silent night...ghostly night
And the wind whispered in the hollows as twilight descended over the land.
Gray, cold fog swirled around gnarled tree roots, slithering then up the trunks and winding through branches that seemed to stretch like a hand reaching from the grave.
The moon rose over the horizon and cast a ghostly light, creating shadows for things to hide.
The house stood on the hill, dark and dank from years left unattended. Curtains hung in tatters and broken windows allowed the fog to enter. It snaked across the room like smoke.
The floors creaked. The wind moaned. The broken shutter that hung on one hinge slowly swung and hit the house with a dull thud. The little girl giggled. It echoed through the empty rooms. The cat on the porch railing arched it's back and hissed; it's yellow eyes glowed in the moonlight.
The moon moved through the night sky and the leafless trees cast their dark shadows on the house. Something moved across the overgrown lawn, it's footfalls slow and deliberate.
He was coming, the little girl knew it. But there was no place to hide.
The footfalls came closer. One stair, then another and another. The old boards on the porch moaned in protest. His dark shape filled the door. He laughed a very deep laugh that was more like a growl. His teeth, yellowed by death, gleamed eerily through the fog. His eyes burned red like the fires of hell. His breath was cold and smelled of decay.
He reached for her. Tattered clothing hung in strands from his arm bones; his bony fingers extended out like the branches of trees. "Come to me," his rattling voice demanded.
She sat very still.
The cat howled. He laughed again and stepped closer. Thud....Thud...Thud...
She watched and waited. The wind blew through the trees. The shutter knocked.
Midnight whispered it's warning.......
The cat jumped on her and startled her from sleep. She looked at the clock...it was Midnight.
"Damn it blackie, I thought I let you out...you nearly scared me to death!" she said as she ran her hand down his back. He meowed. She picked him up and padded across the room and into the front of the house. The door was open. Muddy footprints tracked across the floor and disappeared into nowhere. She called out.
He laughed. The fog swirled in.