The Red House
"What did you say the name of the road was?" Shawn asked his
dad while trying to drive the winding road. "Shadow Lane, spooky, huh?"
his dad answered on the other line. The town was definitely "spooky."
Shawn shuttered when he passed the welcome sign that boasted the name
of the town, "Death's Edge, Pop. 302." It was a town that curled around
the Atlantic Ocean. The air was salty, but warm this time of year.
There were a few sandy beaches, but mostly sharp rocks and ghostly
cliffs that hovered over the rough sea waters. "Ok, dad, I see it,"
Shawn said noticing the rose stems and ivy that coiled around the street sign.
"Now, son, these are sweet people, work hard and they will pay you
handsomely. Have a good time, see you in a couple of months," his dad
said as they each hung up the phone. He turned down the road and
noticed the house that he would be living in for the next three months,
it was a stone house that stood tall at about three stories. It was
mostly enclosed in the same ivy that seemed to encompass a large portion of the east coast town, but the yard was beautiful. He strolled up the
perfectly paved walkway that appeared to part a sea of brightly colored
azaleas and habranthas. Before he could knock on the door, an overly cheerful man and woman were waiting to meet him. "You must be Shawn! So glad to have you! I am John Bledsoe and this is my wife, Lucy." He extended his hand eagerly as Shawn accepted the handshake. "Nice to meet you, thank you both for this opportunity." Shawn smiled, shining his pearl white teeth as his clear, blue eyes seemed to match his expression. His short, sandy-blonde hair fell lazily, but neat. He had a very confident and strong stature, and Bledsoe noticed this immediately. "You will be staying in the pool house, its right on the beach; I believe you will like it. It's just like a small house, and you will have everything you need. We will be starting work tomorrow morning at six a.m. so be up and ready. Can you think of anything you need or have any questions you want to ask" Mr. Bledsoe asked seeming like he was in a hurry to get Shawn out of the way. "No sir, thanks again for everything," Shawn answered politely. "Well, we owe your father our lives; he is a wonderful business man and a great friend. Enjoy yourself, and I am certain we will enjoy your company." He said patting Shawn on the back. "I will bring you a plate of supper when it's finished cooking dear," Lucy said touching his arm gently as they handed him the key to the pool house. They were nice, but very odd. In usual politeness you show your guest around a little bit, but they disappeared down the long, front hallway of the gigantic house. Shawn
wandered around until he found a patio door that opened to a stone path
leading to the pool house. He had never seen such a large pool house
before; it had to be at least two thousand square feet. "Damn, nice place." he said to himself as he inserted the key that the Bledsoe's had hastily handed him into the door. It was very comfortable and decorated in a modern, simple decor. He smiled as he realized this was his, well,his for three months anyway. The kitchen was well stocked and in the living room boasted a big screen, satellite adorned television with all the electronic wonders possible, even an astounding stereo system. Money was definitely not an issue to these people.
He decided to take a walk on the beach; it was his front yard after all.
As he felt the warm, sugary sand on his feet he gazed into the ocean,
full of rolling, salty waves. Sea gulls danced the brackish air currents as the sun selfishly only extended a few arms of light sporadically throughout the sky . As He noticed the many beautiful wonders of his new front yard, he glanced over to notice the rear of the neighbor's red house. It was much plainer than the front, nothing to brag about, except a beautiful oak swing, enveloped in pink roses and more of the bounteous ivy. The swing slightly swayed with the ocean's soft breeze, looking very inviting. He walked to the ocean's edge, feeling the cold water wash upon his feet, taking in as
much of the beautiful day as he could. He was so at peace here, far from the bustling city life and selfish, unthankful people that surrounded him there. As he turned to walk back to the beach house, he glanced again toward the neighbor's house and thought he saw someone looking out one of the windows on the third floor. But upon a second look, they were gone. "This is like an eerie paradise," he said to himself, feeling the hair on the back of his neck raise. It was a beautiful place, indeed, but he sensed a mysterious feeling entwined with the atmosphere here.
Shawn laid on his back, listening to the unforgiving waves crash on the
shore and feeling the crisp ocean breeze circulate through his room.
