The Frozen Home

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”


“Yes. What’s your emergency, ma’am?”

“My husband,” the woman panted. “He’s…uhh…he’s…” She was breathing hard and talking fast, mumbling words.

“Where is your husband? Ma’am?”

“He’s uh—downstairs—I mean upstairs. He’s upstairs.”

“And where are you right now?”

“I’m uhh—I don’t know. I fell down a…umm… I’m in some room in the ground. I don’t know what this is,” the woman cried.

“Are you in the basement?”

“We don’t have a goddamn basement,” she screamed. “It’s so dark down here.”

“Im going to need you calm down, ma’am. Can you do that for me?

After a few deep breaths, the woman responded, “Yes.”

“What’s your name?”


“Okay, good, good. What’s your emergency, Cynthia?”

“It’s my husband?”

“Is he in need of medical assistance?”

“What? No—no.”


“He just killed that cop.”

“Excuse me? Can you repeat that for me, ma’am?”

“And he’s going to kill me,” she wept. Then the call disconnected.


Officer Gray parked his cruiser in front of a beautiful two-story home with a large front yard surrounded by a white picket fence. The exact kind of home his wife had bugged him about buying once the baby arrived. Looking at it now, up close, he could see what she meant by peaceful. Living in the city was akin to staying in a zoo, but with no cages and minimal security. But this house—the street; a neighborhood watch sign embellished every lawn, no stray dogs, no critters, or crickets, just the air and the sounds of peace.

The professionalism returned as he shoved the beauty of this neighborhood to the back of his mind. There was an emergency call from this address involving an officer. He was first to the scene and had to wait for backup; dispatcher told him more units were on the way.

As he sat parked in front of the home, he thought this was another prank call. In the past two days alone, there’d been a dozen of them involving violence on police. There was no other cop car on the street, the front door of the home was closed, porch light on, as far as he could tell, there was nothing out of the ordinary.

He grabbed the radio, “Dispatch, come in.”

“Go ahead.”

“Yeah, uhh, I’m here at the Center Parkway residence and everything looks good here. Think it might be another one of those prank calls.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yeah. Call off the backup. I’ll check it out, myself.”

“Copy that.”

Officer Gray had been cruising the streets all day and was ready to be go home; the quicker he wrapped up here, the faster he could get home. Once he stepped out of the car, the cold breeze felt so good that he just stood there next to his vehicle, welcoming it as he stretched his limbs. He stepped over the grass, crossed the sidewalk and stopped at the fence. As he unlatched the gate and walked through, that wonderful chill left him. The air was quiet, calm, even smelled differently. Still, he continued up the path toward the home.

A few more steps and it felt like his heart stopped. So, he slowed his stride and rubbed around his chest. It was a bizarre sensation, but the tightness went away just as it came. He looked around; the yard, the street, everything normal, except the way he was feeling.

He took a minute to gather himself before he continued up the steps to the porch. As he knocked on the door, he heard a woman screaming from inside the home.

Gray banged on the door and shouted, “Police. Open up.”

When no one answered, he grabbed the doorknob and twisted. Locked. Then he took a step back and saw a footprint right beside the doorknob. It made him pause but he kicked it anyways, in the same spot and it blew open. Right away, an opera tune blasted away as if the door acted as some sort of sound barrier, but where did the scream come from? The oddness didn’t end there. The foyer was too tall. Taller than the home looked outside. There were steps to the second floor to his right, and a door to his left with living spaces ahead of him. Between the lyrics of the dreadful opera man pounding away at his eardrums, he heard a distinctive scratching coming from the second floor.

“Police,” he yelled again. But no one answered. So, he ascended the stairway cautiously with enough time to realize that this was no prank. He grabbed the radio on his shoulder. “This is Gray, dispatch come in.”

Like the occupants of the home, dispatch didn’t answer him. Is the world ignoring me today?

At the top of the steps, he looked down both sides of the hallway and they were identical; a door on each side and one at the end. “Hello,” he called out. No one answered or could be he didn’t hear. Seemed like the opera singer was purposely impeding his investigation. “Hello, police!” he screamed once more, then listened.

“In here…Help!” Finally, an answer.

He hustled to the sound on the right side. “Police. I’m coming in,” he shouted. Then he squeezed the door handle, twisted and pushed it open. Gun first, he peeked in, checked the corners, followed the wall to the back of the room where a woman lay on a bed, handcuffed to the frame. She’d been beaten badly, was dirty, looked like she hadn’t slept or eaten for days.

He closed the door behind him, and the volume of the opera tune eased a bit.

“Help,” she begged.

“It’s all right, ma’am,” he assured her as he finished scanning the room. “Your husband. Is he still in the home?”

She nodded.

He walked around the side of the bed and grabbed her wrists. The handcuffs were the same police-issued pair as his. Then he remembered, “The other cop? Where’s the other officer?” he screamed at her…couldn’t help himself but if another cop had been injured or even killed, he had to know. “Miss?”

She wouldn’t answer him, flinched at every word he said, even looked confused. But more than that, the poor lady seemed traumatized.

