13 Sturridge Street Part 4 of 5

Jane looks out onto her back garden which is full of her family and friends, all drinking and eating the copious supplies of BBQ food and alcohol available. She smiles as her niece runs around chasing the other children with a huge insect, Jane’s niece was the definition of a tomboy which was just how her auntie liked it; she was always a tomboy herself. Everyone had come for their house warming, the house of which was finally ready to show off. Every room was beautifully painted with enormously varying colours, some of which Steve wasn’t sure about but his wife assured him that they fit perfectly. Jane was stood in the kitchen making herself a cocktail, she had bought an elaborate drinks maker to the dismay of her husband. He could only see it as a waste of money, but Jane was sure it would come in handy for times just like these…however, nobody at the house warming wanted a cocktail, opting for a more conventional lager or a glass of wine. If she was honest, she would have preferred a more ‘normal’ drink as well, but she didn’t want to give Steve premise to say ‘I told you so’, so she battled on with the cocktails. Jane finishes making her overly complicated beverage and heads back outside to enjoy the setting sun with her guests. She takes a seat next to her husband and holds his hand while he speaks to his brother, he squeezes it tightly making sure to let his wife know that he has noticed her but he can’t currently stop the conversation he finds himself in. Jane sits back in her chair and gazes up proudly at their house, all the work has finally paid off. She hadn’t had anymore strange happenings occur since the knife incident which made her amazingly happy. This meant that she could pass off what happened as either a dream or a strange coincidence, ‘thank god it wasn’t a haunted house’ she kept thinking to herself. Neither Jane or Steve told anyone of the events of those first few days in their house, people would think they were mad if they did. Jane however hadn’t been in the room at the end of the hall since that night, only Steve went into it to put the random stuff in which didn’t have a home elsewhere in the house yet. It was a junk room full of all the things which needed sorting but won’t be for a good few years. She looked over at the pile of barbequed meat on the table to her left, which immediately made her mouth dribble; so much so that she could no longer only stare at it and had to go and get some. She squeezes her partners hand once more before letting go and making her way over to the burgers and sausages. She is just about to dive into a hotdog when she gets interrupted by her chief bridesmaid who is in a bit of a panic, “Jane my lovely, I completely forgot about the time. I was supposed to be home 30 minutes ago and the babysitter just sent me a bit of an angry text. So I will have to love you and leave you I’m afraid” she said apologetically.
“That’s OK, you don’t need to apologise. I completely understand, and as an ex babysitter myself I know her plight” Jane said with sympathy.
“Thank you for understanding, could I trouble you for our coats so we could head off sharpish, Jane?” the hurried friend politely asks.
“Yeah, of course, no problem”, Jane said calmly before shouting across the garden to her husband asking him where he had put the coats. Steve replied with a quick answer of ‘up stairs’ as he was still locked into the same conversation with his brother. Jane nodded, put down her enticing hot dog which she still had not tasted, let her friend know that she would be as quick as possible then darted off inside to grab the coats. As Jane made her way through the house the noises of the rowdy lot outside slowly faded leaving her with only the sounds of her footsteps for company. She makes her way upstairs and looks in the main bedroom, empty. She realises that Steve didn’t specify which room he had put the coats in, ‘no worries, it won’t take long to find them’ she thought to herself. She enters the spare room which again is coat free, which only leaves the final room. The room which she hadn’t been in since the incident, the room which still filled her with fear at the thought of entering it…but it is only a room. Why is she scared of a room? Plus, she should only be in there for a few seconds, and not a second more. She plucks up the courage to quickly poke her head around the corner of the door to see the coats thrown in a pile in the far recesses of the chamber. Jane sighs before cautiously making her way over to the pile which are resting next to the daunting wall vent. She creeps over to the coats, stopping abruptly in her tracks about an arm’s length away from them…there was a slow creak emanating from the bedroom door she had just passed through. *Bang!* The door swiftly slams closed behind a now worried Jane as she spins to see what caused the door to shut so violently. She runs over to it trying to force the exit back open to no avail, something was intentionally keeping the door shut. “OK, that’s enough now! Whoever thinks it’s funny to lock me in this room better stop, I’m not laughing!” Jane shouts through the wooden panels still tugging and turning the door knob. “Seriously, you better let me out or I’ll go over to the window and scream for help…” nothing, “…OK, have it your way!”. Jane storms over to the window half enraged, half petrified and grabs the windows handle. It won’t budge, no matter how hard she jerks it, the thing won’t move. Did they test all the handles in the house, did this one need changing? She couldn’t remember, her ever worsening frightened state clouding her thoughts as the feeling of fear took control of her body. She might not be able to open the window but she can sure as hell get the attention of everyone in the garden by banging on the pane of glass, screaming through it at the top of her lungs. The noise is deafening in the room, even too much for Jane to stand but…no one in the garden is flinching. No one pays even the slightest bit of notice to the noise she is making, like…they can’t hear it. She is really panicking now, if they can’t hear her, then how will she get out…and who slammed the door and is keeping it shut? Surely her friend will come up and find out where she is soon, she needs her coat. ‘That’s right’ she thinks to herself, she won’t be in here long because her friend will come up shortly. With that thought, there was a loud clattering sound from the wall vent opposite her. Jane reluctantly turns to where the noise came from, something was sticking out of the vent…what is that? She slowly makes her way over to the white object protruding from the wall, it seems to be a rolled up piece of paper. Jane gets close enough to reach it and snatches out of the grate from a ‘safe’ distance. The aged torn scroll unravels to reveal an old news clipping, the headline reads ‘The Mysteries of 13 Sturridge Street’…that’s their house. Intrigued, she continues reading:

