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12/17/2021

You turn around and run back to your home. You can hear the other kids laughing at your cowardice. You don't stop until you're back home and away from that place. The next day, you hear people talking about how John hasn't been seen since he walked into the house last night. You know John died in that house. You're not sure how or why you know that John is dead, you just do.

After school, you go back to that house. It still feels wrong, but somehow it's not leaning forward. Instead, it seems like it's sleeping off a meal. A creaking sound draws your eyes to the front door. A skeleton lays just inside the house. You call the police, who confirm the skeleton is John. Something picked his bones clean. Something that didn't leave any marks on the bones. Something that could strip a person to bone in less than a day. Something that is still in that house.