The House that Once Was and the Woman that Always Will Be


This moderately-sized house has a retro look to it and is in terrible condition. The interior is done in colors that remind you of an antique doll. The yard is tiny and looks very formal. Also, a teenage girl was murdered here.

An uninhibited 39 year-old woman, who comes from a comfortable background, lives in the suburbs and tends to be a little paranoid
A foolish 47 year-old woman, who comes from a poor background, lives in a caravan and tends to cry a lot. Wanted to get rid of all potential buyers so she could 
A secretive 18 year-old man, who comes from a wealthy background, lives in a rough neighbourhood and tends to be over-generous.
A bold 36 year-old man, who comes from a comfortable background, lives in a shared house and tends to lose track of time.
An eccentric 28 year-old man, who comes from a comfortable background, lives in a social housing scheme and tends to always say the wrong thing.


The moon shines brightly overhead, in two minutes, the guests shall begin to arrive. The raggedy old door creaks open, the sound pierces the ears. A shadow flashes by me and whimpers fill the air. “Who might you be and why do you cry my dear?” I take one knee next to the shadow, but she refuses to remove her knotted hair from her face. “Tell me Dear, are you one of my guests? Why do you weep?” Why does the girl not respond? My muscles stiffen and by default, the grip of my hand around her arm tightens. She squirms her way loose and runs back into the shadows.

I cringe at the repeating sound of the door opening. “Welcome, welcome all. This is my abode, humble as it is. As you can see by my suede cloak and the suit underneath it, I am far too rich to own a place such as this. I only held onto it for so long because of the memories I made here as a child. All of you have expressed interest in buying this place, but if I had a choice, I'd give it to all of you. Unfortunately for us, this house has but only one functional room. Oh, where are my manners, my name is Hastings Knight, and who may you all be? Do tell me why you come here.” I am quite intrigued to know what manner of being could want to live here. It's been in my family for over 100 years; it kills me to part with it, but it hurts more to know that I am the last living member of the Knight family, and at only 18 years of age.

“Did you hear a noise? You guys heard the noise right? We're being watched. Oh man, we need to get out of here before the noise-maker reveals itself!” This woman is older than I am, yet, she speaks with the pace and fear of a child.

“Tell us your name, Ma'am. I must know.” The other members of the room agree with me through the sounds that they make.

“Pesky people. Aren't you listening to me? There's someone here!” The woman sighs and collects herself. “My name is Ava Downey, I am here because this house deserves to be mine, or rather I deserve to own it. I'm constantly under attack and I need a place to escape to. It's nice to relax, wouldn't you all agree?” Such an interesting creature she is. She whips around in circles a few times before pointing to a beautiful man who fashions a v-neck shirt and too-tight jeans.

“Well since you asked, my name is Mandy, used to be Marcus, but I changed it.” The man laughs, his feminine pitch filling the room. He has a spirit to him that cannot be defined. “May I just say that you, Sir, are quite lovely.” He scans me with his eyes before spinning around at the sight of a new man walking into the room, this one slightly younger than the other. Mandy whistles at him to signify delight towards his appearance. “Well Gorgeous, I was just saying that I'm here because I live in a tight space with a bunch of other men. Oops, did I just say that? I am so bad... I live in shared housing, but want my own place. ”

“Thank you kindly, Sir, for your input. Does anyone else care to share with us who they are and why they have come to me?” I peer around, the girl with messy hair from earlier cries out, however, few people seem to hear.

“I'm Luke.” The man curtsies and explains that he lives in a social housing scheme, but has salvaged enough to live without aid.

“I am charmed to meet you all.” I kiss the hands of each member of the room, including the messy hair girl who hides in the next room over. “Allow me to explain how tonight shall look. I have decided upon merely one challenge for each of you. The winner will own this place for dwelling. As a matter of fact, the winner won't have to pay a cent. The challenge is simple enough for a child, but yet, too difficult for even a Nobel Prize winner. An object in this house takes the shape of the sun, the colour of the sky, and the texture of serenity. The first person to find such an object, wins.” Questioning hollers blare out, until a shimmering object soars through the sky. I dodge it with ease.

“Omigosh. Look out!” Luke pulls Mandy to the ground as Ava jumps around and calls out for the police, the ambulance, and the fire department, though I'm not sure what use they'd be.