“God Dammit!” He hurried as he unlocked the handcuffs with his own keys while keeping an eye on the door. Once he freed her, he helped her off the bed.

She struggled, but eventually stood on her own.

He tried the radio again, and nothing happened. “Shit. Okay, follow me.”

As she trailed him, she grabbed his shoulder, then her hand went down to this back and around his waist. He didn’t make too much of it, though.

“Cynthia, right?”


Back in the hallway, they talked close and loud.

“Your husband—he got a weapon?”

“Na—na—no, but he’s got this place wired with traps.”


“Yeah, like boobie-traps.”

“I didn’t have any trouble coming up.” It was annoying him, having to shout.


“Where is he?”

“I don’t know—the kitchen. That’s where he does his experiments.”

Heh? Experiments? Not your husband? The cop? Where’s the other officer?”

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“You called 911, right?”

She didn’t answer and he looked back to see her shaking her head.

“You said your husband killed a cop.”

Her eyes went wide, as if she were staring at a ghost. “I didn’t call anyone,” she said. “Not yet.”

“What?” he stepped more into her personal space. “What does that mean?”

She didn’t answer, and retreated into her traumatized, silent state.

Confused and irritated, he shook his head and pulled her along.

Once they made it to the first floor, the foyer looked normal, not like the weird scene upon his entrance. “Where’s the kitchen?” He looked at her as she remained on the second step of the stairway.

Her eyes darted to the door next to the front, and he followed her there, “What’s in there?” he asked.

She didn’t answer.

“Stay there,” he ordered her, then inched over to the door with his gun leading the way.

“He told me there was a trap by the door. That if I tried to leave, I will fall into a dark space and never return.”

It sounded more like a riddle than a warning. Something was wrong with this place, sure. But he was a skeptic to all this boobie-trap nonsense. He took a deep breath, and opened the door. It was an empty closet and he turned to her with a bit of relief in his shoulders. His offensive posture softened and he turned to her, shrugging. “Nothing.”

Then, the opera song shut off and a loud snap erupted from behind him. He turned, and a large axe fell from the ceiling of the office and impaled him.


On the second step, Cynthia stood, frozen in shock, corrupted by horror.

From the back of the first floor, her husband came into the foyer in full medical attire; lab coat, glasses, boots… Then he looked up at her and smirked.

Unsurprised by the officer’s presence and ultimate demise, he shuffled over to the closet door and shoved him inside. On the side of the door, he flipped a switch and the axe retracted back into the ceiling, and the closet door closed automatically.

With a gentle face and kind eyes, the horrible man crept toward his wife, and looked up at her from the bottom step. He squeezed his fist and punched her in the gut.

She bent over, holding her stomach, coughing and crying.

Then, he grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her up. “I don’t know how you called the cops but if you can’t be a good girl, and let me work, I’ll have to kill you before we even begin and then I’ll need to find another test subject to send back in time…Maybe your sister, heh? So please, Cynthia. No more visitors. No more surprises. Or I will toss you in that closet there and call your sister over. Okay?”

She only nodded when he squeezed her hair and dug his nails into the back of her scalp.

“Now, get upstairs and shut up.”

He slapped her once more, and she stood there holding her cheek. He’d threatened that if she’d left the perimeter while in the middle of his experiment, that if somehow, she made it past his traps, that the field surrounding the home would rip her in half. He’d said that while he worked, that their home would be frozen in time, and she physically couldn’t survive stepping from one place in time to another.

But that cop? How’d he get in? How did he even get here? He said that she called 911, but she didn’t have a phone, not until now. She reached under her dingy shirt and removed the cell phone that she’d taken from the officer back in her room.

With her husband out of sight, the opera tune resumed.

She decided to take control of her life. To be the master of her destiny. If crossing over would be the end of her… so be it. She’d do it as a free woman. But first, she wanted revenge.

Once she gathered the courage, Cynthia walked down the last step and sauntered into the kitchen.  No turning back now.

With her husband’s back to her, he was busy writing notes in his notepad. In front of him, above the island counter, a holographic image of their home amazed her, and the bright blue field surrounding it was a magnificent sight. But her freedom trumped the stunning image. She grabbed a rolling pin from the stove and hit him in the back of his head with all the strength she had left. Then, a few more times for good measure. He fell over the hologram and slumped over the island counter. The music stopped, the lighting in the home flickered, and as the evil man lay unconscious, she dropped the cooking tool and bolted.

She flung the front door open, and the daylight smacked her in the face, much harder than the slaps and fists her husband had punished her with for the past few days—weeks, she couldn’t tell, but she hadn’t been outside in a while.

Did her husband falling over his experiment turn off the device? Did she save herself from him and the field at the same time?

The sun stopped her momentum, blinded her, but the force-field was down. It got her thinking… And she knew then, in that entryway, that she was free from him and his wicked experiments. She took off from the front door like a track star leaving the blocks. Not a second later, a loud snap echoed, and the porch floor opened up, and she fell into a dark space.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: