“Come on. Just pick a damn bag!” “I have to choose the biggest one!” Henry and Anna fought in a corner of the store while I laughed at them from the otherside of the candy aisle. We didn’t feel like going trick-or-treating today. We were supposed to be in Orlando, but our flight got canceled at the last minute and we are stuck with zero costumes, zero candy and zero things to do today. The three of us counted our money from doing chores and we had about forty seven dollars total. To be honest, it’s a miracle there’s still candy bags here.
I hear footsteps and feel something hit my head, Anna, “Stop laughing at us, Erin!” It makes me laugh harder and Henry throws another bag of Jolly Ranchers at me, “Let’s just grab both and get out of here!” They both lift me up and, once I stop laughing, we walk to the cash register. The cashier was a girl no older than 18, a few years older than me. She had blonde hair up in a ponytail and had obvious fake contacts in to make her eyes glow red, probably for today, “Is this all?” Henry picked up around 5 bags of trail mix and put them on the counter. She rang up all the snacks, “$37.09, cash or card?” Anna and I went wide eyes, that’s amazing for 8 bags of candy and then like 20 smaller bags! Especially on Halloween!
Henry looked slightly surprised as well and handed her two 20s. The cashier put all the candy in 4 separate bags and told us to have a good night, but not gonna lie, it came off slightly like, “Go to hell, kids.” We left the store, Henry carrying 2 bags while we carried the other ones, “Hey, Erin? Anna?” We look up at Henry, him being slightly taller than us, “What’s up?” He smirks, “First one there gets the first movie pick!”
He picks up his bike, quickly gets on and races down the street, quickly followed by Anna and me. Once we get to my house, I see Henry stop a few feet ahead of us, beating us to the house. “HA! Halloween it is!” I grab a bag of trail mix from my bag and throw it at him, almost flipping myself with my bike from the sudden stop, “Oh, suck it!” He laughed and ran to the door with Anna. I get off my bike, kick the stopper and immediately regret it, noticing I knocked over the huge bag of various candy. I sigh, Henry and Anna used the spare key to get in, waiting for me inside the door. I pick up all the candy, shove it back into the bag and run up to them. We all bolt up the stairs and into my room. Henry collapses onto my bed, quickly grabbing the remote to turn on his movie. Anna grabs the candy to put into huge bowls and I open my mini fridge, grabbing a Coke and 2 Root Beers before kicking my fridge closed with my foot and walking to the bed, jumping next to Anna, making her between Henry and I.
Henry laid his head on the wall next to him while he tried to find the movie. I look over to see my guinea pig, Nelly, running in his wheel. He usually never runs on his wheel. After around 30 seconds, Henry clicks the title, ‘Halloween 6’ . We loved the franchise and have been fans since we saw the first movie! I opened my Coke and took a long sip of the brown liquid before swallowing and stealing a Snickers bar from the candy bowl.
We hear the door creak open and my Great Dane runs into the room, jumping onto the bed and crushing Anna and Henry, “Onnie!” I pull him off of her, he yawns and goes to lay across all our legs, practically cutting off my blood flow, quickly falling asleep. After 4 movies, a lot of candy and a lot of soda, I checked the time on my phone, 1:34 AM. I see a text from my mom, Sorry sweetie! We won’t be home until tomorrow morning around 9! I text her back, It’s good mom! Henry and Anna are sleeping over anyway.
I click send and jump when I hear Onnie wake up and start barking, “What’s up, Onnie?” Henry and Anna look over from the game on Anna’s phone she’s showing him, “What’s wrong with her?” Onnie barns for a second time, making us all jump from the sudden, loud noise. I look over at my guinea pig and he has started running in circles around his cage, “Peter?”
Henry looks over at him and sees the small animal running in circles too, “What’s going on?” I move closer to Anna, all three of us smashed into the corner as Onnie continues to bark at the door. I launch forward for the remote that controls my light and smash the button, the light comes on and we see nothing.
Onnie keeps barking at us and Peter keeps running in circles. I look behind me and see Anna looking confused and Henry looking mortified at the Great Dane, “Henry? What’s wrong?” He whispers, “Nothing. I’m hungry, let’s go get something to eat from the kitchen.” Anna and I give him an angry and shocked look, “Is this really the time?!” Henry grabs us both by our wrists and drags us out the door, Onnie following us, still barking at my room. Instead of going to the kitchen, Henry immediately sprints to the bathroom, pulling us and Onnie with him. He shuts and locks the door, “Give me your phone!” I hand it to him and he unlocks it, “Henry, what are you doing?”
He gives us a terrified look and speaks at a million words a minute, “Onnie was barking at your window, I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye. Someone is outside, we have to call the-” He gets caught off by the loud sound of a window smashing. Anna starts to scream and I quickly cover her mouth, accidentally catching a bit of loose hair from her brown-red hair, “Shush!” I turn off the lights and we grab each other’s hands, guiding ourselves to the shower. I slowly and quietly close the curtain and I feel a hand tap my shoulder, “What the hell are we doing?” Henry whispers in my ear. “We can use the water from the shower as a weapon if he comes in here before the cops come!” I grab the showerhead and we all sit against the inside of the tub, Onnie inside next to us. I pick up my phone and Anna has her hand on the handle, ready to turn it to boiling hot water. I dial the numbers on my phone, but quickly shut it off and freeze when I hear footsteps somewhere outside.
The steps pass the door and fade away as I turn my phone back on, I can hear Anna breathing heavily and Henry’s nails digging into my arm, I swear he’s about to draw blood. I dial the numbers again, 9-1-1. I put the phone up to my ear, “911, what’s your emergency?” I hear the operator on the other side, “Please, send help! Someone broke into our house and my parents aren’t home! My friends and I are stuck in the bathroom!” I whisper to the woman on the other side, “Okay, sweetie, what’s your address? I’ll have a dispatch to your location immediately.” I hear the footsteps coming back, “3958 Green Parol Drive! Please come quick!”
