Calum Imagine: Haunted
House AU Part 2
we are all searching for someone
whose demons play well with ours
The two words swim in and out of your head in rusty, dull
echoes as you swam in and out of consciousness, your head muddled and confused.
Wake up. Wake up. Wake
The words get a little clearer, the tone a little sharper –
it was a voice you knew well, one with a deep timbre and throaty rumble behind
Your eyes slowly blink open, the world hazy and fuzzy before
you as you tried to refocus your sleep-ridden eyes to the world before you.
He’s the first thing you see.
The ends of his wavy hair reaching down to you, the shadows
casted from his sculpted cheekbones, his earthy eyes and smirking lips.
“And here I was, thinking about having to kiss you awake.”
His tone is playful, teasing, like it always was, down to
the grin on his mouth.
“You don’t remember?”
His eyes narrow, as if trying to figure out whether or not
you were kidding or not.
But your head is too muddle for coherent memories, let alone
games – you shake your head slightly, and Calum lets out a faint hiss of
breath, his mouth melting into an easy smile.
“You fell asleep, babe.”
“I – what?”
“You didn’t want to see the gory parts so you hid in my arms
– nice choice, if I do say so myself – and somehow you managed to sleep through
a thirty-minute bloody massacre. Which was pretty awesome, if I do say so
Your expression twists into one of confusion, slowly sitting
up and propping yourself on one of the sofa’s cushions – your sofa’s cushion – with the help of Calum’s steady hands guiding
“We didn’t go to the haunted house?”
“’Course not, babe. You didn’t want to go, and I didn’t want
to push you.”
“But you’ve been practically begging me for the past two months about going. We didn’t – we didn’t
“We’ve been here the whole night, babe. You don’t remember?”
You shake your head no,
still trying to process everything.
But the slashes on the wall – the cobwebs on the doors – the
decay of the wood – the creaking of the stairs – the echo of his voice – the whispers
of the house –
“You had a long day, love. You must be tired.”
He wraps you up in his sturdy arms, kissing the top of your
forehead lightly. You close your eyes and breathe in his familiar, woodsy
scent, taking in the warmth of his arms and his worn fingers tracing your back.
“Yeah, it’s…. it’s been a strange day.”
You bury yourself deeper into Calum’s chest and he holds you
tighter, propping the rest of his body up on the couch with yours and wrapping
himself around you like a blanket.
You feel safe, secure in his arms.
It must’ve been nothing but a bad dream.
of course it is happening in your head
but why on earth should that mean it is not real?
It’s nothing, really.
Things haven’t been quite – right – since the night you woke up in Calum’s arms, bathing in his
It was just the shivers you couldn’t help. It was just the
need to look over your shoulder every few minutes. It was just the startled
jumps at every small noise, the jittery shock whenever someone called your
It’s nothing, truly.
It was just a bad dream – a nightmare – whose darkness cloaked
you for a little longer than usual, whose details refused to fade, whose memory haunted you.
No. No. It wasn’t a memory. It was a dream. You saw it, but
in your head.
You saw it, but it wasn’t real.
But isn’t seeing
It wasn’t a memory because it never happened; it was just your overactive imagination mixed with your
faint spikes of anxiety brewed together with a dash of fear.
It was just you being silly, being stupid; just you.
But something in the back of your head tells you otherwise.
Because it’s not just you, it’s not just you.
You tell yourself not to be so stupid, not to read into things, but –
His eyes are a shade too dark when they look at you while he
thinks you’re looking away. His smile is just a smidge too pointed, a flash of
teeth that lasts just a millisecond too long. His voice has this – this echo that surrounds your name, something
in the way he says it leaving a different type of shivers running up your
It’s how his grip is just a little too tight to be just protective, how he stares for a moment
too long, and not in the way he used to.
There’s something off about
Calum; the hints of steel underneath his easygoing laughter, the sharp glints
in his eyes that you can’t read, disappearing too quickly for you to decipher.
And you want to tell yourself that you’re just being too
paranoid; that this was Calum and
this was the boy you love, the only boy you’re certain you’ll ever love.
But lately – lately, you’ve been more unsettled than
anything. Uneasy. Restless.
And you can’t help but to feel the fear that you felt in
No, your dream.
It was just a dream.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead
I think I made you up in my head
Something’s wrong – with him, with you – you don’t know what and you don’t know if anything’s
really wrong but you’re certain that things aren’t right.
It’s like an itch you can scratch, a blind spot in your
vision. It was something small, something nagging the back of your head, but it
echoes throughout your head until it’s the only thing that you can think about,
consuming your mind.
This isn’t right.
It’s a multitude of small things; looking in the mirror or
closing your windows, walking from place to place or returning home at night.
Lying in Calum’s arms and feeling restless. Hearing his
voice and getting anxious. Seeing his smile and feeling slivers of fear.
And it’s not supposed to be like this, it was never supposed
to be like this this isn’t love this
isn’t love and it hurts to admit it but it isn’t.
