Suspense Thriller Mystery

“That day was the worst, I remember Matthew spreading the rumor that I bit his tongue while kissing.” 

“I mean…you did bite his tongue, Jen.”

“You know it was by acci…” I was on the cusp of flipping to the next page of photographs in the album, but something made my eyes divert. 

“You there Jen?”

I was stumped beyond comprehension. The current high school banter became an annoying buzz in my ear. 

“Hey, I’m going to call you back Emma.” She knew I wasn’t going to call her back. I just needed to focus on what I was looking at. Every brain cell needed to focus on this. 

I clicked the red “end” button on my phone and tossed it to the other side of the bed. The comforter hugged it on impact. The splitting crackles of thunder followed by small pecks of rain along the window and shingles made me get out of bed. The sinister breeze of an incoming storm crept into my room unannounced. I pushed the window down, jumped back on the bed, and crisscrossed my legs. No more distractions. I parted the photo album and flipped through the pages of Polaroid pictures, the closer I got to the present day the richer the colors became. Found it. My brain took a while to process the photo. I slipped it out of its clear sleeve and studied it further. Who took this photo? When was this taken? I was looking at a photo of myself but it was taken from the top of my staircase and captured the back of my head on the couch. I squinted my eyes and tossed the photo album once I realized. The dots started connecting and my heart hammered loudly against my ribcage, overpowering the thunder and unforgiving wind outside. I remember that night. The photo was taken a few weeks ago, after my birthday celebration. I know this because I was on the couch after everyone left, bawling my eyes out watching “Amour”. I had a meltdown that same night and shaved my head. The question now is who? Who took that photo? Did a friend stay back and I didn’t remember? But I said bye to everyone and watched them all leave. I retrieved my phone and scrolled to my DM’s with Anthony, the man who installed my security camera at the front and back doors of my house. 

“Hey,  Anthony sorry to bother you at this time of the night, is it possible you can retrieve camera footage from a few weeks ago? It’s urgent!”

I hit send and placed my phone down. Am I going crazy? A buzz near my leg made me grab my phone swiftly. Anthony responded.

“Sure, just let me know the date or dates.”

I messaged him back without hesitation. 

“Can you send me footage from 2/3/24 approximately 10:00 to 11:00”

I stared at my phone, hoping to see the typing bubbles. Two minutes transpired and still no message back. I slipped into my black sweatpants, black hoodie, and headed for the front door. I opened it and walked into the dark abyss of a hallway. I  scanned the wall with my hand and flicked on a light switch along the wall, it exposed the black guardrails leading to the top of the staircase. With the small photo in hand, I stood in the exact spot it was taken. This was far from a dream. At this point, I wish it was a god-awful nightmare. I could see the couch from here, my flatscreen T.V., the sculpture of my deceased dog leaning against the wall. It was all there— like in the photo. My phone buzzed and I looked at the lit screen.

“Attachment: 1 Video” 

I  clicked directly on the video. With my index finger, I scrolled through the frames of when everyone was leaving. There’s Brock…Sabrina…Chloe…Bryan. That’s everyone. I continued to scroll through forty minutes of Frametime but couldn't find a clue. Anxiety caused my body to rattle. Who took that photo? Jen, you can’t be going crazy. Wait. 

The camera caught a figure in all black veering off to the side of the house. I froze the frame and zoomed in on the sneakers. Dirty Converses.  My heart got stuck in my throat. 

A thump from my bedroom caused me to yelp and my phone to tumble down the flight of stairs. I rushed down the steps and turned the phone over, the screen was shattered. I tried to swipe, but the touchscreen was defective. I tucked the phone into my pocket and walked up the stairs. What was that sound from my room? I crept up to my bedroom door and clenched the doorknob. With one swooping motion and deep inhale, I swung the door open. I was expecting the worst—but everything looked normal. The whispering breeze was the only sound in the room. I walked over to the window and completely shut it until I heard a click. The tree branch must have smacked against the window. I was making my way to close the room door when my ajar open closet made me halt. I remember specifically closing the double-door closet before I hopped in bed and got on the phone with Sabrina. I picked up a stranded ballpoint pen on my carpet floor and approached the closet like a lion stalking its prey. I flung the door open. Nothing. 

My eyes welled up with water. Am I really losing it? In frustration I tossed one of my heels at the rack of clothes, the shoe disappeared through the sweaters. I walked up and parted the hanging dresses. Nice, I created a hole in the wall. A white light coming from the hole enticed me to look inside. With the flash on my phone, I shined the light through the hole. Stairs? I pressed my hands near the hole and the section of the wall started turning as I applied more force. I followed the twisting compartment. I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I always saw this in the movies but never thought I’d experience it. A hidden door. My curiosity led me through the compartment like a mother holding her child's hand. I squatted and stepped into the eerie space. It’s as if I was entering hell; my phone became a beacon of light and hope against the dimly lit area. 

My bare feet accumulated grime as I descended the concrete stairs. This is what I pictured solitary confinement to be, dust, cement walls, and depression. A lot of depression. I reached the last step and regretted even coming down here. The flickering light revealed some of—my items; a hairbrush, converses, and lipgloss. A small bed in the corner of the room had sheets hanging off. I took a step and a Pepsi can caved in under my foot. My attention turned to an open laptop on the table near the bed. I walked around the table to look at the screen. Four panels on the screen showed CCTV footage of different parts of my house. One panel showed an aerial view of my bed. Before I could see the other views, I heard a bang coming from near the secret entrance.

I rushed through a narrow hallway away from the entrance, oblivious to where it was taking me. I followed the tunnel until a hatch was in sight. I opened the hatch with force. A crawlspace. I crawled out from under a patio and staggered to my feet as raindrops splat against my oily dirt-stained face. I recognized my surroundings immediately. The front of my house. A buzz in my pocket startled me. I checked my phone and deciphered a message through the cracked screen.

 The notification read:

“Someone in all black is standing in front of your house, I can’t see the face but they’ve been standing there for a few minutes. Just letting you know for your safety”

I looked down and noticed my dirty converses. 

I gazed up at the security camera. 

March 31, 2024 22:19

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Trudy Jas
19:26 Apr 01, 2024

Cool story. So, who's crazy? :-)


Jahson Clarke
23:46 Apr 01, 2024

Thank you. It could be Jen, or someone playing tricks with her mind.


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08:07 May 08, 2024

Super creepy!


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Martin Harp
19:19 Apr 09, 2024

I like the story but a couple parts are throwing me for a loop.. which could be intentional! At the beginning of the story she says she is going to call Emma back but later on says she got on the phone with Sabrina. And then when she is going down the stairs she has bare feet but then looks down at the end and is wearing shoes?


Jahson Clarke
06:09 Apr 10, 2024

I’m glad you liked it and it all is intentional. I wish they had a “psychological” tag. And Sabrina was only mentioned being on the security footage. Even the ending with the shoes on is intentional.


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