The night was dark and cold. The metallic smell of blood in the air. The sound of dead leaves crumbling under the feet of a lonely stranger walking down the road. For some reason even the crickets decided to remain silent. The silence was like a thorn, delivering pain every second. He realized that it was impossible to sit silent for long. He had to do something or he would not survive the night. Screaming would not help.
All was calm inside the house. Even the gurgling sound had stopped an hour ago. He could see the blood seep in through under the door. The blood made him nauseous, but he did not have the courage to move a finger.
He stayed there as the floor disappeared under the endless blood. Johanne could not stop sweating, he never expected things to turn out this way. Things went awfully wrong when a calm family dinner turned into a blood-fest. His girlfriend, Julia wanted to introduce him to her parents. He was uneasy from the very beginning, but never expected the turn of events.
His first suspect was the glass of wine, which triggered the madness, but concluded that the wine was fine as most of the people had refused to intake alcohol. Then one by one he went through the list of food on the table, but could not conclude on what could have been the cause of the madness.
As he brainstormed through the events, trying to find a clue on what might have caused the madness, he was interrupted by a knock on the door. A chill went down Johanne’s spine. His hands were shaking, his legs felt numb, he could not get up to check who was on the other side of the door.
“Are you in there Johanne?” A familiar voice called out in a whispering sound. It was Hannah. Julia’s sister.
“I am scared, please help me!” she spoke again.
Johanne did not answer, but he managed to stand up. He was heading towards the door when Hannah spoke again, “Please answer if you are there!”
Johanne tried to speak but his throat was as dry as a Middle-Eastern Desert. He was at the door now, his hands on the doorknob.
“He is coming! Please let me in!” It was Hannah again.
Johanne opened the door quickly and pulled her in, closing the door softly, behind her. Hannah was on the floor sobbing. She tried to say something but Johanne put his hand on her mouth, restricting her from uttering a word.
Johanne signaled her to stay silent. Hannah nodded with tears running down her cheeks. Outside, the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs could be heard.
Johanne froze again, Hannah had wrapped herself around him in fear. Both of them silently waited as the footsteps got closer. They heard it pass the room and head towards the bedroom at the very end. They let a sigh of relief out.
Johanne looked at Hannah and saw a girl scared to death, this same girl was sitting beside her a couple hours ago, smiling, cracking jokes and enjoying the dinner. She was the only person other than Julia and Johanne, who had taken a sip of the wine. Things had changed since then. The parents and Julia’s brother had gone berserk and started stabbing the people closest to them. Julia and Johanne tried running upstairs while Hannah tried going to her room, downstairs. While climbing the stair, Julia’s younger brother Ray had caught up. Julia could not dodge the knife and fell down as the knife made way through her. But that did not stop Ray from stabbing her another couple of time, before he was kicked to the face by Johanne.
Johanne picked the knife and drove it through Ray’s neck and ran into the room as Ray lay there, blood oozing out of the wound and the body writhing around, gurgling sound coming out of the berserk brother.
Johanne was now sitting there waiting for the night to end, Hannah still holding him tight. Something flashed in Johanne’s mind, the mushroom soup. The Mushrooms were freshly picked by Hannah’s father, who was not really an expert in Mushrooms. All he could do now was, be glad that he and the two sisters did not taste the soup.
With Julia gone, he had to get Hannah to safety.The only way was to get out of the house. They were just sitting ducks in this room. The door was not sturdy enough to ensure their safety.
“We need to get out of this house or we are dead!” Johanne explained to Hannah. He had found some confidence after figuring out the cause of the alterations in the family’s behavior.
Surprisingly, Hannah did not disagree. She nodded and was ready to go as well.
Johanne opened the door enough to check the perimeter. It was clear. Now, was the best time to get away from this accursed house.
As they stepped out, Johanne noticed Julia’s body, still lying there, close to her brother’s. They avoided the two corpses. Hannah was silently sobbing, but did not stop to look back at the corpses. Johanne looked back and said his last goodbye.
Two of them climbed down the stairs and turned left towards the exit. As soon as Hannah saw the exit, she made a run for it. Johanne tried to stop her, but failed. However, Hannah had succeeded in making it out.
Johanne carefully walked towards the door, one step and he would be free from this turmoil. That is when he felt a strong hand grab his collar. He felt a cold knife on his throat, then a sharp pain and warm fluid trickling down his body.
He noticed the aghast look on Hannah’s face, who was just outside. Then he saw her break into a run. His eyelids and his body grew heavier by the minute, until everything faded into the darkness.