1711 Walker Street

Anna remembered why hesitation was shown before buying this house. The landlord said that it was haunted. The neighbors said that it was haunted. Her brother, Joey, said that it was haunted by a crazed old hag who thought everybody was her enemy.

Anna sighed and walked up to the old, rickety house. She still couldn't stand the musky smell that radiated off the entire Walker Street, but it was her home now. She unlocked the front door with the ancient key, and walked in.

"Note to self: buy much, much more than a broom and mop for the living room."

The inside was even worse than outside. There was mold and mildew on the walls and floor, the ceiling was cracked, and Anna could've sworn that she saw mice run into the other room. There was a spiral staircase leading to a hallway upstairs. And plastic-covered furniture dotting the room about Anna, though even they were covered in dust.

"No TV, no AC, no job, and stuck inside a two century year old house. And look: rats in the vents." Anna saw some sort of rodent above her in the dark ventilation system. "Great, Anna. Just great."

Anna flipped her black hair and went upstairs. There were two guest bedrooms, one master, and a bathroom. The entire downstairs was the living and dining room, with a run-down kitchen, and another bathroom.

There was also a dumbbell, which intrigued Anna. As a child, she had always wanted to ride up in one someday. Unfortunately, the dumbbell was too small. Yes, Anna could cram herself into it, but she was claustrophobic.

An hour had now passed. Anna had unpacked her suitcase used for clothes, and now had an urge to clean. The smell of mold and old lady combined made her stomach churn.

Anna decided to wait a while before going out. It was already 7:13, and didn't feel like going out. She changed out the sheets on her new bed in the master room.

The lady was looking down at the new girl through the vents. She grew angry. This was her house! Her home! How dare her enemies infiltrate her realm! This caused for war.

Touching things only she could touch. Opening doors that no one had rights to open. The Lady could sense trespassers all around the house, though there was only one.

One was enough.

Nobody would steal her precious things. Nobody was allowed to see any of it. And yet here was one of them now, after forty years, acting as if she was living inside her house.

Well, if the new girl was like the last lady who dared enter this household, then this would be easy.

Anna woke up the next day to a dark, shadowy room. "I didn't know- oh my gaaaa…" she stared at the shadow in the middle of her room as if in a dream.

The shadow was in the shape of a woman hanging her head low. It went over to Anna's mirror and shattered the glass and silver into a billion pieces. Anna cringed back, waiting for the figure to attack her.

The shadow moved out of the room, through the wide open doorway. Anna couldn't hear anything else. "I-I'm callin' the cops!" she wanted to sound as fierce as possible. The robber wouldn't want anything in here, anyway. Nothing good was in this house.

Anna finally gathered the courage to get out of bed and grab the baseball bat she kept in case of emergencies such as this. Seconds stretched into minutes to Anna, and she slowly came out into the hallway.

A scream stuck and choked inside Anna's throat. She could see clearly now. The trespasser was a woman, her face hidden by outgrown black hair. She wore a white gown hanging down to her knees, feet barefoot. All along her arms and legs were black and purple bruises.

The lady cocked her head to the right, and took a step towards Anna. She held the bat in front of her body defensively, trying to hide the fact that it won't protect her against this scenario.

The lady backed up to where an air shaft was, and walked over to the wall. Anna felt another scream building in her throat, and began to gag on it.

The scream only came out as a whimper as the trespasser crawled up the wall into the air shaft.

The lady was now in Anna's ventilation system. She could hear it crawling. The thumps of a leg against a corner, finger nails scratching against metal.

Anna was frozen in shock. The bat was still held defensively up. Was that the old hag-woman- haunting this house?

She tried to remember as much as what was told. Mrs. Dinkley, a gossipy neighbor, told her that the lady's name was Irene Mischerk. She suffered from a fear of enemies. To Irene, a toddler was an enemy, trying to destroy her life.

Joey said that Irene died in her home of old age and nobody found her for what must've been weeks. Now she haunts and destroys those who "dare trespass this homestead."

Mr. Durmish, the man who sold this house to Anna, said that Irene lived here two hundred years ago. Since then, twenty three people have died.

Two were found in the bathtub with cut wrists. Three found with slit throats. Eleven died of a heart attack. Two had nails starting in their eyes, ending in the wall. One was just found dead, assumed of being scared to death. And only two were found alive. One was deaf, the other chose to be mute. She could still talk. Just refused to talk after the move into Stony Hills Mental Asylum.

