I have never really talked about something I truly love, and that is Halloween. One glance around this blog, and anyone might know I have a dark hole in my heart, even if it is tiny. It is filled with horror movies, dark poems, and creepypasta.
I have decided I will bless you with a story-a-day until the arrival of Halowen. Each story is completely different, but is related to the things I see everyday because inspiration has to come from somewhere.
I worked on this piece last night. it is surprising that even on my small iPad keyboard, how quickly one can type out 2,000 words. That is the rough word count of this particular story. So settle in, dim the lights, lock your doors, and become acquainted with the Property Next Door.
A little note: I am working on “showing not telling”, if you have any time, please let me know how I did. Thank you
It occurred to me the property next door was calling my name, not literally, of course, but something was pulling me toward its rotting side paneling, it’s grimy windows, and the front door swinging on only two hinges. The hedges were overgrown. The untamed branches scraped the siding and helped devour the decrepit house. The grass entangled with the thick weeds. They seem to dance across the yard. Each lady beckoning me to join in their seductive tango. I sat on my porch everyday staring at the rusted, sagging tin roof that sat lifelessly on drooping metal siding. Ivy climbed up, around, and inside the house. The earth was consuming the tin shack and it wanted me to join the party.
I was certain I would only ever watch nature devour the house, as I sat from the safety of my porch, rocking in my chair, but the need to walk into the depths of the tangled grass and weeds, to walk inside the tin house that may fall to its death if I push open the swinging door, was strong; stronger than the will I had to stop myself.
I stepped off my porch, onto my freshly cut lawn, out onto the gravel road that led to the highway. My feet dragged behind me as if my mind were trying to stop me, but my heart, or perhaps it was my ignorance overriding my logic, pulled me forward, and I ignored my slow, crawling pace.
I reached the enchanted dance, and I was sure the weeds and grass separated their romantic entanglement to let me pass with ease. As if they were waiting; waiting to soak up my remains like the remains of a rotting corpse. They flowed back and forth, tickling my skin with each pass. I was in a daze. My feet became a little lighter with each delicate touch.
I paused to take in the tin shack. Each window caked with grey grime so thick, peering inside was out of the question. It was something I wanted to do because a sliver of logic bled into my brain after turning to see the weeds and grass had returned to their dance. This time, the dance was more sinister, and my heart jumped as their touches become more aggressive, as if they were now forcing me to open the door and go inside.
A weed snapped its filthy tip across my cheek and my head whipped violently to my front. My eyes becoming locked on the door swinging from the bottom two hinges. It was open further than before. A blade of grass whipped my calves almost putting me to my knees. I turned my head to look behind me and I saw a wall of tangled grass and weeds so thick a chainsaw would see difficulty getting through. The wall grew quickly behind me, growing thicker and taller, becoming more violent. It pushed me onto the front porch, my feet stumbling on the swooping, rotting wooden steps. I fell to my knees not being able to regain my balance after the wooden step seemed to trip me. I hit my head on the swinging door. My vision blurred and a knot grew on my head. I struggled to get to my feet, gaining splinters from the unmanaged porch. My hand flinched with each piece of entering wood through my skin. I found my way to the door handle, not needing to open the door; the door opened slowly, inviting me in, saving me from the dangers of the outdoors.
The daylight leaked in from the opening between the sagging siding and the oddly shaped roof. The sun’s rays lit the floor which wasn’t a floor at all but a placement of dirt. I was inside a house made of tin sides, a tin roof, and a dirt floor. My mind raced as to who would live inside a metal box without a floor. The tin house contained a small kitchen without any appliances save for a hot plate. Roaches scurried across the counter. A mouse hid inside a rusting can. In another corner rested a cot. The tattered blanket swept over the sides with a brown pillow that was once white. A 5 gallon bucket sat in another corner. It was once a green bucket. You could see the original bucket’s color along the bottom edges, sinking into the dirt. The rest of the bucket was covered in filth, feces, and a thicket of flies, roaches, and maggots. The more I stared, the more bile began to crawl up my throat. I quickly turned away and started for the door. I didn’t care what I thought the weeds looked like outside, I was removing myself from this property. Logic had filled my brain, drowning out the desire of my heart to stay and explore. I raced toward the door which was actually only a few feet away being as the tin shack was only ten or twelve feet wide.
