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1

“What happens if… we don’t find anything?”

Bob parked the car as close to the house as possible. For the past week or so, he had kept surveillance in that street. He wanted to be prepared for everything. Every single detail about them was important. He knew at what hour the neighborhood went to sleep. When the lights went out in their houses. When the entire street was quiet. He knew when it would be the perfect time to GO IN.

It was the wrong question to ask him. The whole thing was decided already. The man was determined to keep the whole thing going. It was happening. We weren’t going to back down because of questions like that. Regardless of whatever I could said, we were going in. Bob was too far gone. To him, the solution to every single one of our problems was inside that house. It was just waiting for us to get them.

“We will.” He replied still looking at the building. After a few moments of silence he added: “If we can’t find money, we can still find some shit to sell. That bitch could have some expensive jewelry inside. Or a good television. There has to be something we can use. It is a big house”

The two of us watched the place in silence. None of the lights inside were on from what we could tell. All of the curtains were down. The binoculars were not helping us either. It was impossible to know what was happening inside. All we knew was that it was (probably) very dark. But even that wasn’t certain when it came to that house.

At night, the lights go in and out. You can hear the doors open and close constantly. As if the place had many guests over. Other strange sounds were detectable, but they were impossible for us to recognize. All of that happened inside the house constantly. Ask around, the neighbors say that they have even seen people in it. People that were definitely not the owner. The neighbors can all agree that the place is strange. They’ll tell you that you shouldn’t go anywhere near it at night. “Shit happens in that place. Really weird shit” was one of the comments that Bob had gathered.

But during the day time the house looks completely empty. The owner is a woman about 80 years old. Like most people her age, she doesn't seem to be kept busy. She’s retired and doesn’t get visitors very often. She does go out at times, Bob has told me, but not much. It makes sense. She’s in a wheelchair and lives alone. So she must struggle quite a bit with shopping and whatnot. I don’t know. Bob’s the one who's stalking that poor woman.

“I mean, Mrs. Hanlock is really old. For all we know that house could be stocked with useless dolls or something. We don’t know if there's something valuable there, man. You have to consider that”

Unlike Bob, I had grown up near that neighborhood. Oh, i had heard plenty of stories about that house. Enough for a lifetime. The noises, the shadows, the lights; everything seemed to happen inside that place. The stories were a good way to keep the kids scared. As a kid, hearing one the many stories about Hanlock’s house made me not want to come out at night. Or go out alone. They were effective at its job. Although (I had imagined) highly exaggerated for entertainment purposes.

None of the stories involved Mrs. Hanlock’s fortune, though. So I assumed that there probably wasn’t one. It was the type of thing that, if true, would have been known by everyone in the area.

But Bob was convinced of it. Like the motherfucker had seen it with his very eyes.

“We’ll find something.”
Bob said once again.

We had been planning everything for about a month. Or Bob had, anyway. He had plenty of free time.

At the beginning of the year our band had split up for good. Now, the two of us were unemployed and planning to rob an elderly woman. Needles to say, we were having some struggles with money at the time. Selling the old instruments and the band gear had not helped much. Putting employment applications in every restaurant in town had not helped us. Reading the newspaper every single day and checking the classified section had not helped at all either. The things that kept us sane were: a) complaining about our parents b) our lack of money c) and about how pathetic we felt. Sure, complaining didn’t help us out either, but it made us feel better.

But then Bob started talking about Hanlock’s house.

That’s when things started to change a lot between us. Bob had met someone - a reliable source that I hadn’t- saying that Hanlock was loaded. Why else would someone her age be living in such a huge house? Cuz’ she has plenty to go around. She can afford a big ass house, nice furniture, and even more. The person had told Bob that it had to do with Hanlock inheriting money from her husband. He died of unnatural causes too. You’ve heard that? Curious, isn’t it?

