It was a warm spring day outside. I gathered my closest friend's from around the neighborhood, grabbed my rifle, and hiked around the edge of town, across the corn fields, and along the creek. The water was as clean as the clouds that day, small turtles bobbed their heads above the water to say hello, and dragonflies hovered over the lily pads. Once there, we spent a half an hour betting who would be brave enough to knock on the front door, or perhaps chuck a pebble at a window. Finally, I gathered my courage, and marched up to the cabin, my friend's laughing and cheering me on from behind. It smelled like mold and dust. The grass was thick and mossy, the plants seemed to have died along with the cabin. I walked slowly up to the doorstep. Two small stairs were inches in front of me as I looked up at the cabin. Its dirty rafters hung with spider webs and mold. The porch was dirty and dusty, rat droppings littered the floor like molecules. The wood was stained dark brown with age. I took a step up, the stair creaked quietly. The air became quiet, still, as if it were waiting. I took another step, and a third until I stood on the porch. I looked up at the rafters, I smelled rat decay and cat urine, moldy wood and mossy stone. The door was now an arms length away, but it felt like it was ten feet away. The paint on the door was peeling, the small, curved window pane crowning the door was cracked and tainted with age and dust. I reached my hand out, my hairs tingling, and knocked on the door, as if I expected someone to answer my calling.
The echo of the knocks rang throughout the house, I waited, holding my breath. Waiting quietly, anticipating anything. I sighed, slightly disappointed that nothing happened, but also fortunate that no one came to answer the door with a knife pointed towards my jugular. I turned to leave when I heard a murmur from behind the door, a whisper perhaps. I spun around quickly, and stood on my toes peering in through the window atop the door.
Peering inside the house, I noticed a small, wooden staircase to the left, winding up towards the upper floor, I saw a door frame that led into another room. The rest of the window was concealed in grime and dust, so I could not see anything else.
Seven Years Later
Seven years went by. We all grew up and forgot about our adventures at the cabin. Not all of us though. I still believed something was fishy about the cabin, I had always believed. Every morning, I would sneak out with my friend's and go to the cabin, admiring it from a distance, studying it intently as if I had missed a small detail that held the cabins secret legacy. But one day all of that changed.
I woke up, sweaty, tears in my eyes. My room was pitch black, only the moon’s glare provided light. My windows on the left wall of my room were open, wind blew through them, ruffling my hair and shaking the curtains. I looked around, and sat up. The cup of water near my bed was spilled and on the floor, a small puddle of water drenched my morning slippers. I bent down to pick up my cup, when something caught my eye. I went over to the window, and stuck my head out. Directly across from me, I could see the creek, and the cabin. The moonlight was shining directly onto it. A figure moved around the lake, it was a person. Who would be out at this time of night? Why would anybody go out to a creepy, abandoned cabin at night? Especially at nighttime? All of these thoughts ran through my head as I stared in awe out of my bedroom window. Then I gasped. A small, dim light glowed through the upstairs window. It wavered, as if it were a candle being shaken by a breeze. Without thinking, I dressed, and climbed out of the window, landing ten feet below with a thud. I shaked off my pants, and sprinted down the street. The air was crisp and chilly, the moon's reflection echoed off of the houses, providing a faint twinkle. As I ran toward the creek, I looked up to the cabin, the person was almost halfway across the creek! I picked up my speed, my heart thumping, my legs burning with excitement and anticipation. This is what I have been waiting for! Almost my entire life was dedicated to finding out who owned this cabin, and the stories that folded beneath it. I neared the creek, I splashed through small puddles, drops of water and mud dotted my face. Almost halfway around the creek, exhausted and aching, I looked over at the person. He or she was almost at the cabin. I pushed farther and farther until I felt as if my legs would fall off and I would die next to the creek. Finally I reached the cabin, I stopped, and hid behind a tree, gasping for air. I turned to look, the person, who I now saw as a boy, walked quietly up the stairs and onto the porch. I waited, he waited, and finally he knocked. The knock echoed through the air. I held my breath. He knocked again, and again, no reply. Suddenly, the light from upstairs brightened, and moved! Whomever was carrying the candle was now moving downstairs. I quietly moved up closer, careful not to let the boy see me. I waited, silently, watching the boy intently. He was probably around the age of twelve, not much younger than me. With sandy-blonde hair, and hazel eyes. He wore a black leather jacket, and pants with patches across the leggings.
