The House A novel

Martin Sack is a writer who moves into a house in Mississippi with his wife Essie. When their daughter, Tracey, and her friends, stay there for the night, as her parents head to Louisiana for the weekend, they face Craig Sheppard, a criminal who was in jail for over a decade, who is seeking revenge.


2. The House-Mississippi-Sunday, March 13, 2018



Martin Sack drove the blue 2011 Mazda towards the house. "We're nearly there, Dad", Tracey said. Essie smiled. "Not long to go now", he said. He had been driving for seven hours. Several teenagers were playing basketball; several of them were waiting for him to pass them. "Go over there, Martin", Essie stated. He drove to the front door; he saw a group of swings swaying in the northerly breeze. When he stopped the car, Tracey took off her black seat belt. Then she opened the passenger-side door, grabbed her luggage, and stretched her tired legs. "You can explore the house after you put everything away", Martin said. Tracey nodded, as she let her father open the front door with a key, then went inside.


Tracey flicked on the light switch. 

She saw a bright, black carpet that was on the harsh ground. 

The edges were tattered.

"Mom, Dad! Can we get rid of the carpet? It's horrible". Martin looked at the carpet. "The previous owners must've used it year's ago. Maybe we can get rid of it, then put in a new one", he said. He looked around. Then he walked outside, then he opened the boot of the car. He grabbed a black carpet in his strong hands, and placed it in the spacious hallway. He gripped the old carpet. Then he put it in the boot of the car, and closed it. Martin headed into the house, and saw Essie was in the nineteen-eighties era kitchen. "It's like the kind of place I grew up in with my parents", she told Martin. "I figured that, honey". There was a stove; pots and pans in the brown cupboard; a silvery sink; and taps. "Let's see the rest of the house", Martin said.


Tracey saw her bedroom down the dim hallway.

She flicked on the bright lights.

She saw a bed in the middle of the room. 

A study desk was near the left of her. Tracey put her paperback books on an old-fashioned bookshelf. Her school books were underneath the bed in the darkness. She walked to an extra room that house clothes, and shoes. Tracey headed near the window. She opened the window door with her hands. She walked down a lead pipe. When she reached the bottom, she saw three teenagers were finishing off their basketball game. "Hey, I don't know you", Chad Soames asked. "I'm Tracey. I just arrived in Mississippi with my Mom and Dad", she answered him. "This is Melanie, and her boyfriend Harris". The other teenagers smiled at her. "Hey, it's good to meet new people", Melanie stated. "If you like, you can stay the night. My parents are going away for the evening. They'll be coming back tomorrow morning", she said. "That's a great idea", Harris said. And they walked through the front door, and spent the rest of the afternoon in Tracey's room.


"There's nothing to do with the house", Essie said. 

"No, but except we need to bring it into the 21st century", Martin said.

"We can paint the creamy walls", Martin told her.

"We'll start the project after our Louisiana trip", Essie smiled.

And, as they saw Tracey and her new friends, she introduced them. Then they continued talking about the city of Mississippi.


"I got the Mississippi map app on my I-phone. It's really cool", he said. Tracey, Melanie, and Harris, scanned the area with their eyes; they scanned the area while the impending threat of thunder boomed in the afternoon sky. "It's going to rain soon", Harris said. He looked at the glass window, as dark clouds hovered above the house; he was concerned by the bad weather outside.


"We have to leave now, Tracey. Since you're eighteen, you can take care of the house overnight", Essie said. She grabbed her luggage that had her pink coloured purse; Martin had the keys. "Here's the spare keys, Tracey. Look after them. We'll be back home tomorrow", Martin said. "Okay, Dad. I love you". He smiled. Then he walked to the car with his wife. They got into their car, opened the door, and placed their seat belt on. By five o'clock in the afternoon, Tracey waved them 'Good-bye'. And, as they left, Tracey closed the front door. "I'll order some pizza tonight, then we can take a look at the house". The other teenagers texted their parents and told them that they were at Tracey's house, and wouldn't be home until eleven o'clock in the late evening.


Craig Sheppard felt the rush of death.

