The last of the guests finally leave after the house warming ends, Steve looks knackered as he lets out a big sigh, shutting the front door for the final time that night. He turns around smiling at Jane who looks horrified, “That went well love, didn’t it?” Steve proclaimed not registering his wife’s fear ridden face.
“I need to leave this house, I cannot stay in this house” Jane said as tears push their way out of her eyes.
“What…What do you mean?” said a confused Steve.
“I cannot stay in this house any more, its evil”, tears are now fully enveloping her eyes.
“…where has this come from? What’s happened?” stunned Steve, “Jane, please…tell me what happened?”
“…something attacked me in the back room upstairs…I am so scared” Jane pushed passed her husband realising that he is taking far too long to understand her petrified feelings.
“Hold on, Jane…hang on a second. What attacked you? One of the guests? Who did this to you?” Steve tries to get Jane’s attention to no avail. Jane finally manages to open the stiff front door and ran outside pushing her husband aside. Steve runs out after her stopping her on the porch “Jane! Please stop, what’s happened? Please tell me what happened” he said holding her tightly.
“I can’t be in that house…please listen to me. I don’t want to spend another second in that house, and I won’t” sniffled Jane.
“…OK…OK, something has clearly spooked you. I don’t understand what but I will stick by you…We will just have to go and find a hotel or something. Does that sound OK to you?” he concerned, Jane nodded in agreement. “It’s freezing out here though so just let me go and get some things for the night yeah? Will you wait here for a second while I go and get some things?” Steve says lovingly, Jane nods silently again and agrees, wiping the tears from her cheek. Steve hugs her tightly for what seems like minutes, he wanted to comfort her as much as he possibly could. Steve holds his wife’s glare one last time before going back into the house to grab some overnight supplies. “I’ll only be a few minutes OK”, Steve heads back inside keeping his wife in sight for as long as he could. He quickly rushes upstairs to their bedroom and shoves some spare clothes into a duffle bag along with some toiletries. Steve is concerned and slightly angry at whatever caused Jane to act this way, he replays the last few minutes in his head trying to work out what had happened. So engrossed in his own thoughts that at first he didn’t hear the noise, only when it gets too loud to dismiss does he hear it…scratching. Steve stops what he is doing and listens with his mouth open trying to decipher where the noise is coming from. He walks around the bedroom but it isn’t coming from in here, it’s from out on the landing. He walks out slowly making sure to keep his footsteps as quiet as possible. He stands staring down at the room at the end of the hall, the room with the wall vent. The door slightly ajar as the noise booms from the exceptionally dark room, Steve can only just make out the outlines of the unpacked boxes stored in there. The scraping is still getting louder, someone is in that room…or something. A clap of thunder breaks his intense stare, it has suddenly decided to rain, as if this situation wasn’t scary enough. His thoughts quickly turn to Jane, stood alone outside in the pouring rain, he didn’t really care what was making the noise in the room at the end of the landing anymore. After hearing it he didn’t want to stay in this house either, he quickly rushes into the bedroom to grab the duffle bag and makes his way back downstairs. A shadowy figure which had glided out of the vent room stands silently on the landing and watches Steve rush downstairs, almost tumbling in his haste. Steve did not notice this figure…something which he would later regret. He steps outside to be greeted by the rain which is coming down hard, ‘where on earth did this come from. Only a few hours ago it was bright sunshine’, he thought about this for a few seconds before realising something much more pressing…Jane wasn’t here. She has gone, where has she gone? Steve drops the duffle bag on the porch and jogs around in a panic trying to find his wife, he shouts her name as he begins to realise that she isn’t anywhere in sight. The car isn’t gone and he cannot see her down either side of their street. Steve clasps his rain drenched hair with both hands now fully fretting as to what has happened to his wife, he is getting ever more frantic with every passing second. There is a noise from within the house, Steve sharply runs to the porch and looks inside. Jane is stood at the far end of the house in the kitchen. He calls out to her but she doesn’t respond, she just slowly moves out of sight behind a doorframe. Steve bolts inside the front door leaving the rain outside, he stands in utter silence with only the noise of the torrential downpour and the water dripping onto the floor from his drenched body for company. He calls out again to his wife, and again there is no return answer. He leaves the front door