The door opened, he stepped in. No one stood at the door, in fact as soon as the boy walked into the cabin the door slammed shut. No more light, just plain darkness. I was afraid, shivering. Too fearful to move, what if he was watching me, waiting for me to blow my cover. I waited, and waited until the sun floated above the horizon line. Gathering my courage, I stood up, wincing at the stiffness of my knees. Then the door opened. I dropped onto my stomach. The Sandy-haired boy walked across the porch, down the steps and across the yard. Again I held my breath, not daring to move an inch as he passed me a few feet away, my spine shivered as I noticed his blank, straight, empty stare and his zombified walk.
We returned to school the next day, the memories of last night haunted me throughout the morning, so much in fact that I didn’t go to the cabin that day. As the school day ended, and everyone shuffled out of school, I noticed a strange person, leaning against the wall, staring directly towards me, blankly. It was the Sandy-haired kid from last night! Walking out of the building, I turned to my friend's.
“Who is that kid?”
“Which one?” they asked
“The Sandy-Haired kid leaning against the wall.” Nobody answered at first.
“I saw him last night, at the cabin” everyone stopped to stare at me as if I was crazy.
“He walked inside the cabin-” I continued “Disappeared for the rest of the night, and walked out the next morning as if nothing had happened”
“That’s the new kid right across the street from me” chimed in one of my friend's. “His mother died in a car accident, so his dad and uncle moved into our neighborhood.”
“Then why would he be so intent in coming to the cabin in the middle of the night?” I asked myself.
“I don’t know man, but something tells me that he is not right.” replied my friend as we continued down the sidewalk.
I tossed and turned in my bed that evening unable to sleep. The thoughts of the boy, and the cabin circled around my brain like a tornado. Finally, I decided that I would ditch school, and go to the library to catch up on some Creek Village history.
The next day, I woke up at the crack of dawn and left my house. I walked down the quiet street, my footsteps echoed off of the pavement. The sun was barely peeking over the horizon, as if curiously watching me as I walked out of town.
I followed a small dirt road out of town and walked up through the green sloping hills that carved around town. Soon enough the sun rose and I greeted it like an old friend, the clouds appeared, moving slightly as a thin breeze pushed them. The tall, green grass swayed as I walked passed. Small gusts of warm air ruffled my hair and dried my eyes. As I summited another naked, grassy hill, I noticed the tall rooftop peaks of the library, poking out behind a hill. I started to walk faster until I finally reached the library.
The library was tall and made of stone, three spiraling towers loomed over the green hills. I reached for a big door, grasped it’s heavy brass handle and yanked it open. The door opened with a loud creak that echoed throughout the castle like building. I walked in, admiring the old, stone walls and the bookshelves lining the walls. It felt like thousands of tiny eyes watched me as I walked passed the bookshelves. Blue books, red books, old books, broken books, hard books and soft books. I scanned the walls thoroughly, looking for a certain book that held the mysteries of Creek Village. inally, I found it, I reached up standing on the tips of my feet. I waked to a small chair in the corner of the library and sat down, I felt weighed down by the mass of the book.
It was titled HISTORY OF CREEK VILLAGE in thick, bold writing. I blew off the dust on the cover, and opened the book. The pages were worn and yellow, small rips and tears rimmed each page. I flipped through a couple, ignoring the long repetitive writing. Finally, I came across a grey, faded picture of Creek Village.
The village was old, only eight buildings stood high and each of them were made of stone. The meeting hall, in the center, towered over the smaller, lived in houses. I looked closely, looking for a small creek or perhaps a cabin in the faded distance, but I found none. I closed the book, it clapped as I placed it back on the shelf, more dust clouded around me. I turned back around and walked through the library again.
I passed the last bookshelf, admiring all of the books stacked on these shelves. The ideas and memories of the ancient authors all poured onto old, yellowing pages, huddled shoulder to shoulder inside of an old, abandoned library. Then, something caught my eye, a small picture hung loosey from a tack off of the wall. I looked closer, and saw that it was a picture of creek village. The same picture that I had seen in the book, but this time, it wasn’t as faded. In the corner of the picture was the creek, and behind that, a small hole. A section of the picture had been cut out, a piece missing.
My heartbeat quickened. I stared at the picture, trying to figure out why that part was missing. I plucked it off the wall, and held it closely. The greyish town, with old, stone buildings. The town hall in the center, with few people crowding around the entrance, all looking at the photographer. In the distance were the green, rolling hills and the small peaks of the library. In front of the hills was the creek, sunlight beaming off the surface, like glass. In the edge of the creek was a rip in the picture. Someone must have removed this, someone who didn’t want it to be seen.
Without thinking, I slammed the picture against the wall, the glass shattered and fell to the ground, millions of small shards bounced off of the hard floor. I held the picture in my hands, breathing heavily. Suddenly, a small slip of paper slid out from behind the empty frame, and landed at my feet. I bent down, and unfolded it.