Pereira Pinto Maria

Don’t Laugh

It was on a lazy Saturday evening, my friend, Alexander, and I were stroling along the sidewalk. We both attended Old Willow-Brook High. Almost last year there, thankfully. Looked forward of going to college than anything else. Get away from my parents. They’re great, don’t get me wrong. Just a little bit smothering at times. Always calling up to check on me. Where am I? Who am I with? When you getting home? All that shit. I’m even surprised they’d allowed me out at all. Might as well keep me locked away in the basement. A fresh breath of air would do me some good. Totally.


Alexander, on the other hand, didn’t want to go to college. And when I asked him, “Why not?” He’d often reply that he wanted to become a Marine. Since Alexander’s father served in the military, I could understand his point of view. College isn’t for everyone. Shit, look at Bill Gates. He dropped out, and he’s a billionaire.


A vehicule zoomed past us while we walked along the sidewalk. Alexander, being Alexander, pointed his finger at the vehicule with a gray fabric on the handle with kind of a gold button with a pearl on the middle that looked really expensive and laughed. He always been a class clown. Always that goofy kid in school. He’d do thing to make the class roar in laughter. Some would say to deflect how he really feels about himself. But the truth was simple-he didn’t really give a damn about much.


“You shouldn’t laugh,” I told him.


Alexander shrugged his bulky shoulders. “Don’t tell me you believe that shit, do you?” A smirk drew across his face. “It’s just a nursery rhyme.”


But still, it isn’t respectful. Regardless if it’s a nursery rhyme or not. Don’t ever laugh when a hearse with that kind of unique button goes by, or you’ll be the next to die. And I faithfully believed that. It’s shame that they don’t make a song for vandalizing cemeteries. Maybe they’d suffer the same fate.


“Don’t ever laugh when a hearse with a golden button goes by, or you’ll be the next to die.”

Alexander sang in eerie voice. He punched my arm. “See, I’m still here man.” Second later gave a contagious giggle. That type of giggle that’ll make a room of people giggle.


“Damn, what a shame.” I smirked at him.


“How rude,” he said, sounding hurt. But really, he wasn’t. He knew he was my bro for life. Ever since grammar school, he’d been my best friend. In fact, he was the first kid that introduced himself to me.


Alexander clapped his hands quickly. “I’m excited about this party!”


“Yeah?” I asked.


“Don’t you ever get hyped up anymore? Sometimes, you seem dead,bro.”


It’s a party, and there’s more parties in college. Nothing really special about them.”


“Yeah, but you’re wrong! There’s women, sex and beer, oh my!”


We were approaching a house that I wanted to show Alexander, like since it happened. The walk itself seemed to take forever. But we were almost there. The street name had been notorious and is right up Alexander’s alley. He loves creepy stuff that has a nice dark history behind them. Honestly, the house that once stood there isn’t there anymore. But a family moved in to the area and built their dream house on the same location.


Alexander started to groan a bit. “Are we there yet?”




“What’s up with the secret surprise?”


“You’ll like it. Trust me. If I knew you since forever, I know you’ll like it.”


“What is it? Spill the beans, man!”


“It’s coming up shortly.” I nodded with a smile across my face.


“Well, this better be good.”


And it was good. It had that type of darkness that excited Alexander. Shit, when I heard the truth about the location, I wanted to see it for myself. But knowing, Alexander, would be more thrilled than I would ever be. Is it scary? Hell, yeah. It really makes you wonder though. Where do we go after we die. And if demons really exists. What I’ve read about the house and watched the documentary, it’s too damn compelling to refuse. Just by watching Brad Herrick speak about it gave me chills. The horror that was filled inside his eyes when even mentioning the entities name. Started with a ‘A’ but can’t remember. Ancor? Arc? Oh, I forget. Fuck it.


“Oh, don’t you worry your little heart. We’re almost there.” I slightly pushed him. That was a mistake. A car blared it’s horn while it past.


“Jesus-fucking-Christ!” he exlaimed, “are you trying to kill me?”


I had to laugh a bit. But was realized it wasn’t a smart move on my part. “Are you okay?” I asked.


“No! I just shat myself, “he said. “Yeah, I’m fine.” He shook his head.


