It had just been a regular sleepover in my house, up until everything went awry.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

I scrambled into the bathroom, not bothering to turn on the lights before I locked the door behind me. I knew they wouldn't turn on. Leaning against the door, I slumped down it until I was sitting on the cold tiles, a sharp contrast to my heated skin. I wiped the beads of sweat from my forehead, panting. My eyes slowly slid up to the mirror opposite me, and my blood ran colder than a glacier. The surface of the mirror rippled like water, and a pair of bony white hands reached out from inside. A terrible, distorted voice echoed deep in my skull.

Found you.

I squeezed my eyes shut, remembering how it had all begun.

"You chicken or what? Come on. Who even believes in that? It's just a game, nothing's gonna happen," my best friend, Gabriel, assured, jabbing me in the chest. Lara and Ruby, my two other friends, nodded from where they sat opposite us. I frowned, crossing my arms.

"It could be dangerous; I am not performing a séance with you guys!"

"Oooh, Cassie's a chicken!" Gabriel sing-songed at me, eyes full of mirth. Scowling, I glanced back down to the ouija board in the middle of our circle, a shiver running up my spine. There were letters and numbers on it, along with the words 'yes', 'no', 'hello' and 'goodbye'. Was it really just a game? I calculated the odds of myself taking part in the game; it was either I played it with unknown consequences, or live with my friends calling me chicken the rest of my college life.

Sigh.

"Fine, fine! I'll do it! What are we supposed to do, anyways?" I gave in, scooting in closer as I asked.

Gabriel grinned. "We're supposed to all put our hands on the board and ask a question. Then the planchette," he paused to point at a heart shaped piece of wood lying on the board, "will move and spell out replies, or point to whatever response. You ready?"

I nodded.

That was the worst choice of my life.

We placed our hands on the board, and Dave called out, "Spirit, we summon you forth!"

Moments passed, and I glanced down at the board again. Seems like it really was a dumb–

The planchette shivered, hovering above the surface of the board, slowly beginning to angle itself to a reply. Staring at it in disbelief, I looked at my friends, wondering if any of them was playing a trick on me, however all of them seemed as stupefied as me, and our eyes fixed on the planchette as it shifted.

Hello.

"Woah. This is so cool," Lara remarked, fascination written all over her face. However, a cold sense of dread settled deep in the pit of my stomach. Before I could stop the séance, Ruby piped up.

"How did you die?"

There was a long moment of silence, and I began to think that we had angered it, when the planchette moved yet again. It pointed to a series of letters, spelling out a sentence.

I was murdered.

"By who?"

Suddenly, to our shock, the middle of the board erupted into flames, and I let out a shrill shriek, scooting away from the board. The moment my palms left the board, the flames extinguished, and I inhaled slowly. "Alright, everyone, game's over!" I said, eyes still wide with shock. That had been a terrifying experience, and I wasn't ever going to do it again. Not in this lifetime. There was a murmur, and Gabriel complained that I was a wet blanket, slapping me on the back, before we crawled into our sleeping bags and drifted off.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

"..ngh...for God's sake..." I sat up, rubbing my face and reaching for my watch. It was three forty five in the morning, and that incessant dripping noise was driving me crazy. Pulling myself to my feet, I sleepily stumbled over to the light switch, flicking it on. Nothing happened. Frowning, I flicked it back and forth, to no avail. The lights didn't turn on. What a great time for the power to go out. Grumbling, I fished in my drawer for a flashlight, turning it on.

Following my ears to the source of the sound, I made my way to the bathroom. My eyes followed the area illuminated by the beam of light emitting from my flashlight, and I froze. A scream of terror lodged in my throat.

Lara's severed head was suspended from the shower, her body lying in the bathtub itself. Her eyes were wide and her mouth hung open, a dark line of blood and spit trailing from the corner of her lips. The source of the dripping, to my utter disgust, was the blood that dripped from the stump of her neck and into the tub. I hastily scrambled backwards, slamming the door. My heart palpitated wildly in my chest, feeling as if it was going to burst out of my ribcage. What? Who...

Surely this was just a bad dream. None of this could have happened in real life, could it? I exhaled shakily, trying to convince myself that I was just dreaming. Slowly, I trudged back to my bedroom. As I neared the door, an odd feeling of dread slowly began to settle in the pit of my stomach, as if I subconsciously knew that something was about to go horribly, horribly wrong. I reached for the door handle and cautiously opened the door.

It was almost as if I'd walked in on Hell itself. The flashlight in my hand clattered to the floor.

My bedroom walls, once painted blue, were half-drenched in a red, sticky substance. Gabriel and Ruby were...pretty much all over the place, in torn pieces of flesh and blood. I stood there, shellshocked and frozen in place. The beam of light from my flashlight flickered once and died.

I flinched when I saw something levitating in front of me, and I squinted in the darkness to make out what it was. All I could see were some floating words, and when I prodded one of them, my finger came away wet and sticky. "Still...still think this is a dream...?" I read aloud, my eyes widening as I did. The words fell to the floor, landing in a splatter all over my feet. I was about to step backwards when I felt something grip my legs.

"Wha– NO!"I yelled in protest, kicking away at the firm clutch as well as I could, until I felt the grip give away. I fell on my butt, and fell silent as I saw something pull itself from the floor. I hadn't seen anything like it in my life, not ever. It seemed like a woman, with long disheveled hair that hung about her face and a jaw so twisted it seemed broken. Her hands were white and bony, eyes bulging out of her skull. She blinked at me once, and her mouth curved into a cold grin.

A terrible sound resonated in my head; it sounded like a mix of nails scratching on a chalkboard and a hoarse, whispery voice.

You called?