“You may begin your search.” I look around the room and see that Luke and Mandy have become quite passionate for each other.

“Alright guys,” Mandy starts “let's split up, if Lukey or I find the object, it's for keepsies, but we'll share it with each other.” They appear to have more fondness in each other than the competition. Fascinating.

I walk over to the girl in the next room and remove her hair from her face. Although she is not well kept, she is quite astounding in appearance. “What do you go by, my dear?”

“My name is Madelyn. I'm sorry for my presence, but you mustn't give my home away.” Her home? This building belongs to me, not her. Who are you Madelyn? “Pardon me, but I must go eliminate the competition.”

I gaze at those who scurry around. I'm sure they've come to realise that the object is a stress ball. To them, I'm sure that means nothing, for me, however, it represents my parents. They gave this to me a few years ago when I was 12, I was always an anxious child. They could've afforded a lot more for me, but I told them to spend all their money on keeping them well. Unfortunately, they passed the day after I received it.

Luke stands still, staring at his new found love. In my peripheral, Madelyn creeps up behind the others. A scream erupts from Ava and fades away as she rushes from the building. It appears as though the fear of Madelyn was too much for her, such a shame though, she seemed to have meant well.

It appears as though the only real competitors left, are the two who are working together. Although I am willing to give it to both of them, I'm slightly partial to Madelyn getting this place. Despite the fact that she appears to be middle-aged, I believe someone with her beauty could go far when placed in a serene environment... perhaps one without knives though. “It's time to add a twist to the game! You are not, from here forth, allowed to communicate with one another. Any person caught speaking to or giving signals to another member shall be disqualified. Good luck and good hunting.”

Madelyn appears to be moving furniture on the loft, it's fascinating to see such a small creature have such brute strength. A love seat topples over the edge inching closer and closer to Luke at great speeds. It's too late before he realises and as no one can say a thing, the love seat lands on top of him. It had taken on momentous force and, as a result, I do not believe he is alright. I check for a pulse, but there isn't one to be found. “Players, I regret to inform you that we are down yet another member of our game. There are now two of you left,” I gesture between Madelyn and Mandy. “however, the chair appears to have caused great damage to my already unwell floor. I apologize for the costs that will come with restoring this domicile to its former glory. The land around us is grand and endearing, I assure you that it's worth it. Good luck and--” Before I can finish my sentence, I see Madelyn approach Mandy from behind. Knife in hand, she jabs it into him and pulls it back out. He falls to the ground and bleeds out, at this point, there is nothing I can do.

“Now it's your turn, Hastings.”

“Mine? The house is yours already, that is, if you want it.”

“Don't you get it? This house has always been mine, I've been forced to live in my caravan for quite some time now because of your presence, but this building, oh this building, belongs to me.” She has a ghastly look in her eye that can only be described by a lust for murder. “There's a reason I killed your parents, I was trying to get rid of the remaining owners, but then they left it to you, I've been trying to get rid of you ever since. I sleep between these walls each night when you're gone and spend the nights that you're here destroying you. I've never succeeded up until now, but now that you know my secret, you simply must die.” I spot a matchbox through my peripheral. If only I can reach it, I can light the building and escape.

“You cannot kill me, this house is in my name. If I die, it will belong to the government, not to you, someone else will move in and you'll have no place but your van to live in.” I take two steps back.

“Be real. Who would want to live in the house that 5 people were murdered in? Your parents, your guests, and now you.” She steps towards me.

“Real estate agents aren't always the most honest, no one has to know about any of us.” With each word I say, I take another step towards the matchbox. “This is a petty town at best, the government doesn't want this place on the map, it'll ruin the agriculture.” Each word I say hastens slightly before finally, I make a beeline for the box.

The match ignites and I drop it to the ground. In seconds, I return to the outdoors where the night started, and the house that had trapped my childhood memories turns to flames.

Two years ago today, my childhood cottage burnt down. In exchange, I got to continue my life. A girl named Madelyn was declared dead that day and a mystery began. No one dares visit the ruins of that house, or even approach the lot, for everyone who gets close to it, mysteriously dies. Police have investigated the site, but there's never been any trace of a murderer. I suspect it's Madelyn, they say she died, but in the time I knew her, I picked up an air to her that makes me question if she ever really was alive.


The End

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