This came from a story I wrote for school, although that story was a little different (and my teacher liked that one). It's kind of my first attempt at a horror story, but it's not really horror so much as spooky.

Well, it creeped me out anyway. And I was the one writing it!

Please review...

I'm not sure if it's entirely original, I know I think it is, but horror stories about haunted houses are all pretty much the same, you know?

So please forgive any accidental borrowing of other people... I didn't mean to, and if you let me know, I will either credit them or fix it.


Ino grinned at them. "C'mon, this'll be fun!"

"I- I don't know, Ino…" said Hinata.

A night in the old haunted house was not exactly Hinata's idea of fun, however it seemed to be Ino's idea of a grand old time, so Hinata decided to go along with it. Sakura seemed more inclined to agree with Hinata on the haunted house front, but Sakura never went against Ino's ideas. Another of Ino's ideas had been for Ino to tell her parents she was staying at Hinata's house, Hinata saying that she was spending the night at Sakura's, and Sakura saying that she was spending the night at Ino's.

Ino spoke again.

"Hinata, you know that the only reason that they say it's haunted is because the adults want to discourage us from going in there. It's not like ghosts actually exist. C'mon… It'll be fun! I even invited Neji, and I think he's coming, if you're nervous."

Sakura gave her a weird look. "Why did you invite a guy to a girl's sleepover?"

Ino rolled her eyes, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Remember? He overheard us? And later on, he was like, 'Wait, I thought Hinata was going to spend the night at Sakura's… What are you really doing?' And so I told him, and he was like, 'That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard,' so I invited him, because I think that in conceited-guy-speak, that means 'Can I come?' and he said 'Well, should be interesting, if not productive,' and I think that means in conceited-guy-speak, 'Sure.' "

Hinata blinked. "Neji-nii-san usually says what he means." Conceited-guy-speak? Well, Ino had been in love with Sasuke for years… Maybe she had learned it from him?

Ino sighed. "Anyway, Hinata, don't say no to a little extra protection, okay? I mean, the rumors about ghosts could just be from, like, hobos and stuff, you know? Neji's a pretty good guy, I think, I mean, after he got over the whole Main-House-Versus-Branch-House-Thing he was pretty cool, and he even went after Sasuke-kun to bring him back from Sound." Hinata supposed that old habits (like honorifics) died hard, even after starting to date Shino.

"Fine," sighed Hinata, knowing she had no hope in the matter. Neji probably would come. Which wasn't altogether bad, but, still… Her cousin was not exactly the nicest person.

"It'll be all right, Hinata-chan," said Sakura, very falsely.

"Boo," said Neji from behind them.

Sakura screeched and jumped about a foot in the air.

"Hi, Neji!" said Ino.

"Hello, Neji-nii-san," said Hinata.

"You are SO dead, Hyuuga Neji! You just lost me ten years of my life, which I will most definitely need if Hokage-sama ever decides to teach me her Creation: Rebirth Technique!" Sakura fired up her Chakra Fists Of Doom and Neji involuntarily held his hands in front of him.

"Sakura, please don't kill my cousin," said Hinata.

"Fine," grumbled Sakura, who immediately powered down her fists.

"Everyone's here!" said Ino, seemingly oblivious to the fight between Neji and Sakura. "Let's go!"

She led the way, being the unofficial leader of the group. Neji followed Hinata, who followed Sakura, who was second. They made their way through the shade of the forest that just happened to surround the haunted house. Hinata thought that it helped the adults in their plight to keep everyone away. Ino, liking the sound of crunching leaves, stepped on them often, and Sakura, also liking it, did so as well. Soon it became a kind of habit, one that made them giggle happily, and Hinata joined in, tittering at the other girls' competitiveness (who could step on the loudest leaves).

"We're here!" shouted Ino. By that time, the sun was setting over the mountains to the west, and causing the sky to turn a pretty dark teal blue.

The old house loomed in front of them, however, and the two windows jutting out from above the first floor, along with the wide open door, made it seem like a cartoon ghost's face.

Hinata shivered, as did Sakura.

"Are you two all right?" asked Neji, coming up behind them and causing them to jump.

"I'm fine, thanks," said Sakura, as Hinata nodded.

"Fine, thank you, cousin."

"Shall we?" he asked the nervous girls who were clutching their things so hard their fingertips were white against the soft sleeping bags and pillows, as Ino leaped up the steps and pushed back the door.

They nodded, Hinata zipping up her jacket just a bit tighter, and Sakura pulling hers on.

They caught up with Ino as she pushed open the door.

C-CC-RREE-EEEEAK!

Neji winced at the sound, as did Sakura and Hinata. Fearless Ino, however, bounced her way through, swishing her long blonde hair from side-to-side.

They walked down the long dark hall, lighting the occasional candle along the way.

"Now, the legend says that at midnight, if you're still alive, you'll be fine!" said Ino happily for such a grim sentence. Hinata couldn't help but notice the shadows and doors and the occasional mirror, which terrified her for some reason.

"Here, this room looks nice!" said Ino, pushing a door open into a dusty, cobweb-covered room that most certainly did not look nice. It had a fireplace, though, and that was what made Hinata think it had potential. "Here, Neji, you can get rid of the spiderwebs… You're not afraid of spiders, are you? Good," she said, without waiting for an answer.

Neji, whom Hinata was certain would not have complained otherwise, cleared the cobwebs while muttering phrases such as "!#$ spiders" and "I hate spiders!". Hinata thought she knew why. Neji had experienced near death at the hands of a spider-like person. But that was pretty much all she knew of the incident.