The stranger had also told Bob that the old woman was mostly senile. That she was unaware of most things happening around her. Pretty much all the time. There was a reason as to why she almost never went outside. The stranger did not tell him explicitly that he should rob her. He did not need to. The stranger merely gossiped about her life for his own entertainment. Bob’s mind did the rest.

So Bob had ended up talking to me about it, and about how amazing the opportunity was for the both of us. “Easy money” he would say “Easy fuckin’ money. There's no doubt about it”. The idea consumed him for weeks. It was something that had changed him.
Bob talked about committing a crime. And possibly hurting an elderly woman. He talked about how it could change our lives forever. And he was absolutely right about that.

It didn’t take much before I gave in. I knew where Hanlock lived and had passed that house many times before. It didn’t sound like a big deal to me. At least not when I drunkenly said I’d do it. I mean, there was only supposed to be one person in the house after all. And said person was a senior. It sounded like things would probably be easy. We got a gun, some ski masks and got it over with in almost no time! It seemed stupid not to at least try.

Things felt different now that we were so close to the house, though.

Because now it was actually happening. In a matter of days, we were going to get in that house and “change our lives forever”. I had never done anything like it. I wasn't a criminal. In fact, I had never used a gun in my entire life. I was just tagging along in case Bob actually found something of value there. But I had no real desire to go through with it. I simply wasn’t made for that type of thing.

It was wrong of me to get involved. I already felt wary just being close to that place. I did not want to be inside “Hanlock’s house of horrors”.

For the first time in years I was looking at that ominous place. There was no logical reason for me to be scared, but I was.

I didn’t want to believe the stories. But I had a bad feeling about everything. Something was wrong.

2

The first step was getting into the backyard.

That part was not too difficult. We were grown men that could easily jump a fence. Even Bob, who was NOT in a good physical shape, had no issues. Jumping the fence only took us about two minutes. We landed on the grass, got up like nothing had happened. We were in. No one had noticed a thing.

Once we were in the backyard; the next step was finding an entrance. Bob immediately went towards one of the windows. He said that he could break the glass with a punch. And no, he was not drunk when he said this. That was just the way Bob’s brain worked. I felt skeptical about his capacities to do so.

Instead, I tried with the backdoor. Didn’t expect anything from it, but it felt stupid not to try. The door then opened without a struggle. Somebody had forgotten to lock the door. Or something wanted us to come in. Regardless, Bob quickly followed me towards the entry. If i’m honest, he looked pretty disappointed that he did not got to punch a damn window.

Either way, we were going inside the house. The plan was still going. Next step would be to look for Hanlock’s room - where we assumed she kept her valuable stuff. We were going to look through all of her shit and hopefully not disturb her. Last step? Getting the hell out as fast as possible. Nothing else. If she had a problem with it, Bob had a gun for it. He could deal with her.

Thing is, the last two steps did not work out as easily for us. We had no idea what we had gotten into.

The backdoor lead us to the kitchen. All the lights inside were out. There was no one in sight. It was just me, and what I thought was Bob’s shadow. Together inside a complete stranger’s house.

We didn't even bother with getting proper flashlights. This because we thought that the lantern from our phones would be enough. We were sorely mistaken about that. The lights from our phones were not helping much. It was still very difficult to walk across the unknown things in that place.

It was also draining all the battery out of our phones too. But we didn't realize at the time. We were trying to focus on the “plan”. There was no way of stopping it now.

We moved towards the living room. Still no signs of someone else in the house.

The living room was even darker. It was very hard to move through it. The lights from our phones were becoming useless. They barely produced enough light to walk for more than a couple of steps. And even then, it still had us accidentally hitting walls and moving pieces of furniture around.

Bob was going faster than me as if everything was fine. I don't think he was scared at all. He made his way into the living room as if it was his own place. No struggles. Like he had lived his entire damn life in the damn shadows. I could hear his steps all over the place. I wondered if someone else could hear them too. We weren’t being careful enough.

