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The Second-and-a-half Horror

You may or may not be familiar with an author who was pretty popular in the 90s and still carries a household name today. The author I'm talking about has written hundreds, if not thousands of young adult horror novels/stories that, compared to today's standards, are nothing but fluff and happiness. His not-so-happy endings and use of red herrings, gore, and the occasional curse word made him an idol to my third-grade self.

The author I'm speaking of is no other than R. L. Stine, creative mind behind such "awesome" series as Goosebumps and the Fear Street books.

In honor of Stine's incredibly under-credited and often cheesy work, and because I recently stumbled upon an amazing blog dedicated to recapping and poking fun at Stine's work (see Fear Street Blog here), I've written a short continuation of one of his more beloved tales, 99 Fear Street: The House of Evil.


For those of you who don't know, 99 Fear Street is a saga divided into three novels, the First, Second, & Third Horror, centering around one of the creepiest and most sinister houses in Shadyside, USA. Throughout the series, various vapid, brainless, Stine-esque characters move into the house and confront repeating, unimaginable horror much like you'd expect a sorority girl to confront a killer in a slasher flick.

It's needless to say, but I both love and loathe these stories, all of which enough to write this short, unofficial continuation titled The Second-and-a-half Horror, which takes place between the second and third 99 Fear Street novels.

Enjoy!



99 Fear Street: The House of Evil
the Second-and-a-half Horror
A continuation of the 99 Fear Street: The House of Evil trilogy by R.L. Stine
By Christopher P. Waltz

Note: The following takes place between the events of R.L. Stine’s The Second Horror and The Third Horror and is purely a work of imaginative fiction based on Stine’s works. This story does not fall into an official continuity in the 99 Fear Street: The House of Evil saga.

1994

Margot stepped out of her mother’s beat up old Plymouth and stared at the house before her. It, like most of the other houses on Fear Street, had once been nice, but suffered neglect over the years and now seemed more creepy and menacing than anything. It wasn’t hard to believe though, as the realtor, Mr. Lurie, had told them that the house’s previous tenants had stayed only a short time, and the family’s stay before them had been even shorter.

Of course, this wasn’t the house they were moving into, just the one they were renting for the weekend while they tried to find a reasonably priced house in Shadyside. Aside from Fear Street, most of the rest of the town seemed pretty normal. And as long as they escaped all the scrutiny they’d faced in Edgetown, Margot didn’t care where they lived.

“Home sweet home?” Margot’s mother, Sharon, asked as she stood behind her awe-struck daughter.

“Hardly, but I guess it beats being called slasher-chick at school.” Margot answered, flipping her hair over her shoulder and glaring back at her mom, who answered her sarcasm with a saddened smiled.

Though no one in Shadyside knew, Margot Hagen’s family had become front-page news when her uncle decided to go on a homicidal rampage, stalking and murdering several teenage babysitters in their sleepy town. And while Margot hadn’t even spoken to her uncle in several years, not since his daughter had died, having the same last name had sealed the deal and she and her little brother, Derek, had been tormented in school so badly that their mother had made the decision to move halfway across the country to help them escape it.

“You won’t have to worry about any of that here,” Ms. Hagen said, squeezing Margot’s shoulder. Derek, who was eleven, ran past them excitedly and began peering through the house’s dust-covered windows. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I want to see inside!” Derek called back, his hands still cupped over his eyes as he stared into the house. Moments later, he leapt back from the glass, almost toppling over his own feet, and let out a frightened yelp.

“What is wrong with you?” Margot asked. She was an average-looking girl with shoulder-length brown hair and hazel eyes. And while she hadn’t been the most popular girl at her old school, she had decided that missing her best friends June and Gwen was going to be the worst part of leaving Edgetown behind forever. At least in Shadyside, she might be able to meet a nice boy who didn’t have to worry about her insane uncle trying to kill him if he got too close to her.

“I… I saw someone inside.” Derek gasped, backing away from the window even further and glancing over his shoulder to his mother and sister. “There was a girl inside. She walked right past the window!”
Ms. Hagen let out a slightly annoyed laugh at her son. “Derek, no one is inside. All the doors are locked and we can’t even get in until Mr. Lurie shows up with the spare key.”

