17D.J. Tricks of the Mind

Tricks of the Mind

"Bye Samantha!" Samantha's parents called from the front door. It was her first weekend ever being home alone.

It's about time! She had thought to herself when they had said that they would be leaving her in charge for a weekend sometime soon. I'm 17, it's about time I started getting some new responsibilities.

She ran down the stairs to give each of them a hug and say one last good bye.

"Now what were the rules we gave you?" he father asked.

"Sigh, no parties, no boys, and no one over unless I have your permission." Samantha replied irritated. They knew perfectly well that she wasn't high enough status in high school to throw a party. And they knew even better that she hadn't had a boyfriend for 3 years in 8th grade.

"Now all the emergency numbers are on the fridge, and we left you pizza money on the counter." Her mother reminded.

"I go—ot it mom!" she dragged out.

"And if the doorbell rings and you didn't order pizza?"

"I don't answer it and act like there's no body home. Got it."

"Aw, I'm going to miss you sweetie! My little girls growing up." Her mother cried as she threw another hug at her daughter, "Oh! And don't forget that your uncle Jared is stopping by tomorrow night on his way through town ok? You always forget that."

"Give her her space honey," her father said, "She's older now! We can trust her. And if anything happens, our neighbors are right across the corn field."

That part had always scared Samantha.

Why did her parents have to live out in the middle of nowhere with an entire corn field separating the closest house?! She always thought. If something were to happen, that would definitely not be a contributing factor to make it better.

"They'll only hold our reservation for so love Karen." The father reminded his wife.

"Oh ok, always in a rush," The mother said, "Ok sweetie, we love you! Be safe!"

"I love you guys too!" Samantha replied.

As the mother started walking out to the car she yelled, "What's the number for the police and firemen?"

"911 mo—om. You practically tattooed that onto my forehead the moment I was born."

"Ok sweetie, have a nice time! Bye! We love you!" they both called from the car. They buckled themselves in, and drove off down the driveway.

"FI—INALLY."Samantha sighed out loud to herself. She closed the front door, locked it behind her, and started straight for the couch and TV. Samantha had always been a fan of horror and suspense movies. After tying up her long brown hair up and out of her eyes, she put a movie into the DVD player titled, "What You Cant See". It was one of her all time favorites. It involved a young blind girl left home alone for only a few hours. When she starts to hear unknown noises coming from other places in the house, she soon finds out that she isn't alone. People had always told her that watching movies like that would make your imagination run rampant, but she had never noticed anything. She could watch this movie at 3 in the morning and go to bed without turning any of the lights on without any problems.

"Who would bother messing with a house in the middle of nowhere anyway?" she said to out loud to herself. She often talked to herself when she was home alone.

After more than halfway through the movie, Samantha's favorite scene arrived. It was the climax of the movie, and it showed the young girl curled up hiding in the corner of her bedroom. Her blindness restricted her sight, but highly improved her hearing. Samantha watched as the young girl listened to whoever was in the house with her, then as her foggy eyes grew wide with terror as she heard the bedroom door creak open, Samantha jumping as though she had heard in real life. She often got so involved with her horror movies that she couldn't resist subconsciously plugging the effects into her own current life.

She calmed herself down from herself induced terror, and then jumped again when the clock in the TV room chimed for 6 o'clock.

"Gah!" she grunted at the clock, "Just because I don't dwell on horror movies after their done doesn't mean I can't get jumpy during them! I'm only human." She looked down at her stomach as it started to growl. "Hungry…" she said to herself. She paused the movie and walked into the kitchen, opening the fridge to look for a filling snack to eat.

"The pizza money!" she exclaimed to herself. She picked up the phone and dialed for her favorite pizza joint: Diminos. The clerk assured her 30 minute delivery, and she hung up the phone, looking forward to her own personal pizza.

Just then she again heard a door creak. She walked into the TV room to check to see if she had accidentally put the movie on rewind. But she saw that it was still paused frozen on the blind girls glossed over terror filled eyes.

"No… I know I heard a door creak." She said. Knowing for a fact that the house was locked up tight from the attic windows to the cellar door, she confidently strode up the stairs, having a suspicion of the cause. She rounded the corner at the top of the stairs and saw that all of the doors were closed except for her parents' room. She opened the door, hearing the creak in doing so, and saw the cause of her distress ogling up at her from the bed.

"Charlie!" she said, "Mommy and daddy are gone for the weekend! You'll have to sleep with me tonight!" she said as she patted her thighs to tell the small family dog to jump into her arms. She coddled him close to her as he licked her chin and she took him downstairs, jumping onto the couch to resume her movie.

"Feel like a little terror Charlie?" Samantha asked as she pressed the play button, Charlie ignoring the question and curing up at her feet.

The movie resumed and Samantha watched with anticipation, trying her best not to jump every time an intense scene of the movie came along, despite her near total memorization of the movie. Then again she had never gotten a chance to watch it alone by herself for a weekend. It had almost gotten her spooked enough to jump when the doorbell rang for the pizza. The dog was quick to jump off the couch and ran to the door, barking at the supposed intruder.

Samantha opened the front door, checking through the peephole first to be safe.

"One large pepperoni pizza?" the pizza man asked.

"Yup," Samantha replied, not wanting to drag out the visit very long.

"That'll be fourteen dollars and twenty cents." Samantha handed over the money plus tip, and closed the door, carrying the pizza back to her movie.

After enjoying three hardy slices of pizza and the end of the movie, she placed the leftovers in the fridge, and took Charlie upstairs with her. She laid him down on her bed, and then changed into a robe for a shower. She didn't bother closing the bathroom door; there was no need since she was home alone. She enjoyed her shower, knowing that she was the only person in the house. It was when she was rinsing her hair that she thought she had heard a loud thud, followed by Charlie barking wildly the way most dogs do when they hear an unknown noise...

She opened her eyes in surprise, and stopped her hands midway from running them through her hair. She looked around for a second, then concluded and said to herself,

"Dumb house…it's so old the pipes need looked at." And she continued to rinse her hair and finish her shower, then called to Charlie, "No barking Charlie! No barking!" thankfully to her the barking stopped and she could finish her shower in peace.

After her shower she entered the hallway and heard the phone ring downstairs. She quickly descended the stairs in her wet hair and robe in a hurry to reach it before the answering machine. She grabbed the phone and pressed the talk button and quickly said,

"Hello?"

"Hey sweetie! How is it going?" her mother's voice said.

"Its fine mom… quiet…"

"Well that's normally how it sounds when there's only one person at home! Did you order pizza?"

"Yup, about an hour ago."

"You didn't let the pizza boy in did you?" her mom asked jokingly.

"Of course not mom."

"Ok, well glad to hear the house is quiet and party free! I was calling to say good night."

"Thanks for calling mom…"

"Ok sweetie, I love you! Have a good night ok?"

"I will mo—om. I love you too."

"Ok sweetie, bye!"

"Bye mom!" Samantha said then she hung up the phone.

On her way back up the stairs she passed by the front door and noticed that it wasn't locked.

"Didn't I lock that after the pizza guy?" she said. Then she remembered the thud she had heard in the shower. She shook her head and pushed her irrational fear out of her mind.

"Stupid pipes. If there was anyone in the house Charlie would be going nuts right now. He did start barking though…" She said in an attempt to reassure herself, "No… he always barks at the smallest noise." She walked upstairs, locking the door behind her and wringing her out while doing so. She came into her bedroom and was surprised not to see Charlie still sitting on her bed.

"Charlie?" she called, "Cha—arlie! Where did that dog go?" she looked around the floor by her bed and even saw his toy lying there. "He must be mad at me for yelling at him…"

She changed into her pajamas, accepting that Charlie must simply be hiding, and hopped into bed. It was after a few minutes of lying there however that she realized that since this was her first time staying home alone for an entire weekend that she would go to bed with a cup of hot chocolate.

