Don’t Look

“Why are you hyperventilating? Why is he hyperventilating?” Shary turned an accusing glare on Bill, her little brother Chris’s best friend.

“Whoa Nelly,” Bill held both hands up in surrender, “I just got here myself sis.”

“Likely story,” Shary kept on grumbling to herself and Bill ignored her happily, the two had developed this routine over two decades of begrudging friendship and neither paid much attention any more.

“Don’t look,” Chris suddenly gasped as he reached out to clutch the sweater clad arm of his older sister. “I should have never looked!”

“Looked where, Bolt?” Bill, the ‘nut’ to Chris’s ‘bolt’ held tightly to his friend’s hand and glancing around nervously. “Did you see something bad buddy? Should we call for help.”

“There is no help,” Chris rasped out, beginning to gasp and groan for air once more. “Nothing can be unseen. Don’t look! DON’T LOOK! Promise me Shar.”

“I can’t promise until I know where you looked,” Shary pointed out a little testily.

“The house,” Chris pointed shakily, though no one had needed to ask which house he meant. THE HOUSE had been abandoned since they were kids, the last people to live there having been Bill’s great aunt Gertrude and her caretaker. But the boys and Shary had played and explored there throughout the years, even spending a recent rain soaked afternoon tightly embroiled in one of the many storage rooms as they searched through old storage chests and giggled at Gertrude’s eccentric collections.

“What could you have possibly seen in there?” Shary scoffed, “We’ve been through that place a dozen times this year alone.”

“Can’t tell. Don’t look through the key hole!” Chris’s eyes rolled back into his head as he collapsed, ashen faced, to the damp grass of his sister’s freshly mown lawn.

Glancing between his fallen body and the decrepit, abandoned old mansion down the street, Shary and Bill reverted to their childhood selves almost immediately.

“Race you!” No telling which one said it as they both took off down the street…no telling who got there first or what, exactly, drove them both to the left side of that faded mauve exterior. There’s not even any way to tell who, or what, they may have seen through that old fashioned key hole in the door no one had ever noticed before. No way because, you see, no one has heard them speak since that moment.

Wait, I take that back, Shary is saying something now…

“Don’t look!”

My House

Well folks, Mom is sick so I got drafted into teaching the second grade today. I may come up with some brilliant stunner of a post while I’m gone, but until then I will leave you with the first chapter of My House. My House is a novel I wrote years ago, back when I first hit college I believe. I’m thinking of using it as an outline and revamping the piece now that I know more about writing.

Let me know what you think?? Have a great day!

 

Chapter One

        Three small children are playing on a trampoline in the front yard while a woman (their grandmother?) watches from a walker on the front porch. A bird calls, a dog barks, cars go by…it’s a perfect picture of suburbia, but all I see is the house next door. A little more run down than the rest of the houses on this particular street, with its peeling blue paint, rusty gray porch, and light yellow door faded to a streaked dirty brown. Oh how I remember that door and the year we painted it. Billy was home from college and Dee had no summer school classes (for the first time that any of us could remember) the younger kids were at summer camp so it was just us three oldest. That was a great summer! With the three little brats out of the way at camp we got all of the attention that mom and dad had been wasting on them. They played ball with us, cooked our favorite meals, took us swimming and let us choose the new colors for the house. My brothers picked the blue of the house and the silver of the porch, making it look like a warm summer’s night, but I – I got to choose the color of the door. Everyone else on the block had boring doors, all different shades of brown and black, but our house was going to be different, pretty. It should, no HAD TO match the feel of the rest of the house. I spent hours contemplating that door color. As the boys painted the house and the porch, I would watch all of the colors of life go by in the form of birds, butterflies, flowers, people’s clothes, and whatever else I could see. Finally, I chose a warm, buttery yellow because of its happiness. It reminded me of sunflowers and those truly happy smiles that light up a person’s entire face. I thought it was the perfect color to remind us of the sun and summer during the rain and snow of the upcoming seasons.

            After spending so much time choosing just the right shade for our front door, it seemed like the painting was finished too quickly. A mere four hours after I told my father the final color choice, the door was painted and drying. My brothers made fun of me for taking so long in my decision, but I didn’t care, the color was absolutely gorgeous and just perfect for the blue house.

            I hadn’t realized that I had crossed the street and was touching the door until the deep voice behind me startled me back to reality.

            “Can I help you” he inquired, sweeping his gorgeous green eyes over me and taking in everything he saw quickly and efficiently. “I’m the realtor if you have any questions or want to take a look inside.”

            That caught me off guard, no on had told me he was selling our house.

            “It’s for sale?” I asked, stupidly stumbling over the surprise as well as the intense look on his face.

            “Yeah,” he replied, looking bewildered, “Didn’t you see the sign, its right over there?”

            Now I felt really stupid, the sign he pointed out was directly in front of me.

            “Oh, no I didn’t see that and Billy didn’t tell me about it either.” I sounded more upset than I really was, but then I did have a lot to be upset about.

            “Billy? Your husband?” He asked quickly, furtively glancing at my left hand for any telling rings.

            “Billy? No” I laughed as I took in his relieved expression. “He’s my big brother, and the owner of this house.”

            “Oh, OH you’re Kit McKlain” he exclaimed, stumbling over his words. His body language became shy, almost scared. No longer was he the bold, sexy realtor hoping to make a sell, but a small, scared little by, hoping the neighborhood bully wouldn’t take his lunch money. I’m so used to this reaction that I barely notice it anymore. When people find out my name, they have a tendency to react in a very similar fashion. My family has the ability to scare the pants off most people.

            “Don’t worry” I rushed to assure him, “Billy hasn’t told me because we rarely speak anymore.”

            “Really?” he asked, “I’m sorry.”

            “It’s okay, not something I usually talk about with strangers, but still okay. Any yes, I would love to take a look inside.”

            “Great!! I’ll get the keys, and by the way, my name is Nikolas.” He said as he jogged down the street toward his glossy black truck.

            As I stood there waiting for him to return with the keys, I let my mind drift back to that summer.