Hush Little Baby

"So where are you from?" A woman, who was just humming the now all too familiar tune of Hush Little Baby, asks while rocking what I assume is her child. I don't know if I want to trust her. I don't like, or trust, that song anymore

I recognized her from the legends of the house, I asked her why she didn't make herself known before.

"I tried, but, I couldn't...you're not my family, a stranger, it's against the rules that every one knows but no one bothers to tell the new people...I'm telling you know though...Where are you from?"

I sigh. She wasn't going to give up and I have all the time in the world now, so I tell her my story.

The house I lived in with my five year old son, is not a new house, but in fact, it was built during the Civil War. The previous owners of the house ran for the hills because they thought it was haunted. The rumors are endless and I was forced to hear them all; Townies say the basement was where Northern soldiers were captured, tortured and killed and now their spirits haunt the halls to get revenge; to the house is where the Klu Klux Klan hung black people out back in the 1870s and you can still hear the torturous screams in the backyard under the old oak tree. The most stereotypical one, was of a husband coming home from war to find his wife in bed with her lover ; so he shot them both in the face before drinking himself into a stupor, and then killed himself; which is why they say, that you can still hear his sobs in the master bedroom. However, the most common story is of a woman whose baby died; she went insane, and walked around with her baby's corpse in her arms and sang to it; until her husband decided to put her out of her misery and shot her. Everyone says that when there's a child in the house, you'll hear the faintest singing of Hush Little Baby.

These stories are all a load of bullshit, I'll tell you that much. My son, Jared, and I have lived there since he was born and after his father left us, and didn't come across any "paranormal" activity until one odd night.

I was sleeping soundly in my bed until my beagle, Cooper, started barking his head off. Now, usually, Cooper is a calm dog. He lays around all day and only barks when someone's passing our yard, walking up the pathway to the front door, or when anyone comes into the house; but he usually calms down after a few minutes. I figure some local teens were just messing around in the streets before moving along, which is pretty normal at one in the morning after a Friday night, so I just rolled over, waiting for him to stop so I could sleep, but; Cooper kept howling. I got annoyed because if he kept this up, Jared would wake up, and then he'd never get back to bed, so I got up from my bed and opened my window, which faces the front of the house, ready to ask the teens to move along.

However, when I looked out to the street, it was empty. I figured Cooper had to go do his business, so I left my room, stopped at Jared's room, which is at the end of the hallway upstairs, and found him sleeping soundly, and headed downstairs.

"C'mon Cooper," I called quietly as I opened the back door.

Cooper didn't go out, and kept barking.

"Coop!" I said a little more forcefully.

That time he want, ran outside, circling and sniffing the backyard before darting back in the house, this time growled up the steps, his body crouched down and his hackles raised. I got worried that someone had broken in the house, so I quickly grabbed the bat I keep in the hall closet and the skeleton key hanging on a key rack there, shut and locked the back door so the intruder had no where to go, and made beeline for Jared's room.

I swung his door open and saw him still asleep and nothing disturbed. I checked the closet, under his bed, and behind the rocking chair. When I was satisfied that no one is in there, I locked his bedroom window.

"Mommy?" I heard a sleepy voice ask, "Mommy, why do you have the bat?"

I tried to stay calm so that he didn't worry, "mommy heard a noise, but is just being silly. Go back to bed," I put the bat down and tucked him in, kissing the top of his head, "listen baby boy, don't come out until morning okay? Just keep sleeping."

Jared yawned, "yes, Mommy," and rolled over to go back to sleep, too tired to ask questions.

I picked the bat back up, did one more sweep of the room, and then locked the door with the key, and continued my search. I heard foot steps creaking on the floor boards down the hall, but I couldn't see anything because it was so dark.

Then a disembodied voice sang, in the most haunting voice I've ever heard, "hush little baby, don't say a word...mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird.."

