It was on the third night that Samantha heard the scratching. It dragged her from her sleep, and she sat in bed, listening to the scratching. She tried to tell herself it was just the house groaning. Old house like to breathe from time to time, Sammy her mom would tell her, as a child. But no, this was unmistakable, deliberate.
Samantha couldn't tell from where it was coming from, it seemed to be everywhere and nowhere. You'd hear it to your left, and as soon as you turned left, it was at your right. It never got louder, and it never changed its cadence. Just a constant scratching, coming from somewhere.
Samantha look to the night table, where she had put the baby monitor. But no, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. She could hear the little breathes of Mackenzie. She listened closely, but the scratching never came from the baby monitor.
Regardless, Samantha decided to check on her little girl, and stepped out of bed. The floor was oddly cold, and groaned as she made her way to Makenzie's room. Around her, boxes still laid around, as she hadn't been able to get everything unpacked yet. Tomorrow, she thinks to herself, I'll be finished unpacking tomorrow.
Mackenzie's room is down the hall, to the left, from Samantha's. It was blue, but Samantha painted it pink. It is the only finished room in the house, so far, with shelves full of teddy bears and dolls.. Little Mackenzie sleeps quietly in bed, Samantha's little angel. In three months, she'll be five, and Samantha is beginning to wonder if she's getting too old for the baby monitor.
Samantha walks over, and stands above her sleeping daughter. Fair skin and blue eyed, she does look like a little angel, with golden blonde hair. It is at this moment that Samantha realizes she doesn't hear any scratching, for the first time since it started. Must've been an animal climbing the house, she tells herself without really believing it. Samantha, quietly backs away from Mackenzie, closing the door gently. As she turns to walk back to her room, she freezes, and her stomach drops. The scratching had returned, but that isn't what terrified her.
Sitting on an old rocking chair, an old man sat, with his eyes closed. He wore simple slacks and button up shirt, his gnarled hands gripping the armchair. Looking at him was like looking at an old photograph, or maybe even old news reel. The air seemed to become frigid cold, and Samantha could see her breath in the air.
It didn't seem like the old man had seen her, and Samantha tip-toed closer. But as she got closer, the scratching got louder and louder, until it seemed to to be coming from inside her head, and she heard nothing else.
Samantha was a few feet away from the old man, at this point, when he seemed to wake up. He sat, rgidly, in the chair, and gazed right at her, giving hr a toothy smile.
Samantha felt sick, and wanted to look away, but couldn't. Where the old man's eyes should be, instead, was pitch black darkness. It resembled murky water, or maybe oil, and as she stared into it, the scratching began to fade away but it was almost as if she could hear screaming. Constant screaming, constant agaony came from the old man's eyes, as he stared at her and smiled his toothy grin.
Samantha couldn't break her gaze, couldn't get away from the oily darkness, but she tried to back her way into Makenzie's room. She had to get to her baby. As he was backing off, someone poked her from behind, and she was finally able to break her gaze from the old man. Beside her, was a little girl in a night gown, her blonde hair covering her face.
Samantha put her hand on the little girl, who looked up at her. The little girl was all skin and bones, as if she hadn't eaten in years. Her eyes were sunken into her face, her pupils small circles of pure darkness. Samantha looked at the little girl's hands, and the fingers were bloody, and the fingernails completely off. The little girl looked at her, and tried to tell Samantha something, but as she opened her mouth, black blood came spilling out.
Samantha tried to back away, go someplace, but as she turn to run, she slipped on the black blood, and went over the rail, falling to the floor below.
It was an ungodly sound, and Samantha knew right away she had broken her back. She laid on her back, unable to move, staring at the ceiling. She heard the scratching again, quietly at first, but louder and louder.
The old man leaned over her, looking at her with those pools of darkness. All Samantha wanted to do was say Mackenzie's name, she just wanted to be able to say her daughter's name. But she couldn't, she could only stare into the darkness, hearing the agony and screaming and scratching.
Then something came out of the darkness, and dragged her in with it, and all she do was think her daughter's name before everything became dark.