She rose out of bed, and lightly stepped down the stairs heading towards the kitchen. After brewing the perfect cup of hot chocolate in her opinion, she bounded up the stairs, back to her bedroom. On the way she had to pass through the hallway she had earlier in order to find Charlie, and she remembered that all but her parents' bedroom door had been open. She now saw that the door had been closed.

"Did I close that door when I had found Charlie?" Samantha asked herself. She couldn't remember is she had closed it or left it open and it began to worry her. Everything seemed to be happening and it was starting to take its affect.

"I'm sure its fine…" she said not all too sure to herself. She turned off all the lights, and returned to her room to retire, not going to find Charlie for fear of encountering more abnormal events in the house.

"My parents just ha—ad to get such a big house," she said as she drank her hot chocolate, "A big house in the middle of nowhere." She walked over to her window overlooking the corn field outside her house.

"Nothing unusual out there!" she said. Then she began to become frightened when she saw the single beam of light from a flashlight moving through the corn field. She didn't want to see anymore.

She quickly shut her blinds, placed her half drunken hot chocolate on her dresser, and went to sleep with the covers pulled over her head, her bedroom door locked as an extra precaution. Throughout the night she would be so alert that she could hear her heartbeat in her pillow. She wanted so much to listen to her music, but her music player was across the room, and she did not dare go to retrieve it for the common irrational fear of being grabbed by a hand from under the bed.

This was the first time in a long while that Samantha had actually been scared.

"No more horror movies this weekend…" she decided to herself. After an hour of lying awake, she finally found sanctuary in the realm of her dreams.

The next morning Samantha woke with the sun streaming through her window and splashing onto her face. She sat up in bed, and quickly recalled the events of the night before.

"Why was I so scared?" she asked herself allowed looking around her room, "I made it through the night alright! The house is still standing! No blood on the walls or broken door locks like in the horror movies." She was immediately convinced that everything the night before had been all coincidences and in her head.

She quickly decides what she wanted to do that day, and after getting dressed, eating a sugary breakfast, and calling her mom, her friend was soon over at her house spending time with Samantha.

"Hey Samantha, why don't we watch a horror movie? We've always had fun watching those!" her friend Rebecca asked.

"Ma—aybe not…" Samantha admitted back, "I'm kind of burnt out on horror movies this weekend."

"What's this, Samantha is scared to watch a horror movie?!" Rebecca teased.

"Hey! I am not scared to watch a horror movie! I just, you know…had a slightly scary night last night." Samantha said tried to convince her friend.

"Ri—ight… well, when you're ready to admit your fears, I'm here to listen." Rebecca laughed.

"Sure, whatever. Can we just do something? We don't have all night like usual."

"Oh yeah! I forgot! I hope that you'll be alright a—all by yourself for another night!" he friend said sarcastically.

"I'll be fine," Samantha replied back, "Now when you get a chance to stop mocking me, I would like to play a board game or something."

"Oh stop; let's just watch a horror movie like always! Its tradition for us!"

"I-I don't know if we have time for that…" Samantha said trying to think of an excuse, "You don't want to be late going home."

"Ha, oh yeah, because my house is so—o far away from here." She said pointing through the window and to her house far across the field.

"Ugh, fine." Samantha said in defeat, "Go pick the movie. I'll make popcorn." She said as she left the room.

"Well… at least we're watching the movie in the day time…!" Samantha said trying to calm her nerves. She didn't want a replay of the night before, whether she admitted her fear or not.

"Come on Samantha!" Rebecca called from the TV room. Samantha poured the popcorn into two bowls and handed one to her friend.

As the movie progressed, Samantha had to try harder and harder not to let the setting twilight and the events of the film combine in her imagination. She had never been more thankful for a horror movie to be over in her entire life when it finally ended.

"Aw… is it really time to go?" Rebecca whimpered.

"I told you we were wasting our time arguing…!" Samantha replied, "But you need to get home before it gets totally dark, remember? Your moms' orders."

