“Jessy?” my voice quivers.

“I’m free.” She breathes jumping to her feet. “I’m free!” Her icy hands grab my wrists.

I yank my hands free. “What? What are you talking about? Is there someone else here?” The back of my neck prickles, but I can’t tear my eyes from Jessy’s face.

“No!” Jessy flings herself back towards the window slamming her fists against it.

Warm breath tickles my neck. My limbs freeze. Out of the corner of my eye I see a dark shape advance on Jessy. She claws at the shards in her eye sockets and I wish I could look away. The bloody shards clatter to the ground.

“Please! Take her instead.”

The figure whirls around to face me and I bolt. The steps bow beneath my feet. I hear the thing panting behind me. As I hit the main level I almost stumble in relief. Crisp autumn air filters through the open front door chasing away the awful smells. This will be one hell of a Halloween story.

Then the colors fade around me. The floor lurches to the right. My face smacks against the floorboards, and I watch as the barren trees bend in the breeze until darkness swallows it all.


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