“No, I saw her, I swear!” Derek cried out, but Ms. Hagen paid him no attention as Mr. Lurie seemingly appeared out of nowhere, walking up the Fear Street sidewalk towards the family, dangling a set of keys in between his fingers.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Lurie.” Ms. Hagen said, shaking his free hand smiling at the aging man. “Thanks for bringing the keys by on a Saturday. I can’t believe I forgot to take them when we talked last week.”

Mr. Lurie smiled, his lips curling over his teeth. “It’s not a problem! 99 Fear Street and I go way back, and it’s my pleasure to help you out while you look for the perfect house right here in Shadyside.”

Margot turned away so that neither Mr. Lurie nor her mother could see her rolling her eyes. She knew full-well that as soon as her family left, a film crew would be setting up shop in the house, getting last minute details laid out for the horror movie that was to be filmed in the house a few months later. Lurie had sealed the deal with the production company and the real estate office, meaning that he would be making more than a pretty penny from the rental. Why else would he have helped her mother rent the house for a weekend at such a cheap price?

As Mr. Lurie and Ms. Hagen continued to exchange pleasantries, Margot made her way to the car and opened the back door and letting her golden retriever, Rupert, out to explore. As the dog started to trot away, she grabbed his leash from her pocket and hooked it onto his collar.

“Derek, want to come with me while I walk Rupert? It might be fun to explore the town.” Margot called to her brother as he continued to stare at the house as if studying it intensely. Margot stepped forward and bent down to eye level with Derek, snapping her fingers in front of his face. He snapped out of his apparent trance, startled.

“What?” He asked.

“I’m taking Rupert for a walk. Let’s go.”

Several minutes later the two were walking through the middle of town, taking in the sights and realizing how similar Shadyside was to every other town they’d ever been in when Derek let out an elongated sigh, catching Margot’s attention. Though the two were six years apart in age, they got along pretty well for brother and sister.

“What is it?” Margot asked, knowing she would regret it as soon as the words had passed her lips.

Derek hesitated as if her knew what he was about to say was ridiculous and impossible, but he answered anyway. “I really did see someone in the house when I was peeking inside.”

“Derek…” Margot began.

“No, I swear! It was a girl with long blonde hair! She went right past the window and looked right at me!” He argued, raising his voice. “She smiled at me, Mar!”

Margot was at a loss for words, as she knew there was no such thing as ghosts. But at the same time, why would Derek make something like this up? It was possible that he didn’t want to make the move to Shadyside, but that seemed pretty farfetched since he had been as much a victim of bullying back home as she had.

She put her hand on Derek’s head and ruffled his shaggy hair, smiling at him. “Even if you did see some kind of spook, we are only staying in the house for two nights and then heading back home until we move. You have nothing to worry about.”

“You promise?” He asked, contemplating her words.

“Yes, I promise.”

The two turned to continue walking but stopped immediately as they discovered a guy, about Margot’s age, standing in front of them. He looked at them suspiciously and bent down to pet Rupert. He had long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes; if these were the kind of guys that lived in Shadyside, Margot found herself suddenly more eager to move than she had been before.

“Nice dog,” He said nonchalantly. “’I’m Parker.”
 
Margot let out a nervous laugh. “I’m Margot and this is my little brother, Derek.”

“No offense, but this is a pretty small town and I don’t think I know you. Are you new around here?”

“Not yet,” Margot joked as Derek rolled his eyes. “We’re just visiting for the weekend while our mom looks for a house to move into. We should be moving into town within a month or two though.”

An expression of understanding appeared on Parker’s face as he crossed his arms over his chest almost nervously, breaking eye contact with Margot and now focusing on almost anything but her. With his eyes staring firmly at a nearby tree, he asked “Are you the folks staying at 99 Fear Street?”

Derek spoke up before Margot could rationalize how Parker knew this about them. “Yeah, we’re staying at that haunted old dump.” Rupert let out a low bark as if to agree with the statement.

Parker didn’t speak, but continued to stare at the tree. Margot waved her hand in front of him and he once again focused on her. “Is there a problem?” Her voice came out a little more condescending than she’d intended, a problem Margot had encountered more than once in her life. “I mean, my brother’s been acting a little silly since we got into town. He thinks the house is haunted and that he saw some kind of ghost-girl through the window.”
 
Parker didn’t seem shocked at all by the comment and only nodded his head.

