The Winter Visitor – Short Horror Story

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There are footsteps leading up to my front door in the freshly fallen snow, and none leading away. I noticed them from my bedroom window this morning, but I haven’t left the house in days.

My house is old, so it’s always been noisy, filled with air moving through the ducts and wood creaking beneath my feet. Last night, when the moon shone through the bedroom window and the clock ticked on the nightstand, I heard noises in the hallway that I shrugged off to be the foundation settling. But now I’m wondering if the noises I heard were from a winter visitor who snuck up to my house in the quiet of the night, the snow crunching beneath their feet, making soft imprints in the ground.

Since the snowstorm I’ve been hanging out in my bedroom, reading books and watching TV. Except for myself, the house has been empty, or so I thought. I looked around to find out whether the person who made those footprints entered my house.

I checked every closet, underneath the bed, even the attic. No one, or nothing, out of the ordinary.

Tonight I hear the noises again. I investigate, walking as light as I can while avoiding stepping on the noisy parts of the floor. By now, I know which parts of the floor creak when walking on them. When I search, I halt my breath, slowly and quietly breathing in and out, walking as silent as possible in case I happen upon someone in the hallway.

Nothing. It’s been a full day with those footprints in the snow, and no sign of anyone else. I don’t know who made those footprints or whether I’m alone in this winter snowscape. I don’t know how I’d react if I saw this winter visitor in my house–would I run, hide, speak to them?

This morning when I woke up, the floor creaked again. I can’t tell if it’s the winter visitor or simply the old house. I look out the window to see fresh snow prints leading away from the house, matching the ones that led to my front door. The winter visitor is gone.

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