The mimic is a particular type of demon that can imitate the voice and appearance of any person it has seen. Mimics gain strength by feeding on the fear and negative emotions of people in the property it lives in. At first, a mimic may only sound like a distant, barely audible voice but if they reach full strength, they can fully materialise on this plane.

Jamie was eleven and his younger sister Megan was three when their family had to move house. The company that hired Jamie’s father had closed their expensive office in the city and Jamie’s father accepted a re-location package to their new office in a small quiet town far away. They were sad to leave their friends and the town they knew so well but at the same time it was also an exciting new adventure.

On moving-in day, everything was so hectic, that no one noticed something about the old house was off. It was a spacious detached 1930s house, far bigger than their previous house. It had high ceilings with ornate plaster mouldings that at one time held glittering chandeliers. In its day, it must have really looked something special. Today it looked okay, but with the smell of fresh paint intermingling with the musty smell of age, it was clear the absolute minimum amount of work had been done to keep the property going.

Once the hubbub had died down though, and Jamie found himself alone in his room, he noticed that something wasn’t right. The house felt eerie, cold and generally spooked him out. He kept looking up, expecting to see someone else, or something else nearby, only he couldn’t see who or what. He put it down to new house jitters and busied himself with unpacking his boxes.

As he was reaching to put some books on the shelves, he thought he heard the sound of whispering voices. His parents and sister were downstairs, and he crept quietly out into the landing, following the sound of whispering coming from one of the rooms on the other side. The door was closed and he put his ear against it.

“Jamie, Jamie,” called a voice. “Come here Jamie.”

It sounded like his mother. Jamie turned the black round door handle carefully and opened the door. The room was empty apart from a dusty rocking chair in the corner, the voice had stopped. He noticed that the sash window on the other side was slid down closed, but the latch was still open.

Perhaps someone had been in here, Jamie thought and walked across to the window. Just as he had latched the window, he heard a creak and watched as the rocking chair started to rock, with no one near it. It rocked slowly at first and then harder, before the door slammed behind him, shutting him in the room.

“Jamie,” the echoing voice called.

He felt himself frozen, unable to move, looking around for the voice and seeing nothing, but it seemed to be louder from the direction of the moving rocking chair.

Finally, he snapped himself out of his stupor and ran for the door, closing it firmly behind him and turning the key.

Right from that first day the family had moved in, Jamie’s little sister Megan had been playing with a new imaginary friend. Jamie thought it was strange because Megan hadn’t had any imaginary friends in their old house, but his parents just put it down to the stress of the move and having to leave her friends behind.

The move didn’t seem to be taking well to his sister, she seemed pale and tired all day with deep dark circles around her eyes. Jamie asked Megan at breakfast one time if she slept well the last night and she said no because her friend Peter was sitting on the bed talking to her and keeping her awake all night.

“Who’s Peter?” Jamie asked.

“My friend,” Megan said. “I’ve told you and mum before about Peter, he’s the little boy I play with.”

Ah, the imaginary friend, thought Jamie. But then Jamie recalled the day they’d come to view the house, before they’d moved in and other family had still been here. They had a little boy, probably a bit older than Megan’s age and he was called Peter. He’d had dark hair and was wearing blue shorts. Jamie thought that Megan must have remembered him from the house viewing, hoping it was nothing to do with the strange things he’d experienced himself.

One day, Megan was in the main living room, sprawled on the rug with all her bricks and toys surrounding her, chattering to herself like she usually did when Jamie walked past the mirror above the fireplace and caught a glimpse of another child playing with Megan - a small boy wearing blue shorts and a white T-shirt.

Jamie turned away from the mirror, looked at Megan on the rug, but couldn’t see the boy there. The room felt cold and once again Jamie felt like something else was there in the room with them.

“Who are you talking to, Megan?” Jamie said.

“Peter of course,” she said.

“I can’t see anyone there,” Jamie said, “what colour shorts is he wearing then?”

“Blue,” she said not looking up at him. Megan picked up a dolly and held it up for her imaginary friend to see.

“Peter needs to go home now,” Jamie said sternly to Megan, and whatever else was there with her, “his mum will want him back for dinner.”

“He doesn’t need to eat, silly,” Megan just retorted and Jamie felt a shiver run down his spine.

When Jamie looked back in the mirror, the boy’s face turned to look at him in the reflection, and Jamie stared as the boy revealed a demonic visage with red eyes and brown wrinkled leathery skin before vanishing.

“He’s gone now,” Megan said, sighing.

After that, Jamie couldn’t stop thinking about the kid I’d seen in the mirror. He did look like the boy he’d seen during the house viewing and even though he wasn’t sure he believed in ghosts, he wondered if the kid could have died in this house.

