When she finally drifted off to sleep, she tripped and stumbled over the raised sidewalk, falling to her knees, ripping the skin into a large, raw gash. The hot blood gushed and ran down her bare legs.
She was standing outside the door of eight-twenty-one Downer Street, her skin hot and feverish, nauseous at the thought of having to step inside.
The door opened with a sinister creak, and her father was there, beckoning her inside with his crooked half-finger and demonic grin.
She recognized her things—her broken tricycle with the bent handlebars, her doll with the missing arm, and her toy pony with his mangled mane. They were all there, and they smiled at her.
Her mother was turned toward the sink, paying no attention to Daddy pulling her down the dark hallway.
“Mommy, help me, don’t let him take me there,” her weak, child-voice pleaded.
When her mother turned around to look at her, her face was a grim skeleton, a fierce, open mouth baring black teeth; a spider crawling out.