As a child, I had a wild imagination. Sometimes I would wield valiant blades forged from sticks and battle against colossal beats. Other times I'd play army and appoint myself general over imaginary troops as we fought through Hell. Mostly prominent however, was when I'd create fantasies about the old house that lay rotted across the creek. This place fascinated my curious and adventurous mind. I was obsessed with fabricating a history behind why it sat abandoned, different than the one it had.
My father told me that the owners were very ill, and no one wanted the place after they had passed because of some sort of issue with the land. We lived in a farming town, so quality of land was crucial to sustaining a lifestyle here.
I often found myself in my second story bedroom, staring out my window at the old farmhouse. It is here that I'd conjure my reveries about the place, as I was too scared to actually cross the creek onto the property and explore. I feel my tendency to create eerie backstories for the place played a part in that, coinciding with its monstrous look. There was not one part of the house that was salvageable. Every aspect of it was in complete and utter decay.
The story I'd frequent the most was one about the land being cursed, causing the farmers who worked the fields to starve, having neither food nor money. Eventually they passed, being forced to roam the residence forever. This tale had gained the most traction among my peers at school, so I'd be forced to re-tell it almost every day at recess.
One day as I stood in the school yard, shocking my listeners with the witch's tale, a boy I recognized to be Simon Hall, shuffled into the crowd.
He waited around until I was finished with the story before asking,
"Have you ever actually gone over there?"
I was lost for words. I knew if I told the truth, the extent of embarrassment cast upon me by everyone would be immeasurable. So I lied.
"Well prove it. Let me see you go over there."
In a vain attempt to uphold my reputation, I gave Simon my address, followed by a time to meet. Six o'clock sharp.
When the time came to meet, I stood in my backyard beckoning Simon, who was right on time, towards me.
"Well come on, let's go then," he said, before he even reached me, eager to test my mettle.
We set off on the journey to the property, starting at the creek. Carefully, I stepped from rock to rock, crossing the creek as not to fall in. Meanwhile, Simon trudged through the water that soaked him just past his ankles.
Continuing on through the trees past the creek, we came upon a trail. Following it lead us directly to the back porch of the house. The aged wood creaked under each step as I progressed towards the door.
I put my hand on the rusted knob, feeling it crunch and split in my hand. My body began to tremble at the thought of entering a place as horrid as this. Behind me, Simon waited.
"Well, are you going to go in?"
I gulped and closed my eyes, feeling nothing now but pure anxiety. As I twisted the knob, I felt perspiration falling from my forehead as if it were rain. Slowly creaking the door open, I kept my eyes shut, scared of what lay ahead.
When the entrance was opened fully, I opened one eye. To my surprise, the interior was not as tarnished as the exterior. Other than endless piles of dust, the place was in rather adequate condition, having a few areas where wallpaper was peeling from the walls.
Simon gestured for me to hurry on inside, so I did. The air in the house was heavy and damp. The presence of mold was evident as its pungent stench hit my nose. Regardless, I carried on, Simon tailing behind.
I turned the corner from what seemed to be the dining room and was met with a staircase. I took my time ascending as the condition of the stairs was less than satisfactory.
Upon reaching the second floor, my eye was captured by a set of two white, large double doors. I walked down the hallway and stopped in front of the doors, putting my hand on the knob. Curiosity overwhelming me, I opened the door and walked inside the room. Rays of sunlight shone through the window, making visible the dust that sailed through the air. Looking around, I could conclude that we were in a bedroom. Oddly though, there seemed to be something on the bed. As I approached, it became apparent that what lay upon the bed were two heavily decayed corpses.
Simon carried on his way to stand next to me before he stopped dead in his tracks
"Are those dead bodies?" his voice quaked.
He turned to run out of the room and away from the house before the doors slammed shut, trapping both of us inside the room. Panicked, we both attempted to pull the doors open. Under the sounds of our struggle to open the doors and Simon's frantic breaths, I could hear footsteps approaching us from behind.