You found it. This is the secret page on my website. You can’t access it from the menu, you can only find it if you scroll through my books. Wanna know what the secret is? I also dabble in horror.
Here, just for you, is a horror story by Jessica Aspen. Enjoy.
The House on Third Street
He was knocking on the door again. Anna hid behind the curved stair in the main hall and prayed he’d leave. But the knocking got louder.
She smoothed damp palms down her skirt, tucked an errant piece of hair behind one ear and left her sanctuary.
The sunlight pouring through the diamond panes on either side of the great black door made the dust motes sparkle and dance like there was a party. But the only sound was the pounding of his great fists.
She paused in front of the door, hand outstretched to the brass knob. And the sound stopped. She held still, not breathing, counting up from zero till she couldn’t hold her breath any longer. He’d stopped. Gone away. This time.
Marcus came into the hallway.
“What’s going on?”
“Nothing. I was just going to check the mail.” There was no need for him to know. She’d already tried to talk to him, but he didn’t want to know they had a problem.
He eyed her with that look that was a recent addition to their new marriage. One she had never seen till they’d bought the house at 1300 Third Street. Now she saw that look way too often. Any time she lied about the knocking. Or the woman who cried in the upstairs room she had once thought was perfect for a baby’s room. Or the cold feeling of fear when she worked in the North East corner of the kitchen.
“It’s Sunday, there isn’t any mail.”
“Oh, right. I forgot.”
He shot her the look and went back into his study.
It had been her dream house. Four large rooms on each floor and a breezy hallway between, with wide stairs that had an unusual curve, just at the top. Marcus had wanted a fancy new loft that he could pay huge fees to maintain the modern weight room and pool, but she’d begged and pleaded and used her newly engaged wiles till he indulgently signed the papers. And the house was theirs.
She hadn’t noticed anything when they’d first moved in, too busy priming and painting and unpacking. But once their stuff had been settled and Marcus had started to work long and then longer hours at the firm, that was when she began to hear the crying.
She’d left the baby’s room till last, till she was home alone painting the walls a light lemon that she could see would go perfectly with blue sailboats or be equally as cute with strawberries and gingham check. She was just finishing the third wall when Marcus called saying he had to stay late. She decided to finish despite the late hour. Oldies were playing on the radio and she was singing to Only You, when it died into silence. She stood at the top of the old wooden ladder they’d found in the shed, paintbrush in hand, spatterings of lemon paint drying on Marcus’s old sweatshirt. And then she heard the wailing.
Soft at first, then louder, till she dropped the brush on the newly re-finished floor and gripped the ladder with white fingers. She forced her feet to make the climb down into the empty room. Gritting her teeth and checking every room in the house before calling her husband.
Now, in the sunny hallway, she remembered his face from that night. That was the first time she saw the look. When he got home and went into the paint splashed room. And didn’t hear a sound.
She shook as she reached for the doorknob, knowing that when she opened the door nothing would be there but the sun and the old neighborhood.
She placed her palm on the knob, but before she could tighten her grip, it turned under her slick skin.
The door opened.
Wind rushed in, blowing her back, but not far enough to get out of the way.
Marcus walked into the hallway, and straight through her body as if she wasn’t even there.
“Marcus!” His name gasped out of her lips.
“Honey! Thanks for letting me in. I forgot my keys again.” Anna’s mouth dropped wide. She backed away as he gestured to the lovely woman who’d been standing just behind Anna. Tall, slim, brunette, she could be Anna herself, with one exception.
Anna remembered now.
This one was alive and she was dead.
Marcus’s face was alive with anticipation as he swooped the woman into his arms and kissed her. He pulled back and gazed into the woman’s face.
“Have I thanked you for marrying an old widower like me?”
The woman smiled.
The room began fading from Anna’s view as she remembered now about her suicide. In the North East corner of the kitchen. Marcus knocking on the door like a madman, while she slit her wrists.
After the baby had died and she’d cried countless tears in the lemon yellow room.
He was knocking again.
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