A House That was once Empty
Jay and Cliff are best friends they have been so for 2 years now. They go to the same school, live in the same neighborhood only a block apart.
They are both 11 years old, with Jay being 3 months older. The town they live in is small where everyone seems to know each other which is nice especially these days, where no one seems to have time for anyone, but it can also be problematic at times.
On this October weekend, there was going to be a festival in town but Cliff and Jay decided they would not go this year. They both asked their parents if they can hang out together at Cliff’s house instead. They argued that they were old enough to stay by themselves. After a little back and forth both of the parents agreed as long as they did not misbehave or leave the property. They also felt that it was safe since it was during the day so it would be okay.
Cliff was very excited that he would be able to stay home with his friend without his parents or sister, it made him feel grown up.
Cliff and his family including an older sister who just started college moved into town 2 years ago along with their 2 cats. The house they purchased was vacant for years as it was old, needing repairs and there were stories about that house for years which made potential buyers shy away from it.
The house did need a lot of work, it looked decrepit and not inviting at all. Cliff’s parents did not believe any of that stories that were told about the house, they just assumed it was old wives tales that morphed over the years. It was a big house with a large property that made them want to buy the house.
Because the house was on the market and empty for many years they were able to get a great deal which saved them money to use for repairs and renovations. They had time to fix the house because they were able to say with their parents in town while they were making repairs to their house.
In back, of the house, there was this large old structure which was rundown and old that might have been a barn at one time. “We haven’t got around to fixing that yet”, Cliff would tell his friends. Not far from there was a small running stream behind this old structure, around the stream was a wooded area with lots of trees and rocks. There were piles of leaves all over the ground while the trees were standing completely bare looking cold and harsh.
There was a certain chill in the air this Saturday morning, a little cloudy with rays of sunshine bursting through every now and then. It was the day of the festival, Cliff’s parents were going into town while Cliff was staying behind waiting for Jay to come over and spend the day. The doorbell rang it was Jay, Cliff rushed like the wind to open the door.
They were like little kids in a candy shop all excited and happy as they both were jumping around the house. Remember how you felt when your parents left you alone at home without an adult, you felt like celebrating. Cliff suggested to Jay they go to the backyard where the stream was to skip rocks and horse around.
After a while of throwing rocks into the stream, and jumping into the pile of leaves, Cliff turned to Jay and said. “Let’s go into the barn” Jay paused for a moment and said maybe they shouldn’t, since part of the barn was boarded up along with an old lock on the door.
Cliff asked Jay “What are you, chicken? Jay responded “NO!” but still did not want to go in, as the barn looked unsafe, not too sturdy and he also knew that his own parents would not approve. Cliff couldn’t wait any longer, he had never been inside the barn in fact only his father had gone in once when they first moved in, but only once. He pulled the lock open which wasn’t locked tight at all and slowly opened the door against Jay’s wishes.
The door would not open easily, Cliff had to pull harder and as he did the door made loud creaking noises. Cliff slowly walked in through the cobwebs and dust that settled inside, right behind him was Jay grudgingly walking right behind him. They heard a flapping of wings as soon they walked a few steps inside. They couldn’t see what it was while noticing a strange smell that was in the air.
There were things that looked like old tools, broken down stalls that perhaps horses were kept at some point. Cliff noticed how much cooler inside the barn was compared to outside He couldn’t understand why as he kept on walking around. There was a pile of hay covered in dust and spider webs. He heard crickets inside, hiding from the light, they were big, black and ugly as he saw them jump side to side as he walked by them.
They had to watch their steps while walking as there were all kinds of debris on the floor as well as uneven floors along the way. At this point, Jay told him they should leave but Cliff would not hear of it after not getting anywhere with Cliff, Jay decided to leave the barn and wait outside.
All the way in the back was something that caught Cliff’s eye but was unsure what it was. So he walked towards it wishing he had brought his flashlight with him. Jay felt bad so he went back inside the barn. He called for Cliff, there was no answer, he yelled again CLIFF!!!!, still no reply. There stood Jay all alone wondering why Cliff was not answering and what he was going to tell his parents.
to be continued…