When it's dark out

Submitted into Contest #58 in response to: Write about someone who purposefully causes a power outage.... view prompt

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Creative Nonfiction Mystery Thriller

I always think of our home, with a basement which opens lower to a lower patch of land, when ‘House on Haunted Hill’ shows on Netflix. It’s like we’re made for a spooky story but never get one.

I stared at my TV screen, trying to figure out what to watch. I hate when that happens, I want to watch something so bad but I have no idea what to watch. It gets me annoyed, put Friends back on Netflix.

I can hear my sister, Rebekah, crashing around in the kitchen, trying to make herself something for dinner even though she doesn’t know how to cook.

“Stop making so much noise in the kitchen. Make yourself some toast instead. It’s probably the only thing you can make,” I called out to her.

“Even then, I’d probably burn those too” she responded laughing.

I scoffed, turning off the TV. I got up from my bed and walked out into the kitchen, “Here, let me make you something. What do you want.”

“I thought girls were supposed to be the only ones who knew how to cook.”

“What are you saying, because I’m a guy that I shouldn’t know how to cook?”

She shoved me slightly, “I’m just saying, you should teach me to cook, you know mom wouldn’t do that.”

I looked at her, amused. I did find it a little odd that after all those times that mom cooked for us, she didn’t learn a thing. She even had that chef look in a way with her dark, brown hair was in a bun while her close-set almond eyes matched exactly like mine. Even the way her freckles on her cheeks were in place where mine was, no wonder why people know we’re twins.

I crossed my arms, “Fine, but I will only teach you once so you better not space out or anything.”

She nodded, “Deal.”

I curled my upper lip, “What do you want for dinner?”

She twirled around, “I want something new. Something like Mac n Cheese.”

I furrowed my brow, “That’s new to you? That’s like something that can be eaten almost every day.”

She smiled, “I know, but it’s something we haven’t had in a while since mom—” she paused.

I rubbed her shoulder, “I know sis, but let’s not think about that right now okay? Here, I’ll make mom’s famous Mac n Cheese. Let me show you how.”

She did a half-smile and nodded.

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We sat at the table with the macaroni in front of us. I felt like a child again, back when my mom would call us when dinner was ready. Rebekah and I would always race over to the dinner table. Now look at us, twentyone-year-olds, reminiscing about our mom even though it’s been three years. Sometimes it can be a little lonely when you live in the same old house with your sister.

“Okay, so I think I remember how you made it.”

“You think?” I asked.

She shrugged and half smiled, “Guess we will see when I try and make this in the future.”

“Yeah okay, let’s do that while watching you burn the house down,” I told her sarcastically.

She laughed, “Okay, let’s see how good you did in making mom’s Mac n Cheese.”

I nodded, looking down at my bowl of cheese covered shell noodles and small pieces of meat. Mom always loved her meats.

I grabbed my spoon and scooped up a bite. I raised my spoon at my sister and we both took a bite at the same time.

We chewed our food slowly, wanting to savor every moment. It tasted just like how she made it.

Just then, both of our phones rung an emergency alarm. Our screens turned on as an old man spoke…

“Attention people in the state of Montana, city of Helena. I would like to warn you that there is a very dangerous man under the name of Matt Halancey who is turning off lights one block at a time. There has been a report of up to seven murders for every block. Please lock all doors, windows, and anything that this man can enter through. Be cautious, it is very dark outside right now and it appears that he is wearing a black hoodie so it may be hard to see. Just keep your eyes out, we still don’t know how he is turning off all lights of an entire block but we need you to just remain in your homes. If your lights are still on your block, you are safe. Those who have lost a loved one, I’m sorry for your loss.”

Just as the man had disappeared from our screens, there was a knock on our door.

I looked at Rebekah quickly as she responded wide-eyed. We both looked out the window next to us, our street lights were still on. I gave her a confused face, she still was wide-eyed. I got up slowly, the front door was just next to our kitchen, so we are on the opposite side. I entered my kitchen, motioning my sister to stay where she was. There was another louder knock on our door, I quickly grabbed a knife off my counter and made my way towards the door.

I took a deep breath as I looked through the peephole.

“Oh my gosh,” I said, opening the door. It was my best friend, Frankie.

“Finally, did you guys hear the news?”

“Yeah I did,” I responded, letting him in the house, “So it wasn’t very smart banging on our door like that. I could’ve stabbed you.”

“Oh I didn’t think of that,” he said, hugging my sister, “But the street lights are on so you’re fine. Besides, most of the lights are going off like 10 miles away. By the way, go check out what’s going on at the end of your street, there’s like a giant sale going over there. They’ve got a bunch of animals by that little park you guys have. It could be your chance to go and get yourself a cat.”

Rebekah looked at me, you can tell she was fighting back a smile. She’s been wanting one for the longest time.

“Should we?”

She nodded her head furiously, “Yes! Please go and get one!”

I curled my upper lip, “Alright fine.”

“Yes!” she said, jumping up and hugging me.

