It Escaped, I’m So Sorry

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πŸ“… Published on August 23, 2019

"It Escaped, I'm So Sorry"

Written by Harrison Prince

Estimated reading time β€” 21 minutes

Breakfast today consisted of three apples, a bowl of oatmeal without milk, two slices of toast smothered in butter, and a glass of orange juice. I set them all on the food tray and lifted. When I got to the door, I set the tray on a small table beside the handle.

I twisted the deadbolt above the handle, and opened the door toward me. It revealed a small room with a second door beyond it. The second door was made from reinforced steel, designed for safe rooms where people could hide in the event of an intruder.

This door had been installed backwards, however.

It kept it from getting out.

Grabbing the tray again, I put it on a nightstand I’d placed inside the small buffer room.

I raised my arms up and began at the top, twisting the deadbolt at the top of the door, and working my way down to the one just above the handle. Then, I bent over to twist and lift the bolt that held the bottom of the door. The bolts were all well oiled and maintained, so they made very little sound.

When those were all unlocked, I pulled a small keyring from my back left pocket. I turned around and closed the other door behind me, locking it with a key. A single bare bulb overhead lit the small buffer room.

I slid another key from the ring into the final lock. It had a keyhole on both sides, preventing anyone but me from opening this particular door. Once the click told me it was unlocked, I put the keyring away, lifted the food tray, and used my elbow to turn the handle down.

My hip easily pushed the door open. It swung inward on silent hinges, hanging over the wooden steps that led down to the basement.

Before proceeding any further, I kicked the door closed from a few steps down. I held the tray in one hand while I fished the keyring from my pocket and locked the door. Then, I turned back around.

I looked over the tray of food down into the dim light.

The stairs went down in a straight line and went directly to a concrete floor. I’d intended to finish the basement one day. Now I never will.

It was waiting for me at the bottom of the steps. Standing there. Watching me. The side of its face was illuminated by the single bulb I left on down there.

It was a woman today, barely older than a teenager.

I ignored its hollow, yet piercing eyes and descended a few steps. It didn’t move as I got closer. It was standing to the right of the stairs, so I was able to scoot past it. As I passed, I felt it’s heavy breath on my skin, and it turned its head to follow my movement.

“Food’s here,” I said out loud, walking to the heavy dining table I’d set up down there. I set the tray on the table and gathered up the pieces of the last meal. I saw the clear signs of partially eaten and then thrown food. It ate just enough to live, then threw a tantrum.

Looking at the woman by the stairs who was watching me, her arms hanging limply at her sides, you’d never think that it threw tantrums. But I heard them.

I gathered what food chunks I could onto the old tray before pulling my flashlight from my back pocket. I turned it on and aimed at its face. It didn’t recoil or flinch. Its eyes didn’t blink or turn away either.

Sweeping the flashlight around, I began my usual checks. I inspected the metal over every window, ensuring that the welds were holding and looking for any new scratches.

There were ten windows originally in the basement. I had filled in four with concrete and intended to finish the rest when I had time. The remaining six were covered by two steel plates. One was welded on the inside, the other was welded on the outside.

Layers were key. Layers kept it in.

All the windows were fine and perfectly intact, so I turned to go back to the table.

It was right behind me, and I almost ran into it. Almost touched it.

My heart was pounding, but it had done this before. It moved quickly and silently, trying to startle me. Trying to throw me off guard. I found that my hand was already holding the taser, pointing the weapon at it.

I saw its eyes fixated on the weapon as I put it back and walked past it. My reflexes had taken a while to become so good, but it was worth the training.

Before I picked up the old tray, I skimmed my flashlight over the shelf hanging from one wall.

There were eight of them, just like there should be. Eight clear snow globes that were six inches tall with a plain white base and a single object sticking up from the base into the water.

Satisfied, I picked up the tray and clomped up the stairs. It followed me all the way to the top, but stopped on the third step down. I put the tray on the nightstand and turned around to close the security door. It watched me, moving its head to maintain eye contact as I closed the door.

With shaking hands, I locked every deadbolt and relocked the keyhole. Only after I tested the door with a quick bang did I relax. Turning around, I unlocked the entrance door and took the tray out.

I locked that door back up, and went to get ready for work.

At night, it panics. Something about night time makes it lose its calm control over its emotions, and it freaks out. I have to sleep with headphones and loud music to cover up the screams, bangs, scratches, and thuds.

The windows and my door all hold tight, however. I’m not worried it will get out, but the noises are haunting.