But while it hurts to admit what you have with Calum isn’t
love, it scares you to think about what you do
have with him.
This was more than just a falling-out-of-love scenario; not
some ‘we-just-grew-apart’ or ‘you-aren’t-right-for-me’.
Because heartbreak wasn’t supposed to leave your bones
vibrating in the hollows of your body; that wasn’t the feeling you were
supposed to get when you come to the dull realization that you simply aren’t in
love with the person you once swore you’d love for a lifetime.
No, that kind of feeling comes with fear.
And you can’t help but to feel it everywhere, to have it
lingering over your head and embedded into your skull.
It wasn’t normal
to be scared at nothing.
But nothing’s right.
curiosity killed the cat
how many lives can you spare, my dear?
You’ve been watching him too.
You’re looking for something to call him out for – a reason
to say he’s not the same person, that he’s changed and that you can’t love who
he’s become – cheesy lines like that to let him go, to let you free – but there’s
nothing and he’s still Calum and there’s nothing.
It must be you. It must be you.
Something’s wrong with
But then you call up one of his friends to ask if they could
remind him to pick up something for you after stopping by their house but his
friend tells you with a confused voice that Calum told him he was going to be
spending the evening with you.
And you hang up, puzzled – Calum wasn’t one to lie to you,
but you haven’t been able to tell underneath his pointed grin and your boggled
You know following him is hardly the right thing to do, but
lately nothing’s been right and you were desperate to find something – anything that’ll put your mind at ease
about this boy that you claimed to love.
You half-wish to catch him with another girl, just so you
could dismiss the paranoia in your stomach as a cheating relationship and
jealousy and hurt; that your fear was nothing but a pretty girl that caught his
You kept a good pace behind Calum as he weaved through the
town, moving farther and farther away from the city until he was out in the
fields; nothing for you to duck under should he sense another presence behind
But he doesn’t turn around and you keep your distance while
you keep your eye on him.
And he leads you through twists and turns that you were all
too familiar with until –
He stops in front of the house.
The haunted house,
with its peeling white paint and cracked wooden panels; its creaky half-opened
doors and overgrown weeds.
And it’s just like how you remembered.
But it’s just a dre –
Everything down to the last detail despite the fact that
Calum told you countless times that you never went to the haunted house with
him; that you stayed in and watched movies all night.
How much has he been lying to you about?
You’re asking the wrong questions.
Why is he lying?
What are you hiding?
Calum steps inside the decaying house and your heart almost
skips a beat because you remember how the last time you saw him step in, you
couldn’t remember stepping out again.
The fear starts to spike your systems in erratic pulses now,
and you can’t help but to notice how your knees are trembling, your fingers
You count to a hundred before stepping in after him.
And everything screams no
because they could be just stupid legends about a haunted house but you
remember the fear – you remembered it,
not dreamed it – and you remember calling out to Calum and you need to know
what happened to you, to him.
There’s something wrong with you, with him.
And you had to find out or else you’ll go crazy and he’ll –
And that’s just it. You don’t know what he’ll do. You don’t
know anything about Calum at this
point besides the unsettling feeling of knowing that whatever it is, it isn’t
You step inside, and it’s exactly as you remembered.
It’s an uneasy, queasy feeling of deja-vu, of the echos of
your consciousness knowing you’ve been there despite the unfamiliarity in your
You want to run out, but you’re not leaving Calum for the
You still had to figure out what the hell happened the first
You follow the footsteps in the dusty floor dotted by the
dark droplets of water – he’d just washed his hair, you remember – finding yourself
staring at the back door of the house, open just an inch as if challenging you
to step through it.
You open the door before you completely lose what little
courage you had left, and you’re greeted with the sight of overgrown weeds
taller than you spiralling out of control on both sides; nothing but a faded
dirt path half-hidden in between.
A quick scan of the end of the waving path shows you a
rickety shed; a small wooden figure that looks seconds away from collapsing.
You’ve watched enough horror movies to know that going in
there was a stupid idea, and that if this was a movie people would be telling
you to run; the idiot girl who
deserved to die by walking into a supposed haunted house by herself at dusk.
You call out tentatively, afraid of the response. Afraid of
But then you hear something.
It’s your name.
But it’s your name in his voice and it’s right, my god, it’s the only that’s been
right ever since that night a few weeks ago.
It’s not the strange, echoing timbre that Calum’s adopted
ever since you woke up; it’s the familiar lilt and dip of your name that you
used to hear just before you fell asleep followed by an I love you.
And you’re running on the dirt path and the sound of your
name gets louder and you’re running to him, you’re running to Calum, you’re
running home, not caring that it was
a rickety old shed that hardly looked welcoming.
But you dash up to the door and you turn it –
And you know he’s there, he’s
inside and you’ve been searching for him for so, so long.
You’ve found him.
You’re so close.
You see the rusted glimmers of silver in the cracks of the
stair floorboard and you pry out a small, old-fashioned ringed key and you’re
jamming it into the lock, flinging the door open.