Ino, however, didn't notice Neji's discomfort. She put Sakura to work dusting, heaven only knew why, as Sakura seemed to never have done a day's housework in her life. So Hinata took over the dusting (looking at the ancient pictures, all of which seemed to be of a quiet and shy looking boy and three girls, a friendly-looking brunette, a perky-looking blonde, and a small, dark-haired girl who smiled sadly at the camera) while Ino and Sakura worked on a fire.

Soon they had a nice, crackling fire going in the ancient fireplace. The spiderwebs were gone, and so was the dust (so Ino stopped sneezing).

"Hey, Neji, Hinata? Can't you see if there is anything else in here with us?" asked Ino. Hinata was rather worried about what she might fine, but she activated her Byakugan anyway. She and Neji found nothing, but Neji's next remark didn't comfort anyone.

"But of course, we see chakra, and only living things produce chakra, so you wouldn't see a-"

"DON'T SAY IT!!!!" shrieked Sakura, making the pictures rattle.

"It's all right, Sakura," said Hinata.

"NOT IF THERE ARE-" She broke off, still a little freaked out.

"Let's just sit down," said Ino. "We can talk about boys and gossip!!!" she squealed. Upon seeing Neji's questioning glare, she added, "And you can talk about girls. But we-" her eyes acquired a dark gleam of wickedness- "must interrogate you!"

"Oooh, did you see TenTen's hair down?" asked Sakura, looking surreptitiously at Neji. "She had so many tangles! She should take care of it more."

"On the contrary, I thought her hair looked good," said Neji, who immediately shut his mouth and looked away, as though pretending he had not said anything.

"I KNEW IT!!!!!!!" shrieked Sakura again, causing Hinata to cover her ears and Ino to say, "Shut up, Sakura!". "YOU LIKE TENTEN!!!!!!"

Neji scowled. "Fine, and I don't think you were correct about her hair. I saw no knots."

"Yeah, there weren't any," shrugged Sakura.

"You mean that was all a ploy?" he asked, glaring at her.

"Yeah, pretty much," said Ino nonchalantly.

"Did you have that planned?" asked Neji.

"Yeah," said Sakura. Neji glared at Hinata.

"I knew nothing of it, nii-san."

"And speaking of Hinata…" said Ino, turning her wickedly gleaming blue eyes onto the shy girl, "I saw Naruto asking you something the other day!!!! What was it?"

Hinata turned bright pink, and brighter still as Sakura grinned at her and Neji gazed curiously. "He- He was asking me out…"

Sakura squealed and hugged her, as did Ino. Neji simply said, "Congratulations, but if he dumps you I'll kill him, as is my duty."

"But he won't," said Sakura happily. They continued in that manner, forcing Neji to practice asking TenTen out and other fun things, but the conversation decreased in volume and perkiness as the numbers on the clock increased. Finally, they were telling happy, funny stories, softly as the time grew closer to midnight, and giggling quietly. Neji sat down in their little circle, as the girls grew slightly more fearful.

A lull in conversation caused a silence, during which a whisper was heard: "Five more minutes."

Sakura's face drained of color, Ino's eyes widened in fear for the first time, Hinata started to feel faint, and Neji sat rigidly still, activating his Byakugan.

For all of them knew that not one of the four sitting in a circle had uttered those three words. They had to confirm it, however.

"Th-that wasn't y-y-you, Ino?" asked Sakura, teeth chattering from a sudden temperature drop. The flames had been dying down all night, but this was a shocking difference.

Ino shook her head. "Nor you, Hinata?" she said loudly and clearly as though trying to convince her voice to remain the same. It would have worked, had it not wavered on "Hinata?"

Hinata shook her head. They all looked desperately to Neji.

"It was not me, either," said Neji, still sitting up straight, but looking around the room (Hinata knew it was to eliminate his blind spot), Byakugan activated.

A minute had passed. The clock now read 11:56.

"I see nothing," Neji confirmed. Sakura turned a ghastly greenish color that did not go well with her green eyes and flourescently pink (in the firelight) hair.

"I- I want to- Ino… I want to go home," said Sakura, who clutched Ino.

Ino shook her head. "We lasted all night, we can last another four minutes…"

11:57.

Ino breathed deeply, and Sakura did the same.

Neji sat, with Hinata in his arms (as she had leaped at him for protection when the clock tick-ed another minute by).

11:58.

Ino, Hinata, and Neji heard a ka-thunk! and realized it was Sakura fainting. While Ino took care of her, Hinata shivered- the room's temperature had dropped drastically yet again.

11:59.

"Let's go back at midnight," said Ino, whispering and causing the revived Sakura to jump and the two Hyuugas to stiffen. The other three nodded, none caring that Neji was a boy, nor that Ino had not specified just where "back" was.

This minute was the longest of all. They watched the clock, hardly daring to look at anything else with the odd tingly feeling down their spines.

The final click caused them all to startle yet again.

12:00.

As if on cue, they all jumped up and put their stuff together, and ran out the creaky front door, into the dark night.

Hinata looked back one last time while running away. Had that light in the upper story been on the entire time?

The curtains pulled together in that window with the light on, with no one there, and then reopened.

As if the house had winked.

"Good-bye," she heard, and then laughter, soft, happy laughter. Three girls and a boy's laughter.

Like the picture.

Hinata ran faster than anyone and arrived at the Yamanaka household (for they all just knew that that was what Ino had meant by "back") just before everyone else, and they snuck Neji in as Hinata's skinny cousin, and never told anyone about their night in the haunted house.


Please review...

I wrote it and TOTALLY freaked myself out last night around midnight...

Anyway, tell me if I scared you! Or if I made you laugh, or anything like that. I like to know these kinds of things.