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Horror Mystery Suspense

It all started when dispatch sent him to Newberry Street to investigate a domestic disturbance call.




Newberry Street…




It was an unremarkable name, one that he never anticipated would haunt his nightmares for years to come. Newberry Street was situated in a rundown part of town, with chain-link fences enclosing the houses. Signs warning "No Trespassing" or "Keep Out!" glared at him from every door and gate.




The house he’d been called to, one with a faded 27 painted above the front door, had a fence higher than any other. The driveway was riddled with cracks, and weeds sprouted defiantly from the concrete, their long green stalks reaching towards the sky like extraterrestrial invaders from beneath the pavement. Just outside the gate, a trash bag lay discarded, surrounded by buzzing flies. A pitbull dog had its head buried in the bag, tearing into the trash with unprecedented fervor.




Stepping out of his car, Ronny cautiously surveyed the house. Every blind was tightly shut. The small glass panels above the front door were covered in duct tape.




Silence enveloped the air, broken only by the sound of the dog's ravenous chewing.




“Oh, thank goodness you're here!"




Ronny jumped, spinning around. A woman hurried across the street towards him, clad in nothing but a pink robe. Her eyes were a piercing shade of blue, and her snow-white hair contrasted against her tanned and wrinkled face.




“Did you make the call?” Ronny inquired. The fading sun cast shadows over the two figures, while the lone tree in the yard rustled ominously in the gentle evening breeze.




"Yes, officer. You see, the residents of this house," she gestured towards it, "just moved in a week ago. They're a middle-aged couple who seemed nice at first, but..." The woman's voice quivered, her lip trembling. "Well, at night, I hear horrifying sounds coming from their home."




The woman's words and her trembling voice made Ronny feel uneasy.




“What kind of sounds?” He asked.




"Screams," the woman replied, her eyes wide with fear. "Terrible, blood-curdling screams."




Ronny swallowed; his attention was now focused on the house.




Probably a case of domestic violence, he thought, his agitation turning into anger. His own mother had been a victim of such abuse, but they had never had a neighbor who cared enough to seek help for them.




"Often, I can tell it's a woman screaming... She was screaming again just a few moments ago," the woman informed him, wringing her hands. "That's why I called. But... she stopped a little while ago."




“I’ll check it out... Do you know if he’s armed? Or,” Ronny cleared his throat. As a cop, he wasn’t technically allowed to jump to conclusions. “If there are any weapons in the house?"




The woman shook her head.




"I don't know anything about what's happening in that house or what's inside it," she replied, gesturing towards the covered windows. "I don't think they want us to know... Or at least, someone doesn't."




Her bone-chilling words sent a shiver down Ronny's spine; even the dog seemed to sense the eerie atmosphere as it looked up, licking its lips and emitting a low whine before darting off down the street.




Ronny gave the woman a rigid nod. He made his way over to the house. Since the gate was unlocked, he opened it and stepped into the yard. Slowly, he made his way across the driveway, then ascended the porch steps and knocked on the red door.




With one hand resting on his gun holster, he waited.




Nothing.




"Hello? This is the NYPD!" Ronny rapped on the door once more, this time with more force. "Open up!"




From behind the door, he thought he detected the sound of footsteps. But nothing happened.




Ronny bit his lip. He hesitated to force his way in. He wasn't entirely certain if he had enough reasonable grounds to do so.




I'll call for backup and see if we can obtain a warrant to search this location, Ronny contemplated, turning to depart.




The door creaked behind him, causing him to swiftly spin around.




"Hello?" a high-pitched voice called out to him. Ronny's guard lowered as he caught sight of a young woman. She peered at him from behind the partially opened door.




“Hey,” Ronny nodded in greeting. The girl refrained from fully opening the door.




“What do you want?” The girl asked, her lip trembling with fear. Ronny was perplexed. The elderly woman had said a middle-aged couple lived here.




This girl couldn’t be older than sixteen.




“Are your parents home?” Ronny hazarded a guess. The girl titled her head.




“They’re upstairs, in the attic.” She informed him. “Do you want me to fetch them?”




“Yes, that’d be great.” Ronny replied with a gentle smile. The girl reciprocated the grin, her timidity vanishing in an instant.




