THE GIRL

THE GIRL

 

 

 

Avery was unbelievably happy for getting admission in her dream college that was a three-hour drive from her house. Therefore, she decided to rent an apartment nearby, and today was when she had to move out of home.

She made sure to pack everything she would need in the boxes, especially her important stuff. It didn’t take her more than an hour to have her clothes folded neatly, and even organized by color.

She stood in the middle of her empty room, looking around with tears filling her eyes. The fact that she had to leave her mom, and dad was eating her. She stood there for good fifteen minutes, thinking about her new life in the horizon.

“Avery, time to go sweetie,” she heard her mom calling from down stairs.

“Coming!” she replied, quickly whipping her tears. Walking out the room, she gave it a last glance before closing the door behind her.

She went downstairs, and saw her parents standing at the door, with her bags, and boxes. Looking at them, her heart melted at the thought of leaving them behind, yet she gathered her willpower not to shred tears. She took a deep breath, and walked up to them.

“So…this is it,” she said, looking at her parents.

“You are coming home after the exams, don’t act like a baby,” her dad said before pulling her in a hug, her mom joined them. They stood there in each other’s arms for few minutes.

“Thank you so much guys, I love you both so much,” Avery said before pulling away.

“Come on before I break down,” her mom said, laughing sadly.

They walked to the car. Avery looked at her house for the last time before getting in. The trip was dead silent except for the radio songs. No one wanted to say anything in fear of breaking down in tears.

Avery was in the back seat, staring out the window. It seemed cold outside; the sky was grey, and the clouds were dark as if it was going to rain.

Three hours later, they were in front of her apartment building. They parked in the parking lot on the other side of the building, then carried her stuff inside.

Getting in the Lift with her parents, there was an awkward, and uneasy silence, so she decided to break the ice.

“How are you guys going to go back? We just took my car,” Avery asked, looking at them with boxes in her hands.

“We are taking the Subway,” her dad replied.

“Oh okay,” she said, before the elevator dinged open. Without paying much attention, Avery got out, and bumped into someone.

“I’m sorry,” Avery, and the man said in unison.

She looked up, and saw a very handsome guy standing in front of her.

“Let me help you with that,” he said in a sweet voice.

As she froze confused, he raised an eyebrow at her, she smiled, and handed him one of the boxes she was carrying.

The moment their hands touched, the impact on her little mind went nuts, his skin was as cold as ice.

She smiled, trying to play it off. He smiled back at her, and carried the box.

“What’s your name?” her dad asked.

“Dean.”

“Nice to meet you Dean, I’m Anders, Avery’s dad.”

“Excuse me,” Avery walked past them, and turned around, only to see her parents talking to Dean.

She turned left, and started walking to her apartment which was at the far end of the floor.

Once she opened her apartment’s door, she was hit by a gust of cold air. She walked inside. The place wasn’t big, but it was enough for her to live in. The kitchen was in front of the couch, her TV was in the living room, a small hallway was beside the kitchen that led to the bathroom, and the bedroom.

Her parents, and Dean walked in with her stuff, and they placed them on the kitchen counter.

“It’s good that Dean is your next door neighbor,” her mom said while walking to the couch.

“What?” Avery asked, surprised.

“Yeah, I stay right next door,” Dean said with a charming smile on his face. Avery didn’t like it for some reason.

“Oh!” was all she said before walking to her bedroom. She felt like crying for some reason, she wanted to curl up in a ball, and cry in the corner of the room, her heart was feeling heavy.

Few minutes later, she walked out, but the freaky feeling didn’t disappear. She had never felt like this before in her parents’ house.

She walked to the hallway beside the kitchen. It felt so cold that she started thinking she wouldn’t feel like home at all.

She opened the bathroom door, and saw the curtains fully closed. It was steamy in there, and the cabinet mirror had fogged up as if someone had showered.

