A Family Walks Home

📅 Published on May 10, 2020

“A Family Walks Home”

Written by Michael Whitehouse
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 9 minutes

Rating: 9.67/10. From 6 votes.
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It was late evening. The sun was dipping in the sky, but the dark had not claimed the night just yet. Lynsey did not agree with keeping the kids out that late. The next day was a school day after all, but Sam had persuaded her that she should let them go to the meal. Sam’s cousin had just published a book and so the family got together at their favorite little restaurant to celebrate. One of Sam and Lynsey’s kids had fun, the other did not.

Emily was 13. She was at that tender age where no matter what she was doing, the last people she wanted to be with in public were her parents and her little brother. She had sat in the corner of the restaurant as they served the food, glued to her phone and smirking at private messages her friends were sending. Her little brother was five years younger. The difference between Will and his teenage big sister might as well have been a chasm. He loved being around Emily, but an eight-year-old did not provide much entertainment, so she shooed him away any time he came near her or her phone.

The only time Emily looked up from her phone that evening was when her grandfather made a quip about the town’s past. The family had been there for generations, going back at least a few hundred years. That was a point of pride with them. But while the members of her family were chatting about the historic traditions of the town, Emily and Will’s grandfather enjoyed reminding everyone that the town was a dark place. In his 80s, the grandfather started off with a smile describing a murder that had happened when he was a boy. Lynsey interrupted her father-in-law before the details became too gruesome. Sam laughed.

After the meal, Sam, Lynsey and their two children wished the extended family well and headed back home. It was only a 15-minute walk or so, and though Will complained about having to walk, Sam had wanted a beer with his meal and so refused to drive. Lynsey suspected that was his real reason for being so keen to attend his cousin’s celebration. Sam was not an alcoholic, but he wore the label heavy drinker with pride.

It was autumn and though winter was still at least two months away, there was a definite chill in the air. Colder than usual for that time of year. Lynsey held Will close to her side as they walked. Sam led the way, and Emily achieved the miraculous by negotiating the streets while almost never looking up from her phone.

“Did that murder really happen in our town like Granddad said?” Will asked.

Sam turned around with a wry grin, his footsteps echoing in the empty street. “Yup”

“Sam!” Lynsey drew him an annoyed look. “You’ll give Will nightmares.”

“Come here, buddy.” Sam lifted his arm. Will left his mother’s side and clung to his father’s instead.

They moved through the town streets. The sun finally lost its nightly battle and surrendered beneath the horizon. Darkness fell across the town, and with it came an eerie silence. As they walked, Sam continued to goad his son. “This town is full of gruesome stuff like that, Will.”

“R-really?” Will stammered, beginning to feel both the cold and his father’s stories weighing down on him.

Emily looked up from her phone for once. “Dad talks some amount of rubbish, Will.”

“Don’t talk to your father like that, Emily,” said Lynsey with a stern voice. “Even if it is true.”

“What sort of stuff, Dad?” Like any child Will’s age, he wanted the shadowy door of knowledge to remain shut, but could not help peer through the gap when it was left open by an adult.

“Well, the year you were born some kids were playing near the old quarry. No one saw them again. And just three years before that when we moved back here, I was out driving home one evening and hit something with my car.”

“A deer?” asked Will.

“If deer have jaws filled with sharp teeth and red eyes, then yeah. I reckon if I were smaller, say, the size of a kid, I’d have been a goner.”

“Stop it, Sam.” Lynsey opened her arms for Will to return to her, but he continued to hang on to his father’s side, entranced by the stories.

Sam looked down at his son’s frightened expression and laughed. “Nothing wrong with a good scary story. I loved them when I was a kid.”

“Will’s different, Dad,” said Emily. “You know he’s sensitive.”

“Am not!” Will shouted. Then his voice stammered again. “Did… Did you really hit something with teeth and glowing eyes, dad?”

“Yeah, damned thing then chased my car for a mile and a half. Don’t know what it was.”

“It… It doesn’t come into town, does it?” Will stammered again.