It was late, at least midnight or after. He was having a lot of trouble falling
asleep. He knew he had to get some rest, or he would be as a walking
zombie the next morning. As he closed his eyes he thought he heard crying. "I must really be tired cause I'm hearing things," he laughed at himself as he closed his eyes once more. But he heard it again. He sat up on the edge of the bed and rubbed his tired eyes. He peered through the window behind his bed, and to his surprise he saw a girl. She was sitting in the wood swing that he had noticed behind the mysterious red house yesterday, sobbing. As he watched her, she arose from out of the swing and slowly walked toward the dark, chilling ocean.
He rustled through his bag looking for the binoculars that his father
had sent with him. He thought his dad was crazy for wanting him to take
them alon, but now he was glad that he did. As he returned to the window
with them in hand, she was nowhere to be seen. "What the hell?" he
cursed to himself. "I've really got to get some sleep," he shook his
head in disbelief and laid back down. Now, along with the odd house next door, the mysterious girl's image was cemented in his mind. He knew he saw her, he wasn't dreaming, or at least he thought. He finally fell asleep thinking about the unusual day he had.
Shawn awoke to the annoying buzzing of his alarm clock. "Damn it to
hell! It's too early!" he shouted aloud as he was feeling the
consequences of staying awake late. He sat on the edge of his bed
rubbing his bloodshot eyes and thinking about his first day of work. He was a bit nervous, but more anxious to get there and get started than anything. "Ok, son, we are going to construct a cathedral-style house for my clients, the Barr's. Here are the blueprints for it; it should take the entire time
that you are here just to get most of the external features finished. I
really appreciate your help. So, how did the pool house sleep last night?"
Mr. Bledsoe asked as Shawn scanned the blueprint. "It was fine, very
comfortable." Shawn answered as Mr. Bledsoe smiled and turned to finish
working. Shawn walked to the site where the crew was constructing a
cathedral-style overhang. He was watching his feet as he walked, a bad habit, as he heard a loud shout. "Shawn! Watch-" a horrific pain overcame him, but blackness took its place within a matter of minutes. A few moments later, Shawn awoke on a stretcher in a lot of pain. His head ached, as did his shoulders. "Shawn, son, are you okay?" he heard Mr. Bledsoe asked in a concerning manner, standing over him. "Yeah, what happened?" he groggily replied. "You got a nice smacking on the head, but the Paramedic said you'd be fine, probably just a nice bump and a headache. Why don't you go home for the day?" Mr. Bledsoe said. "No, I will be fine. Just a few aspirin and I'll be okay." Shawn sat up. He hated to take off for anything. He could take it.
Shawn had a headache for most of the rest of the day, but he and the rest of the crew worked hard on the foundation of the house. It was going to be a beautiful house, not to mention the monumental price tag that it would possess. The Barr's was a family of four, all born
with silver spoons shoved down their throats. Many sociology books talk
about how some people come into money, whether it's an ascribed status
or an achieved status. They fell into the ascribed category, simply because
Mr. Barr was about the laziest man on the East coast. Never would any member of the family from any generation ever,
would ever have to work a day in their lives. Shawn didn't agree with
this, he had always been a hard worker, ever since he could walk. His
father instilled a great work ethic in him. You could say he and his family was of achieved status, much more commendable than something handed over. His father worked his way from the mail room
in a banking corporation to CEO of one of the largest financial
institutes in the United States and his mother made it through medical
school while raising Shawn and his sister, working a part time job, and
holding down a household. This is the only way Shawn knew how to live-
by working vigorously for everything he had.
