10.25.2019 | First Farmers Financial Corp.

The House - Chapter 4

Welcome back to part 4 of The House…
So there I was, staring at another closed door, my dad on one side of me and a tiny but ferocious puppy on the other. From inside the room, the sounds continued, shrinking down to a low whisper for a few moments before climbing back up to an insistent, ghostly hum.

I looked at my dad, who despite a nonchalant shrug looked about as pale as Boo. The dog started to scratch at the door, and the threat to the wood finish seemed to snap my dad out of a trance.

“Well, open it,” he said, and turning the knob, he pushed into the room. I expected the sounds to stop immediately, but they continued, louder now without the wooden barrier. Boo galloped into the room, any threat momentarily forgotten, and began to chase his tail.

Dad and I looked around, searching for the source of the sound. I began to question my choice to buy the house. There was no way I’d be able to sleep serenaded by a ghostly choir, no matter how beautiful the architecture.

“The fireplace,” my dad said. “It’s the wind.”

We looked at each other as Boo chased his tail in ever widening circles and cracked up. “We’ll have to do something about that,” my dad said. “But it’s gorgeous. You did good.”

That was a few months ago, and we’ve had nothing but busy weekends since. Now as we near Halloween, I’m finally ready to move in. As evening closes in, I’m sitting on the back porch, enjoying the cool weather from my rocking chair.

Despite my home’s reputation, I haven’t had any spooky encounters since those first few visits. Boo is snoozing on the porch beside my chair. As far as I can tell, he’s the only creature sharing the house with me.

Earlier this week, I saw some neighborhood kids walking slowly past, watching as we put the final touches on the remodel. I was setting up Halloween decorations, and plan on giving away plenty of candy once trick-or-treat time rolls around. I waved a hello, and one of the boys called out to me.

“Did you see the old lady?” he asked, ignoring his friends who were trying to lead him away. “In the upstairs window?”

I smiled and shook my head. “We’ve been working on this place for months, and the spookiest thing around here is my dog.”

He smiled back and shook his head. “I’ve seen her,” he told me. “She hides up there until the sun is just starting to go down. That’s when you can see her, but you have to be careful. You don’t want her to see you.”

I’m thinking about this conversation now, as the sun is starting to set. He had seemed disappointed at first, when I told him there was no ghost haunting the upstairs, but then he decided that I just hadn’t seen her yet.

I look at the sky turning from blue to purple, and shrug. Giving Boo a nudge with my foot, I lead the way around to the front of the house. The setting sun has painted all of the west facing windows in fiery reds and oranges. I shield my eyes and look up to the 2nd floor. There, halfway hidden by a curtain…what is that?

Boo emits a quiet whine and presses against me, his face lifted, following my gaze. The sun continues to lower, and with a laugh, I decide I’m seeing nothing more than a trick of the light and shadows. This house is perfect, and after years away, I feel like I’ve finally come home. Still, a tiny part of me, a 12-year-old remnant, wonders…did she see me too?