Sam looked down at his son and gave another gleeful grin. “I’ve heard rumors that a police officer went missing just a few weeks back.”

Will turned and looked back at his mother with fear flickering in his eyes.

“Sam, you’re frightening Will,” said Lynsey.

“Nah, I’m only joking. It never happened, Will.”

Lynsey let out a sigh of relief.

But Sam wasn’t one for giving in that easily. “To be fair though, the town was founded on some really horrific events.”

Lynsey sighed, this time with frustration.

“Don’t sigh, Honey. It’s true.” Sam pulled Will in closer to his side, pointing to the dimly lit houses and streets around them. “The town has been founded twice. The first time was by a religious group. They were a leper colony. When other settlers came in later on, they wanted to buy the land from the lepers as it was a great spot. The lepers refused. Then they conveniently disappeared.”

“Disappeared?” asked Will, his fear overcome by curiosity.

Sam nodded. “That’s what I was taught at school when we were kids. One day, for no reason, the lepers abandoned their settlement. Apparently for some religious reason, like the earth was bad around here. The new settlers then burned it down, built a church, and started afresh.”

“What do you think happened, Dad?” said Will.

“Maybe the town is cursed!” Sam let out a comically loud maniacal laugh.

“Sam! No more!” Lynsey had had enough. If Will was going to be up half the night, she would have to sit up with him while Sam slept off the drink.

“Okay, okay. It’s just an old story. It was so long ago it probably didn’t happen.”

“It’s getting cold,” said Emily, once again looking up from her phone, unamused by her entire family.

Sam looked to the night sky as a chilly breeze wandered down the street towards them “Yeah, I think it might rain. C’mon, I know a shortcut. Down this way.” He then led his family along another street and then turned to enter a long narrow lane.

Will stopped in his tracks.

“What’s the matter?” asked Sam.

“See, you’ve got him spooked with your stories!” Lynsey walked over to Will and put her arm around him, finally taking him away from his father. She spoke in a soothing voice. “It’s okay, Will. If we go down here we’ll be home in no time. I’ll make you a cup of hot chocolate before bed to warm you up. What do you say?”

Will looked worried.

“Is it your dad’s stupid stories?” asked Lynsey.

Will shook his head. “No, it’s another story I heard.”

Sam’s eyes lit up. “About this lane?”

“Yes. The big kids told me to stay away from it at night.”

“I haven’t heard that,” said Emily. “The kids are just trying to wind you up, Will. If it gets us home quicker, good. Besides, I’ve walked down here loads of times coming home and I’m still here, aren’t I?”

“After dark?” asked Will.

“You can be such a loser sometimes, Will.” Emily moved ahead of her family.

Lynsey peered down the lane, which cut into the night like a pointed finger. “It does look a little dark down there?”

“Now who’s freaking out our son?” Sam walked forward. “There’s nothing down here but trash and a way home. Come on!”

Taking Sam’s lead, they moved forward, though Will stayed nestled into his mother’s side. As they walked, the moon came out occasionally from behind black clouds which slowly edged across the night sky. There was no other lighting in the lane, except for the odd fragment of yellow coming from the houses on either side. But even that light was mostly blocked by tall brick walls at the end of each garden.

“Jesus, this place is a dump,” said Emily.

She was referring to the heaps of garbage and trash which lined the sides of the narrow lane. People had obviously been dumping bags of rubbish in it for some time. The occasional old television and carpet nestled between the piles of black rubbish bags. Sam joked about it being a good place to dispose of a body.

“I don’t like it here,” said Will quietly to his mother.

“Me neither, Honey. But we won’t be here long.”

The lane continued on, and Sam was joking about something or other when he stopped suddenly. “Did you hear that?”

“Stop it, Sam,” said Lynsey, her voice angry and tired.

“Wait…” Emily looked on, her head tilted slightly as she listened for something.

The town was still in silence, the occasional car off in the distance the only noise to punctuate the night. But then, there was something else.

“What is that?” asked Emily, finally putting her phone away in her pocket.

Will whispered. “There’s someone in the lane with us.”