“What, you don’t actually think it’s haunted too, do you?” Margot prodded. “It’s a creepy house, but most of the houses on that street look like they could use some TLC.”

“Yeah, Fear Street had a bit of a reputation in Shadyside. But that aside, 99 Fear Street has more than a reputation; it has a legacy.”

“What are you talking about?” Derek asked, both frightened and interested.

Parker continued even though Margot’s expression said she wasn’t buying it. “That ghost girl you saw was probably Cally Frazier. The house was empty for thirty years until earlier this year when the Fraziers moved in. They seemed like a perfect little family with a mom, dad, twin daughters, and a little boy, but things started turning really weird, really fast. I didn’t know the twins well, but rumors spread around school fast that something bad was going on in the house. And no one can say for sure, but one day, the whole family just packed up and left,” Parker hesitated now, letting the story sink in for Margot and Derek. “Only, when they left, Mr. Frazier was blind, Mrs. Frazier had a broken arm, and they left without Cally and the little brother.”

Margot scoffed and threw her arms into the air, aggravated. “Do you really expect us to believe this, Parker?”

“It’s all true, Margot. You can ask anyone in this town what they think of 99 Fear Street and they will tell you that it’s a house of evil.”

Margot had had enough, beginning to lead both Rupert and Derek away, but Parker’s voice stopped them again. “It didn’t stop with the Frazier family, you know. Crazy, evil stuff kept happening when the next family moved in a few months later. My ex-girlfriend Meg almost died when she was visiting the guy who lived there. She got impaled by some tribal hunting spear and almost bled to death. She said something evil was in the house.”

“So what happened to this next family, Parker?” Margot asked.

“Yeah, what happened?” Derek chimed in, his voice cracking slightly.

Parker let out a sigh and shuffled his feet momentarily. “Basically the same thing happened to them as what happened to the Fraziers. They moved out a few weeks later, but without their son.” Parker paused for a moment, letting Margot and Derek take in the information. Neither of them seemed as skeptical as before. “The rumor is that he died in the house, just like Cally and her brother. Of course, no one can prove it.”

Rupert tugged at his leash, snapping Margot out of her thoughts. “We really need to get going. But if you wanted to tell us a little more about the house, you could stop by for dinner. I don’t think our mom would mind.”

Parker hesitated, running his hand through his thick, blonde hair and letting out a nervous laugh. He’d never been inside 99 Fear Street and honestly had never wanted to experience the house for himself. After all, ghost stories were only fun when they happened to other people.

“What’s wrong?” Margot asked. “Are you scared?”

Not wanting to seem like a scaredy-cat, Parker scoffed at Margot’s question. “I’m in. I’ll come by the house around seven, if that’s okay with you.”

“Of course it is. Do you need directions?”

Parker shook his head. “No, everyone in Shadyside knows where 99 Fear Street is.”

Moments later, Margot and Derek were on their way back to the house while Parker was walking in the opposite direction. It had become suddenly overcast, though the weather report on the radio had called for sunny skies. The wind picked up and Margot found herself thinking about the things Parker had told them about the house. Was it possible that something had caused terrible things to happen to the people who had lived there before? And if not, what had actually happened to Meg, Parker’s ex-girlfriend?

“You’re being really quiet,” Derek said as they walked towards the front door of the house. By the looks of things, their mother was still out looking for a house. Yet, when the duo came to the door, Margot quickly noticed that it was not only unlocked, but standing just slightly ajar.

Margot couldn’t help but think about her crazy uncle in Edgetown and instinctively stopped Derek from walking into the house before her. “Wait here,” She said in a stern and serious voice.

Before Margot was three steps into the house, Derek stepped in behind her. “No way; I’m staying with you.”

Though they would only be staying in the house for two nights, it had been completely furnished, complete with beds. Margot wasn’t sure if it was furniture left behind by the previous owners, since they supposedly left in such a hurry, or if it was new furniture that had been moved in by the movie production crew. The movie wasn’t set to start filming for another couple of months, but Margot didn’t know how soon they started getting things ready beforehand.

As they stepped through the house, nothing seemed out of place. The house was in need of some repairs, but both kids could tell that it had been very nice at some point in time. Perhaps, thirty years ago, it had been the nicest house on Fear Street, or maybe even in Shadyside, but now the wallpaper was peeling back and a musky basement smell had overtaken the entire first floor. Margot didn’t want to think about what the second floor smelled like.