Rebecca sighed and said, "I guess your right… ok, well, I'll see you later ok Samantha?"

"Yeah, see you later!"

"Don't let those spooks get you tonight!" her friend laughed as she stepped off the porch and onto the road leading to her house.

"Bye Rebecca!" Samantha called as she closed the front door behind her, making sure to lock it this time.

She looked out the window and watched her friend walk down the road, noticing that there were dark clouds on the horizon.

"Great… a storm. O—of course… can you get much more cliché than that?" she grumbled to herself. She decided that she needed something to calm herself, and remembered that her mother had always told her that when she needed her nerves soothed, a warm bath with candles always did the trick for her. Samantha wasn't very much into the thought of taking a bath, but she was willing to try anything.

She went upstairs, and after setting up the candles in what she thought were good positions, flicked the lights off and slipped into the tub. It was surprisingly cozy to her. It wasn't long before the dark of the room and the warmth of the water had lulled her into a sleep.

She awoke with a start suddenly when a crack of lightning has flashed in her face through the window and the boom of thunder followed it.

"That was ruined quickly she said to herself." She quickly rose out of the tub, realizing that the water had turned cold in her sleep, and after covering herself with her robe, went downstairs to make a cup of hot chocolate.

"Home alone on a stormy night after a horror movie, it doesn't get much more cliché than that." She said to herself again. She decided to call her Rebecca to pass what was left of her night alone.

She went upstairs to the home phone by desk in the hallway, not wanting to walk the long dark hallway to her room to get her cell phone.

Just after picking up the phone, she heard a noise from a room down the hallway. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw something emerge from the room, believing it was a foot, but exhaled the biggest breath of her life when she realized it was only Charlie, coming out of his hiding place.

"There you are! Where have you been?!" she asked the dog with a tone in her voice.

The dog only sat there, and soon began to bark at her, acting oddly the way most dogs do periodically. She would walk towards him, but Charlie would only back away. A flash of light came through the window followed by the thunderous noise, sending Charlie running back to his hiding spot.

"Just scared of the storm…" Samantha said to try and reassure herself. She went back to dialing Rebecca's number.

"Hello?" a voice came over the line.

"Hi! Is Rebecca there?" Samantha said in reply.

"Oh, that must be you Samantha! Yes, she is right here," Rebecca's mother said, "You haven't seen our dog anywhere lately have you? My husband was out in the field last night looking for him."

"Oh that's who that was!" Samantha said in realization, recalling the light in the field the night before, "No, sorry… I haven't seen him."

"That's a shame… ok, well here is Rebecca!"

"Hello?" Rebecca said.

"Hey Becca!" Samantha said.

"Samantha? Do you need something? I'm at the mall with my mom… she was holding my phone for me while I was in the dressing room."

"No… just wanted to talk is all!"

"Sure… you're scared aren't you?" Rebecca said, teasing again.

"Hey! For the last time, I am not—" Samantha started before getting cut off by a noise she heard at the door, "H-hold on a minute Becca, I heard something downstairs." Samantha put the phone on the desk, not disconnecting the line, and crept down the stairs with her hot chocolate. At the bottom, she placed the still full cup on the banister, looking around. Not seeing anything, she turned to go back upstairs, but froze in her tracks when she heard the door handle of the front door start to turn, the lock clicking against it.

"Someone's trying to get in." she whispered to herself in sheer fear. Her mother, always the security freak she is, had insisted that the side windows of the door had been made the one way mirror/windows, so that you could see who was there without them seeing you.

Samantha mustered up all of her courage, and looking away from the jiggling door handle only after it had stopped moving, looked through the window. Her breath caught in her chest as lightning illuminated the dark image of a man walking away from the front door and around to the back of the house.

She sprinted up the stairs, hearing a loud crash on her way up, and quickly grabbed the phone.

"Rebecca! Someone's trying to—" she started, then experienced probably one of the most terrifying events of her life as the phone line went dead and the line in the house out, the house giving the sound of all the power leaving.

