The car pulled into 1492 Old Hollow Lane in the quiet neighborhood of Hibiscus, Illinois. Elizabeth stared out of the rear passenger window at the dated house that stood towering before her. Her parents felt it was time to relocate, time to grow roots in another town, another state, another world far apart to what she was used to. They assured Elizabeth and her younger sister Kara that a change of scenery would do them good. New friends and a new place to start fresh they would tell her. 
     Nothing was the same after their grandmother had passed away and both Elizabeth and Kara knew it. Elizabeth felt that her mother had become quieter, that she had withdrawn emotionally. She wasn’t the only one who had noticed this either. She believed her father meant well when he brought up the topic of moving in casual conversation with their mother. After some days going back and forth on what would be best for her, best for the family, she agreed it would be for the best. Elizabeth and Kara did not want to leave their home behind for they feared their memories of a past life would be no more.
     Their father, James, opened the front door to the 2 story stone Victorian-styled home and looked back at his waiting family.
     “Your humble abode awaits my ladies,” James said with a smile as he stepped aside to let his family in.
Elizabeth stepped forward and walked through the timeworn doorframe and into a dimly lit foyer that connected the outside of the world to the house. A sudden chill overcame her body as she looked back and saw Kara run past her towards the stairs.
     “First one upstairs gets to pick their room!” screamed Kara as she ran up the stairs.
     Elizabeth reluctantly gave chase and quickly caught up to her younger sister. At the top of the stairs, Kara went right and Elizabeth decided to explore off to the left. Elizabeth ended up at the end of a long hallway with one door on the right hand side. She reached for the door handle when she heard a faint crying coming from beyond the door. She stopped and placed both palms on the door itself and slowly leaned her right ear to the door. Elizabeth could hear a soft, unintelligible whisper coming from inside this room. She closed her eyes and concentrated a little more as she tried to figure out what that noise was.
     “HEY!” screamed Kara as she shook her sister.
     Elizabeth jumped back and let out a loud scream.
     “What is wrong with you Kara?!” said Elizabeth.
     Kara looked puzzled as she looked at Elizabeth who was on the verge of tears with confusion.
     “Um, okay? Sorry? I picked my room, want to come see it?” said Kara.
     “No, it’s okay. Sure let me check this room out real fast before I go over there,” said Elizabeth.
     Elizabeth reached for the door handle once again but did not hear any noise coming from the other side this time. She swung the door open, metal hinges creaked as the door hit the wall behind it and stopped. The room was empty, a dust covered window opposite the door let in the dying sunlight. Elizabeth walked over to the window when she heard a light tapping coming from behind her somewhere in the room. She ran over to the closet and opened the doors only to find empty clothes hangers and a moth fluttering about. She felt uneasy to say the least but she left the bedroom and headed to where Kara was.
     Weeks had passed and the Bosch family had settled in to their new surroundings. The kids had integrated into school, James and his wife Rachel were getting accustomed to their new jobs, everyone seemed to be content with their new lives, everyone except Elizabeth.
     Elizabeth looked disheveled and tired beyond belief. The bags under her eyes were only growing as the days went by. Her hair styled in a messy ponytail had become the norm for her by this point. Her mind fluttered in a sleep filled haze. She was sleep deprived and she was unsure of how much longer she could keep up at this pace. At times, Elizabeth would hear strange noises coming from the walls within her room while she slept. Sometimes she would arrive home from school and her desk chair would be placed facing the corner walls of her room. She was becoming more and more worried that these occurrences would grow into something more dangerous.
The family sat around the dinner table on a Wednesday night discussing their day and other commonplace conversation details while they laughed and ate. 
     “Hey dad, do you think I could sleep on the couch again tonight? I haven’t been getting much sleep lately,” asked Elizabeth. 
     “Honey, we’ve been over this already. The first couple of times was okay but you have a room for a reason,” replied her father.
     Elizabeth frowned and nodded in agreement. Kara looked at Elizabeth and then at her mother who motioned for her to be quiet and keep eating. 
     Elizabeth knew something was wrong with this house. She knew deep inside what she was feeling wasn’t just fear playing tricks on a 15 year olds mind, it was something more. 
Elizabeth lay in bed that night already dreading falling asleep because she knew something was bound to happen. She grabbed a pair of earbuds and decided to listen to some music while she tried to fall asleep for the night. Elizabeth extended her feet until they peeked out from under her covers and placed them against the footboard of her bed. She began to gently rock the bed back and forth thinking the swaying would help her fall asleep faster. Eventually her legs grew tired and her eyelids felt heavy, heavy enough that she dozed off to sleep. In between the haze of sleep and reality she felt her body kept rocking, swaying back and forth while she drifted off. 