“Upstairs”
He whispered. He was getting near the bottom of the stairs already, but I couldn't. It was too dark, and I was having a hard time staying orientated. I couldn't even tell where his voice was coming from. I just knew that he was far away. The whole thing was making me nervous.

I did not want to get lost. Not inside that house.

“Where?”
I asked. It was a lot louder than it should have been. I don't even know why. Maybe I wanted someone to find me, honestly. Someone who could get us out. Any excuse to leave before it was too late.

The house didn't feel welcoming. It was cold. Dark. And, most importantly, we had no real clue of what we could find inside it. I wasn't sure I wanted to find anything inside it anymore. Something about that place was off. It was a feeling that I could not get rid of. It's not something I can put into words. The aura of the place was menacing. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

Maybe I wanted Mrs. Hanlock to find us and kick us the hell out. Maybe the cops even. Anyone. Any excuse. Either way, it wasn’t what happened next.

Instead, a loud smack. Bob falls into the floor. It was too dark for me to see anything though. So, I don't know the details. I only got to hear the sound of furniture moving, and the impact of Bob hitting the ground. The light from his phone then disappeared. Things were even darker now.

“Fuck!” If Hanlock had not heard us before, she certainly had now. The sound of Bob’s scream was impossible to ignore “Did you move it!?”

“What?”
I was still whispering, but it had no point. Bob had already alerted everyone that we were there. Our presence was not a secret anymore.

“Did you move the fucking couch?” He asked. He sounded genuinely upset. As if I would sabotage my own damn crime “Jesus, fucking’- the fuckin’ couch wasn't there! Why did you move it?!”

“I didn't. Keep it down, man. What's wrong with you?”

“She heard that! You fuckin’ idiot! You’re ruining everything! What the fuck are we gonna do?”

He sounded angry. It made sense considering that we were under tons of pressure. But at the same time Bob was not like that at all. When Bob got frustrated he would laugh about the situation. Bob was not the type to yell in rage. He wasn’t being himself. It was only making me feel leerier.

“I didn't move anything. You should have been more careful”

Silence took over the room for a couple of minutes. Perhaps Bob had realized how irrational he sounded. Or maybe something else had gotten his attention. Hell, for all that I knew, maybe the guy was gone.

The silence was not helping me calm down. It only made me focus on something that I didn't want to think about. A noise. A noise that I couldn't distinguish. It was too subtle to identify it. But in the middle of that lonesome house, it was impossible for me not to notice it. The mysterious noise didn’t seem to have a source. I couldn’t tell if it was coming from my left, my right, upstairs…

I wondered if Bob could hear that noise too. I wondered if he was trying to ignore it the way that I was.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

The noise continued. It was so subtle. But my mind couldn't stop going back to it. Surely it had to be some type of house appliance. Maybe an old clock. Maybe there was a leakage somewhere. There had to be some banal explanation like that. Sadly, I couldn't quite think of one. The thoughts I was having were different. What if it was Mrs. Hanlock? What if it was the sound of someone sharpening a knife? What if it was the sound of something bad?

Bob had to be hearing it too. Why wasn't he saying anything? Was I imagining it? Where could the sound even come from?

“Dude, I don't think she's in the house. She would be here by now.”
Was my next observation. Didn’t even bother whispering anymore. It didn’t make any difference.

Sure, I was still scared, but Hanlock was not one of my worries. There was something else that made me feel uncomfortable.

“We can't be sure.”

“But-”

“Well, let's check!” He was using that tone again. A very aggressive one that I had never heard from him before “If we find her, I'm the one that ties her up! I’ll put the gun in her head and she won’t say a thing! Frank, we didn't get here for nothing”

It wasn't worth it. It was so not worth it. He sounded intimidating though. Like I could be the one to end up tied up or something. My friend had changed a lot in the span of a few weeks. Now that we were locked alone in that house it was impossible to ignore it. Something was wrong. The house was only making it clearer.

Everything was wrong.

“She could be calling the cops right now!”
Was my response. I feared about that shit getting on my record. Bob didn’t seem to care about that.

