The house across the street

I look.

I can’t help it. It’s right across the street. It’s a worn white house with ugly brown trim. Looking at it, I can’t quite point out exactly what it is… why it looks as if it’s caving in on itself. But it does.

When I moved in, my roommate told me the story.

A man lived there, a big man, with no family. Nobody really knew him. Middle-aged. He shot himself a year or so ago. Pretty sad. Could it be any sadder, really? And since then, it’s quirks have haunted me.

It’s been only about five or six times, but sometimes a car will be there. On a Sunday. Once I saw a small gathering, a few men and a woman, purveying it from the sidewalk. Solemn.

Sometimes, a light will be on outside. I’ll run a few errands, come back, and it’ll be out. I don’t think it’s motion-activated. I’ve tested that theory. Sometimes, and this is the worst, the screen door will fly open. It will stay that way for days, flapping. I don’t dare close it. I’ve never come that close.

A small driveway, severely sloped and stout, falls into it like an open mouth, a garage tucked neatly below. And, on a morning not too long ago (aptly during the deep freeze of this winter), I heard a gushing sound emanating from it’s eerie cavern. Water line, I’m sure. And I had to call the cops.

“Who owns it? Does anyone live there?”

And somehow I was explaining my haunt to a policeman, leaving out all of my paranoia.

I don’t know what it means or if it will ever be sold or demolished. But it’s part of my (nearly) everyday. And I just wanted to say it somewhere. I’m sure we all have these things. I’ve even dreamed about the place, the man inside who I’ve never met.

Do you have something like that? Something that scares you, a constant reminder of your mortality?

That’s just one of mine.



  1. Sometimes simply wind through pines, late in the night. Our minds project dread and desire onto everything we see…including desolate houses and buildings. Carl Jung, in one of his books, claimed that–in dreams–a house represents the dreamer's body. This could be why haunted house fiction (Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, and Mark Danielewski's HOUSE OF LEAVES being the best) retains an eerie, potent power no matter how long-ago written. But it's healthy to feel as you do (and very considerate to do something about the possible burst plumbing); even healthier to write about it. As a so-called Horror author, I can vouche for the cathartic effect of writing about disturbing matters. Well done, Meghan.

  2. 1flychicken says:

    Thank you, mister. And thank you for reading.

    I like what you said… What Jung said. Hm. Funny the things that haunt us. I wonder what those, in the wakeful world, say about us.

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