We were steadily approaching the road shortly. And if I knew Alexander, he’ll enjoy it.


Alexander and I finally arrived. Alexander started at the newly built house. Scratched his head a bit.


“What is this place? Is this the surprise?”


Well, yeah, duh!


“Remember reading about families killing their entire family then themselves?” I asked.


Alexander shook his head slowly.


“No… should I?


I nodded my head. How in the world did Alexander miss the breaking news. It was covered on OWB-7 channel news. OWB stood for Old Willows Brook. A local channel here unlike FOX news or CNN news.


“You’re suppose to. It’s the infamous Elm House. Not Freddy Krueger’house. How the hell could you miss the news on this house?”


Alexander shrugged his shoulders. He looked pretty dumbstruck.


“So it’s said that na evil entity would force the residents to do evil things. Evil things like murdering their family members then themselves. Once he possessed residents had done all those evil things, the entity would enslave their souls inside the house.”


“Ohhh,” Alexander said. “So it’s like the Amityville Horror house?”


Bingo! That’s what I interpreted from hearing about the house. Besides the whole enslaving souls part.


“Who lives there now?” Alexander asked.


“A new family. But the house that once stood there doesn’t anymore.”


“They tore it down?”


I shrugged my shoulders. “Apparently, a teenager named Brad had said the house vanished . And what stands now is a new home that a new family built.”


“That’s dark.” Alexander nodded.


I knew Alexander would find it fascinating. I just knew it.


“You think we can ask the home owners if they experienced paranormal activity?” Alexander asked. His eyes full of curiosity and wonder.


“We could. why not?”


And right before we were able to knock on the door. The door swung open. A man in his mid-thirties with gruff beard stood in the doorway.


“How can I help you boys?” he asked.


“Is this place haunted?” Alexander asked?


The man laughed. Shook his head.


“We get that all the time. We haven’t had any ghosts show up. I assume you’ve seen the news documentary, huh?”


I nodded. But Alexander didn’t.


“That Brad boy was mentally ill. Of what I’ve gathered. Wasn’t really right in the head.”


Odd. He made sense to me. And his eyes spoke the truth. I could see the horror in his eyes. Anyone insane wouldn’t have that look in their eyes. Brad experienced something alright. So, it definitely boggled me why this man would even deny it. Unless he was sick and tired of people knocking his door. That’s more plausible.


“Well, I got to do some lawn work. Have a great day, boys.” The man said and closed the door. Without even hearing us say, “Goodbye.” We just got a door slammed in our face. How rude.


“That was interesting,” Alexander said, sarcastically. “Did it even happen?”


I nodded my head.


“I think the guy doesn’t want people knocking on his door all the time.”


“Ah. That makes sense. No aliens here, the government would say about Area-51. Now that makes total sense.”


At least, I was hoping for some exciting tales from the guy. Guess we”ll never know what happened in the Elm House. A documentary book would be killer. “Brad Herrick spills all about The Elm House.” Shit! I’ll buy that in a heart beat.


“So, where to now?” I asked.


“Alisha’s party starts at 8 P.M.”


Around seven o’clock or so, her parents would be gone out of town. She’d have the house to herself. It’ll be awesome. Couldn’t barely wait.


“Okay, we have a couple hours to kill.”


Then my stomach started to growl. Sounded like the best idea was to stuff it before Alisha’s party. Could be quite possible I’d even get lucky with her. After all, she was the most popular girl in school. And some would say always down to fuck if given the right curcumstances.


“Let’s grab something to eat,” I said. Yeah, let’eat. I can eat a whole damn horse right about now.


Took one last bite from my cheeseburger. The grease dripped down my finger tips. But damn, it was so damn good. I wanted to order another one. But my stomach would hate me afterwards. I didn’t want to go down that road with my stomach.


We left the burger joint and headed towards Alisha’s house. It was almost time to party. Maybe get some. If I’m lucky. Get her drunk enough, maybe we’ll fuck. Who knows. Perhaps, I’d be stuck with one of her duff friends. Duff, a friend that’s normally the ugly one within the group. You got your hot girl that guys wanna bone. Then you got that duff girl that no one wants to touch with a hundred foot pole. Unless, you’re desperate and don’t mind.