But it’s not the Calum you saw earlier today, not the Calum
you were following through town with his carefully tousled hair and worn
No, this Calum looks as if he hasn’t slept in weeks; noticeably
large purple circles underneath his eyes; hollowed cheeks that were too sharp
to be healthy; chapped lips that haven’t seen water in days.
But his brown eyes are the same earthy tones as the ones you
used to get lost in, and they widen in shock and disbelief when they see you,
mirroring your own surprised reaction.
He opens his parched mouth, and says the last thing you’d
expect to hear.
are you afraid of the dark for what it hides?
or do you fear the light for what it shows?
“Calum? What’s going on? Wh-what happened to you? Calum?”
The confusion and hysteria is evident in your voice at
seeing your boyfriend trapped inside a shed in the backyard of a haunted house
when he kissed you goodbye a mere hour ago.
“Run, I said. Go! Please…”
His plea comes out as a dry, cracked sob; not enough water
for tears, barely enough for words.
You make a move to go nearer, but he shrinks away like a
fearful animal, flinching at your steps.
“Calum, please tell me what’s going on. I s-saw you come in but you’re locked in here and nothing’s
been right please I don’t understand – “
“You need to go. You need to go. Now. You need to go before it’s too late please I can’t let anything happen to you please just go just leave –“
“I’m not leaving you here.”
“Don’t be stupid, you have to go you have to please I’m begging you I’m begging you to leave.”
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.”
He’s curled up on the ground, a small, too-thin figure whose
whispers of run and please were lifelines he clung onto.
He stares up at you with large, haunted eyes, the black
circles accenting his gaunt face and the whiteness of his skin; the wideness of
“It’s coming back. It’ll be here any minute please you need to go before it does you
can’t be here when it comes back please just run get away from me get away – “
Calum? What the hell is going on?”
He tries to push you away but he’s too weak and your legs
are too shaken; you’re too unnerved at the sight of your violently trembling
boyfriend who once bragged about protecting you from anything, now so fragile,
The door behind you slams shut, enveloping the two of you in
darkness, save for the small window that spilled weak beams of moonlight.
“It’s here. It’s here. I told you to run I told you to get
away it’s too late it’s too late I’m
sorry I’m sorry please please don’t
hurt her please don’t hurt her – please… please.”
Calum’s fearful whimpers are too much; the pure terror in
his voice plunging you straight into the depths of fear itself.
And his sudden screams tear through the shack, gut-wrenching
and bloodcurdling; the sound of terror and pain slicing into your system.
You automatically fall back on your feet, panic about to
explode from your chest and fear leaking from every pore of your body,
frantically scrabbling at the door – it’s
locked it’s locked no no – while Calum’s screams get louder.
You can’t see a thing; you can’t see Calum somewhere on the
other end of the tiny shack and you didn’t see anything come in or anything go
out but it’s as if he’s being torn in half from the inside out and the sound
scrapes the very core of your being, hearing him in this agonizing pain and you can’t help and you want it to
stop make it stop.
And it does, abruptly, as sudden as a red gash across a
You can hear your heart beating rapidly in your chest at an
unsteadily crazy rhythm and you can feel the sweat beading your hair and on
your hands and you can feel the sick, twisted fear wrapped itself around you
until you suffocated.
You’re afraid to call out but Calum, oh god –
He steps into the thin stream of moonlight.
And it’s the Calum you saw an hour before; the Calum with
the muscled arms and sculpted jawline and messy hair; no sunken cheeks or frail
limbs, no ringed circles or smudged skin.
But this is the Calum that set your nerves in a frenzy, the
Calum that brought an air of unease ever since you woke up again.
This was the wrong Calum.
And you see how his eyes are a pure white instead of the
warm brown; nothing but an almost-transparent white with a thin ringed circle
and a small black dot in the middle.
You don’t know who this is; what this is that wears your Calum’s face so well, but like a mask
that didn’t fit quite right.
He advances towards you with slow, steady steps and you
automatically scuttle back before you hit the corner of the shack, shrinking
down as much as you could to avoid him.
But it’s no use; you can’t run and you can’t hide and this –
this thing with the white eyes on
Calum’s face was leering down at you, the cruel, twisted features on Calum’s
face so out of place.
“I can see why he wanted to keep you.”
His voice is half an octave too deep; the words too smooth
as they leave his lips, the echoes slipping out of the syllables with an
uncomfortable fluidity that drowns the room in his voice.
“Such a pretty little
He reaches out to touch your cheek and you instinctively
flinch, having nowhere else to shrink away to.
His white eyes and dotted pupil are staring straight at you,
like a snake ready to poison you, like a knife that’s about to be plunged into
He lets out a soft tut-tut
underneath his breath, eyebrows furrowing with mild regret.
“What a shame that
I couldn’t keep you for a little bit longer.”
This isn’t a dream
this isn’t a dream this isn’t a dream oh god please why isn’t this a dream
He flashes his razor-sharp teeth at you; the pointed ends as
sharp as blades and stained with a sticky red.
“This will only hurt a little bit.”
You scream, but no one hears.
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