“Maybe mom left the door open. Maybe she didn’t want us to get locked out.” Derek shrugged, still holding onto the back of Margot’s sweater.

“You’re probably right,” she agreed.

Just as Margot turned to walk towards the kitchen, she and Derek both heard a creaking noise coming from behind them. Margot was about to pretend as if she hadn’t heard anything, but Derek froze, making eye contact with her and refusing to break it. His eyes were wide and frightened, as if he suddenly remembered that even if their mom had left the door open, he had still seen something, or someone, when he was peeking through the windows.

“What was that?” Derek asked in a hushed voice as if it would keep the blonde ghost-girl from knowing where he was in the house.

Margot’s mouth gaped slightly in disbelief. “It sounded like a door opening… or maybe closing. Let’s just go into the kitchen and get something to drink. We’re just overreacting because of the stories Parker told us.”

Derek was less than convinced, but followed his older sister into the kitchen where she went to the fridge and asked him what he wanted to drink. His options were limited though, as they had only brought with them enough food to get through the weekend.

“Pepsi or Coke?” Margot asked, peering into the fridge. “And let me give you a hint: Pepsi.”

Derek laughed at her as she tossed him the glass bottle and closed the fridge door. However, the bottle slipped from between Derek’s fingers and crashed onto the kitchen floor, shattering into thousands of tiny, sharp shards and sending soda across the entire room.

Margot groaned, ignoring the look of horror on Derek’s face as she reached for a towel that had been laying on the counter. “Way to go, doofus! This is going to take forever to clean up!”

Derek remained speechless, but managed to point his finger directly behind Margot. His expression of terror took his sister by surprise as she quickly spun around to see what had caused it.

Behind her stood a short, plump, bearded man in coveralls who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Letting out a yelp, Margot threw herself backwards, slipping on the spilled Pepsi, and came crashing violently to the floor. She let out another, slightly more agonizing scream as the palm of her hand made contact with several shards of broken soda bottle.

The man stepped forward, without words, and reached his large, dirty hands toward her as she let out another scream. Derek instinctively dove behind the kitchen table and covered his eyes. The last thing he wanted to see was his older sister getting dragged helplessly into the basement by an overweight bumpkin of a ghost.

Seconds later, two women came running into the room from different directions. Ms. Hagen, who had just gotten home, and the other woman, who neither Derek nor Margot recognized, both ran towards the now bleeding and crying girl on the floor. The plump man stooped before her, now drawing his hand away as he saw that it had apparently terrified the girl.

“What is going on?” Ms. Hagen demanded in both fear and shock as she examined Margot’s hand. The teenager winced, but allowed her mother to pick a tiny fleck of glass from the red skin.

“Who are these people?” Derek demanded, still hiding behind the table. “He attacked us!”

The woman, who Margot decided was one of those women who looked a lot older than she really was, turned her attention to Derek, who instinctively crab walked away from her. A grandmotherly smile appeared on her face. “Oh, dear, I guess we haven’t been introduced properly, have we?” She asked.
Neither Margot nor Derek answered her, but stared at her disbelievingly.

“I’m Mrs. Nordstrom, the housekeeper, and this is the handyman, Mr. Hankers. We were hired by Mr. Lurie to keep the house looking nice until the movie starts being filmed later in the year. We met your mother the first time she visited the house, and well, I assumed she’d told you about us.”
Margot looked to Derek who looked to Ms. Hagen with a questioning glare on his face. “Well?” He asked.

Ms. Hagen shrugged innocently. “I guess it must have slipped my mind. I’ve been so busy looking for a house that I really must have forgotten to tell you.”

Mrs. Nordstrom opened one of the cabinets above the oven and pulled out a box of bandages that looked as if they had been there for a long time. She blew a layer of dust from atop the box and opened them, pulling one out. As she kneeled down in front of Margot, taking her cut hand in her own, she said “You might want to have a doctor look at this, but this bandage will do for now.”

Margot nodded almost suspiciously.

“Mr. Hankers, could you get me the hydrogen peroxide from the bathroom?” Mrs. Nordstrom asked as Hankers nodded and dashed off towards the bathroom. Moments later, he returned with a half-full bottle in his hand.

“You seem to really know your way around the place.” Margot pointed out as Mrs. Nordstrom wiped at the bleeding cut.