Besides, Alisha had a particular type of guy she was into. Sure, we’ve been friends since grammar school and all. But I was never really brave enough to put the moves on her. Always hesitate when it came to girls. If I’d knew them for a long time, it’ll be easier for me to talk with them. But as far as sexually advancing on a girl that I liked. Pratically impossible. I was more like Stan in the TV show South Park when it came to wanting to kiss a girl. Except the whole pukinh on her bit. Just didn’t know how to make moves on a girl.


“You shoved that burger down like you never ate before,” Alexander teased.


Embarrassingly, yeah, Alexander was right. I have a bad habit of stuffing my face way too fast. Not very healthy either. Just the way I’ve always ate. And it’s hard to break. Kinda like a coke-head. Can’t break the habit. Unless, he’s really determined. On my defense, it’s not taking the time to chew my food. When the food tastes so damn good, it’s impossible to slow down.


“You’re right about that.”


“You think?” Alexander said, chuckling.


Alisha’s house was just a couple blocks away. Not a long walk. And the cool breeze felt comfortable against my bare arms.


“You recognize that vehicule?” Alexander pointed ou at a vehicule parked several feet ahead from us.


I looked at the hearse. It had the same color and that specific golden button, alright. Why was it parked there? I felt kinda uncomfortable. There wasn’t something right. Perhaps, the driver knew that Alexander laughed. Something was definitely creepy about it. Maybe it was just in my head. Getting spooked for no reason.


“You think there’s anyone in there?” Alexander asked.


I shrugged my shoulders. Don’t know if I want to find out either.”


Nope. Just don’t get any funny ideas.”


“What funny idea?”


“You know, breaking into a parked hearse out of curiosity.”


“That wouldn’t be me. I’m into exploring an old abandon house or na old creepy asylum kinda guy,” he said.


When we arrived to Alisha’s block, there were people gathered around some house. Smoke filled the air, and the sounds of sirene blared. Red and blue lights illuminated nearby houses. And it couldn’t be any good.


“What’s going on?” Alexander asked, approaching closer to Alisha’s house.


Some of the crowd could be seen covering their mouths in shock. Some of the shook their heads in disbelief. And a few even held out their cellphones out, recording the inferno.


As Alexander and I approached closer and made our way through the crowd. I was in shock. Alexander even looked shock, too. Sure, accidental fires happen from time to time. But was it even an accidental fire or on purpose?


A nagging thought crept inside my mind. The thought of the hearse parked on the side of the street. Don’t ever laugh when a hearse goes by, or you’ll be the next to die. The eeriness of the hearse. Something wasn’t right about it. But I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe I was just paranoid?


“Alexander. Paul.” A tall and Shaggy-looking dude approached us. “The shit’s horrible,” he said. It was Rob, Alisha’s friend from next door. Those two were on and off. Not really dating. More like, friend with benefits. Well, that’s what the rumors were. Were they? Not entirely sure. Then again, Alisha was always loose. She enjoyed it. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Not one damn bit. Sex is great.


Rob stared at the blazing flames from Alisha’s house.


“What happened?” I asked.


Rob shook his head. “Her house just went up in the flames. Like, ‘poof!”


Just like “poof”? One minute the house was fine then burst into flames?


“Where is she?” Alexander asked, sounding worried.


Rob sighed, placing his arms across his chest. “She’s gone. Gone. I was just outside when her house went into flames. Couldn’t even get near. The fire was so intense.”


“A house can’t just go whoosh in flames…” I trailed off a bit. Thinking about it for a second. Something had to happen. Things just don’t suddenly happen without a reason. Someone did this. Or perhaps it was a malicious force behind it?


I’m telling you what I saw. The house went up in flames within a second. There were no signs of smoke, or anything. A blink of the eye, the house was engulfed.” He pointed to the house. “It’s fucking crazy, guys!”


Now that crazy thought crept back up inside my mind. The hears sitting there. Almost like a bad omen. A bad omen that Alexander had caused. Could it be the driver? Or even worse! A malicious entity just like in the Elm House, claiming lives.


We all stood there and stared at the engulfed burning house. The warmth radiating against my bare skin. The smell of smoke filled the starry night. The eerie thought of my friend burning alive inside the house. Only one could imagine the screams of horror filling the house’s walls. In addition, the dread panic sensation caving inside your chest. The agony of having your skin scorched and blistering away. In your final moments, you’re only left with is your charred remains.


