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There was soft noise that caught her attention almost immediately as she slowly made her way down the hall way that extended from the front door to the living room. It wasn't loud enough to be distinguished by the old woman, but it was obnoxious enough to be noticed. Pausing in the hallway near the entrance to the toy room, she listened in closely. This was a room she had dedicated herself to for some time with the hopes that her grandchildren would eventually start to visit her once more.
It was a large room which was surrounded by other small rooms that had once belong to her children befote they had grown up and moved on with their lives. The two that had belonged to her children were set up now for the grandkids and the third had been decorated to accommodate the last born granbaby who she hadn't met yet.
Figuring the noise was from the playroom, the old woman slowly entered it. The house, which she kept rather tidy at all times, had been cleaned by her just recently. Living alone, she didn't have to worry so much about cleaning, bit still it kept her busy when she felt she had nothing else to do. While cleaning she often turned on the television, using it as background noise as she rearranged and dusted.
The television in the toy room was off to her surprise, and she found herself moving to the doorways of each room to see if the noise was coming from one of them. However, she took note that the noise was now a bit louder in the toy room.
Perhaps it was an earworm.
Or perhaps in her old age she was beginning to hear things. Though she had never had that problem before. She was rather healthy for her age despite having a few issues like her ever diminishing sight. Unable to place where the sound was coming from she decided to wander about the room, rearranging some of the stuffed animals and collectable dolls she had displayed on the bookshelves that lined the was. She set her nearly finished water glass down on one of the bookshelves and continued on her work.
The television sat upon a nicely built wooden entertainment center and sitting about it she had placed a few stuffed bears. One was laying on the floor in front of the entertainment center, and when she noticed it she slowly moved to pick it up. As she set the thing next to the television where it had been originally she spotted something move in the black surface of the screen.
Instantly, she turned around to look at the table on the opposite side of the room where she had set up an antique box she had recently bought in a garage sale down the street from a lovely couple. It was a beautiful box despite the peeling painted surface and rusted hinges. When she had stumbled upon it she had been quite excited to bring it home. Fixing up old antiques had always been her hobby, and she had even started a small antique business in which she bought items and flipped them, fixing them up to look beautiful before putting them up in her store in town.
The box wasn't to big. It was large enough to hold a few nice sized dolls and maybe some stuffed animals, but not to large that it couldn't be carried about easily from room to room. The old woman had originally planned on fixing it up and selling it, but then she had thought about her granddaughters. Either one of them could have found the box useful for something.
It sat on the table beside a small pile of little porcelain tea cups she ad originally decorated the flat surface of the table. She had moved it all aside to make room for the box which sat directly in the center of the table. The noise became a bit louder it seemed, and her mind was back on where it could possibly be coming from.
Wind from the air vents?
It seemed to strange a sound to be coming from the vents, however, and the woman found herself moving to the hallway to peer into the living room to see if the television in there had been left on. She barely made it to the archway of the playroom when her glass of water suddenly fell from the bookshelf where she had placed it earlier. The glass smashing against the wood floor gave her a jolt and she instantly turned around.
Before her mind could make up a reasonable explanation for the glass falling she was suddenly given another jolt as the box sitting on the table jerked forward. It moved so suddenly that it looked as if it had been roughly pushed forward, yet there wasn't a soul in the playroom besides the old woman.
The lightening flashed. The room which was dimmly light by the light that came from the rooms surrounding it was filled now with the sudden sound of whispers. This noise startled the old woman, and she placed her hand on her chest as fear began to rise in her. Her frame was shaking as she took a step backwards, eyes watching the box for a long moment.
It took all she had to tear her terrified gaze away from the box so that she could quickly move to the kitchen to grab her house phone. For some odd reason she had thought to call her daughter and she found herself quickly attempting to dial the number. Another bright flash of lightening and a crack of thunder went off sending chills through her as all her lights suddenly went out. The phone was dead, and in a panic she hit the numbers once more before giving up and placing the phone back on the receiver.
Leaving her kitchen, she made her way passed the nook and the guest bedroom to her own bedroom where she had last seen her cellphone. Rain had begun to pour down outside. It pelted against the glass of the windows and on the wooden roof above. As she lifted her phone up she could have sworn she saw something crawl along the ceiling above her in the reflection of her screen. The movement of the shadow had been quick and almost roach like.
When she looked up there was nothing there. This only caused her more anxiety as she moved out of her bedroom and back to the living room. However, she was stopped dead in her tracks when she found the box sitting on the coffee table in the living room. This had her heart pounding in her chest as she stared at it wide eyed.
A loud noise drew her attention immediately to the sliding glass door that lead out onto her screened in porch. It was a loud, jolting noise that sounding like someone smacking the glass hard with the palm of their hand. Suddenly, the noise repeated and with it came little hand prints that overlapped each other and covered the glass in varies areas as if children of all sorts of sizes were standing there just smacking at the glass with their hands. Slowly, the handprints moved, traveling in the odd pattern from the back end of the door to the front where the handle that slide it open was located. On the handle the old woman could see the lock slowly moving.
Having had enough of the horror and not planning on to staying to watch as her back door was unlocked and opened by some invisible force, the old woman quickly made her way down the hall toward the front door. At the end of the dark hall standing at the front door was a shadowy figure. It's lanky arms were down at it's sides and the thin body stood awkwardly still.
The sight brought a frightened scream out of the old woman who stopped immediately near the archway of the toy room. Giggling sounded off in the toy room, but she refused to remove her eyes from the shadow creature standing in front of her only other exit.
Suddenly, before she could move once more her ankles were grabbed roughly and she was pulled back so that her entire body fell forward, crashing into the wooden floor with a loud thud. Pain shot through her entire frame as her face hit the floor hard. Her cellphone fell from her hands in the fall, skidding across the floor and down the hall. Lifting her head up slowly, she tried her best to push herself up.
The figure was no linger standing in front of the door, and she forced herself up off the ground so that she could run to the door. Once on her feet she quickly made her way to the door as quickly as her old and aching body would allow. Her heart was pounding so hard that it felt as if it was about to burst right out of her chest.
Her hand gripped the door knob, and she struggled to open it. Her fingers twisted the lock, but despite that the door remained seemingly locked. Frantic, she pulled on the doir but it wouldn't budge at all.
She froze almost immediately as a cool breath hit the back of her neck, sending chills through her entire body and raising the hair on her arms. Then, before she had a chance to react, she was suddenly thrown back away from the door. Her back hit the floor. She was disoriented by the impact, and she did her best to stop the horrid spinning of the hall as she tried to sit up. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the shadowy legs of the figure from before.
It stood in the door way of her husband's old office. It was was close enough that if she wanted she could reach out and touch it. Of course that was the furtherest thing from her mind at the moment. A tear slid down her cheek as she tried her best to turn over onto her side so that she could once again rise.
However, before she could even lift herself from the floor she was pulled roughly into the office.
PS: The book Tainted Toys is available on Amazon in both paperback and on the Kindle. Please visit my author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/melindadawson