Nordstrom hesitated only briefly, breaking eye contact with Margot and focusing on the bandage she was now applying. “Oh, well, Mr. Hankers and I have both worked at this house for a very long time. 99 Fear Street and I go way back.”

“So you know about all the horrible stuff that happened here?” Margot asked, not backing down.
Mrs. Nordstrom stood, helping Margot back to her feet as well. Mr. Hankers cleaned up the mess around them as Mrs. Nordstrom seemingly ignored Margot’s question. “She’s as good as new. I doubt she’ll need stitches, but like I said, a doctor may want to look at the cut. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to get back to polishing the banister.”

Ms. Hagen nodded as Nordstrom scurried out of the room like a rat and disappeared around the corner. Ms. Hagen then turned to her daughter with a questioning look on her face. “What are you talking about, Margot? What horrible stuff?”

Margot paused. “Derek and I met a boy when we were walking Rupert. He told us about all kinds of weird stuff that has happened here in the past few years. People died here, mom.”

“Margot!” Ms. Hagen said in disbelief. “Your brother is going to get scared again.”

“It’s all true! You can ask Parker yourself… since I asked him over for dinner.”

Ms. Hagen rolled her eyes, knowing full-well why her daughter had invited Parker over for dinner. She shook her head, unable to suppress a small laugh. “Derek, set an extra place at the dining table. And I guess I should get to cooking then.”

Margot smiled and turned to leave the room, stepping carefully over the pile of broken glass that Mr. Hankers swept silently.

An hour later the doorbell rang and Margot leapt in front of Mrs. Nordstrom before she could open the door. The woman stepped back, surprised by being cut off, and raised her hands in defeat as Margot pulled the front door open with a smile.

“Hi,” she said to Parker, who stood before her. His face had a nervous smile on it and he seemed hesitant to enter the house.

He let out a small laugh and scratched the back of his head as Mrs. Nordstrom walked away from the couple. “I have to admit, I almost chickened out.” He said. “And I’ll honestly say I wasn’t expecting you to have a housekeeper.”

Margot turned to lead Parker towards the dining room where her mother had prepared a delicious meal with what little supplies they had in the house. This meant that they would be dining on a fine dinner of spaghetti, pasta sauce, and oven-heated dinner rolls. “There’s a handyman, too. They kind of came with the house.” She stated nonchalantly.

After Margot had introduced Parker to her mother and reintroduced him to Derek, the three four sat down at the dining table, digging into their spaghetti. At first, they made small talk, but seemed to quickly run out of trivial things to discuss after Parker asked what had happened to Margot’s bandaged hand. She quickly told the story and then changed the subject just as fast.

“So, is there anything else you haven’t told us about the house?” She was smiling widely at Parker.
He thought for a moment, shaking his head. “I think I’ve told you the worst of it.” Derek instinctively let out a sigh and sat back in his chair, relieved. “But, I guess I didn’t tell you how it all started. I mean, none of the horrible stuff would have happened if it weren’t for the guy who had the house built.”

Ms. Hagen took a drink from her wine glass and sat it back down. “How do you know all this, Parker?”
“Well, Ms. Hagen, this house has become a legend in Shadyside. Everyone knows its history and how it’s… well, how it’s cursed. That is everyone except for new people in town like you.”

She nodded, choosing to accept this as a reasonable answer and motioned for Parker to continue his story. As much as she didn’t believe a word coming out of his mouth, she had been intrigued from the start and didn’t want him to end his campfire tales.

“This house is built on an old graveyard,” Parker began as Margot, Derek, and Ms. Hagen watched him intently. “They were such old graves that the guy who had the house built, had it built on top of them instead of moving them. Now, there are dozens of coffins just six feet under this house’s foundation and the spirits who they belong to are not too happy about it.”

“So, has bad stuff been happening here since this place was built back in the sixties?” Derek asked, twirling his fork in the plate of pasta before him.

“Oh yeah, the first family never even moved in. The man left his wife and kids for just a minute and when he came back… that was it, they were all dead. The story says that their heads had been ripped from their bodies. Mr. Lurie couldn’t handle that, so he killed himself right in that front room.” Parker finished, pointing over Ms. Hagen’s shoulder to the foyer.

Ms. Hagen choked on her wine and cleared her throat loudly. “What did you say the name was?”
“The people who had this house built? They were the Lurie family.”

“Mom, what is it?” Margot asked, examining her mother’s concerned and surprised expression.

Ms. Hagen shook her head and smiled calmly. “It’s nothing, Margot, just a coincidence. The realtor who offered the house to us for the weekend was named Mr. Lurie.” As she spoke, Ms. Hagen stood from her seat and carried her empty plate into the kitchen. She called back to the dining room loud enough for everyone to hear, “I’m sure it’s just a distant relative of the man who had this house built thirty years ago.”

A look of concern washed over Parker’s face as Margot shrugged to him, silently asking what was wrong. “No one with the last name Lurie has lived in Shadyside since that happened. As far as I know, there are no other Luries.” He whispered to her across the table.

Before Margot could answer, a shriek rang out from the kitchen, causing both Margot and Parker to leap from their seats and exit the room, leaving Derek frozen, terrified in his seat.

“Mom, what is it?” Margot asked as she stood behind her mother, peering over her shoulder. Ms. Hagen didn’t have to answer though, as a loud gurgling noise erupted from the faucet where what could only be described as rancid, green slime poured into the sink, covering the plate Ms. Hagen had just been eating off of.

“What is it?” Ms. Hagen cried, covering her nose and mouth with her hand.

“It smells like sour milk!” Parker called out, his face contorting as the smell invaded his nostrils.

“Turn is off! Turn it off!” Margot commanded, reaching for the faucet. She pulled her arm back quickly as the slime popped and fizzled, barely missing her arm as some seemingly leapt from the sink.

“It is off!” Ms. Hagen yelled.

The commotion went on for several more minutes as the trio tried to think of a way to make the sludge stop spraying from the faucet. The sink was backing up quickly and it wouldn’t be long before the goo was overflowing onto the counter and dripping onto the floor. It didn’t take long for them to realize that there was nothing they could do and that this might have been a job even too big for Mr. Hankers.

“Leave it! We’ll call a plumber!” Ms. Hagen bellowed, taking several steps away from the sink.

The three of them found themselves back in the dining room as Margot closed the door leading into the kitchen, hoping to block the putrid smell and noise of the groaning kitchen pipes that seemed to block out every other sound around them.

Ms. Hagen slumped into her chair and wiped a bead of sweat from her brow. “What would cause something like that?”

Parker, breathing heavily, shook his head at her. “It’s the house. The house is doing this!”

“Parker,” Ms. Hagen began. “Your stories were creepy and fun, but it’s just a house. Nothing like that can really happen. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for everything that has happened here over the years… If any of the stories are even true.” However, Ms. Hagen seemed to question her own answer as she looked back at the kitchen door, where green slime was slowly beginning to seep out from under the closed doorway.

The group decided to move into the living room where Ms. Hagen could call a plumber, but stopped as a whole before exiting the dining room.

“Mom, where’s Derek?” Margot asked, noticing that his seat was empty, the chair lying on its side on the floor.

Before Ms. Hagen could come up with a fitting answer, a shrill, boy-like scream rang out through the house, sending chills down everyone’s spines. Ms. Hagen’s eyes went wide as she realized that the cry could only belong to one person, Derek.

The group ran into the foyer of the house, looking around for any sign of Derek and trying to place where the scream had actually come from. The house had two main floors, an attic, and a basement, meaning that Derek could be crying out from any of them. He was nowhere to be found and had yet to make another noise.

Ms. Hagen brought her hand to her mouth in fear. “Where is he?” She pleaded.

The house seemed to moan and creek around them, as if alive.

Another scream rang out, matching the one that had happened first. It sounded as if it were coming from the basement, whose door was standing ajar across the room. Out of pure instinct, Ms. Hagen, Margot, and Parker ran to the basement steps and trudged down them, ignoring the fact that they very well could have been marching to their immediate deaths for all they knew.

As they reached the bottom of the stairs, Ms. Hagen glanced around the dark room for any sign of her son. The room seemed to be empty, but it was too dark to tell. Margot reached for the light switch on the wall and flicked it on, illuminating the area in a soft orange glow.

What they saw terrified them, freezing them in a pose of shock and horror. Derek stood in the center of the room, and though he was not dead, as Ms. Hagen had half-expected him to be, he was surrounded by dozens of large, furry, hissing rats. His hand covered his mouth to keep him from crying out again and tears streamed down his cheeks.