By the time the sun was setting, Shawn and the rest of the crew were tired and roasted to well done by the blazing, unforgiving sun. His headache was finally gone, but the bump was a nice and painful reminder of the embarrassing, clumsy trait that he held. Mrs. Bledsoe prepared a huge meal for everyone, including lobster, steamed vegetables, and shrimp scampi. They all scarfed it down like it was their last meal as they sat around goofing off and having a good time. "Shawn, son, I haven't ever seen a boy your age work as hard as you did today, I am really impressed! Especially after getting knocked out like that!" Mr. Bledsoe said raising his beer bottle in the air for a toast. The guys all cheered as they teased
Shawn for being a brown noser, and a clumsy one at that. "Yeah, yeah
guys, whatever," he laughed along with them as they all said good night
a short time later. Shawn thanked the Bledsoe's for dinner and walked
down to the pool house. He had forgotten all about the incident the
night before at the house next door until he glanced over and noticed that a
light in one of the windows was on. That day, while Mr. Bledsoe had sat
with Shawn after his accident, he asked him about the house and its
inhibitors. Mr. Bledsoe told him it had been abandoned for years. Also,
that it was said to be the haunted house of the town. So this made him
wonder, if the house had been abandoned, why was the electricity still
turned on? He froze as he felt chills run up his back. He definitely
wasn't seeing things. He crept a little closer as he squinted his eyes
to see better. There was the girl, and she looked to be brushing her
hair. He quietly walked closer to the house as he watched her brush her
shoulder length, silky tresses. He couldn't quite see her face, and this intrigued his curiosity even more. He stood and watched, captivated by her. He was in a trance, as something rustled in the water, taking his attention
away from the girl in the window. He looked toward the ocean, glancing across the vast, eerie waters. He didn't see anything and then returned his interest back to the window. But the light was no longer on, and the girl was gone. "This is just wierd," he shook his head and turned to walk back to the pool house. As he looked back once more, he noticed the wooden swing was dancing back and forth as if someone was controlling it. There was a slight breeze in the air, but it wasn't strong enough to maneuver the swing. "Ok, it's definitely time for some sleep," he rubbed his eyes and didn't look
back as he entered the house. He took a couple of pain pills, and
drifted off to sleep. Odd dreams hit Shawn hard that night. He dreamt that he was in an earlier time, standing in the parlor of a big, and colonial
house. He was dressed nicely and he had a maid to tend to his every
need. Everyone around him talked funny and he found himself speaking
the same very way. The people all kept calling him "Mr., something", he
couldn't quite make out the name that they were saying. He was being
treated like royalty. And then she entered- fair and beautiful, with
silky hair and icy blue eyes that could cut through a stone wall.
As she smiled he felt his heart sink, and felt himself goofily smiling
back. "My lord," she said as she kneeled in front of him. He was
confused by this as she stood back up in front of him. She started to
lean in to kiss him as he felt his knees give out. Just as her lips
started to touch his, he awoke, hitting the floor hard. "Shit!" he said
feeling his head ache. He had fallen on top of his binoculars, and noticed when he came to that his window had mysteriously opened the breeze making his curtains dance. He went into his bathroom and splashed cold water on his face. "Get a grip, you are losing it!" he told the reflection in
the mirror. He glanced back toward the open window and picked up the
binoculars. There she was again- the mysterious girl- dancing and
twirling on the beach. She had a white spaghetti string top and form
fitting shorts, covered with a sheer, flowing robe. She had
a very nice, petite body, he found himself wishing he could see her face. He watched her as she walked to the edge of the water, acting so happy and free. She finally turned toward him and he suddenly felt frozen in place. He felt weak and dizzy. It was the same girl from the dream. "How freaking weird is that!" he whispered to himself as he noticed her staring straight at him. He felt paralyzed as she slowly walked toward him. Her beauty was stunning, and he could no longer feel
his lower extremities. She stopped half way, and he could see her
smiling as she turned to walk the other way. He was confused by this as
he watched to see where it was that she was going. The house sat next
to a mountain of sharp rocks where the water consistently seemed to
abuse the mass of jagged stones. The girl, looking toward him a couple
more times, disappeared behind the dangerous rocks and treacherous
waters. He was compelled to follow her- why he still didn't know. Reluctantly, he pulled a t-shirt on, grabbed a flashlight, and headed to find the mysterious girl. "What the hell is wrong with me, I am not brave enough to do this," he mumbled to himself. But his feet wouldn't stop moving, as if
something were carrying him. She must of known he was watching, why
else would she of kept looking back at him? Was she calling him to her
destination? "Hello?" he called as he came close to the rocky area. He
was beyond fear, even farther than terrified. He tried to get a good
footing on one of the rocks so he could move closer to where he saw her
go. He then saw what appeared to be a cave, a really big cave, and
decided to go in. Surprisingly, the cave smelled intoxicating; a sweet
aroma of honeysuckle with a trace of ocean saline scent. The darkness
almost encircled him as he turned on his small flashlight. He was
startled as a couple of bats flew over his head, and then he noticed
footprints in front of him. They were small, he supposed they were
those of his mystery girl, and they led into the darkest tunnel of the
cave. "She is a hell of a lot braver than I am," he said scaring more
bats to fly above his head. "Hello?" he said again as she suddenly
appeared. He stood stunned as she smiled sweetly. She was so small and
so beautiful. "Are you following me?" she giggled as she noticed his
nervousness. "Ok, you don't talk? You know, most newcomers won't come
into these caves. Any reason you did?" she grinned a little as she moved
closer. He was speechless. "I saw you through my window. I was curious.
