Do my eyes decieve me?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
My first ever completed short story. Wrote it up last night. Sorry if the formats weird- never posted a story before.

Submitted: July 30, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 30, 2015




“Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem but everyone refuses to believe in magic” – Mad Hatter


It had been three years since Harris saw his brother Ian but there was good reason for it; Ian was more of a family friend than a brother- like a distant cousin. Harris and Ian had no memories together- no memorable ones anyway. Not only that, Ian was always distant and strange.  He still was. Harris could put up with the geeky aspect but there was something about Ian that always creeped him out, maybe it was Ian’s odd personality…or his bizarre collections and fetishes- or maybe it was just his creepy house. It was like Ian was attached to it physically. He never left home. His mess of a mansion was inherited from their Grandma about eight years ago. It’s quiet and dark -even during the daytime. It’s a shame it didn’t get put to good use- Ian lives there alone and doesn’t take care of it well; the yard is out of control and most of the rooms are near empty or full of stacks of paper and random items from his research and antique collecting. That’s all Harris remembered of it. Harris was hoping it was different now…then again, why would it be? Harris continued to drive down a long road that had a lot of turns and bumps. He hadn’t seen a car in a long time and he felt isolated, which wasn’t a normal feeling for him. He rolled down the window and the air helped relieve his nausea. He was headed towards Ian’s house- Ian had called him up asking about an old music box; their grandma gave it to Harris years ago. It was sad though- it wasn’t a special thing to Harris, its home was in the back of his closet under boxes of other things he wanted to forget about but couldn’t let go. Anyway, Ian had been wanting that dumb box for a long time and Harris kept saying he’d drop it by but never did. It was Friday night, the only free time Harris had, he didn’t really have another choice but to drop it off- it would stop Ian’s desperate nagging. If he wanted it so bad why didn’t he come get himself? That was just another question about him the world would never know, Ian was weird.

Finally, Harris could see an entrance gate in the distance; it was really tall with thick metal bars. It was black yet rusted and vines had managed to rap all the way around. The rest of the gate went around the perimeter of the house; at least that part was decent. Oh and yes it is exactly what you’re thinking: a typical haunted mansion- a house from a horror film. Harris always thought it would be a perfect place to film a horror movie…maybe Ian could be the villain or the creep. Harris never told Ian that though. Harris couldn’t help but regret going there during the night. He could hardly stand the place in the daytime…but it was like something was calling him to it, he needed to go there.

He had conflicting feelings about the house. Memories of his grandma would sometimes flutter in his head…he could almost taste the homemade apple pie and then a few seconds later fear and sadness would creep in and it made him uneasy and almost angry in a way; angry that Ian was living there and not him, angry that Ian was wasting its value.

Harris unlatched the gate and it eased open. Its screeching was dreadfully piercing; Harris looked back and fast-walked towards the door, which was a while way. The door was actually in good shape but it had a rusty door knocker. It was a sinister lions head. Harris awkwardly lifted it up and knocked five times. If this was a scary cartoon this would be the time to gulp and run away as fast as he could. He wondered if Ian could even hear him. After a minute or so Harris rang the door bell a couple times. Not even knowing if that worked and after no answer Harris gave up and invited himself in. A cloud of musky air hit him in the face. It was completely dark except for the dim light upstairs- It lit up the stairway a bit.

“E!” Harris yelled slowly walking up the stairs. He tried to sound friendly- he didn’t want to startle him.

After he crept up the stairs he started to hear faint sounds of a piano.

“It’s me, Harris….Ian?”

Harris searched the rooms until he found the library; he finally found where Ian kept the piano.

Harris switched on the bedroom light. It flickered like crazy.

As Harris got closer to the center of the room he could see the piano keys moving by themselves. The piano was playing a whimsical melody, like a music box would play.

Harris nervously chuckled.

Suddenly the realization of what was happening hit him.

He was scared.

He slammed his hands on the keys as if that would make them stop.

“What’s going on!? Ian- where are you!?”

Harris almost forgot about the box; it started vibrating in his hand.