“Then we need to check upstairs before they join us.”

The plan was still going. Bob didn't seem bothered by our last deviation. He didn't sound scared even. He was too passionate about his plan. Why, oh why was he being like that? What had happened to him? I sighed loudly, trying to think about what I should do.

“Goddamnit, Bob! I can't see anything. I can't even see the stairs. Let's just go”

“Right here”
He unlocked his phone to use the flashlight again. He moved the phone a little so that it would get my attention.

Now I could faintly see a light at the corner of the room. It was very dim, but it got the job done. I had no excuse not to follow. I just didn’t want to. I was scared. I wanted to get the fuck home. I didn’t feel safe there anymore. Even if I was with Bob...

Tik. Tik. Tik.

Then the light went out.

“I can't keep it on, my stupid phone is dying”

Of course it was. I checked my own screen, knowing exactly what I was going to see. My phone was about to die too. I locked the phone immediately. Whatever amount of battery was left I wasn't going to waste it. If something bad were to happen, it would be useful to be able to call someone. It could save me.

The thing was, now the room was pitch black. As if things weren't stressful enough already. My memory vaguely recalled were the light had been. Still, I was scared of tripping against whatever furniture Hanlock had. And I was scared of something else - something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Carefully I walked a very few steps towards the stairs.

Tik. Tik. Tik.

Another step.

Couldn’t do it. I stopped for a moment. I had barely walked for a couple of seconds and I already needed a break. My body was getting chills. The room felt colder all of the sudden. And the sound kept going. Bob was completely quiet about this. He had to have noticed, but didn’t care.

But I cared. My legs didn't want to move anymore. Something didn't want me there. Something weird was happening. I knew something strange was happening in the room.

Tik. Tik. Tik.

There was something approaching me. I could feel its presence. Then, a cold touch caressed my hand. It made me want to scream. Surely, It had to Bob, but it didn't feel like it. I was holding hands with someone else. Something else. Something cold and soft. I was too scared to speak or move. The fear had taken complete control.

The touch guided me forwards. The presence helped me walk through the living room. It was taking me exactly where I had wanted to go. Where the light had flashed. What exactly was happening? I had no idea. I was just following along to it. If I acknowledge it, it was going to make me lose my mind.

“Frank...You still there?”
Bob asked a few moments later. It became obvious that he wasn't next to me. His voice sounded too distant.

Not him. He was upstairs already. He couldn't be holding my hand.

“Yeah. I’m going”
I didn't let go. I didn’t run away. I didn’t scream.

I don't know what took over me. I was so god damn afraid that I couldn't react to it. I didn't want to disturb the presence. I didn't want to acknowledge what was happening. For whatever reason, my body did not want to fight it. It was too frightening.

One step in the stairs. Tik tik tik. The sound feels stronger now. It was still difficult to tell if it was coming from the first floor or the second one. It was just sort of there. As if it was part of the room. Or the house, specifically.

Second step forward. Third. Fourth. Still holding hands to a damn ghost. Still too scared to talk. Still going wherever the touch wants me to go towards.

It was destroying me. The tears had started forming on my eyes. I couldn't stop it. They flowed through my face rapidly. It was as if I had lost complete control of my body. I didn't know why my feet kept going. Or why I couldn't hold back the tears. Or why my mouth did not want to produce any sounds anymore. Something was holding me back.

Something stronger than me.

“Time to go in”
Bob called. He seemed even farther away than before. I didn't want to get to where he was.

The sound of the door slowly opening. It sounded so far away from where I was. In a place that I did not want to reach. He must have assumed that I was following him along. But I wasn't. I was still at the damn stairs. Why would he think otherwise? Tik tik tik - this time louder than ever before. My heart was racing. The sound echoed through my ears. Bob HAD to be hearing it. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

“Don’t”
Was the one word I managed to say. It came out as a small whisper. I could barely make the word come out of my lips at all. Things were bad. Things had gone really bad.

