Cold Winter Memories

April 18, 2010
The sharp pain of the cold winter’s air filled my lungs as I pushed harder on the pedals of my bike. I was in an attempt to sneak past the neighbors vicious dogs at the end of the road, and continue my long ride to town. I had done this many times to and from town. Sometimes completing the seven mile one way trip more than once a day. little did i know this was not just another trip to town.
As i pedalded thoughts would generaly race through my head. the up and down motion providing a almost medatative state. Even though, I enjoyed riding my bike, I was looking forward to gettiing my license the next month, which would save drastic amounts of time and widen my area of travel. The bike trip usualy consisted of the same rhythmic cycle of event, As I neared the neighbor’s house the dogs, As usual, ran out to meet me with their barking and snarling of teeth. They hadn’t gotten close enough to bite me yet though. Not since I had kicked the larger dog causing it to whimper and fall back. None-the-less I did keep a eye on them. They sometimes reminded me of the triathlons you see on ESPN. Where volunteers would run out and hand the bike rider water, only these had teeth and from previous experience weren’t afraid to try to use them. This time though they didn’t try anything, just a run out into the road to declare that this was their territory.
I turned left at the “T” in the road (just after the house with the attack dogs) and began to ride down the paved road. As I picked up speed on the asphalt, I quickly turned into the oncoming lane. Dince it was early morning I felt safer since there were less cars on the road, and I could see any that would be coming. I arrived to town sometime just as the town’s people were opening the businesses and the town was starting to come to life. I pulled over in the Texaco station. As I walked in the clerk gave me a friendly smile as a I purchased a Dr. Pepper and a Snickers bar. My idea of a hardy breakfast. Quickly, I got on my bike quickly, I noticed that it was starting to heat the asphalt I knew that if I lingered too long in town that the ride home would be a hard one, I hastened my speed towards my destination.

I arrived about 20 minutes later to my destination, a two story rundown house. No one had lived here for years and it was rumored to be haunted. This is why I was here, as a sort of bet that I could stay in the house, alone and with no sort of protection at all. The prize if I win the bet? None just the bragging right. Even during the day this house looked spooky, but I wouldn’t win the bet for going in during the day, no I had to go in at night. The true reason why I was here today is because I was scared, scared senseless. There had been stories emerge from around this house. Wild beating on the walls, babies crying, and women screaming for there life. the usual clique.
the real reason i had come here during the day to reassure myself that there was nothing in the house. As I neared the front door, part of the porch gave way under my weight, just one plank, but it was enough to send me stumbling forward, crashing into the door breaking it down. “a deep grumbe of a gasp escaped my lungs as I stumbled past the now open door into the main room of the house.
What seemed to be years of built up dust flowed around my feet slowly working its way up to where the pungent smell met my nostrils. At first glance, it appeared that the walls had some jungle theme wallpaper but at a second look, I noticed that it was actually some type of ivy growing from the ancients planks of the floor. The room had been stripped of all furniture expect for one rotted out bookcase in the corner, the light from a open window shown in from, making it look as if the heavens had rained down their light upon this bookcase. I imagined that this is how Aladdin felt as he found his magic lamp. I seemed lost as to why I had originally come into the house, I turned my intention instead towards the bookcase. As I neared it I noticed that there was only one poor book with a blank white cover and in gold “memories” engraved on the cover. I picked the book up and I noticed a picture fell out of the bottom. It was an old black and white picture of a family at Christmas, the house they were in looked somewhat familiar, and after a time I noticed that it was the very house I was standing in. shocked that this was once a livable residence I quickly sat down and opened this newly found photo album and studied the picture one by one. Soaking in the memories of a generation past,I sat Indian style on the hard planked floor lost in the giant scrapbook. even then i realized that this would be a day that I would want to relive in my head for years to come.
Quickly, I looked out the window and was shocked to see that it was nearing dark. Knowing that I was supposed to be home hours ago I quickly sat the book back on the bookshelf. “Tomorrow” I thought “I will come back and finish this photo album as I ran out of the house and began the bike ride home .
The next day I got up early in the morning, right after my parents had left for work to begin the jorney back. Luckily, this time the dogs were still asleep.

As I neared the house I was shocked to see that nothing stood there anymore but a mound of ashes and a hlaf dozen firefighter milling around the yard. Apparently, (according to the fire chief) some local kids burned the house down after being frightened the night before. Knowing that I would never get to finish the “memories” book I breathed a deep breath of icy winter air, and started to pedal.

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