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Harold

When a Young Women Spies on Her Neighbor and Gets a Very Grim Surprise

I was looking out my bedroom window one night when I saw something a little strange. My family and I had just moved from Mississippi to Salem Ma and I was having a very hard time adjusting. My dad just took some new job in Boston as an accountant. My mother was staying home with us kids while my dad did his nine to five things. I was having a really hard time getting used to everything and everybody, nobody was super friendly, and the weather sucked. I had so many friends back home and now I have none. 

I used to have a next-door neighbor who was my best friend in the entire world, he was everything to me. I now have a bully named Erik that thinks it’s funny to throw spitballs at me in class. I am a 16-year-old girl and should be going out and having the time of my life, but instead, I am at home daydreaming about leaving this shitty town. My new next-door neighbor is a creepy fellow, he looks like father time and seems to only really come out at night. I spend my Saturday nights looking out my window waiting, watching for him to make a move. One night I had to pee, so I abandoned my post and went to the bathroom. Not that it really mattered because the old man was not making a move this night. 

I am finishing up, when I hear a bunch of trash cans fall over by the side of my house. Maybe a cat got into our trash, I think. I have balls and am not scared of much, so I grab my jacket and a flashlight to inspect the sound. My father beat me to it and asked me to go back to bed. I shrugged it off and followed him anyway because I wanted to know what happened. We both get outside and sure enough, the trash cans are dumped out and spilled over, except for two. These trash cans were stacked on top of each other. I took my flashlight and could see that there were claw marks on the windowsill where the bathroom window was. I get full body chills and realize that I must have startled whoever my peeping tom was when I turned the light on to find the extra toilet paper. 

Yuck! I think to myself. I show my dad and tell him how I heard the commotion when I turned the light on. We both agreed that the trash cans would be moved to the back of the house and not the side where the windows and stuff were.

I went to bed that night and didn’t sleep well at all, there was a tapping or something coming from outside my window. I was scared for once in my whole sixteen years of life, so scared, in fact, I got my older brother to look outside the window. He told me he didn’t see anything and to go back to bed, I begged him to grab his sleeping bag and sleep on the floor. He finally gave in and took some space up on the carpeted floor. The tapping stopped or so I thought and I fell off to sleep. I woke up to my brother screaming in fear covered in sweat. I jumped out of bed and he was pointing to the window putting his hand on his mouth to tell me to not make a sound. He grabs me and we make a b-line to my mother and fathers’ room. I have never seen my brother so afraid. He was dripping in sweat and shuddering and stuttering to my father and mother what he had seen out my bedroom window. 

Jason said I was sound asleep, and the tapping started again but very faint. He went on to say that he yanked the curtains back and there was a monster vampire thing on the other side of the window. He said that it was drooling blood and had fangs coming out of the sides of its mouth. He said in his hands he was holding what looked like a heart or something. My father thought maybe it was a bad dream, he told us to go back to bed, but my brother stood his ground and made my dad go check out the situation. My dad got out of bed half asleep and made his way into my room. Low and behold there was nothing there, the window was slightly cracked open, but nobody thought much of it. My dad asked my brother to lay off the dope and told us to get back to sleep.

We watched our dad shuffle back to his room and my brother just looked at me with pleading eyes to believe him. He grabbed my blankets and pillow and told me I would be sleeping on his floor that night. We both talked a little about how creepy the next-door neighbor was and avoided the whole creature out my window thing. The next morning, I got up and my brother was still asleep, I on the hand tossed and turned wondering if maybe Jason did have a bad dream. I wanted to go back into my room and try and doze off a little. My bed was way more comfortable than a hardwood floor, I grab my things and head to my room. My entire house was so still and quiet, I thought it odd nobody was up yet. My parents are normally up making coffee and breakfast.

I get to my room and the window was wide open now and my closet door was shut but I could see the light was on under the door. I slowly back out of my room and run to my mom and dads’ room. I was so relieved to see them sound asleep and not dead. I wake my dad up but whisper to be quiet and follow me to my room. My dad looked at the time and was shocked to find that it was 7:30 AM, his alarm clock never went off. My dad gets up and makes his way to my room and throws the door open. He can see the window was open and the light in my closet on, it flicked off as my dad got closer to the door. My father motions for me to get Jason. I wake Jason up and he flies out of bed and down the hall to my dad. Both my dad and Jason look at each other as if to get ready for the fight of the year. 

My dad grabs the doorknob to the closet and flings it open. They open it and there is Erik my school bully laying in my dirty clothing. My jaw hit the floor as did my brothers and fathers. My mother as this point had called the cops and my dad just about almost killed this kid. My school bully was now my stalker?! I was very shaken and totally disgusted by this pig. The cops came and arrested him, my parents had every intention of pressing charges on this little toad.

Monday rolled around and I begged to stay home from school, I didn’t want to face all my peers at school knowing I was putting the wrestling star behind bars. When the police went to his house and searched his bedroom, they found that he had some very big plans for us. He had pictures of me in my underwear, he knew my schedule by heart. Erik knew that my best friend in Mississippi was a male, he knew who all my friends were back home and apparently made a fake social media account. Erik had a plan to kidnap me, rape me, and then kill me. He was in very big trouble and I was the center of all of it. My family was more than disgusted by his plans and they were on a warpath. My brother was leaving for basic training in a month and was beside himself that he could not help me through this process. My brother switched rooms with me and made sure I was safer. I still didn’t understand where this monster came from, he saw tough. School was more than hell for me as I could not talk about the case or discuss anything regarding Erik.