 
A young newlywed couple who had recently moved into their first house have succumbed to the deadly curse seemingly put on 13 Sturridge Street. The husband, George Place was found dead in the early hours of the morning on 25th April 1985 after a neighbour reported hearing screams coming from the house a few hours earlier. George was forcibly killed with several stab wounds to his chest caused by an axe and three large cleaver knifes found dotted around the property. His wife, Donna Place was found hanged in the upper room at the back end of the house. The room she was discovered was empty with the only discernible feature being a wall vent surrounded by what looked to be an ancient symbol roughly drawn on in blood. The symbol has yet to be deciphered by police…

 
Jane is torn away from reading the article by a clicking noise coming from the bedroom door…the handle turned slowly and the door purposefully swung open with a loud long creak. She is frozen to the spot, frightened beyond what words could describe. She watches as the door bangs lightly on the wall behind it coming to a halt. Jane observes the opening fully expecting someone or something to come through it, nothing visible does though. The empty doorway just presenting itself menacingly. She had just plucked up enough courage to make a run for the opening when the door started to close again on its own accord, Jane quickly darts towards the exit trying to escape before it shuts fully. But she wasn’t quick enough, as soon as she gets within reach it slams violently, locking her into the hell room once more. She begins to cry, utter panic, utter fear, utter helplessness grips her body. Jane tries to think clearly and calmly about what she could possibly do now, but nothing is coming to her, her mind is so fuzzy and panicked she cannot think of her own name, let alone what to do next. Then another noise fills the room, one which is both quiet but deafening simultaneously…breathing. Slow steady breathing from someone else, she stops her own breath just to confirm that it wasn’t hers…it wasn’t. She scans the room, darting her glare backwards and forwards looking for the person making the noise, no one is in there with her…at least no one she could see. The breathing got louder and louder until…nothing.
Jane wakes up handing the coats to her friend. “Thanks for getting them so quickly Jane, sorry that I’ve got to leave so early but I will ring you soon, yes?” her friend says happily before kissing Jane on the cheek and waving goodbye to the other guests. Jane just stands there confused, what just happened, how did she get here? Nothing made sense…she couldn’t remember anything. What happened with the breathing, how did she get out of the room, she wanted to run away crying but she couldn’t do it in front of everyone. What does she do now? Does she tell her husband? She decides that she will, but not now, later. For the time being she plays the quiet well trained hostess, hiding her feelings and fear from everyone. There is one thing that she does know though, she is never going back in that house alone, and she is definitely never going in that room ever again.

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