In the morning, I wake up at 6 AM and compile breakfast for it. One meal a day.

I always go to bed before the panicking begins. I want to get the music started and fall asleep before the noise starts. Two nights ago, however, I didn’t use the bathroom before I went to bed.

The urge to pee was too intense, so I got up. I took my phone with me to the bathroom, keeping the music playing through my earphones.

When I dried my hands from washing them, I caught my headphone cable and yanked the buds out of my ear. They fell to the floor, and I cursed in my sleepy stupor.

Except the house was silent.

No crying. No banging of fists on metal. No screams.

The silence was more unnerving than the noise.

I didn’t want to, but I walked downstairs to the main floor. My hand automatically snatched my taser on the way. When I entered the living room, the door was shut. I twisted the handle ever so slightly so it wouldn’t make noise.

Locked. Good.

Relieved, I walked back to the stairs. Until a horrible, terrifying thought snuck up on me.

But is the security door locked?

My foot stopped on the first step, and I looked back at the plain white door. It was only made of wood. If it managed to get through that, it would be free.

I rubbed my eyes and carefully trod back to the entrance. I stared at it for a few minutes, looking for… anything.

After a minute, I pressed my ear to the door. Absolute silence.

Hesitantly, I removed the keyring from my pocket and unlocked the door. When I opened it, I was greeted by the security door. It was closed. The locks were all turned in the correct direction. It looked secure.

Just to be sure, I walked into the buffer room and slammed my fist twice against the metal. It didn’t budge.

Immediately, a bloodcurdling scream filled the other side of the door. Fists rapidly beat on the metal. The beating was so hard that I felt the door vibrating.

I think I screamed. I definitely fell backwards, knocking the entrance door open and putting a hole in the wall with the handle. Rolling up, I slammed the entrance door hard and locked it tight.

It took me hours to fall back asleep. I didn’t bring it breakfast that morning.

And then came last night.

Silence again. Except I didn’t get up to investigate. No, I stayed in bed and tried my hardest to sleep. Once again, the silence was more unnerving than the sounds.

This morning, I was exhausted. I got up a good hour earlier than I should have. I was going to be late to work, but I still prepared breakfast anyway.

I made the same thing that I always did: three apples, a bowl of oatmeal without milk, two slices of toast smothered in butter, and a glass of orange juice.

When I unlocked the entrance door and set the tray down inside the buffer room, I inspected the security door. All the locks were in the correct direction, and it was shut tight. Good.

I unlocked all the usual deadbolts on the security door, locked the entrance door behind me, and stuck the key into the security door. As usual, it opened with silent ease. I descended a couple of steps, tray in hand, closed the door, and locked it with my key.

When I turned back around towards the basement, I saw it. It was waiting at the bottom of the stairs again, but a little further into the shadows. It was different today, I could tell by the new pants it wore. The shadows hid its face from this angle.

I took the steps one at a time until I reached the concrete floor.

“Food’s he–” I started, but my last syllable caught in my throat. It was Sarah today. It was never Sarah. There were seven others to choose from, and it never, ever chose Sarah.

I closed my eyes, sucked in a deep breath, and walked towards the dining table. I could feel Sarah’s eyes on my back as I set down the tray.

The meal from two days ago was completely untouched. That struck me as odd. ItΒ shouldΒ be hungry. ItΒ shouldΒ have eaten. Why didn’t it eat?

Regardless, I put down the new tray.

I slid my flashlight out of my pocket and clicked it on. I aimed it into Sarah’s face like I usually did. That was a mistake. My breathing intensified and my heart rate skyrocketed. Sarah was just like I remembered.

Twenty-nine, beautiful hair, plump lips, attractive curves, and an ever-present smile that was so slight that it was nearly invisible. Even her eyes were gorgeous, despite the creature’s inability to change its eyes.

Sarah took a step towards me, and I dropped the light from her eyes.

Time to check the windows and be done with it.

I went from one to another, inspecting them. No new scratches or marks.

Hands suddenly wrapped around me, and I froze. Sarah’s hands slid under mine and felt their way around my chest. Her smell intoxicated me, and for a minute I was transported back in time.

We were at the beach, and she was standing behind with her arms wrapped tightly around me.

“This is nice,” she said into my back, muffled.

“Yeah,” I sigh with a smile. Her hand lowers into my pocket to retrieve my phone. She laughs as she tries to unlock it without being able to see the screen. I take it, unlock it, and give it to her. Her head leans around my shape to view the screen and turn on the camera app.

