Following in their Footsteps
By: Maggie

The Dunwich family was what people thought of being your ideal neighbors. They stood out well in the community and had good positions with everyone. Even there teenage kids weren't like the rest of the rebels of the delicate age of seventeen. They went to church, got all their homework done, and received numerous honor awards. The very peak of perfection at it's work. They were a family of four. The parents, Michelle and Robert Dunwich. Along with their two sons, Ricky and Joseph.

Kathrine was suspicious of the family. They were all too perfect. That she had realized a long time ago. She was a regular school bully. She loved to torment Ricky most of the time, mainly because she had nothing better to do. Kathrine was sixteen, had long blond hair, and a thin, catlike face. Most people at the school thought she was a prime example of what people respectively called a female dog. She was a junkie. She did drugs, drank, and occasionally got bailed out by her father. Her motto when faced with the consequences of her actions was "you only live once".

Kathrine was just getting ready to find Ricky and make his day another living hell. Suddenly, his older brother Joseph, came up to her. "Hey Joey, seen your loser brother anywhere?" She asked in a mocking way. "Lay off him Kathrine, he's sick today. Why don't you go harass someone else for once!" Joseph answered in anger. Kathrine shrugged and walked away. She smiled as she headed for her first class. "Maybe I'll just pay ol' Ricky a little visit!" She muttered. She turned around, and headed for the back door of the school.

She had to be careful. During the day, teachers walked around outside to make sure that no one skipped classes by leaving school grounds. Kathrine had gotten caught once, so she had been careful from then on. She snuck around the school, staying by the building in case she would have to dash back inside. The four teachers that were outside were all standing together and drinking coffee.

Kathrine slipped by them without being noticed, and ran until she was well beyond school territory. Her High School had gotten pretty strict with the students recently. The number of students skipping class had increased by far. Some would hide in the washrooms, while other went out to smoke or do whatever. So the school had a new policy. If any student skipped class, they would be suspended from school for a full week. Kathrine didn't see the point in it. If a student skipped, they wanted to get out of school and classes. By suspending them, the teachers were practically giving them tickets out of the school.

She walked down the few blocks to Ricky's house. Kathrine had learned about where he lived when she followed him home once after school. "Trouble pays off!" She said to herself as she spotted the small house in the distance. She decided to see if anyone besides Ricky was in the house. She went around to the back and peeked into the windows. The house looked empty. Kathrine was suddenly aware of music coming from below her. She figured it was coming from the basement. She was also aware of the fact that what she heard was hard punk music. "Well...maybe I judged Ricky a little to harshly," she snickered.

She went over to a small window almost to the floor, thinking it was a window to the basement. The music was so loud inside, she could not hear what was going on inside. She looked through it. Kathrine could make out the faint outline that belonged to Ricky and two other people. But the basement was dark, except for the extremely faint glow of a small lamb beside Ricky. He and the other two people, who Kathrine guessed were his parents, were doing something on a small table. She couldn't see properly. She decided to see for herself.

She went back to the front and up the porch steps. She reached the front door and rung the doorbell. After a minute of ringing, she figured they couldn't hear her due to the music they were listening to. She tried the doorknob, and to her surprise, it turned and the door opened. She walked inside cautiously. She hoped that the creak of the floorboards would not be registered downstairs. She decided to explore the house first. She walked up a flight of stairs leading to the second floor. They creaked heavily under her, but the music was so loud inside, that Kathrine doubted anyone heard.

She opened a door to what she figured was a bedroom. There were books stored on a shelf, dozens of them. As she looked them over she noticed that they were all books on medical science. Basically, your how-to-cut-things-open Instruction booklets. "Whoa....this is one sick puppy!" She muttered. She moved on to another shelf at the corner of the room. It had some very sharp-looking instruments poised there on display. Kathrine didn't even want to begin thinking about what Ricky intended to do with them. Suddenly, she was aware of footsteps coming up the stairs. She realized that the music had been shut off, and dove into the small closet beside the shelf. It was cramped with suitcases. She knew that the Dunwiches did a lot of traveling. Ricky's mother and father were pathologists, and everyone figured that Ricky and Joseph would probably follow in their footsteps. Judging by the books and "toys", it certainly looked that way.