He ran to a nearby table and flipped it open. At first he didn’t notice anything except the music playing. Then he noticed the ballerina was missing- in its place was an older lady but it looked so real- it wasn’t plastic. Was it made of cloth? Harris brought the box closer to his face and he couldn’t believe it: it was a tiny grandma.

The grandma figure stopped spinning and turned to wave at him. Harris screamed and threw the box at the table. After he threw it Grandma jumped out and her full body was in view. She just jumped out of the box and grew to normal size. She looked beautiful but she was pale…and gray…ghost like.

Harris jumped back, “Grandma?” He started rubbing his head- I have to be dreaming. He repeated that phrase for a while.

Suddenly Ian walked in the room. He didn’t look startled at all.

“Hey Harris- Oh you’ve found grandma.” He gave Harris a big smile and slowly walked over to the piano and started playing.

“How it going grandson… aw my big boy. ” She smiled and brought her hand to his chin but her hand went through Harris. She walked eloquently to the piano and joined in.

Harris stumbled to the ground in shock.

“…how…how are you here!?”

“Thanks for brining the music box by- looks like grandma got lost in another antique again. My piano wouldn’t stop playing that tune- I knew she had to be in your music box Harris, I remembered the song,” Ian looked at his grandma with a playful grin and winked, “She’s gotta stop doing that.”

Harris managed to get up off the floor. He grabbed his hair with skepticism. Then he got angry,  “Gah! What is happening?” Harris looked at them one last time. They didn’t look back- they just kept playing with smiles. Harris turned to run out of the room; he stumbled over the stairs then slammed the door and rushed to his car. He could still hear the music playing in the back of his head- or was it that loud? He was shaking so bad he couldn’t put his keys in. Eventually he put the car in reverse and his wheels grinded over the gravel and he got out of there leaving a cloud of dirt in the distance.

He took the back road home and drove as fast as his wheels would take him.

That night he tried to convince himself in all ways possible- it was just a dream; he imagined it all. The house scared him so bad, it made him see things.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ __ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _


The next morning Harris woke up to the phone ringing.

Half awake he rubbed his eyes, yawned, and grabbed it. He kept dropping it on the floor but eventually got it to his ear:

“Harris?” It sounded like Ian.

Harris coughed… “Ian..?”

“Yep. Hey, you left your music box here. You better come get it.”

Harris paused for a second and the feelings came back. His head was spinning.

“Har-”  Ian was cut off.

Harris quickly hung up before he could hear anymore. No way was he going to that house; at least not for a very long time. And what was he suppose to tell people? If he told them the truth they’d think he was nuts….and he was starting to think he was.

Maybe it really was just a nightmare but if it was, how would Ian have the music box?

Harris chose to forget about it… but of course it was one of those things you couldn’t choose to remember or forget- it would creep back in his mind often.

And the incident was always at the back of his mind but he told no one and the more he convinced himself Grandma was really dead and that nothing happened, the world could keep spinning.

Time passed- A month went by and it was December. Christmas time.

Harris was busy shopping online for Christmas gifts. He wondered what his girlfriend liked. The site had many different options. Electronics, furniture, stuffed animals, cosmetic beauty kits, antiques


Harris stomach dropped- he made a mental note to not even venture through that tab.

Harris quickly ordered a few things then shut down his computer.

He was about to get in the shower when the door bell rang.

Not thinking anything of it, Harris answered almost immediately.

“Hey man.”

It was a hippy dude. Through all the hair Harris barely recognized him- It was Tony; One of Ian’s old buddies. Actually one of Harris’s too, back in the day.

“Oh… hey.” Harris’s door answering smile faded.

“……I don’t know how to tell you this.”

Harris glanced down at Tony’s hands- he was holding a music box and a note was taped on top.

“What is it Tony?” Harris couldn’t take his eyes of the music box: the curse that haunted his dreams.

Tony looked distressed and sick to the stomach. His eyes were blood shot. Had he been crying?

“..I- I uh…I think Ian ended it dude.”

“Ended it?? What do you mean?”