Then the door loudly closes. In a deliberate way. The type of way only someone very angry could do. Someone. Or something. Something strong. Tik tik tik - echoes through the walls.

Something was wrong.

“Don’t”
I repeated. The ticking sound was now louder than ever. And there was something else too. Something new.

Whispers. I could hear various voices whispering behind me. All of them talked at the same time. I couldn’t understand any of it. Unsure of what to do next, I froze in the middle of the stairs. On one hand, I did not want to follow Bob. On the other hand, I didn't want to follow the voices either. Neither of those choices felt safe for me. My body was trapped between two awful paths. I was so scared that I was not going to escape. My entire body was trembling in fear. My mind had stopped responding.

I took a deep breath. More tears fell down my face.

In that moment of a panic, I stopped to think about my mother. What was she supposed to do? What was she going to do when they found my dead body inside a stranger’s house? What was she going to do when she lost her only son? What would dad say? Would they know that I was there to rob Hanlock? Would they think that they didn’t do enough to save me?

Those thoughts terrified me. They made me have troubles breathing. They hurt my soul.

But I didn't really think I could escape anymore. My destiny was sealed the moment I entered the place. The whispers, the knockings, the darkness, those strange touches. It was over for me. It had to be. That place was much stronger than me. Stronger than him too.

“Frank?” Bob’s voice was too far away. It was trapped in a different room. In the middle of the darkness. Scared just as much as I was. Realizing that it was over too. Probably experience a fear that no one should ever feel “Frank! Frank!”

He kept repeating my name, but I still couldn't move. The tears were pouring away again. It was all that my body seemed to be able to do. Why? Why was that the only defense that I had? It was time to react - to be someone important. But all I seemed to be was a frighten child.

“I’m here.”
I said, but it was barely audible again.

The other noises in the house demanded attention. The darkness and all the noises that came from it. I can't know for sure, but I don't think he could hear me at all. I think he thought I was gone by that point. We were too far away to help each other.

“Frank! FRANK!”
He kept calling from that distant room. It made me let out a whimper. The right thing to do would have been to go and help him. To get the courage to run to open that door. To SAVE HIM. To simply be there. But my brain wouldn't let me. You’ll die It insisted you know you’ll fucking die . Truly, as shitty as my life was... I did not want to die there.

I walked a step back. Bobs yelps became louder and louder. They were so shrill. The yells sent shivers down my spine. It was as if the house was angry now. As if I had made the wrong choice. And, really, I had. I continued taking steps back, trying to reach the first floor again. Trying to get the hell away from that place. The whispers were all around me. The sounds of Bob’s screaming covered the entire house. But all I did was close my eyes and tried to go back.

“I’m sorry!” I yelled. My voice cracked, probably from the fear and the crying “I’m so sorry!”

Bob then screamed louder than ever before
This time I could tell that it was from absolute pain. The sound sent goosebumps all over my body. My entire body was trembling again. And so was my voice “I-i lo-lo-love you m-man! I’m so s-so-sorry…!”

Finally, I had reached the first floor again. There was no way in hell he could hear me. He was locked in a distant room with god-knows-what. Still, it felt like the least I could do. My heart still wanted him to hear my words. My consciousness didn't want things to end the way they were heading to.

“I’m sorry!”
I yelled one more time before going back to crying. I stayed still for a few moments, not knowing what should happen next. The front door was so close to me now. But I still had a chance to run to find Bob if I wanted to. Except I didn't. More whispering. The sounds made it hard to think.

“I’m so fucking sorry”
It was dawning over me. I couldn't do it. I couldn't go upstairs. There was no way. Why did I have to stay? it was over. Whatever it was, it had Bob. Bob had already lost. There was no reason to sabotage myself as well. So why wouldn't my feet start moving?