A couple weeks later, while Jamie was running chores in the local village, he saw Peter out with his mum in the Post Office - very much alive. Whatever he’d saw in the mirror, wasn’t Peter, but had mimicked his appeared perfectly and fooled Megan.

One Saturday morning, Jamie was in his bedroom upstairs working at his desk. Jamie’s mother had sent his father and little sister on an errand to get some groceries.

“I’m going to get on with some gardening,” Jamie’s mother said. “And you, stay in your room and do your homework,” Jamie’s mother called up to him. “What do you think you were doing spending hours again on your console this morning?”

Jamie was confused, he hadn’t been on his console today.

“All you do is make me angry, not doing your homework, you’re always on that bloody console.”

“I haven’t, I’ve been upstairs all the time,” Jamie said, getting scared, his mum usually never swore.

“Are you calling me a liar?” she shouted at him.

Jamie knew better than to reply, she never used to shout at him until they had moved into this house.

He heard the back door slam and heard footsteps walking round to the front of the house. He stood up and looked out the window to see his mother kneel on a cushion in the front garden, tidying up the rose borders that had overgrown since the previous residents left.

Jamie put his earphones in, turned up the music and got back to his essay. Five minutes later, thinking he heard something through the music, he pulled out his earphones and listened, hearing his mum downstairs in the kitchen.

She was repeating the same phrases over and over “Jamie, are you doing your homework? Jamie, what do you want for lunch? Jamie? Jamie, can you come down here? Jamie.”

He thought it a bit strange because she wouldn’t have had time to finish the gardening, let alone be washed and cleaned up, and it was far too early for lunch. Her voice also sounded a bit distant and echoey so he couldn’t always make out what she was saying.

Her voice sounded more friendly though, the anger had gone and he felt relieved.

“Hang on, I’m coming down,” he called.

His mother’s voice came from downstairs again calling his name, “Jamie, where are you? Come here Jamie,” it said more persistently.

Jamie ran downstairs to find his mum in the kitchen but with her back to him. He thought she was preparing lunch, but when he looked up at her she just seemed to be standing there, her head hung down and her hair around her face.

“You were calling me?” he said.

She turned slowly to him, raised her head and looked him in the eyes. She seemed so beautiful, her features so gentle and relaxed.

“I’m sorry about earlier,” she said, “about shouting at you and saying you spend too much time on your console, come here,” she said and she held out her arms, her head tilted to one side.

That moment, Jamie heard his father’s car pulling into the driveway and looked out the window to see him opening the double garage door.

Jamie felt himself in a trance and walked over to her. She wrapped her cold arms around him and he sank into her, feeling like nothing else in the world existed right then.

The front door opened and Megan ran into the hallway, the clatter of her shoes on the wooden floor. His dad came in carrying bags of groceries and saw Jamie floating in the air, unconscious. His father ran towards him, letting the bags of groceries fall and watched as Jamie was dropped to the floor from a height, like a rag doll. He looked around the kitchen, but nothing was there.

His mother ran in through the front door, gardening gloves on and secateurs in one hand, she had been tending the rose borders in the front garden all this time.

Jamie opened his eyes to see his father and mother kneeling over him, looking worried.

At night, the uneasy feeling didn’t go away. Jamie’s parents slept in the large bedroom downstairs and he and his sister slept in two of the bedrooms upstairs. Their cat Tigger used to sleep at the bottom of his bed, a constant comforting weight warming his feet.

Jamie woke with a start one night to hear Tigger hissing and growling. He could see a silhouette in the moonlight of her fur standing on end like spikes, over the arch of her back. She was hissing so forcefully, she was spitting at whatever it was that had caught her attention from the direction of the door and she jumped to the floor.

The moon shone through the landing window and from his bed Jamie could see its faint light coming in through the gap underneath his bedroom door. He watched as movement outside his door blocked the light from the landing window. He hoped it was his parents checking up on them, but all the lights were off and he knew they were asleep downstairs.

Something was there in the landing, but he was too scared to investigate. He just hoped that if he closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep, then whatever it was wouldn’t see him.

Jamie was just about to close his eyes again when he thought he could hear a creaking sound near his bed. He listened harder to see if it would repeat and his hearing latched onto a pattern, like footsteps moving around his bed. He felt a weight on his duvet, as if the cat had come back, but he knew she wasn’t there.

He went to pull the duvet slightly higher, around his shoulders, but there was something heavy on it stopping him, far heavier than the cat. As soon as he felt the resistance, he stopped tugging the duvet in case whatever was there would realise he was awake. He pretended to roll over in his sleep and this time felt the weight from the duvet had released. With his eyes half closed, looking through his eyelashes, he caught a glimpse of something on the ceiling.