She holds out the phone, and we pose for a picture. The camera clicks, and our images are frozen on the screen.

Sarah lets go and runs away.

I pursue.

It shrieked as it scrambled for the stairs. I shoved it, and it tripped, landing against the stairs. Sarah tried to take the stairs on her hands and knees, but I grabbed her leg and pulled her back. Her noises were inhuman as she screamed at me.

One of her legs caught me in the nose, and my grip loosened. I fell back to the concrete floor clutching my nose. Blood poured down and covered my hands. Through the dim light, I saw it reach the top of the stairs and begin to unlock the security door with the keys she’d slipped out of my pocket.

“No!” I yelled angrily, pitching forward toward the stairs. It screamed when it saw me coming. I snatched the taser out of its holster and held it ready as I ascended.

The security door opened, and Sarah slipped through the crack to the buffer room. I was halfway down the steps.

The security door was ajar by a few inches when I reached it. I stuck my arm in the door just as Sarah tried to pull it closed. We fought over the door, but I heard it jangling the keys and trying to unlock the entrance door.

I managed to force the security door open just as it opened the entrance door and slipped out. Fear rose in my throat as I threw myself through the buffer room and into the living room. The front door slammed shut, and I raced towards it.

When I opened the door, it was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t even know which direction it had gone.

I panicked and threw a tantrum for a few minutes.

Then, like a robot, I got ready for work and left.

During lunch, I came home. I inspected the basement thoroughly again. Nothing out of place or damaged. The food I’d left behind was the same.

It wasn’t in the basement. For some reason, I had to verify that it was truly gone. Now it’s free. I’m so sorry, everyone. I’m so sorry. I can fix this, I can.

The basement was the same, but the shelf. The shelf was different. Instead of eight snow globes, there were now nine.

Slowly, I walked to the wall and picked the new glass sphere off the shelf.

The new one was exactly the same as all the others, except for the figure sticking up from the base in the water. It was a little girl, no more than eight years old. The others all contained adults.

The girl was walking forward in her watery globe. Her arms were wrapped around herself as if she were freezing. Her body pitched forward as if she were bracing herself against a strong wind while she walked. Despite going nowhere, she walked perpetually forward.

It had gotten another one. Now, there were nine to choose from.

It had come back and left the snow globe to remind me that it was free.

It had come back just to taunt me.

Some of you have asked how this thing came into my life. I’ve edited the post to include that story. It’s not as clean as the first one, I know. I’m kind of in between strategy planning and preparation.

Three months ago, I came home from work and Sarah wasn’t there. No phone calls, no texts, no notes, nothing. Just a snow globe on the floor in the kitchen, laying on its side.

I looked at it, and it was pretty clearly Sarah walking through the invisible wind just like the child I described previously. It’s down on the shelf now, but while I was waiting for Sarah to turn up at home, I watched the globe. I was misled by the television shows. You can report someone missing before 24 hours have passed. But I didn’t report her missing because she turned up before the 24 hours were up.

The front door opened as I sat on the living room couch, watching the snow globe figure. Sarah poked her head through the front door, and I jumped to my feet. She entered warily, and looking back now, she was eyeing the snow globe on the couch.

I asked where she’d been and what she’d been doing, but she didn’t speak. She just walked past me towards the globe. The backpack I hadn’t noticed before was lowered into her hand and she unzipped it.

When she picked up the globe, intending to put it into the bag, I grabbed her backpack. I didn’t get it away from her, but it tipped over and seven globes rolled out. Each of them had people.

That’s when it really clicked that something was wrong with Sarah. She turned on me angrily, only it wasn’t Sarah anymore. It changed in the blink of an eye, I didn’t even notice the change until the man was grabbing my neck and shaking me. I punched him in the side, and he flinched.

Tripping over globes, I scampered out of the way while he ignored me and picked up the globes quickly. I pushed him over, and he rolled onto the carpet. I knew the globes were important now, so I grabbed one in each hand and ran for my bedroom. If I could lure him up there, I could use the taser in my nightstand.

It worked, and it chased me up the stairs once it saw what I was carrying. It was hot on my heels as I got to the top and threw one of the globes at it. He caught the globe in one hand, and I felt myself go pale at his reflexes. Quickly, I raced into my room, slammed the bedroom door, and flicked the handle locked. It was jiggling the handle only seconds later. I snatched my taser from the bedside table and tried to breathe. The snow globe was placed in the drawer and shut.

