Summary: Adam and Joe are asked to fix up an old house for a friend of Ben’s who is about to move in to it. What they find is that there is someone or something opposed to their doing so. A little Halloween story narrated by Joe that I made last year. This is the first story I have posted anywhere but BW. Please let me know what you think!
Rated: K+ (3,200 words)
The House on Kay Street
It was mid October when pa got the letter about old Mr. Jenkins buying that house. It was a pretty nice place that just needed some fixin’ up and since pa owed Mr. Jenkins a favor anyway, pa was happy to oblige. About two years back, Mr. Jenkins had been our neighbor and he did pa a real favor in helpin’ us round up that two hundred head of cattle that had been scattered across the valley. Pa had always promised to repay him someday and since he would never take any money for it, pa figured this was the only way. Mr. Jenkins was gettin’ a little up there in years and he just couldn’t handle fixin’ up that house all by himself and it had been hard enough on him to get up and move with what little he had left after that flood destroyed his last place, so he finally got up the nerve to ask pa for some help.
That week was a bit of a hectic one for us bein’s it was starting to get colder and we had to get ready for the coming winter. It was hard enough to let one of us go, but Mr. Jenkins asked pa for two of us! It was something that all three of us wanted to be picked for since it would be much better than what the other one would be left doin’ here. I felt real sorry for Hoss when he picked the shortest match. Boy was he disappointed.
“Pa, this ain’t fair! They always get to go unless it’s something I don’t wanna do then they always get out of it and I end up havin’ to do it!” He complained to pa.
“Hey, you talk like I got it easy. It ain’t gonna be that much fun havin’ to work with Adam for that long!” I joked to try and ease his mind.
I didn’t know Adam had heard me until I heard his response.
“Well then, little brother, I’ll be sure and make it as enjoyable…for me…as I can” He smirked.
“Lovely.” I muttered.
“Now boys,” pa said, “don’t start fighting about this. I will need the two of you back as soon as possible and Hoss, that means you won’t have to worry about doing their chores for too long.” He winked.
Hoss crossed his arms and frowned.
Mr. Jenkins was still staying and the hotel where pa was payin’ for him to stay until Adam and I were done with the house. When we got there, it looked like a nice enough place on the outside, but the inside looked like it hadn’t been cared for in years. We walked in and unloaded our heavy saddle bags after putting out horses in the unused barn.
“Well, this certainly is homie isn’t it?” Adam remarked sarcastically.
“Yeah, like a tomb for a mummy.” I said walking into a giant web and brushing it out of my way as I walked.
Adam lit the lamp that was on the table next to the couch. Soon after, we both went upstairs to what would be our rooms for the time being and we unpacked what little we had brought. Then we sat down at the kitchen table to eat supper. It wasn’t Hop Sing’s supper but we decided it was good enough for now.
Everything was fine for the first few days. Then we started doing the real work and that’s when things started getting a little strange.
Adam and I were fixing up the wood and painting the walls in the dining room. Adam was on the ladder and I was at the bottom handing him what he needed. There was as small chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It had about five lights in it with glass covering each one.
Adam and I were just making slight small talk when suddenly the glass around one of the lights blew out spontaneously. It scared the livin’ daylights out of me and it nearly made Adam fall off of the ladder.
“Well hello,” Adam laughed a dry laugh, “That certainly came out of nowhere!”
“Jeez, up for much entertainment,” I said, “Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Are you ok?” Adam asked.
“Sure, just a little startled.” I laughed, but inside it really did scare me a bit.
Adam shrugged it off as just a random thing that happed for some random reason that could easily be explained once we took a closer look. Ain’t it just like Adam to have an explanation for everything? There was no explanation for this one though. Nothing to explain why it had happened. Unless-no- that wasn’t the reason. I convinced myself that it was nothing, like Adam had said and I let it go.
Again the next few days showed no signs of odd behavior. It wasn’t until we started making changes again that something else strange took place. I was in the room that I had been staying in and I was finishing up some unpacking that I had put off until the last minute, as my family often told me I did with everything. I had laid out some of my clothes and, in a bit of a sloppy fashion I’ll admit, I scattered them on the bed. I turned around to open the drawer to put them in it. When I turned back, there were all scattered on the ground. Not like they had fallen, but like they had been thrown. Some were out in the hallway.
I heard Adam pass by the hall and pick them up.
“And what may I ask made you wanna do this?” He asked, annoyed.
“That’s just it, Adam. I didn’t! I put them on the bed, turned around to open the drawer, and when I turned back they were like that!”
I could tell he didn’t believe me.
“Ok, well then just tell your little ghost friend that next time he wants to make a mess, he will be cleaning it up!” Then he stomped out of the room.
Hey may not have believed me then but, his disbelief wasn’t going to last too long.
He was in his room washing up for supper later that day. I was down stairs setting the table. I heard him coming down stairs talking like someone else was there. He didn’t sound too happy either.
