Standing at the entrance to the girls' bedroom, Samantha watched her two little angels sleep. A smile formed on her face as five-year old Anna inadvertently put her leg over her elder sister Kelly, who had recently celebrated her thirteenth birthday. She watched in silence as Kelly absent mindedly pushed Anna’s feet away, and turned to her side continuing to sleep uninterrupted. Samantha’s eyes involuntarily flicked towards her ring finger, which once boasted of a diamond encrusted wedding ring. All that was left now, was a pale circular patch where the ring used to be. And a feeling of emptiness in her heart. She missed Ryan, her husband and best friend. Throwing one final glance at the sleeping girls, Samantha turned off the lights. It was time for her to hit the bed too.
Samantha woke up to the gentle pitter patter of the raindrops against her window. Apart from the luminous dials of her bedside clock, the entire room was cloaked in darkness. She glanced at the clock - the time was 0330. She tried to close her eyes and go back to sleep, but the light knocking of the raindrops against the window panes kept her awake. She slowly got up from her bed and walked up to the window. Parting the thick curtains slightly, she opened the window partially. As the gentle spray of the misty rain wet the contours of her face, she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. The sweet scent of petrichor and freshly manicured lawns was exhilarating and brought a smile to her face, even at this hour. She’d always loved rain. In fact, Ryan had even proposed to her on a rainy night, when they were returning from a Knicks match. Oh, how she missed Ryan ….. especially when it rained.
A subtle buzzing noise from the garden snapped her out of her reverie. At first, Samantha thought she’d assumed it. But the buzzing continued. The misty rain and darkened sky made it next to impossible for her to see clearly. As her eyes scanned the almost pitch-dark garden, she noticed a lucent orange sphere fluttering near the fence. It seemed to be pulsating slowly - gradually growing in both size and brightness, before reducing to a dull amber shade the size of a golf ball. As if sensing her gaze, the orange orb suddenly stopped pulsating and whizzed off. A few seconds later, the letter box started to emit a pulsating orange glow. Despite being a tad alarmed about the sudden presence of a strange object in her garden, Samantha was curious. She grabbed hold of one of Ryan’s old baseball bats from the cupboard and stealthily made her way downstairs.
Taking care not to wake up the kids, she gently unlatched the lock to the main door and twisted the gold-coloured handle, opening it. The light breeze ruffled her shoulder-length curly hair as she walked slowly across the porch and peeked around the corner. Pitch dark blackness was what greeted her. The sphere had disappeared.
"Crap! It must have shut behind me!” thought Samantha, as she tried the handle to the main door again. Somehow the door had shut and it was locked. Holding the handle tightly, she leaned into the heavy-set oak door and tried to use her shoulder as leverage to open it up. But the door wouldn’t budge. Muttering a curse under her breath, she ran all the way around the side of the house and stood below the window of her daughters’ bedroom window. “Kelly….Anna!” she called out loudly. All she got in response was a bleak echo of her own voice. Panic starting to set in, Samantha picked up a rock from the garden and threw it against the window. Despite the loud crash of breaking glass, there was still no noise from their room. As she was about to turn around to make her way back to the front of the house, she heard the buzzing noise again. She looked around the garden, but the noise seemed to be coming from higher up. She looked back up at the girls’ bedroom and her jaw dropped in shock. There was an orange glow radiating from the room.
“One more…and it’ll give!” thought Samantha, as she raised the bat behind her head. Summoning all the strength she could muster, Samantha brought down the bat hard. There was sickening crack as Ryan’s alloy coated Marucci baseball bat made contact with the handle of the front door. As the handle fell to the floor, the door swung open crashing against the inside wall from the impact. A set of four loud chimes from the hallway momentarily froze Samantha in her tracks. It took her a few moments to realise that the chimes were from the grandfather clock which had just struck 0400. Shrugging off the shock, Samantha clutched the bat tightly and rushed up the stairs. She called out the girls’ names as she burst into their bedroom. But there was no response. The floral curtains fluttered in the breezy wind through the broken window. Fearing the worst, she flicked the light switch in their room. The thoroughly ruffled up bed and duvets on the floor confirmed her fear - the girls were missing.
A loud clap of thunder jolted Samantha from her sleep. She jumped up on the bed and looked around in the darkness. Despite the fan being on full-speed, she was drenched in sweat. Her eyes took a few minutes to adjust to the darkness of the room. The rhythmic beats of the raindrops against the window served as a reminder of what she’d just been through. She glanced at the bedside clock - it stated the time as 0245. Samantha was baffled. She was certain that the time had been 0330 when she’d been up last. Why, she’d even heard the old grandfather clock chime 0400. “Unless it had been a dream”. She slid off her bed and rapidly walked across to the kids’ bedroom. A set of gentle snores confirmed their presence in the room. Samantha was relieved. It looked like it was just a bad dream after all. She wiped her sweaty forehead with the cuffs of her pyjama top and walked downstairs to the kitchen to get a drink of water.
As she stood against the kitchen sink sipping a glass of cold water, Samantha suddenly heard a rustling noise. This was following by the now familiar buzzing sound. She glanced at the mirror she kept above the sink and was shocked to see someone standing behind her. Clutching her glass tightly, she turned around. She breathed a sigh of relief as she realised it was Anna, her youngest daughter. The rustling was caused by the blanket trailing across the floor when she walked.
“Mummy…I think there is something upstairs...." said Anna, as she hurried into her mother’s outstretched arms. Samantha felt the front of her pyjama top moisten from her daughter’s warm tears. “Don’t worry, baby! Mummy’s here!” she whispered to Anna, who was now starting to tremble. The sound of rapid footsteps drew her attention to the staircase. Samantha felt her muscles tighten in anticipation, as the footsteps drew closer. She smiled when she saw the person - it was Kelly, with a confused look on her face.
As Kelly joined her mother and sister in a hug, there was loud crash from upstairs. Though she wasn’t sure, to Samantha it sounded as if an object had smashed through the window and landed with a thud on the parquet floor of the bedroom. As a chilly breeze wafted down the stairs, Samantha quickly opened up the kitchen drawer and pulling out the largest knife she had. An orange glow had started to radiate from upstairs. For a brief moment, Samantha felt a sense of déja vu. "The dream!" she thought, as she pushed Anna and Kelly behind her.
A loud creak drew their attention to the staircase. The orange glow had disappeared, but they could hear light footsteps on the parquet floor upstairs. Tightening her grip on the knife, Samantha whispered to Anna and Kelly, "Don't worry! Just stay quiet - Mummy will protect you!". She felt her daughters grip her waist tighter, as the footsteps started to get louder. A short, shrouded figure was walking down the staircase, taking each step carefully. As the figure advanced towards them, Samantha held the knife out, ready to slash the person at a moment’s notice. The shrouded figure dropped the covering on the kitchen floor and moved closer.
“Mummy…it’s me. Anna!” said the new figure, moving into the light, her amber eyes pulsating like an orange orb.
Image Courtesy - paranormal.lovetoknow.com