Fandango’s Flashback Friday at Merton’s House

For Fandango’s Flashback Friday

Across The Street From Merton’s House

First published at The Soul Food Cafe

October, 2009

Landscape by Inese Bernate

“I had an idea once, ” Merton Ware told the empty house across the street from his front yard “that you were an evil house. You’ve given me nightmares for years. “

The house waited patiently for Merton to continue.

” I used to think I saw people walking around the yard late at night, I thought I saw people looking out of  your windows. Of course that isn’t possible because you’ve been abandoned since the day Mrs.Miller fed that poisoned dinner to her family.”

Merton crossed the street to the House and the House shut its upstairs window, slowly.

” I suppose I was just seeing things.”

The Swing on the front porch shivered and then it began to rock back and forth on it’s rusty chains.

” Mrs. Miller, now if there was ever a candidate for a ghost  that would haunt a house-it was Mrs. Miller.”

The House agreed with Merton.

Nobody knew Mrs. Miller like the House had.

It had watched Mrs. Miller go from being an espresso drinking, track suit wearing Soccer Mom to a woman who had spent days planning a meal and then hours preparing a meal to kill her family with.

In between her meal planning Mrs. Miller had pushed a woman off a bridge while she was out on one of her morning jogs and on another day she burned down an empty house in the next town over- the fire had spread and burned down an entire apartment complex.

They never did find all of the bodies from the apartment fire.

Mrs. Miller was honestly surprised at how easy it had been for her to do those terrible things.

They house knew this because Mrs. Miller had sat in her kitchen and talked about her crimes into her cup of morning juice. When she was done talking she had gotten up, went into her bathroom and got ready for one of her very busy non- cold blooded killing days.

” I guess what I need to do is face the simple fact, you are not haunted, are you? No ghosts are dragging their chains through your halls, nothing is hiding in the basement, nothing is plotting in the attic no monsters under the beds or in the closets- am I right?”

 The house idly opened and closed its kitchen cabinet doors.

Merton said firmly, ” You are not a haunted house.”  and then he turned and strode back to  his house and shut his door firmly shut behind him. ‘ Your just a sad empty shell of a home. Whatever evil lived in you is long gone now. I don’t know why I was ever afraid of you. “

The house popped it’s floorboards a little and watched Merton walking around his living room, a pale vaporous figure in the late afternoon half light.

” Hey there, ” the House called over to Merton’s house. ” how’s it going? Have some time for a chat?”

Of course Merton’s house said yes.

It had a lot to say,  Merton’s house said to the house across the street.

Quite a bit to say indeed.