It was horrible to even think of how she spent her last moments od life. The sadness choked my heart. We knew her since grammar school, and now she’s gone forever.


The times we had were amazing. Now, memories of those fun times resided in our minds. She was life of the party. Loved to laugh and smile. Loved to have a good time. Not in that sexual kinda sense. Just loved being around people. Making them feel good, too. Whether it’s doing stupid shit with them or having sex. Alisha would always be remembered um our hearts.


Moments later, the burning house began to crumble upon itself. It seemed like the fire fightsr’s attempts to extinguish the flames were futile.


Now the most puzzling question was whether or nor this was done on purpose. Could it be? Maybe. And how could a house burn so fast?


Three days had passed since Alisha’s funeral, and her absence had torn away at my soul. Outside was sunny, but inside my soul felt gloomy and rainy. I felt like heavy rain clouds hung over my head.


After the three days of her funeral, my solitude felt comforting. My bedrooms walls felt warm. My bed hugged me and consoled me. My whole entire body weighed like a boulder. My mind tried to rationalize how it happened, but it only returned with a fatal error. It didn’t add up, and perhaps the logistics failed to add up.


Groaning sounds echoed from my vocal cords while getting up. My stomach growled with haste. The taste of food hadn’t pleasured my stomach in days. The loss of appetite grew it seemed.


Perhaps, a bit of sunshine would’t hurt so bad. Alexander had been trying to reach me, but the need to hang out or chat felt null. The thought came across my mind to reach out to Alexander. A lack of communication can cause discord in a friendship.


My cell phone sat on my nightstand, and my body laid on the side of the bed. Moments later, the phone vibrated.


“Yeah?” I answered the cellphone. “Hello” I looked at the phone’s screen. Alexander called me, but he’s not responding. “Dickhead, what’s up?” I grunted then hung up the phone. “Asshole”.


After lifting my dead weight out of my bed, I headed out my bedroom door.


My eyes had to adjust to the sun light. The warmth radiated against my skin, and the wind blew through my hair. The smell of freshly cut grass filled my nostrils. The sounds of a lawn mower running nearby filling the street.


It felt like pebbles of darkness were chipped away after being outside. It became comforting and peaceful. My storm inside my heavy heart subsided, and for once life pumped through my veins.


Alexander’s house wasn’t too far of a walk from my house. A couple blocks give or take, and then I’ll soon be approaching his front gate.


The birds chirped their happy melody while perched in the trees. The squirrels ran about and chased each other. People outside their home doing lawn work. A slender woman stood outside trimming down her front lawn’s bushes.


Soon, Alexander’s house would be coming into view. The house can’t be missed by anyone. His house’s sidings were painted a very ugly color.


Then that vehicule parked on the curb just a few houses down from Alexander’s house. The damn hearse with the golden button. Now that can’t be coincidental. Same damn color. Something was wrong. Very wrong. And it can’t just be a coincidence. This was beginning to be a bad omen.


After approaching Alexander’s front gate, the gate door swung open and closed behind me. There was a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. Perhaps, the forgetfulness of eating was driving my stomach insane. But maybe not even that. Maybe my instincts forewarned me that something  had happened. But what?


I knocked on the door. But there wasn’t any response. No one opened the door. So, I knocked again. But this time, I knocked harder.


I grunted then headed to his backyard.


His mother’s garden sprouted new vegetables. The backyard pool brought back memories of Alisha. We would all play Marco-Polo, and we would attempt to create a whirl pool. While the remembrance of Alisha dunking my head underneath the water, my darkness shrouded over my shoulders. They were good times for sure.


Something hanging from the tree. While the object swayed slightly back and forth, the overwhelming of dread pulsated through my core. What was it? Who was it? It better not be wo I thought it would be. Oh please, don’t be who I think it’ll be. Please, for the love of God. Don’t.


My feet rushed towards him as fast as I could. There was a note attached to his shirt.


“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Alisha’s death was my fault. I laughed at the hearse,” the note read in bright red ink.


