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By K.H. ObergfollPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

There were always stories, you know them. We all grew up on them; some of us even watched them play out on late night television shows—the dead, the missing, and the forgotten. But this story—this story is much, much different, much darker, much more forgotten.

It all started with a missing kid, of course, and as with anything—there was only one or two at first, and then there were five, ten and so-on but they were taken over the course of so many years that one might not think to put two-and-two together. One might not think the many cases were related.

But then one day, everything changed. No one had ever seen whoever lived in the house out front. No one knows who owned it; maybe it was a ward of the state, or maybe the house has also been abandoned and forgotten by long dead relatives. Maybe, just maybe.

Dozens of people passed by this very house; some ignored it and others would stare in amazement that it hadn’t been torn down.

This house was hidden in plain-sight—you know the one with the boarded windows and decrepit walls. The house where the first floor is completely engulfed in wild vines, crawling ivy and overgrown bushes all held safely within a bulging metal gate.

The same gate which was meant to keep things out as much as it was to keep them in.

But there was something different about this house, the more you looked at it the more obvious it became. With this house the only thing you could see from the street was the middle window on the second floor. A dust covered window that sat empty and dark both day and night. Not a trickle of light as much as reflected off the window pane.

and yet, even in all the darkness, as hard as one might try to look, there would be no glimmer of hope for this place, no shimmer of light, none at all.

By Kevin Fitzgerald on Unsplash

But what had gone on at the house on Plainfield Avenue to make it so gloomy, so frightfully eerie. It felt as though the house had a pulse, a heartbeat of its own. Some even swore that it watched you cross the street to avoid it. Like the windows upstairs could see you, judge you, or worse, maybe the house could hear you as you whispered amongst your friends — talking about your innermost secrets.

Many wondered if the house could hear you talking about it, and all the things within. Whether from boredom, teenage speculation, or rumors passed down through the years, everyone knew it couldn't be worse than what they imagined.

Or could it? Monsters, Killers, Predators, Ghosts, Evil lurked within the shadows, patiently waiting for the right person to come along. But, was it something more, something worse? We may never know. You see—the house didn’t sit on a busy street, in fact, it sat facing a school but not just any school. The house loomed over a quiet elementary school of no more than fifty students...but outside of that, not much was known, and no one can be sure which came first, the house or the school.

But none of that mattered now.

You see, no one can quite recall the events that happened one early evening in the middle of May. All that's for certain is both the house and the school burned down, unleashing years of secrets within.

By Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

They say fire rebuilds the soul, piecing the broken pieces and getting rid of whats no longer needed. Scott Mallow lived in the third house on the end of the lane with his wife and two kids. He worked at the school on Plainfield Avenue, catty-corner to the forgotten home, passing by it twice a day.

A walk he had done for the better part of a decade, thinking nothing of the house as he crossed the street. Rumor has it the house was built long before the school existed, nearly a hundred years or so before. Many people had come and gone but the most popular stories would keep kids up late at night as they clutched tightly to their warm blankets, tucked safely at home, long removed from the dangers on Plainfield Avenue.

It was a local rite of passage if the sixth graders could talk the youngest of the group into opening the gate, putting one foot on the pavers, but not many would do it, instead chickening out before the rusted latch even opened, sending shrieking kids down the block...running from whatever imagined predator might snatch them.

This wasn’t for nothing; the kids had a right to be frightened.

There were strange occurrences around the brick lined pavers that unevenly made their way around the overgrown grass encased fence. Peering through the latticed metal gate one might feel as though something could reach out and grab you, pull your soul through to the other side.Of course the dilapidated fence had been constructed some years before to quell the unwanted intrigue that seemed to follow the new influx of students each year but it did nothing to stop them.

It wasn’t hard to understand why such curiosity surrounded the home—it was after all only a mere handful of yards or so from the very concrete steps that lead up to the front of Opalview Elementary—a school where everything faced the house and the house faced back—windows, portables, playgrounds, hallways, parent-pick up lanes, everything.

Crossing guards would ferry hordes of kids to and from each day while students whispered their own versions of what happened in the house that made it so scary. What made it so enticing, so appetizing, enough so to burn down everything around it.

For the local residents who paid their monthly dues the house was an eyesore to be demolished—but for the cities preservation society—it was one of roughly fifty houses in the area that were deemed “too historic” to be destroyed—but this would come at a cost as we would soon discover as the rubble was being sifted through.

Short Story

About the Creator

K.H. Obergfoll

Writing my escape, my future…if you like what you read—leave a comment, an encouraging tip, or a heart—I’m always looking to improve, let me know if there is anything I can do better.

& above all—thank you for your time

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