Going to the door, I readied myself and unlocked the handle. The man was through the door immediately, and I pressed the taser to his side. He immediately stiffened and then dropped to the floor as the spasms kicked in. I pulled my belt off and restrained his wrists. My closet provided some of Sarah’s scarves that I also added to his wrist restraints and tied his ankles together loosely. I tied them loose enough so he could walk, but not run. When his spasms had calmed, I demanded that he stand up, and pulled his arm to make him stand. He complied, eyeing the taser. I brought him downstairs and cleaned the globes up in front of him, stuffing them into the backpack. Then, I tied him to a chair in the dining room and tried to get some answers.

No threat worked but the taser. He resisted being cut, punched, kicked, or yelled at. But the threat of the taser made him flinch. Regardless, he didn’t speak. He didn’t tell me where Sarah was, why he looked like Sarah, what the globes were, or why Sarah was inside of one. Even when I tased him in the chair, he didn’t say a word. Just screamed.

I moved him to the basement after the second scream. I have neighbors, and I know the basement is a good sound buffer. Once he was secured to a chair down there, and the chair was tied to the stairs, I kept trying to make him answer. Nothing.

I went upstairs to take a break just as the sun was setting.

And then he started screaming.

I came down to him thrashing and wailing against his bonds. Every vein in his body was popping out, and his eyes were wild and frenzied. I just ran right back upstairs because it filled me with the most intense fear I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Being upstairs muffled the screams, but didn’t make them stop.

So I left the house and went to the hardware store. The sounds were swallowed up by the house, and you couldn’t hear it outside. That gave me the confidence to leave.

I knew that it wasn’t human and that I was going to have to lock it up until I could figure it out. So I bought nails, plywood, and a second door with a deadbolt and lockable handle. When I got home, it was still freaking out, but restrained. I boarded up the downstairs windows with an excessive amount of nails, and installed the second door where the security door is now.

I tried to make it talk or shut up or anything, but it just kept wailing and screaming and pounding its feet on the floor.

I locked it in the basement, still restrained, and went to sleep.

In the morning, it was quiet and unmoving. I thought it was dead until it swiveled its dark eyes to watch me in sullen silence. I tried to get answers again with my newly charged taser, but nothing worked again. I fed it a little, but left it alone during the day. I called in sick to work and just stayed at the house, trying to search online for anything. I had no idea what to search for though.

When I went downstairs, it was free from the chair. It had its back against the far wall and watched me as I descended. It was a woman this time, which startled me. I berated myself mentally for not checking its restraints, but it hadn’t escaped the basement. Then I saw the hole in one of the plywood sheets over the window. It had punched a hole straight through both the plywood and the glass.

That incident made me step up my security. It was one event after another.

I replaced all the plywood with steel plates that were screwed in. It used its fingernails to unscrew them and almost finished.

I welded all the plates to a steel frame that fit in the window sill. It started punching holes in the new door I’d bought. I installed the security door with only two locks. I found it pressing a sliver of wood into the crack of the door to push the deadbolts back. It had unlocked two out of three by the time I found it.

Then I started filling in windows with cement, installed more locks, and made one of the locks have a key on both sides. Then its attempts to escape ceased, and it just stared at me whenever I came down to ask for answers. Every day I came down, it would make its hands into a sphere and hold it out to me. I knew what that meant. Give me my globes. Give me my snow globes.

The scariest part was the snow globes. I had put them in a closet upstairs after inspecting them for a month but to no avail. All the security measures were in place, and it hadn’t tried to escape in days. Every night, it would scream, cry, bang, hit, and screech.

And then, one day, I went down to bring it food.

And there they were, all arranged and perfectly spaced on the shelf. It stood in the corner when I came down and watched me. I threatened it with my taser as I went forward to grab them, but it ran at me and shoved me into the wall. I held the button on the taser, ready to make contact when it got too close, but it stayed back and watched me. Each time I moved towards the globes, it rushed me and halted before it got to arm’s length. Then it would retreat and watch me again.

I left the globes alone after that.

I checked, and the globes were gone from the closet, the backpack left behind.

Even the one in my nightstand was gone. It hadn’t seen me put it there.

The most worrying part was how it got out to retrieve the globes. And, if it was able to get them, why didn’t it leave?

I still have no idea.

My only plan now is to wait for it. If the snow globes are that important, it will come back for them.

I’ve gathered all but one and I plan to bury them in the basement before covering it with concrete tonight. The one I have left I plan to mail to a P.O. box I’ve bought online in another state. I’m keeping it because I don’t want to bury the one Sarah is in.