“I’ll take care of her while you’re gone. It’s like a 2 min walk over there so make it quick. I’m tryna play some Call of Duty.”

I rolled my eyes, letting go of Rebekah, “I’ll be back. I’m going through the basement so don’t lock it on me.”

They both nodded as I turned around and made my way towards the basement. It’s creepy down there and there are a lot of old pots and pans, but that’s where the back door is. It practically takes you right where the mini-park is, you just have to walk a little bit so it’s going to save me time.

I opened the door to the basement, the door creaked as I opened it. I made sure I turned on the light before walking down the stairs so that way I don’t fall. Our basement wasn’t so big, mainly because there was a lot of stuff down here too so it makes it seem even smaller than it actually is. I look to my right as I get to the bottom of the stairs and see the door I was looking for. I had to turn on my flashlight on my phone so I can see it better, it’s a good thing I did because if I didn’t, I would’ve ran right into a pile of pots and pans. That would’ve made a very loud noise.

I made my way out as I closed the door behind me. There were a lot of rabbits around here so as soon as I stepped out, I heard a rustle in the bushes to my right.

Right away I could see the sale with all kinds of pets ahead of me in the grass. Is it okay to be selling pets like this? I started walking towards the area where a man stood, handing a lady a turtle she had just bought and waved goodbye, smiling. I took one step on the grass where so many options of pets were. There were fishes, kittens, puppies, turtles, even some bunnies. Why this late at night? Sure, it was only like 7 at night but still. He should go home, especially with what just happened with the news.

Just as I thought that, the lights went out. I looked to my right, eyes wide, my entire street was out. I felt the blood drain from my face as I quickly turned around and ran back towards home. I thought Frankie said it was like 10 miles back?

I made it to my house, running back through the basement door. Did I leave the back door open? Maybe Frankie made sure it was unlocked and forgot to close it.

I ran through the basement, closing the door behind me this time and ran up the stairs. Good thing I didn’t run into the pile of dishes.

I opened the door to find my home pitch black. I quickly turned on my phone flashlight, “Rebekah? Frankie?” I called out.

“Mike?” I heard my sister call.

“Yeah, I’m heading towards the kitchen.”

I met her in the kitchen as she flashed her phone light at me, “Thank goodness you came right away, I already made sure everything was locked.”

“Already? Where’s Frankie?”

Just then I heard a disturbing laugh behind me. I felt myself scream as my sister did the same.

The voice turned into laughter as another flashlight was shown, “You guys are a bunch of girls. You probably thought I was that scary dude. I checked everything else so it is all closed.”

I tried to get my heart to calm down, “Okay so it was you that left the basement door open then?”

“Me? No, I haven’t been down there.”

“Were you down there Rebekah?” I asked, shining the light towards her.

“No that wasn’t me. Did you forget to close it?”

“I specifically remember closing it though.”

Just then, there was a loud crash of pots and pans coming from the basement. 

September 08, 2020 04:08

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70 comments

Lily Kingston
11:54 Sep 08, 2020

I like the charming brother-sister relationship with their back and forth. The ending was also good, leaving it on a cliffhanger. Great story. Keep up the good work and keep writing!!

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16:45 Sep 08, 2020

Thank you!!

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Lani Lane
05:53 Sep 18, 2020

Ok, first of all—YES! I love a story with a cliffhanger. Great job on this!! Secondly, I read your bio, and I am EXTREMELY jealous you have two dachshunds and a corgi!!! What are their names?? Lastly, I gotta take a shot at answering the riddle. Is it because he’s bald?? Looking forward to reading more of your stories! :)

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05:59 Sep 18, 2020

Omg I love you already, first, thanks! Glad you loved my story! I've got plenty of short stories that arent on here but thanks! Second, My dachshunds are both girls, on is Zoey and the other is Frankie. As for the Corgie, (who is also a girl) her name is Sidney. Third, lol, Yes! You are correct!

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00:40 Sep 16, 2020

Oh, god, I loved this. The ending was perfect. Very well done.

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00:40 Sep 16, 2020

Thank you! ;)

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Karin Venables
14:15 Sep 10, 2020

You have to finish this story. It's a classic horror story. I love it.

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23:03 Sep 10, 2020

I probably will finish it, but it'll be on my short stories book coming soon!

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Karin Venables
23:23 Sep 10, 2020

Where will you publish it? I have profiles on Wattpad and Inkitt.

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23:26 Sep 10, 2020

I have a Wattpad account, but I actually don't write on that. I should start doing that though. I mean publish it to the public. I am in the process of making a mystery short stories book and plan to put this story in it as well.

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Karin Venables
23:35 Sep 10, 2020

Perfect. I'll watch for it. I'm getting ready to self publish some novels as well. It might take another year, but I'm getting there.

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01:27 Sep 11, 2020

I'm hoping to set everything out by the beginning of next year, a novel hopefully, a short stories book, as well as a poetry book

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19:17 Oct 22, 2020

Hey Angelina! Your story is so amazing! I thought I'd take a guess at your riddle so here goes: Is there not a single person on board because they are all married or dating someone? Again, wonderful job on your story!