"Alright!" She swung the door open wider, revealing a sight that caught Ronny's attention. A streak of red liquid was trickling down her chin, and he couldn't help but assume it was ketchup.




“Just finish eating supper?” He asked. The girl nodded.




“It was really good.” She purred, a mischievous grin spreading across her face. “I think we’ll be having dessert in a little while.”




Ronny nodded sagely, his eyes darting past the girl as he tried to catch a glimpse inside the house.




“Wanna come in?” The girl asked.




Without a second thought, Ronny accepted the offer and stepped into the house.




***




As the girl went upstairs to fetch her parents, Ronny sat at the dining room table. Above him, he could hear the creaking of footsteps.




Why are they in the attic? Being alone in this unfamiliar house, his mind began to wander. He absentmindedly tapped his fingers against the antique wooden tabletop while a golden chandelier swayed above his head in sync with the footsteps. The room was bathed in a soft, faded orange glow, emanating from two candles, one placed at the center of the table and another on top of a nearby cabinet.




I don't typically spend my evenings hanging out in the attic, Ronny thought to himself, a hint of amusement crossing his face. But hey, maybe that's just me.




He quickly shook his head at his own stupidity. These people had just moved here. They were most likely still busy unpacking and organizing their belongings.




Bump! Bump! Bump!




The loud thuds from above made Ronny imagine a giant was walking above him. It sounded as if a group of trolls were having a raucous party up there.




A moment later, the girl skipped back into the room, bringing an end to Ronny's musings.




“I’m back, Mr. Cop Man!” She announced. A woman followed her. The woman’s face was ghastly pale. She was holding a candlestick with a lit candle at the top. Following closely behind was a man with disheveled brown hair and eyes as untamed and unpredictable as a tiger's.




Ronny stood up.




“Sir, Ma’am.” He addressed the homeowners. The two simply stared at him. The woman licked her lips.




"Um..." Ronny noticed that the man was vibrating; his head was slightly tilted, like that of an inquisitive cocker spaniel.




"We received a call... that..." Ronny's voice trailed off. The man leaned forward on the table, tapping a long finger that resembled a hawk's talon against the wood.




“We just moved here.” He hissed in a low voice. Ronny nodded dumbly.




"Uh, huh, I heard about that." He cleared his throat. “Sorry. Someone reported hearing screams coming from this residence, and-"




“Do you know why we moved here?” The man interjected. Ronny licked his lips uncomfortably.




“No, sir?”




"We were forced to move here because we were banished from our home," the man snarled, his lip curling and his teeth bared in anger. "They sent us to this insignificant dimension where we must pretend to be friendly with our prey and transform ourselves to resemble these feeble beings!" He clawed at his face, as if unable to bear his own flesh. "A place where we must keep our child hidden so that the authorities do not punish us for not providing her with 'proper' human care! After a hunt, without warning, our own kind closed the portal to our home and declared that we could never return, claiming that my family and I had become too reckless and that we would bring the wrath of humanity upon us all! They’re cowards! That’s what they are!”




Ronny began to sweat.




This man is off-the-rails crazy!




"Excuse me, sir, would you like to take a seat?" Ronny glanced wearily at the wife and child; they shouldn't witness this. 




However, they didn't seem surprised or afraid. The wife's gaze burned with anger, matching her husband's. The girl's hands were tightly clenched.




"I don't need to sit. I'm not tired." The man's eyes blazed with an intensity that made Ronny take a step back. "What I do need... is something to calm my nerves. Food."




"We can-."




"You want to hear screaming, Officer?" The man grinned.




"Allow me to show you the attic, mortal."




"The attic! The attic! The attic!" The girl chirped. "Come and see, Human! Come and see!"




***




Ronny contacted dispatch and requested assistance. They assured him that backup was en route. He trailed the peculiar family up the stairs from the living room to the second floor, and then up another flight of stairs. At the top of the second staircase awaited the attic door, crafted from sleek, polished oak wood. The man put his hand on the golden knob and turned.




"Hey..." Ronny spoke, maintaining a steady voice despite his unease. "I didn't quite catch your name?"




"Malum," the man, the deranged man, purred. Ronny blinked.