Why are you down here in the middle of the night?" he gulped, feeling
sweat drip from his forehead. "I come here every night at this time.
It's my getaway. What's your name?" she moved a little closer, making
him feel a rush of uneasiness. "Sh, Shawn," he stuttered. "Well, Sh,
Shawn. I'm Isabella, but you can call me Bella. Nice to meet you," she
extended her hand to him and smiled again. He slowly reached out his
hand and took hers. It was so small in his, and felt so smooth. "So,
you're staying with the Bledsoe's', huh?" she asked breaking the
tension between the two. "Yeah, for the summer at least. You live in
the red house? Next door to the Bledsoe's?" he asked noticing her
expression suddenly darken. "No, that house is abandoned. It's haunted, ya know.
I live down the beach." She smiled a little as he was confused. He knew
he had seen her or if not her someone, in the red house. "Are these
caves not haunted, since they are right behind the house? And I know I
saw you in the swing that sits in the backyard," he asked getting an
eerie nervous feeling. "I do go to the swing, it's comforting. These
caves aren't haunted; it's just the house, the interior." She answered,
easing him a bit. Maybe he didn't see someone in the house after all.
"So, why aren't you sleeping? This is a scary place for someone to be
by their self." Shawn asked feeling a little more comfortable. "Its my
getaway, I told you already." She seemed to be avoiding the question
all together. "Do you not sleep?" he pushed. "There is too much beauty
around to sleep, you may miss something," she smiled picking a
honeysuckle off of a vine that grew along one of the cave walls. "Do
you want to go swimming with me?" she asked eagerly. He looked at her
in shock, she talked to him as if she had known him forever. "Ok, I
guess. Let me go get some shorts," he said turning as she
stopped him. "Can you not skinny dip?" she said surprising him to the
point that he blushed. "It's natural ya know, it's
not a big deal, unless you are just completely uncomfortable with it,"
she smiled a sweet smile as she turned to walk to the other side of the
cave where a beautiful beach laid. He was completely taken aback. Although it was dark, he could still see the outline of her body as she stripped off her clothes and walked slowly into the crashing waves. "Are you comin' or not?" she laughed as she twirled in the water. He smiled and
shook his head as he pulled off his shorts. The water was like ice on
his body as he shivered and made his way to her. "Are you not
freezing?" he snickered as she smiled and shook her head. "Suck it up,
Shawn! You'll get used to it," she giggled and disappeared under the
water. He could feel the small fish nip at his legs and toes as he
waded closer to Isabella. She came up right in front of him as he
jumped. She was quite a bit shorter than he was, standing at about the
height of his shoulders. "You need to relax a little," she smiled
beautifully as he goofily grinned back at her. He wanted to kiss her
lips, as he was about to in his dream. She weakened him, he felt
completely defenseless around her.