Kathrine stood frozen in the closet. She quickly shoved some suitcases aside and sat in a small corner. She covered herself with the suit cases as best as she could until she was completely hidden from sight. Kathrine could hear the door to Ricky's room open slowly, and she prayed that whoever had entered, didn't need anything from the closet. She began to breathe heavily as she heard the footsteps come towards her. In her mind's eye, she could practically see a hand reach towards the closet door to open it. "Robert?" Kathrine stiffened as she heard the voice call out from downstairs. "What are you doing up there?" Robert turned away from the closet and headed towards the door. "Nothing dear!" Then came the voice again. "Well come down here, and help clean up." Kathrine heard Robert's footsteps leave the room, and shut the door behind him.

She waited for a few minutes before heading out of the closet slowly. She glanced around the room and found it empty. The room had a disturbing silence floating around, and it was enough to send a normal person high tailing. Then again, Kathrine wasn't exactly what one may call "normal". She tiptoed towards the door and opened it inch by inch. There was a slight creak and Kathrine stopped dead. She held her breath and waited. When there was no answer from below to the noise, she proceeded and edged the door open all the way.

Kathrine stood out in the hall and waited, her ears strained at the most possible indication of the Dunwiches. The silence and leaked all over the house, and Kathrine was pretty sure the house was empty. She walked down the stairs slowly and peeked out from the railing. There was no sign of anyone. She walked cautiously towards what she figured was the basement. The door had a lock on it. Kathrine wondered what was so important that it had to be kept under lock. Luckily, the lock was not one of those combination types, and with the aid of a rusty pin, Kathrine managed to open the lock. She snickered as she placed the pin back into the pocket of her jeans. "Easy suckers," she muttered. She opened the door and stuck her head in. The basement was dark, and she slid in, closing the door behind her. She didn't hear the faint "click" as the door closed and automatically locked behind her, and on the outside of the basement door, a small red light began to blink.

She reached forward and groped around the wall, looking for a light switch. Finally, her hand connected with a switch, and a faint red beam shined out into the basement. Kathrine followed the stairs to the very bottom. The basement was a large room. In the center, there was a metal operation table. It reminded Kathrine of the ones she had seen in hospitals. Beside the table, was a small wooden shelf. The contents were covered with a thin white blanket. Kathrine pulled the blanket away and found that the shelf contained many more of the sharp instruments that she had seen in Ricky's room. They were laid out as if they were going to be used for something soon.

Kathrine headed for a small refrigerator that was lying low, right underneath the window. She opened it up and saw another blanket covering the contents. When she pulled that one away, she had to put a hand to her lips and bite them so she would not scream. Lying in the fridge, was a body. Kathrine was pretty sure it was dead. The rank smell that stretched out towards her nostrils was enough to make her want to puke. Most of it's flesh was missing, but Kathrine could see that it had been cleanly cut off. She also saw the jars that the flesh was floating in, filled with some sort of light green liquid. The jars were laid out neatly beside the body. She slammed the fridge shut and leaned against it. Her head was bubbling with disgust and she felt dizzy.

She managed to regain herself and she glanced around once more. Then she noticed the bag that was hidden almost completely behind the refrigerator with the body in it. She reached towards the bag and brought it towards her. Inside were clothes. She remembered that the corpse had been around five feet tall. She had always managed to pick up those sort of facts about people, even dead ones. The clothes in the bag looked almost exactly the same size as the corpse. She also found a small plastic zip-lock bag within the clothes. It contained a small amount of jewelry. A necklace, and two rings. As Kathrine gazed at the rings, one of them caught her attention. She remembered that there had been a report of a disappearance of a High School girl that had attended her school. The girl's name had been Kristen Spencers. She had disappeared almost two weeks earlier and had not been seen since. Kathrine remembered reading that the girl had worn a small ring, which she had engraved with her boyfriends initials. Her boyfriend had been Joseph Dunwich, Ricky's brother. The engraving on the ring, was JD.

Kathrine dropped the contents back into the bag in shock. The body in the fridge was Kristen's! She gasped and practically threw the bag back behind the fridge as she heard the front door of the house open and someone's footsteps. They were heavy, so she guessed that it was Ricky's father. She looked around the basement in terror. She was sure that if they caught her, she'd end up as dead as Kristen. Her fright was slowly beginning to take over her mind as she darted from one corner to another, looking for a hiding place. Then her eyes fell on the small window above the fridge. She rushed over to it, just as she heard the basement door open. Footsteps proceeded down the basement stairs slowly. She flung open the window and pulled herself up. She managed to squeeze herself out the window, seconds before Robert Dunwich looked into the room. As soon as she was out, she started running towards the police station.

