“You’re not afraid of ghosts are you ?” Henry jabbed his wife’s arm with his right shoulder.
“No, but you have to admit, the stories about this house are creepy.” Luisa said as she closed her car door, pocketed her keys, and headed towards the old house her husband had just bought.
The house looked like something out of a horror film; It was what nightmares were made of. The paint was peeling off and ever bit of wood looked like it should be tossed out but then the house wouldn’t exist. She knew her husband was cheap but this cheap? How exactly was he planning to pull this off?
“The stories are just that…stories. I wasn’t going to let a few ghost stories chase me away. Can you believe the price for this house? How could I say no?”
“By replying ‘N.O.’ to Alex when he emailed you a picture of this place.”
Alex was standing on the porch of the house swatting bugs away. He had on the ugliest suit Luisa had ever seen and a tie the color of pea soup. He was Henry’s go-to guy when it came to flips. Henry was cheap; Alex was cheaper.
“Don’t say his name so loud, he’ll think we’re talking bad about him.”
“Alex!”Luisa said, disregarding her husband. She stretched her arms out for a hug. “You did a bang up job.”
“You really think so?” Alex blushed.
“By bang up I mean bad. I love you and all but this one is definitely a money trap. When you and my husband get together its war of the cheap-os.” She held both of his elbows in her hands and gave him a peck on the cheek.
“Luisa, we like the finer things that others look over. This house,” Henry opened his hands gesturing to the front door of the house. “is amazing!”
“If you say so.” Luisa wasn’t convinced.
“Oh, it sure is. Wait until you see the inside. Door’s open, watch your step there’s a loose floor board to your left.”
“Wow. This is beautiful. If we could restore it to its former glory, my word, it would sell to the highest bidder.” Henry followed Alex into the house. He was more excited about what the house could be than what it was. He had on fix-and-flip goggles, as Luisa would say.
“Is this the original furniture?” Luisa questioned as she ran her finger along a very distasteful chair.
“Yes. All the furniture you see here are basically antiques!” Alex said with excitement in his voice.
“Yuck, my granny wouldn’t have picked this out.” She placed her daily planner book on a stand next to a statue of a bust she assumed to be a former president.
“Well, this house was before her time so…” Alex said.
“Even as old as she is.” Henry added.
“Ahhh!” Luisa screamed as her foot fell through the old floor board. “Henry!”
“I was kidding Luisa.” Henry turned to his wife.
“No! My foot is stuck! Alex didn’t you check this house out? Not only is it a money trap, it’s a death trap too.”
The men rushed over to help her free her foot.
“It’s really a lovely house but without maintenance for so long, this is to be expected.” Alex said as he dust off Luisa’s pant leg.
“I can have this all re-done in no time.” Henry smiled at his wife.
“Here are your keys before I forget.” Alex handed two keys to Henry, who then gave one to Luisa.
“It’s skeleton keys. They’ll open and lock any door in here.” Alex added.
“Keys to the castle! We could turn this house into a museum if you really think about it.” Henry’s hand was on his chin. His mind was running wild with ideas.
“And over there ladies and gentleman, is where you might lose a leg. If you look straight ahead, you’ll see a banister that looks like it’s been hacked up by a chainsaw.” Luisa laughed.
Alex had a blank look on his face. “You two might want to stay here for the night. The sold sign might entice people to vandalize the house.”
“Seriously, nature has vandalized this place already.” Luisa had her arms folded as she stared at her husband.
“Sounds like a great idea. I heard a lot of the people who bought this place just gave up and ran off never to be seen again. Vandals could be the reason. That’s enough to make you drop a project.”
“Seriously?” Luisa shook her head in disbelief.
After a bit of convincing, Luisa agreed to stay the night and get a “feel for the house.”
“The sun is going down. We’ve been here a while. I guess I’ll be going…” Alex was about to leave.
They heard a creaking sound coming from upstairs. The house seemed to groan.
“What in the world was that?”The sound startled Luisa.
“Hello?” Henry looked towards the stairs.
“Goodbye!” Luisa turned and headed towards the door.
“Luisa it’s an old house, it’s bound to squeak and creak naturally.” Alex said reassuringly.
“Mice squeak, houses shouldn’t. Henry, Alex you figure it out. You both can play hide and seek with ghost. I’m leaving because there’s no way I’m spending the night here. If vandals decide to come, let them have fun with the things that go ‘squeak’ and ‘creak’ in the night.” She took her car keys out of her pocket and left the house.
Henry stood in the doorway and watched her drive off. “I guess it’s you and me pal.”
“I would love to stay but I have such a huge work load, and my wife is complaining about me working too much, and the kids are asking for…”
“I get it, you can go.”
“How are you going to get home? Where will you sleep? I can run to the store and get you a sleeping bag and candles.”
“No need for that. I’ll have Luisa get me in the morning. And it’s a house, so they’re beds to sleep in” He grinned. “And I saw the stack of candles you brought earlier, that’s more than enough. I have a lighter so don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”
“Ok, just call if you need anything.”
Henry looked on as Alex ran down the front steps. Once Alex was at his car he gave Henry a wave and Henry waved back. He closed the door once Alex started to drive away.
“This door looks like it’s been hacked up.” Henry regarded the door. He stuck his fingers into the cuts deep in the wood. “Luisa would have a field day with this one.”
Henry jumped up. The candles had almost burnt down. “Damn Vandals!” He got out of bed and took a candle out of his pocket; It was broken in half on account of him sleeping on it. He pulled out his lighter and lit the candle.
No one paid him any mind.
Once the man had entered the room, which was two doors down from Henry, the woman let out a blood curdling scream. She ran out of the room holding her hand that was now bleeding. She ran passed Henry as if he wasn’t there and sprinted towards the stairs.
“Run!” The women screamed.
Henry’s eyes widened as the man started towards him. “What do you want?” Henry dropped his candle and it outed as it fell. He made way for the stairs.