House by George Bard

Some people swore that the house was haunted, but I knew better, I had lived there most of my life, and I knew better.

 It was me who had pried the nails from the floor boards so the floors would squeak. It was me who had rigged the wires so the lights would blink. I was me who put things in the attic where the winds would move them and they would thump in the night. It was me too, who changed the shape of some of the sheet metal in the heating ducts. When the wind was just right, a low moan would echo through the building. And it was me who changed the piping so it would thump and bang every time the toilet flushed. Sometimes they would thump for no reason at all.

I hated that house from the day we moved in. I was twelve and my room was at the end of the hallway, the little one  with only one window. It looked out onto the brick wall of the house next to us. All the other rooms opened onto the hallway and everybody used the same bathroom.  It was narrow and dark except at the front of the house where there was a large room with three windows.

I hated that house. I thought if I made it scary enough maybe my parents would want to move back to the country where things were bright and sunlit.

But nothing I did seemed to bother them, they liked the house, even with the noises. Of course they would, they had the large room at the front of the house, the one with three large windows.

Even the small electrical fire in the basement couldn’t change their mind. The firemen blamed a frayed wire. My father called in an electrician to fix it. Nobody asked where I was at the time.

When they found my sister hanging in her closet with a belt around her neck they called it a suicide. She was a happy girl and everybody wondered why she did it. They asked me where I had been when I heard her choking and I said I was in my room, the little one at the end of the hall, the one with only one window.

After my sister’s funeral my mother began to drink, heavily. She always liked a glass of wine at dinner but now she drank strong drink. She often passed out or fell down. This went on for a year or so but there still was no talk of moving.

When my mother fell down the stairs and broke her neck they called it an accident. When they asked me where I had been when I heard her fall I said I was in my room, the little one at the end of the hall, the one with only one window.

I was sure my father would want to move now, but whenever I mentioned it to him he just told me to leave him alone. Shortly after I turned 18 he shot himself cleaning his old hunting rifle. They called it an accident. When they asked me where I was when I heard the shot I told them I was in my room, the little one at the end of the hall, the one with only one window.

I was 18 now and with everyone dead I could legally sell the house. Instead, I moved into the big room at the front of the house, the one with three large windows.

Nothing was ever the same again after that.

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  2. So satisfyingly creepy! Nice rhythm to the story as well.

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