Journal #1 – Laughter

I walk barefoot down a pitch black corridor, wearing a blue lace gown. The ground feels cold and slimy against my feet. A dim light shines at the end of the hallway.  There are goose bumps forming all over my body and I start shivering. The temperature has suddenly dropped very low and I rub my hands up and down my arms.

“Lisa!” An unknown voice beckons.

Someone’s calling my name. I start to walk faster towards the light, but the further I walked, the longer the corridor seemed to get. I stop moving and look around to see a door. Was that there before?  Seeing a doorknob I go to grab it until I see it is shaped like a hand, motioning for me to place my hand in theirs. I slowly grasp the knob, twisting it clockwise. The door didn’t move and I tried to let go, but the hand was tightening around mine. I panic, pulling and pulling but the hand got tighter at every pull. I try to pry it off with my other hand, but there’s no give. Suddenly, I’m being pulled forward by the hand into a deep dark chasm. The dim light soon becomes brighter and whiter, blinding me. I scream for help, but no words escape my mouth, only wheezing breaths. In the darkness, I hear something. Children’s laughter ringing in my ears, sending shivers down my spine. The laughter becomes louder and less like a child’s. They turn into screams; ear piercing screams. I black out.

I shot out of bed, beads of sweat falling down my face. I struggle to steady my breaths. It was all a terrible nightmare. I crane my head to look at the clock. 7AM. I sit up on the edge of my bed. My throat feels dry. Sliding on my slippers, I freeze for a second, swearing I heard small quick footsteps run past outside my bedroom door. Shaking my head and squeezing my eyes, I’m probably still half-asleep. Continuing to walk to the kitchen, something feels….off. Usually you can hear the busy streets outside from the cars of people heading to work, dogs barking or my neighbours arguing about whose turn it was to feed the cat. But it was dead silent. No cars. No dogs.  No arguing neighbours. Nothing. It was like the world had just stopped.

I bend over the counter, glass in hand. The same small quick footsteps run behind me, I straighten my back, I hear the familiar childish laughter and I whip my body around. There is nobody there. A door slams shut somewhere in the house and the laughter rings through again. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up and my heart beats fast. I grab the house phone, dialling triple zero, but waiting till I press call. There is someone in my house, but why do they sound like a child?

“Lisa….” An eerie voice calls through the hallway.

I whimper. How do they know my name? My legs shake as I walk down the hallway. Never have I ever been so afraid. My body moves towards my bedroom door, I try to stop from going any further, but it is like my legs have a mind of its own.

“Lisa….” The voice calls again followed by the same laugh from a child.

I’m drawn towards the door. I twist the doorknob and the room is empty. I look down at the end of my bed and see drawings. Moving towards them, my shivering legs give way and I’m down on my knees. I pick up one of the papers. It’s a drawing made by a kid. There are two people, a woman and a little girl labelled ‘mama and me’. A shiver runs down my spine when I see the woman. Dark red hair, brown eyes and a blue gown, similar to the one in my nightmare. The woman looks like me. Though the feature that creeps me out the most is that the woman, or me, is crying…blood.

My breaths are quick and heavy. Who could have drawn this? I live alone. The laughter rings again, only closer and louder this time. Almost as if it is in the same room as me. I cringe like I’ve heard nails on a chalkboard. My eyes still on the drawing, I feel a hand grasp my shoulder, getting tighter.

“Mama..?”  it asks.

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