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haunted house

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...

verbal 2 years ago

Lost and Found

Certain places in the house held shadows within them.

The basement didn’t show up on John’s radar until about a year after they had lived in the house, though other spots did, and much more quickly. His daughters took note of the upstairs hallway before they even moved in. Em said it felt weird. John f...

verbal 2 years ago

Forks

More unsettling were the ragged circle of butter knives stabbed angrily into the wood ceiling.

“Where the hell are all the forks?” John grumbled from the kitchen, not for the first time. “Emily takes them,” said El from the dinner table. “No I don’t!” wailed Em. El turned to her Dad. “Emily takes them and she hides them,” she said. “...

verbal 2 years ago

Growing Old

They’d grow into old age together, all of them, the dead and the living.

The girls had been getting along pretty well together in El’s room, El playing teacher, Em playing student (they always played the same roles without variance), but then Em had turned rebellious on her teacher and was threatening to not do her assignme...

verbal 2 years ago

Doorways

Something terrible lay slumped in the corner of the room.

In retrospect John blamed the incident on his own suggestibility, and on the scrapbook. The previous owner, Henry Stode, considered himself to be a bit of an amateur historian, at least when it came to the house. He had inherited an overstuffed scra...

verbal 2 years ago

Don't Look

His tear was red, and spattered as it landed.

Dad was at work. Mom was at the grocery store. Her sister Em was at a friend’s house. El sat on her bed, playing with her kitten, Shadow. El had a feather on a string, and tossed it out like a fishing line for Shadow to chase. Something sounded f...

verbal 3 years ago

Clockwork

Perhaps clocks weren’t misbehaving. Perhaps time was.

Clocks had a way of misbehaving in the house. Clocks often misbehave, particularly mechanical ones. The clock in the car that is two or three minutes slower than the clock last spied before leaving the house. The clock on the oven timer that never q...

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verbal 3 years ago

Mother of Glass, Mother of Tears

Mirrors are a kind of window.

“You’re fat,” the little girl inside the mirror said to Em. It was long past midnight. Em’s parents and sister were in bed. Em was standing in front of the closed door of her room, where her Dad had hung the full length mirror. She regarded the refl...

verbal 3 years ago

Lodgers

Houses sometimes held onto what happened inside them.

The house stood at the entrance to the block, dwarfing all the other houses. John and Alice learned a bit of the history of the house from the previous owner, who was a bit of an amateur historian. The original owner of the house, a Mr. Reginald Bow...

verbal 3 years ago

Window

"Remember. The attic is off limits."

The realtor described the place as a grand old dame of a house: a three-story high Victorian in a state of slight disrepair, built in 1897 but with so many random, period-inconsistent architectural details added on over the years (a deck over the front...

The_Count 8 years ago

My First Time

My first time

October 31, Halloween night. The haunted house will be closing for the season, and what a season. The final night was another night of record breaking crowds. The Jaycees had taken a gamble and it had paid off. Now I was older than most of the other actor...