The Haunting

Some people said that the house was haunted, so I stayed away from it. I'm not saying I believed it, I just didn't want to take any chances. The bus I took to work went past that house every day. I always sat across the aisle, where my window faced the other side of the street. I didn't even look in that direction, for fear I would catch a glimpse of it as we went by.

One day, the bus gave a sudden lurch, then stopped. The driver stood up and spoke into his microphone.

"I'm sorry everyone, but you'll have to get out. There's been an accident in the block ahead, and the police have barricaded the street. There is no room to turn the bus around, so I'll have to leave it here. I'll continue my usual route later in the day."

With a good deal of grumbling, and a bit of cursing, all of the passengers vacated the bus, one at a time. I had no idea where we were, until I stepped off the bus. We were right in front of the house that everyone avoided. I knew it was the one, because I walked past it everyday on the way to school, twenty years earlier. That was before it became 'haunted.'  A family lived there, and it was just another old stone house on the street, except for one difference - it perched atop an enormous bald rock. The rock weighed several tons, and no amount of blasting with dynamite could break it up. That was two hundred years ago, before any of the modern construction equipment existed.

The rock couldn't be broken or moved, so the land owners simply built on top of it. When I was a kid, I knew a little girl who lived there, Alice Sloane. We used to slide down its icy surface into the snow of her backyard. About fifteen years ago, the girl's father came home drunk and half crazy, and took a crowbar to his wife and young son. He beat their brains in while they were sleeping, then he hung himself from the beams in the attic. Luckily, my friend Alice was on a Girl Guides camping weekend, with me. Her maternal aunt came and got her, and took her away. I never saw Alice again, and I never looked at that house again, until the bus stopped in front of it.

I stood there and stared at the house The door was open, The iron railing going up the stone steps was freshly painted black. A light summer breeze stirred the blue floral curtains in two open windows. I stood there, my mouth agape. It looked exactly the way it did when the Girl Guides bus stopped for Alice, fifteen years ago!

I found myself being drawn up the stone steps, and down the path to the open door. I resisted with all my might, but some invisible force would not let me go. The adult Alice Sloane stood in the doorway, beckoning me in. I had heard a few years ago that she committed suicide, but apparently they were wrong. As I got closer, she withdrew further into the house. As I stepped inside, the overwhelming odour of decay made my stomach heave. I tried to back out the door, just as a disembodied crowbar slashed toward my head! I let out a blood curdling screech, and ran out the door. I barely made it down the stone steps alive. I left town the next day, but nothing was ever the same again after that.

The End

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