Between the Pines

"WILL YOU HANG WITH ME?" He snickered wildly. Did Riley even know what he was asking?

Destiny, a 17yr old girl is trapped in an old Victorian home for the summer. Her younger brother and older sister want nothing to do with her, but someone does. Riley, a ghost from the late 1800s develops a keen interest in her. The question is, is that a good thing?


2. Unheard

            You see it all started about a year ago when I was still seventeen. My family moved into a small house on the outskirts of a puny town called Matterwood. No, I can’t point to it on a map; I don’t think anyone can. My parents had found the house on one of their famous wandering road trips. They had fallen in love with the place, and decided right on the spot to move myself, my sister and younger brother down here for the summer. A summer get away they called it. Sarah, my older sister, and Cole my brother both protested at even the thought of spending eight weeks in a shack in the middle of nowhere. I would have protested too, if I could have found a legitimate reason. If I had friends like Sarah , I would have protested, if I had, had expensive toys to play with at home like Cole I might have protested. But having none of these things gave me no reason to stay at home; all I had to go on was a slight goldenrod allergy. My sister agreed it was a weak argument.

            In the end our pleas went unheard. Fresh air and no technology will do the mind good, said my father, needless to say my mother agreed. So we packed like we were going away for eternity. Sets upon sets of clothes, towels, tooth brushes, and pj’s went into our luggage. The three of us groaned as we got into the car. We all knew why we were being sent away. Mom and dad had planned to divorce while we were away. They had already settled out of court as to who would get the children.

            The first time we all saw the house Sarah nearly cried. It was small and yet big at the same time. It was covered in white wood paneling that was so old and weathered that the paint had started to peel off. The porch was a washed out color, due to the rotting boards. The only thing that appeared new about the whole front of the house was the door that was painted tomato red. Right behind the front door stood an angular staircase also made of pine. The fixtures inside screamed early nineteen forties; on the far wall stood a grandfather clock, we all agreed later that it was more great grandfather-ish. A small kitchenette with a patio door loomed around the corner behind the clock, and a sitting room was to the door’s immediate left. Mother and father dropped our bags at the door. They designated Sarah in charge; much to her protest. We were given a quick tour of the house, finding and choosing our bedrooms upstairs. Along with the small bedrooms there was a library filled with the books of the previous inhabitants. Shelves that stood from floor to ceiling were filled with them; Sarah and Cole had no interest in the dusty novels. I however had just found my pass time for the next two months.

            I will never forget that evening, where we all sat at the table and had our last peaceful meal. Mom had cooked us her signature meatloaf to cheer us up, little did I know that I would have missed it. Both Sarah and Cole were quiet now as we ate in the kitchen. They had given up hope on going back to civilization any time soon. Dad drawled on about how he would drive down once every two weeks to bring us groceries, and that in case of an emergency we could use the land line that the house had to contact either of them. Mom talked about the town that was a ten minute walk from the house, it seemed just as bear as the house. It was called Matterwood, and was apparently, surrounded by a pine tree forest.

            After supper mom and dad prepared to leave, not even proposing to stay the first night with us. Honestly I didn’t care anymore at that point; I just wanted them to be gone so we could suffer through the summer in peace. Finally at around eleven o’clock they said their final goodbyes. They each hugged Cole as if their lives depended on it. Sarah also received a hug from each parent, but when it was my turn I merely got a peck on the cheek and a quiet warning.

            “Sarah please make sure that Destiny is in the house by dark. I know you like to read outside Destiny, but please try to stay out of the woods,” mother spoke slightly indifferently, “wouldn’t want you to get eaten by wolves would we?”  With those final haunting words they left us in that house, all alone. To me the words seemed like a cruel insult, she would have been happy not to have to deal with me; Destiny, the middle child… the problem child.

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