Jane sliced the onions that would go into the spaghetti sauce with a sharp chef’s knife. Her eyes welled up as she diced. She never felt that comfortable in the turn of the century Victorian home and tonight wasn’t any different. A draft that felt like a cold hand slipping up her dress made her shiver and she glanced back over her shoulder. Her eyes darted around the dimly lit kitchen which was cast in an otherworldly light from the old converted gas light fixture in the center of the room. It began to flicker and then it went out.
Jackie skipped along and hummed a little song that seemed to pop into her head more often lately. She would be late for dinner and could expect a scolding from her over-worked mother. She increased her pace while the fall leaves rained down all around her. They made a shattering sound when the wind picked up. The tree branches began to sway as if they shook leaves off in pain. The sun had set and the street lights cast shadows in peculiar shapes. As she rounded the corner past the old Shapiro house she heard a blood curdling scream.
He had waited in the basement for hours after breaking in through the old cellar door. The light slanted in through the small window and then slowly became nothing more than a slit. Soon he was encased in complete darkness, shrouded like the entombed. He heard her come in through the back door as her heels struck the linoleum on the kitchen floor above. The rustle of a paper bag and rhythmic thumping of cans were sounds of his childhood long ago. He crept up the stairs. He came from behind, she turned and screamed, but she looked right through him.
Photo and words by S. Lindau