Czajkowski House, pt 1 | Teen Ink

Czajkowski House, pt 1

March 5, 2010
By katy_valentine BRONZE, Eldersburg, Maryland
katy_valentine BRONZE, Eldersburg, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

I’ve got that lefty curse, where everything I do is flipped
And awkwardly reversed, you’re seldom mourned and barely missed.
I always put myself in destructive situations.
I need oxygen, to be exposed where no one goes, where no one’s been.
When it all comes crashing.

- The Academy Is, “We’ve Got a Big Mess On Our Hands.”

December 17th, 2010

First of all, I would like to apologize to all involved. Chloe Alexander, Josie Chiaramonte, Cameron Watson, and of course the Ashbys, though they did drag themselves into all this. Nobody else, though. What I want everyone to understand is that when Chloe, Josie, Cameron and I went poking around the old Czajkowski house, we didn’t mean anything by it. We were just four bored fifteen years old on a cloudy Saturday night in the middle of June, with a semi-broken video camera and a recently shattered dream.

June 14th, 2010

“Is this breaking and entering?”

“No, don’t be a dumb-a** Cameron. Nobody lives here.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s not breaking and entering. The government could own it, maybe.”

“Oh, will the three of you morons just shut up?” Josie demanded, expertly guiding her bobby pin into the two hundred year old doorknob of Czajkowski house. I wasn’t even sure that the whole bobby pin trick worked, but apparently it did; at least in Josie’s master lock picking hands.

“I must admit, I’m not entirely comfortable with this.” Cameron was just about scared out of his mind- he’d never done anything even close to rule breaking his entire life; the closest he’d come was finally mustering the courage to say “hell” and “crap” in the ninth grade. Chloe snorted derisively.

“Chloe,” Josie snapped.

“I’m not being the obnoxious one,” Chloe muttered under her breath, her tone a mixture of defensiveness and condescension. Chloe’s always been a badass. In kindergarten, she took the highest swings and ate whatever you wanted her to, from worms to stew, whether you bet her goldfish or not. It evolved into parasailing and radical hair colors and a total disregard for figures of authority. Josie was a badass in a different kind of way, she stood up for the weak and let her emotions rule every other aspect of her life.

“Oh, and I am?” Cameron challenged, a flash of his white blonde hair peeking out from under his black hood as pushed himself away from the porch railing and faced Chloe. He had her by at least a foot, but he was always the one who was scared of her.

“Yep,” Chloe said nonchalantly.

“Guys,” I soothed, before Josie could step in again, or before Cameron could reply. Because that was my job: I was not a badass by any right, but I was far away from Cameron on the wimp spectrum. So I comfort, and I soothe, and I empathize. I was no good at it at first, but I had to find my place, and this was it. Practice makes perfect. I could grow up to be a judge. Or a guidance counselor. “Chloe, I get that you don’t really think that this is a big deal, but Cameron has every right to be nervous. This could be government owned property, and we could get in trouble for breaking in. No to mention, this place is more than a little bit creepy.”

And it was. Built in the early1800s by fallen socialites John and Christi Czajkowski in the middle of the woods- to escape their social torment, apparently- and abandoned after its last resident, their great-great-great whatever, Edward Czajkowski, hung himself in the foyer. Cliché, I know, but that was in 1920, and nobody’s touched the place since. The details of Edward’s suicide have never been made public, but that doesn’t stop people from speculating. A love affair gone wrong, failed political ambitions, dealings with the devil. Nothing too remarkable there, nothing too creative. But still. Those stories have a way of sticking, sometimes, especially when you’re right up close and personal with the real things. Besides that, the house was falling apart. It was covered in various plants and the Lord knows how many species of animals were currently taking residence. None of the various teenagers who had planned to break in the Czajkowski house actually made it. They all freaked out at the very last second.

This, combined with the fact that the house had this untouchable, unearthly aura and that July 14th, 2010 was a full moon, made the Czajkowski house very formidable indeed.

And we, me and my three best friends, were breaking in.

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