One Remains by Sara Veara

Nothing but the cold sound of silence fills the air. My stomach is in a million knots, and my heart is beating out of my little chest. Late into the night, I wonder why we ever decided to come here in the first place. What if he is lost forever? 

48 hours earlier…

“Welcome to your new home kids!” my mother exclaimed as we approached the driveway to what would become our new home. Pulling into the driveway, I observe the house from the outside making many mental notes. Arlo is about to bust through the car door as it comes to a halt. 

“Okay Arlo and Amelia, go inside and check it out!” my mother says as we are already inside, running up the grand staircase to the second floor to claim our bedrooms. I got the larger bedroom as I am three and a half minutes older than Arlo. This is the first house we are going to live in that Arlo and I get to each have our own bathroom. He didn’t think it was that big a deal but to me, it was incredible!

“This house is like a castle!” Arlo shouted to me from down the hall. Arlo had a point; the house was massive. Together we went and explored all the other rooms while my mom talked to the moving company and started bringing boxes in. Running through the halls, we glanced in each room just for a brief second. We made our way to see all the rooms on the main level and the second floor. The only thing left to explore was the basement. 

Down the stairs we rushed as the basement was huge. There were three rooms downstairs, and we explored each one. The first two rooms were just standard bedrooms with each having their own bathrooms. Then, we approached the third bedroom. Arlo turned the door handle and began to open the door when our mother yelled down for us. 

“Arlo! Amelia! Come upstairs it’s time to eat!” she yelled down from the kitchen. We bolted back up the stairs and sat down at the table. After we finished up with dinner, we raced to our rooms and started to unpack some of the moving boxes. I pull out all of my bedding and make my bed. I start unpacking more boxes and putting my things in dressers and on shelves. I hear a loud bang come from the basement. I quickly run down to see what all the commotion is. I noticed the door to the room Arlo and I had yet to explore was cracked open. I push the door open slowly and see Arlo inside.  

He was standing there holding back the curtain that drapes to cover a locked door. Looking at the door, Arlo slowly moved his hand towards the knob to open it. 

“Don’t even think about it Arlo!” I yelled as I inched closer to him. Arlo and I proceeded to investigate the room to see what all was in there. We found an old chest in the corner of the room. We went over to see what was in it. Just as we are about to open it, my mother calls us upstairs and tells us that we need to go to bed. 

The next day at school, all I could think about was that chest in that room in the basement. I was racking my brain all day trying to figure out what could possibly be in there. I thought that it couldn’t be important if the previous owner left it there. I was distracted all day thinking about this. When I walked through the door after I got home from school, the first thing I did was run downstairs and into the room to investigate the chest more. Running down the stairs, I trip and fall to the bottom. The room is spinning as I grab the railing to help me stand up. My brother rushes down the stairs. 

“Oh my gosh! Amelia, are you okay?” Arlo said with the slightest bit of panic in his voice. I reassured him that I was fine and I was trying to figure out what was in that chest. He helped me to steady myself, and we walked to the room with the chest. We approached the chest and began to lift the lid when my mother started to call us up to do our homework. 

Sitting at the table doing our homework, Arlo and I exchanged glances. Neither of us could think of what possibly could be in that chest. We have come up with three different options of what it could be. It could be a bunch of blankets, some random junk, or a dead body. We decided that we were going to get up at 12:30 in the morning and sneak down while our mom was asleep so she couldn’t bother us. We set our alarms on our phones and went to sleep for the night. 

Our alarms sounded, and we sprang out of bed and rushed down the stairs, cautious not to wake our mother. Slowly, we creeped open the door of the room with the chest. We turned the light on, approached the chest, and began to slowly raise the lid. Inside the chest, it looked completely empty. I felt defeated because I was excited to see what was in there. I began to walk away from the chest with my head hung low.

“Amelia! Come look!” Arlo shouted as he pulled a key out of the chest. I looked around, trying to find what this key went to. Then it hit me, the door in the closet. It had to open that door, there was nothing else for it to open. I grabbed the key from Arlo’s hand and ran over to the door and began unlocking it. I pushed the door open very slowly and took a step inside. Arlo ran up behind me and pushed me through the doorway. We tripped over each other and fell. I felt something grab my arm and I pulled away. I jumped up and sprinted back through the door. I thought Arlo was right behind me, but I was wrong. I heard him scream in the distance and then nothing but silence. 

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