“You’re a stupid motherfucker!” I tried to lift him, but it only made it worse. He was heavy. Not in a fat kind of way. Muscular. Plus the dead weight. “You’re a dumb fuck! What about me? You fucking piece of shit!”


A sound of a twig snapping behind me echoed. After my body turned around to see who was there, my face was met with something hard and metallic.


My vision was blurred, and the world’s noises became distorted. The smell of iron oxide filled my nostrils. My nose felt broken, and my upper lip felt swollen.


My head bounced around while someone was dragging me.


“Stop!” I cried out. “Let me go!”


Everything turned to darkness, and I felt lightheaded. My mind boggled trying to rationalize everything. The puzzle didn’t add up right.


The sensation of my body being lifted up by someone then thrown. A loud thud sounded after my body landed in something foreign. There was a sound something closing, and I felt claustrophobic. I’m going to die, ain’t I? The sensation of dread fueled my body. But I was too weak and dazed to even attempt to escape. Think this was my doom. Somehow I had to fight. Somehow I would have to escape.


My breaths felt short, and the confined space drove my mind insane. It was dark and panic struck my brain. Anxiety overwhelmed my entire body.


My hands felt something soft and smooth. It dawned to me the fabric was made of silk. Behind my head felt like a pillow. It was soft and small, and then I realized where I was.


I struggled to escape my confinement, but the more I struggle made the anxiety even worse. My fingernails tore at the fabric. Finally, my fingernails felt sore after scratching at something hard. It felt like wood.


My muffled screams for help within my confinement proved useless. I didn’t laugh at the hearse, so I shouldn’t be punished. Yet, here I was attempting to escape my own inevitable demise. The thought of being buried alive shook my core. There had to be a way to escape.


While the more I scratched at the coffin’s wood, my fingernails stung in pain. My cries for help smothered by the coffin’s satin fabric. My punches at the coffin’s wood were futile.


Oxygen was running thin, and my time was shortening. The hope that once glimmered faded like the sunset. My demise would arrive in seconds, and the sound of my beating heart crawled. Everything around me became dark, and my body felt non-existent.


Memories filled my brain as the synapses fired their last working moments. My body felt cold and numb. Time felt disorted and confusion swallowed my mind.


“No,” I said, weakly, before everything turned to black. My last breath of life was exhaled. There was nothing but emptiness. There was no white tunnel. There was nothing but darkness. Pure darkness. Nothing else.


A television quickly changed to the breaking news segment. A anchorwoman with long hazel hair could be seen speaking to the camera. In the background showed a craze-eyed man’s mugshot. His hair was unkempt. Oily and dirty. His eyes radiated with a intense stare. And then man’s lips formed a open smile. Almost like a crazed smile.


“A man is held in custody today after being caught burying a person alive. In his testemony from the police, he said, “ They laughed at him as he drove the hearse with the golden button. Now they all had to pay.”


The news channel switched to a police officer talking.


“Today, we’ve apprehended a suspect after investigating several recent deaths. We’ve been investigating this for a while and finally apprehended him. We can not release the victims names at this time. But the community can now rest a sure that they’re now safe.”


Bill Hodgins, a forty-two year old male, worked for McCullings Funeral Home. It’s told that he had suffered a severe mental illness. His family stated that after his wife left him, he began showing major depression. Bill’s family also said that they tried to get him to counseling but were not succesful. They’d apologized for the loss of several victim’s family and ask to be forgiven. Bill’s mother could be seen on camera crying as she read from the paper thar she’d wrote. She seemed to be a very good person and tried hard as a mother. But sometimes darkness lives inside everyone. Just waiting for the perfect moment to be unleash. Sometimes, the person doesn’t know it yet. Until they lose themselves.


Bill was sentenced life without parole. But years down the road, that’ll all change in a heart beat. The once safe community would be faced with another murder spree.


In 2022, Bill Hodgins escaped prison, And he still hasn’t been caught. The police urged that if anyone has seen Bill to not approach and to call the authorizes soon as possible. Bill’s extremely dangerous and may be armed. Keep your windows locked. Doors locked. And be on a look out for any strange man inside a hearse with a golden button. And remember to never laugh when the hearse with that specific golden button goes by, or you will be the next to die.




Envoyé: 10:29 Fri, 3 February 2023 by : Pereira Pinto Maria age : 16