1. Your Mirror
You’re washing your face. You take some soap, lather it up, and close your eyes. You rub the suds over your face and put your hands into the warm water. All of a sudden, you feel a chill. Where did this cold air come from? You feel anxious. You hurry to wipe the soap off your face. You vigorously rub water at your closed eyes, but you can’t take it anymore. Someone — something — is behind you. You can feel it watching you. You open your eyes and stare into the mirror. There is a frightened image of you staring back. You grab the sides of the sink. I’m losing it, you think. Stop reading these creepy posts. You smile. You finish wiping the soap off your face and dry your face off with a towel. You look back at the mirror and turn the lights off. You close the bathroom door. Your reflection remains in the mirror, smiling.
2. Under Your Bed
You take your socks off and about to get into bed. You feel a strange presence in the room. And a strange noise, like nails clicking on wooden floors. A sense of dread slowly numbs your body. You turn the lights on. That sense of dread quickly fades away, and you dismiss the noise as your house settling. This is weird, you think. I won’t be able to sleep like this. Frightened, you bring your laptop to bed. You browse websites until you feel your eyes become heavy. You set your laptop aside and move to turn the lights out. Then, you hear a whisper, coming from under the bed. “I’ve been waiting.”
3. The Attic
You climb up the ladder and into the attic. You smell the air. It is stagnant. It feels heavy. You see small rays of light peeking through the paper plastered over windows. With every step you take, motes of dust rise from the floor, following the small changes in the air created by the movements of your legs. You’ve been hearing noises coming from the attic sporadically. Last night was the worst, with what sounded like objects being dropped on the floor. Every time you stood up to check it out, the sounds stopped. When morning came, curiosity got the better of you, and you decided you needed to find out what exactly was going on. You look through the furniture that were stacked carefully on top of one another. You look for animal prints. There is none to be found. You notice, however, a small set of footprints around a table in the center of the attic, which seems to be center of the activity. Small sets of footprints to and fro. You think they are mice. Something catches your eye. In the corner is an old mirror you had never noticed before. You walk up to it, but you freeze. In the reflection, there is a figure beside you and it has the most horrific look etched on its face.
4. The Peephole
There is a loud knock on the door. You turn the TV down, to see if you heard someone knocking at the door. Another knock. It sounds heavy and the sound bounces off the corners of the room. Each knock is piercing and for some reason, feels ominous. Who could be visiting me now? you wonder. You walk up to the door and ask who’s there. There is no answer. You hesitate opening the door. You ask again. You look through the peephole. All you see is black. They’re putting their finger on it, you think. “Very funny,” you say. “I’m not going to ask again. Who are you? What do you want?” A voice answers you. It is not what you expected. It is of a young child. “Can I use your phone?” she asks. You look through your peephole again. It is black. “Is anyone out there with you?” you ask. “Just me and my brother,” she says. “Did one of you put something on the peephole? I can’t see out of it.” You look through it again. This time, you can see the two figures standing outside your door. Chills run down your spine as you take in the beings standing before you, in front of the door. Their eyes, you see, are pitch black. Black as tar. And it dawns on you. You had been looking into its eye as you peered out the peephole.
5. The Dark Hallway
You wake up extremely thirsty. Your peek at your alarm clock. You aren’t due for work for another five hours. You begrudgingly get out of bed, rubbing your eyes. You leave your bedroom and start toward the kitchen. Here, you walk by old photographs of your parents and your grandparents. You shuffle into the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of water. As you gulp it down, there is a fluttering noise behind you. You’re about to turn around when you see a reflection in the half-full pitcher of water you had set down on the counter. It is of a figure, appearing to be on its back, but moving, with its arms and legs, crooked underneath it, silently crawling out from the open basement door. You freeze. Whatever it is, has not seen you. You watch the figure disappear down your hallway making a sharp left into your study. You slowly turn around run into your bedroom. You lock the door and jump into bed. You throw the covers above your head and somehow manage to fall asleep amidst the paranoia and fear. You wake up, half-an-hour later than usual and rush through your daily routine and figure last night was a dream, until you walk into the kitchen and notice that the pitcher of water is still on the counter, but completely empty.