I hear her start to say something else but I quickly hang up as I hear someone rattling the door knob. Onnie starts to whine and bark, I stand and pull Anna up with me as we hear a loud smash and the door creak open. I can feel my heart pounding, please work. Anna points the shower head away from us and turns on the water, I can feel the heat from 2 feet away.
I hear footsteps come closer and closer to the shower as well as a low, menacing laugh. I see a hand on the side of the curtain and feel Henry stand and let go of my arm. The shower curtain swings open and it all happens in a blur, Henry and I run out with Onnie on our tail and Anna sprays the intruder’s face with boiling hot water. I hear her run behind us, we all bolt down the staircase and I see a flash of blue and red lights out the window. Henry pushes the door open and we are greeted with 2 police men, “Woah, woah.” The first cop holds onto mine and Henry’s shoulders, “Are you two okay?”
Henry starts speed talking, “No, we aren’t! There’s someone in the house, so we hid in the bathroom and-” I cut him off by gripping his arm, it’s my turn to be terrified, “What do you mean two?” Both cops give us a weird look as I turn my head, “Where’s Anna?” Henry turns and tries to run back into the house but gets held back by the cop.
The second, shorter cop walks into the house, gun in hand. After a few minutes of arguing and yelling with the taller cop, the other walks out, “All clear. There’s no one in the house.” I look at him with wide eyes, fear quickly turning to anger, I run past him and through the house, back to the bathroom. Anna isn’t there. And the floor is dry. She sprayed the water at whoever was there, the walls, floor and bath mat should be soaked. I hear Henry run behind me, “What the hell?” We run back to the bedroom, our movie is still playing, the candie is still there, all the cans exactly where we left them.
Onnie was sleeping on the bed and Peter was eating his food. Even the window was fixed. “What. The. Fuck.” I try to think what would prove what happened? What would prove Anna was here with us? How did the window get fixed? How is the bathroom dry? Where is Anna? “The texts.” I look over at Henry, confused, “What?” “The texts, Erin!” Then it hits me. We had a group chat full of messages about us planning this, with Anna! And pictures from tonight! We open our phones and run back to the cops, “Look! Anna was here with us!”
I opened a photo the three of us took with Onnie laying on us just a few hours ago. The smaller cop gives us a look of realization, “That’s the girl I saw walking out of the house!” What? Suddenly, a random girl with bright red hair and green eyes runs up to us and practically knocks me over in a hug, “Erin! Henry! There you are! What’s going on? Why are the cops here?” I back up and almost tripping on the door frame, Henry following, “Who the hell are you?” The smaller girl gives us a weird look, “I’m Anna? Is this a prank? You know I hate pranks.” She puts on a pouty face and crosses her arms as Henry and I share a look of disbelief, Anna lives off pranks like air, “Um, are you two okay?”
We both look at my phone screen, Anna isn’t in the photo. She’s replaced with this fake ‘Anna’, if you never met her, you wouldn’t see a problem. She looks like the exact opposite of Anna, her usual raven black braids, dark skin and green eyes were gone, replaced with a blonde ponytail, fair skin and gray eyes. I scroll through all my photos, all of them with Anna are replaced with this random girl. I look up at her as Henry yanks my phone and frantically searches through the photos for even a trace of Anna, she turns to the cops, “I’m very sorry they called you, kind foak! Have a good night!” Anna would never say that! She has more sass than anyone on planet earth!
The cops wave us goodbye as they drive off and ‘Anna’ walks into the house and closes the door, “I’m gonna go brush my hair, it’s a mess! You still have that brush in your bathroom drawer, right?” I nod my head, my jaw still dropped. Henry and I watch as she smiles and runs up stairs. “What happened to Anna?!” Henry panics as the thing leaves to my bathroom, “I don’t know, Henry, but we won’t figure anything out with you panicking the whole time! You need to calm down.” He looks at me with an angry expression, “Calm down? Calm down?! Our best friend is missing and replaced with this random girl we’ve never met! How are you relaxed at a time like this?!”
I groan, “Look, I’m sorry, but we don’t have time to panic. Let’s go spy on her and see if we can find out what she-,” I pause, “It..is.” We share a look and walk towards the staircase, careful not to make any noise when walking up.
We walk down the hall, hand in hand, ready to run and peek into the bathroom, ‘Anna’ turns the second we look, making us jump, “Hey, are you sure you guys are ok?” We both look in horror at her reflection, it’s Anna. She looked terrified, her eyes red like she was crying. The thing in front of us smiles, “Don’t be afraid.” Her voice is so calm it’s eerie. I hear Henry’s breathing get heavier as I struggle to breathe slightly myself, “You’ll be with her again.” She puts her hand up to our foreheads and the last thing I see is a red glow before everything goes black, hearing the sound of Henry’s body hitting the floor.
My head feels like someone smashed a glass over it. The only thing I hear is a ringing in my ears. I open my eyes, I am in a dark room, I can’t see or feel anything but the humid air around me. I spin in a circle, trying to see something other than darkness when I see what looks like a window. I recognize it, as I realize what I’m looking at, I start to scream. It’s my bathroom, everything is normal, bath towels are hanging on the door, the soaps are on the counter. Only one thing that was out of place was a girl, staring back at me. Her brown hair flowing down her shoulders, her blue eyes staring back at me, clashing with my ginger double braids and brown eyes. Next to her was Henry, his fluffy brown hair now flat and blonde, ‘Anna’ next to him, I heard her whisper as tears streamed down my face, “I am ever so thankful for Anna’s vessel, tell her thank you for me, will ya?”
Credit: Ashton Kutcher
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