The Old Selby Place

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

The Selby’s place had been vacant for as long as anyone in the neighbourhood could remember.   Rumour had it that it was haunted, and that occasionally two faces could be seen looking out of the windows at night.  Because of this it had become a sort of rite of passage for twelve-year-olds to run up into the garden and throw a rock at one of the windows, and then beat a hasty exit from the property.

Tom Ryan had done all that.  He was now a “mature” fourteen and didn’t believe in the “Ghost of Andersen Street.”  He was so sure of it, he told his buddies Randy and Pete that he was going to spend the night in the house just to prove it to them all.

“You are crazy, Man,”  Pete said astonished.  Besides how are you going to be able to be away all night without your rents knowing it.”

“That’s easy.  I will be ‘spending the night’ at your house,” he said with a wink.

“I don’t know, Man,”  Pete said.  “What is something goes wrong?”

“You are thinking like a seventh grader,” Tom said mockingly. “Okay, I will stay at Randy’s instead.”

“Okay, but I will have to ask my mom,” Randy said.

“Stupid.  I’m not really staying over at yours, I’m just telling my parents that.  I do need you to back me up when I tell them though.”

So the plan was put into place.

That evening the three waited until dusk then Randy and Pete watched as Tom made his way into the old house.  They then each ran to their respective homes.

Tom found the downstairs to be littered with beer bottles and graffiti left by older teens in the past.  He made his way up the squeaking staircase and entered what had been the master bedroom.  It was amazingly clean apart from a few shards of broken glass from one of the windows.  But there was no rain damage or leaves in the room, unlike the others he had passed.  He saw this as fortunate as he wouldn’t need to clear a place for his sleeping bag.

He drank a Pepsi and ate some potato chips he had brought, then settled into his sleeping bag and played some tunes on his iPhone.  He drifted off at about eleven, but was suddenly woken by a strange chill and the sensation that he was being watched.  He lit the flashlight on his phone and illuminated the pale figure of an elderly woman dressed in old fashioned clothing.  She had a broom and was sweeping the glass fragments and Tom’s chips crumbs into a neat pile.  She stooped and swept this refuse into a pan, then dumped it out the broken window.

Tom stared petrified, unable to move.  She then approached him and stood looking down at him.  He could hardly breathe.  She turned and walked through the closed bedroom door.

“No one is ever going to believe this. What am I going to tell the guys,” Tom thought.  He hastily started to roll his sleeping bag and make his escape when the burly form of a man in a bowler hat sporting a handle bar mustache walked entered through the still closed door.

Tom’s sleeping bag was found neatly rolled, and his iPhone was place on top of it when the police arrived.   When he had not arrived home his mother had called Randy’s.  Randy quickly revealed the entire plan.  Tom, however, was never seen again.

The Selby’s place had been vacant for as long as anyone in the neighbourhood could remember.   Rumour had it that it was haunted, and that occasionally three faces could be seen looking out of the windows at night.

 

Padre

 

Genre Writing Challenge April 20: Haunting

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