The doors in the house began opening and closing. Every single one of them - all at once. The sound was so loud. It made me feel dizzy. I felt sick to my stomach. There was no way that Bob and I were the only people in the house. But at the same time, I knew that if I checked any of the doors that I wouldn’t be able to see anyone. Everything would be dark. I would not be alone though. I could feel it. The place was charged with energy.

Bad energy. Tik tik tik.

The shock made me jump. After that, my feet did not need any more reasons to start running. The adrenaline was finally kicking in. One more time I heard voices calling my name. This time, the voices seemed to be coming from the ground. As soon as this happened I started running faster, unwilling to look back.

Bob’s screams echoed through every inch of the house. I couldn’t escape them. All while the doors kept opening and closing. They were being loudly pushed around by the wind. It was as if a hurricane was passing by the area. But there was nothing. There was nothing happening outside. And again, nothing was supposed to be happening inside either.

The only person inside was supposed to be Hanlock - who was nowhere to be seen.

Everything was wrong. So I ran as fast as I could. When the cramping in my legs started it didn't stop me. The noises that the house made didn't slow me down either. I had to disappear before any of the voices got closer. I didn’t want to know what was wrong.

“FRAAAAAAAAANK!”
I could hear Bob cry out again. There was so much pain in his voice. It made me want to stop...

But nothing was going to make me go upstairs. My instinct for survival was now stronger than ever. If the presences in the houses got to me, I knew I was never getting out. The only thing that I could do was leave before it happened.

So fuck it. I was leaving. I was leaving.

“Frank. Frank. Frank”
Echoed the house. It didn't sound like Bobs voice anymore. It sounded different. Like multiple people talking at once. The house was only repeating what Bob had yelled. It was like the echo of unknown people. Whatever it was, it was saying my name loudly.

And the sound was coming from the ground.

“FRAAAANK!!!”
A different voiced called. This time, it was my friend again. His voice was calling from upstairs. And it sounded very afraid. He had to be.

Thing is, I simply couldn't help him. Even though my heart ached, I couldn't. I needed to keep running. I needed to survive. I was leaving.

So I did.

And that yell was the last thing I heard before going past the front door and sprinting outside.

Once I had reached the night I felt safe. It was my freedom. I threw myself on the grass to catch my breath. To take in what happened. To process it all.

To my surprise, when I looked up, the nightmare still wasn’t over. The front door was closed loudly by an invisible force. The windows in the house told stories of their own. Curtains would fall and rise. Light would flick in the rooms then vanish. It was as if someone was trying to break every lightbulb in the house.

That was enough for me.

Quickly I got up from the grass. As I had done before: I ran the fuck away. No looking back. I kept running through the streets like a madman. It was late, I was completely alone and I felt danger all around me. No one could have helped me anyway.

I kept running till my legs gave out. Even then, I didn't stop. I kept walking away till the sun came out. By the end I was in a completely different neighborhood. Miles away. Whatever that thing was, it needed to stay far away from me. I needed to be away.

3

The police didn't believe me. My parents didn't believe me. They would nod and then look at me as if I was crazy. It wasn’t surprising, really. The story was mental. No one was ever going to take it seriously. No matter how much it meant to me.

I was completely alone.

There was a search party for Bob but it didn't get much traction. Bob wasn't young enough - or cute enough, I guess - to make the public interested. Unsurprisingly, the search lead nowhere. They were looking in all the wrong places. They were asking the wrong questions. It was so frustrating. They expected him to comeback after a week or two with a raging hangover. But that wasn't going to happen.

People kept telling me that what I saw wasn't real. Everyone believed that we had gotten drunk (maybe high) leading to the strange memories. They didn’t want to listen to me. No one wanted to take it seriously. Apparently my tattoos and lack of job meant that I was a dumb junkie. Which I wasn't. And neither was Bob. We were good people. I mean, at least Bob was.

Bobs disappearance wasn't important to them. “He’ll show up in a week or so. He's probably wasted on Tijuana or something like that” one of them had said. The man smiled when he said this. As if the thought was going to give me some relief.

“You don’t get it” was all I had said.

