A House and Twelve Children

Prompt: She offered him a house and twelve children.


She came in the night. It startled him, waking up to find a woman with fiery red hair sitting in the corner of his bedroom. She turned on the light, steepled her fingers, and gave him a sweet smile. 

She offered him a house and twelve children.

He thought he was dreaming. He must’ve been. He refused with a apologetic nod, and when she turned off the light, he fell asleep in moments. 

The next day, he met her in his kitchen. It scared him. Terrified him. “How did you get in?” he asked, and she merely cocked her head to the side. 

Then she offered him a house and eleven children. 

He blinked, and shook his head slowly. “I have to go to work,” he said after a moment. 

And so he did. The day continued as it normal did, until he arrived home to find her sitting in his living room. Her eyes were as wide as moons, and her smile was intoxicating. 

She offered him a house and ten children. 

“I don’t understand,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

But she merely smiled, and when he came back a moment later, she was gone. 

Before he went to bed, he saw her in the bathroom and shook his head immediately.

Still, she offered him a house and nine children. 

This time, he didn’t respond. He was too tired. He went to bed with a headache and a bad feeling. 

In the morning, she offered him a house and eight children. 

Early afternoon, she offered him a house and and seven children. 

At dinner, she offered him a house and six children. 

He looked up from his meal. The question remained genuine each time. Each time he shook his head, and his expression became more desperate in hopes she would leave him alone.

She would not. The questions came more and more frequently. 

After he put the dishes away, she offered him a house and five children. 

When he took the dog out for a walk, she offered him a house and four children. 

As he brushed his teeth, she offered him a house and three children. 

He climbed into bed that night and she was sitting in the same corner he had first seen her in. 

She offered him a house and two children. 

“No,” he whispered. “Please, no.”

His was nauseous when he fell asleep. He woke at exactly midnight, drenched in sweat. She was there, illuminated in the otherwise dark room. She smiled gently.

And she offered him a house and a child.

He burst into tears. She waited patiently, until he finally managed an answer:

No.

Her head tilted to the side, and then she was gone.

Eventually, he fell asleep, but he woke up again. The clock read 1:87AM. She was sitting at the foot of his bed, a calm but distant expression on her face. She was studying her hands, and… and in the red light cast by the clock, her hands glittered strangely. He thought he was imagining things but… a shiver rolled down his spine when he realized her hands were definitely soaked in blood. 

After a moment, her eyelashes fluttered and her gaze lifted until she was looking him directly in the eyes. 

What did you do?” he breathed. 

There was a long pause. It seemed to stretch indefinitely. Finally, she pulled a key out of what might’ve been mid-air. It too was stained with blood. She cradled it delicately in her fingers.  

And she offered him a house.

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