was on the floor.
“ Have I forgotten everything? Can they hear me? They keep looking at me weird.” The thoughts overfilled my head.
They both helped me up as I shook my head trying to recap what had just happened. As I snapped back into reality I could hear them screaming “ We need to leave, We need to leave.” I picked up the pole and started to run with them. It was now me, Jake, and Ben left. We found a door that was open so we thought it was the best chance to go in there.
Suddenly we felt a fresh breeze flow in through the cracks, Jake turned his flashlight on and there it was the exit. We called 911 and hurried up and ran outside the door and the smell of the fresh breeze in the air with police sirens behind us. We ran towards the police cars with relief. We all gave each other a hug and began to cry because Ivory and Jess never made it out. It was sad to think that the well known have to continue our lives without them and have to tell their families what has happened to their daughter but I was glad we atleast made it out to freedom. As the police arrived they ran to us with a million questions. We told them our two friends had died there and there was this shadow man who killed them. They thought we were crazy until one of the sergeants yelled at them to call an ambulance and bring their handcuffs. It was Ivory and Jess. I knew they were dead from the looks on their faces, they carried them out with handcuffs and Jake held me back from punching them in their faces. I yelled “ You killed our friends for having fun, you deserve to rot in jail.” He looked at me and smirked.
Part III: Months after
It’s been a couple months since, and I thought it would be best if I moved. I don’t want to be in this town where my friends got killed. I texted Jake telling him I was moving away, he was sad and came over and he helped me pack. I told him he should come down to Texas with me but he wanted to stay because his parents lived in this town. I understood so I just told him how much I would miss him. We both hugged and continued packing.
A couple weeks later I was on a plane to Texas starting my new life. I looked down at the town I used to love and feel safe in but now I can’t look at it without hating it to shreds. When I got off the plane it was like a breath of a new start. It was hot and crowded, nothing like Tennessee. “ Maybe I made a mistake.” But I just need to get used to it, I mean it’s a new state with so many people. I whistled for a Taxi to take me to my new apartment I’ve been waiting to look at in person. As I stared out the window I could see all the cute little shops and schools I would soon be walking in. I felt happy and safe. “ I just really hope I can make some new friends in this town.” We arrived at my apartment and I was in love. I looked around at the space I would be walking in and around and its great walking distance to everything I would need.
When I walked in my room it was spacious with so many new things I could decorate inside and new walls I could paint. It was a step to starting over. But there was just one thing that I just couldn’t quite forget. Jake Facetimed me with a big smile on his face and he said “ How do you like the new city, Jess.” I replied with “good, I love it there’s so many new things and new foods to try. I just wish you could’ve been here to experience it with me.” He told me “He was happy that I was happy after months of being depressed.” We finally got off the phone but I still felt so guilty not telling them the truth and the truth was.
I heard a knock on the door, a newspaper was dropped off at my front door. It was of me, Jake, and Bend over what happened in Tennessee. When I turned it around there were big bold red letters on there saying “ I KNOW THE REAL YOU.” I freaked out and shut my door. “ How can they know, I’m the only one who knows what I did.” It was an accident. I didn’t mean for it to get that far. I didn’t mean to kill them.