The Forbidden Room

“You must never go in that room!  It’s a forbidden room.”  Melissa heard that over and over again.  That room at the end of the hall, that forbidden room.  Yet, she stood there with her hand on the doorknob.


Melissa had just moved into that house when her mother, Nancy married Hank.

All Melissa knew about Hank was he was married before and his wife and daughter left but no one knew where they went.

The house was massive and Melissa was given a choice of any room to pick for own.  

“Any room you want.” Hank said, “Except the room at the end of the hall.”

“Why?” Melissa asked.

“It’s just the way it needs to be.” Hank said.  “That room is off limits to everyone.  You and everyone else are forbidden to enter that room.”

The first few nights were great.  Melissa had picked the biggest room in the house.  She even had her own bathroom.

She invited her best friend, Marcy over for the weekend to help decorate her room. 

“What’s in that room?” Marcy asked, pointing to the room at the end of the hall. 

“I don’t know.” Melissa said. “All I do know is that Hank said that room is off limits.  I’m forbidden to go in there.”

“Maybe it’s his daughter’s room.” Marcy said. “Maybe he’s saving it for when she comes back.”

“Maybe.” Melissa said. 

On the first night she was alone, she was returning to her room from the kitchen when she heard what sounded like someone crying coming from the forbidden room. 

Her mother and Hank had gone out to dinner so there wasn’t anyone around. 

She walked over to the door and put her ear to it.  But now she couldn’t hear anything.  She knocked on the door and still heard nothing. She tried the doorknob but the door was locked. 

She heard her mother and Hank come home so she quickly ran to her room. She closed the door and leaned against it. 

“I’m beat.” she heard her mom say.  “I’m just going to check on Melissa then heading straight for bed.”

“I’ll be right there.” Hank said. “I’m just going to make sure everything is locked up.”

Melissa heard a soft knock on the door. “Missy are you up?”  

Melissa took a deep breath before opening the door. “Yeah, just finishing up some homework.”  

“Wow,” her mom said, looking around the room. “Your room looks great.  I hope you’re happy here.”

“I am Mom, it’s a great room.” Melissa said. “Hey, do you have any idea about that room at the end of the hall? Why is it off limits?”

“I don’t know.” her mom said. “Hank has his reasons, I guess.”

“Mom, I thought I heard crying coming from that room. But when I got closer it stopped.”

“Maybe it was just the wind.” Nancy said.  “Look, Missy, Hank doesn’t have many rules. Just respect his rule about that room.”  

“Ok,” Melissa said.

“Good night,” Nancy said, kissing Melissa on the head. 

Melissa walked her mom to the door and hugged her. She watched as Nancy walked to her room. 

Melissa heard Hank coming up the stairs. She closed her door, but not all the way. She peeked through the crack.   She watched as Hank looked around. He headed to the room at the end of the hall. 

He checked to see if it was locked. He put his ear to the door and listened.  He looked around again. Melissa closed her door all the way. She heard Hank's footsteps as he passed her room. 

Melissa had a hard time falling asleep. She wanted to find out why that room was forbidden, but didn’t know how to go about it. 

The next morning as Melissa was getting ready to leave for school she again heard what sounded like someone crying coming from the room again. 

She stood in the hallway trying to listen but Hank came out of his room yelling to Nancy to hurry up. He didn't want to be late for work. 

“What’s up Melissa?” he asked, seeing her standing in the hallway. 

“Nothing,” she answered. “I just thought I heard someone crying.”

“It’s just the wind,” he said. “Sometimes when it blows through the trees that’s the sound it makes.  It’s an old house, Melissa. It makes a lot of odd sounds.”

“Okay,” Melissa said.  “That’s what mom said when I told her last night.”

Nancy came out of her room and both of them headed downstairs. Melissa followed right behind them. She looked at the door to the forbidden room. She thought she saw a light on and someone’s feet under the door. 

“Marcy,” Melissa said later on at school.  “There is something up with the forbidden room.  I thought I heard someone crying last night, and again this morning.”

“Did you say anything to your mom or Hank?” Marcy asked.

“Yeah they both said it's just the wind blowing through the house.” she said.  “But, it’s really weird that the door is always locked.”

“What do you know about Hank?” Marcy asked. 

“Nothing really.” Melissa said. “Just that he was married before and his wife and daughter left. But no one knows where they are now.”

“Everyone knows that.”  Marcy said. “Come on, you have to know more.  Your mother is married to him.”

“Nothing,” Melissa said. “That’s all my mother has told me.”  

“What about that room?” Marcy asked.  

“Just that it's a forbidden room.  I’m not allowed to go in there.  It doesn’t matter if it’s always locked.”

“We need to check out Hank.” Marcy said.  “You come to my house after school and we can go online and see what we could find out.”

“Mom,” Melissa left a message on her mothers voice mail.  “I’m going to Marcy after school to do homework.  I’ll be home for dinner.  Love you.”

Melissa and Marcy planned to meet after school and head straight to Marcy’s house.

Melissa was on pins and needles waiting for the school day to end.  She couldn’t concentrate on anything.  She wondered if her mother knew things about Hank that she wasn’t saying.

Marcy knew that both her parents were still at work so they would not be disturbed.  

“How should we get started?” Melissa asked.  “I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“First we’ll type his name into Google and see what pops up.”  Marcy said, pulling her laptop out of the drawer she kept it in.”

“His real name is Henry,” Melissa said.  “Henry McMann.”

Marcy typed in ‘Henry McMann’ in the Google box.  Dozens of people with that name popped up.  Marcy kept clicking on different ones until the one they were looking for finally popped up.

They were able to get an address which was where Melissa now lived with her mother and Hank.

“We can request a background check and see what else there is.”  Marcy said.  “It doesn’t cost that much.  I’ll put it on my credit card so your mother won’t know.

Marcy went to get her card as Melissa kept clicking on different items’

After agreeing to all the terms of the background check Marcy entered her credit card number.  They waited patiently for the information to appear. 

Melissa’s cell phone rang causing both of them to jump.  She looked at her caller ID and saw it was her mother calling.

“Hi, Mom.” Melissa said.  “Did you get my message about going to Marcy’s after school?”

“Yeah,” Nancy said, “But I need you to come home as soon as possible.”

“Mom,” Melissa said, beginning to panic.  “What’s wrong?  Is everything ok with Hank?”

“Please Missy,” Nancy said.  “Please just come home.”

“Marcy,” Melissa said gathering up her belongings.  “Can you drive me home.  Somethings wrong, but my mother won't tell me what.”

“Sure,” Marcy said, grabbing her car keys.  

Marcy drove Melissa home.  “Do you want me to go in with you?” Marcy asked when they pulled up to her driveway.

“No, I’ll call you later.” Melissa said.  “Text me and let me know what you find out about Hank.”

“Okay.” Marcy said.  “But call me as soon as you can.  You let me know what’s going on too!”

Melissa got out of the car and ran up the walkway.  Her heart was racing as she opened the door.  Her mom was sitting at the bottom of the staircase.

“Mom,” Melissa said, closing the door behind her.  “What’s going on?”

“Tell me what you heard last night.”  Nancy said.  “The crying coming from the forbidden room.”

“Why?” Melissa said.

“I came home from work early because I had a headache.” Nancy said.  She started walking up the stairs motioning for Melissa to follow.  “When I came up the stairs I heard noises coming from that room.”

“I tried to open it but it was locked.” she went on, “I knocked on the door but the noises stopped.”

“Where’s Hank?” Melissa asked.

“He’s working late.”  Nancy said.  “He said don’t expect him home for dinner.”

“Mom?” Melissa asked.  “Do you know where Hank keeps the key to the room?”

“Probably on his key ring.” Nancy said.

“You need to get it from him.” Melissa said.  “And get him out of the house.  I can check things out.”

“Missy,” Nancy said, shaking her head.  “It’s too dangerous.”

“He won’t find out.” Melissa said.  “I’m just going to open the door and see what’s inside.”

“I’m not sure how to get the key from him.” Nancy said.  “He always has his keys with him.”

“See if you can get them tonight.” Melissa said.  “If you can get them from him, maybe I can get the key to Marcy.  Maybe she can find a twenty-four hour locksmith place.  She could make a copy.”

“We can’t get Marcy involved.” Nancy said.  “I’ll try to get the key and sneak out and make a copy.”

They heard Hank’s pulling on the driveway.  Nancy quickly went to her room so she could get in bed.  She still had a headache and had to convince Hank she needed to stay in bed.

Melissa was in her room when Hank came up the stairs.  

“I thought you were at Marcy’s,” Hank said. 

“Mom called me and said she had a headache.” Melissa said  “She said you were working late so I thought I’d come home in case she needed me.  I think she's sleeping now.” 

“I’ll go check on her.” Hank said.  “Maybe we can get a pizza delivered for dinner.”

“I’m not really hungry.” Melissa  said, “I’ll just grab something later.”

“Okay,” he said,  “Have a good night.”

Melissa heard Hank walk to his room, open the door and close it.  She heard them talking but couldn’t hear what they were saying.  She went into the hallway to make sure they couldn’t hear her call Marcy.

“Marcy,” she said in a low voice as she closed her door.  “My mom said she heard the crying too.  She’s going to try to get the key so we can check out the room.”

“Melissa,” Marcy said.  “I found out something about Hank.  He’s been married twice. His first wife left, taking their daughter with her, but his second wife died.  It’s reported that she killed herself.  Her daughter ran away after that.  I ordered another report but won’t get it for a few days.”

Melissa heard Hank in the hallway.  “I have to go.” she said.  “I’ll talk to you in the morning.”  She hung up before Marcy could say anything else.

She opened her bedroom door just a crack.  She watched Hank walk to the forbidden room.  He put the key in the door and quickly ducked inside.

Melissa quickly walked over to the room and put her ear to the door.  She could faintly hear his voice.  She thought she heard another  voice but couldn’t be sure.  

She heard the doorknob make a noise and quickly ducked into a closet next to the room.  She closed the door just in time before he opened the forbidden room door. She heard him go down stairs.  She quickly left the closet and went back to her room.

She was about to call Marcy back when she heard Hank’s car pull away.

