The room illuminated once more. This time it was stronger. Everything had become visible as though it were daylight. Her jaw clenched.
“Ice cream truck? Oh…” A dawning realization mixed with a genuine, confused innocence crept over her face. “Right, I don’t know where it went. What happened to you?”
Hearing them speak clear English instead of gibberish was beyond creepy. Their words didn’t even sound natural. They sounded forced, like the voice actors had guns against their heads. But it got creepier.
While the photo was noticeably low quality, I was able to recognize it instantly. It was the outside of my house.
The rumors say that the fourth floor of the Hawthorne Hotel is alive with spirits. But they’re wrong – there were spirits in our creaky room at the end of the hall on the third floor. And they had a story to tell. I just regret that they knew I was listening.
I couldn’t take it anymore. Last night my brother said so many terrible things when I went down onto the carpet in our room to look – so many awful, cruel, and hateful things – that I just gave up and crawled back in bed without even a glance or glare beneath the furniture.
When I got in my Hyundai and pulled the stick shift into reverse, the backup camera popped on, showing me the area behind my bumper. A little girl was playing in the street, purple chalk balanced in her hand.
My head had bumped into a grate – more so like a cage rather than just a grate. And inside the cage, in a small dirt and concrete cell, sat a woman.