7-The House

The House

Rumors spread it’s been haunted from the day the corner stone was laid. Though no one living there ever reported anything strange or out of the ordinary. They wouldn’t admit it, if it did otherwise the salability of the property would surely go down.
All houses creak and crack from time to time. Settling foundation and the fluctuation of heat and cold will make any house seem haunted. Especially on a night the thunderstorm engulfs it in the wind, rain and lightening.
It was just one of those nights when my little brother disappeared. Our mother, God rest her soul came upstairs to check on us and when she realized little Craggy was nowhere to be found, she went running and screaming through the house calling his name. Then out into the yard and down the street.
I just sat and starred at his little bike laying there on its side near the closed door at the end of the hall. The light was super dim since Dad had replaced the 75 watt bulb in the hallway ceiling light with one of those new energy saving bulbs. The bike was still visible but the front wheel seemed to disappear into the door. There was an other worldly cold chill coming from that door but I had seen and felt that before. Craig and I often played upstairs in the hallway and pretended there were monsters on the other side of the door leading up to attic.
We were told to never go up into the attic by ourselves and we hadn’t. The first time it happened we were playing and wrestling like two brothers would when Craig fell against the door but his head made no thump. It made no sound at all. I witnessed with my own eyes crags upper half of his body just went effortlessly through that door. He said later he was yelling my name but I didn’t hear a thing. I watched as his legs moved like he was running away from something. Being careful not to let him kick me, I timed his kicks and grabbed one and then both legs and wrapped myself around them and pulled with all my might. When he came out it was with a whooshing sound, only it was a liquid whooshing sound. That whole episode lasted maybe eight or ten seconds.
He was crying and laughing at the same time, but it didn’t sound like my little brother. It was a half wild crazy laughter like that funny voice you get whenever you breathe from a helium balloon. That high pitched donald duck sound.
This time he went in, all the way in and didn’t come out. The bike was still laying there with its front wheel partially swallowed by that evil door. The attic we were forbade to enter.
Though once on a bright Saturday morning, I opened the door and stepped inside. I had my boy scout flashlight with me so I figured it was safe enough to see what all the fuss was about. At the top of the stairs, I counted 11 counting the top step, there was a long string that would brush across your face and scare the living shit out of you. I could see it with my flashlight though and pulled it. The single bulb lit up the room and I looked around and made note of what I saw.
An old wooden chest a vacuum cleaner on four wheels that looked like it had eyes and a mouth, a rocking horse and an old babies crib with three of four slats broken and laying in a pile at one end. That’s it, no monsters, no ghosts or anything else that would scare little children and especially no adults would be scared. So what was the big deal about not coming up here?
As I pulled the bike out I noticed a big portion of the front tire was missing. Like some large mouthed animal had taken a bite out of it. I got a closer look then it seemed to be cut clean off like a big knife sliced right through it as though it was soft butter. I leaned forward to lightly touch the door and see if it was solid. It was not. My hand went effortlessly through the wood, though there was no wood there, just the illusion of wood. I quickly pulled my hand back thinking about the bike tire.
I had an idea, all good boy scouts would come up with an idea when offered this kind of challenge, I thought. I went into my room and got my wiffel ball bat and already had my stop watch in my pocket, the one I got last year for Christmas. I slowly inched back up close to the door and pushed the plastic bat through. Only a couple inches and when I pulled it out it was shorter now. The end was cut clean off. I pushed in in again and it hit something solid. I clicked my stop watch and continued to push it in and out till I hit solid again. Twice more I did this and noted it was exactly eleven seconds before another blade would pass and cut anything sticking through the door. It must be like a big fan blade or maybe a guillotine coming down. Whatever it was, it did its business ever eleven seconds.
I knew I had only that eleven seconds to get through to find Craig and then I’d have to time it again on the other side to get both of us out.
I drew a big breath and on my hands and knees crawled through the creepy door. I clicked my stopwatch before I started but couldn’t see it in the darkness on the other side. I was almost clear of the door or whatever it was when I felt something tug on my right leg. I couldn’t pull it completely through the opening and panic started setting in. I didn’t know how long I’d been partway through but knew I didn’t have much time and my leg was stuck on something and wouldn’t let me go. There was an eerie red glow to my left and I was able to see the stopwatch dial. It was at 7 seconds. I dropped the watch and grabbed my pant leg with both hands and pulled as hard as I could. I heard a rip and then a tear and finally my leg was free as I fell and rolled deeper into the soupy dank darkness. I felt around on the floor for my stopwatch and was thankful at least the floor was solid.
I heard Craig whistling in the distance. How far away I couldn’t tell but it was faint and echoing. I could now hear the chomp, chomp, chomp of the blade that cut off anything left in the doorway for more than eleven seconds.
I called out to Craig and he called back my name. Two maybe three more times and he came so close I bumped into him. I put both arms around him and squeezed as hard as I could.
“We’re not out of this yet, stay right behind me.” I said
“Okay.” He said in his customary little kid voice.
From this side of the door, I could see a red glow of what looked like eyes on the vacuum cleaner. The eyes glowed bright blood red on one side then the other. Chomp, chomp, chomp, I was right. The blade was a guillotine on its eleven second cycle up and back down.
I took hold of Craig’s hand and watched and waited for the blade to begin its rise up from the floor. When it looked up high enough for me to get through I pushed my way through the opening and pulled Craig’s hand. I pulled it with all my strength and didn’t stop till I could see in the dim glow of the hallway light that we were a good two or three feet from that evil door leading to some other world. A world I didn’t ever want to revisit.
Craig and I agreed not to play up in the hallway ever again.
We moved out of that house that very summer and even away from that city. A friend happy new family just moved in and this time it was two sisters. I hope they don’t get too close to that door.
They say, the house always wins, not this time.