The noise was like a rustling sound, though occasionally it sounded more like cloth being dragged on the ground through wet, congealed puddles.

“It must be someone putting out more trash,” Sam pointed to the heaps of rubbish on either side of them stacked against the garden walls. “Nothing to worry about.”

The family moved on, but as they did so the sound grew louder, until another sound came – the distinct chinking and rattling of a glass bottle being kicked by an unseen foot along the ground.

“Who’s there!?” asked Sam, loudly.

Will was now trembling. “We should go back.”

“We’re nearly out the other side,” said Emily, shivering in the cold. “It’s probably just a rat or something.”

Sam stopped as a shadow flinched nearby, only to join the darkness around it. “What was that?”

“I told you, a rat or something,” said Emily.

“Must have been a pretty big rat.”

Lynsey scowled at her husband. “Sam, if you’re trying to scare us again…”

“I swear, I saw something crawling about over there on all fours.”

“Let’s just get home…” came Emily’s now nervous reply.

“Yes,” said Sam, his voice unsure for the first time.

They walked on, their footsteps joined by the occasional shuffling sound which seemed to be following them down the lane from behind.

The exit was now in sight. Emily pointed to a bunch of garbage in the middle of the lane. “Christ, there’s a lot of rubbish around here.”

“Don’t blaspheme,” said Lynsey.

Sam placed his hand on Emily’s shoulder, guiding her. “We’ll walk around it.”

“I want to go home,” said Will.

“We’re nearly out,” Sam said as he passed the garbage on the ground. Up close, it was more a bunch of rags than anything else, oily and blackened with grime. There seemed to be nothing to them, until from within those rags a hand emerged. It reached out suddenly as if from nowhere and wrapped its fingers around Sam’s ankle. He screamed and kicked out. His family froze in disbelief as now another hand reached out, grabbing Sam’s knee and yanking him to the ground. It was hard to see the shape beneath the rags, but a ray of moonlight struck the left hand, revealing it to be blackened and rotten. Something shuddered from beneath the tangled mess of torn cloth.

As Sam’s family rushed to help him, a wheezing, choking cough could be heard in the night. Lynsey and the two children pulled on Sam’s arms trying to free him. The rags on the ground responded, hands and all, and climbed up Sam’s body like a cockroach. Now sounds emanated from around the family. Low guttural groans echoed out, as what they once believed to be garbage lining the lane walls revealed themselves to be huddled, shivering figures. The people from the shadows stumbled towards the family at speed. Will cried out as a sea of rotten hands reached around his mother’s face, thrusting their fingers in her mouth and yanking her head back. A loud crack was heard as bone and cartilage broke inside her body.  She gave a muffled scream before her cries were covered by bony fingers, and no matter how much Will clung on, he could not save her from the things in the lane.

Nor could he save his father, who was now obscured by the rags and hands on the ground, which shuddered as a single quivering mass as they fed upon whatever remained of Sam. Emily cried out for help, phone in hand trying to dial out. But the malevolence in that lane did not care for technology or fear it; the figures simply pulled Emily by the hair into the darkness, tearing at her flesh which flaked off from her bones like charcoal as she disappeared.

All Will could do was run. Being smaller than the others, he fled through the legs of one of the stumbling shadows. Its rags dangled across his face, smearing grime with it and releasing a stench of rotten meat. Will scrambled on his hands and knees underneath the crooked figure and then beyond. Stumbling footsteps followed him at first, but then diminished.

Will was found an hour later by a local police officer doing his rounds. The boy was covered in dirt, running wide-eyed and in a state of shock. No trace of his family was ever found, and it’s become a bit of an urban legend out that way. Kids tell the story of the lane and how no one should ever enter it after dark. “A family went missing down there,” is usually given as the reason.

As for Will, he was adopted by his Aunt and refused to live in the town. Especially when he overheard his Grandfather talking about the lane’s original name and its origin – Leper’s Way, the very place where legend said the area’s first inhabitants were burned alive to make way for the town as it stands today.

Rating: 9.67/10. From 6 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Michael Whitehouse
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Michael Whitehouse


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Michael Whitehouse:

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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