Chapter Two: Red Snow Freedom
Part One: Riders On The Storm
Casey Jetsom drove and the house waited. It’s 1972 on a dark and stormy night. There’s no need to look in the mirrors, there’s no one here. No one except Ozzy. He’s curled-up, like a black panther, in the passenger seat floorboard. Casey turns up the radio as "Inna Gadda da Vida" plays. There it is… there’s the mood we’ve been searching for. Casey pulls out a joint, one he’s been saving since supper. Just waiting for the day to pass and hit that moment when it’s time to replay and reflect on the day’s events. Casey takes a hit and Ozzy purrs. There’s a girl standing there…
What?! I just saw a girl standing on the side of the road… no, maybe not... If I wouldn’t have just lit this I’d go back and check, but not now… There wasn’t anyone there… let’s continue. Don’t you know I’ll always be truuuueeeee.
I can feel the house… I haven’t been here since I was a kid and now I’ve waited so long it feels like some sort of task… like an obstacle I need to overcome. He looks at himself in the rear-view mirror. Man I look ruff, circles under my eyes… my face has been tattooed tired. Alright, about half an hour and I should be there.
Breath in… Breath out…
The storm grows heavier, overpowering the radio. Casey drifts into thoughts of his recently dead mother and how soon he was gonna have to face the rest of the family, especially on Christmas. Sounds like hell…..but it’ll be good to be back home again. But first I got time to kill and an old scary house haunting my childhood, so maybe I could slay a few demons.
Part Two: Albino
Casey stopped the car and stared. He hadn’t forgotten how big the house was, or how ominously it would peer at you, but he had forgotten who he was here. Rain and memories flood over him as he gets out and jogs to the front door, fishing his keys from his pocket. If there was gonna be hesitation, this would be the time, which is why he rushed the process and quickly stepped into the house.
Maybe it was all the memories of life and lives being lived, but this big, empty house felt crowded and bursting with energy.
Nonsense. You know better than that…or do I? Where’s the switch? Here… click, click, nothing. So, no lights. Wish I would’ve brought in my flashlight.
Luckily the moon and lightning are providing enough light to slowly make my way about. He starts to walk to the left where the living room and master bedroom reside, but after only a couple steps, a short yet strong scraping sound shrieks down the hall, freezing him immediately.
What’s that?! Okay, this is my house now and I’m gonna have to keep it up and check-out any scary shit I may hear at night, right? No, that’s not right. It has nothing to do with this house or what’s mine... it’s simple curiosity. I have to know. Sometimes I’d wish to stumble upon a phantom... just so death wouldn’t be such a worry.
So Casey starts to the right, down the hallway to the other bedrooms. Scratch, scratch. There it is again. He turns his head to the last bedroom on the right. It definitely came from there.
A dozen more very slow and quiet steps later Casey’s sweaty hand is turning the door knob. No curtains and a bright display of lightning illuminate the floor where Casey Jetsom sees his dead mother on the floor looking at him with eyes wide in shock. But after another second... it turns out to be a pile of old curtains.
My heart’s beating so hard, I’m afraid this may be dangerous to my health. How sad that would be, scared to death. Scratch... scratch... There... in the closet. Deep breath. Just a few steps and we’re opening another door. Don’t think about how scared you are, just do it before you chicken out.
With a firm tug the door slides open...
Casey looks into the darkness, but doesn’t see anything. What was making that noise, then? Scratch…
Casey can hear that whatever it is, it’s only a few feet away, right behind him.
He spins around and sees an albino vulture standing up, three feet high. Adrenaline shot into Casey and without much thought, he threw whatever was in his hand at the vulture and ran out the bedroom door and down the hallway. But when he reaches the door he stops and looks back. He can’t see it and all he can hear are his own loud gasps for air.
He holds his breath and listens...
Silence... but still it feels like I’m being watched, he thought. The hairs on the back of his neck were already standing on end, but now he was all too aware of it as he listened to the silence of the darkness with his entire body.
A whisper, “Casey…” He runs out the door slamming it extremely hard and splashes in the puddles to get to the car before he can even think of what, if anything, happened.
He gets in and fishes for the keys. No!! I threw them at that damn, zombie falcon!
“Meow,” Casey looks down at Ozzy, “I’m not gettin’ back out this car ‘til the sun’s shinin’.” After two nerve racking hours, Casey and Ozzy are asleep and the rain slows.