The Witch’s House

RDP Wednesday: MELODY

When I used to go for walks with my Grandfather and his dog Darwin my Grandfather would point out the mushrooms that you could pick and eat and he would point out plants whose roots were so deadly and so poisonous that you’d be convinced that brain or not, these particular plants were capable of being homicidal maniacs too.

Something that deadly, I came to think, were that deadly for a reason.

Just like people.

Sometimes we would go to the back part of his property where we have an honest to goodness family cemetery- most of the markings on the gravestones had been almost wiped clean by the elements.

That patch had been very old and had been neglected for a very long time, it should have been dead but it wasn’t.

One of my Great Uncles had a little dog perched on top of his headstone and it still looked like a dog, it had a sad face and it’s ears dropped down against the side of it’s head.

If I could have, I would have pried  that little dog lose and taken it away – maybe put it in a garden where you didn’t have to be careful of which mushroom you picked or which berries you could eat without fear eating the wrong one and having  them turning your guts to mush.

In my mind, that little  stone dog was still alive- unlike it’s neighbors that were dead or waiting for their chance to do you in.

It was on one of our walks where Grandfather was a little more quiet then usual and I wasn’t as chatty when I first noticed this odd little melody that Grandfather was humming. The tune reminded me of a bat chasing bugs at dusk- it was all over the place but it  moved with purpose.

” That’s a funny song, ” I said ” what is it called?”

I thought I had heard him humming something like it before, but it wasn’t the same exact song.

We stopped in front of the Caretaker’s Cottage, a decrepit  stone cottage that we called the Witch’s House. The Witch’s Houset was missing most of it’s roof and it’s side door, but not it’s front door.

That door was chained shut.

” It’s not a song. ”

” What is it then? Because it sounds like a song to me. Kind of. ”

” Lillis, shh, listen. ”

I heard creaking and sighing, I heard dry leaves rustling over little stones.

I looked from the cottage to my Grandfather. ” I’m humming the sound the wind makes when it goes through the Witch’s House. ” he told me.

” You really are. ” I was pleasantly surprised. ” So it never sounds like the same song. I get it. Very clever. ”

Grandfather smiled at me and I saw his eyes slide to the left, towards the cottage and when he looked back at me I was smiling too.

” Of course, there isn’t a breeze and there hasn’t been a breath of wind all day. Not a single breath. ”

” Oh you can always hear a breath or two  coming from the Witch’s House, Lillis. Always.”


Andrew Wyeth

” Go on in, ” he dared me. ” I’m telling you there isn’t anyone in there. I would know. ”

We were headed up the stairs to the attic, where it was dry, free of cobwebs , old trunks and cracked mirrors and furniture covered with dusty sheets.

Besides. If there had been  sheets on anything, they  wouldn’t have been crisp  white sheets. The  sheets that our Mother would have used  would have been the ones she didn’t want or need anymore. She would have used sheets with faded flowers, bleached and aged stripes and  baby animals nestled against their Mothers.

My brother reached the top of the stairs first and he turned around and looked down at me. ” Nobody is up here.  I’m telling you. Nobody would bust into our house and hide in the one place they wouldn’t be able to get out of. ”

I brushed passed him and said before I pushed the door open, ” People.”

He was wrong about one thing, there was a table in the attic now and around it were some chairs. The lights were on too.

” Well, somebody was up here. ” I told my brother.

” They aren’t here now. Listen. Do you hear anything? ”

I told him I did not.

” Do you smell anything. ”

I stepped into the room, I took a sniff.

I nodded and my brother followed me into the room at the top of the stairs, the empty, cool room and as careful as a nervous parent checking on their sleeping baby I peeked around the door.

” There you are. There you are. ” I kicked the door shut with my heel and then the lights went out.

But I could see the room and the figures behind the door huddled against the wall just fine.

Perfectly fine.


Enduring Bones H’ween Challenge#8

I Had A Cat Named Blitzer

I had  ( or to be more precise, I belonged ) to a cat named Blitzer

who used to hunt for birds while they were perched in the trees

minding their own business

Cherry trees, apple trees the lilac tree in my front yard

none were safe havens

when Blitzer was around.

One day I was walking under a tree when something plopped onto the top of my head

I reached up and pulled a bird’s head from my hair.

The bird  blinked at me before it completely died.

I had  ( or to be more precise, I belonged ) to a cat named Blitzer

who used to hunt for birds while they were perched in the trees.

Cherry tree, apple trees the lilac tree in my front yard

none were safe havens for anything or anyone

when Blitzer was around.



Halloween Prompt #26-Dark