She could hear her heartbeat as she slowly walked towards the curtains. She extended her hand, and pulled them open in a fast move. Upon making sure no one was there, she took a deep breath feeling relieved. The bathtub wasn’t wet either, but the bathroom definitely felt like someone had just been in there.

She went back to the living room, and saw her parents still talking to Dean.

“Well, we should get going now. I want to get home before it rains,” her mom said, standing up from the couch.

“Can’t you guys stay the night?” Avery asked. A heavy feeling of sadness was lingering over her.

“No sweetie, we have to go, and you have to learn to stay alone from now on, starting from today,” her dad said, walking towards her, and pulling her in a quick hug.

Dean was standing there, watching. As he locked eyes with Avery, he smiled, and she smiled back, she was feeling uncomfortable.

Maybe because I am nervous about staying alone, maybe because I am all new to this, or maybe because I am just thinking too much.

She took a deep breath, and nodded at them.

“Ok,” she said while walking her parents to the door. Dean walked behind them, and said his goodbye alongside Avery.

“Tell me if you need anything Avery,” he said. His way of saying her name was as if he was going to enjoy her company.

“Yeah, thank you,” she replied, faking a smile, and closing the door as he left.

All alone now, she looked at her new apartment with a sad, and heavy eyes.

Willing to unpack her clothes, she took some boxes from the counter, and went to her bedroom; a bed in the middle where she put her stuff on, a closet on the right side, and a window on the other side in front of it.

She started unpacking her boxes by pulling out all her clothes, and setting them on the bed. She walked to the closet with heavy breathing, blinked rapidly for few seconds, then back to normal. It was a useless attempt to get over her sadness.

She opened the closet wooden door, it was surprisingly darker than any part of the room. So, she turned its light on, which was to the upper left, and started hanging her clothes.

After she was done with everything, she decided to go get some groceries especially that it didn’t get dark yet outside. She snatched her purse, and car keys, and walked out the apartment. Closing the door behind her, she looked at Dean’s apartment door, and ran down the corridor fast. Suddenly, she heard a door open to her right, a woman with a little girl came out. The lady looked at her, and smiled a little.

“Hi,” her little girl said with a teddy bear in her hand.

“Hi,” Avery replied, leaning down, and ruffling the girl’s hair.

“I’m Anne, and this is my daughter Kiara,” the women said, looking down at her little girl.

“I’m Avery,” she introduced herself with a smile.

“Are you new here?” Anne asked.

“Oh yes, I just moved in today,” Avery said, pointing at her apartment.

“Where?” Anne asked, looking at her.

“The last one,” Avery said. Somehow, she didn’t miss the expression on Anne’s face. It suddenly went pale, and she was stiff.

“Oh… okay, nice meeting you Avery. I should go now.”

Anne took Kiara’s hand, and walked fast to the elevator.

The woman didn’t even give a chance to Avery to say anything back. She just left quickly, leaving the confused Avery behind. All she could ever do was shaking her head, and waiting for the elevator to open again.

She pulled out her phone to call her parents when the elevator’s door opened, and Dean popped up.

“Hi again Avery,” Dean said, smiling at her.

“Hi.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just to get some groceries,”

“Oh okay, be safe,” Dean said, walking out the elevator as she walked in.

“Yeah.” Avery quickly pressed the ground floor button, and waited for the door to close, Dean was standing there, looking at her.

At the last moment before the door could fully close, Avery noticed a cut on his arm. The scar was abnormally black.

She got lost in her thoughts till her head started to spin. As the door opened, she stepped out the building, she felt so comfortable. She headed straight to her car in the parking lot. However, right when she started driving, she heard a loud thud, then the car stopped.

She got out the car to see what was wrong. She checked under it, behind it, and all around, but nothing. Shaking her head, she got inside, and started to drive again. Once outside, she looked up at her apartment’s bedroom which was at the front, clearly visible from outside the building. The light in there was flickering even though she remembered switching it off. Maybe the bulb needs to get changed, she thought.

