There’s No Place Like Home | Glimmer Garubba

Photo by Vidar Kristiansen on Unsplash

This wretched house was trying to kill her. 

        Lili sniffled as she sat rigid in her chair, the plush fabric doing nothing to comfort her. In fact, it only served to deepen her scrutiny of the house. However, too weak to do much else, she stewed in her contempt and hatred as she reminisced over the times before she had this absolutely horrid house, before she was accosted by this entity–demon or spirit, whatever it was, she hated it all the same–that she could do little to stop. 

        It truly hadn’t been so bad when she first walked through the doors. The sun was shining, filtering in through the glass paned windows that had colors dancing and twisting on the floors around her. The scent, though musty, manifested a feeling of home and belonging. 

        Lili took a breath when she finished unpacking. She had been worried about buying the house in the first place. It was at an extraordinarily low price for how nice it looked, not to mention how big. The house had four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a finished basement, and it only cost around one hundred grand.? Something had to be wrong with it. However, despite her searching and prodding, it seemed like a reasonably livable house and so she settled, glad that her precipitous investment had paid off. 

        Only when her sense of security developed had the trouble started, of course. She woke up one morning to the most putrid smell. Gagging and bringing her shirt up to cover her nose, she rolled out of bed to find the source, but she found no mold or rotting wood anywhere. 

Eventually, the smell settled, and Lili could breathe clean, fresh air again. However, as one problem stopped, another one started. No matter where she was in the house, she heard little sounds. Scuffling against the walls, knocking, and the sounds of what she discerned to be voices giggling, that only stopped when she turned her head to see where it was coming from. She heard it all the time, tugging at the edge of her consciousness as she closed her eyes, stealing hours of her sleep as she begged for the incessant laughing to stop. Though the laughing, at first equivocal in nature, had turned malicious as she began getting pushed around. Walking down the halls proved to be the most dangerous task of the day as invisible hands pushed and pulled her like a ragdoll, sending her reeling into the walls. Each push was followed by that same, oppressive laughter. 

The woman could barely look in the mirror anymore, always terrified of the face that looked back. Her eyes, once bright and full of life, had dulled with a glassy look. Her face, formerly round and colored, was now gaunt and pale, only colored with black and blue from the bruises of bumping into walls. She lifted a bony finger, weak and emaciated like the rest of her body had become, tracing where the marks had been left. There was something so utterly… morbid in the way she looked now. The way she hardly left the house anymore, if there wasn’t a ghost living in the house before, Lili was certainly filling the role now. 

Her melancholy face was the only thing left to combat the hostile air around her, nothing could alleviate her of this malady. No priest, no ritual, no amount of holy symbols of any faith mounted on any wall kept her safe. In fact, it only led to deeper pain that had dulled her senses over time. The fear she had of the house had once been so palpable, her heart beating to a dreadful and never-ending tune at every corner as her racing mind ushered in her own paranoia, but it was long gone now. The fear being reduced to that of a low hum in the back of her mind, never turning off yet never alerting her either. It became background noise as she adjusted to her constant state of hysteria. 

She flinched as something tugged at her hair and she bared her teeth to the room. “You are the worst thing to exist on this Earth. I swear to you, when I go to Hell, I am taking you with me,” she growled. The only response to her words was that same mocking laughter, clearly not sharing in her sentiment. Lili was certain she’d be hearing the laughter even after she was dead . 

Letting out a breath, she folded her arms closer to her chest, her only solace being the little warmth she still had in her body. She seemed to be getting colder these days, and she had stopped keeping track of time somewhere after the first few times she had been pushed. How long had it been since she moved in here? A week, a month? Was it even the same year?  Though, maybe it had only been a few minutes. She found her memory had been lacking, forgetting things that should have been simple. There were times she had forgotten her own name. Carefully, she pushed herself out of the chair, ignoring the little imp like shadows that moved out of the corners of her eyes, and braced herself to look in the hallway mirror. It felt like ages since she had even moved from her spot in, let alone looked at herself. 

Pale eyes, pale face, pale hair. Transparent and cold. She belonged to the house now. 

And there was no turning back. 

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