Fiction

Howell’s Haunted House

By: Stanford Chigaro

Kelvin stopped and looked at the old house to his left. He had passed it every day since he started school three years ago. It was almost like Mrs. Smiths’ house a few blocks away, but the front lawn weeds grew past his knees. If there ever was a path it was gone, buried. The grey door looked sun-bleached and the window frames were more bare rotting wood than white paint. Some of the window panes were broken and the roof curved in on the right side of the house.

Kelvin bit her fingers as he stood there, the rain soaking his tender body. A shiver ran through her body like an electric current and the rain blurred her vision for a moment. Everything on him was very wet including his books but that was not the real problem. The real problem was the cold breeze coming with the rain. His toes were getting numb and he was sure he would not survive the next 5 minutes of this cold torrent.

A number of stories had been told about this old abandoned house and everyone seemed to believe at least one of them. The most popular version made more sense. It was rumored that the owner Mr. Howell was a renowned Navy Caption. He was always away on missions to Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa leaving his wife alone most of the time. It is further claimed that he returned from a mission one day to find his wife in bed with another man. Mr. Howell attacked the man but his wife teamed up with the new boyfriend, overpowered Mr. Howell and accidentally killed him. The two dumped the body in the sea at night and lived happily together as a couple but not for long. Mr. Howell soon came back, first appearing to them in their dreams then later, physically. He would come in the house around midnight, turn on the lights and watch TV. The house soon became hell to the two love birds and eventually they left. No one else wanted to live in it as it was claimed that exactly at midnight the lights would be turned on and a voice would be heard whistling and singing war songs.
“That’s what I heard anyway,” my mother used to say. “But never ever get in that house, you never know what might be inside.”

Kelvin waded towards the house, forcing his legs through the tall grass. He sucked in a breath as he knocked on the door, knowing very well there would be no answer. He twisted the handle. On crossing the threshold the rain suddenly stopped. He turned around to leave, “Don’t go.” said a hoarse voice, “I need company please.” Kelvin pulled at the door handle only to find it was stuck.

His heart stopped as an emaciated man with dirt and grit all over his clothes and grimy body appeared before him. His dark blue Navy SEALS uniform was tattered and shredded mainly where his heart should be.

Kelvin’s eyes should have ceased to blink because he felt them getting dry. A strangled cry rent the air that he only recognized as his own voice when his lungs were empty. He had already discarded his school bag and now struggled with his jacket. He was feeling strangely hot.

Suddenly the figure transformed into a skeletal creature and started shuffling closer towards him like a decaying old man. As he got much closer Kelvin noticed that he had a dislocated jaw showing his torn tongue and blood-stained, razor sharp, savage teeth. Unexpectedly, a flame of anger seemed to ignite within him. He let out a piercing screech and charged towards the young boy with ape-like fury.

Kelvin screamed as he threw the blankets away
“Mom!” he screamed, “I had another nightmare.

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Categories: Fiction

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