The heavy rain drenched his grey coat. He wore his black hat on his head. By seven o'clock, he was hungry. He reached Bradley's Café​. He went through the front door. A bright light illuminated the foyer. Ten people were sitting on black seats eating hamburgers, and drinking coffee. He smiled at the middle-aged waitress. "Hi Angie. How're you doing tonight?", he asked her. "I'm fine, Craig. What do you like to have to eat?", she answered. "A hamburger with the lot, and coffee", he said. She wrote down the order, and attended to other customers while Craig sat down on the last chair, and waited for his dinner.


The doorbell rang by 7:03 in the evening.

Tracey smiled at the twenty year old driver.

"I haven't seen you before. I knew The Fletchers. They kept to themselves".

"I'm Tracey. I'm more sociable".

"Right. Here's your pizza, garlic bread, and Coke. It's all paid for".

"Yes, I have the pizza app on my I-phone".

"I'm Ronald".

"Tracey. I'm sure you know Chad, Harris, and Melanie".

"Yeah, we're basketball players at Mississippi State University".

"I'm going there tomorrow", Tracey said.

"Well, I have other deliveries to do in the wet weather. I hate the rain", Ronald said. He walked down the stone steps, and opened the driver's-side door of the car. Then he closed the door, and put his seat belt on. And drove down Forbes Road towards the next place to deliver more pizzas.


The thunder boomed loudly.

Tracey saw the flickering of the lightning hit the hard ground. 

"We could have a blackout", Chad stated.

"I hope ​not", Melanie said. She noticed the high-definition cable television was still in its brown box in the middle of the room. "All of my stuff hasn't been taken out of their boxes", Tracey said. "Maybe you can put everything away after University tomorrow?", Chad asked her. "Yeah, when Mom and Dad get back. I'll get some glasses for the Coke, and we can drink to a toast to the new house", she answered.


Craig paid for his meal.

He handed Angie a twenty dollar bill.

"Keep the tip".

"Thank you. See you soon". 

He opened the front door, and walked into the raging storm.


"What about the Fletchers? Why did they leave?", Tracey asked Chad.

"Tom Fletcher attempted to murder his family with a scalpel. He was a medical doctor in Mississippi. It happened on Halloween night, nineteen-eighty. The police shot him dead. Apparently he had another son called Craig Sheppard from a secret relationship with a dancer called Tammie. Craig grew up as the weird kid no one wanted as a friend. He was sociable only on his terms", Chad answered her. 

"And now he's here", Melanie said.

"How do you know?", Tracey asked.

"I know he's here...somewhere", she answered.

And then she heard more thunder in the sky, and the lights went out.


"I'll get some candles", Tracey said.

She fumbled with another box. Inside there were six candles. She took them out. When she lit them, they carried the candles in their hands, then placed them on the table. By seven-thirty in the evening, the teenagers finished eating their dinner. By eight o'clock, they put the pizza, garlic bread, and Coke away. After everything was cleaned up, Tracey hoped that the power would be turned back on.


Craig couldn't see.

By eight-forty-five, the power was turned back on. 

He reached 1247 Forbes Road.

Then he arrived at Tracey's house.


Melanie stared at the lounge room fire place.

"I'll put on the firewood", she said. As she did so, the burning embers flickered across the grille that protected it from a deadly fire; the embers were small. Suddenly she saw Craig smiling at her. And she screamed, and fled in terror.


"​What happened, Melanie? Who did you see?", Chad asked.

"I saw a man outside. He scared me", Melanie answered him.

"It's Craig Sheppard. He's here", Chad stated.

And he grabbed a knife in his right hand.

He then called 9-1-1, and asked for the police on his I-phone.


Mississippi Detective Hal Jones, II, and his partner Detective Kelli Jacobson, arrived on the scene. Tracey spoke to them. "He's here! Craig Sheppard", she said.

"Sheppard's in Mississippi", Detective Jones, II, said.

"Yes", Melanie stated.

"I thought he was dead", Detective Jacobson shook her head. Before she could do anything, Craig raised the knife in the air. But, just as he did so, Detective Jones, II, shot him in the chest with his .9mm gun. He fell silently towards the front door of the house...and the nightmare was over.

Page 2.




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