Preface

A girl gets whisked into a ghoulish nightmare.


It was a cold, dark day in Phoenix. Which was quite unheard of for the weather was usually unbearably hot. That was the first thing that was unusual. I was walking home from school when I noticed that something else was off. There was no one around. It was around 4 o'clock, the time when everyone was usually coming home from work and school, but there was no one in sight. I was walking on the sidewalk and thinking about how weird this day had been when I looked down and saw a slip of paper right between my feet. I bent down and picked it up. It had the number thirteen on it. I thought that someone was just playing a joke on me, so I crossed the street. As I was crossing, my toe snagged on the edge of the curb and I fell into the middle of the street. I felt a sharp pain in my knee and I realized that I had cut myself. I was getting to my feet when I looked up and noticed a giant red truck racing down the street. I rolled out of the way as fast as I could, my heart pounding. I threw myself on the sidewalk and looked up and there was no truck in sight. Now, I was on edge. I started walking faster. Suddenly, something hit me on the forehead; it was another piece of paper. It had the number twelve written on it. I looked around cautiously. I was beginning to suspect that whenever I saw one of these papers, something bad would happen. I waited for a few minutes and, nothing. I started walking again. I was at the end of the street when I felt the first drop of rain. I looked up cautiously and another drop hit me right between the eyes. I screamed aloud. It burned. It suddenly started pouring and I broke into a run. My house was a mile away; there was no way I would make it in time. I threw myself on the porch of the closest house. The house had red paint that was dried and peeling. The porch was made of rotting wood and there were giant holes on the ceiling. The rain was getting through the holes and it was burning my skin. I needed to get inside. I cautiously lifted my hand to the door and knocked. As soon as my hand touched the door, it slowly creaked open. I walked in. At the time, I did not notice that the number on the house was twelve. None of the lights inside were on. I fumbled for my phone and turned on the flashlight. The house seemed abandoned. I slowly walked around, on edge. The door slammed behind me and I saw he number eleven carved on the back of the door. Great. I was stuck in her. Suddenly I smelled something. I walked into a room that seemed to be the kitchen and there was a plate of steaming chocolate chip cookies on the counter. I cautiously walked over to the table, my stomach growling. I picked up the biggest one. The chocolate chips were melting. It seemed as if the cookies had just been taken out of the oven. I took a bite. It was delicious. In a matter of seconds, I had the whole cookie in my mouth. I was chewing it when my tooth hit something hard. I immediately knew what it was. I pulled the item out of my mouth. It was another slip of paper. I unfolded it and I saw the number ten on it. I immediately felt drowsy and my eyes began to close. I collapsed on the cold, wooden floor. When I woke up, it seemed like I had been asleep for hours. I looked around for my phone. When I picked it up, I saw that it was nine o'clock. The last slip of paper had a ten on it. It was counting down. To what, I did not know. I tried to get to my feet but I could not. What was in that cookie? After a few minutes, I regained feeling in my feet and I was able to stand up. I ran to the front door wanting to get out of this house as fast as I could. When I touched the handle, It was white-hot. I looked down at my hand and I saw the number eight branded onto my palm. I felt tears spilling from my eyes. I collapsed on the floor, starting to sob. I felt completely helpless. What was I going to do? That is when I heard a creaking noise. I became still. The noise was coming from the stairs. I looked up but I saw no one. The creaking continued. I jumped to my feet and aimed my flashlight at the darkness. The light lit up his face. I dropped my phone. I was frozen in fear. He was seven. His face was scarred all over and covered with sevens. He wore a black cloak that was ripped almost everywhere. He had no hair and no eyes. He was terrifying. I turned to run out the door when I felt his cold hand on my shoulder. I flung my hand back and scratched him across his face. A ghastly scream came from his direction. I looked around frantically for a way to escape. My eyes fell on the window. I ran to it. I tried the latch but it was locked with a padlock. The code was one number. I knew what it was. It was six. I quickly put the number in the lock and it fell off the window. I flung the window open and threw myself out of it. As I hit the ground, I heard a snap. I had broken my leg. I screamed in pain. I looked up at the window and saw seven sticking his deranged face out of the window. I jumped to my feet and dragged myself away from the house. Every breath hurt. Suddenly, I was on my back. I heard a snap. I broke my arm. That bone was sticking out of my skin. The number five was carved into it. I screamed. I screamed for help. For anyone. Nevertheless, I knew that nobody was coming. I looked ahead and I saw an alley. I could hide in there. I was halfway there when the ground started to shake. Suddenly, I was not standing on stable ground. This was an earthquake. The ground split open. Rocks and dust flew everywhere. I looked down, and I saw the number four carved on a rock. I started dragging myself toward the alley when I heard a gunshot. I turned around and I saw seven holding a gun. The bullet hit the ground right next to my head. I could see the number three clearly etched into the side of it. This was it. I was going to die. Seven was getting closer by the second, there was no way I was going to outrun him. I kept trying though. I was ten feet from the alley. If I could just get there, I would figure something out. The acid rain started again and every drop was pure agony. My skin was on fire. All I could see was red. All I could hear was my screaming. In the midst of the red, I saw the number two. I was almost to one. If I could just make it to one, maybe this would be over. Maybe this was a dream and if I got to one, I would wake up. I was five feet from the alley. Four feet. Three feet. I could make it. I dragged myself into the alley and I looked up. It was a dead end. On the wall in front of me, the number zero was painted in blood. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I looked down and I saw a knife sticking out. The knife had the number one written on it. I fell on the ground in defeat. I was dying. As I drifted out of consciousness, I looked up and I saw Sevens ugly face staring down at me. I could feel his warm breath on my face. This is not how I am going to die. Is it?

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