Anna sat on her bed, her shoulders hunched over and the darkness pressing against her. She was tired of getting up and crossing the room to flip the switch, only to have him turn it off before she got back to her bed. She'd screamed at him, and threatened him. And he'd laughed at her. Sometimes he'd hide under the bed and wait for her to forget; then she'd dangle her legs off and he'd grab her feet and tug on her just enough to slide her to the edge of the mattress. She'd kick and holler and curse at him and he'd let her go. He'd scratch the wall and hiss, keeping her awake for the rest of the night. And on the worst nights, he'd lay on top of her, whispering horrible things into her ear; how he would torture her family forever; didn't she know there was nothing she could do about it? He'd spent the last three years tormenting her, and he thought it was just as much fun today as it had been on that very first night. It was the best entertainment he'd ever had.
Elias Emerson. He'd died in that room over thirty years ago. He'd been the last of the Emersons; the estate had been auctioned off, and then the property had been sold to one young couple after another. They'd all had good intentions; a nice big country house to raise a family, or the ambitious ones in recent years with plans to "flip" it. Each of them discovered it was truly a money pit, as one by one, the improvements fell through. And then there were the accidents. Bad luck seemed attached to the house, so it went unoccupied for a long time. Then the Morgan's moved in, and for about a year, all was quiet. Then Anna, Brett and Taylor's only child started having nightmares. She was up all hours of the night, and she became terrified of being alone in the house. She started getting bad grades and acted out at school. She had changed. She complained about seeing a man in her room, and they called the police. Then they had a security system installed and her father began sitting with her at night until she fell asleep. But no one ever saw a thing. No one except Anna.
But it would get worse long before it got better. She would awaken in the middle of the night and throw things at him; books from her nightstand and the flashlight that never worked. Nothing made any difference; it was just a loud clattering against the wall and then her worried parents would come rushing in to check on her. She always heard his wicked cackle just before her mom or dad would open the door. But all they'd see was Anna sitting on her bed with her knees pulled up, rocking back and forth; and crying.
After the first couple of episodes, they had hauled her to the pediatrician, (never mind the fact that she was almost sixteen, she'd been seeing Dr. Mason since she was born, surely he could fix her). But of course, he found nothing physically wrong with her. Then had come the medications, the psychologist and that one psychiatrist. She'd passed all of their tests, taken the medicine, followed the diets, all of it. But her nightmares remained. Because he remained. Finally she'd stopped talking about it; she refused to talk about it. No one believed her anyway; and no one really cared anymore. It had become part of their life; a disturbed young girl that had violent outbursts in the middle of the night, and sometimes even during the day. They ignored it. They ignored her.
Then as suddenly as they had started, the fits stopped. Her parents were amazed and promised to lessen her medication, pending of course, Dr. Mason's approval; and eventually life returned to a happy and stable flow. No one asked why, it didn't matter. All that mattered was that life seemed quiet and normal again. Anna was so very grateful; and she owed it all to Freya. Elias was afraid of her.
One night as Elias scratched along the wall making his way toward her bed, hissing and breathing his foul breath into the air, Anna watched in shock as he was flung across the room, his ghastly form pinned to the door. Anna blinked her eyes and sat up as another form appeared above her bed. It was a woman, in a long flowing white dress, hovering over her, spreading a pale blue light around them; protecting her.
Freya Emerson, Elias' wife. She whispered the same words over and over until Anna began repeating them as well. She could feel Elias struggling, and he began a low pitched howl; he was in pain. She saw the darkness of his form slide down the door to a heap on the floor and she could hear him screaming. Freya knew her stuff. Now Anna had a new friend. And together, they would torture him, like he had tortured them.
That was the night Anna smiled for the first time in three years. Life was going to be different; it would be fun. Freya knew all of Elias' tricks; and Anna was willing to do anything to punish him. It was going to be the best entertainment they'd ever had.
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