The House at the End of Primrose Lane

Entry for the 'Draw a Story' Competition

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Everyone knew about the house at the end of Primrose lane.

How could they not? In a town as small as this, there was not much that stayed secret. Everyone knew what had happened on the dark estate, ten years before. They knew the shocking story of how the little eight-year-old girl had killed her family on the last night of Winter, in a fit of uncontrollable rage, because they wouldn’t let her play in the rain.

Except that it wasn’t the girl who did it, it was her older brother. He had killed their parents, then himself, leaving only the girl alive for reasons no one could fathom. And it wasn’t on the last day of Winter, it was when the clock struck midnight on December 31 – an offering for the new year.

 Except that wasn’t it at all. It was a demon who had haunted the ramshackle old house since the beginning of time that had killed the family on June 6 2006 – nearly ten years ago -  but kept the little girl alive because it was so lonely in the big old house, and didn’t want to be by itself.

Except that wasn’t what happened. 

Everyone thought they knew about the house at the end of Primrose Lane. Nobody did.

Perhaps the only one who knew what happened was the girl herself. After all, despite the numerous, exaggerated versions of the tale, there was thing that was always agreed upon. Someone still lived in that house.

There wasn’t airtight proof of the fact, but everyone knew it to be true. There had always been stories of a face appearing in the window just as the sun was setting, of soft cries heard by children daring each other to enter the cursed grounds, and of whispers throughout the night - seemingly heard by the whole town.

No one knew the girl – hadn’t known her before, either. No one knew if she was even human, to be honest. Goodness knows she had never gone out to buy food. Even if she was truly a little girl, she would have starved years ago. That’s what people said, anyway no one could be sure.

Those ten years after the 'incident' had gone by as slowly and as sweetly as dripping honey for the people of that town. The memories faded in people’s minds like old pencil sketches. Facts had quickly turned to speculation, speculation to legend, until the girl had become a myth, a ghost story told late at night to skittish younger siblings and frightened friends. Ten years was a long time. It was a long time for people to remember what had happened so long ago.

The House at the end of Primrose Lane. A haunted house, to be sure. The roof sagged, as if all its secrets weighed it down, a burden too heavy to bear. The shattered windows seemed to welcome in the dust and dirt, lighting their path as they swirled around slowly in the stagnant air. It was nothing but an empty shell, and a subtle yet profound absence permeated its entirety like an unwanted odour. Not even the girl could clear it, for she was wasn’t even alive herself.

She floated, ghostlike, much like the dust motes that were her only company. Her face was a void inside her lank hair, the emptiness of it mirroring the house in a vastly unsettling way. Her eyes were its shattered windows, and her limbs were its rotting walls. It almost seemed as if she had become a part of the house itself. No longer a person, no longer human, just another one of the decaying pieces of furniture that littered the dirty wooden floors.

The girl knew what the townsfolk said of her. How the latest theory was a murder ten years ago, how before that it had been the house of a witch, and before that it had been the manor of a crazed scientist. Through it all she remained in the old house at the end of Primrose Lane, even as she was forgotten, misremembered, and forgotten again. It didn’t matter to her. The girl’s story was older than all of them, almost as old as the town itself. It was a story of grief, of madness, of death. Of slit wrists, pools of blood, and of leaving too soon. Except that she never really left, never moved on. She stayed where she was, rotting with the house.  She would stay there until she and the house rot away completely.

She would stay until no one remembers the house at the end of Primrose Lane.

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