Abandoned

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium

What better time to go and visit a house that is said to be haunted.

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Abandoned

“I thought you said this place was deserted.” Mack rounded on Colin. “You never mentioned there’d be kids here.”

“What? Where?” Colin stepped beside his best mate. The house was rumored to be haunted and stood empty for as long as his family had lived in the area.

“I don’t know. She was there a minute ago.”

Colin pushed his way forward along the overgrown pathway that led to the house. “Are you sure you didn’t imagine it, Mack. I can’t see anyone. And there’s no footprints either.”

The pathway was muddy, the ground water-logged. If there had been someone on the path in front of them they should have left footprints, but the only ones there stopped with them.

“I don’t know, do I! Maybe she was walking off the path.”

Colin looked at the thick brambles and stinging nettles that were growing almost waist high on both the left and right of the path. “And maybe you imagined it.”

Mack turned a scornful look towards his mate.

“Well, you know the light can play tricks, especially when it’s setting. Or maybe,” Colin paused, “you saw a ghost?”

“Oh, yeah, sure. A little girl with long hair and wearing a parka. She looked pretty solid to me, even if she wasn’t very old. Long hair, a tatty looking white dress peeking out beneath it.”

“How old, do you reckon?”

“Hell if I know, Col. Ten, maybe.”

Colin clapped his mate on the back. “That settles it then. There are no kids like that anywhere around here. We need to get going or the light will be gone before we get there.”

They trudged along, and just before they got to the end of the path they both saw the girl. She stood in the distance, looking towards them.

“See! She was real.” Mack said.

“Yeah, but look at her face. She looks injured.” She was too far away for him to see much, but Colin was sure she had a bandage around her eyes.

The girl beckoned to them, then turned and ran towards the house laughing.

“If she’s hurt she’s not acting like it bothers her.” Mack began following her and Colin had no choice but to follow.

“Hey,” he called out. “Wait up, would you?”

The only response they got from the girl was more laughter as she pushed through the door to the old abandoned house and disappeared into the hallway.

Colin had pulled out his cell phone. He was toying with the idea of calling the police, but if he did he’d have to come up with a reason for being there himself. The phone signal was non-existent anyway.

Thinking quickly, he decided it would be better if they caught up with the girl and took her back along the path. If she wouldn’t say where she lived, then there would be no choice.

“Come on, Col. This is what we came out here for, remember. Let’s not let a kid spoil it.”

“Doesn’t it occur to you that she might scare any ghosts away?”

Mack paused with his hand against the door. “There’s a chance that she’ll attract a bit of paranormal activity too.”

With the sun all but sunk from the sky it was hard to make out much inside the house. There was a smell of mildew and damp, and the hallway was littered with leaves that must have blown through the door. The air was thick with dust and cobwebs hung down from almost every corner.

Mack pointed towards the far end of the hallway. Just at the bottom of a staircase the girl stood as though she was waiting for them. Once she knew that she had caught their attention the door slammed shut, but before they could turn back towards it she began to dash up the stairs, giggling as she went.

Colin looked over his shoulder at the door then followed Mack. The doors to most of the downstairs rooms were open and none of them showed the slightest sign of recent habitation. Other than rats, perhaps, he thought, as he heard a skittering noise off to his left.

“Hey, we’re going to need to slow down,” Mack called out, as Colin almost collided into his back. “These stairs are none too safe. Look!”

The stair in front of them had broken away beneath Mack’s foot.

“So how come she got up here so fast?”

“She wouldn’t weigh as much as us. And anyway she seems to be pretty familiar with the building. Perhaps she knows which ones to avoid.”

Colin cursed himself for suggesting they visited the house. He could barely see his own feet let alone the ground beneath them but they both made it to the top of the staircase with no further incident.

The girl stood at the far end of the landing. In one hand she seemed to be holding a ragged teddy bear, while in the other she clutched what looked like a hunting knife. Slowly she dragged her thumb backwards and forwards along the blade until suddenly she sent it flying in their direction.

“What the hell! Are you crazy?” Mack yelled out. “You okay, Col?”

“Yeah, it missed, but it was a bit too close to comfort. Let’s just go.”

“You’re joking me! That kid is not going to get away with that. We’ll find her, let the police deal with her.”

“Great idea, Mack. Where’s she gone? Did you see any of the doors open, because I didn’t.”

“I wasn’t really paying attention. That kid had just flung a lethal weapon at us.” Mack began to walk forwards, pushing one door open and then another.

“Turn you cell phone onto flashlight,” Colin said. “If she’s hiding we’ll have more off a chance of catching her.”

When they reached the far end of the landing there was only one door remaining. Mack reached out towards it, when it seemed like every door in the house had suddenly been violently pulled open. They all slammed simultaneously with a force that seemed to loosen bits of plaster from the ceiling.

Colin pushed past Mack and strode into the room. “Okay, enough of your games. Come out and we’ll take you home.”

There was no sound in the room, no sign of any movement. Suddenly a ceramic jug that stood on a rickety bedside table lifted up into the air, then propelled itself across the room, shattering against the wall behind Colin. He reached up a hand to his cheek and pulled out a slither of the shattered jug from his cheek.

“That’s it! Come on. We’ll leave her here.”

“But where is she? It was bad enough dealing with her when we could see her but now that she’s disappeared...”

“She can’t have, Mack. Not unless...” Before Colin finished his sentence, her laughter began to echo all around them followed by a smell.

“Do you smell it? Smoke! That loony kid is trying to burn the place down with us all in it!” Mack smacked his hand against the wall in anger, and suddenly the electric lights burst into life before extinguishing with a pop.

Colin began searching every room again. They’d get out, but they couldn’t leave the kid in a burning building. The bed in the first room burst into flame, forcing him to retreat. Mack stepped out of the room opposite.

“What the hell is going on?”

“I don’t know, but we’re going to have to get downstairs while we still can.” Colin began to descend the stairs, forgot the broken stair and tripped. Suddenly his descent was so much faster and totally out of his control. He landed at the bottom of the staircase, bruised and winded.

“You okay, Col?” Mack stretched out a hand to help his friend up to his feet. “What are we gonna do?”

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting out of here.”

They rushed along the hall but before they reached the door it burst into flames. Childish laughter surrounded them again. Mack stumbled but Colin pulled him forward towards the fire. “Keep going. There’s only one door.”

“But look at it!”

Colin’s face was full of grim determination. “Keep going!”

And just as they got within range of the fire, the door sprung open. Both Mack and Colin raced away from the house, not daring to loiter for it could only be minutes before burning timber began to fall. The pathway seemed much further from the building than it had when they had arrived.

“Stop,” panted Colin. “Can you smell smoke?”

Mack stood, hands on his thighs, breathing in. “No.”

At the top of the path they both turned towards the house. There were no flames, not even any wisps of smoke. Half way between the building and the pathway stood the girl. “Come and play with me again, sometime,” she called, and then, as though she had disappeared into thin air, she was gone.

 

 


Submitted: October 30, 2020

© Copyright 2020 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Spooky-goodness, Hull

Fri, October 30th, 2020 6:19pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for giving this a read, Mike.

Sun, November 1st, 2020 3:26am

Hart McHugh

Excellent creepy ghost story for the day before Halloween!

Fri, October 30th, 2020 7:48pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for giving this a read. Glad you enjoyed it.

Sun, November 1st, 2020 3:25am

Joe Stuart

That is such a good ghost story, Hully. More mystery than horror, and I love the quirky ending.

Fri, October 30th, 2020 10:29pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Joe. Honestly, half the time I'm not sure what genre to pick.

Sun, November 1st, 2020 3:24am

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