It was like some kind of animal, with long limbs, thin and bony, leathery skin and a head with large pointed ears and holes of blackness where eyes, mouth and a nose should be. There were glints in the dark holes where eyes would be. Jamie started to scream and reached out to turn his bedside light on only to see his door move open wider as whatever it was left his room.

His dad came running up the stairs.

“Did you see it?” Jamie asked.

“See what?” his dad said.

The thing had probably been above his dad’s head on the ceiling and he hadn’t even noticed.

“It was probably just a bad dream,” Jamie said and turned over, with his back to him, knowing that his father wouldn’t entertain any of his explanations.

“Could you close the door?” Jamie asked, no longer worried about the cat, hoping that closing his door would keep the thing out. “Maybe you should close the door to Megan’s room too,” he added.

Pretend sleep wasn’t a great substitute for real sleep and soon Jamie was starting to look just as pale as Megan and the circles around his eyes just as dark as hers. His mum noticed and started to give them vitamins every morning.

“If you guys don’t brighten up, I’m going to have to take you to the doctors,” she threatened.

Jamie’s parents started arguing more than usual and the kids often fell went to bed to the sound of their raised voices.

“I don’t like this house, there are ghosts here,” Jamie said at the dinner table one night with both his mother and father there.

Jamie saw the look they gave each other - it was like they knew what he was talking about, but didn’t want to say anything in front of him and his sister.

“There’s no such thing as ghosts,” Jamie’s father said unconvincingly, and that was the end of that conversation.

Later that week, a plumber came round.

“Just keep out of the way and stay in your room,” instructed his mum.

Jamie’s father chatted to the plumber working on the decrepit boiler in the cupboard under the stairs. His bedroom door was slightly open as usual, so the cat could go in and out as she pleased, and Jamie caught snippets of their conversation.

“Be thankful it’s just hallucinations,” the plumber said, “carbon monoxide from a single faulty furnace can kill a whole family. Check the batteries in this regularly, if the alarm goes off while you’re out of the property, this light will come on. I’ve done a test and all the readings seem to be normal,” he reassured.

Jamie felt relieved when he overheard that conversation, because it seemed like a validation that his dad or his mum or both of them had experienced these strange things too and there was a rational explanation for it after all - carbon monoxide poisoning, not ghosts or a mimic. The voices and the images had seemed so real though, but he convinced himself it was all in the power of the mind and he even felt a bit silly.

For a few days, things were quiet and Jamie wondered if life would go back to normal but he could still feel this disturbing atmosphere in the house. Every time Jamie closed a door and was alone in a room by himself, it felt like something else was nearby.

For a few nights, Jamie managed to catch up on some sleep and even managed to almost convince himself that the problem had gone. Maybe he just wanted the problem to be gone, not the same thing, unfortunately.

Jamie heard the voice of a woman, in his father’s office. The door was closed, it was probably locked as usual. Since his parents’ arguments had escalated, his father would often just shut himself away in his office.

Jamie looked towards the kitchen to see his mother at the sink, peeling potatoes for dinner, with the radio on beside her.

Jamie looked through the keyhole to see his father’s work colleague sitting on top of him, writhing. She was very pretty, Jamie thought and the two of them had looks of ecstasy on their faces. The woman’s head turned towards Jamie and he saw as her face mutated into a demonic scowl, her eyes glowing red and her facial features contorting.

His father looked like he was in a trance, helpless. Jamie tried the door, but it had been locked from the inside.

Hearing the commotion, Jamie’s mother came out of the kitchen, holder the potato peeling knife in her hand.

“What’s going on?” she said as the office door, locked just a second ago slammed open at an unnatural speed to reveal the scene before them.

Jamie’s mother stared, unable to tear her eyes away as she watched her husband and his colleague writhing around in pleasure on his chair.

“How could you, in our own house?” Jamie’s mother screamed.

Jamie’s father snapped out of his trance as the woman climbed gracefully off him with a mischievous smile on her face.

“Wait,” he said as Jamie’s mother ran upstairs, the potato knife still in her hand and locked herself in the bathroom.

A black smoke slinked out of the office, undulated up the stairs and seeped into the bathroom, under the door.

Jamie turned to his father’s office, but the woman had gone, only the screaming and shouting from his parents remaining.

The shouting stopped and Jamie’s father rattled the bathroom door, trying to open it.

“Let me in, open the door,” he demanded, but there was no reply.

The door opened and slammed hard back against the wall as Jamie’s father stumbled into the bathroom. He turned towards the bath and fell to his knees.