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Jesna Anna S.
16:49 Sep 27, 2020

Awesome story! Keep writing!

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21:40 Sep 27, 2020

Thanks!!

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☆ Ariadne ☆
02:13 Sep 25, 2020

The relationship this story focuses on is beautiful. Brother-sister relationships always bring tears to my eyes, especially since I never had that relationship with my own brother (he's way too young lol). Well done! This story is excellently crafted. Can't wait for the sequel. ~Ria Mind checking out my stories? Thanks!

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Kristin Neubauer
17:42 Sep 18, 2020

Yikes! Spooky story, great ending. I liked the whole thing, but loved the beginning - the concept of being made for a spooky story but never getting one. Well done!

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03:19 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you!!

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Mila Van Niekerk
13:51 Sep 18, 2020

WOW I LOVED THIS. It was really good, you had my attention 99.999 % of the way. Sometimes you seem to leave words out and here and there a sentence is slightly confusing, which can often make readers want to put the book down, but you told the story so well that I just couldn't stop reading! All in all I LOVED this. I am SO making my bestie read this at 11:45 pm during our next sleepover! Also I read your bio and I'm taking a guess on the riddle: the answer is he doesn't have hair! I think. 🤔 - M!love

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03:19 Sep 19, 2020

Awe thank you! You sound like such a sweet person! Yes! Share this with as many people! Have fun at ur sleepover lol, and by the way, you got the riddle right! ;)

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Yolanda Wu
06:12 Sep 18, 2020

I loved the premise you set out for the story, right from the start I knew that something spooky was going to happen. The dialogue between the narrator and is sister was fun and interesting to read about, and of course, the cliffhanger was on point. Amazing work!

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03:16 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Megan Sutherland
10:54 Sep 17, 2020

Hey, Angelica, I read this before, I'm just here wondering if you have been downvoted at all. I was pushed down nearly 200 points and I have no idea who's doing it.

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00:39 Sep 18, 2020

Downvoted? What does that mean?

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Megan Sutherland
01:40 Sep 18, 2020

Those little arrows by your name on each comment. If you click the one that points down, it takes away one of your karma points.

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05:01 Sep 18, 2020

Oof, I didn't know that, I haven't noticed anything

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Megan Sutherland
10:00 Sep 18, 2020

Okay, thanks anyway! Would you mind letting me know if you do see something?

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03:17 Sep 19, 2020

Yes of course!

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D. Jaymz
17:49 Sep 12, 2020

A great story filled with tension. The cliffhanger at the end is excellent 👏 Keep up the good work 😊

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19:15 Sep 13, 2020

Thank you! :)

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D. Jaymz
19:46 Sep 13, 2020

You're welcome 😊

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Amel Parvez
05:45 Aug 16, 2021

Hey! I just read your bio. The answer of that riddle is that all the people sitting in the boat are married. Right? Have a great day!

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Arthur Alexander
17:55 Jul 29, 2021

Hi... I just wanted to try out for the daily riddle.. I honestly don't know if my answer is right.. but Answer: There was no single person because everyone was married

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Arwen Dove
06:37 May 06, 2021

This is sooo great!!!

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Wizard Oblivion
04:03 May 04, 2021

Answer to todays riddle is they were holograms who looked like actual human beings 😂

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06:35 Sep 21, 2020

Hey, Angelina would you be kind to watch the first video it's on Harry potter. https://youtu.be/KxfnREWgN14 Sorry for asking your time, I would ready your story

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04:09 Sep 22, 2020

Don't apologize for your time, I really loved it!

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08:16 Sep 22, 2020

Thanks a many times

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Megan Sutherland
02:07 Sep 13, 2020

Ooh, great story! I loved the cliffhanger

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19:17 Sep 13, 2020

Thank you! Glad you liked it!

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Megan Sutherland
20:58 Sep 13, 2020

Of course!!

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Megan Sutherland
02:04 Sep 13, 2020

I have the answer to the riddle and I'm going to read the story now- he didn't get any hair wet because he was bald.

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19:16 Sep 13, 2020

Yes! Lol, you are correct!

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19:17 Sep 13, 2020

P.S.- I have already liked every single one of ur stories in the past hehe

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Megan Sutherland
20:58 Sep 13, 2020

Okay! Thanks!!

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Andrew Krey
14:00 Sep 11, 2020

Hi Angelina, I liked your story. I liked the twist on films where the victim runs up the stairs rather than out the door...and in your story they run out the door rather than up the stairs! There was a good build up of tension, but sometimes your description was more a distraction than an enhancement to the story. You can use pacing to characterise how your character feels - for example you can have the description in the basement, but add the context that he was nervous to go out, was hesitant, and therefore slowing down in the basement...

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16:37 Sep 11, 2020

Yes! This feedback was very helpful! Thank you so much! Glad you liked it and I did kinda make it seem like the friend was the killer, glad I set you off lol.

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