There it was!! It sat there like a bump on a log. The old house was said to be haunted. It was so gray that it looked green. The windowless windows looked like unseeing, staring eyes. Under the starless sky, the old house seemed to be breathing.Ever so slowly I took a hesitant step forward. I could hear the crunch and crackle of the dead brown leaves turning under the heels of my size nine and a half hiking boots. I could smell the aroma of dying grass crying out for a drink, like a baby crying for its bottle. Under the leaves there was an old walkway with more cracks than a crumpled piece of paper.
As I came closer to the decaying front door, a sharp howling wind rattled the finger like branches of the old oak trees. The wind made them grind against the outside hull of the empty house.
When I was two feet away from the door, the whistling wind pushed it open with a soft sort-of-screeching sound. I took three steps, and I was inside. I let my hand lightly rest on the rough frame around the door; while I blinked a couple of times to let my eyes adjust to seeing in darkness. What I though was a desolate old house really wasn't.
As I looked around I noticed a worn-out rug which was threadbare in some places, an old vase with at least six chips missing, a couple of statues with their heads broken off, as if in anger, and a mirror which was broken, but the cracks looked as if a spider had spun her web on it permanently.
I heard this soft singing sound, it was really like a lullaby but the words were hard to understand. The sound was coming from the gloomy looking room on the right of me. Since my curious nature always came first, especially in the face of danger, I decided to find the source of the singing.
As I walked over the threshold and into the room on my right, I got this prickly sensation that I was being watched. I knew that to be impossible because there wasn't anyone else in the house. Or was there?
That seemed funny, one minute I was in complete and utter blackness and the next minute I could tell you every color I saw. It was as if someone had turned on an electric light bulb, even more surprising there is there was electricity in this room.
The rug was purple, gray, white, and black, and it was woven with the careful skill of an Apache squaw. I could see each stitch that needle made as it worked its way back and forth weaving in between each strand. I could almost smell the wood smoke from the cooking fire as she sat weaving and cooking the evening stew of venison. Yes, the smell had to be venison because no other makes your mouth water just thinking about sinking your teeth into its tender meat, and the warm sweet juices running down your chin.
The old rocker was gleaming as if from a good polishing not just ten minutes ago. It sat there as if waiting for someone's old and decrepit granny to come hobbling in and sit down. I could almost see her sitting there and unconsciously pushing herself back and forth with her foot, while reminiscing about the good ole days when her husband was still alive.
The old pictures were actually sitting straight, instead of crooked on the wall. Their gold plated frames shining softly, as if they had an inner fire of their own. The books on the bookshelves looked brand new. I picked one up and opened it. I was able to smell the newsprint and ink as if it had just come off the printing press. Not a single page was bent, torn, or crumpled. A person would think that the pages would smell musty, look yellowed and be warped from the long months of neglect, but they weren't.
I continued my exploration by going through the arched doorway into a spacious dining room. I felt as if I had walked through a doorway that led to a hundred years or more in the past. Where there was electricity in the other room there were candle lit chandeliers in this room. I could smell the animal tallow candles burning with the sweet essence of pine drifting on the warm night breeze sighing softly through the open French doors.
The long table was big enough to seat at least thirty-five people. It was made of redwood which looked to be shaped with care by hands that loved to work with wood. The table cloth was made of the finest eggshell white velvet. The white of the cloth set off the deep red of the wood. The high backed chairs looked to delicate to be sat on, but the legs that ended in paws belied their weakness. Other than the elegant table, the room was bare. There was no sign of wall tapestries or the source of the singing.
The next room I went into had black and white checkered tile. In fact the whole room seemed to be in black and white, as if it had come straight from and old T.V. The smell in this room was of pine disinfectant as if it had just had a good scrubbing. The room was empty except for me.
Suddenly the room started to spin around and around like the ceaseless spinning of the world, but faster. The room started to get hazy to where I couldn't see what was in front of me. I got this feeling that the smell wanted me to follow it, so I did.
As my hands, which were held out in front of me, came in contact with the sleek wall, a cold icy chill played along my spine. It disappeared just as fast as it came over me, like someone opening and closing a freezer door.
I kept feeling all along the wall as I walked trying to find the door that would lead me out of this strange room. The farther I walked, the more the wall became slimier and wetter. Also the strangely sweet smell became stronger, but this time I was able to put a name to it.
The smell was vanilla, as in vanilla perfume. The moment the word vanilla was thought in my mind, I started to imagine that I was eating vanilla ice cream. I could feel the coldness and taste the sweetness of the ice cream as it melted in my mouth.
When I thought about why the wall could become slimier and wetter the image appeared in my mind. I could see blood flowing down the wall and flooding the floor with red blood everywhere. I soon realized that I was in a room of imagination. Everything I thought of would appear and seem real, so I was able to keep my mind blank while I found the exit to this room.
The minutes that I stepped out of the door and into the hall, I heard the strange voice singing the lullaby. It seemed to be beckoning to me. As if I was in a trance I took one step after another until I was in a room that seemed to glow I with its own pulsing light.
Sitting in the middle of the room was a young woman, or what looked like a young woman. I knew she was a ghost because she was whiter than the whitest light. Her hair was as white if not whiter than the clouds in the sky on a clear day. The vanilla smell was coming from her, because it was her perfume. The smell was strong and overpowering but not so much as to make me dizzy or sick.
She didn't look at me, but down at her lap. For the first time I noticed that she held a piece of paper. The writing could not be read very easily because of the tears she had been crying.
What I was able to make out of the letter looked like this:
February 14, 1789
My Dearest ----,
I'm deeply sorry that I couldn't -- ---- -- share this special and ------ ---. But I ----to war and my ---- ---- have had a tragic ------ -- you would not be here reading ---- ------ right now. Don't worry, -- ---- be together soon enough.
All My Love,
I gained from this new knowledge that her lover had had a tragic ending. I could tell from the deep racking sobs and her sad song that she must have loved this mysterious person very much.
Ever so slowly she stood up and went to the cradle, which I just happened to notice, was setting in a far corner of the room. It was just a plain white one, it wasn't even elaborately carved. It was a dull contrast compared to the other pieces of furniture that I had seen in the other rooms.
For the first time I also noticed that her tears were blood streaked as if she was a real person and as if she could feel real pain. I came to the conclusion that this lovely young lady was to haunt this house till her lover came back. I think this is so because she probably never got to tell him about that little bundle of joy that she was expecting.
Since there was not a sound coming from the cradle I guessed that the baby had died at birth leaving its mother to follow shortly after of a heart that was broken twice.