She drove to the nearest supermarket, and parked her car. She walked in to the vegetables section picked up everything she would need, paid, and got out to her car again.

Getting in, she turned the car on, and went straight to her apartment. It only took her few minutes to reach her building, this time, the light in her room was off.

She parked her car, and took the elevator up, the door opened, and she walked out. Out of nowhere, she heard a low whisper calling her name, which sent chills down her spine. She looked around hopelessly searching for its source, but in vain. No one was there. Despite hearing it over, and over again, she decided to ignore it while walking straight to her apartment. She rushed inside, and closed the door behind her.

She dropped the bags of groceries on the floor, and ran to the bathroom. Opening the door, she quickly splashed some water on her face, and looked around. The mirror on the cabinet was still foggy, so she wiped it with her hand. She freaked out when, for a moment, she couldn’t see her reflection. She backed off, and went outside, closing the door behind her.

Once she was in the living room, her eyes went to the bags she dropped on the floor. Somehow, they were on the couch. Confused, she picked them up, and went to the kitchen to make something to eat for she was starving.

Avery was so tired. She decided she would just eat some snacks while watching TV. She sat on the couch, and tried to reach for the remote on the coffee table. But, before she could even get a hold of it, it fell down. She bent down to pick it up only to notice that the TV turned on by itself.

She looked up, and saw someone standing in the corner of the room. Her body started shaking. Suddenly, the silhouette disappeared in a blink of an eye.

The remote was still in her hand when she got up, and started walking around cautiously. She checked her whole apartment, but found no one there.

Thinking she might be hallucinating, she got back to the couch, and started watching the TV. Avery looked outside, and saw it was getting dark. Her doorbell rang, she stood up, and walked to the door to open it, Dean was standing in front of her with a plate of food in his hands.

“Have you had dinner yet?” Dean asked.

“No!”

“Here,” he said, holding the plate in front of her.

“Oh no, I have food for dinner,” she said, shaking her head.

“Just take it, I made it myself.”

“No, I’m sorry, I can’t, but thank you anyway.”

“Come on, we are neighbors. It’s not poisoned I swear,” Dean insisted, making a puppy face.

“But…” Before Avery could finish her sentence, he held her hand, and placed the plate in it.

“Just take it, gosh…” Dean said while laughing, and started walking towards his apartment.

Avery huffed, and closed the door. She set the plate on the table, and opened it, meat loaf, and two hot dogs.

She took the plate to the couch, and started eating. The taste was a bit unusual, but she was hungry.

After finishing her dinner, she looked at the clock. It was past 10pm, so she decided to go to bed.

Walking inside the bedroom, she closed the door behind her. Though the room was already cold, she went, and opened the window, grabbed her laptop from the table, and started working on something.

She felt someone staring at her. She looked around the room, no one was there, and the bedroom door was closed.

She brought her attention back to the laptop, typing. Weird noises didn’t give her any peace, because this time, she heard scratching coming from somewhere she didn’t know. So, she put her laptop on the bed, and stood up, gathering all her focus to know where it was coming from.

Bingo! It was coming from the closet. She quietly walked towards it, her heart was beating extremely fast, and the noise was getting faster, and faster, giving her chills. Before she could even touch the wooden door, her phone rang so loudly that she felt her heart dropping to the floor. It was an unknown number, yet she picked up.

“Hello,” Avery said.

No one said anything from the other line.

“Hello,” Avery asked again, but nothing came.

Not getting any answer, she just hanged up, and went to her bed, totally forgetting about the closet. She just went back to her laptop.

Quite some time passed by, and her eyes started feeling heavy. So, she turned off her laptop, and decided to go to sleep.

Avery’s eyes shot open when long wet hands were pressed on her throat. She saw a pitch black figure hovering over her body, chocking her. She tried to push it away, and set herself free, but her hands just went through it. The grip was getting harder, and she couldn’t utter a word as her eyes filled with tears, and she was running out of air. At last, the thing let her go, allowing her to take deep breaths over, and over again before standing in the middle of the room. Taking a closer look in the darkness, it looked like a girl with long hair, and hands touching the ground. Her head was snapped to the other side, hanging low, when it charged slowly towards her.

