Two boys take up a challenge for Flash Fiction
|The years of neglect had taken a toll on the old Hendridge house.
The eastern Pennsylvania town of Pottsville had been in an economic death spiral since the steel mill closed twenty years before. Entire neighborhoods were left abandoned. In this regard, the Hendridge house was unremarkable.
No one paid any attention to it until the day Mary Pepperdine gave her oral report on the town’s history to her fifth grade class. It seems that she had dug up some interesting information about the town’s early years. It turned out that way back in 1878, the Hendridge house was home to the Honorable Joshua Barstone, the local mayor and regional judge.
An act of revenge had resulted in the bloody massacre of the entire family while they slept. No one had lived in the house since then. It had not been abandoned for a mere twenty years. It had been more than one-hundred years since anyone had lived in the once grand old house.
It didn’t take long, about half way through the first recess, for the boys in class to determine that the house was almost certainly haunted by the Barstone family. Dares and double dares were quick to follow. By the time the bell rang, Bobby and Richard had taken up the challenge. They were going in!
Friday evening came and the gang gathered to see the boys off. They walked confidently through the overgrowth towards the front door. They tried the front door gently to no avail. Together, the boys put their shoulders into it and the door swung open with an audible groan.
Suspended spiders froze in place at the unexpected intrusion.
The boys went in…and never came out. After a fruitless search, the house had been boarded closed. That had been over twenty-five years ago.
Word count 300