Holiday Thriller Mystery

It’s this unknown number calling again” – Sarah announced as she picked up her phone from the coffee table.

Answer it” – Hannah suggested, taking a sip of her marshmallow filled hot cocoa.

They’ve called twice already. What if something happened to your parents and someone is trying to get a hold of you?” – she continued.

Sarah looked at her friend in disbelief. Hannah was such a good-natured person, but she didn’t always think things through before saying things out loud.

Good job trying to freak me out” – Sarah replied, placing the phone back on the table.

You almost got me. Whoever it is, they should text. Too much spam these days. But you’re right; I will answer if they call again” – she added, grabbing a handful of popcorn and sitting back in her recliner.

As soon as she did that, her phone vibrated just once.

It’s a message” – she said, reaching out for her phone and looking at Hannah.

I’m sure they’re alright” – Hannah replied, not sure if she believed her own words.

What the heck?” – Sarah uttered.

What is it? Is everything alright?” – Hannah asked, hoping it was nothing concerning Sarah’s parents.

Someone’s playing a prank on me. See for yourself” – said Sarah and passed the phone to her best friend.

Let’s play a game of hide and seek, Little Mouse” – Hannah read the message out loud.

Little Mouse?” – she asked.

Yea, I have no idea” – Sarah replied.

Press play on that movie, and let’s forget about this nonsense” – she added, settling back into her recliner.

The moment Hannah pressed play, the background lights in the room went off.

What did you do?” – Sarah asked, slightly annoyed with how far from ideal this evening was turning out to be.

Nothing. I pressed play” – Hannah replied.

Letting out an audible sigh, Sarah rolled her eyes, got up, and walked towards the light switch.

Hmm… maybe it’s the fuse” – Sarah announced after having flicked the switch back and forth a couple of times.

Come back, and let’s watch the movie. We’ll check the fuse box later. Do you even know where it is?” – Hannah asked, reaching out for the popcorn.

It might be in the basement. Or the garage. Or maybe outside. I don’t remember” – Sarah replied with a shrug and made her way towards the kitchen.

Now it was Hannah who sighed and rolled her eyes.

There should be a bottle of wine or two in one of these cupboards” – she shouted so that Hannah could hear her in the living room.

The past couple of months have been particularly difficult for Hannah. When Sarah invited her to come to her family cabin in the mountains of Montezuma for New Year’s Eve, Hannah was more than glad to accept. It was supposed to be just the two of them watching one movie after another, eating ice cream straight from the box, and complaining about men.

White or red?” – Sarah asked from the kitchen.

Red, please” – Hannah replied, browsing through all the available movies, making a mental list of what they would watch next.

Coming right u-” – Sarah said before a loud crash could be heard.

You OK?” – Hannah asked, turning around on the sofa.

Without replying, Sarah approached from the kitchen.

There’s someone outside” – she whispered, white as a sheet, as she got close to Hannah.

It’s alright. We can have white wine instead. Here, I’ll even help you clean it up” – Hannah announced, getting up from the sofa.

I’m serious, Hannah. I saw a shadow of a man pass by the kitchen window” – Sarah said, gripping Hannah’s elbow.

Sarah’s phone vibrated once.

A message.

Both girls looked at each other, and for a moment, neither one of them dared to move.

Gathering up all her courage, Hannah reached for the phone.

What does it say?” – she asked, handing the phone over to Sarah.

Sarah grabbed the phone and opened the message.

It says: “Get ready to run, Little Mouse”” – Sarah replied quietly and tossed the phone onto the sofa.

This is messed up” – she added, pulling her sleeves over her trembling hands.

You’re right. Someone’s playing a prank on you. Put your phone on silent, and let’s watch this movie. We have popcorn and hot cocoa for now. We’ll get wine and fix the fuse for the next movie” – said Hannah, gently steering Sarah towards her recliner and then taking a seat on the sofa next to her.

Now, I need to pee. Be right back” – said Sarah, rushing off towards the bathroom.

We’re never even going to finish this movie” – Hannah thought to herself.

She looked towards the window, and all she saw was darkness mixed with patches of white. It was snowing. All that almost calmed Hannah down. She did not want to let on, but the anonymous messages were starting to get to her. Thinking that maybe she could figure out where the messages were coming from, she picked up Sarah’s phone.

10 new messages.”

It was a string of messages counting down from 10 down to one. The last one sent 30 seconds ago.

Sarah?” – Hannah called out.

Slightly unsettled, Hannah got up from the sofa and slowly made her way towards the bathroom.

Sarah, you alright in there?” – she asked, knocking on the bathroom door.

After doing that twice and receiving no reply, Hannah placed her hand on the doorknob and turned it clockwise.

Sarah’s lifeless body lay in the tub with duct tape over her mouth. Splatters of blood all over the walls.

Hannah gagged and ran towards the door.

Her phone vibrated in her pocket.

Let’s play a game of hide and seek, Little Mouse” – said the message on her phone.

Hannah placed her phone back in her pocket, got inside her car, and drove off as fast as she could.


Having arrived in Silverthorne, Hannah felt she could let herself breathe for just a moment before formulating the next few steps of her escape plan. She was far away from the cabin, and there were crowds of people around her. They were walking down the street towards the market square, where the New Year’s Eve celebration was taking place. Sarah wanted to go, but Hannah didn’t feel like dealing with drunken assholes hitting on her. She wanted peace and quiet.

With her head against the steering wheel, she allowed for the reality to hit her.

Get ready to run, Little Mouse” – was what Clarke used to say to her when he felt like playing.

He beat her enough times that she finally got a restraining order against him last month. He always had violent tendencies, but she loved him. She thought he could change. She definitely had no idea he could go as far as to kill someone.

A shiver ran down Hannah’s spine. Yes, she did know. Deep down, she knew it all along, but she didn’t want to freak Sarah out. Plus, Clarke had no idea where they were. It must have been a prank. The more Hannah thought about it, the more convinced she had become that it was Clarke, looking for revenge.

The roads were icy, and Hannah was worried that she’d run out of fuel soon enough, so she stepped outside of the car and joined the celebrating crowds heading towards the main square. As much as she didn’t like drunken crowds, this was where she felt the safest right now. He could not find her among this many people. Plus, even if he did, what was he going to do? He couldn’t kill her in front of thousands of witnesses.

As she arrived at the square, the music stopped playing, and everyone directed their eyes up towards the giant ball, just like the one in Times Square.

Soon, we will enter a new decade. How exciting is that?” – asked one of the hosts on stage.

Yes, Marilyn, it’s very exciting. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings” – said the other host.

Hannah’s pocket vibrated. With trembling fingers, she pulled out her phone and looked at the screen.

One new message.”

Her heart began to beat faster. With sweaty fingers, she jabbed at the screen and swiped upwards. It was a message from him.

Get ready to run, Little Mouse!

Let’s count down the last few seconds of 2019 together” – Marilyn said and held the microphone out to the audience.


December 29, 2019 02:21

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