6. The Stairwell
The elevator is broken. You throw your hands up in frustration. That’s 10 floors you have to walk up. A woman asks if the elevator is broken. You nod. “Looks like we have to take the stairs,” you say. She smiles. You and the woman walk towards the entrance to the stairs. You hold the door open for her. She walks past you, filling your nose with a powdery perfume. You try to strike up a conversation with her. She answers you with one-word answers when she can. You both walk up in silence. You feel tired as you hit floor 7, but she seems to have not lost any energy. You try to keep up with her. “Which floor are you going to?” you ask. “Twelve,” she replies. The top-most floor of the apartment. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around,” you say. “My husband doesn’t like it when I’m out for too long,” she says, brushing you off. “But I try to get out as much as I can,” she adds. You chuckle. You get to the landing of floor 11 and turn around to say goodbye When you realize, there is no one there but you.
7. Your Closet
In your closet, right behind your neatly arranged shirts and pants, is a small wooden panel that seems to have been there since the construction of the house. For as long as you’ve owned your house, your dogs would not enter your bedroom. They slept outside, in the hallway, whenever you went to bed. Sometimes, they would pace outside, back and forth, outside your door, as if there was a fence preventing them from entering. You did, once, bring your smallest dog into your room, when it went ballistic, and bit your thumb trying to leave the room. You didn’t try to do it again, after that. Tonight, you notice, as you are rearranging your closet, with your dogs at the door, the wooden panel seemingly loose. As you move closer to the wooden panel, your dogs start to bark. Startled, you fall forward and knock the wooden panel completely loose. The dogs, sensing something, cease barking and run away from the room, and start to scratch frantically at the front door. Scared, but curious, you look into the hole the wooden panel used to block. A pair of red eyes stare back at you.
8. The Basement
“This is a weird-looking basement,” the gas serviceman says. Curious, you ask him what he means by that. “Well,” he says pointing at the wall farthest from the stairs, “if you look over there, you can see an outline of what seems to be counters. And if you look at the ground the ground slopes to this one drain.” He walks farther back and points to the backroom. “This, I think was where the bodies were stored.” You flinch at those words. “Bodies?” you croak. “Yeah, I think this used to be a morgue, back in the day.” Just your luck, you think. “No wonder the rent was cheap,” you say. “No kidding,” the serviceman says. “I’m going to check the stoves again, I’ll be right back,” the serviceman says, and leaves you in the basement. You look around the basement to look for clues of this house being used as a morgue. As you look at the walls, you hear something metallic drop on the ground. The hairs on your arm stand up. You quickly make your way back to the stairs. You feel like someone is watching you, so you start running and run up the stairs. As you turn around to close the basement door, you see a dark figure running up the stairs behind you.
9. Behind You
Bleary-eyed, you are typing up a report on your laptop on your kitchen table. All of a sudden, a friend you haven’t talked to since college sends you a message. The message takes you by surprise. This friend had been hospitalized after a car accident and disappeared from all forms of social media. You figured that she had to focus on rehabilitation and getting her life back to where it was before the car accident, so you let things go as the way they were. You write, “It’s been such a long time, I’m sorry I never got in touch with you. I figured you were busy with other things, you know?” She typed back, “No problem. How are things with you? It’s been forever.” You smile. It has been forever — well, eight years, to be exact. You tell her about the things you are doing, the accomplishments you’ve achieved, the opportunities you’ve missed. She tells you of things she’s done over the last eight years. As she types, you message a mutual friend, who you’ve also neglected to talk to for over five years. “Hey man, you’ll never guess who I am talking to! Nadia! She’s back!” There is radio silence on his end. He has seen the message, but hasn’t started typing. You’re reading Nadia’s message when your chat client notifies you that he has responded. “Fuck you, dude. That’s not funny.” You frown. You type back, “What are you talking about?” You switch to Nadia. “I just told Eric that I’m talking to you. He is upset?” Another notification. It’s Eric. “Nadia, dude. I can’t believe you’re making a joke about this.” Something seems off. You ask Eric to clarify. “You seriously don’t know? Nadia, she’s dead.” Another notification. It’s Nadia. “Don’t look behind you,” the message reads. There is a photo of your back with the light of the laptop illuminating your figure attached with the message. The cursor blinks silently as you stare at your screen in horror.