At the end of Parlour Street stood a lone house. The neglected walls barely held up to time, the windows were long gone, nature had taken over the property and darkness had crept between the many cracks of the house to rule as empress forever. Yet, the house seemed majestic, as if the spirit which reigned between its walls did not care about its crumbling environment.
Legend has it that if you went in there on a full moon, your soul would be consumed by the spirits of the house’s first and only inhabitants. It was the kind of legend everyone in the village publicly admitted was fake, but still, in the secrecy of their own minds, not one of these villagers would have visited the house on a full moon, let alone on a regular night.
At the other end of Parlour Street walked an old man called Mr. Parker. He was moving swiftly, or as fast as he could given his crumpling body. Unlike the other residents, Mr. Parker was not scared of the house. It is not that he didn’t believe all that was said about the place, because he did, wholeheartedly even. No, he was actually fascinated by the house. For him, it was how in all its loneliness, the house was never, or should I say never seemed, lonely at all. It was jealousy which inhabited the old man when fear was in the other villagers’ hearts.
Mr. Parker’s obsession with the house began with the end of his dear wife’s life. She was the love of his life, the highlight of his days, the partner of his every hour, minutes, and seconds. She was his everything, and slowly but surely, she drifted into the depths of her disease. Leaving him heartbroken and alone. He had missed her every day since. Maybe, this was the reason he was now going crazy. Or maybe it was simply old age. Or his obsession with the cursed house.
Anyway, in the middle of Parlour Street was now Mr. Parker and, believe it or not, he had all his head. He knew though that it wouldn’t last long and so he had to hurry, for his sake. Because he would not go as someone he did not want to be. And so he kept walking towards the house.
You have to understand, Mr. Parker had no one but his demons. His daughter had died very young in a car accident. His wife passed away a few years ago. All his family members had dropped like flies. And recently, the doctor had told him he had Alzheimers. Now, all he could see in his neighbours, in his friends’ eyes was pity. He could not stand it. He hated it. He hated life for taking his loves. He hated his body for forgetting who he truly was. But most of all, he hated the whole world for pretending everything was great. For thinking that he, old as he was, crazy as he was, could not make decisions for himself.
In front of the lone house now stood Mr. Parker. Exhilaration, excitement, and even a little bit of hope filled his chest. He checked his watch: 11h49. Eleven minutes until redemption. Eleven minutes until deliverance. Eleven minutes to play, that’s what it was. He stepped into the house. For a moment, the world seemed to stop spinning, the air stiffened, and the noises quieted. Suddenly, everything came back all at once. Only now, they were magnified: the spinning got faster, the air got aggressive, and the noises grew louder, and louder, and louder. The house knew it had a guest.
Mr. Parker froze for a moment. But not for long. He wouldn’t give up, no, not so close to his goal. And so he walked through the living room. A vile, loathsome, revolting, nauseating smell filled his nose, along with every part of his being. He almost threw up. But he did not let that stop him from getting further into the house.
He went up a dangerous staircase. On the walls were pictures of the deceased family who lived here decades ago. One picture stood out to him. A little girl with dark hair, smiling with all her teeth and a teddy bear imprisoned in her arms, close to her heart. On the second floor was a never-ending hallway. Mr. Parker braved the obscurity, the spider webs, and the debris of the hallway. At the end was a closed door. He opened it and walked in.
At the end of Parlour Street, on the second floor of a lone house stood Mr. Parker. The room in which he stood in was in poor condition. The sheets were missing, the pillows decapitated, the mirror broken, the dresser was on the floor. Scratches on the walls, blood spills on the ground were a clear manifestation of the demons kept in this house, in this room. Through the dirty window, the full moon shone her light in the badly lit room.
It was when Mr. Parker’s watch read 11:57 that he began to see things. Spirits, souls, ghosts to be precise. One little girl, in particular, caught his attention. Dark circles painted the under of her eyeball holes (she did not, in fact, have eyes), long dark hair grew from her head to her hips, white like milk was the colour of her skin. She wore a worn out pajama and had in hand a used stuffed bear. You could say she looked like your basic little girl ghost. And she was walking slowly towards a hypnotized Mr. Parker. In her, he saw his deceased daughter.
Once she was in front of him, Mr. Parker’s watch read 11:59. That’s when she started screaming. Her mouth, a never ending black hole, was wide open right in front of his face. Mr. Parker was staring into the infinity of her mouth. He was staring at the beginning of the world and all worlds, their life, and their ends. All this from a little girl’s mouth. It was too much to bear. He lost his sight. The scream, faint at first, grew strident with time. It was a weird scream, for it was like the annoying sounds they call the mosquito tone. A sound only young people can hear. Only, Mr. Parker was very old and he could very much hear it. In this scream, he heard the complaints of all haunted souls. It was too much to bear. He lost his hearing. Chills covered his body, coldness ran through his blood, ice was now where his muscles once were. It was too much to bear. He lost control of his body. He lost all senses. He fell to the floor. A tortured scream escaped his mouth. The two screams danced together for a moment and then fainted in the night.
Mr. Parker’s watch was now at 00:00. October was over. The day was over. Mr. Parker’s life was over. His mission was over. It was a success: Mr. Parker had taken matters in his own hands and he would never be alone. Never ever ever.