22 Dec To The New Homeowners – Creepypasta
I don’t like to think about the hole at the end of the garden.
Growing up, there were very few topics I couldn’t breach with my family, but that hole was one of them. It is not an overly large hole, around 1.5 x 2 metres across. Not overly deep either, but much darker than it should be. A dangerous trap only to a child. Which, as I’ve experienced, is what makes the hole so dangerous. No doubt you’ve noticed it, it has a…presence to it. It draws the eye.
Our family had a lot of rules that we followed without much question. Normal ones like, no sneaking out, no smoking, no junk food after 8 p.m. But we had some weird ones too. Like, never place the beds facing the windows that look out into the garden. We were never allowed to play in the yard unsupervised, or allowed out there after dark. We had to wear ear plugs from 6-12 years old while we slept. But the most important one was to never, ever look into the hole. I was embarrassingly old when I found out that not every household held these rules.
I asked both my parents and grandparents who lived with us, once and only once, about the hole. Why not just cover it up or build a fence around it, if they were so concerned? They were quiet for a while and then my dad glanced out the window and said “Didn’t work.” The words weren’t as nearly shocking as the fact that they came from him. My dad, handyman extraordinaire. Who never backed down from a challenge, never gave up on anything, but he gave up on this. Why? I think that was the first time I began to realise there was something wrong with that hole.
It only got worse.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that there’s an unusually high number of disappearances around these parts. Not frequent enough to alarm authorities but if you were to look back through the decades, the numbers grow uncomfortably high. Did you read about them? Did any stick out to you? A pair of blue eyes, a face with a joyous grin?
My grandfather never called them disappearances, despite the fact that no bodies were ever found. With every announcement, he would share a knowing glance with my grandmother over the morning newspaper. Coincidentally we would receive, with renewed gusto, a stern lecture about keeping away from the hole. I never really believed him because it seemed so implausible.
The disappearances had no pattern to them, it didn’t discriminate. How could a grown adult fall down a barely 3 foot deep hole and disappear? What would possess them to come into our garden? The hole wasn’t visible from the road. I entertained his lectures and avoided the hole mostly due to the ingrained rule rather than genuine belief.
Often, I’ve wondered why our house, why our garden? There was nothing special about us or the land. No hidden mass graves or religious sites. It was just…earth. That’s all it should have been. Until my cousin came to live with us.
My Aunt, Carol and little cousin, Mike, lived near the coast. After a particularly harsh winter, their home saw so much flood damage that the house was rendered unliveable. My dad and his sister were really close, so naturally they came to live with us. I loved Mike, he was kind and funny. Even though he was only 8 years old, we were pretty close. He had a burning curiosity though, that’s where the trouble started. This was…a particularly dark few years for my family. I only mention it in the hopes that if any of this starts to sound familiar, you’ll do what we never did; leave.
It started really small, I would walk past his room and find him looking towards the window, mid-play. As if someone called his name. Then, standing up against the window, games abandoned. For longer and longer intervals he would just…stare. He would get extremely irritated if there was no adult around to supervise him playing in the yard. I never counted even though I considered myself an adult.
The irritation wouldn’t have disturbed my family as much if anger hadn’t been an unusual emotion for him. But it was. Mike was so calm, very little ever bothered him. With Mike around, very little bothered anyone. So when he started scrunching his face with barely controlled anger and smashing his favourite toys against the floor, something began to sink in my stomach. If I had been a little older, if I had understood, maybe things would be different.
He slept less, ate less. During play time in the yard he would creep closer towards the hole. Every time he was admonished for getting too close, the more distant he became. All of his hobbies were forgotten. He only talked and thought about that hole. My family acted unbothered but I could feel the tension in the air. When he started asking questions, I would often hear the five of them talking in hushed tones in the kitchen. What was the hole? Why can’t he play in it? He would be oh-so careful, he promised. Why won’t they let him in the hole? Why? Why? Why? Since they wouldn’t answer his questions, he came to me.
We were playing in his room one morning, despite the fact that I was a little too old for toys. I wanted to cheer him up. Though honestly, I was unsettled by how much I missed him and I had to remind myself that he was right here. Wasn’t he?
“Why won’t they let me play near the hole?” Mike mumbled, half-heartedly dragging his dragon action figure across the carpet. I opened my mouth to say, ‘I don’t know’ but held my tongue. This could be my chance to find out what was happening with Mike. So instead I asked, “What made you interested in the hole?” I tried to keep my voice as casual as I could, and sailed the small, plastic car across the air and let it crash on the floor in spectacular fashion. Adding an explosion sound effect for good measure. Mike became fidgety, eyeing the slightly ajar door.
