Chapter 5:

A Quick Dip In The Deep End

Sweet Nightmares

“It almost feels like we’re in a world of our own”, Erica said to me as she rested her head on my shoulder.

We were sitting side by side on the sands of a small cove and basking at the moon and the stars, which were our only source of light. We were alone, in fact, but we weren’t doing anything naughty. Although in loungewear, we were both fully dressed. We were simply stargazing to the sound of the waves and the loud cheers coming from a nearby beach house.

“‘Almost’ because the others are so loud”, I joked.

However, there was an odd feeling that I knew that the joke was coming.

“That’s right”, Erica said as she moved away from my shoulder with a look of genuine surprise. “How’d you know that was what I was gonna say?”

“That’s because you made the same joke before.”


“The last time we were at this same beach…”

My speech trailed off as a sudden realization came to me.

Firstly, I don’t recall ever having the conversation with Erica, or her making the joke. In fact, I don’t remember being with her at this particular place at all.

The only time I’ve been at this beach was during my high school graduation trip. I was with some of my classmates. We rented a beach house to make one last memory before we go on our separate paths and head for different colleges.

I shouldn’t have even met Erica at this point in time yet as I only met her this year, in my second year of college. We did not even graduate high school at the same time as she’s a year younger than me.

Furthermore, I was sure I had this experience with someone else.

It was a girl from my class named Emma. We weren’t dating, though. In fact, we weren’t particularly close until this trip.

But, it was at this trip where I started thinking that she might like me. She never said it, however. But, this was also the event where I grew interested in her, so we kept in touch when we started college.

Although, after the very first semester of freshman year, I found out she had three boyfriends since starting college. That caused me to lose interest so we drifted apart.

Regardless, I didn’t have much time to think about the switch when the happy cheers coming from the beach house suddenly turned into blood-curdling screams.

Erica and I looked at each other, the moonlight illuminating her spooked face. I wouldn’t doubt it if she told me I wore the same expression. We then quickly went up to the beach house to see what the commotion was.

Once we arrived, I was expecting the first person we would meet to be one of my high school classmates. It was still a familiar face, but it was surprising to see a friend from college, a guy named Gab, greet us at the front doorway.

“Don’t come in”, he said in a panicked voice. The bright light of the front porch clearly showed his distressed face.

“Why, what happened?” I asked.

“Somebody-” he hesitated. “Somebody’s hurt.”

But, before we could ask more questions, a booming sound of glass shattering could be heard from inside, interrupting us.

All three of us looked in the direction of the front door.

The noise sounded close. It actually seemed like it happened behind the door, but, with it being closed, it wasn’t visible to us what shattered or if anyone was hurt.

Concerned, I moved towards the door to check.

Gab, his voice shaking, but loud, said, “Don’t go in there!”

“Why?” I asked. “Someone could be needing our help!”

“Just listen to me and let’s get out of here!”

“And I’ll keep asking you, why? I’m not gonna go along with you just because you said so.”

He glanced at both me and Erica with a look of resignation. He took a few steps backwards before telling us, “Alright, suit yourself. But, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

He then ran into the road, disappearing into the night.

There was something unsettling about his warning. He hadn’t said there was anything dangerous inside the house, but the way he talked to us made me nervous.

I slowly opened the front door. It was dark inside so the light from the front porch entered through the opening I created. It was eerily silent as well, as if the noise my classmates were making earlier didn’t happen.

I hesitated entering at first since what I saw beyond the entryway was nothing but darkness. The hallway was even longer than I remember it to be. If memory serves me right, it should just be a few meters long before meeting the wall because you have to turn the corner to enter the living room.

“What’s wrong?” I heard Erica ask me from behind.

I look back to hold her hand and tell her, “Nothing.”

Although, I could hear the nervousness in my voice so I wasn’t sure if my assurance was convincing.

Regardless, I entered the beach house with Erica in tow. But, with the only light coming from the front porch, we couldn’t find the source of the noise. We tried looking for the light switch, but we couldn’t find it for some reason.

“Maybe it’s down the hall”, Erica suggested.

So, we slowly walked through the dim hall reaching for any sort of bump on the wall that could be the light switch while carefully trying to avoid any shards from the glass we heard shatter earlier.

The deeper we went, the harder it became to see what was in front of us. There were no windows so the moonlight couldn’t go through, and the light from behind us was becoming smaller and smaller.

“Do you have your phone with you?” I asked Erica.

“No”, she unfortunately answered.

I didn’t have mine with me either. I didn’t think I would be needing it when I went down to the beach for a tryst.

Its flashlight function would have been useful right now, I regretted.

After a few more steps without finding the light switch, or even the door that led to the living room, I looked behind me towards Erica and said, “Let’s turn back.”

Before she could answer, there was a loud thump directly above us. The two of us looked up, waiting if something else would follow to confirm if we actually heard some activity upstairs. But, there was only the sound of our heartbeats, which seem to be thumping louder and faster.

“Guys?” I called out. “Is that you? What’s going on?”

But, there was no answer.

“Mel? Rock? Emma?”

I tried calling out some names of my high school classmates, but there was still no reply.

“Al? Ollie? Den?”

I tried calling out some names of my friends in college. I thought that, since I met Gab earlier, they might be here, too. But, there was only silence.

I eventually heard a voice, but it was Erica’s. She asked me, “Do you hear that?”

I tried listening to what she was pertaining to, but I couldn’t hear anything past our heartbeats.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Shh, there it is again.”

This time, I started hearing something, a soft high-pitched sound. Initially, I thought it was a cat meowing, but Erica thought otherwise.

“It sounds like someone whimpering”, she said. “Let’s see who it is.”

I felt hesitant, but I nodded in agreement.

We followed the sound through the empty hallway and luckily it led us to the living room. The lights were also off in the room, but there was a bit of moonlight coming from the windows. Although, the curtains were drawn closed so it was just tiny rays going through, making it still too dark to see.

We found the light switch, but the lights would not turn on no matter how much we flip it. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be working. Neither Erica nor I was too worried, though, as we could still open the curtains to let the moonlight in.

Still holding hands, I led her towards the windows while following the wall.

I slightly slipped a few steps in. The floor seemed to be wet.

“Wet floor”, I cautioned Erica. “The shattering we heard earlier was probably from a glass or a pitcher so be careful of broken glass, too ”

I slowed my pace as well to follow my own advice.

Once I reached the curtains, I immediately drew them open without letting go of Erica’s hand. The moon illuminated the room.

I turn around and see the living room in complete mess. I hadn’t noticed since we went through the corners, but the furniture has been displaced and flipped around.

Not only that, there were mangled bodies everywhere. I could not identify any one of them due to how horribly disfigured their faces have become, as if they were torn or scratched off. Some of them were even decapitated.

On the floor, there was a large pool of blood. Rather, it’s an understatement to call it that as it covered the entire room.

It was as if an animal had gone wild and killed everyone in this room.

I gagged at the sight of it.

I then notice Erica looking at me. However, instead of being shocked at the scene before us, she seemed more interested in me.

I hadn’t noticed when, and I’m very sure she didn’t have it when we entered the house, but her mouth was covered in blood. Not in the way of her lips bleeding from accidentally biting them, or getting punched in the mouth. It was more like it had been smeared around her jaw due to pressing her lips on something bloody, as if eating them.

But, before my mind could register what was going on, she bared her fangs at me and lunged at my neck.

The next thing I knew, I was sitting on my bed clutching my neck.