Between the Lines

Categories Horror

Journal entry: Jan 17th.

So we moved into our new house. It’s a bust. The walls are – Please – paper thin and the floors are really creaky. Every step I take can be heard throughout the whole house. Whenever it rains, it feels like the water seeps into the walls. It’s annoying and damp in here, and I miss our old place.
Since there’s no WiFi or TV – Please – yet, I’m stuck reading my old books again. I’ve already – Please, help us – read through most of them, so pretty soon I’ll be fresh out of books.

Anyway, Mom says we’ll go into town tomorrow. See if we can scrounge up some decent pizza somewhere. At least I have that to look forward to.

Journal entry: Jan 19th.
So I’ve heard some spooky stories today. I met these two kids from down the street. Apparently, their parents won’t let them get near our new house. They wouldn’t tell me why, – Please, we’re trapped inside – and I’m not sure they even know. Mom says it’s just the old superstitions that people have around older – Help us – houses.

Still bored most days. There’s nothing to do in the house, so I’ve been exploring it. There are more rooms – Don’t go there – than we know what to do with them. I’m checking the upper floors tomorrow.

Journal entry: Jan 20th.
I found something cool today. In one of the many rooms – No, not there. Not that room! – in the house, there is a library. There are over eleven shelves filled from top to bottom with books. A lot of them might be older than this house. I’ve been reading all day, which was actually the most fun
I’ve had in this old moldy place since we moved in. I’m going back – No, don’t go – tomorrow. Who knows what kind of books I’ll find.

Journal entry: Jan 21st.
Ok. I saw something today. I think. I’m kind of freaking out now. I’m going back to the library tomorrow. I have to make sure what I saw was real – Yes, it was real – or not.

Journal entry: Jan 22th.
I went back, and what I saw yesterday happened again today. It was inside a copy of a book by Astrid Lindgren, “Bill Bergson, Master Detective”. When I got to the third chapter, I started – Yes, see us. We’re here – noticing some strange lines. Breaks in the text, where the story stops and turns into a string of weird messages. Things like “help me” or “don’t read this”. It’s spooky. They don’t seem to be print flubs or someone’s writing. It’s like they’re part of – Please, whatever you do, don’t go in there – the story.

Journal entry: Jan 25th.
Mom told me I shouldn’t go to the library anymore. I think she’s noticed I haven’t been sleeping too good. But no matter how much I try, I just can’t seem to – Help us. We can’t get out – get that room out of my head. It’s like it’s calling to me. I hear these two kinds of voices in the hallway. One is soothing and calm, telling me to come on down, sit back and grab a good book. The others tell me to run. But they’re much – Please, we can’t get out – weaker voices.

Sometimes I play music, trying to drown them out. It doesn’t really work, but it’s better than nothing.

Journal entry: Jan 27th.
I woke up this morning in the library. I have no idea how I got there. I fell asleep in my own bed, and I woke up covered – It’s what it does. It tries to make you part of the collection – with books.
Mom has put a padlock on the – It didn’t work – door. I’m glad she did. Now, no matter how badly I want to, I can’t be sucked into that dark room. I’m scared to even pick up a book anymore, too afraid to see the messages – Don’t read the books! Don’t go to the library! – scattered throughout the text.
I’ll be ok. I’m going to be ok. I know it.

Journal entry: Jan 29th.
The voices didn’t stop. The loud voice, the one from the library, keeps laughing. The softer voices are warning me. They say I shouldn’t keep my books – Stay away from the books! We’re trapped in them. It will trap you too! – here. I left all my school books at school, and any other ones I’ve asked Mom to lock away. I don’t know why I trust the voices, but something – Help us – tells me there’s something wrong with that library. Something – It wants you. Don’t go in there – that wants me to keep reading. I’m scared.

Journal entry: Jan 31st.
I did it. I got rid of every book in the house. Even the manuals for the TV and the junk mail and the menu for the pizza place. I’ve been trying to get Mom to sell the house and get us out of here, but she’s been having no luck. We need to leave. If we can’t sell it, we should ask aunt Sarah if we can stay with her.

The voice. The deep one. It’s still laughing. I don’t know why it’s laughing. I got rid of all the books. Every single – Please, you, who’s reading. Stop it! Stop reading this journal. It will get you too. He’ll trap you in here, like all the others. Like it got me. Stop reading now! – one. All of them, except–

Joachim Heijndermans writes, draws and paints nearly every waking hour. Originally from the Netherlands, he’s been all over the world, boring people by spouting random trivia. His work has been published with, OMNI, Kraxon, Stinger, 365 Tomorrows, Shotgun Honey, Gathering Storm Magazine and Every Day Fiction, along with an upcoming tale in Ares Magazine. In his spare time he paints, reads, travels and promises himself that he’ll finish writing that novel someday.