I raised the bat and moved towards the singing my heartbeat in my ears...I step gently so I wouldn't disturb the singer. But my toe touch something very warm and gooey, I stepped a little farther and there was a sickening crunch of bones under my foot and something soft under my toes... and then I saw it... there was a bird with it's neck broken laying on the floor, bathed in moon light from the window just before the steps. As I walk towards it, the temperature dropped significantly and shut the window and locked it. I had no time to worry about the creature, because there was definitely something in my house.

I continued to look around for whoever, or whatever, was singing. I ran into the bathroom across from where the bird was found and that room was cold too, but I saw nothing, and shut that window too, I cursed myself for being so careless. I checked behind the shower curtain, under the sink, the linen closet, and even in the medicine cabinet... Nothing. I couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching me...

Just as I came out of the bathroom, the voice sings again, "and if that mocking bird don't sing...mama's gonna buy a diamond ring.."

And then, out of nowhere, the attic access stairs fly down, the ornate jewelry box my grandmother came soaring at me, shattered on the floor; necklaces, earrings, and rings scattered everywhere, sounding like metallic raindrops on the hardwood floor. My wedding ring, a single diamond with rubies covering the band, from Jared's father, that I had debated on selling many times before, came rolling and stopped right in front of my foot.

I tightened my grip on the bat and went up the stairs, and scanned everywhere. I pulled the string on the one light up there to aid my search.

I heard the voice again, "And if the diamond ring turns to brass... mama's gonna buy you a looking glass..." it was coming from...the mirror?

I pulled the sheet off the old antique mirror that came with the house..it was supposedly the woman who lost her baby's. I heard something from behind the mirror and I looked...again, nothing...

I turned back to looked in the mirror and almost screamed when I saw two faces in the mirror..mine and another woman's...Her pale face was the only thing illuminated by the small light bulb. She was beautiful, brunette hair falling in soft waves around her face with blue eyes that seem to burn right into your soul. The only ugly about her was the scar scraping from under her eye all the way down to her perfectly pointed chin.

I spun around and swung the bat at her..but there's nothing there when I was turned around...My pulse quickened, "show yourself, you little bitch!"

I turned back to the mirror just as a high heeled shoe went soaring into the mirror. I ducked down just as the pump cracked the mirror. I was shaking at this point... I had no idea what's going on. I had no control of my own god damn house!

I must have not seen the woman going down the attic steps, because sure enough, I heard the creaking of the steps that go down to the first floor. I ran down after her as she sang, "and if that looking glass gets broke, mama's gonna buy you a billy goat." I could not see her. I looked everywhere but I still didn't see anything..I only heard her singing, "and if that billy goat won't pull, mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull."

I kept looking around and found that day's newspaper thrown on the floor. The headlines read in bold Lullaby Singing Serial Killer on the Loose. I vaguely remembered the story...it was about this woman who goes around killing mothers while singing famous lullabies because, just like the ghost mother that supposedly lived in this house, she lost her child..Suddenly I wished I believed in ghosts.

"And if that cart and bull turn over...mama's gonna by you a god named Rover," she sang...and I heared whimpering from outside...I looked out the back door and there lied Cooper with his throat slash wide open, "and if that dog named Rover won't bark...mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart." I went outside to try to help him, though I knew it'd be a fruitless effort, when I felt a sharp stinging feeling in my back and then something withdrawing and I fell to the ground...I reached around to feel blood dripping down...I scrambled to my feet; and before I turned around, a candlestick was hurled into the back of my head, and blurred my vision. I turned and I saw the faint outline of a woman standing there. I tried to go after her, but she was too fast...she slashed my throat in one quick swoop and stabbed me in the chest repeatedly, I fell to the ground with a loud thump but had no time to feel anything.

"And if that horse and cart fall down, you'll be the sweetest little baby in town," she looked down at me and taunted.

"Mommy?" I heard Jared's choked sobs... he must have let himself out of his room. I wanted to tell him to run, but I just couldn't. I was fading fast, crossing over, and I was soon becoming apart of the legends of the house. I'd be the woman who was killed by a serial killer. That's how I got here, and now I am forced to watch the woman interact with my son.

The last thing I saw, before I crossed over completely, was that bitch turn around and wrapping her arms around my son, "hush little baby...I'm your mommy now."