Thursday, July 6, 2017



Down a long narrow dirt road sat a boarded up white house. I stumbled across it one afternoon on my walk. I found the dirt trail by accident. I've lived in this area for twenty years now and have never noticed it before until the county came and cleared away the heavy growth of sticker bushes and weeds.
I decided I was going to give it a try and see where it took me.
Most of the trail was still covered with growth but there was enough where I could still follow the path. It had to have been at least a mile or more. I'd say not more than two till the trail took me to the house.
After all these years that old house had been there I was shocked to say the least to find it was still in as good a shape as it was. Not a flake of its white paint was peeling away. All the windows and doors appeared to be in good shape. If I hadn't known better I'd say somebody was still living here.
I saw a man walking out of the barn from the side of the house. He had a belt in his hand.
I heard crying and screaming coming from the back.
I called to him but he kept walking as if he hadn't heard me.
The man was clearly a farmer and lived here in this house.
The farmer looked at me. At least it appeared he was looking at me. He nodded his head. His eyes stared off as if he were looking at someone else. I didn't know who until his gaze turned to the upstairs window.
A woman stood at the window. She was dressed in a white flowery dress and wearing a bonnet. Crying.
The man smirked and shook his fist.
I asked him if I could be of some help but he kept shaking his fist at the window. Then I noticed the closer I got I could see through him to the other side. I could also see the trees through the house and the lake behind the barn.
Not wanting to go inside the barn but I thought it would be necessary at least for my own peace of mine. The door was wide open on it rusty hinges. The odor of manure and piss wafted out the door nearly knocking me down it was so strong.
By then the crying had ceased and I stood in the doorway of the barn wondering what had happened here.
My eyes were directed to a set of shackles hanging from the rafters. The floor littered with straw except for one tiny spot under the shackles which was nothing but dirt.
I bent down and as I looked close enough I could see the scrapes of dirt. Like tiny streaks done by toes. The iron shackles felt cold in my hand and there looked to be dried splotches of blood on the cuff.
To the side of that was an old board board made of some very hard wood with at least a hundred nails in it. Worn leather straps hung from its side.
On the other side of that in the far corner was a pile of decaying bones.
From the top of the rafters three more skeletons hung with ropes still tied around their wrists.
How long had this girl been tied to these? There was no doubt in my mind that all the evidence here so far showed that this place here in this barn was used for some kind of torture.
Feeling eyes upon me, I turned and there stood that farmer in the doorway. He had a grin on his face as he held the belt in his hand.
My heart quickened in my chest so hard it hurt. I knew what I was looking at was not a real person and that nobody was ever going to hurt anybody around here anymore. Still, that didn't make it any easier to handle.
A thumping startled me as a rat scurried about and knocked over a small tin can.
When I looked back at the doorway the farmer had faded away.
I could only imagine the horrors that happened in this house once upon a time.
I quickly exit out of the barn and head back up the trail not looking back. Not really wanting to know any more than I already found out. It felt more like five or six miles before I got back.
Later, out in town I'd asked a few people about if they knew of a house that sits way back down that trail off the long road. They shook their heads and said they hadn't known of any but they did say they do hear screams coming from that way every night.

Now, when I lie in bed at night I can hear those screams. Living so close to that house I wondered why I never heard them before.

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