Anna went back into her room, and unpacked the leftover Chex-Mix from her bag. She had that and a tangerine for breakfast. Her cell phone didn't have reception here, and there weren't any telephones around.

Must get out. I need to tell somebody!

A loud crash from downstairs made Anna jump. She clamped her hand over her mouth, careful not to scream. There was a slight distant scratching sound that echoed from above, growing louder. Anna scrambled up, tripping over her feet.

She held her hand against her mouth harder. Irene was still in the vents. Then what was the crash from downstairs?

Anna swore under her breath as she realized what the crash must've been. She ran out of the room, momentarily forgetting the vents.

"NO!" Irene had stacked all of the furniture against the wall where the door was. And as Anna looked around, there wasn't a single piece of furniture left in the room that wasn't stacked against the door.

She heard the thumping noises again, creeping closer every second. Anna went downstairs in shock. It had all happened so quickly….

"The windows!" Anna ran over to one. She punched it as hard as she could, but it didn't break.

"Huh?" she felt the glass again and began to poke and prod it. The glass was bullet proof.

"How can it be bullet proof? Irene lived over-" an epiphany came into mind. "Oh," the lady who survived, the one that refused to talk anymore, must've done this. But that meant there's literally no way out now. Unless…Anna ran to the back, where there should've been a back door. There wasn't one.

"No way to get out. I'm stuck inside with her." As if saying it made it happen, a loud thump came from the kitchen. Anna turned slowly, knowing what came next.

Sure enough, Irene Mischerk was now in the doorway. Anna didn't scream. She didn't run.

"Listen, Mrs. Mischerk," she tried to mold her voice into what she used when Joey threw tantrums. "I'm not your enemy. If you let me, I'll leave and never come back. Ever. I can even tell my…associates to never come here again. But you win." Anna lifted her arms up. A sign of defeat.

Irene let out a low hiss that grew into a growl. She backed into the vents once again, still growling. Anna couldn't hear anything after that.

She went back into the living room, where all of the furniture was gone. She sighed with relief and opened the door.

Anna was now facing a brick wall. Scratched into the top right corner was the sentence:

Kill me now

She backed into the wall where the dumbwaiter was. From above, Anna could hear thumping noises again. She fought with shaking hands to get the dumbwaiter open.

Irene dropped down from the ceiling, cackling. Anna finally managed to get the door open, and crawled inside the dumbwaiter.

Irene was just about to close in on the girl before Anna pulled the door shut.

Silence. The door wasn't shaking; there wasn't any screaming, and no death threats. The only noise was Anna's heavy breathing.

She stayed inside the dumbwaiter for what seemed to be hours. Finally, she slowly opened the door. Nothing. Anna smiled and laughed nervously. Suddenly, from above on the wall, a face hit Anna's.

The face was hideous. There weren't any eyes. What even resembled any were the black holes that Anna could fall into and get lost forever. Her face was dry and cracked from the black holes, and the face could blend in with dirty snow.

Anna screamed at the top of her lungs. Irene Mischerk silenced her immediately.

Joey hit his hand against the wheel of the green Sedan again. Why wouldn't Anna pick up? She always kept her cell by her side, even kept it on the sink in the shower. He sped on to the house on Walker Street.

When Joey got there, no lights were on in the house. Maybe she was asleep? Yes, a twenty-eight year old was asleep at… 6:48 pm.

He used the spare key Anna had given to him when they got the place, and went in.

"Anna?" he called. "Anna, you here? And what the hell with the furniture?" the furniture all still had on their white sheets. Knowing Anna that would've been the first thing she'd have done. He stepped forward, and slipped. Grabbing onto a table, Joey looked down.

Blood.

He followed the puddle with his eyes. It lead to a dumbwaiter on the left wall, several feet away. He had no choice but to step inside the puddle to get to the dumbwaiter.

As Joey got closer, he could hear laughter coming from the small door. Finally, he opened it. Anna had somehow squished herself inside, and the blood was coming from her face.

"Anna? Are you-?" a burst of laughter interrupted his sentence. She looked up at him, laughing.

Now on the gurney, Anna was screaming in between her fit, "She's not there! It's not real! YOU put her in the vents! She's not there! She's not there!"

…..

From the windows, Irene Mischerk smiled. It was the same battle every time, and her enemies were losing power. Soon, nobody would bother her anymore.

Nobody would come into this realm of grace she has created for herself because nobody has even survived two nights.

"And I have and will always come up on top."