The Sunroom

A storytelling that sprang from a narrative shared by a family friend Adele, about a creepy experience she had as a kid of things going bump in the night! From this narrative, I created this horror story in my teens.


The Sunroom

It was one of those dark nights. Not the pitch-black darkness type, but the kind where things could just be seen. The kind where shadows lived and imaginations ruled. Ten year old Nina laid on the top bunk, listening to her sister, Ellie breathing quietly down on the bottom bunk. There was a firefly somewhere on the ceiling, showing its position every now and then with flashes of light. Nina stared up, waiting for the next flash and listening. Faint bumps and clangs came from the kitchen. Her parents were outside, cleaning up. It would soon be time. Slowly, Nina turned her head to peep through the doorway, into the sunroom at the end of the hall. Nothing. But once the kitchen light went off, and her parents went to bed, they would be there. Nina was certain of it. It was one of those nights. The bug flashed again. Her parents were in bed. A tense silence fell over the house…… the sort of silence which knew it was going to be broken……
 
In another room, fifteen year old Jaidan was awake, all the muscles in his body tensed up and still. He did not want to move lest he made noise. Breathing shallowly, Jaidan tried to keep quiet. The unnatural noises had started. Men's voices were laughing and discussing the children. Small thumps like that of people bumping into things in an overcrowded room. The noises were scary. The voices were cruel and dripping with malice, the bumps and thumps seemed ominous to Jaidan. He already knew what made those evil noises. And he did not want them to hear him awake and listening.

Ellie was awake and tense too. She was three years older than Nina, and she felt silly. A thirteen year old being scared of shadows? This was too much. She turned her head slightly, trying to look into the sunroom without making any obvious movements. The shadows were there. Ellie wondered how shadows could look so much like real people. She smiled. She was just acting like a silly little kid who needed a night light. Shadows were harmless and it was just her overactive imagination that made her see the people and imagine them coming.

Above Ellie, on the top bunk, Nina did not want to look. But she had to. Across the wooden bedroom floor, across the corridor, and down the carpeted hallway into the sunroom. The men were there milling around and bumping into the furniture. She could see three men very clearly. They wore the same as the rest - a dark suit with a tie, their hair slicked back with excessive oil. But, they were the biggest, towering over the others. They were the Three. As she watched curiously, they advanced down the hall, followed by the rest of them. Nina's heart started to thump furiously against her ribcage and tendrils of fear snaked over her.The walkers were coming.

Jaidan stopped breathing. The men were moving out of the sunroom now, bumping into furniture and stepping heavily on the green hall carpet. Their footsteps were muffled, they were on the carpet alright. He wondered about his younger sisters. Could they see them? Did they hear them? Or was it just his imagination running amok in the scary darkness? Nina and Ellie did not have a door on their room because Nina did not want one. When they father took it off to fix the hinges, Nina refused to let him put it back on. She was very adamant about it. If they were awake, they would have to see the walkers. If the apparitions were real that is. Abruptly Jaidan propelled himself upright, hitting his head on the small bookshelf on the wall. Ignoring the pain, Jaidan assessed the threat. The sunroom walkers were discussing the children. The goddamn children. That meant his sisters and him were it. And they always walked down the hall - towards his sister's room. Calm down, he thought. They may do that but haven't they always stopped near the end of the hall and gone back to the sunroom? Yes they have. Jaidan laid back down again, shaking his head. He was fifteen goddamn it. A bit too old for the silly fears and old enough to control runaway imaginations. The walkers were halfway down the hall. The Three had nasty smirks on their faces, their black eyes wide and staring.

At the end of the hallway, from the top bunk, Nina looked at their eyes. She had never seen people with eyes as black and alluring as those of the sunroom walkers. Nina sighed. Everything was okay. She didn't have to blink this time, they would not hurt her. Her frantic heartbeat slowed down and she felt calm and sleepy, lost in the dark pools of the walkers eyes. Something bit her. She pulled off the covers and looked down. There was a strange insect on her right leg. Nina shuddered and brushed it off. After the bug bit her, the heavy, calm feeling stopped. Nina swung her head up fast. The apparitions were almost to the end of the carpet, almost there to cross the corridor. Panic and the adrenalin of fear rushed through her. They were too close. Way too close. She blinked hard. The smirks changed to angry sneers and the walkers stopped for what seemed an eternity of glaring. Then they retreated into the sunroom.

A small 'unhh' sound escaped from Ellie as the walkers went back to the sunroom. She knew they were just shadows and figments of her imagination but still... every single time they advanced down the hall, she could not shake the feeling of intense fear and dread. She did not like the sunroom walkers. They were too real, imagination or not. Ellie heard Nina shifting around above on the top bunk. Her younger sister was lucky to sleep through the night. Sighing, Ellie turned over on to her side to watch the shadows advance and retreat, hating her fear. Above her, Nina frowned. She had heard Ellie moan or something. Her sister was probably dreaming. Nina envied her sister for being able to sleep on a night like this. She would give anything for a dream now - even a nightmare. Anything but this strange shifting reality would be welcomed with open arms. She settled back against her pillows and watched the sunroom walkers milling around. Soon they would come again. And again. And again until the first sign morning's lighter skies. Nina sighed. She could not let them off the hall carpet. It was going to be one of those nights.