Avery screamed, opening her eyes widely, and quickly turned the light on, only to see she was alone in her room.

“It was a nightmare!” she whispered, trying to catch her breath. Her tears were flowing down her face as she looked around.

That night, she couldn’t close an eye. All she could ever think about was the dark figure on top of her, trying to kill her.

It was seven in the morning, and Avery didn’t leave the bed yet. Her head snapped to the bedroom door when she heard a loud thud as if someone just fell down, she was alone. Who else could be here? She wondered.

She slowly got out of bed, and opened the door of her bedroom, peaking her head out. She looked around, and found nothing. She walked to the silent living room, still nothing. She thought she was just being paranoid, so she decided to forget about it.

Dean’s plate was still there, on the table. She picked it up, washed it, and went out to give it back to him.

The corridor had a rusty iron smell, so bad like a dead rotten rat. She covered her nose with her hand, yet it was getting worse as she walked to his door.

She knocked at the door twice. Then, not only Dean came out, but also the smell that blew out heavily.

“Omg! What is this smell?” Avery said, her hand still on her nose. Looking at him, she noticed that his eyes were unusually dark.

“It’s just a rat that died somewhere in my apartment, but I don’t know where exactly,” Dean replied while taking his plate from her.

“Ok, thanks for the dinner. It was amazing,” she said with a smile.

“You liked it?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Well, that’s good.”

“Ok, I better get going, bye,” she said, and started walking back to her apartment.

“Bye,” he uttered, and closed the door.

Feeling uneasy, she went back to her apartment, and decided to take a shower. She grabbed her towel, and her clothes from the closet. She remembered the scratching sound from last night, but the closet didn’t have any marks, or anything suspicious.

She walked to the bathroom, opening the door, and getting inside. She placed her clothes on the metal handle, and turned on the tap. Once the bathtub had enough water, she got in, and laid inside.

Resting her body, she tried to forget everything. She closed her eyes, and threw her head back. Suddenly, she felt water bubbling as if someone was in there, trying to breathe. As it got intense, Avery tried to get out, but something grabbed her leg from under the water, the same black long hand she felt last night.

Her heartbeat was getting louder. She tried to free her leg, but in vain, so all she could do was to scream for help. No one heard her. Her body felt numb when the hand dug through her skin, making her bleed. The pain was unbearable. She screamed, and cried, but nothing reached anyone’s ears.

Avery laid in terror on the floor. Her eyes snapped up to the figure, peaking at her, in the bathtub. With her hollow eyes, and pointy fingers, it started to crawl towards her. Avery frightened pushed herself back until she hit the bathroom door, she then tried to stand up, but failed. She extended her hand up, and tried to open the door, but it was locked from the outside. The horror inside her was increasing.

She banged on the door, crying for help, but no one came for her rescue. Her leg was paining so much that she couldn’t move it, her skin was peeled from the side of her leg, and she bled till she felt dizzy. At the moment she looked back, and she met with the silhouette’s eyes, the latter started crawling at full speed.

Avery closed her eyes in horror, and screamed at the top of her lungs. She waited for something to happen, but nothing came. She slowly opened her eyes, and the figure was gone with no trace, yet the pain persisted. She wanted to wake up, she wanted it to be a dream, she turned her head to look at her leg; bleeding, but there was no wound.

She quickly reached for her leg, and checked it. The wound vanished, but the blood in there was enough to tell her it wasn’t her imagination.

She stood up in pain, quickly got in her cloths, and dashed out the bathroom. The only thing that came to her mind was snatching her car keys, and her phone to leave the place. Suddenly, she heard a jiggle of her key coming from her bedroom. So, she silently walked towards it, she started to hear painful screams coming from her bedroom. She slowly turned the knob of her bedroom, and pushed it slightly open. A girl, around her age, was sitting on her bed with her long thick black hair.

