Aaron walks behind his real estate agent as he shows him the whole house. The house is two spacious floors, 24 hours water and electricity and has a beautiful lawn. As Aaron walks through the house he thinks the rent is affordable and the place is amazing. At the end of the tour Aaron’s agent brings him to one final room at the far end of the house on the ground floor.
“Why is this room empty?”
Aaron asks curiously.
“Well, you see, since you
are on a limited budget and you requested to find a spacious house, and you
have already rejected 12 previous houses this is the best I could do for you”
the agent replied.
“Mike, I know my budget and
how many houses I rejected. What I am asking is why this room in the entire
house is empty. I’m getting an entire furnished house except for this one room?”
“Mr. Aaron, you are not
getting the entire house…” Aaron makes a confused face at Mike “…you will get
the first floor of the house and this floor is already rented out.”
“What!?” Aaron is baffled
by this revelation.
“Look this is your last
resort because after this there aren’t any more houses which come under your
budget and the other renter doesn’t mind sharing either”
“I mind. I can’t share a
house, what if the other person is a criminal?”
“All criminal records,
medical records and even academic records of the other renter have been
thoroughly checked. So the decision is yours, you want it or not.”
Aaron and Mike are still
standing in the empty room. He thinks over the offer one more time and decides
it’s better than a small apartment or a shabby house in a bad neighborhood.
“This is my last option?”
Aaron reluctantly asks.
“Yes or you could pick one
of the previous places”
“Fine, I'll take it. Give
me the contract and the lease. Also what is this room?”
“Ohh… in the original house
plan this was the guest room, away from the family giving the guest privacy.
This comes under the other renter’s area. The areas you will be sharing are the
lawn and the balcony. You will be getting separate bills for both water and
electricity but the gas bill is shared and both have separate kitchens as well”
Mike goes on and on about the specifics, Aaron only half pays attention. Once
the lease and the contract is signed Aaron and Mike part ways.
Aaron returns to his hotel
room for the evening to pack his clothes and any valuables he has. He spends
the night and in the morning he heads to the reception where he pays for the
last few weeks and clears his tab. Once outside the hotel the uber he
called is waiting for him, unexpectedly the uber only takes him half way
because the car has a flat tire. Aaron walks the rest of the way and reaches
his new home in 30 minutes.
Once inside the house Aaron
notices bags and boxes all over the ground floor signaling the other renter’s
presence. Aaron ignored the boxes and made his way to his part of the
house. The first floor had two bedrooms each having their own bathrooms, a
balcony looking over the lush lawn and a lounge area all of which came fully
furnished. This part of the house was designed exactly to Aaron’s taste with
dark grey to black matted walls and leather furniture. Aaron placed his clothes
in the room he preferred and made the other bedroom into his study. After he is
done with his work he heads to the kitchen and heats up the frozen food he
Around 11 pm Aaron headed
to his room and once inside he closed the door and locked it. Two hours later
he heard a knock on the door but when he opened the door he found a small plush
doll and a note lying on the ground. He picked up the doll and the note, the
doll was dirty but also cute and then read the note.
“Dear Neighbor. Hello!!! I would like to
present you with a gift to show there is no hostility from my side. I also want
to welcome you. I hope we can live together in peace. Hope you like the gift.
His name is Josh”
Aaron threw the note in the
bin but kept the doll. He washed the doll and dried it so it would not look
dirty and kept it on his night stand. And from then on Aaron would keep Josh
next to him all the time, in his study, in the kitchen and even when watching
TV. He hadn’t seen his neighbor ever since he moved but always received notes from
time to time.
Few months later Aaron woke
up in the middle of the freezing night to the sound of his TV. He got up to see
and found the TV was on and Josh sat in front of it. Aaron closed the TV and
turned to get Josh but it wasn’t there anymore. He looked everywhere in
the lounge and the kitchen but Josh wasn’t there either. Suddenly he felt drawn
towards his room and he found Josh on the nightstand.
“I must be dreaming” Aaron
said to himself out loud.
After that night Josh would
go missing and then appear somewhere else and this worried Aaron a lot. Once
Aaron had put Josh in the bedroom and was working in his study on some
documents. Aaron had walked away from the desk to retrieve a file from the file
cabinet and on his return he saw Josh on his desk. After that Aaron had had
enough and went to see his neighbor with Josh clutched in his hands. Aaron
checked all the rooms but there was no sign of the other renter or a sign that
anyone actually lived there. Aaron had one last room to check, the guest room.
He walked towards the door
slowly as if expecting someone to jump at him. This part of the floor got
colder and colder by every step he took. The hand in which he had Josh turned
as cold as ice but he didn’t let go of Josh. Once at the door Aaron called out
“Hello, hey neighbor” his voice cracked under the low temperature. He touched
the door knob and the door flew open. He heard a little boy’s voice, inaudible
“Hey, ummm…Kid… ahh are
your parents home? I need to speak with them” Aaron said calmly so as not to
scare the boy.
“I’m not a boy, silly. But
come in and please join my tea party” the little girl’s voice said.
“I never said you were a
boy” he seemed confused by the situation. The room was dark like it was painted
black. Aaron takes another few steps into the room.
“But you were thinking about
it weren’t you. Just like when you were exposing your boss but you didn’t or
the time when you were ready to kill your brother because he held you back or
the time when….” the voice echoed.
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”
“AWWWW did I hurt little
Ronny?” all the colour drains away from Aaron’s face as soon as he hears his
nickname, a name no one can call him, not anymore.
“I’m leaving!!” Aaron
breaks into a run towards the door but before he could reach it, it slams shut.
He bands on the door over and over again and screams at the top of his lunges
but all in vain.
“Little Ronny come to me” a
dark figure steps out of the darkness, its face is covered with long black hair
and only one of its eyes is visible. “Little Ronny come to me” the figure steps
closer and Aaron turns around to face it.
“Stay away, don’t come near
me” he looked the figure in the eye and in panic threw Josh at it. Josh landed
on the figure’s unseen face and didn’t fall off.
“What is this, a little
doll?” the figure tried to take the doll off its face but couldn’t.
“I won’t let you” was a
tiny voice but it stopped the figure. “You will not hurt him” the voice grew
louder. In a matter of seconds, in front of Aaron, Josh fell and another figure
appeared. This figure was lighter and had a soft aura and proceeded to
hold the dark figure away from Aaron. Josh turned his head slightly and said
“Run”, Aaron had managed to open the door and bolted. Few minutes of running
and he would be outside but he ended up in the same room again. Aaron tries
again but to no use he keeps ending up in the same room. After 10 tries Aaron
has given up and finally turns to see what has happened to Josh and the dark
figure. Josh is no longer the soft aura he first saw but has turned dark just
like the other figure.
“Aaron, stay with me” Josh
says, with empty eyes.
“Please let me go” Aaron
begs but he has been pushed into a corner, both Josh and the dark figure tower
(7 months later)
Mike and a woman in her mid
twenties stand in the guest room.
“Ok so this is the guest
room but it's not part of the area I rent. Am I correct?” the woman asks
“Yes. That is correct”
“Well I’m in love with this
house. Lets sign the contract”
The woman moves in the next
day and at night finds a pair of dolls and a note at her bedroom door.
The note says:
“Hello neighbor, I welcome you with a gift. This is
Josh and Aaron, I hope you like them.”
The woman takes the dolls
into her room and places them on the nightstand. While she prepares for bed the
doll’s head turns to face her.