"So, how late do you stay out here usually?" he asked as they drying in the humid ocean air , on a cliff right off of the beach. "Till whenever. I don't want to go home tonight, I'll probably just sleep here on the beach." She stared out into the ocean as Shawn raised his eyebrows. "I'm staying in the pool house, you can sleep there. I can lend you some dry clothes." He said as she laid her head on his shoulder. "You're sweet. So tell me, do you have someone waiting on you back where you came from?" she asked as he looked away. "Not anymore. She didn't agree with my decision to come here." He answered as Bella lifted her head and looked at him. "Why did you come here, Shawn?" Those ice blue eyes of hers were almost painful as her stare pierced his own eyes. "Adventure, a great opportunity, I guess. I'm not one to just lie around and party all summer like my ex and her friends. Sometimes is okay, I guess, but not like they do. I like a little responsibility in my life. If she didn't love me enough to let me experience this, then I don't guess she is the one for me." He said confidently. "You
have great morals and beliefs. That's special. She's crazy if you ask
me. Why didn't she just come with you?" "She won't go anywhere if it
requires her to do any work. She wasn't my type in the first place; I
don't even know why we went out. She's too afraid to get her hands
dirty, I guess," he laughed as did Isabella. "What about you? You've got to have a guy, right?" he asked as she laid her head back on his shoulder. "No. My father wouldn't allow boys to date me. I've had to sneak," she smiled uneasily as Shawn felt as if she was hiding something. "Well, I better get some sleep, I have to work early.
Why don't you stay in the beach house, you don't have to stay here
alone," he offered. She smiled, "I'm used to it. Thanks anyways,
especially for your company, Shawn." She said kissing his cheek. "Do
you want me to stay with you, then?" he asked not wanting to leave her.
"You are too sweet. Good night," she said turning to walk away. She was
definitely different, in a good way, of course. But so mysterious. Why was she so secretive?
"Son, are you okay? You seem to be dragging today. How's your
head?" Mr. Bledsoe asked as Shawn rubbed his eyes. "Sorry, sir, I
didn't sleep well last night. My head is fine, though. I will pick it
up," he apologized as John looked worried. "I'm not complaining about
your work, you just look a little down and out. Why don't you head out
a little early today and get a nap. I know the trip here was rough, and
it's hard to get adjusted to a different bed, especially since you got
into a fight with a big board. Go on, go get some sleep," he smiled as
Shawn didn't fight him this time. He did feel a little guilty,
though; it was his fault after all. He was the one who stayed out all
night. But it was well worth it, he had never met anyone quite like
Bella, and especially the odd way he met her. Although he wanted to see her again, the whole situation was just plain weird. Real life didn't happen this way. He hoped he could see her again anyway, no matter the circumstances surrounding their meeting, and she consumed his thoughts as he lay on his bed back at the pool house.
Shawn awoke to rain beating down on the windows of the house. Sleepily he gazed toward the clock that told it was only eleven thirty. He had fallen asleep around four that afternoon and was so tired he didn't even move. He was now wide awake, and made his way to the kitchen before the rolling in his stomach grew louder than that of the thunder. He pulled some ham and
mayo out of the fridge and made a couple of sandwiches. As he plopped
down in one of the plush recliners, he heard a whistling noise. "Must
be the wind," he said to himself trying to figure out which remote
controlled what elaborate electronic device. Just as he had found the appropriate
remote, the electricity shut off. "Damn it!" he yelled searching for
his flashlight. But the closer he came to his bedroom, the louder the
whistling noise became. He peered through the window towards the red
house, trying to see past the pouring rain and flashing lightning. He
could see the shutters of the house being whipped about by the wind and
tree limbs striking the siding. He then remembered about Isabella, and
he hoped that she wasn't out in this storm. All of the sudden he heard
a loud crash, and he was snapped out of the daydream he was having.
"What the hell," he said grabbing his binoculars to search for the
culprit. He felt a hard, cold feeling in his chest as the red house
looked almost alive. The lights were on in every window and shadows
were floating on the inside of the house. A knock at the door startled
him as he grabbed the closest sharp object and went to find out who his
visitor was. "Hi, Shawn. I brought you some candles since the lights
were out," Lucy smiled as he invited her in. "This storm is horrible. I
didn't awake you, did I?" she asked. "No ma'am. Listen, can I ask you
something? About the red house next door?" he said hastily as a frightened look swept across her slightly aged face. "That house is evil. Things that happened in that house were wicked, bloodcurdling things. Things unthinkable to a human mind." She looked deeply depressed and faced toward the door as if she wanted out. "So I am not seeing
things?" he asked as she looked up quickly. "Why, what do you mean?"
she asked confused. He motioned for her to go to his window. "I don't
see anything, hun. What's wrong?" she said as he ran to the window to
find just rain and a dark, quiet house. "I swear, there were shadows,
and lights, I know there were," he angrily said rubbing his forehead.