“I don’t know how long ago he wrote this…” He coughed, “No one knows where he is… Everyone  thinks he offed himself.”

Harris’s heart sank, “No. No,” He almost laughed, “Tony you have to be mistaken….He didn’t end it. There was nothing to end. He was happy.”

Tony shook his head and gave a sad smile, “No…He left a note man.” Tony handed over the music box.

Harris unwillingly grabbed it; tearing off the note. He started reading it; his eyes darting as fast as his sockets would let him.


“Hey Harris, it’s me Ian.

I went to be with Grandma-

I’ve done all I can do with my life here on earth-

It’s time to move on to more magical things…

Anyways- Here, take the box. I want you to remember me.

Oh, take the house too- I never needed it.

Don’t worry about me,

I’ll be dancing with grandma- it’ll be heaven.

Love you.”

Harris read it twice for good measure. Tony looked down in grief.

“The cops are looking for him and stuff….I was just about to give him this present too.” He took a stack of cards out his pockets. Some collectables Ian had always tried to convince Tony to give him.

Hot tears uncontrollably dripped down Harris’s face. He ran to his car and started it up as quick as he could. Tony yelled and slowly walked towards the car with a face of confusion. Harris sped away. It was a quick but sad trip to Ian’s house- with occasional wipes of the eye. What was going on? What had he witnessed a month ago? Grandmas ghost- for real?

Harris expected a cop car to be at that house but there was no one. It looked as secluded as last month. Harris wondered if anyone was even looking for him.

Walking through the house the same musky smell hit him. The house seemed so dusty. It was weird- it almost seemed fragile; could just be the sentimental feelings. Harris could see footprints on the staircase- they had to be Tony’s.

Harris wandered over to the library. Nothing was out of place.  He lingered in the room for a while. He kept getting flashbacks of little grandma in that box.

After searching the whole house Harris eventually made it to Ian’s room. This room smelt different- like sweat and mildew…and rotten burritos.

There was a pile of collectables and antiques in the corner of the room. The ones Ian cherished most were covered in dust on the shelves. Ian never did dust…or clean for that matter.

Harris sat on the bed and a wave of sadness came over him. Could Ian really be gone?

Slowly but surely Harris messed around with the stuff and was careful not to damage anything. Once in a while he sniffled and wiped his nose. It was so surreal, everything was.  Harris shook off the sadness and started to really dig deep; he pushed aside dolls, old clocks and radios and some other junk. At the bottom of the pile there was a bunch of music boxes.

“Whoa.” Harris sighed.

All of a sudden he thought he heard faint laughing…it sounded like Ian.

Harris looked around the room and eventually the laughing faded. Harris shook it off and looked back at the antiques.

He heard it again.

One of the boxes was vibrating.

Harris looked around the room wide eyed in shock. Part of him wished someone would snap him out of it.

Harris slowly moved his hand towards the box, fingers trembling. He flicked it opened as fast as he could and leaned back a little, preparing for the worst.

Two little figures popped up and music started playing.

Hands still trembling he brought the music box closer to his face.

….There stood little Ian and Grandma holding hands and dancing in a ballroom type fashion.

Ian looked up and his tiny hand waved. Grandma blew a kiss.

This time Harris wasn’t that afraid; he was more…amazed.

He put the small figures up to his ear: “Talk to me!”

“How goes it big brother?” A ghostly whisper creeped through his ear.

Harris sighed out of disbelief.

“… I-”

He looked down at the music box again. His grandma just sat there smiling, like she was the happiest person in the world, Ian did the same.

“Ian I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you…Grandma, can you hear me?” Harris’s voice was all choked up. He was sobbing over the box.

“It’s okay son.” There was a deep manly voice. Harris flipped the box closed and turned around- two cops stood there with a face of sympathy. He didn’t even hear them come in.

“She’s in a better place; She’s probably dancing in heaven, hon.” The girl police officer smiled at Harris.

Harris laughed a bit too loud.

The cops were taken aback- they looked at each other, confused.

He laughed again. They’d never understand…


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