"The powers out. The powers out… it's only the storm…" Samantha repeated to herself as she stood in the darkness, trying to stem off a panic attack. She saw out of the window as she stood there still holding the phone to her ear, three beams of light sweeping through the field searching for something.

"It's just a dog!" Samantha screamed at them with tears of terror welling up in her eyes. She couldn't take much more. She could have sworn that the tears were sucked back into her eyes when she gasped and they grew wide when she heard the slightest click in her parents' room.

"The balcony door." She cried silently to herself with her hands grasp over her mouth, the phone dropped to the ground. She had forgotten to check it. She heard it slide open, letting in the sound of the falling rain and the sound of footsteps on the wood.

Seeing this as what could be her only chance, she turned and ran straight to her room at the opposite end of the hall, going back to her childhood and hiding under the bed, still in nothing but her robe.

She lay there and listened to the silence of the house, not wanting to open her eyes. Her cell phone rang on top of her bed and Samantha hit her head on the wood of her bed when she jumped in fear. She quickly grabbed it before the intruder would notice it, and opened it.

"Samantha what happened? The line went dead!" Rebecca's voice came through.

"Rebecca! Listen to me! There is someone—" Samantha tried to shout through a whisper, but stopping immediately when she saw the dark silhouette of feet in her doorway. she caught her breath and could feel her heart beat in her head as she covered the speaker of the phone with her hand and watched the feet come into her room, take a few steps and turn to go back out. She watched as they turned into the room next to hers and hit her head again as she heard Charlie start barking wildly at the intruder. She had forgotten he was in there!

She saw this as her chance, and ran as fast as she could out of her room, past the room with Charlie and the intruder, and down the stairs. She rounded the corner at the bottom, slipping in hot chocolate, her phone flying out of her hand and into the darkness as she fell and made contact with the floor.

Someone else is in the house! Two people! He came in upstairs! She thought to herself in panic, coughing back her tears of pure horror.

She stumbled to her feet, and opened the front door. She sprinted at her top speed, barefoot and in only a robe, running down the dirt road to her friend's house.

She reached the front steps, skipping every over one and pounded on the front door. She waited but no lights came on in the house to her rescue. She shuddered in the cold and ran around to the back, knowing that their back door is always unlocked.

She threw it open, and ran to the phone and dialed 911, their house power being on a separate power line.

"911 emergency." A voice said over the line.

"Help! I need help! There are people in my house! My address is 5847 Stone Hollow Lane!" there was a pause and then the voice said,

"Ma-am I am showing that we already have forces at that address."

"No, no! that's a mistake!" Samantha screamed into the phone, "I am alone!" all of the sudden, Samantha remembered her mother's words. Don't forget that your uncle Jared is coming tomorrow night! You always forget.

"Ma-am?" the voice said unconcerned over the phone. Samantha couldn't believe her foolishness. She replaced the phone on the receiver and started walking back to her house.

Her uncle had come, but couldn't get into the house, and he couldn't call because her cell phone was upstairs and the power had gone out! So he had come in through the balcony and started going through the house looking for someone! She thought to herself on the walk back, seeing her uncle's flashlight flickering through the windows of the house. She returned to her front door and walked in, gathering herself and going to find her uncle, hoping that Charlie hadn't bitten him.

"I'm sure everything is alright honey…" Samantha's father said to her mother, "She probably just dropped her cell phone again and broke it, and the news had said that part of the county was without power."

"But even you yourself said that it shouldn't affect us!" the concerned mother replied, "And the news also said that there were police cars and police men out looking for someone in our area! Oh, I just wish I could have at least gotten a hold of her to tell her to double check all the doors and windows, just in case!"

"Don't worry so much dear…" the father said, "Out girls smart and responsible! I'm sure she's wondering why her uncle Jared never showed last night though. She always enjoys his visits. He said her cell phone had been disconnected and he couldn't get a hold of her to tell her he was staying the night in a hotel."