She looked up at Avery who was standing at the door, looking back at her.

“You are going to die, you shouldn’t have come here. I’m going to kill you,” the girl said before her body was set on fire, and disappeared, leaving an echoing scream behind

Avery’s eyes were wide open at the view in front of her. She quickly got back, and closed the door behind her. Her eyes went to the kitchen counter where she saw her car keys, and her phone.

Confused, she took them with tearful eyes. She has never experienced anything like that, and it was killing her.

She ran out, and saw the elevator coming down. She pressed the button, and it opened after few seconds. Before she got inside, she glanced back at her apartment, and the shiver ran down her spine when she saw the head of the figure peeking out from the door at her.

The door of the elevator closed, and Avery took a deep breath as she saw the number on the Lift counting down, taking her with it.

The door opened, and she dashed out to the parking lot. She quickly got in her car, and drove to the front, she looked up at her apartment, and saw the dark figure looking directly at her, then it disappeared.

Avery took off to her parents’ house. She kept looking behind, making sure she wasn’t followed by the evil creature, that she almost had an accident. The wind was blowing as it started raining heavily. The three hours’ drive felt like eternity, but at last, she was home. She pulled up in the driveway, the lights were off, but her parents’ car was parked in its regular place.

Avery ran towards her house, and quickly opened the door using her set of keys. She was really confused, and scared. Walking inside, she couldn’t make out anything; it was completely dark.

“Mom?” Avery called out, hoping to get an answer, but nothing came.

“Dad, where are you?” She called out again, but no response.

She felt something was terribly wrong. She heard a low crack from upstairs that made her heart rate speed up.

She walked slowly to the switch by the stairs, and tried to turn on the lights, but it wasn’t working.

Taking a deep breath, she started walking upstairs. She could smell the rusty iron, and the rotten smell in the air, just like in her apartment, but it was faint. She could only think of the worst happening to her parents, though she hoped they would be safe. Upon reaching upstairs, the smell was considerably increasing. She stood in front of her parents’ bedroom with shaking hands. The smell was coming from there.

At first, she hesitated to open the door, but she eventually did. The room was so dark, and the rotten smell was even worse than earlier. So, she switched the lights on. There, in front of her, Dean was standing.

“Finally you came.”

“What are you doing here?” Avery asked, trying to keep her voice tough.

“You will know,” Dean replied, his voice sounded as if two people were speaking at the same time.

Suddenly, the lights turned off. Avery found herself standing in the middle of the living room of the house, looking around. The lights started flickering as she heard the front door open, and she saw her mom, and dad walking in with a baby in their arms. They looked so young.

At that moment, she knew what was happening. The air left her lungs as she dropped down on her knees, her hands were clutching her shirt, her tears ran down her face as she watched her life like movie scenes in front of her.

She saw the moment she first said daddy instead of mommy, she saw how happy her parents were, every memory she had floated in front of her; the memory of her turning sixteen, and how her parents were crying saying she grew up really fast, how they were laughing, how happy they were, how they fought over little things, and how they laughed again.

At that moment, Avery wished for nothing, but to be in her parents’ arms, to hold them tight, to apologize to them, and to thank them for everything they did for her.

The last thing she saw was them dropping her in her new apartment, and leaving. Then, the room went dark again.

She was sobbing hard, and barely breathing. She sat there crying, she wanted her parents to be with her for she was so scared, she wanted her father to tell her it was all going to be okay, she wanted her mom to sing her a lullaby.

She froze in her place before she heard heavy footsteps walking towards her. She was scared, but she knew she had to face it all.

She felt a hand wrapped around her hair tightly, which made her wince in pain. It didn’t get any better when she was slammed on the kitchen counters, almost cracking every bone in her back. She cried in pain, her chest felt so heavy, her breathing was so rapid, and she was shaking in fear, and terror. Her body shivered when long sloppy fingers went up her left arm before digging through her skin, her screams were blood curdling, and very painful.

