The Old House | Teen Ink

The Old House

August 6, 2014
By Noah_HF GOLD, Winchester, Tennessee
Noah_HF GOLD, Winchester, Tennessee
12 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
-Ernest Hemingway

The ancient floorboards in the abandoned house creaked and groaned, as the small boy crept through the murky stillness. A few windows lined the walls, small shafts of light piercing the dusty air through the boarded up glass.

As the boy moved along, keeping to the shadows, he heard from a room behind him the squeaking and scuttling of a mouse alerting the rest of its kin that an intruder was approaching. The boy shivered in terror at the sudden noise and almost began to turn back, but as his mind refocused on his goal he unfalteringly continued to make his way through the farmhouse.

Suddenly, something darted out from the corner of the room and flew right over his head. He shrank back too terrified to even scream. As the fear began to dissipate, he realized it had been nothing more than a bat, but that did little to relieve him.

As he proceeded farther into the room, he noticed through the dim light that the door ahead was closed just enough that he wouldn’t be able to slip his small body through it. Once he reached the entrance, he slowly extended his arm and pushed on the door, the flaking paint crumbling away from the dried and cracked wood. The old rusty hinges let out a blood-curdling keening as the door slowly swung open. He instantly shrank back and rushed over to a corner, trying to hide from whatever creatures might lurk in the darkness of a place like this. Deep inside he knew his terror was unfounded, but his small mind did not accept this, his heart beating so fast it was near to bursting.
A giant rat rushed out from a small hole in the termite-infested wall, fending him off from its home. Nowhere to turn, he huddled down, sobbing into his arms. Finally as the silence of the house crept back in, he got up enough courage to peak out from between his slightly opened fingers. After carefully examining the room, he decided that no monsters lurked in the shadows but those of his own making. He soundlessly got to his feet and resumed his progress once more.

As he approached the door, he realized that it was open just enough for him to squeeze through, without disturbing the hinges. After he had slipped out of the room, he peered down the long unlit hallway. He could make out the faint outline of a series of side passages barely illuminated by the dim light that made its way through the slightly opened door. As the darkness enveloped him, he began to run his hand along the wall, counting the number of doors he passed. He heard the sounds of small animals scuttling around him, but as he walked his fear began to dissipate.

Finally, after he reached the last doorway, he made his way into the pitch black room. He slowly waved his arms in front of him, attempting to stop himself from colliding with whatever obstacles might lie in his path. Almost as soon as he began to move forward, his hand brushed against a smooth piece of wood. Quickly changing his path to get around the obstruction, he bumped into a tall wooden cabinet that creaked under the force of the collision. He waited a moment, not daring to breathe, as he heard the violent screeches of small mice and other animals that he had disturbed with the sudden noise.

Then as the sounds died down, he continued on, making his way to the opposite corner of the chamber. With increased confidence, he maneuvered around the many obstructions that lay in his path.

Suddenly he reached his goal, his hand bumping into the rough top of an old leather chest. Fumbling around he discovered the latch, and slowly pushed it in. With a soft click the chest creaked open, a faint light emanating from deep within its depths. With wide eyes he whispered, “The legend is real.”

Reaching inside the chest, he pulled out a small paper wrapped object. The old parchment crumbled away as he gripped it. Pulling apart the small bits of paper that remained he soon gazed upon a clear green gem. After staring at it for just a second, he saw deep inside of its shadowy depths things moving around in its silent stillness. The gem of the ancient sorcerer Vaskar was now his. Letting out a gasp of excitement, the small boy called upon its magic light giving powers. A faint glow began to come from within the gem, brightening rapidly until all the room was illuminated. As the boy gazed out at the cluttered chamber, the small bedroom saw light for the first time in possibly hundreds of years. The fleeting forms of rodents could be seen, as they scurried away from the light.

Stepping toward the wall, he grasped the gem all the tighter. Without slowing he passed right through the wood and out into the sunlight. As he ran forward into the sunny meadow around the house, the creatures inside began to resume their normal lives, scurrying through the dimly lit corridors at peace once more.

The author's comments:
Most stories have a clear purpose that is more philosophic than a surface aspect of the plot. In this story my only goal was to express the boy's feelings of terror, no inherent shift happening at the most primal level.

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