Friday, October 31, 2008

Dark House, Part 1

Read the second draft of this story here.

Molly lived in the dark house on the block. The one with a forest for a yard that sucked away all the light from the house buried within. The one that somehow seemed plucked from another world and deposited in the middle of the otherwise pristinely maintained urban houses. The one all the adults ignored and no longer saw as they walked their dogs down the street. The one that all the kids said was haunted. The one that was haunted.

Molly lived there.

She never particularly cared much that the house was haunted. She went about her business and the house went about its. She didn’t mind if the house was killing people as long as it didn’t kill her.

Aside from living in a haunted house, she lived a normal life. She worked as a paralegal for a small law firm, belonged to a book club, and had just started dating a computer programmer named Martin whom she met through a friend. Martin was sweet. He had sandy brown hair, lived alone, and called his parents every Sunday.

Martin couldn’t believe his luck at finding someone like Molly. When he first saw her at the bar for Tom’s birthday, he immediately classified her in his head a WINF, his shorthand for something like a MILF, only with “Women I’ll Never” instead of “Moms I’d Like to”. Most women fell into this category. The few who didn’t he referred to as “pandas”, a nickname he got from WWF, which was what he and his college buddies had called “Woman I Wouldn’t…” He had no nickname for women he liked who would sleep with him. He had just called them Mary and Liza.

But they had nothing on Molly. Her green eyes sparkled in the dim bar light, and just a glimpse of creamy white cleavage showed through her collared work shirt. Her long black hair swirled about her shoulders with a caressing softness that reminded Martin of being toweled dry after a childhood bath. Definitely a WINF, he thought and smiled turning back to his conversation. Best not to dwell too much on WINF’s. Just spot them, and move on.

So when Molly came over and said “Hello”, he nearly spilled his Lime Rickey. That she seemed to find him interesting and funny sent him over the moon. They didn’t hop right into bed (that probably would have killed Martin) but after a suitable number of dates, she spent the night at his place leaving her clothes on the floor of the bedroom, except for her black-and-white polka-dotted bra with the little pink bow, which landed on the dresser.

Martin had never even seen Molly’s house, let along been inside. Somehow in the intoxicating glow of a new relationship, Martin hadn’t noticed, and even if he had, he wouldn’t have cared. All he knew was that she lived close enough to drop by at a moment’s notice, and that’s all that mattered. Until the infestation.

One evening, as Molly and Martin lay entangled in each others post-coital arms, Martin heard a squeak and then a flutter. Then he turned on the light to see a bat flying around the corner of the room. In the ensuing chaos of screaming and flying sheets and blankets, Martin grabbed the first handy object, a heavy brass pedestal lamp engraved with the United Federation of Planets insignia, and heaved it at the bat. Missing badly, the lamp crashed through the window and continued its maiden voyage to the street below. The bat, thrown into hysterics itself by all the high pitched screaming (coming mostly from Martin) followed the lamp out into the calm night.

Martin stood completely naked at the foot of the bed trying to catch his breath. Molly leaned against the corner of the room wrapped in a sheet. She’d grown so accustomed to tuning out horrible sights and sounds, one little bat shouldn’t get her heart racing, but there it thumped.

Then they both heard it, and their collective gazes floated up to the ceiling, the source of a faint cacophonous screeching hum. Slowly Martin edged his way over to the pull cord that lowered the drop ladder to the attic. Molly’s saucer-sized eyes followed his hand as it reached up to grab the hard plastic ring on the end. He pulled.

It was as if the attic had been filled with a strange fluttery brown noisy liquid that now flowed down and swirled around them before draining out the broken window into the night sky. They both screamed as Martin pushed Molly out of the room, stepping on her sheet leaving them both naked as they ran down the stairs and out into the darkness. A block away, they huddled together under an elm tree, holding each other tightly as if the other might get plucked up by a bat and spirited off into the sky.

“Are you ok?” Martin asked picking up Molly’s chin to look in her eyes.

“Yes. I think so.” She returned his gaze and then they hugged each other close. Molly looked down Martin’s back in the moonlight. “We’re naked.”

Martin sweared his surprise and laughed at the ridiculousness of two grown adults out in public naked. Molly couldn’t help but laugh too.

“Let’s get to your house, quick.”

“What?!” Molly pushed out of the hug.

“Let’s get to your house before someone sees us.” He started to pull her down the street. “Where do you live?” he said still chuckling.

She stopped still. “Couldn’t we just go back…”

“Are you crazy? Come on. Do you have a robe or something I can wear?”

In a split second Molly played out all the arguments in her head and couldn’t come up with any viable reason why they should go back into the teeth of a bat infestation rather than duck around the corner to her house. Maybe they could just grab some clothes and then run out right away. Maybe the house would leave Martin alone, the way it left her alone. She led him down the street towards her house, her heart racing far more than it had up in his bedroom earlier. Maybe nothing would happen.


  1. Scuse me please, more now.

    Thank you.

  2. Ok! I'll see if I can post another installment at lunch.


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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.