Kathrine stayed in her room that night. She had told the police everything she had seen, and they had not even bothered to check the place out. She wasn't very surprised, she was a frequent visitor, and they wouldn't take her word over the Dunwiches. They were too much of a respected family of the community. "Lousy murderous psychos," Kathrine screamed, and hit the wall with her fist in anger. She knew that she would need proof of what she had seen. She also knew that the only way to obtain the proof, was to go back to the Dunwich house, and she wasn't too sure if she wanted to take those kind of chances again.

She pondered over the idea of going back in the house. Without any second thoughts, she rushed to her drawer, and took out a small Polaroid camera. She would get the proof she needed, and then shove it down the police officer's throats. She went over to her window and scampered down the tree that grew right outside. It was almost ten o'clock at night and her parents had given her a very strict curfew. With her history, who wouldn't? Kathrine landed on the ground and began to run towards the house. She once again looked into all the windows and discovered that the house was quite and there seemed to be no one awake. "Guess their earlier activities wore them out," Kathrine muttered to herself.

She went over to the basement window and found, to her surprise, that it was just as she had left it. It was wide open, with just enough space for her to squeeze through. She carefully lowered herself onto the fridge and then to the hard basement floor. She thought she saw a shadow dart somewhere in the darkness, but quickly dismissed her fears. Looking up towards the stairs, she switched on the small pocket flashlight in her hand. Kathrine climbed the stairs, desperately trying not to make them squeak. She flicked on the light-switch on the wall, and the red light once again filled the room. Kathrine looked at the light-bulb curiously, wondering what made it glow such a strange red. As she looked up at it, her face took on a mask of disgust. Splattered on the bulb, was dried blood.

Kathrine went over to the fridge and once again looked about as she heard another odd noise. "Rats, just rats," she reassured herself. She slowly began to open the fridge, and screamed as the corpse sat up and grabbed her around the neck. Her horrified echoing screams could be heard throughout the house as the dead girl pulled Kathrine into the fridge with her. The ice that clung frozen all around her, stung at her living flesh. She cried out as she felt the heavy lid slam down on her head, and then there was nothing.

She could feel she was lying on the cold metal table, even before she opened up her eyes. The tight straps, dug harshly into her skin. She forced her eyes open and groaned as a horrible ache filled up her mind. She took a few deep breaths and looked around. She could see figured standing above her, and she tried to focus her eyes. She was soon able to make out the figures before her. "You," she gasped. Ricky came forward, brandishing a very familiar instrument in his hand. "Yeah, it's me!" Standing beside him were his parents, and Joseph. "I told you to leave him alone Kathrine, you should have listened," Joseph said in a regretful voice. Kathrine looked strained her neck and looked back towards he fridge. "But...but the corpse, it....was you?" He nodded smiling.

"Surprise....we knew you were down here earlier, figured you would be stupid enough to come back!" Kathrine breathed in deeply. "We?" Ricky's parents came over to her and looked down at her face. Both of their faces had sickly smiles pasted on them. "Our Ricky can have the sophisticated experience we never had, with such fresh material," said Mrs. Dunwich in a dreamy voice.

Kathrine looked around her, noticing the empty jars at either sides of her. She also noticed that her sleeves and pant-legs had been rolled up. Mr. Dunwich spoke with a serious tone. "We always like to start small, so the material lasts longer. We went much to fast with the last one, I'm afraid!" Ricky looked at both his parents. "Don't worry, I'll be real careful this time, I'll go slowly." Kathrine could feel the warm tears sliding down her face as she laid eyes on all the medical-operation tools lying on a platter beside her. Mr. Dunwich grabbed the straps around her hands and tightened them hard enough that it made Kathrine cry out in pain.

"Now Ricky, mother and I will begin with the legs and arms. You take notes and then do the rest of her, all right?" Mr. Dunwich asked as he took one of the sharp things and began to clean it off with a napkin. Joseph went over to the basement window and slammed it shut, locking it tightly. "Did you think that there was no alarm on that basement door Kathrine?" He asked, shaking his head sadly. Ricky walked towards another table, and brought over a large radio. Smiling at Kathrine, he turned it on.

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