My name is Penelope, but my friends call me Penny. I am twenty-six years old and live by myself in a large house. I have lived here all my life, and I know every nook and cranny in the house. It has three bedrooms, for my parents wanted to have another child, but my mother just had miscarriages. My house also has a basement, which we used to use for storage.
I work as an accountant about fifteen miles from my house. I work from 9-5, Monday-Friday. Today, I arrived at 8:57, three minutes early. It was a normal day, just doing accounting things. When I was getting ready to leave at 5 o’clock, my boss, Benjamin, called me into his office.
“What did you call me in for,” I ask Benjamin.
“I have bad news…” He answers.
“What do you mean?”
“As you know, our profits were down last month.”
“Yeah. What about it?” I begin to get nervous.
“We do not have enough money to pay every employee.”
“We are going to have to let someone go.”
“Are you firing me,” I ask, confused.
“No. I just have to let you go.”
“Why? Why me? Why not anybody else?”
“We have plenty of accountants, and you were usually the last one to turn in the weekly reports. I am very sorry, but we just have to let you go.”
I walk out of the office and begin to pack my things. The ride down the elevator was very somber and took forever. When I get in my car, I cannot hold my tears back anymore. I put my head on my steering wheel and just cry. After a couple of minutes, I stop sobbing and I put my seatbelt on. I drive out of the parking lot and make my way home.
When I get home, I make myself a dinner of microwavable ravioli. I then go upstairs and get ready for bed. I go to sleep at around 7:00, because I am too sad to operate.
In the middle of the night. I hear a sound. It sounds distant, but I can make out a laughing sound. I look at my alarm clock. It reads 1:26 AM. I get up to investigate. It is a Friday night, so it could just be some kids partying, but for some reason, I know that is not what it is.
I continue downstairs, determined to figure out what is making the sound. I walk around, through the kitchen, dining room, and living room, until I get to the basement door. The noise is now louder than before. I slowly open the old, creaky door. I make my way down the steps, one by one. The basement is a big basement. It goes the whole length of the house. I walk down the tenebrous hallway, curious to find the noise. All I see is boxes in the rooms. At the end of the hallway, the cackling sound gets even louder.
I could call the police, but I want to figure this out myself. I slowly open the door. I see the silhouette of a grown man looming in the darkness. I try to run, but I am petrified. I begin to scream, but he reaches out his long arms and covers my mouth. He pushes me down to the floor. I fall on my back and feel an excruciating pain. He pulls something out of his pocket, a knife. He brings the knife towards me. It seems like it took five seconds for the knife to reach me, but it never did.
All of a sudden, I’m back at work. What happened? Was I just dreaming? Was I really fired? I look at the time on my computer. It says 1:26 PM. I also remember that it is Saturday. What am I doing back at work? I get up and walk towards the exit. Then, I hear a door slowly open behind me. I freeze then look behind me. It's just my boss, but he’s holding a knife. He suddenly runs towards me and plunges the blade into my chest before I can react. I can feel the cold metal penetrate my flesh. I can’t move. I feel stiff.