Odd name. He mused.




Malum swung open the door, holding it ajar and gesturing for Ronny to enter. Ronny cautiously approached, positioning himself beside Malum just outside the room.




He peered into the attic...




And his stomach plummeted.




The room was a macabre tableau of horror. Blood adorned the walls like a grotesque mural, its crimson droplets cascading from the ceiling like a morbid rain. Piles of bones littered every corner, bearing the unmistakable marks of gnawing, reminiscent of bones given to dogs.




Only these weren’t dog bones. They were human remains!




“PUT YOUR HANDS-.” Ronny began, his voice choked with terror, drawing his weapon and swiftly turning to confront the monsters. Yet, as he spun around, he found himself face-to-face with a pair of piercing red eyes and dagger-like fangs. Malum's once-hazel gaze had transformed into a sinister scarlet, his teeth elongated like those of a vampire. His skin contorted, bubbling and morphing into a scaly, grotesque texture. His fingers lengthened into gleaming silver claws.




“Desert!” The girl said in a sing-song voice from behind Malum. Ronny stumbled backward into the attic, his mind reeling.




"What kind of..." His body trembled uncontrollably. "You're not human."




“Heh, so you finally figured that one out? It never ceases to amaze me the stupidity of your race.” Malum sneered, his forked, violet tongue slithering over his fangs. He advanced menacingly toward Ronny. Ronny aimed his pistol at the creature's head.




“Put your hands in the air.” He hissed, his mouth dry. “Or I'll shoot!"




“Do it.” Malum taunted. He slipped fully into the attic and shut the door behind him, his family’s wild giggling echoing from behind the closed door. Ronny felt icy beads of sweat trickle down his forehead.




“I don’t want-.” He croaked. Malum let out a snarl and lunged at him, his jaws wide open. Yellow fangs gleamed in the pitch-black attic. Ronny leaped to the side. He heard those jagged teeth snap inches from his ear.




There were no windows in the attic. There were no lights now that Malum had sealed the door. It was as dark as tar in the cramped space.




Ronny spun around in the darkness, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of the monster. He caught a fleeting motion to his left and pulled the trigger of his weapon. He heard a thud, like a stone hitting rubber, followed by soft laughter.




“Aw, that stings, human.” Malum jeered from the shadows. “I’m hurt that you would do such a beastly thing.”




“L-Let me out!” Ronny gasped. He heard a cackle from behind him and dropped to his hands and knees just as something leapt over his head like a wildcat pouncing. Crawling towards a faint glimmer of light, Ronny's fingers brushed against the cold, wooden surface of the attic door. It was his only chance, his only hope of escaping. The voice of his tormentor echoed through the darkness, filled with sadistic delight.




"You can't run forever, little one!" Malum's voice reverberated, sending chills down Ronny's spine. A cry escaped his lips as he felt a searing pain shoot through his shoulder, as if knives were being driven into his flesh. The force was overwhelming, pushing him down to the ground and rendering him helpless.




As Ronny gazed up, his eyes met the piercing gaze of two glowing rubies, radiating pure evil. Malum's repulsive breath washed over him, a putrid stench that made his stomach churn. It was a nauseating combination of decay, the scent of dead fish, spoiled milk, and rotten eggs. Ronny turned his face away, unable to bear the repugnant odor. He could feel the sharpness of Malum's fangs, teasingly grazing against his vulnerable neck.




Death seemed inevitable, a fate that Ronny was resigned to accept. But in his final moments, thoughts of his beloved fiance flooded his mind. The image of her waiting patiently at the dinner table, refusing to eat without him, fueled his determination. They had dreams, plans for a future together. Dreams of a blissful marriage, a romantic honeymoon in Paris, and a family of their own. All of it would be shattered, lost forever.




Ronny refused to let it end like this.




With a surge of defiance, he squeezed his eyes shut, praying for a miracle.




Not like this, God, please, he pleaded silently. Summoning every ounce of strength he had left, Ronny's eyes snapped open just as Malum prepared to strike the final blow. The monster's face contorted in surprise as Ronny, fueled by sheer will, reached up and rammed his pistol into Malum’s mouth. The impact was so powerful that it dislodged one of the creature's teeth, sending it flying through the air. A deafening roar erupted from the monster as he desperately clawed at his injured face, writhing in agony.




