By: Jim Bates

Ellie was sleeping peacefully when a thump outside her door awoke her.

"Daddy?" the skinny nine-year-old sat up and turned on her bedside lamp. "Daddy, is that you?"

Thump. Thump.

Curious, she tossed aside her covers and stepped onto the wooden floor of the old farmhouse. The room was cold, and she shivered, thinking the heat must be out again.

She crossed the floor and listened. Oh, no! Were they on the loose again? Something was pushing up against her door trying to get in. "Daddy?"

Ellie opened the door and screamed.

That thing wasn't Daddy. Not anymore.


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