She shut her eyes tightly when the same thing happened to the other arm. She felt so numb again. She heard her name called in low whispers by voices of every person she knew, but she didn’t look at the direction it was coming from. At last, it was her father’s voice, so her head snapped to its direction, and all the lights turned on.

Her body fell off the counter with a loud thud, yet she managed to turn her head to the stairs, only to see the dark figure crawling towards her. It changed into Dean for a second, and then went back to what it was. As it got really close to her, it disappeared. She looked around, and saw it on the ceiling upside down, looking deep in her eyes. Goosebumps covered her whole body at the sight of it.

Her tears were still flowing, her eyes were swollen, and her breathing didn’t get any better.

She looked around searching for it when she didn’t see it anywhere. She hoped it was gone even though she knew, deep down, that it didn’t. Right beside her stood the girl who was burning in her bedroom. Her skin was getting darker, and peeled off her body as if she was getting burned without fire. Avery pushed herself away from that girl, and in a moment, she turned into the black creature, and started crawling towards her.

The figure gripped Avery’s leg, ripping it open just like the bathroom’s incident. Her whole body shot in pain, she screamed loudly.

The figure changed into Dean, “She makes me do it, she makes me do it,” Dean said, his voice was cracking, and he looked scared.

Avery looked at him in horror when his expression changed from scared to dangerous.

Avery stood up, ran up the stairs to her bedroom, and locked the door. She sat on her bed crying, trying to figure out what to do. Suddenly, the closet’s light started flickering rapidly, scaring her to death. She ran to the window, trying to call for help, but before she could say anything, her body was slammed on the closet forcefully, weakening her body in pain.

Dean walked out through her closet door, and grabbed her hair, bringing her up to her feet.

“Let me go!” Avery cried loudly for her life.

“Where will you go? You don’t have anyone,” Dean said with a threatening voice, staring deep into her eyes.

“Let me go to my parents, please,” Avery said, crying.

“Your parents are dead,” Dean said in a cold voice.

Avery stopped struggling in his hold as her heart felt numb. She didn’t believe him.

“No, they are alive, and they are waiting for me, let me go!”

What Dean said next stopped her world. Everything went silent as she was slowly dying inside.

“They are dead. You want to know what I have done to them?” Dean asked sarcastically. His body was half black, just like the burning girl. He was possessed by her. Avery was shaking her head, not wanting to listen to whatever he was going to say, but he didn’t seem to have mercy on her.

“The Moment you closed your door after they left, I followed them down, and attacked them. Your mother was so weak, but your dad was kind of tough, so I cracked his arm out of place. When they fell silent, I brought them up right next to your apartment,” Dean didn’t stop. Avery was crying, and screaming. Her pain was increasing. Then Dean slowly changed into that girl again, “I sliced them up into pieces, I took their meat, and cooked it. No wonder you liked the meat loaf, and the hot dogs you ate.” Dean, was enjoying seeing her cry.

He let go of his hold on her, and she fell on the ground, numb. She didn’t struggle, she had no reason to, since her parents were dead. She was in utter shock to realize she actually ate them, her stomach turned into knots after hearing that. She would never forgive herself. The guilt was killing her.

The light flickered, she opened her eyes, just to see her parents’ bodies lying lifelessly in front of her. The chunks of their flesh were partially gone, and she couldn’t look at them for long.

She felt something grabbing her neck, and teeth digging inside her skin. She screamed as he body shook in pain. As she looked at Dean’s body lying on the floor with no soul, the black figure of the burned girl was eating her flesh off. She dug her hand in Avery’s chest. Avery screamed the loudest when the girl squeezed her heart out.

It was all over. She died, just like her parents, just like Dean, just like her dreams, and hopes.

 

THE END

Lamees Alhassar