I was being teased and bullied so much that I started skipping school and my grades were slipping. I told my parents about everything and they switched me out of that school to a private school across town. My new school was nice, and I was making friends, which was amazing. I was finally fitting in and I could not have been more thrilled. A guy at school asked me out and we went on a date, I was no longer watching the man across the street. I should have been though, Erik went missing from his home, as he ended up on house arrest. I was a little more than freaked out but remained calm and told my boyfriend about what was going on. My boyfriend Chris was more than supportive, and my family loved him. My brother and I were writing letters from his boot camp and had one of his buddies keep an eye on me. Life was finally being fair to me and I was getting comfortable in my new life. Erik was missing for a total of ten days until he was found dead in an ally way behind my neighbor’s house.

The fact was, it wasn’t just Erik that went missing, there about four other missing people in the area too. These people that went missing were always found the same way, drained of all their blood. I never thought anything of it, I guess I didn’t care until one night I heard a loud scream coming from across the street. I jumped out of bed and peeked out of my window, and it was clear something bad was going down. A half-naked women came running out of the old man’s house, the old man came running out of his house at lightning speed, something new to me as this guy walked like he had nothing to lose. The old man grabs the women and she walked with him back into his house. It was so strange, like he was just talking to her and he convinced her to go with him. The rest of the night was still and quiet. I was going to call 911 but had no reason, I didn’t want that man to know I was spying on him.

The next morning everything seemed normal. I was getting into my car my moms’ car when the old man came out of his house and waved to me. I waved back and he started to walk over to me and my mom. He introduced himself as Harold and he talked to us for a few minutes about how he would be going away for the weekend and wanted to know if we would keep an eye on his house while he was away. My mother and I agreed and just as he was walking away, he turned to me and told me to get more sleep since I seem to worry about him and his house a lot. I stood in place speechless, I had nothing to say back. I nodded and watched him walk back to his side of the street. My mother broke my trance asking me to get into the car. I was feeling sick and just wanted to go lay down in my bed. I thought I was well hidden behind the curtains. I was scrabbling in my brain to when he could have caught a glimpse of me. I wasn’t sure what to think and I couldn’t really tell anyone because what I was doing was weird.

Harold went away for the weekend as he had said, and all kinds of weird things were going on at his house. The lights would turn on and off at night, I could hear his phone ringing nonstop through the night and the weirdest thing was the cleaning company that came and went. The entire weekend was a constant stream of things happening. I thought it was the strangest thing and my mother thought nothing of it. Harold returned home on Monday night and he looked different, younger, more alive than I have ever seen. My mother and father commented on how great he looked when he stopped over to thank us for keeping an eye on the place. I was so afraid of him, he terrified me to my core. I was glad my bother was coming home in a month. Missing people started to turn up more and more and good old Harold kept getting younger looking. I was thinking that maybe he had something to do with the missing people. It was like I was going crazy, I was going to break into that house to find out what was going on. Harold was going away again, and I was going to find out what he was doing. I had a plan all mapped out and I was bringing my boyfriend along for the ride. 

He didn’t even bat an eyelash or protest to why it was a bad idea, he just said, “I know how to pick locks!” 

That Friday we were ready to be the best criminals in town. I watched him so much that I realized I we didn’t have to pick any locks we could just walk right in.

Harold’s house was normal, he has no upside-down crosses and his bed wasn’t a coffin-like I thought. He had a beautiful house that had pictures of family and friends hung on the walls. I just didn’t understand his change in appearance. Just as I was about tell my boyfriend that we could leave we heard it. The small tap, tap, tap, coming from the closet down the hall. I paused and pressed my fingers to my lips and pointed to the hall closet. We tiptoed to the closest and I swung it open without hesitation. It wasn’t a closet at all, it was a door that led to a cellar. Chris grabbed my hand and shook his head no and told me he just wanted to leave. I pulled away from him and started to descend the stairs. Chris followed me with hesitation. We get to the bottom of the stairs and we can hear soft cries and monas. I am starting to sweat and shake a little, as I knew this was going to be bad. I can hear chains rattling and someone squeaking out the word help. Chris is wild-eyed and staring at me as if pleading to just run.

 I move further into the darkness and grab my phone for a light. What I see will haunt me for the rest of my life. The women that I saw fleeing the house, topless and yelling, was now chained up in Harold’s basement. She was covered in bite marks and some of her fingers were missing. The more I looked at her the more my heart hurt for her. She kept telling me to be quiet because if not IT would hear me. I had on a sweatshirt and gave it to her. Chris was on the left side of the basement and taking pictures of missing person's posters and the local criminal activity happing around the town. He saw faces of people he knew and some that have come up dead. Chris also saw weird markings on the walls and floor. I grab him and the women and we start to head back up the steps. The smell in the house had become pungent and musty, the house took on a very dark aura. The women told me to run for the door, but I wasn’t leaving her behind. Before we make it to the door, we encounter the IT.

The IT was a hairless, naked, winged, long tooth monster hanging upside down in front of our exit. It was screeching and snarling, it was starting to flap its wings a little. I stood there in disbelief, the women didn’t seem fazed at all. I grabbed her hand and yelled at Chris to follow me. I watched this guy so much I knew all the ins and outs of his house. Before I knew it we made it out of the house safe. Chris looked at me and I was looking at the lady I just saved, she introduced herself as Jade. She told me Harold was going to help her get clean and sober and help her get back on her feet. Instead, he enslaved her and abused her. She said he was part vampire part warlock and that thing back there was his son. She told me his son would bite and feed on her blood when he got hungry. I was told to not call 911, and that she had a place to go. 

Chris and I drove her to her parent’s house where she said this event was enough of a life changer to reevaluate her decisions. Chris and I arrived back to my street, Harold’s house was up in flames. The fire was out of control and it burnt down to the ground. Nobody could get a hold of Harold and after that day he was never seen or heard from again. Every so often I hear the faint tapping outside my bedroom window. I wonder whatever happened to the old man and his son.

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