I’ll be buying a few guns, and when it comes back, I’ll be as ready as I can.

If I can shoot it, that is.

If I have the guts.

* * * * * *

I’d like nothing more than to put this all behind me. But, maybe sharing will help me feel better.

I was right, it did come back for the snow globes that I buried. But not before getting Sarah’s globe. I called the post office where my PO box was, and they confirmed that no package had arrived.

That was painful to hear.

Before Sunday, I had set up quite a few preparations. I’d borrowed one of my co-worker’s shotguns for a couple of weeks, set up curtains and boards on every window, and kept my doors locked at all times. I would have bought steel plates for all the windows upstairs, but they were too expensive and laborious to install.

Sunday night, it showed up.

I woke to a scream. A very familiar scream.

It was four in the morning, so it would still be in temper-tantrum mode. I had expected it to come during the day when it could control itself, so I was caught by surprise.

As I walked down the stairs, I tried to use the screaming to figure out where it was. The sound was muffled, so it was clearly outside the house. Luckily for me, the screaming would alert my neighbors too and the cops would be called.

I considered calling them myself, but I didn’t want to lose concentration.

A pounding was suddenly at my front door. The screaming was in the backyard, so I assumed it was my neighbor coming to complain before they called the police. Shotgun in hand, I answered it.

When I opened the door, it definitely wasn’t any neighbor. The tall figure at the door launched through, shoving me to the ground. I gasped as I lost my breath, and it placed its thick hand on my neck to hold me down while it leaned over me. The shotgun fell to my right, half-buried under the couch.

All while the screaming continued in my backyard.

I saw that it was a very tall, black man, though I doubted it was human. It ran its hands over my pockets until it found my keys to the house. It stuck two fingers into my pocket and ripped it open to access the keys rather than pulling them out.

When it clutched the keys, it made a yell of its own. It sounded just like any guy yelling out, the voice didn’t even sound supernatural. Nevertheless, it chilled me to my core.

Watching something that you know isn’t human make a human noise… it’s… horrifying. It’s like watching a cat look at you, open its mouth, and say “I’m going to kill you tonight,” before slinking off.

After the man yelled, the screaming moved around the house until the same man I’d fought before came through the front door. He had gone quiet as he walked up the porch. When he came in, he slammed the door shut.

The thing holding me down tossed the keyring, and the original man caught it.

There were two of them.

When the tall man looked back at me with dull eyes, I thought I was going to die that night. We listened as the original man unlocked the basement one lock at a time. It wasn’t moving like it was in a hurry. It flicked each lock with care, flinching when it clicked.

With the keyring, he unlocked the security door and pushed it open. He gasped in pain and descended quickly. I watched his body get swallowed up by the darkness.

“He won’t find the snow globes,” I said to the one holding me. It turned its gaze from the doorway to look at me. Its eyes were the same as the original man’s.

“I mailed them away.”

And then it smiled at me. But the smile looked forced. Not forced as in it didn’t want to smile, but more like it had a new face that it was learning how to control. I repulsed.

There was a scream from the basement that reverberated all the way to where we were. The thing’s expression flickered for half a second.

I reached out my hand, grabbed the butt of my gun, and slammed it into the side of the tall man’s face with one hand. It screamed like a five-year-old and fell to the side, releasing my neck. I tried to get to my knees and whirl the gun around, but it was faster. It slapped the gun out of my hands, and it hit my boarded front window with a loud bang.

There was a loud slap, and I was suddenly on the ground. I realized that the tall man had slapped me across the head and sent me careening to the ground. I must’ve been unconscious for a little while, because the tall man was gone. But I could hear them moving around downstairs.

I got unsteadily to my feet. The shotgun still laid under the front window, so I picked it up and walked to the basement entrance.

As soon as I crossed the threshold into the buffer room, the basement went silent. No more scuffling. No more movement.

It was pitch black down there, and the doorway to the basement didn’t let any light in.

Hesitantly, I took one step down the stairs. My foot made a solid thud. I could hear them breathing heavily down there.

Stepping back up, I grabbed the security door and swung it shut. I flicked all the locks as fast as my trembling hands would allow. I heard them begin screaming insanely and rushing up the stairs. Their footfalls sounded like a landslide racing towards me.

I managed to turn three locks before they slammed against the door. The metal absorbed all their punches, letting out a metallic reverb with every blow. Shaking, I twisted every lock and stepped back, gun in hand. I could have sworn I heard “let me out” from the other side, but I could just have easily been imagining it.

