Uninvited Guests

 I wrote this short story when I was in eighth grade during English class.   ©2001

He found himself at the bottom of the stairs. Where was he? How did he get there? He blinked at the bright light that a nearby lamp cast. Then in a rush it all came back to him. The police. The gun on the bed. The body of the girl on the floor. The blood staining the carpet a crimson red. He had run for his life.

He stood and stretched his arms above his head. Sighing he walked into the kitchen and got out a Coke and a sandwich from the previous night. He sat down at the table. The sun was shining through the window warming his back and casting a warm golden light on the kitchen floor.  He was sixteen years old. His name was Victor. He had come to this house to hide out. He had wanted to be a writer. Instead he was a killer.

Victor opened the Coke and took a sip.  He pulled his shirt off and tossed it on the floor. He threw the can in the trash and walked upstairs to his bedroom. The house he lived in was abandoned.  He took a shower and let the hot water turn his back red. When the water finally ran cold he got out and wrapped a towel around his waist before going into the bedroom and pulling on a new change of clothes.

Victor collapsed on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. That girl that kept running through his head every night wasn’t the first person he had killed. There were other people who haunted his dreams and even his waking days, people who he had killed after he had run away from home at fourteen.  He sank into a deep sleep.

It was sunset when he woke up. Victor walked over to the dresser and pulled out his .40 Glock. He stared at it and ran his fingers over the shiny black barrel. He glanced out the window at the distant horizon and decided he’d go for a walk. Victor slipped the gun in the waistband of his jeans and walked outside.

As he was walking along thoughts of his sister pushed into the front of his mind.  Anna had been ten years old when she had died at the hands of his father.  Victor brushed the tears from his eyes and continued walking.  But no matter what he did the images continued to flood his mind of that fateful day.

He had been sitting up in his bedroom working on fractions when he heard the unmistakable sound of his father’s footsteps on the stairs. He had been beaten the previous night for not coming home on time for dinner.  His mother had been drinking since she had a miscarriage when he was nine.  And his father had become different after he had lost his job as a director and they had been forced to leave their home in Las Vegas, Nevada and drive halfway across the country to Fort Worth, Indiana.

He heard a scream from his sister’s room. Victor had run towards her but his father had locked the door.  Terrified Victor had pounded on the door but his father hadn’t opened it. He had listened to his sister’s terrified cries for help and her pleas for mercy.  Five hours later the door had opened and his father smiled and walked past him. Victor had rushed through the doorway and found his sister raped and dead on the bed. Anna had been so full of life.

Victor blamed himself for his sister’s death. He kept thinking he should have taken her away from the abuse and she would have been safe.  Shortly after he had turned fourteen Victor had run away from home and started killing. Victor looked up and saw that he had come to an old factory on the outskirts of town. He fingered the gun.

No it’s not worth it. The cops won’t find me here and I don’t want to run away again. Oh Anna I’m so sorry.

Victor turned around and walked home.  A loud sound jerked him from his thoughts. Without thinking he whipped the gun out and fired a shot. He heard a yelp and slowly walked toward the intruder. There was a dog lying on the ground. Victor knelt by the dog and placed his hand on the dog’s head. He could see that the bullet had punctured the dog’s lungs. He put the gun to the dog’s head and fired another shot. Instantly the dog went limp. Its eyes closed.

Victor wiped the blood off his shirt and hurried home. As he approached he saw that all the lights were on and the blinds were going up and down by themselves. Funny. I was sure I turned the lights off.  It’s almost like a haunted house.  He blinked his eyes and at once everything stopped.

A cold chill went through Victor’s spine.  He rubbed his eyes and went into the house.  He threw the shirt in the washer and then collapsed on the couch. Victor shut his eyes and pulled the gun out. He let it fall to the floor.

“Victor help me! Daddy no! Don’t hurt me! Daddy please!” Anna screamed.

Victor found himself back in his old house shouting and pounding on his sister’s bedroom door. He struggled desperately to get the door open but it wouldn’t budge. He could hear his father laughing and heard the unmistakable sounds of his father raping his sister.  “Anna!  No daddy don’t hurt her!  Anna hang on!”

His throat was hoarse from crying and screaming.  His hands were getting sore from pounding on the door. Victor struggled to stay awake but exhaustion took over and he fell asleep. He woke up five hours later. He couldn’t hear anything from his sister’s room. His father came out and cuffed him roughly across the head before heading downstairs. Victor ran into Anna’s room and saw her broken body lying on the bed. There was a pool of blood on the sheets.

“ANNA!”

He sat up with a cry.  Victor looked and saw it was morning. He was covered in a cold sweat.  He must have rolled off the couch in the middle of the night.  His voice was hoarse.  Victor started the washer again and poured himself a cup of coffee. He started the water to take a bath.  It was just a dream. That’s all it was.  Victor turned off the water and climbed in the tub. An hour later Victor got out and threw his shirt in the dryer.  Victor put some money in his pocket and went out to get some breakfast.  He ate his breakfast and then went for a walk.  The sun warmed his back.