With great effort, Ronny managed to break free from Malum's grasp and struggled to regain his footing. Blood oozed from his wounded shoulders, staining his shirt as it trickled down his side. However, he paid no mind to his injuries, for there were more pressing matters at hand.




He had to get away.




He had to run like the devil himself was after him.




"How dare you!" Malum's voice echoed, indicating his recovery. Ronny refused to look back, but he could hear the monstrous creature bounding towards him, closing in with every passing second. "I shall tear you limb from limb, you pitiful sack of flesh!"




Not today, you won’t. Ronny leapt for the attic door. He opened it in a flash of movement, then slammed it shut behind him. He heard Malum hit the door with a thump that seemed to shake the whole house.




“Ahh!” The monster bellowed in frustration. Ronny ignored him. He whipped around to face the other two abominations. The two females were no longer laughing. They exchanged puzzled looks, as though they could not comprehend how Ronny had escaped as he had.




No one else has, Ronny thought, his head spinning. Images of the gory scene he’d seen in the attic flashed through his mind, filling his very soul with feelings of horror and disgust. That’s the source of the screaming that woman has been hearing. Only moments before I got here, they were devouring someone up here.




The girl and the woman shifted their gazes from one another and fixed their eyes on Ronny. They rushed at him together, as if controlled by a single mind, mouths open and claws slashing at the air. Ronny spotted a rusty pipe sticking out from the ceiling over his head. Like a hero in the action movies he’d grown up watching, he jumped up and snatched the pipe. He swung himself over the heads of the two creatures. Landing clumsily on his ankle, he winced but refused to halt. Ronny knew he had to keep moving.




Ignoring the pain, he limped down the stairs, the sound of pursuing footsteps echoing in his ears. Tripping and sliding, he descended to the main floor. The hot breath of his pursuers seemed to graze his neck as he sprinted forward.




Ronny put his hand on the front door and yanked it open. He heard claws whistle through the air behind him. He flew out into the fresh air of freedom and stumbled his way across the lawn.




He heard a frustrated grunt.




And then a door slammed shut behind him.




***




The old woman saw him staggering over, bloody and panting. She put her hand over her mouth in horror.




“Goodness me!” She cried. “Are you alright? W-What happened?”




There was a wailing of sirens in the distance, backup coming at last. Ronny slipped out of the gate and sagged against the fence. He didn’t speak at first, simply gazing up at the first stars in the sky and uttering a raspy prayer of absolute gratitude.




Two police cruisers made their way down the road. Ronny watched them for a moment, then gave the old woman a bitter shake of his head.




“It wasn’t someone.” He told her. “It was something."




A chilling fear gripped him, reminding him of Malum's words, "You can't run forever!"




Oh, but I could. Ronny squeezed his eyes shut. With those demons at my heels, I could run to the ends of the earth and back.

February 03, 2024 04:56

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4 comments

Helen A Smith
09:45 Feb 12, 2024

Great story. Vivid language. At first it seemed a case of domestic abuse (nothing mundane about that) but then it turned into something else entirely. I was left wondering what would happen to the back-up.

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C.N. Jung
03:05 Feb 14, 2024

Thank you for reading my story, Helen! Absolutely, there is nothing mundane about any kind of abuse— I wanted the old woman’s hints about the situation inside to be the beginning of when Ronny goes into the situation expecting to be faced with evil, and he was, just not the kind of evil he was expecting. And I can imagine the scenario would be rather hard for him to explain to the backup, I’m not quite sure they’d believe his story. 😂 I appreciate the feedback!

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Mary Bendickson
18:50 Feb 08, 2024

Horrific. Never can tell what a domestic call may reveal. Thanks for liking my 'Another Brick in the Wall '.

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C.N. Jung
16:16 Feb 10, 2024

Thank you for reading, Mary! Yes, it's fascinating how situations that initially appear mundane and ordinary can suddenly become wild and unbelievable. I'm always amazed by those unexpected and mind-boggling twists. And thought I’d see if I could go for one myself with this story. And of course! I truly enjoyed reading your story!

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