The House

They just moved into a new house but it has more history than any of them could even imagine...

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1. Moving In

    As my dad pulled into the driveway, I looked at my brother with worry.  Ian and I did some research on it and let's just say it wasn't any good.  Now, don't get me wrong, New York is pretty but it's cold.  It's the middle of January and there's snow on the ground.  I'm from Texas, so I've never personally experienced the bitter cold.  I hate it.  My fingers and toes were freezing and I'm sure they are going to fall off at any minute.  My nose was red and it hurt.  I had a long sleeve shirt on, two jackets and dad turned the heat on and I was still cold.  I don't know how I'm going to survive here.  Dad said he was 'born and raised' in Fort Worth so he basically knew his way around Texas, even though he said he had never been to Grandbury, but Grandma used to live here.  Do you see her anywhere?  No.  My older sister squealed with excitement and my older brother cursed at her to shut up.  We all have mixed feelings.
    Mom came three days earlier to unload and unpack most of our stuff.  When she came out, dad jumped out and kissed her.  We all groan.  Mom was vice principal at the middle school back home but she got an offer to be the principal here. So five days later – here we were.
    “Can we go home yet?”  Ian asked dad when he finally stopped kissing mom.
    “This is home sweetie.”  Mom said as she went to the trunk and opened it.
    “No. I mean home-home.  Texas!” he yelled.  
    “Guys, I know you're angry about this... but it's going to be good for you.  All of you.  Plus, we haven't even told you the best part.”
    “I get my own room?” Luke looked up from his phone.
    “M-hmm.” Mom nodded with a smile and Luke laughed with excitement.  “And each floor has a bathroom.”
    “Wait, really?  You mean I don't have to share with them anymore?” Bridget pointed to my brothers. Luke gave her a dirty look. She gave him one right back.
    “That's right, B.  We have the basement, which includes our room and our bathroom.  The girls have the second floor and the boys have the third.”
    Dad could barely finish talking before Luke and Ian ran inside, fighting over who got the bigger room.  Bridget and I don't do that, I don't dare try and cross her.  She's older and scary, so if she wanted the bigger room – she could have it. 
    Everyone went in, though, except for me. I leaned against the car and look up at the brown paint-peeled house.  It was huge and beautiful, but it made my stomach feel like it was creeping slowly up my throat.  I wanted to go back to Grandbury, but I didn't want to complain.  I did get out of that math test I didn't study for.  Plus, I didn't really like the schools back home because, everyone was talking about everyone and if you didn't have a 'social group' to fit into to, then no one would notice you. It was dumb and annoying.  The only good thing about the house was that it was big. I have three siblings and arguments could get pretty heated so, at least we would have our own space now.  Luke and Bridget are twins, they're 17, Ian is 16 and I'm 15.  Before we moved, Luke and Ian shared a room and Bridget and I shared a room. 
    I thought about telling Mom what Ian and I had found. As if on cue, the sky became ugly and it started to pour.  I became confused; why was it pouring in January?  Shouldn't it be snowing instead?  The ground was probably going to get icy and slippery soon from the rain on the snow. So now, that meant I either had to go in the house or freeze in the car.  I chose the car.  It wasn't long before Luke and dad came out.
    “What are you still doing out here?” Dad asked as Luke rushed into the passenger seat of Mom's car at the curb. 
    I shrugged.
    “Okay, well, Mom is looking for you.” He nodded toward the house then got in beside Luke and sped down the street.  If only I could have spent the rest of my time in the car... 
* * *
    When I got in the house, my dog Max jumped on me and licked my face.  I smiled, put him back down and looked around.  The house was even bigger on the inside, tall steps on the left and an even higher ceiling.  The hall on the right leading into the kitchen, was tall and long.  It was cool and musty.  The dark green paint was peeling everywhere.  Who would choose dark green for a living room  color?  The couches were left from the former residents.  They were dark orange.  Who picked out the colors for this place?  The couch and the wooden rocking chair had a plastic cover over it.  The T.V looked as if it were from the 1930's. It had two knobs on each side of what looked like a phone screen.  I didn't see any remote. I scrunched my eyebrows together. How did you change the channel or fast forward through commercials with no remote? 
    I found myself in the kitchen now. It had an eggshell paint coat on the walls and I wasn't surprised to see the paint was peeling.  The refrigerator was white and weird looking, again like it was from the 1930's.  I opened the fridge and regretted doing so when the smell of mold filled the air.  I quickly shut it and started coughing, trying to catch my breath.  I was too distracted by the smell; I couldn't tell if there was anything in it but it smelled like a whole family of rats died in there.  I saw an old door and I looked through the small window. Our backyard was overgrown.  The grass was hanging over the fence so I decided it was best if I didn't open another door.  The pantry had no doors so I looked on the shelves. There was mice or rat poop all over them.  The only 'new' thing in this kitchen was the microwave, toaster and table.  We brought those with us.
    When I started walking towards the steps; I began wondering.  Why did Mom and Dad buy this place anyways. It was old. Ugly. And smelled like rats were going to be living with us.  Which they probably are, considering the rat poop in the pantry.  All I knew was if I woke up with some type of animal or rodent in my bed tonight, I was going to start walking back to Texas.
    I slid my hand up the cold, prickly, dark wall as I made my way up the stairs.  Paint peeled off and the wood creaked under me.  I saw Bridget already unpacking in one room so I went into the next. My room.  Max was laying on the bed; it was huge!  The walls were white, but in desperate need of another coat.  The paint was peeling at the top edge of the walls.  From the floor to the ceiling, it had to be a good 10 feet.  I chuckled quietly, our room in Grandbury wasn't even this big.  I bet our living room back home wasn't this big.  And I had it all to myself?  My fingers brushed against the dusty armoire, it was cold but smooth like someone put gloss over the paint.
    “You want this, Cara?” Bridget threw me a black shirt, scaring me. 
    She was about to turn and leave but Mom came in.  “You girls finally get your own rooms and you're together again?” she laughed.
    They started talking about the school here but I blocked them out and moved towards my window.  I watched the rain drops slide down the glass. I knew it had to do with what I read.  I had a bad feeling about it.  There was a loud creak upstairs, loud enough for Mom and Bridget to stop talking.  Everything got quiet, even the loud rain drops seemed to go hush.
    Max bolted of my bed and down the hall to the door leading to the third floor.  He wouldn't stop growling and barking at the door.
    “It's probably one of the boys.” Mom said, but we could clearly hear the hesitation in her voice.
    “No, Luke and Dad left somewhere.” I say. 
    “Yeah... and I passed Ian on the way in here, he was going downstairs.” Bridget shook her head.
    I bit the inside of my cheek; I tasted blood.  None of us knew what to do, especially when we heard another creak. It seemed to be walking down the hall to come down the steps.  We all walked slowly and carefully towards the door, but freeze.  There was a quiet knock... on the door!  I turned to Bridget and Mom, we were all thinking the same thing.  The old door opened slowly and creaked loudly.  It stopped and it was just wide enough to see inside. We saw a shadow and didn't know what to do.
    Max bolted up the steps. The door flew open, bounced against the wall and closed again.  We heard Max cry and whine so we had no choice.  We had to go up and see what the problem was.  We slowly made our way up the steep staircase to see and we couldn't believe our eyes.  A raccoon was ripping up some papers in the corner.  A raccoon?  That's what we were afraid of?  Max lay at Mom's feet, tail wagging, calm.  We were confused, but relieved it was just that.
    “Well, I'll tell your father when he gets home.” she shrugged. “Come on, girls. We don't know if it has any diseases.”  We followed her down and she closed the door behind us.
    “Cara, go find your brother and tell him to stay off the third floor until Dad gets home, please?” Mom said. 
    I nod but didn't process all of it.  It didn't make any sense. A raccoon couldn't make that much noise.  I could still hear the creaking on the third floor as I was making my way downstairs.  I found Ian and started to tell him to stay off the third floor until Dad got home. “Um, Mom wants you...” I started telling him what was going on. I knew I was talking to him; I could hear myself.  I just couldn't pay attention to what I was saying, I was too distracted by the attic.  I knew it didn't seem like much but I just couldn't wrap my head around it.  Now, I was positive a raccoon couldn't make that much noise.  They aren't very heavy; they weigh 23 pounds at most.  Those creaks or 'footsteps' sound like a human with heavy-duty boots on and had to weigh at least 120 pounds.