“No,” he cried, picking up the limp arms of his wife, covered in blood, the potato peeling knife rested on the edge of the bath. Her deathly white face was submerged under the red water, her eyes wide open, staring at him accusingly.

He ran down the stairs, back to his office, howling in anguish. Jamie had never seen his father so upset. Jamie watched as his father unlocked a drawer in his desk, pulled out a handgun and raised it to his head.

“She killed herself because of me,” he said, his mouth contorting in agony with the words.

“It’s not her dad, it’s the mimic,” Jamie shouted, pleading, “it’s been playing tricks on us, all this time, trying to get us to hate each other.”

Slowly, Jamie’s father lowered the gun.

Jamie’s father loaded the last box into the back of their estate car and slammed the boot closed. The family moved out of the rental property, happy to substitute the big house for motel rooms until the paperwork on their new house completed.

At school, Jamie’s grades improved and life seemed to be getting back to how it should have been until Jamie noticed another kid at school, in the year below him, with dark circles around his eyes and looking unhappy.

“Who’s that?” Jamie asked his friend.

“That’s Toby,” his friend said, “moved into your old house. I’ve got to get to practice, catch you later,” he said hurrying off.

Jamie walked up to Toby.

“Hi, I’m Jamie,” he said, “I used to live in your house, before you.”

The boy looked up at him, it seemed like there was a look of hope in his eyes.

“I think I might know what you’re going through in that house,” Jamie said. “If you need to talk just let me know,” Jamie said, not wanting to get involved with the mimic again but at the same time feeling a sense of responsibility to help the new family.

On Halloween, Toby met Jamie in the school corridor.

“Tonight, my house,” Toby said and Jamie just nodded.

The two boys ran down the steps to the basement of the big 1930s house that Toby’s family were now living in.

Jamie could feel the memories coming back and tried to suppress the second thoughts he was having.

Jamie turned to speak to Toby behind him, only to notice with shock there were now two identical looking Tobys standing side by side. They were both wearing the same clothes – jeans and yellow T-shirt, had the same haircut, the same facial features, everything.

“Er, Toby, I think we’ve got company,” Jamie said, looking at both of them and not knowing which of them was the real Toby and which was the mimic.

The two Tobys looked at each other and the Toby on the right screamed “It’s him, he’s the mimic, I’m Toby,” he said turning to Jamie and pleading.

“No, I’m Toby,” said the Toby on the left and he started to walk towards Jamie.

“Stay where you are,” warned Jamie but he just kept walking forwards.

“Don’t look in its eyes,” Toby warned as Jamie started to feel trapped in its gaze.

Toby’s older brother Dillon that moment popped his head around the basement door at the top of the stairs.

“Cool Halloween trick,” Dillon said seeing the two identical looking Tobys.

The mimic turned to face Dillon, its eyes glowing red as it morphed into a full size demon.

“It’s not a trick, it’s the mimic, help us,” screamed Toby.

Dillon ran down the stairs, slamming the basement door behind them as the overhead light started to flicker.

“Use this,” Jamie said, pulling a dust sheet off an old wooden chest.

Dillon launched himself at the mimic as it screeched unearthly and they struggled with it, dodging swiping talons and a whipping tail. They bundled the mimic into the chest, Toby sat on the lid and Jamie tuned the key, locking it in.

“Now what?” said Dillon.

“We take it to the woods and bury it,” Toby said decisively.

“Here, we can use this,” Jamie said, pulling out some old pirate costumes from their dressing up boxes and placing Toby’s sister’s tiara on top of the chest. “It can be our treasure chest and we’re pirates - for Halloween.”

“Don’t be too late,” called Toby’s mum.

“It’s ok mum, I’ll keep an eye on them,” Dillon said looking like a convincing pirate with a plastic sword tucked into his belt, some long boots and a bandana tied around his head.

Dillon lit the way with a torch as they took it in turns to pull the small trailer holding the chest into the woods. Eventually they stopped in a hidden away spot far from the main pathways.

“Guess we’d better remove the key in case someone finds it and tries to open it,” Jamie said.

He removed the key and looked at the key hole. A wisp or black smoke started to seep out through the empty keyhole.

“The mimic, it’s escaping,” Toby said.

They watched helplessly as black smoke poured out of the keyhole and swirled above them. A sound like a loud rattlesnake echoed off the trees and it disappeared deep into the forest.

Dillon shook the chest.

“It’s empty,” he said, surprised. “The mimic – it’s dematerialised.”

The old house returned to normal after that and Toby, Dillion and their family recovered. From that time on though, anytime they heard stories from hunters in the woods about a wendigo, they just looked at each other knowingly - the mimic was still out there.

Written by Sholdenauth
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