“Derek!” Margot cried out, not daring to leave the bottom step out of fear that the rats would attack her or even her little brother for that matter. As of right now, the rodents seemed content, sniffing Derek and occasionally nibbling at his shoelaces.

Suddenly, loud bangs became to clamor through the house above them as if cannons were going off in the hallways. Ms. Hagen, Margot, and Parker all instinctively ducked as clouds of dust began to fall from the ceiling above them.

“This house is evil!” Parker cried, taking a step backwards on the stairs, back towards the main floor.
Margot turned to him and cried out, “Please, wait! We have to get Derek!”

Parker shook his head as he turned to run the rest of the way up the stairs. From the landing, he called down to Margot, “I’m not staying here! I’m not dying here like Cally, Brandt, and all the others! Forget this!”

And before Margot could beg him to stay, Parker was gone, vanishing from sight as he dashed off towards the front door of the house. Above them, as Ms. Hagen attempted to slowly walk her way towards Derek and the crowed of rats surrounding him, Margot could hear the banging grow louder and louder until another shrill scream rang through the house, this one almost definitely belonging to Parker. He cried out once more as the sound of shattering glass and breaking furniture filled their ears, and then all was silent.

As the noise ceased, even the rats seemed to calm down and back away from Derek, as if frightened of what was going on around them, as if they had been a trance the entire time.

Ms. Hagen took this lull in action as an opportunity to grab her son by the arm and lead him out of the basement and onto the stairs, where the three of them climbed to the main floor, hoping for safety.

“What happened here?” Ms. Hagen inquired as she took in the view around her. The living room had been seemingly ripped to shreds by an unseen force and blood was now splattered on the once-clean walls. Though no one would say it out loud, they all knew the blood belonged to Parker.

The entire house seemed to vibrate around them with a force more powerful than anything Margot had ever imagined. Pictures fell from the walls, the glass frames shattering amongst the already ruined furniture. The chandelier in the foyer swung to and fro as if strong winds were sweeping through the house. The green slime had now built up so much pressure against the kitchen door that it had buckled, allowing putrid green gunk to flow into the dining room.

“We have to get out of here before it’s too late for all of us!” Margot shouted as the banging noises returned with ferocity. She took her mother by the hand and began to walk towards the front door.

“What about your friend?” Ms. Hagen asked with a look of shock on her face.

Margot gestured towards the blood-stained living room and briefly considered the fact that though it seemed likely that Parker had been ripped to pieces in the room, there was no body to speak of, meaning there was a small chance he was still alive.

Before speaking, she turned to the main staircase, terrified by what she saw. Walking down the stairs towards them were several transparent people, all in various stages of gore. In the back of the crowd were Mr. Hankers and Mrs. Nordstrom, splattered with blood and smiling wildly. In front of them was Mr. Lurie, the realtor, or more accurately the original owner of 99 Fear Street, his neck bruised and a noose resting against his shoulder. Next to Mr. Lurie was a bloody, eviscerated mess that Margot could only assume had once been Parker. And in the very front of the pack was a young woman who Margot had never seen before. She had long blonde hair and wore an angry yet satisfied expression on her face.

Cally Frazier.

“We leave now.” Margot commanded, reaching behind her for the doorknob and practically pushing her mother and brother onto the front lawn of the house. She then toppled onto the ground next to them as she lost her footing.

The air around them was cool and a slight breeze ran through the night as Margot pulled herself to her feet, breathing heavily. Ms. Hagen did the same, stopping to help Derek up, who seemed more in shock than any of them.

Margot expected the house to be crumbling in front of her, but was surprised to see that it looked exactly the same is it did when they had arrived earlier that day. No one could have guessed that only moments before, the house itself seemed to have come alive and chaotic destruction had ensued within its walls.

“What now?” Margot asked.

Ms. Hagen took a few steps towards the old Plymouth and fished around in her jeans pockets for her car keys. She pulled them out and dangled them in front of her two children who stumbled and limped towards the vehicle.

Once safely inside the Plymouth, Ms. Hagen started the ignition and buckled her seatbelt, smiling slightly.

“I hear there are some nice houses in Waynesbridge.” She said as they pulled out of the driveway and left 99 Fear Street behind them forever.

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