“Joseph! That wasn’t funny-how did you get down here so fast?” He gripped.
“What are you talkin’ about? I’ve been here setting the table remember?”
“I felt you come up behind me and push my back.”
“No I didn’t.” I said.
I also saw you out of the corner of my eye when you rushed back down here!”
I just gave him a look.
Then all of the sudden-
We both looked in the direction of the noise. It was coming from a vase that had fallen off of the table in the kitchen.
“Ok know it all, explain that one if you can!” I said.
For the first time I could ever remember, Adam actually had to think of an answer. He couldn’t find one. That vase had just been too centered on the table to suddenly fall off like that. As he usually did though, Adam just dropped it and didn’t bring it up again-for a while.
Two nights later, at about 4:30 in the morning, I was awoken by a feeling of someone breathing on me. I sat up, looked around, and once I saw that no one was around, I laid back down. After about five minutes, something happened that I will never forget.
I closed my eyes and as soon as I did, I could swear I heard a noise. Like the sound of an animal growling at me. I sat up again and looked around. Again nothing. Then I got out of bed. As I was getting up, the mirror caught my attention. At first glance I thought I saw the reflection of a shadow in it. Well, that was enough! I ran into Adam’s room and started shaking him to wake him up!
“Adam! Adam, wake up!”
Well, needless to say this didn’t make older brother very happy at all.
“What?! What’s the matter?!”
“There’s something in my room!” I screeched.
“What?” Adam was still a bit groggy.
“I heard something in my room and I saw something in my mirror!” I yelled.
“Oh for peat’s sake, Joe, you must have been dreamin’!”
“Adam, I swear I wasn’t dream-.”
Then we heard another loud noise. It sounded like a mirror broke. Turns out it was. We looked at Adam’s mirror in his room and it had a big crack in it.
“Alright, I’ve had it!” Adam exclaimed.
He reached over and lit a lamp. Then he stood up and looked around.
“What are you gonna do?” I asked, shaking with every word.
He didn’t answer me. He just ran into my room and looked around.
“Well, for someone as scared as you were, you sure did take time to clean up before you woke me!”
“What do you mean?” I asked, puzzled.
Then he pointed to my bed, which I saw now had been made.
“You know what I’m gonna say, Adam. I didn’t do that!”
Then, the lamp suddenly blew out.
“Now what?” Adam said, barely able to see his hands in front of his face.
“I’m just spit-ballin’ here but I think you may have made some ghost very angry!”
Adam took an annoyed breath, but I got the feeling that he was starting to realize that it was more than just a bunch of coincidences that were happening here.
“Ok here’s what’s going to happen. Listen up whoever is in this house, from now on I’m boss here. Or at least until we leave. No more of this! Got it?” I could tell that Adam even thought he was going crazy saying stuff like that to someone or something he couldn’t see.
The next morning, we sat for a very silent breakfast. Partly because we were both tired from the events of the night before and partly because I suspect Adam still wasn’t very happy.
He finally broke the silence.
“Would you be happy if I admit that I now believe as well that this place is…..haunted?” He swallowed hard.
“It’s not a matter of admitting it or not. The fact is that this place is haunted! What convinced you?” I said.
Then he rolled up his sleeve and showed me that he had scratches all up his right arm. They were deep and resembled claw marks.
“Well then I suppose we should leave. I just hate thinking about what Mr. Jenkins is gonna say or even pa when we tell them why we left.” I said.
Mr. Jenkins would probably never believe us and pa surely wouldn’t. Besides, I would probably get the blame anyway because pa knows I’m the one who believes in that “nonsense” not Adam.
“I don’t care what anyone thinks of us. I just wanna get outta here now before it gets really mad at us or I get really mad at it!” Adam said.
“Agreed.” I said, knowing that Adam would probably get us killed with his temper.
“Alright, finish your breakfast and then go pack your things.” He ordered.
I smiled with satisfaction. Then I rushed through my breakfast and ran upstairs to pack my things.
I packed quickly and I was almost done when I heard a big boom! I ran downstairs to find Adam lying on the floor with a big gash on the side of his head.
“What the Sam heck happened to you?” I asked, running to him to help him up.
“I don’t know. I was coming down the stairs and I felt something push me.”
“I think we’d better stop and doc’s on the way home.” I said.
“Fine but let’s just get out of here!” Adam said.
The rest happened so fast it’s hard to remember all of it. Suddenly, somehow the lamp fell over and caught the curtain by the window. The fire started quickly and spread rapidly. We tried to get out quickly but the door had locked itself. Adam grabbed something, I’m not sure now what it was, and he broke the window. I threw out our things and he started yelling at me.
“Don’t worry about those, Joe, just go!”
I wasn’t about to leave without him! I tried to coerce him into going first but he wouldn’t budge. The last thing I remember was a large piece of the ceiling fall on top of me.
