There’s one in every neighborhood. The house with the rusted shutters, the windows that you swear are crooked just a little to the left, and the peeling siding that reveals the once-upon-a-time-a-witch-flew-out-the-wall holes. This is also the house that the two children down the street dared to enter, and never came back (or did they go to boarding school?) All the towns folk look the other way as they walk briskly down the other side of the street, and even the old lady, whose door is always the one slammed shut with the “no solicitations” sign on it on Halloween, manages to clamp her lips a little bit tighter as she hobbles down the barely cobbled street.
So, of course this is the house that everyone is dared to go into, even just your pinky toe, while you keep just one of your eyes barely open, so then you don’t have to see the terrors within, that will slowly gobble you up the second you come in. And so it was that this was the house that I was dared to go into by my friend Tommy, when our parents had all gone to the only movie theatre in town. To make it spookier, it was Halloween, and despite the rumors for the rest of the year, the ones from Halloween are the worst. The coloured lights from the other houses flicker on the porch as the trees sway in the breeze, and cast ominous shadows. I tiptoed, barely breathing, to the front of the house. I ran to the rotting wood steps. Then I stopped. I swear I heard someone cough inside. My eyes darted to the other side of the street, where I could see, safely behind the large front window on our house, Tommy, rolling around with laughter at my comic approach to the house. As I turned back, I noticed that my hands were shaking like a sapling in a hurricane. The first step gave way to my foot as I began to climb the stairs. My foot caught in the vines growing under the porch, but I quickly yanked it free, and jumped to the porch. I crossed the porch in one stride, and reached for the door. The door knob creaked, and the unlatched door swung open. I gasped… The house was empty. Not just like nothing in it. There was just nothing there. No light, but no darkness. I felt faint. I looked back toward Tommy. I guess he couldn’t see anything, cause’ he raised an eyebrow at me. I turned back to the house. I was intrigued. I stepped forward. My stomach whirled. Then my whole body whirled. I was spinning around. I forgot everything. Then found myself back on the porch. Only now I wasn’t back on the porch, and was just on the pouch. Naw, I won’t go in I thought, and I turned to go home.