Every neighborhood has one of them. Okay, maybe not every neighborhood, but every neighborhood I’ve lived in.
I wrote about the mystery creep house where I grew up in my short story Home Avenue in the book anthology Home Avenue. Some kids called it the monsters house, or the haunted house, or the spooky house. Nonetheless, the dwelling was only two doors down from where I lived.
As an adult, I moved 1,200 miles away from that mysterious, dark home, and now there is another one two doors down from my house.
I don’t have a photo of the one where I grew up, but I describe it to the picture in my anthology. The one in my present neighborhood looks like this. (click photos for closer yucky view)
Yes, somebody lives there. It’s a corner house, and this is just the front. Check out the side wall and then the pool where the fence fell down.
Do you ever wonder what stories these homes might tell? I shared what I knew about the house from my childhood in the anthology. I’ll share on my blog what I know about this present house.
A large woman lives there all alone. When I say large, I mean the kind that might need to be removed through that side wide window someday. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or mean about it, just painting a picture of her size. She is a hermit who doesn’t answer the door for anyone. Sometimes she’ll speak through a window, like on the occasions when the police have checked on her. The PT Cruiser in the driveway has a two-year expired tag. Cobwebs smothered in leaves and dead bugs grow around the wheels. We haven’t seen trash put out at the curb for the sanitation collectors. I don’t dare imagine what’s growing inside there.
She used to live with an elderly man who we think was her dad, but we’re not sure. Could it have been her husband? We don’t know. When he lived there she used to emerge a half dozen times a year, but since he passed away a few years ago, I’ve seen her twice. We wonder how and when she gets her food, since she is obviously eating well. Once, someone spotted a cab in front of her house in the middle of the night.
We have a Home Owners Association in this little corner subdivision of the world. There is a lien on the creep house. I wonder what will happen to her. She’s been offered help many times but she politely refuses. Can someone be forced to get help?
What stories could her walls tell, and how badly might they want to get away from the smell?
It’s sad, really. My story about the house on Home Avenue had a better ending than this one, at least so far. I hope one day that this woman can find her happy ending.