He leaned in close and I was hit with an odd scent coming from him. Sickly sweet and slightly…stale. “Can I tell you a secret?” Caught by the intensity of Mikes’ gaze, I leaned in too, nodding along like a conspirator. “You know I don’t like it when people don’t answer my questions. I’m not stupid but they treat me like a baby. So I waited until Mom said goodnight and then…I took out my ear plugs.” His smile looked too wide for his face. It was slightly crooked too, like someone stuck a finger on the edge of his mouth and dragged it an inch too high. Was his smile always that little bit crooked?
I swallowed slowly, fighting against the instinctual horror of him having broken a rule. Oh, Mike. “Did you… hear something?” Mike jutted his lower lip out, as he usually did when he was considering a careful answer. “Yes and no. I didn’t hear a voice really, but I heard something coming from the hole. It sounded…” he rolled his head left to right, as if he was listening. “Inviting.” He answered firmly. The word slithered under my skin. Inviting. What did that even mean? “What do you want to do in the hole?” Mike suddenly shook his head violently. “I don’t want to talk about the hole anymore. If I talk about it, it makes me want to go. And I can’t.” His face twisted and there was a bitterness in those words that worried me. Go? Go where?
I made a mistake that day. One I hope, if any of this sounds familiar, you won’t make. I left him alone. See, this process, if you can call it that, is not slow. It doesn’t take weeks or months. It’s not gradual, evolving to a point where you absolutely can’t deny what’s happening. It’s swift and if you don’t know what to look for, it’ll take you in a flash. So yeah. I left him alone. Stupid, so stupid.
Closing the door behind me, I walked as quickly as I could without arousing suspicion from Mike. Aunt Carol was in the basement, bent over a box of old clothes. I didn’t know why what Mike had said was important, I just knew it was more than I could understand. When she saw the look on my face she froze, like she knew what I was going to say before I did. I stumbled over my words, wanting so badly to verbalise why it disturbed me but came up short. I had barely gotten the word inviting out of my mouth before she dashed up towards the door. That was the first time I had ever seen an adult show fear. As a kid, family is usually the epitome of safety. Nothing bad can happen when your family is around. After that morning, I never felt that bubble of safety again.
I tried to keep up with Aunt Carol as she sprinted down the hallway. She was running so fast I thought she’d fly right by the door but at the last moment she reached out and grabbed the door frame, using the momentum to swing herself into Mike’s room. The room was just as I had left it. The only difference being that Mike was no longer in it. Aunt Carol gave a cry of such panic that my body rocked with it. I knew by the way her body caved in on itself she could see Mike. I knew by the gentle breeze on my cheek that he had gone out the window. I didn’t even know he could reach the window. I wondered if there were scratch marks under the window, like he clawed his way up there. But my eyes wouldn’t move from the carpet, from those toys. He always took such care of his toys. But here they lay, as if they were nothing. That wasn’t Mike. That wasn’t Mike. Carol grabbed my hand and dragged me with her out the door. I don’t know why. I think she just needed someone to hold onto.
We didn’t get to Mike in time. Just as we burst through the patio doors, I could see him standing at the edge of the hole. All I kept thinking was, it’ll be fine. Worst case, he scrapes his knee falling in the hole. As soon as he jumps in we can pull him right out and put all this hole nonsense to rest. It’ll be over. There’s nothing wrong with that hole. Nothing.
His little blue and white sneaker dangled over the hole as he gazed into it. My Aunt screamed his name, but he only turned briefly to give us a cheerful grin and then he dropped over the edge. I watched it all. I watched his feet disappear over the rim, then his knees, then his hips. One second he was there, and the next he was just…gone. There was no thump of him hitting the floor. No requests to help him out. For a moment it was pure quiet. And then Aunt Carol screamed.
At 12, I had been to a funeral or two of old and distant relatives. The funerals were quiet and sad, with a sniffle here or there. That’s what I thought death was, a quiet sleep. A sombre farewell. I had never seen grief so fresh and it changed everything I thought I knew about the world. It cracked it open in a horrible way, cracked me open in a horrible way.
Mike was gone and he never came back.
My family mourned him as if he were dead, but it was the not knowing that hurt the most.
I haven’t seen my Aunt in years.
I don’t know what that hole is, or why it’s there or what it does with the people it takes. I only know what I saw. This was to be my burden, but now it’s yours. I can only pray that you will listen.
Don’t let your son near that hole. Don’t leave him unsupervised in the garden and if he ever seems to listen to something inviting, do not hesitate to run. Because It will not hesitate to take him.
I won’t hope that you will forgive me. I only hope that your son is not curious.