"You need to get some rest, dear. Nothing goes on now in that house,
dear. It's all in the past. But believe me, you need to forget about it. You don't need the burden of knowing what went on there. Get some
sleep." She smiled, looking upset still by his question of the red
house next door. He was extremely confused, but even more curious of
why everyone was so secretive about the house. He returned once again
to look out of his window, but nothing. He tried and tried to go back
to sleep, but his mind was bustling with images and sounds. He thought
about Isabella, thought about her safety and finally decided to see if she was in the cave. It
was still raining, but he didn't care. He through on some old shoes and sweats and prepared to walk down behind the red house to get
to the caves. His heart was jumping as hard as it could, flushing his
face and beading sweat off his forehead. The rain had lessened to a
slight drizzle as he trudged through the wet sand and stepped over the
slippery rocks that pierced the beach. He kept close eye on the red
house, as he felt like it was eyeing him. It felt colder as he walked directly behind
the house and the silence was just plain disturbing. "Bella?" he called
as he reached the crossing point to go into the cave. The rocks were
more slippery with the rain, so he held on tight to the side of the
mountain wall. "Isabella? Are you here?" he yelled again feeling a
tingle up his spine. Something just didn't feel right. He walked around
the still cave keeping his eyes open to any anomalous movement. He
finally sat down on a smooth rock surface and stared out onto the
violent ocean waters. He had wanted to see her badly, but he figured
that she had more sense than he did, and was at her home in her warm
bed. Finally, he walked back around the cave, walking toward home. He
tried not to look at the house as he walked by it, but something seemed
to pull him. As he glanced at the tall dwelling, he noticed a window
open, with a small ray of light immersing out. "Don't be an idiot! You
watch scary movies, you know what happens when someone goes somewhere
that they are not suppose to go! They become victims!" he told himself
as he tried to fight the urge of curiosity. He stopped dead in his
tracks as he thought he heard his name whispered. He couldn't fight the
urge any longer. He was going to go inside the red house. He was going to find out what the hell was wrong with this damn house. Its just a house, surely, and nothing more. Even after telling himself it was just a stupid house, his body felt numb as he stood right in front of the screen door in the back of the house. The wind rocked the door violently, and Shawn reached out to grab the handle. "DON"T! A voice from behind him said. He turned to find Isabella standing there, with fear all over her face. Her eyes looked horrified and saddened, all at the same time. She was
wrapped in a clear raincoat and her hair was sopping wet. "You don't
need to go in there, you don't need to know," she said seriously. "Why
does everyone keep saying that? I can handle it. Why is everyone so
secretive about this damned house? It's a fucking house for crying out loud!" he yelled angrily as she dropped her head and stared at her bare feet. She started to walk away as he reached out and grabbed her arm. "Bella, wait, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you, I'm sorry, please stay.
I came out here looking for you in the first place," he softly
apologized as a tear fell from her crystal blue eyes. She smiled a
little as she took his hand to lead him to the cave.
"Did you ever notice that maybe a storm is like a curse?" Isabella asked as they lay on their backs watching the sky. She still held onto one of Shawn's fingers as she caressed it with the tips of hers. "What do you mean?"
he giggled. "Seriously, the sky starts out all beautiful, the stars all
hung up there like perfect little jewels,decorating the bright moon.
So peaceful. Then the darkness falls, and the sky cries, as if it were
in pain from the bolts of lightning tearing through it. Then, sometimes
after a storm, the sky is red, because maybe it's the blood from all
the torture it endured." He noticed her as she stared up into the sky,
pondering her theory of storms being a curse. "You are so beautiful,"
he said without thinking about it. A small grin touched her pink lips,
as she continued to watch the sky. She then cradled her hand in his
tightly as she held onto him. She was so perplexing, he hardly knew
anything at all about her, and he felt like that was the way she wanted
it. Silently, the two lay there, holding hands and staring at the sky, clearing up from its "curse".
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