When I woke up, I was on a bed in doc’s office. It was blurry at first but after a couple of minutes, I saw Adam sitting in a chair next to the bed. Both of his hands were bandaged and he had a wrap around his head.
“Adam?” I whispered slowly.
He got up ran to my bed side.
“Hey buddy, how are you feelin?” He spoke soft and gentle.
“Oh me, I’m fine.” I laughed with all the energy I had, which wasn’t much.
“Really? You took quite a beating.” He said.
“Nah! If you think a little fire from a ticked off ghost is enough to take me down, you’re crazy, brother!” I laughed.
Then doc walked in.
“Well, good to have you back with us Joseph!”
“Yeah, good to be back!” I said with a half-hearted smile.
“Alright gentlemen, you may come in now. He’s fine!” Doc called.
Then pa, Hoss, and Mr. Jenkins came in.
“Joseph!” pa said.
“I know, pa. I know. Don’t do it again!”
“What I was going to say was that you are a lucky young man. Other than a few bruises, you’re fine. Your brother saved your life!”
Then it hit me. That’s what happened! Adam had dragged me out after I must have passed out! He saved my life! I looked over at him. He gave me a look back that told me he understood my appreciation.
“Boy, you two sure did run into some bad luck!” Hoss said.
“You don’t know that half of it.” I muttered.
“Alright, young man, if you want to get out of here and go home today I want you to get some rest now!” Doc said.
“Let’s let your brother rest, boys.” Pa said to Adam and Hoss.
Pa walked out, followed by Hoss and Mr. Jenkins. Just as Adam was about to walk out, I got his attention causing him to stay behind for a minute.
“So what do we tell them when they want the whole story?” I asked.
“We tell them the jest of it. There was a fire caused accidently.” Adam said.
“So we just take the blame for something someone else did?”
“Do you honestly think for a second that they would believe us if we told them about the haunting that we think we experienced?”
He was right. They weren’t going to believe us and besides, it wasn’t like Mr. Jenkins was in any danger of moving into that house now. So, we decided not to say another word on the subject.
About two weeks later, I was back on my feet. Doc suggested that I start slowly and of course pa demanded that I obey those suggestions. On a bright note, pa had found another place that was perfect for Mr. Jenkins so he moved in without a hitch. Even better, it didn’t need any fixing up before hand!
I had promised myself and even Adam that I would never set foot near that house or its remains again, but I just couldn’t help myself and when I did, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The house looked like it was in perfect condition from the outside! Like there had been no fire at all. I ran home to tell Adam what I had seen!
“That’s impossible and besides that I thought I told you to never set foot near that place again!”
“Adam I’m sorry I just couldn’t help myself and yes it is possible because I saw it!” I argued.
Of course knowing Adam, he had to come see it for himself. When he did, he was nothing less than blown completely out of the water!
“I can’t believe it!” He said in almost a whisper.
“Well it’s a good thing Mr. Jenkins found himself a new house then isn’t it?” I said.
“Joe,” He looked right at me, “we need to get out of here and not come back ever! Is that clear?!”
“Yes, it’s clear! Don’t worry I have no interest in coming back to this place anytime soon!”
What I saw next confirmed that.
Something in the window of the upstairs room, the one I had been staying in, caught the corner of my eye. It almost looked like some type of dog but with horns on its head and a facial expression that I had never seen on a dog. It was a look that seemed almost evil.
“Adam, look up at the window of my old room!” I exclaimed. But when Adam looked, he saw nothing.
“You don’t see it, do ya?” I said, guessing by the look on his face.
“No, but I believe you. I’ve seen it before.” He said.
This sent chills down my spine.
“You have?” I asked.
“Was it the dog looking thing?” He asked.
I nodded slowly.
“Then yes,” he sighed, “I have.”
We went home knowing that pa was bound to find out that the house was still in tack and in fact hadn’t burned down but we were wrong.
“Boys, I thought you might like to know that Roy and Judge Ryan went and checked out the remains of the house. They now know for a fact that it was an accident. As you said, the lamp fell and caught the curtain and started it.” Pa informed us.
“You mean the damage is still there?!” I said, startled.
Well of course it is. Why wouldn’t it be?” Pa asked suspiciously.
“No reason, pa.” Adam cut in. He gave me a look to tell me to leave it alone.
Not many people believe in ghosts, that’s for sure! I used to be one of those people who didn’t and so did Adam. Now we look at things a bit differently and it’s all because of that house on Kay Street.
Happy Halloween! J
Other Stories by this Author
- Revenge is Bitter (by Bonanzaluver)
- Adam and Ruth – #3 – In a Time of Miracles (by Bonanzaluver)
- Adam and Ruth – #1 – The Beginning (by Bonanzaluver)
- What If He Never Forgives Me? (by Bonanzaluver)
- Ghost of Cartwrights Past (by Bonanzaluver)