She left her room and went to her mother’s room.  She knocked softly and entered. Her mother was lying down.

“Mom,” she said.  “Where is Hank going?”

“To get me something for my headache.” Nancy said, sitting up.  

“I saw him go into that room.” Melissa said, sitting on the bed next to her mother.  “I think I heard voices.”

“Mom, If I told you something, would you promise not to get mad?” Melissa said.

“Okay.” Nancy said.

“Marcy and I did some research about Hank.”  Melissa took a deep breath,  

“What, Missy?” Nancy said, getting impatient.  “What kind of research?”

“Hank was married twice before you.  His first wife left with their little girl just like he told us, ``But..” Melissa took another deep breath. “He got married again.  She killed herself and her daughter ran away.”

“Missy,” Nancy said.  “What made you do that?”

“I don’t know.” Melissa said.  “I just have this feeling.  Something about that room.  I’m willing to accept the fact that I can’t go in that room, but I also can’t ignore the sounds I hear from it.

“Look, Mom,” she went on, “If I go in that room and there’s nothing there I believe it’s the wind and I’ll let it go.”

“Okay,” Nancy said.  “I’ll get Hank take me out for dinner tomorrow night and you can check out the room.”

“But, how will I get in?” Melissa asked.  “I don’t have a key.”

“I think this is the key.” Nancy said, handing  her a key.  “Found this in Hank’s desk.  It might be the key for the room.”

They heard Hank’s car pull up.  Melissa quickly ran to her room.

She closed the door just in time as Hank came up the stairs.

Melissa quickly found her phone and called Marcy.  She told her what was going on.

“So,” Marcy asked, “Do you want me to come over tomorrow night and check out the room with you?  I can be your lookout.”

“No, I’ll be fine.”  Melissa said.  “I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”  Melissa hung up the phone.

She had a hard time sleeping.  She wondered what was in that room.

Was it really the wind blowing?  If so, why was the door locked?  Who was crying?  Why were they locked in that room? 

She had just as hard of a time concentrating in school the next day.  She hurried home after school.

“Are you sure you don’t want to join us for dinner?” Hank asked.

“No, I’ll be fine.” Melissa said.  “I have lots of homework to do.”

Melissa listened as Hank and her mother went down stairs.  As soon as she heard the car pull away she retrieved the key her mother gave her.

“You must never go in that room!  It’s a forbidden room.”  Melissa heard that over and over again.  That room at the end of the hall, that forbidden room.  Yet, she stood there with her hand on the doorknob.

She unlocked the door and quickly snuck inside.  She immediately saw a young girl sitting on a bed.  

“Who are you?” Melissa asked the girl sitting in the bed

“Candice.” She said in a soft voice. “You better go before Hank gets home.  He would be furious if he found you in here.”

“Don’t worry about Hank…” Melissa stopped her sentence because of something Candice said. “Wait a minute. You called him Hank, he’s not your father?”

“No, he's my step-father.” She said, “He married my mother last year.”

“What happened to your mother?” Melissa asked.

“She died,” Candice said.  “Hank made me write a letter saying I was running away.  Hank locked me in this room and told me to be very quiet.  But sometimes it's hard.  I miss my mom.”

“Me too,” another voice came from a small bathroom.  Melissa jumped.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Sarah,” the little girl said.  “My mommy left too.  Candice and I have to stay in this room all the time.  We are not allowed to ever leave.”

“Why?” Melissa asked.

“We don’t know.” Candice said.  “It’s just the rule.  I got locked up when I came into this room because I heard crying.  Hank found out and locked me in here.”

Just as Candice was about to say more they heard Hank’s car pull up.  The door slammed shut.  They could hear Hank yelling.

Melissa quickly left the room, locking it behind her.  She headed to her room just as Hank came running up the stairs.  She couldn’t close her door in time.

“I've told you there was only one rule.” Hank yelled. “ Stay out of that forbidden room.  You broke the rule now you must be punished.”

Melissa, Candice and Sarah sat on the bed.  Hank closed the door and locked it behind him.

They all ran to the door and put their ears to it.  

There was a new girl in the hallway.

“You must never go in that room.” they heard Hank say.  “It is forbidden!”

October 22, 2021 13:22

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Sarah Deisel
00:24 Oct 28, 2021

Wow that was good. The clues are nicely laid for the reader to at least assume the second daughter was locked in there, but the real daughter was a surprise. Now it's left open for the reader to assume what's going to happen now, will they get out? Will they get a new addition? So many possibilities.


Lisa Neuvelt
01:35 Oct 28, 2021

Thanks, I'm seriously considering writing a sequel to this. Maybe using Melissa's friend Marcy as the main character.


Sarah Deisel
02:00 Oct 28, 2021

Sounds great :D


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Kossiwa Logan
00:36 Oct 25, 2021

Such. An interesting story. You. Should write a sequel about the girls in the room, how the mother Nancy and the other mothers reacted when their children got locked in the room did the mother really commit suicide? There's so much more you can do with this story.


Lisa Neuvelt
01:33 Oct 25, 2021

Thanks Kossiwa. Thinking about that. Might be in the works soon.


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