     “Shhh you’ll dream sweet things tonight…” said a whisper in her ear.
     Elizabeth’s eyes shot open and a surge of adrenaline coursed through her veins. She jumped out of bed and noticed the bed kept rocking back and forth without her in it. Goosebumps covered her skin as she fought to inhale a breath of air. The moment she was able to catch her breath the bed stopped rocking and the room fell silent. She left her room and slept on the couch that night.
     A few days later, the same conversation at the kitchen table led to her father giving her the same answer. She dreaded the thought of sleeping in that room but she had no other choice. That night she eventually fell asleep on her side with her back to the wall and her front facing the only window in the room. The moonlight permeated through the thin window curtains and danced upon the floor within her room.    The house laid silent in the darkness. 
     Around 2:30 am Elizabeth groggily opened her eyes and felt as though she was being watched by someone, by something. She went to turn and look behind her but she was frozen in place. She felt something weighing her down, holding her in place. She shifted her eyes towards the left side of her vision and could make out a dark shadow coming from the wall behind her holding on to her left arm. Elizabeth started to feel a burning sensation growing in her left hand and climbing up her arm. Once it reached her neck she felt as if a fire was consuming her, strangling the life from her. She tried to move she tried to scream but she couldn’t no matter how hard she tried. Elizabeth managed to catch a breath and let out a small, weak scream “KARA!” before she was suffocating again. She felt her eyes drooping, she felt herself fading away. In the moonlight before her she could make out the silhouette of a large man standing in front of the window looking at her. Her eyes closed and her world went dark.
She heard the creak of a door opening slowly coming from a distant place. 
     “Elizabeth!” screamed Kara.
     Elizabeth inhaled a deep breath and sat up in her bed. She started to sob uncontrollably. Maybe it was all a dream she thought. Maybe it was a nightmare that was a little too real, or sleep paralysis perhaps. Whatever it was, she was glad that Kara had rushed into her room when she did. 
Kara stood silently, frozen in time and place right beyond the door way. Elizabeth could see the fear in her eyes, her mouth slightly open. A small tremble filled her lower lip.
     “Did…did you see the man that was standing by your window?” asked Kara.
     Elizabeth and Kara did not speak a word of it to anyone else, not even their parents. They made a pact to keep it a secret in between them. Elizabeth spent the next two weeks only sleeping a couple of hours a night with her lights and TV on. She stayed up as late as she could, in fear, in worry, that whatever or whoever that was would come back to finish what they had attempted the first time. 
     One Tuesday morning Elizabeth woke up, lights and TV still on, the sun starting to rise over the horizon and peek through her bedroom curtains. She opened her eyes and stared at the roof above her. Elizabeth was happy that whatever had happened a couple of weeks before had seemed to subside. She pulled the covers off of her body, walked over to the window and pulled the curtains aside. She took in the sight of the beautiful morning, a smile graced her face for the first time since her family had moved to the quiet town of Hibiscus, Illinois. 
     Elizabeth turned from the window when her eyes darted towards the wall that was behind her bed, the same wall the man had floated through in order to strangle her. The wall was covered in a dark, mold like substance that seemed to be breathing, moving, growing slowly, expanding outwards. Elizabeth heard a cry coming from inside the mold covered wall. Slowly it grew louder and louder until the wailing seemed to be coming inside her head. Elizabeth started scratching at the sides of her head, pulling her hair, the screaming grew louder and louder. She ripped the bed away from the wall and grabbed the desk chair tightly. Elizabeth held the chair overhead and yelled at the top of her lungs as she hit the mold covered wall. Hit after hit, yell after yell, the wall slowly crumbled away until there was nothing but a wide hole staring back at her. She dropped the chair to her side, the screaming inside her head had subsided, the tears had stopped flowing, the mold had disappeared.
     She slowly approached the hole she had created in the wall. There was nothing there. Elizabeth slumped down and placed her back against the wall. Had she imagined the whole thing? She started laughing out loud while tears streamed down her cheeks. It was bittersweet knowing this had finally come to an end. She raised her hands to her face and wiped away the tears. She heard a whisper come from the hole above her head.
     Elizabeth started to tremble and looked up just in time to see a skull peeking at her through the hole in the wall and a bony arm reach towards her neck. The fingers gripped tighter and tighter as Elizabeth struggled to breathe and her final breath escaped her lips.
     “Shhh you’ll dream sweet things tonight,” said the sinister voice as Elizabeth closed her eyes.


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