Double Halloween Murder part 1 of 5

Double Halloween Murder part 1 of 5

You aren't sure what wakes you. It takes a moment to even realize you were asleep. Blinking, you allow your eyes to adjust. Just as soon, as you let your eyes close again. A few more minutes will not hurt.

There is no light against your eyelids. It is not time to get up anyway. Your hand sweeps in an arc as you search for the covers.

There are no covers. You feel only grass.

Your eyes open wide, and you sit up straight. There is an ache in your neck that you cannot quite rub out. It still has not really hit you yet. You turn and examine your surroundings. What you find makes you just stare in shock.

You are outside.

Why? Why are you outside? You remember going to bed, laying down, and letting the day just melt off... right? You rub your eyes and try to put it all together in your head. You find only more confusion, that haze that shrouds the brain and consumes all memory.

Your house is right in front of you. It is still dark outside. So, what is it then... sleepwalking? It seems absurd even as you think of the word.

You have never had that problem. Well, not that anyone has spoken of.

Either way, you feel ridiculous sitting on the ground in the middle of the night. Biting back a groan, you climb to your feet. You spread your arms wide, then up to the heavens. Every ache in every limb seems to drain away. You study the sky. It is dark, but there are no stars. Must be cloud cover. It feels like rain anyway. You wonder what time it is.

Your hand goes to your side. It makes you pause when you realize your phone is not there. Patting your empty pockets, you also notice that you must have fallen asleep in your regular clothes. You shake your head. What happened last night? Did you drink? You know that you indulge every now and then but... there is no way you were "blackout" drunk. Still, as you survey your surroundings, you cannot remember the night before.

Truthfully... you cannot remember anything at all.

It is at that moment you fully recognize that something is wrong. You look around. There are cars in the driveway. Was it a party? No, there could not have been. You would have remembered by now. You do not hear a thing: no traffic, no crickets, no nightlife... nothing at all.

Slowly, you start making your way toward your house. Your head is still swimming as you try to figure out what this odd feeling is. It is strange enough waking up in the front yard, but things seem even stranger somehow.

"What is going on?" You ask aloud to yourself.

Even your voice sounds peculiar. You start to head toward your front door again. The house seems to stare back at you, with huge empty glass eyes. Your steps are slow. Why does it look so run down? The house itself just has such a lonely feel to it.

The door is open.

You stop. The door is not locked. It is not ajar. The front door is standing wide open. Already your heart starts to gallop. Questions bounce through your brain faster than you can answer them. Why would the door be open? Is someone inside? Why does everything seem out of place?

Taking a breath, you calm yourself and start to think. You did sleepwalk. That would explain why the door is wide open. The thought even makes you grin. You feel stupid. Is this really happening? It would make for a funny story if you did drink so much you passed out on the lawn. You are near the first step as you begin walking.

The door creaks. It closes halfway. A shape moves behind it in the dark.

Every hair on your body stands on end. Something is not right. Someone is in there. You take a few steps back. Deep within you is anger, outrage, and annoyance that someone is in your house. You want to charge in and demand the intruders to show themselves.

All your emotions are buried deep. Things are already so strange. You cannot fight the ominous feeling emanating from that doorway. The glass eyes just keep watching you, waiting for your next move. There must be a logical reason. There is no sense in thinking the worst, right? You had friends over. You did get a little drunk or something.

Then why the bad vibes?

Turning around, you decide to go to the neighbor's house. If nothing else, you could use a phone. Better safe than sorry. They would be upset if you woke them up, but if someone...

The houses are gone.

For several seconds you do not even breathe. There are no houses on the street. What? There are no neighbors. All the structures are just absent. Just a field of grass for as far as you can see. Rubbing your eyes, you squint into the distance. That darkness reached up at the horizon, which must be the trees. Weren't they closer? Or further?

A dream.

Of course, it is. Everything seems so out of focus. Nothing quite fits together in any way that makes sense. It must be a dream. The realization makes you smile. You even get that oh-so-cliché idea to pinch yourself but shake your head and turn back toward the house.

The sky is pure black. There is no moon or stars. Everything in the distance is a blur. The house even seems to sit in a peculiar way, like it is slumping over from some sort of exhaustion. You cannot see the road. You are all alone standing before your house... a house... is it even yours?

It must be a dream. You do not recall any dream as vivid and real as this, but it is the only explanation. Staring down at your hands, you wonder if you are this self-aware in every dream you have. You shrug.

When you truly wake up, it will fade just like any other.

There is not much to do except going into the house. Looking at the door, you grow uncertain. If this is a dream, what was it that moved behind that front door? You feel the hard beat of your heart in your chest. What else is there to do?

As you cross the yard, the mouth of the door draws closer to you. The glass eyes look on indifferently. The rocking chairs sway to a wind that does not exist. You study them as you step onto the porch. This is not your house. You do not remember rocking chairs. You do not recognize those vehicles, and you are sure you do not drive any of them. You think. You shake your head and reach for the door.

Stepping just inside the threshold, you pause and listen. The house seems dead. There is no light and no noise. You close the door behind you, mostly from habit. Ahead is a dark hallway beside a rising staircase. An open doorway is ahead to your left. Another one is direct to your right.

You shake your head. "This isn't my place," you mutter to no one.

Then, what is this place? You distantly wonder what you must have fallen asleep watching to spin up such a dream. You find the light switch and give it a flip. Nothing. No lights come on, not inside nor out. Nothing seems as ominous as it was when you stood outside.

The house just seems cozy and asleep. You feel like if you made too much noise you would wake the residents, yet something gives you the impression that you are alone in the house.

"Hello?" You call out.

Immediately you scoff. How generic. Why wouldn't you call out to a spooky house? Isn't that what they all do on TV? You smile and take a few steps down the hallway. It is gloomy, but you can see the decorations and the pictures on the wall. It looks like a home. A child's coat is on the floor. An old stain can still be seen near the baseboards.

Moving slowly, you examine the pictures framed on the wall. There is a picture of the family at the beach, the wind blowing their hair.

Another one depicts a family portrait, professionally captured.

Another shows a young child pretending to "lift" a Ferris wheel in the background. You cannot help but smile. Each picture tells a piece of the story. You squint through the dark at the people in the pictures.

There is someone you might recognize.

You pause by one family portrait sitting on a small table. Taking the frame, you hold it closer to your face in the dark.

Their faces are blank.

"What?" You whisper.

To be continued
Written by nutbuster (D C)
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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