I reached and what was once a door hanging on two hinges was a door fully hinged, bolted to the wall. I placed my hands on the knob and shook violently, screaming for the house to let me out. Stoping myself from becoming too hysterical, my fully logical brain remembered the sagging siding and knew I could climb on a counter and slip my body out of a wall.
I ran to the roach infested counter. I placed my hand on the wood to brace myself for the climb, and roaches fled in all directions. I tried to remain calm as a few found their way onto my skin. I stepped onto the counter top and grabbed the broken siding. I pulled down as hard as I could, but my foot slipped from the moldy, feces covered counter, and I fell to the dirt floor. When I regained my bearings, the oddly placed roof had swiveled into its proper place, aligning with the siding, locking all the possessions and inhabitants inside. The windows were now black and locked. The sun was blocked, now only bouncing off the tin roof, giving more life to the ivy that encased the metal.
My heart skipped, my stomach churned, my head ached. I was in a near panic; willing to tunnel my way out. I became angry at myself for becoming entranced by the rotting piece of junk on the property next door. I screamed and the house shook with what felt like laughter. The sink rattled, the cot scraped across the dirt, and the filth filled bucket, bubbled. Each pop oozed on the floor creating mud, and growing a stench foul enough to make the roaches flee.
Looking all around, feeling my heart pound through my chest, I saw the roof shift to make room for something sinister. The ivy began to tear its way inside the oddly shaped roof. It crawled down the metal walls, and seemed to thrive as it reached the dirt and make its way to my ankles at a faster pace. My breath left my body as I yearned to scream. I clawed my way to the only exit and the ivy wrapped itself around my legs leaving me with only the use of my arms. If only I could unbolt the door before the ivy trapped me forever. My nails dug into the door frantically. Each scrape broke a nail making some of them bleed. I screamed in agony, but mostly from fear. I was going to die in this house, encased by the same ivy that I watched take over the house from the comfort of my porch.
The same logic that failed me earlier in this tragic day, reminded me of a knife I kept in my pocket. The ivy circled its way around my waist closing up all entry into my pockets. I took my blood soaked hand and struggled to fit my hand between the dough exterior of my jeans and the sticky coarse skin of the treacherous ivy. Although I disagree, at the moment, luck would have my hand finding my only salvation. My blood soaked nail beds made a lubricant. The ivy had found its way around my trapped arm. I kept my free arm above my head, but the ivy grew faster. I grasped my knife and wedged it out of my pocket. I tossed it onto the dirt. I shifted as best as I could so my nearly free arm could reach the knife. My fingers scraped the dirt, barely managing to wrap my bloody hand around the grip. Once I had my fingers firmly planted, I screamed with my last big breath of air. The ivy had reached its way around my throat, circling up my chin. The ivy had wrapped itself around my upper arm, leaving only my lower arm free. What was left of any movement I could muster, I aimed at stabbing the ivy. The knife made its way to the thick, green ivy around my upper arm. Each thrust was devastating. Blood was everywhere. But it wasn’t the ivy that bled. Sensing danger, the ivy shrank in size with every pending stab. I never had a chance. The ivy made its way around my face, locking its grip around my eyes.
I was trapped. I lost all hope. I let the ivy wrap me into a cocoon. My bloody arm unlocked its grip around what I once thought was my savior. You could hear the metal house shifting. The dirt floor parted like the Red Sea. The oddly shaped roof once again became oddly placed. The sagging siding let the sun highlight its certain spots. The door became slightly unhinged and completely unbolted. The roaches and mouse took their assigned places, and the weeds and grass stopped arguing and began their romantic, persuasive dance; making itself reading for its next victim who stares curiously at the property next door.