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The Old Woman in the Old, Jaded House

By Evette in When the Lights Go Out

When the Lights Go Out
Illustration by Kristine Brown.

I’m lost. I’m cold. I don’t know where I’m going, and everything looks the same. I’ve been in the woods for God knows how long. My legs are lethargic and weak, and I want to go home. How did I end up here? Why am I here?

Wait. I stop walking. There’s an old house, and it seems abandoned. I’m suddenly at the rickety looking door in the blink of an eye. A sudden urge to leave grows, but I don’t have any control of my body.

I blink. What? I’m on the second floor of the house. It looks just as bad as the outside and first floor. The small creak of a rocking chair comes from behind me. Turning around slowly, my eyes spot an old lady.

Something is off. Tears start to prick my eyes. Goosebumps rise on my arms. She has barely any hair, but it is icy white and very brittle. Her face is wrinkled, like how your skin gets pruney when it’s been in water for a long time. Her Cheshire-cat-like grin stretches from ear to ear, showing what’s barely left of her teeth. Her eyes are black, like there aren’t any irises or pupils. Just black, like there’s only the eye sockets left.

Frozen. I don’t know what to do. My breath is caught in my throat. I’m staring into the abyss where her eyes would have been, just standing there, trying to process what is going on.

The lady, with her sinister smile and her ghostly stare, is just rocking in her chair. My head is spinning. I feel nausea overcoming me, and before I realize, I’m bolting down the stairs.

In a flash, I’m at the front door, but I’m stuck like glue. Somehow she’s in front of me. I’m crying. I want to scream. She gets up from her chair; she’s laughing hysterically now. She’s walking slowly, but with each step she picks up her pace. She’s in front of me now. Her voice is frail and sweet, but venomous and satanic.

“What’s a beautiful girl like you doing in a place like this?”

I’m shocked. My heart is pounding, not knowing if this moment will be my last. Her voice and her cackles fill my ears, ringing. I feel something ice cold and sharp pierce my skin. I jolt awake on the cold floor of my bedroom.

My mouth is open and dry, like I have been screaming or choking, gasping for air. My clock reads 4:30 AM. I will never forget this nightmare, as it has happened to me three times already. I’ve had the same dream before, but instead of an old lady with the sharp object, it was either my mom or my sister piercing my skin.

Ever since that last dream, I dread going to sleep. I’m not only afraid that I will have the same dream again, but also that it might become a reality. Legend has it that the fourth dream can be a warning to run. It’s been said that the fourth recurring dream, and those that follow, are a foreshadowing of the near future, not just dreams.

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When the Lights Go Out

Original spooky/scary stories, poems, comics, and plays written by the students of 826 Boston’s Egleston Square After-School Writing and Tutoring program. Fall 2019. Volume 1 is targeted for younger readers (grades 1-5), and Volume 2 towards older readers (grade 6 and up).

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