So I was left with only one option to release my anger: the internet.

Most of what I did on my spare time involved the internet anyway. My favorite place was a site I had found recently. It had diverse forums for all kinds of interests. People would post amusing pictures, jokes and stories too. it was a site where you could find a niche for everything. So I went on a forum dedicated towards venting frustrations.

In two short paragraphs I managed to tell my story. Course, I omitted the details that made me look bad. Like how we had planned to mug an elderly woman for weeks. That was not relevant.

It was no award-winning literature, but I knew that I had to keep it short. If I didn't, people wouldn't be interested. I could not be ignored again. People had to give some (ANY) type of validation.

After posting my rant in the website, people reached out to me. Mostly people who did not believe me. People who said that I was making up scary stories for attention - and that there were other sites dedicated to that sort of thing. But most importantly, that I was not in one of them.

Few comments showed sympathy. They claimed that they had experienced similar encounters before. They shared weird anecdotes that didn't really relate to my story at all. Some people wrote back in different languages. They weren't helpful to me either.

Only one commenter really caught my attention. The person wrote: “This is why rookies shouldn’t mess with type B appearances. What else did you think was going to happen?”

Not only this, but this same user had sent me a private message as well. The message read: “Hanlock? Or Vincent’s?”. It made me want to pass out. Whoever had posted such things knew exactly about what I was talking about. Someone actually believed. Someone out there understood the pain.

“Hanlock’s. WHO R U. Whats a type B? WHO R U?”

“just know that Hanlock’s house is not a place where you should wander about. It is dangerous: as i’m sure you know now. People without experience shouldn't get near it”

“Experience in what? What do you know about the house?”
I sent back in a different private message. My responses to him came back immediately. On the other hand, he would respond to me after a few hours.

“I’ve been in expeditions inside the house many times. I know exactly the types of things that live in there”

“Can you help me find him?”
The thought suddenly popped to my head. It was so stupid. But I couldn't help but to send it anyway. Whatever it meant.

“What i’ll find inside that house won’t be your friend. It's going to be something very different.” He later sent me: “I’m sorry for your loss”

“Can you tell me more about the house? About what happened inside there?”

“Not through this thing, no. There wouldn’t be enough privacy. Your profile says you live in the Belleville area too, is that right? We could figure something out”

“YES.”

“We would have to meet at my place. Face to face or nothing. I can’t share the things that i know through this medium. I can’t judge who are you/or what you are/ through this thing. I hope that you can understand this. Safety procedures.”

“I’LL MEET YOU. WHEREVER YOU WANT. I’LL BE THERE”
Now I was replying only in all caps, because I wanted his full attention. This man sounded very serious about his craft. And I was very serious about wanting to meet him.

“Good. you’re a girl, right?”

The question made me feel anxious. Suddenly, I questioned the intentions of the user speaking to me. This guy was something else.

After looking through the profile I learned a bit more. Apparently this person commented on every supernatural post ever. The user also posted on the forums for anxiety, and depression all the time. Adding to this, the user would ask go on forums for single people asking how to meet “chicks”. This person did not sound like a healthy or well-adjusted individual.

“YES. “
I sent. I was not going to waste my only chance to get answers. If I had to lie, it was fine.

“Can you send me a pic as evidence? Its part of my procedure for these kinds of issues. Nothing else (unless u want it 2 b).”

I went on a different social media platform to find one of my dearest friends. Jamia, oh poor Jamia, was saved in my computer. A picture of her was sent to the stranger from the site where i posted my story. The picture was recent: it was her smiling with a kitten. The kitten was a shelter, and had been adopted recently. It was a picture that warmed my heart.

“Nice. Virgin?”

“TELL ME ABOUT THE HAUNTED HOUSE”

“Alright! I'll see you on tuesday. In the meantime, you could tell me some of your other interests :)”

I didn't answer anything till Wednesday night. Only because I needed the address. Nothing else. I needed some answers. Not to make friends.