On the edge of town. One street light dimly illuminating this narrow road.
There is a beautiful, yet eerie old house.
Magnificently constructed, meticulously cared for.
Although old and curiously creepy, I have developed a love of this place.
Having graced it’s presence on many occasions. Spending afternoons here after school.
Running down here on Sunday afternoons, listening to old crooners on the Victrola. Yes Ms. Penny’s house was where I wanted to be.
As technology has changed the world, Ms. Penny remained unchanged.
She still played that Victrola, poking a finger in her hairnet, pushing at that silver curl. That was always seeking it’s freedom to lay across her forehead
The hardwood floors shining, intricately carved wood moldings and banisters.
Stepping through the door relinquishes my senses to another time.
Having played a hand of cards or two with the dear old lady who lived there.
Listening to her tell tales of long ago.
How dainty and frail. Sweetest little thing, wouldn’t ever hurt a thing.
Sipping whiskey from her tea cup. Cancer stick graced her lips every evening in her rocking chair.
Not uncommon to see her sitting there as sunsets, in her chair, on the porch.
I don’t recall having ever seeing anyone here maintaining the lawn or gardens, yet beautiful wrapping roses
and lilies bloom radiantly.
Those things change as of today, you see she has passed away.
And willed this glorious, old Victorian to me.
Today with keys in hand, I grace theses steps taking a look back.
As the sun is setting on this sleepy town.
I set my bag down, bringing a few things to keep me through the night.
I set in her rocking chair, light breeze blowing through my hair.
Memories of Ms. Penny grace my mind.
She cared for this place so, put in it all her love. Her husband passed so long ago.
Never having children of her own. She embraced the youth of the town.
Shared her garden, her care giving services, this was a place of peace and safety.
During the blazing hot summer days, in my youth, she would call us in for lemonade and sweet treats.
Growing older, she was the wise woman who gave advice, never judgmental and always nice.
As a teen I would come and visit with Ms. Penny, playing Gin and reminiscing.
She was a weathered soul and all alone in this big house.
Passing the time with old wives tales, spinning her stories that took me away to places I’ve never been.
Captivating me, telling tales of whoa, hardship in the old days, walking miles and miles to get the Sunday milk.
Cutting ice from the nearby lake to cool the ice chest in summers heat.
A few legends passed her lips. I loved her stories, she spun so well. They would give me goosebumps
and sparked a bit of fear inside.
Telling how the men from town would barter services, about places like Nevermore. You go there and no one sees you nevermore.
I may have giggled out loud. Sitting here all alone, memories passing, my lips in a breaking smile.
Passing over the threshold of this old girls vestibule.
I could have sworn I heard a moan coming from inside. Not hearing the lock latch in place behind me.
Having spent many days here and on occasion stayed over night.
We had fun, awakening in me an adventurous spirit, determined to learn about everything the world had to offer.
Remember when on one overnight adventure here recalling waking in fright sometime during that night. But don’t fully recall why.
A dream of the house whispering in my ear.
As beautiful as she is, it’s lonely here you can feel it. Almost as if the house is weeping.
Now, Ms. Penny had a many wondrous thing, oil lamps, beautiful glassware in a rainbow of colors.
Eye catching oil paintings hanging round. Trinkets from the world over, worn and weathered.
Mirrors, silver wares that would fetch a great deal at auction.
So many precious things, mine now to take a rumble through.
Feeling a sadness inside, not wanting to move anything.
I begin to call out for Ms. Penny and came to a realization that she is no longer here.
As the shadows grow longer, reaching for the light switch.The button kind, she refused to update the look of the house.
It’s integrity she used to claim.
3 full floors and basement too, oh what am I going to do.
Placing my things on the foyer table, I decide to take a look upstairs.
My thoughts wandering. How long had it been since anyone was up there.
Recalling playing up there a few afternoons. A little unsettling up there.
Mind wandering and catching the thought, there’s not a smidgen of dust in here.
Ascending the 2 flights of stairs and enter the landing, small table with an old milk glass lamp standing to the side.
5 rooms here and the door to the 3rd floor.
Walking over to the lamp and switching it on. Feeling like I’m being watched.
Senses are heightened and that feeling, familiar.
Pain tears through my finger, having sliced my finger open, a gushing flow of blood begins to trickle on the floor.
Heading to the bathroom to stop this bleeding. Finger wrapped I begin my glance around.
Old lace doilies on the chest of drawers in every room. All 5 decorated nicely, she could have have run a hotel here.
Turning back to the landing I spy the door up to the third floor.
Opening the creaky door a gush of cool air blowing in my face
I walk up the next 2 flights of stairs.
To my surprise there’s not much here. A couple boxes, a rocking chair, an old table, another milk glass lamp at which I turn the key on.
Slightly more dusty up here, although not near as bad as I would have imagined.
Not immediately taking into mind the mirror, I saw, but didn’t register, that beautifully ornate mirror placed directly in front of the chair.
My thoughts drifting to the lack of stuff up here.
Out loud expressing my thanks that Ms. Penny was not a hoarder.
Seems that she held onto meaningful, solid pieces and not a lot of junk.
Walking further into the room. I smell the scent of old lilac perfume.
A smile passing my lips. Turning I come back around to the rocking chair.
Startling myself as I catch my reflection in the mirror. I can see that the mirror is extremely old. Not calling ever seeing that before.
The surface although still reflective, is slightly wavy, considerably dull with some spots on the edges.
It’s gorgeously carved. Entranced by my image caught in it’s reflection.
I notice that there seems to be a trail of disturbed dust and yes, little footprints, right in front of the chair.
Wondering how much time Ms. Penny spent up here. Noticing a light ring on the table, that must have been from her cup.
And a small pile of ashes, maybe her cigarettes.
A feeling of sadness washes over me like a wave. Running my hands across the back of the chair.
Poor Ms. Penny, I had no idea. Sat up her all by herself.
How much time did you spend here, looking at yourself, rocking.
Finger throbbing, taking a seat in the chair.
I jump with a start as I hear, a voice coming from nowhere, and everywhere. Resonating through me, around me.
“Worry not dear, have no fear.” Ms. Penny
My jaw dropped and heartbeat quickened in an instant.
“Ms. Penny?” I utter
No answer comes back to me. Every inch of my skin crawling.
The door swings closed.
In my panic I try and stand, failing. I am unable to stand up.
I notice that the color of the walls has changed,
they are no longer worn boards but a crimson shade beginning to bleed, seeping from the seams.
My heart racing, “this is impossible” I state to the empty room.
I settle myself for a moment, and attempt to get up once more.
More sound vibrating through my every nerve, skin crawling.
“you stay for evermore” I hear coming from the house itself.
The blood from my finger dripping to the floor
Reeling in amazement as I watch the floor renew itself.
With thoughts running through me in waves
The chair beings to scream, in a deviously devouring choke
Being painfully and voraciously gorged upon.
Observing as the bottom half of me is gone in a flash
The last I hear is laughter in my ears. Catching a fading glimpse in the mirror
A woman, young and stunning, cawing, mouth agape cackling.