Monday, June 9, 2014

House of Hollow Wind (Mini Blog-Series Part 2)

Part 2

I’m not sure how long I’d been asleep when suddenly a strange noise awakened me.  There was a tapping outside my bedroom door, not unlike footsteps or a slow shuffling of feet.  I arose with  a start, noticing someone had turned the table lamp off while I was sleeping.  Perhaps Grandmother had come back some time in the night to check on me?  Or had it been the person who now stood outside my door?  I climbed out of bed, a bit disoriented from darkness and my new surroundings.  I momentarily watched as a full moon slipped eerily behind the gray clouds of twilight outside the window.  The house shook and moaned as if in protest of the winter wind.

I shivered as I made my way to the door, rather from the cold or from fear I wasn't sure.  The wind outside whistled against the window and a chill ran down my spine.  I pressed my ear to the door, “Hello, is anyone there?”

I paused a moment, unsure of what to do, when suddenly there came the sound of a slow moan, almost as if someone were suffering.  Had grandma fallen on her way back to her room?  Or perhaps it was Grandpa I was hearing, calling for help?  I hadn’t seen aunt Helen upon arrival, and reasoned she’d probably been asleep for hours already.  The moan came again, louder this time, closer.  My curiosity was peaked, and apparently someone needed my help.

The knob was cold to the touch.  I twisted the lock and stepped apprehensively into the dim-lit hallway.   At first nothing seemed awry, but as my eyes adjusted to the shadows I noticed something moving several yards ahead of me.  The white shadowy figure seemed to be slightly limping.

“Hello, is that you, Aunt Helen?”  I called out in alarm. 

No answer.  But of course it could not be Helen, it was much too tall and there was no accompanying cane.  I took a few long strides in the direction of the thing in hopes of discerning at least some facial features.  The figure bobbed up in down and the darkness, as if levitating across the old, hardwood floor.  The boards were creaking beneath my feet, and the shadows from the corners of the hallways seemed to be reaching out towards me, warning me with the dark of their open mouths. 

Just as I’d caught up with the figure, it turned towards me, a skeletal thing.  I gasped in horror at it’s hollowed eyes, the green gasp of it’s open jaw .  Long, skeletal fingers smelling of earth and something I could not recognize reach toward my face, catching the collar of my shirt, sinking it’s nails into my skin of my throat.

“Leave,” it spit into my face.  “You are not wanted here.  Only death awaits you here.”

As quickly as the white, grotesque being had grabbed me, it pushed me away.  My backside hit the hard floor with a sickening thud.  I watched with a bone chilling fear as the shadowy thing turned the corner of the hallway and disappeared into the deepening darkness.  For a moment I was too stunned to move, too terrified for proper reasoning.  What had I just seen?  The ghost of an ancestor?  A spectral hallucination in my tired state?  And what danger could there possibly be at the old farmhouse of my grandparents, the only place in the world for which I’d ever felt truly safe?

I took a few steps down the hall, peeking deligently around the corner to see if the apparition still hid in the cornered shadows of the hallway.  Only, it had already gone.   I took stock of the rooms in which the thing could have just as easily disappeared into.  There was Grandma and Grandpa’s room to the right, for which only Grandpa slept in, due to his illness.  I could only assume Grandmother was residing in the room to the left of Grandpa’s.  And if memory served me well, Aunt Helen’s room was the far end on the left side.  That left only one unoccupied guest room and the only other rooms occupied a bathroom a small utility closet. 

Whatever and whoever it was, I reasoned it could have disappeared into any of the rooms.  I knew it would not serve me well to go meandering into the closed doors this late at night.  I risked waking everyone, and that would bring more questions for which I had no answers.  Besides, I could not very well justify that I’d seen a skeletal ghost that had all but warned me to leave on my first night here. 

More tired than ever, I slowly made my way back to my own room.  I made sure the door was securely locked before returning to bed.  Sleep, when it came, was a restless thing that tossed me between the heavy blankets, carrying on it’s wings dreams of ghostly threats and the smell of danger.

Stay Tuned for Part 3.  New segments added every Monday and Thursday!!  

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