We drove the road that went away from town toward the outskirts often, and every time, we passed a dilapidated house that sat in the distance enclosed in trees, whose sidings were marked with barely discernible forms of graffiti. One day, I hadn’t realized my business would bring me close to this place; close enough at least, to where a few more strokes of the bicycle pedals would land me on the doorstep. The sun was three-quaters of the way, and the shadows began their length, and I stood outside, looking at the windows that seemed to stare at me. I stepped up, onto the wooden stairs, and the noise creaked into my ears. I walked on the deck and into the house, and the debris littered the floor. I went through a small hallway into what used to be a kitchen, and grim and muck and dirt encased the area, making me slightly sick. Then I heard the scratching, and the hair on my neck stood straight. Scratch, scratch, scratch. I looked outside, startling some miserable creature, and as I my head leaned slightly out the window, I felt the fingertips of someone run across my neck. I turned, shaken, my heart beating, and seeing no one, I ran as fast as I could. I took my bike, and before I left, I took a glance at the house, and a teardrop poured from my eye. I never went back.


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