The vacant, old house at the end of the lane beckons me. They always do - the dilapidated and forgotten. There is an appeal others overlook.
Unable to resist its quietness, I settle in, deciding to call this place home.
The wind blows through the window cracks, but it doesn't bother me. Oddly, I feel comforted in the chilled corners of the room - a warm welcome of sorts.
Dust adorns the mantel. Cobwebs decorate the bland corners. Layers upon layers of peeling wallpaper reveal the different lives which once occupied this space. These surroundings reassure me this house has been uninhabited for quite some time.
Yes, this will do nicely.
I peacefully exist here for some time before it happens. Then, well-acquainted shivers straighten the hairs on the back of my neck.
Doors squeak. Floorboards creak. I, once again, find I am not alone.
A woman's silhouette appears from the corner of my eye. By the time I turn my head, she is gone. I set out in search of her and find her gracefully gliding from room to room. Her long, flowing hair highlights a beautiful face. I sense no ill will from her at this time. Maybe I could co-exist with one of them. We could agree to no renovations. Maybe it would be nice to share a space with one another.
She continues her exploration, not causing a disturbance really, just peacefully, yet methodically, wandering. Finally, she heads up the stairs, pausing as the first step creaks at her.
Who is she? What does she want?
I noiselessly ascend the broken stairs, careful not to alert her of my presence. Despite my uncertainty, curiosity keeps propelling my feet forward. At the top of the stairs, I see her - moving into my room at the end of the hall. My room.
She moves about with a familiarity with the place. Her look one of inspection. Finally, she settles into the rocking chair by the bed, slowly rocking back and forth as if waiting for something or someone.
Was this once her home?
I had been peeking around the doorway, then move to the center of the room, deciding to make myself known. "Hello."
She stares at me, or more through me, with an ashen face.
"Hello," I repeat myself, trying to communicate, extending my hand towards her.
Why will they never answer?
Like the others before her, she then flees screaming. I know she will soon return with more of them. And I will, once again, have to find another home.
Why can't they let me live in peace?