Rusty by Andrew
Rue Morgue Magazine #150
I woke up to my daughter crying at 4
a horror story in itself, right?
it gets worse.
me start from the beginning. My husband, Michael, and I live in the rural town
of H____, Michigan. We have a 5-week-old daughter named Riley. She’s doing
well, but wakes up several times a night. Every. Single. Night.
on weekend nights, Michael takes baby duty. He’s amazing – he gives her a bath,
reads her a story, rocks her, and puts her to sleep. And he sleeps right in the
nursery with her. The only thing he’s bad at? Singing lullabies to her – he’s
completely tone-deaf. (I usually shut the door when he gets to that part.)
last night – when I heard her crying at the ungodly hour of 4 AM – I assumed
Michael was on it. I rolled over, and tried to fall back asleep.
she continued wailing.
pulled the covers over my head.
turned up my white noise to full blast.
Waaa – aaaaaa – aaaaahhhh!
I jolted up. Dammit, Michael, are
you even trying to calm her down?! I heaved myself out of bed,
threw on my robe, and opened the door.
froze in the doorway.
cries weren’t coming from her room.
were coming from downstairs.
peered down; dim, golden light shone across the floor, coming from the living
room. “Michael?” I called.
No response, other than a
everything okay?” I shouted, louder this time. The shadows shifted across the
floor, but no answer. I took a step down –
coming from her room.
doorknob turned –
walked out of the bedroom, rubbing his eyes, his mouth wide with a yawn.
left Riley downstairs alone?! What’s wrong with you?!” I began running down the
stairs, my robe flying behind me –
grabbed my arm.
are you talking about?!”
He pushed his door open. I turned, and my heart began to pound. In the dim
light, I could see a little pink bundle, rising and falling with each breath.
held my breath. Slowly, I backed up the stairs – careful to not make even the
He pulled me into the bedroom. Click –
he shut the door. Click – he locked it, and dragged a chair in
it’s just the baby next door,” I said, trying to calm myself.
Johnsons live a quarter mile away.”
looked at him, my eyes wild. “Maybe it’s –”
was coming from downstairs, Catie. You and I both heard it.” He began pushing
the dresser; it didn’t budge. “There’s someone down there.”
Michael held a finger to his lips.
that?” he whispered.
I hear the screaming baby.”
There’s a pattern. Two short cries, then a long cry, then a raspy cry.”
turned to me, his eyes wide, and said: “It’s a recording.”
felt the breath catch in my throat.
down there, playing a recording of a baby crying?” I said, incredulously.
it obvious?” With a grunt, he pushed the dresser; it wobbled, and shifted maybe
half an inch across the carpet. “To lure us out there.”
jumped. But it was only Riley crying, woken by our loud whispers. Michael
swooped her up, singing a terribly off-key rendition of Brahm’s lullaby in her
need to call 911,” I said, feeling my pocket. “My phone. Where’s my phone?! I
must have left it in the other bedroom –”
the soft moonlight, Michael was pale as a ghost. “And mine’s out of battery…”
we can get out the window,” I said. Shaking, I wrenched it open. The cool
breeze blew in, and the forest was black as ever. Our only neighbors – the
Johnsons – were too far away, and the drop… just looking down made my stomach
turn. The lawn bench looked like it belonged to dolls; the barren garden beds
were like tiles on a checkerboard. “What do we do?”
get your phone.”
You just said yourself – someone is out there!”
door is five feet across the hallway. I’ll make it across before they can get
– no –”
dresser’s too heavy to move across the door. The chair isn’t good enough.
Sooner or later, they’re going to come upstairs, kick down the door, and who
knows what. I’m going.” He handed Riley to me. “Wish me luck.”
I could stop him, he opened the door.
as soon as he did –
I froze, clinging to the crib. They
know you’re out there! I screamed, internally. I rushed to the door
and clicked the lock shut, ready for Michael to rush back inside –
footstep, at the base of the stairs.
heavy footsteps, growing louder and faster – the unmistakable sound of someone
running up the stairs –
dashed back in. I slammed the door shut.
was Michael’s voice.
Leave us alone!” Michael shouted, holding me close.
“Catie! It’s me!” Thump,
thump. “Let me in!”
looked at Michael. “That sicko must’ve recorded my voice,” he whispered back,
fear in his eyes.
that is – it’s not me!” His voice cracked with desperation.
out of our house!”
– please – it’s me!”
Michael grabbed the dresser.
Groaning, he dragged it across the door. The cries became muffled, faint,
barely understandable. I could only make out my name, yelled every so often,
and the dulled thumps against the door.
the sirens sounded faintly through the window, the voice stopped.
the time the police arrived, he was gone. The evidence remained, though: a
broken window, muddy footprints. “We’ll dust for fingerprints and run it
through our database,” one of the officers told us. “But most people are smart
enough to wear gloves, these days.” They gave us paperwork, phone numbers, and
checking the locks for the hundredth time, we sat down on the bed. Riley,
severely overtired like both of us, began to wail.
you put her to sleep? I’m exhausted,” I said, rubbing my eyes.
course.” He lay Riley across his chest, rocking her slowly. I stumbled across
the hallway to my bedroom. The sun was just peaking over the pine trees; bright
golden rays shone through the window, lighting up the room. Sighing in relief,
I collapsed onto the bed, and closed my eyes.
the hall, I could hear Michael’s soft voice singing.
and good night… go to sleep now, little Riley…”
Send me your paranormal experiences in my ask box, it can be on anon or not. Does not matter I am up to hearing some of your spooky stories 😈
💀 GOTHIC NIGHTMARES 💀