I waited.


No response. This isn't funny, I thought. My sister could be such a pain sometimes. We were twins, even though I was younger by a couple of minutes. Hayle and I had some things in common other than our hazel eyes, pointed noses and heart-shaped faces. We both liked to dance and were fans of hip hop music.

Even though we had our differences we got along pretty well. But one of our biggest differences were that Hayle was totally into creepy things. Scary books, scary movies, scary games and most of all Halloween.

I should have gone, but now it was too late. The Creeper Town sign hung low on the building. The door was fogged, there were no windows. It was just past dawn and the sun managed to still be hidden behind the clouds.

When we had walked here, I hadn't been afraid. Now was different. The street was abandoned, not that it surprised me. Who would be out at dawn and on this street, too?

Santos Boulevard wasn't too popular to begin with. At least it hadn't been till the Creeper Town replaced the old Buster's Convenience. Mr. Rosenberg, the old man who had run Buster's had passed away a couple of months ago. I hadn't known Mr. Rosenberg very well, so when he passed I hadn't been affected much. I'd passed Creeper Town lots of times, on my way to school. And now it looked like it had been here all along.

The October weather was chilled much quicker than past years. The wind had picked up, causing my blondette—brown with streaks of honey blond, hair to fly in my face.

I considered knocking on the door, but I didn't know what to expect inside. I wasn't a fan of creepy things, even if it was a week away from Halloween.

My thin cashmere sweater wasn't doing much of a job against the wind. The temperature seemed to have dropped. I shivered. My knee-length dress was billowing in the wind. My cell phone buzzed. I had only recently got it at the starting of eighth grade.

"Hello?" I called into the phone, my voice sounding like a whisper.

"Hello?" I repeated louder this time.

"Daile?" asked the voice. Her voice sounded tired, even a little out of breath.

"Yeah, Hayle! You said you would hurry! Come out." I exclaimed. I didn't realize how desperate or urgent it was till the words were said out loud.

"I . . . can't." She said, her voice sounded cautious.

"What do you mean you can't?" I demanded.

"We have to go home! Mom's gonna ground us!" I yelped. It was a school holiday.

"Daile. There's a problem. This isn't a good place. You . . . have to leave!" Her last sentence was urgent. My first instinct was to open the door. But somehow she had seen that coming.

"NO! Don't come in, Daile!" her voice was suddenly cut off.

"Hello? Hayle? Hayle!" I called into my phone. The tone buzzed. She had hung up. I quickly pocketed my phone and stepped up to the door. I gripped the cold steel handle, trying to pull. It wouldn't budge. I knocked and smashed, to no avail. I felt a wave of nausea.

I pulled out my phone again and dialed, Nina. My best friend had gone in with Hayle as well as Matt Houver, Celeste Jenkins and Samantha Frisk. Our tight group of friends were all gone inside that creepy store. The phone ringed about five times before it went to voicemail. The same thing happened for Celeste and Matt. Samantha didn't have a phone.

I scanned the street; it was still too early for any pedestrians to be wandering the street. I began to panic. Feeling desperate, I tried to redial Hayle, but the connection on my phone was gone and my battery was low.

I decided to go to the nearest convenience store, which was a block away. They probably had a payphone. I sprinted in my gladiators, trying to get there as fast as possible. But when I got there, I was greeted by a bitter surprise. It hadn't occurred to me at that moment that the convenience store might have been closed.

I felt like an idiot. I paused to catch my breath. As I began making my way back to Creeper Town the fog began to fade and I caught a glimpse of the sun. Across the street I saw a man turn the sign in the store, from closed to open.

I felt a relief spread through my body. At least someone would be able to help me if the door was still a problem. As I neared the building I felt a tingling sensation go up my spine. I shivered then blinked. What was going on?

A young woman stood by the door, holding a clipboard. Except my friends and sister were nowhere nearby. The biggest shock wasn't the open door, held by a stopper. Or the light filtering out of the door.

It had to be the big LEASE sign hung over the board. Maybe the fact that the inside of the building was empty. I walked over to the woman. Her hair was pulled back into a bun and she wore a white blouse and navy skirt. She was pretty, in an office-ey type of way.

"Hi." She greeted me, looking up from the clipboard.

"Hi. Um, could you tell me where Creeper Town went?" I asked, feeling awkward. The woman's face contorted into a look of confusion.

"I'm sorry, but this building was just sold to Unlimited Décor, a furniture franchise." I felt my heart speed up. I decided to check again.

"What store was here before..?" I asked, my voice feeling higher pitched. She smiled at me.

"Oh. Well this building used to be a convenience store, but was closed when the owner passed away." I thanked her and walked away. I felt a ringing in my ears.

Creeper Town had disappeared.

Along with my sister and friends too.