By Chaise Howard

Sophia was in her room one night writing a story on her laptop for her journalism class. She began to write about a typical girl like herself who was left alone on a Saturday night and a guy broke into the main character’s house and tried to kill her. As she continued to write, she realized just how unoriginal it was, like she had read the story before a million times. So she deleted the whole story. She again tried to write a scary story, this time about moving into a new home and creepy things beginning to happen to the main character. But again, to her it was too uninspired, too unoriginal.

She let out a loud sigh. She was getting a headache from thinking too hard and staring at her screen for a long time, so she decided to take a break and go and get a snack.  As she was walking down the stairs, it was pitch black. She would have pissed herself if she’d been home alone, but it was a Sunday so her parents were home sound asleep in their beds. She crept down the stairs slowly, and although she knew her fear was stupid, she couldn’t help it.  She tried to steady her breath but in her head she was beating herself up for not grabbing her phone and using it for light. As she reached the bottom step, she raced over to the middle of the room where the light was. She’d always hated the guy who designed this house—who puts a light switch in the middle of the room?. Just as the darkness was about to swallow her she was saved by the light that burst into the room.

She made her way to the fridge and grabbed some chips and a water bottle and was about to head upstairs when she heard a soft creak, like someone was walking upstairs. She froze.

It was her parents. It had to be. They were the only other ones in the house. She was being irrational. She turned off the light and was once again engulfed in darkness.  Normally she would’ve raced up the stairs, but for some reason she felt overcome with  dread. She would rather be down there where someone could come out of the shadows and steal her away than be upstairs in the safety of her room. She was being dumb.

She made her way up the stairs and the sounds of someone walking became louder. She jumped at every creak of the floor. The hallway came into view and her heart raced. The only light that penetrated the darkness of the hallway was the light coming from the crack in her bedroom door.As she stepped into the hallway, she was again engulfed in the darkness when felt the urge to run.

She got to her room and slammed the door behind her. That’s when she realized just how loud she was being. She mentally kicked herself—she’d definitely woken up her parents. She waited for her mom to come stomping down the hall and scream at her for being loud. But she never came…

She waited for a good five minutes when she came to the conclusion her mom wasn’t gonna get mad at her. Maybe her parents hadn’t heard her? How could they not hear her run down the hall and slam her door? The house was so quiet.

Wait…too quiet, she thought. She heard nothing—no crickets outside her open window, no more ticking of the clock on the wall. But at least there were no more footsteps.

She needed to calm down. She was overthinking everything. She walked back to her laptop and opened it to find something that would require her to see a therapist for the rest of her life. On her laptop after the last line she typed, read the following:


I read your story. It was okay but quite uninspired. So I decided to help you out. Go check your parents’ room:)


She froze. If it was actually possible for her heart to stop from fear, it would’ve happen to her right then. Her heart began to race and her breathing became a challenge for her.

“This is a joke. It has to be. It’s a joke. I’m being messed with right now. I’m legit being pranked,” she whispered to herself as she began to pace around the room.  

The silence of the house was only  broken by her terrified whispers and her beating heart, but all of a sudden, it was broken by something else….three little knocks on her door. She ran to her closet and hid.

Someone had to be messing with her. Things like this don’t actually happen. These things only happen in movies or scary stories.

After the knocks, it seemed like if the silence was broken once again, it would be the end of her. Should she call the police? Was it that extreme? Maybe someone was pranking her. Should she go check her parents’ room? Maybe she would find that they were safe and sound in their beds.

The closet was engulfed in darkness except for a tiny crack that left a line of light shining across her face. Sophie heard another knock her bedroom door. She put her hand over her mouth and bit her tongue.She heard the creak of her bedroom door echo through the room. She heard one…two…three…soft footprints walking to the closet door. She thought the sound of her heart slamming in her chest was gonna give her away.

She heard someone grab the doorknob and slowly pull it open….

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