Jaidan finally fell asleep as the sky grew lighter and the pinkish orange light of the sun rising appeared on the horizon. Nina closed hey eyes as the sunroom walkers flickered and disappeared, leaving the sunroom empty of their diabolic presence. After the men shimmered and vanished, Ellie laid awake, her eyes exploring the sunroom. It was again the same room in which she played in and loved. It was not bad anymore. Not scary. Ellie smiled and relaxed, closing her eyes.

******

"I dare you!" Ellie said, her voice full of laughter and mockery, but her eyes serious. "Don't tell me you're scared of sleeping elsewhere but your bedroom, Jaidy". Jaidan glared at his sister. She had to know. She must of seen them. Why would she dare him to do something as seemly harmless as sleep in the sunroom? Jaidan shook his head. It was a warm sunny day, the skies a deep blue and clear of clouds. Tonight would be different. It was going to be a night like the one two weeks ago, where things could just been seen. The type of night which had "the sunroom walkers" written all over it. Jaidan looked at Nina. She had one of those stubborn expressions on her face. She saw him looking and begged "Jaidan. You will think I'm being a baby, but I'm not. I'm not!  Don't sleep in there tonight... please Jaidy, not tonight." Her voice was desperate. He thought back to two years ago when they moved into this house. And to that first night, three weeks after moving in. He had heard the noises, the voices and the thumping. He saw shadows in the closed double doors of the sunroom. And heard them talking. He crept around, through the kitchen and down the small corridor, hoping desperately his feet would not find any creaky floorboards. Across the hallway was his father's study. Down the hallway, to the left was the sunroom. To the right was another corridor, and across that was his sister's room. He had peeped around the corner, at the sunroom. And saw them.  They saw him too, and started to advance down the hall. At that moment, Jaidan lost all of his curiosity and bravery and fled. He ran all the way to the other side of the house, where his parents bedroom was. Barely one minute after diving into their bed, Nina skidded into the room and crashed on top of him. Ellie was not far behind. He said he heard noises and got scared. Nina said she had a nightmare, and Ellie said she saw Nina run and followed her. Jaidan had wondered then if they had seen the same thing as he did. Not one of them said a word, and neither did he. Until now.

He inhaled deeply and said "Sis... no way am I sleeping in there tonight." Ellie smiled "What, you scared of the shadows?" Jaidan started. His eyes narrowed at Ellie. "You have seen them" he said flatly to Ellie. "But you don't believe in them.... and you..." he inclined his head at Nina,  "...have seen them. And know they are dangerous."
With a big breath, Jaidan told his sisters about the first night and what the voices were saying. Nina told her story of how the walkers would always retreat when she blinked, and about their strange eyes. Ellie stood there in disbelief. It couldn't be true. There is no way the three of us could see the same thing, she thought. Nina was saying "I have to blink, or they will come in and hurt us". Ellie sighed. She was not looking forward to bedtime.

*************

Jaidan was waiting. It would not be long now before it was time. The night felt different. Wrong. Something was not quite right, and the tense silence held something else. Something ominous. He looked around his room. In the corner, his stuffed Garfield toy stared back, glass eyed. 'Different. Tonight is different" Garfield seemed to say. Jaidan shook his head. Maybe it is he thought. If it was, he and his sisters were in danger. Anything to do with the walkers was bad.

Thumping noises came from the sunroom, then the ethereal voices started up. Yes, things were different. The voices no longer seemed cruel or malicious. They just sounded like nothing. Like darkness, the empty spaces of eternity, the voices sounded like the end. Jaidan pushed back the covers, got out of bed and went to wait by his door. If the walkers started down the hall, he was going to his sisters.
Nina and Ellie were sitting together, on the top bunk, clutching each other. Neigher of them could draw their eyes away from the Three. They were much bigger, much more demonic-looking and they looked less and less like humans the longer the sisters stared. Ellie put her mouth to her sister's ear and whispered "Something is wrong. Things are different now". Nina stiffened and answered, barely moving her lips "I know Ellie. I know." And they came. The sunroom walkers. The Three advanced down the hall once again, followed by the rest. Only, there seemed to be more of them this time. Nina blinked hard before the walkers had reached the halfway point. They did not stop. They did not go back. Instead, they advanced slowly and malevolently, their endless black eyes staring. Ellie whispered to Nina. "Their eyes! Their eyes are eternity." Nina jerked back. "Stop it!" Nina whispered back. "You read too many books, stop scaring me!" Ellie laughed coarsely. Nina scared? The sunroom walkers were enough to drive people mad with terror. And Nina was just scared? There was a loud squeaking noise outside their bedroom. Jaidan suddenly appeared in the doorway, his feet sliding on the wooden floor, making the squeaking noise. He grabbed the door frame to stop himself, and used it to launch himself into the room. "Come on! Get moving damn it!" Jaidan said, looking out the doorway. The walkers were past the halfway point. Ellie quickly clambered down and half fell off the top bunk in her haste to hurry. Nina was frozen. She hugged her legs and rocked. "No. Its no good. Too late." she mumbled over and over again.

