The rumor about Shannon and Scott was true; which they staunchly denied.
It was the dead of night, in a dimly lit room, four students sat opposite each other around a small table, with an empty bottle on its side.
“My turn” declared a twenty-year-old woman, of average build, with long flowing brown hair and brown eyes to match. She proceeded to spin the bottle, which ended up pointing at a young man, with a ginger beard and a ginger stubble. His green eyes looked with dismay as the bottle pointed towards him.
The woman smirked. “Truth or dare” she asked.
“OK Dane. What really happened between you and Chris in the stock room that night?”
“Shannon. Give me a dare instead.”
“Have a bath” interrupted Harriet. Harriet was the same age as her friend, Shannon, but slightly heavier, and had shoulder length blonde bobbed hair, and blue eyes.
Shannon pondered for a moment. “OK” said Shannon. “Ask Rita on a date.” A look of disgust spread across Dane’s face. Shannon continued with “If she accepts, you have to go on a date with her.”
“My turn” Dane said with despair. He gave the bottle a substandard spin, which then pointed at Shannon. There was revenge in his eyes as he asked “Truth or dare.”
“Truth” she replied.
“Are you and Scott in a secret relationship?”
Shannon lovingly looked across to Scott. Scott who was only a year older, clean shaven with short black hair. Was now the time to admit it?
“What if they are?” queried Harriett “They’re both single.”
“OK. I’ll go for a dare instead” said Shannon to Scott’s astonishment.
Dane gave an evil grin. “You must spend the night at that haunted house at the end of your road, sometime next month. Sunset to sunrise.”
“Fine” she calmly replied.
Scott entered the conversation with “It’s not haunted. It just looks creepy.”
“You can take, lover boy with you.” Dane continued with “you forget about that first year that went missing last year. There were quite a few others that have gone missing.”
“Silly rumors” responded Scott.
“Surely, you don’t believe them” Shannon turned to Scott and said “It’ll be a boring night ahead.”
Scott nodded, unaware that the night would be far from dull.
* * * * *
The following month, on a fine August evening, Shannon and Scott stood before the creepy house. The old Victorian house looked as though it hadn’t been lived in for years, many of the upstairs windows had either been smashed, or fell out. A disheveled roof, added to its unwelcoming look.
“How much is it on the market for?” enquired Shannon.
“About one hundred thousand pounds.”
Aware that the house probably didn’t have clean water or electricity, the couple came well prepared for an uneventful night. As the sun was just beginning to set, they entered the house.
Throughout the house was a strong musty smell, everything was covered in dust and cobwebs everywhere. The carpet which once bore a pattern was now ingrained with grey. They tried to tidy the living room, and opened the downstairs windows, hoping for a gentle breeze. They set their sleeping bags up on the cleanest, well least dirty, area of the living room.
“Shall we explore” she suggested.
“Nah” he replied. “I’m not sure how safe the floorboards are. Let’s stay here to 6 am, and then get out.”
Scott pulled out his mobile phone, and proceeded to log in. “Oh, you’re not going to be on that thing all night” moaned Shannon, “I thought we could do something together, now we are alone.”
“I just want to know where Dane is tonight. He will probably be pulling some kind of prank tonight.”
They set out their bedding in the living room as the sun disappeared over the horizon. In the fading light the couple kissed and cuddled, before finally laying back. Scott read a book on his tablet whilst Shannon just stared into mid-air.
“Scott” whispered Shannon. “I can hear someone creeping around outside. They could clearly hear footsteps on the gravel path outside.
Scott peered out of the window, to see a figure prowling in the bushes outside. On sight of Dane’s car on the road Scott shouted “Dane get lost!”
“He’s just bitter as he got Rita pregnant”, whispered Shannon.
“They were only supposed to go on a date. Not supposed to sleep with each other.”
“They both got very drunk, and both very desperate.”
Only moments later, they could here a clear tapping noise on the kitchen window.
“Does he ever give up” moaned Scott as he made his way to the kitchen. He shut the kitchen window and peered out to see a humanoid figure…but it didn’t look like Dane. He shrugged it off as the light was poor, and went back to join Shannon.
After that there was silence, except for the sound of the gentle breeze outside. The couple drifted off to sleep, blissfully unaware.
* * * * *
At 3 am Shannon awoke to thumbing sounds, from within the house. She gently awoke Scott. “Scott. I can hear banging sounds.”
Scott still groggy replied with “It was probably a bad dream. In three hours, we are out of here.”
Thump, thump, thump; came the banging sounds again. “That’s from the basement!” he said as he got up.
“You’re not going down to investigate. Surely?”
She got up and said “You’re not leaving me on my own.”
She closely followed him to the basement, through the door at the foot of the steps. The basement was more dark, gloomy and shadowy from the light of their flash lamps. There was something else that was different. There was less dust and the air was cleaner. Scott pulled out him phone to call Dane, to stop playing games; but there was no signal. Looking around the basement there were heaps of old clothes, and a few pieces of antique furniture. More importantly the thumping sound had stopped.
Suddenly, the door slammed shut behind them. They decided that it was time to leave, only to find it locked. Looking around they tried another door at the other end of the basement, hoping for a way out. They were astonished to find this room, an inner cellar, had a lock on the inside.
Thump, thump, thump. The sound came from behind them. They turned to see ‘it’ stood between them and the locked exit.
It was a grey hairless humanoid creature, crouched on all fours. Its large eyes glowed on the dim light, and from its large mouth with big teeth, came a growl. Then it gave a howling screech and galloped towards them.
They quickly shut and bolted the door. BANG! The creature had taken a running jump at it. Then it there was a scraping sound.
The pair stood in shock, trying to process what they had just seen. They could hear their pulse as their shock turned to terror. “What the hell was that” asked Shannon.
“I’m guessing its ‘The Rake’.”
“I thought it was a myth” he replied. “We need to find something to wedge this door shut. That bolt might not hold.”
Using their flash lamps they looked around, and saw piles of gnawed bones, which appear to be human. Their fate dawned upon them. There was no other exit. They were trapped. All the creature had to do, is wait.
“There must be something we can do” said Shannon, picking up her phone. “Drat! The signal is very weak”
“You have a signal” remarked Scott. “Enough to call the police?”
“Probably” replied Shannon. “But they’ll think we’re crackpots”
Shannon then whispered in his ear “Maybe we’ll share the same padded cell.”
* * * * *
Surprisingly, the police believed them, despite not finding any such creature. But it’s still out there, Hungry, Lurking. Waiting.