He thought back to the girl he had murdered.  He hadn’t meant to kill her.  He had been hiding out in the girl’s house when she had come into her bedroom and opened the door. She had started screaming and he had snapped. The gun had fired and she had fallen to the floor. Shocked Victor dropped the gun on the bed and knelt down by the dead girl. He had felt for a pulse and had found none. Terrified he heard the sound of police sirens in the distance and had jumped out the window and took off. He’d been in hiding ever since.

He was watching television when he heard a sound. He shut the television off and looked around. His eyes found a small door in the wall. He had never gone near the door because he wasn’t sure if it was safe or why it was there. On a whim he started walking towards the door and crawled inside. It was dark.

Suddenly the door shut with a loud bang.  Victor turned around and tried pushing open the door to no avail. Guess the only way out is forward.  Victor started crawling on his hands and knees in the pitch blackness. It was some time before he felt a draft and felt dirt under his hands.

I must be underground now. But where does this tunnel lead?  Victor saw a flickering light in the distance and soon came to an earthen passage where he could stand up. Brushing the dirt off his knees he grabbed a torch and started walking.  As the tunnel wound its way downward he lost all sense of time.

Finally he heard a voice and thought he saw a young child sitting on the path in front of him. “Hello?” He called out.  The child didn’t answer and instead continued to draw in the dirt. As he approached the child turned and ran off into the darkness.  “Wait!”  He shouted but his voice was lost in the depths of the tunnel.

He lowered the torch to peer down at the drawing. It was of a skull with a rose through the top with thorns protruding out of the mouth.  He felt another shiver of fear but continued walking. Presently he came to a door and opened it.  There was a shorter passage that instantly came to a dead end.  He turned around and saw another tunnel on his left. It was too narrow to walk through.

Victor set the torch down and began to crawl. Presently he came to another door and opened it. Inside was a circular room made of stones with strange intricate drawings on the walls. For reasons he couldn’t comprehend being in the room gave him a sense of foreboding.

“Is anyone here?”

Silence. It seemed like the silence lasted an eternity before he heard a couple of voices. He peered into the corners and screamed as the figures appeared out of midair.  Other supernatural beings were appearing all around him.  They formed a tight circle and he was startled that he could see through them. At once the temperature in the room plummeted to below freezing despite the torches in the room.

“What are you?!” He cried.

They continued to stare blankly at him. Finally a man stepped forward and there was sadness in his eyes.

“Hello Victor. We’ve been expecting you.”

“Who are you? How do you know my name?”

“My name is Manner.  I am one of the people you killed. We are ghosts.”

“There’s no such thing as ghosts.  Let me out!” He screamed and ran for the door.

“NO! Not until you hear us out.” Manner nodded to a few of the others and they grabbed him and threw him back into the middle of the circle. Victor’s eyes were wild with fright.

“This isn’t real. I’m dreaming.”

“No you are not dreaming.  We’ve been wondering when you would go through the door. We cannot rest until you die or turn yourself into the police. We have been wandering the world for three years and came here to think of a way to get you. When we saw the door and went through the tunnel we knew this was the perfect place to put our plan into motion.”

“What plan? What is this place?”

“You are standing in an old ritual sacrifice chamber.  Witches used to practice devil worshiping here. These designs on the walls are symbols of their alliance to the devil. Our plan is to either kill you or make you see the horrors that you did to us.”

“How do you plan to do that?”

“Well there’s someone you might remember. Bess come here a minute child.”

As he stared a young girl appeared in front of him. There was a hole in her chest and he realized that it was the girl he had accidently killed. She gazed at him with reproach in her eyes.

“NO! It… It can’t be!”

“Yes Victor I’m here as well. Did you think that a child who is killed doesn’t stay on Earth?  How silly of you to think that.  Why did you kill me?”

“I didn’t mean to kill you. It was an accident. I swear to God it was an accident.”

“Was it an accident when you killed all these other people?”

“I was scared. I didn’t want to go home. I couldn’t live with myself after what happened to Anna.”

“That’s no excuse!”  Bess shouted.

All at once all the murders he had committed started acting out in front of him.  Victor screamed and tried to turn away but his feet were frozen to the floor. It was like someone was possessing him and he didn’t have control over his own body.

“NO! God please forgive me. I never meant to kill any of you. Let me go!”

With a wild dash he ran for the door and crashed through it. The ghosts pursued him. The door at the end of the short passage flew open as he approached and he ran down the path his feet pounding on the dirt. When he glanced down he saw that the floor was littered with human bones. “NO!” He cried and ran on.

His heart was beating hard in his chest. He didn’t dare look behind him but the images he had been forced to watch flashed across his eyes. He heard the voices behind him getting fainter.  Victor fell out of the passage into the living room and ran out of the house. As he turned to look back the house burst into flames and disappeared. Victor was half mad. Slipping on the rain soaked sidewalk he flew into the police station and confessed to everything he had done.

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