short stories middle schoolers books

The House

A cool wind blows, rustling the dry dead leaves beneath your feet. An owl hoots, a squirrel scampers and a dog howls somewhere in the night. A cold shiver runs over your body, rising your level of hear and awareness. At your feet, a sign warns you to “Beware of ….” of what you cannot read, it’s been destroyed with age. Your eyes wonder over the dead grass, over to the black apple tree (mangled and twisted), and up to the house. The house fills you full of dread with its dry, peeling paint, its old tattered and broken windows, and the soft creaking of the house, itself, as it settles.

In the night, the old twisted tree looks like an ugly old man warning children away. The steps leading to the door resembles seven small coffins, the final resting place of those who came before you. The old and heavy brass door knocker stares back at you daring you to enter. Your skin begins to crawl as a light in the window begins to move from room to room. Its ghostly light leading a shadow through the house and down the stairs.

You can still turn back, it’s not too late. Sure the others will think you a chicken, but better a live chicken than a dead duck. No, that won’t happen to me. What happened to Peter and Robert was just a story to scare me. It won’t happen, it’s just a house. Where’s my nerve, my backbone, my getaway driver?

Having steeled your nerves, you walk through the gate, across the grass, and up to the door. The wind continues to blow through the trees and across the back of your neck. Your senses are as sharp as knives, your throat is dry, and your heartbeat is the only thing you can hear. Your hands are sweaty and they start to shake as you reach out for the big brass knocker. Is it smiling at me?

It’s deep, full, deathly melodic tone fills your ears and your soul. You wait….

Your mind begins to race – Are they hurrying to cover up dead bodies, lying dead on the floor?  Are they finishing up the sharping of their knives, before they answer?  Are they trying to put their heads back on?  Still you wait…Should I turn back?

Your blood freezes in your veins as the door slowly creaks open. A light is held up and your eyes meet. A man deathly pale and shallow green is holding a woman’s head in his hands and the light is coming from her eyes.  You try to scream, but a bullet enters your throat. And a gun’s bang shatters the quiet night. A lone dog howls in mourning as a body is dragged inside and the door, once more, is shut.

“Who is that?” Asked the woman.

“Dinner.” Says the man.

“I thought I was dinner.” She huffs.

“You are desert.” He chuckles.

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