Draft story for the 2020 Screams!!! Halloween contest.
| A Haunted House
When he said to her that he had something to show her, she was not quite sure what to expect. He led her along a path through the woods until they almost got to a clearing. In that clearing was a house, a small house.
"I'd never noticed this before," she said. "Had you?"
He shook his head. "Not once. And I walk through here every day. But look at it, notice anything odd?"
She frowned. "The chimney looks kind of odd, but it's hard to tell much from behind."
He looked at her, hard. "Do you want to go round to the front? I really have to warn you, it's kind of spooky!"
"Go on," she laughed. "What am I? Your kid sister or something? I'm not going to be put off by any of your ghost stories."
"Suit yourself, Amy, but this ain't no story. It's right here and it shouldn't be."
Amy found herself moving closer to Ben as they walked around the side of the house. They kept their distance, staying right on the edge of the woods until they were standing opposite the front of the building.
It was small. A door, with a window either side of it. One single attic window directly above the door. But it wasn't the size of the house that surprised them, but the gravestones that stood in front of it. They were stone, weathered, discolored with age. And the old tree stump! It was too wide to be any kind of new growth.
"How......" Amy's words were cut off by a sudden rumbled of thunder as a massive black cloud rolled across the sky towards them. The lightning flashed, illuminating the chimney pot that was no longer a chimney pot but a human skull.
Amy pulled on Ben's arm. "I don't like it.....Come on, let's go."
But Ben did not reply. He was standing, staring up at the attic room window. Amy turned back to see what held his fascination and saw with horror a skeletal form in a black dress beckoning from the window.
The lightning flashed again, illuminating three large and grinning pumpkins. Amy screamed! She felt stupid but couldn't help herself. Tugging hard on Ben's arm to make him move she headed back into the woods, tripping over creepers and stumps as they made their way back through the trees.
* * * * *
The following day Ben approached Amy again, asking her to come with him. She refused point blank but he continued to beg and to plead.
She recognized the path through the woods, said, "No way!"
"It's gone," Ben said, and then she had to go and look.
Nothing! No house, no gravestones, not even an old tree stump. All that stood in front of them was an empty clearing.
"But.....how?" she asked.
Ben shrugged. "Don't know but it sure is creepy!"