* * *

    I stopped in the middle of my sentence and completely changed the subject.  “Do you think George and Margaret are still here?”
    “Cara!” he said sternly in a low whisper, then took me out to the front porch.  It's still pouring and it seems to be colder than when we first got here.  “What you heard was a raccoon, okay? The Prattlers are dead so it couldn't have been them.”
    “No, see, you didn't hear it. It was loud and I know it wasn't an animal.  It couldn't have been.” I shook my head. 
    “You're letting what they did get inside your head and mess with you.”
    “I'm not, honest.” He gave me a look like he didn't believe me.  How was he not freaking out about this?  He and I were the only two in the family that knew what George and Margaret Prattler had done. He should be just as scared as me. 
    “Look, maybe you're just tired. How about you go lay-”
    “I'm not 'just tired' Those were footsteps. Human footsteps. Mom and Bridget heard them too so do you want to go tell them they're 'just tired' as well?” I yelled, interrupting him.
    “Alright, alright. Just please, keep your voice down.” he looked through the window into the house then came back to me.  “You're right.”
    “I know I am.” I nodded. 
    “But there is no such thing as ghosts.” he crossed his arms.
    “Yes, there is. Why do you think it's been vacant since 1942?”
    “Because it was a crime scene.” 
    “For over 60 years? Yeah, that makes sense.”  I said sarcastically as I rolled my eyes. 
    “Almost as much as a psychopathic, serial killer, ghost couple, right?” 
    I shook my head.  I was done with talking to him.  I went inside and started to head upstairs, but  I stopped when I saw the back of a dark haired woman in the kitchen.  Bridget and I both have blond hair so it must be Mom. I better go warn her not to open the refrigerator.  I changed my direction to the kitchen when I heard Mom call for me.
    “Cara, sweetie, did you tell Ian to stay off the third floor?” she asked.  She was at the top of the stairs.


*    *    *


Hey guys! Tell me what you think of this! I kinda just wanted to see if I could just do a short story, not having to add more and more constantly.
But if you guys DO like this, let me know! Let me know if you guys want to me continue it!

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