It was noticeable when one of the pounding creatures stopped beating at the door. It kept screaming, but stopped hitting.

I didn’t hear the keys jangle, but I watched as the top lock slowly turned to the right. My heart leapt into my throat as I realized that they still had the keys.

The second deadbolt turned.

Then the third.

I jumped forward and turned the top lock back into position. The pounding resumed again, this time making a pinging sound as the keys struck the metal door. I locked the second and third deadbolts again.

This time, it started from the bottom and flipped that deadbolt.

I realized that we could keep doing this all night, but it wouldn’t solve the problem. If the police would hurry and show up, someone else could handle this.

The other one stopped hitting the door, which changed the atmosphere from deafening to silent. Only the small clicks of a key entering a lock and twisting were audible now.

Not good. They had a plan.

I kept flipping locks back into position, much to the creature’s frustration, but tried to listen to what the other one was doing. I couldn’t hear anything.

The metallic clang that was familiar only from movies startled me.

No way.

There’s no way it could fit in there.

I could feel slight vibrations on the floor as the metal bumps continued. I stepped out of the buffer room for a moment to watch the floor and feel the vibrations.

It was climbing through the vents.

The vents in my house would never, ever fit a human being. You know how sometimes you can tell where something is based on a sound alone? I could practically watch the creature’s progress as it moved through the vents towards my utility closet where the vents were accessible.

I wanted to run over and blockade that door, but if I left, the other one would get past the security door.

Stepping back into the buffer room, I flipped the four locks it had managed to undo, and it shrieked angrily at me.

Darting back out of the buffer room, I watched my suspicions come true as the door to the utility room burst open, and a writhing mass fell to the floor. Half of it was still in the vents as it surged its way forward along the carpet.

The creature had changed into a bag of skin. That’s the only way to describe it. If you made a bag from human skin, hair and all, and packed it with bones that moved as if they wanted to escape and break through the skin, you’d see what I saw.

The bag expanded from its smaller shape that had fit through the vents, and the bones that were so close to bursting the layer of skin came together until arms and legs emerged. Skin peeled backwards and revealed a head that twisted back and forth, as if fixing a pain in its neck.

Its face hadn’t finished forming, like a newborn child in the womb. Its eye sockets were indented, but eyeballs hadn’t yet formed behind the skin, nor had the skin split to allow blinking.

It stood with some difficulty, putting a hand on the wall to support itself. Its mouth opened, ripping holes in the skin. It sounded like rubber bands snapping.

Despite having no eyes, it zeroed in on me and lurched in my direction. Its skin was changing to the color of the black man who’d attacked me, and hair was slowly curling out of its skull as it approached.

Just as I raised my shotgun, the security door ripped open, and the original man flew at me out of the darkness. It tackled me from my left, and we fell to the ground. The man immediately began to throw another tantrum, hitting and punching me, screaming all the while. The screams weren’t from a man, they were from a little girl. It made the blinding fury so surreal that I began to disbelieve that what I was experiencing was real.

The assault stopped so suddenly that I was surprised when the next blow didn’t come. I opened my eyes to see the two of them running out the door into the night. The black man had a backpack on along with all of his clothes. It confused me, because the attack couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes.

The door stayed open while I laid on the floor, aching and groaning.

It took me a while to get back up and look downstairs. The spot where I’d buried the globes had been torn open. The pickaxe laid in the corner, untouched. There were finger-sized grooves in the concrete, as if they’d been digging through playdough, not concrete.

The snow globes were all gone.

My trap was sprung, and I have nothing to show for it. No bodies, no captured monsters, no evidence, nothing.

I’ve failed. And once again, they’ve escaped.

They have no reason to come back, unless they want to kill me. But if they wanted to kill me, they would have done it. They didn’t take advantage of so many opportunities.

I still don’t understand these things. I don’t know what they want, I don’t know everything they can do, I don’t know why the snow globes are so important, and I don’t know how to fight them.

I can’t do anything to help Sarah now. They must be long gone now that they have nothing holding them here. I have to find some explanation for where Sarah has gone. If I don’t, I could be blamed.

The nightmares are bad, as you’d expect. I wake up and think I see one standing in my doorway, but nothing is ever there.

I haven’t gone back to the basement. I leave the security door locked because deep down I’m afraid that if I leave it open, one day I’m going to come down my main stairs, and see her standing motionless at the bottom, following me with her intense eyes.


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