open, just in case anything happens and they need to escape in a hurry. He slowly moves to the back of the house, deliberately planning each footstep before making it. Reaching the entrance to the kitchen he pauses for a second and calls out again hoping for a response this time, still nothing. He starts to doubt if the person he saw was in fact his wife, what if it was the thing scratching in the end room luring him back into the house? With this thought pulsing though his mind he grabs a spare piece of wood lying on the floor and bursts into the kitchen. This happened very quickly and he even surprised himself at his own courage. He was overtaken by a sudden heroic urge which compelled him to find out what was in the kitchen. He hoped with all his heart it was Jane, but alas it wasn’t…it wasn’t anyone, the room was empty. Steve walks over to the back door to look out into the garden, maybe whatever he saw in the kitchen went outside. But again it was desolate, the fear which he so quickly expelled a few seconds ago started to creep back into his body. *Bang* Steve span around to see that the front door was no longer open, it was violently shut leaving the sound of the door slamming echoing through the house. That’s it, he’s had enough, he’s getting out, Jane clearly isn’t in here and it was a mistake for him to come back into this place. ‘I bet she is outside somewhere, somewhere I didn’t look’ he thought to himself as he rushed towards the front of the house. He made his way to the door trying not to see or hear any other unwanted sights or sounds…unfortunately he heard something which he couldn’t ignore; a scream resonates from the upper floor followed by his name…Jane, its Jane! She sounds like she is in trouble, she needs my help. Without another moment’s hesitation, Steve ascends the stairs while listening to where the screams were coming from (he had a pretty good idea). Another yelp emanates from the room at the end of the landing, Steve runs over screaming his partner’s name. He bursts into the room and sees the hunched figure of his wife sat facing the wall, the vent in the wall. Jane is knelt down sobbing uncontrollably.
“Steve…is that you? Help me, please help me” comes a voice from Jane, a voice which didn’t fully match hers.
Steve cautiously makes his way over to his wife “Jane…Jane are you OK?” Steve mumbled, constantly looking around the room making sure they are the only ones in there. He reaches his wife and puts his hand on her shuddering shoulder, her sobbing making it go up and down involuntarily. “…Jane…” Steve whispered; Jane puts her freezing cold hand onto his. He bends over to help her up off the ground with both hands…but he can’t, his hand is clamped firmly onto her shoulder, he cannot move it. Jane is holding it in position so tightly that his fingers start to turn blue. His spouse’s weak sobbing transforms into a deep slow laughter sending chills down his spine, why is she laughing? Steve looks on in horror as his wife’s giggling frame slowly rotates to look at him, her eyes clouded over with a white haze, her face distorted so much that she is no longer recognisable as his wife. Now fully panicking, Steve tries with all his might to forcibly wrench his hand away from her shoulder, but to no avail. She is not letting her pray go now, not after all the effort she took in luring him into her trap. Her laughing frame staring deep into her lover’s eyes as he tries ferociously to get away. Steve notices something in Jane’s other hand, but only too late to avoid what happened next. With a quick swift bird like movement, the cackling Jane attacks her husband with a lump hammer which she was hiding so effectively in her other hand. Blood splatters over the room as she repeatedly smashes the hammer into her husband’s skull, the noise of each blow echoing throughout the house. *Thud…thud…thud*. The possessed figure only stopping after she had fully indented his head, leaving a squelching bloody hole. Steve’s face is no longer recognisable as his own, his features are either covered in blood or have been smashed to pieces. While still laughing demonically, Jane stands over her victim, dropping the heavy hammer next to his body. She kneels back down to face the vent, the vent which was occupied by something; something evil. A pair of smiling eyes stare back at Jane as she directs her cackling towards it. The blood seeping from her husband’s face starts to surround her, Jane scoops up a slosh of it with her right hand and begins to paint a symbol around the vent. A few minutes passed before she had completed her masterpiece, a drawing of a strange symbol, one which could only be linked with the devil himself. Whatever it is in that house will stay there forever, now contented that it had another puppet to do its chores, and oh what chores it has in mind for Jane.
The rain outside continues, cheering what has just happened in 13 Sturridge Street. Another victim has been claimed by this evil house and the demon inside the vent. Beware the vents, they reek of evil.