Jaidan swore harshly and yanked her off the top bunk. Carrying Nina, Jaidan ran to the door followed by Ellie hoping fervently that he would not slip. The children ran down the corridor, hearing the sounds behind them. Still coming, slowly, relentessly. Jaidan turned into the kitchen and ran through the corridor past his bedroom and abruptly stopped. No. No. NO! The walkers were there too. The ones still in the sunroom had spilled through the now open double doors and were now blocking their way to their parents bedroom. Jaidan inhaled deeply and screamed for his parents. Beside him, Ellie was screaming in terror.  Nina just clasped her arms tighter around Jaidan's neck and whispered "They are behind us too." Jaidan swung his head around, the barest glimpse of a plan in his mind. He ran towards the Three, dragging a hysterical and wailing Ellie behind him. They were not quite past his bedroom he saw. Maybe there was still a chance. His window! Jaidan reached his room, jerked Ellie in viciously and slammed the door. He dropped Nina on the floor and looked around in a panic.

The drawers! He grabbed them and shoved the heavy oak drawers against the door. It was the first time he had been able to move them, usually he had to call his father to help him manhandle the huge highboy. The drawers left gouge marks on the floor. Boy he thought, if we ever get through this night, Dad's gonna have my skin. And my scalp. Jaidan slapped Ellie. "Quiet!! Come on, out the window to Doc's house. Fast." Ellie stopped sreaming and ran to the window. Then the shrill screaming started again. Jaidan was picking up Nina when he heard her. He straightened and looked up in time to see Ellie hit the floor in a faint.

There was a smooth, pale face with lips turned up in a nasty smirk, peering through the window. As Jaidan took a closer look, he saw the shiny oil-slicked dark hair and the diabolical eyes of a sunroom walker. Jumping back in fright, Jaidan saw more faces behind the first one at the window. The door rattled. Jaidan turned to see the highboy sway. Maniac laughter. The highboy swayed violently, followed by more crazed laughter. The glass in the windows shattered and fell with tinkles. Jaidan moved to pull Ellie away from the window... but Nina stopped him. He looked at her hand, tight and gripping his arm. "Don't" Nina said. "If you go near her, they will get both of you!" Jaidan ripped her hand off his arm and started for his sister. But it was too late. A thick arm came snaking into the room, and huge hands with hooked, mold-green nails grabbed Ellie and jerked her out of the room. Jaidan screamed. Nina started crying again.  She is unconscious, Jaidan thought of Ellie. I hope she doesn't wake up. The two children heard the snapping of bones, the noises of the walkers ripping their sister apart like hyneas with prey.

How can shadows possibly be real Jaidan thought. This has to be a nightmare. The highboy toppled over with a crash and the Three stepped into the room. A loud wavering scream sounded from outside and echoed in the room before fading. Nina was quiet, comatose in a ball, deep in shock. Jaidan grabbed Nina and hugged her, whispering his strength into her. "Close your eyes sis. It will be over soon. I'm right here." Pain like no other pain known to the brother and sister, tore through them as the sunroom demons fell upon them. Soon their voices failed them, the agony too great to even scream. All that Jaidan and Nina could do was hold each other tightly and not even the sunroom walkers could pull them apart. Then... it was over.

***********

"Did you hear the stories about this house?" Shandra said to her two brothers and sister. "The boy's name was similar to yours Jordan. He was called Jaidan. His sisters were Ellie and Nina." Shandra went on to tell them about how one morning, their parents found the children gone. The bedroom of Ellie and Nina was empty. Jaidan's was empty too... only it was in a shambles. The window was smashed and there was glass all over the floor. The door was broken down and there was a deep gouge in the floor like the highboy had been pushed against the door. The highboy was smashed on the floor. "Go and look in your room Jordan... I have. " Shandra said to her brother. "There's a gouge in the floor... but the most horrifying thing about Jaidan's room was..." Shandra trailed off and looked out the playroom window. It was a warm sunny day, the skies a deep blue and clear of clouds. It was the first beautiful day since they had moved in. Shandra continued. "... was the amount of blood splattered all over the walls and pooling on the floor. There was even blood outside, on the grass. And there was no sign at all of the children. None at all, except for the dark liquid."

***

Later that afternoon, the painters came and the children moved the mattresses into the playroom. When it was bedtime the four children sat on their mattresses and theorised about the blood and the missing children. None of them even came close.
But they would soon find out.
The truth.
Of the missing children and the blood.
For they were in the sunroom.
And it had been one of these days.
And so it would be one of those nights.
The kind where things could just be seen.
The kind where shadows ruled and imaginations lived.

 

Childhood Works

Siobhan's Glass (short story)

Noises of Silent Worlds (poetry)

Membrane Drum Mosiac (poetry)

The Sunroom (short story)

Adult Works

Breaking Free (short story)

Coil (poetry)

Trouble Pooping? (birth satire)

Wyld Womyn (column)

Explict Prose & Poetry

copyright © Lisa Morgan 2007-2012