Kids had avoided the old house since Nate Turner killed his whole family with a shotgun and hung himself.
It had become a place of legend, fear and superstition. You had to hurry past, as quickly as possible with both eyes closed or. Or what? Or bad things would happen.
Nate Turner would chase you down the street with his shotgun.
One of Nate Turner’s dead children would stumble out of the house, bloody hole where half of their head used to be and stagger down the street towards you, arms reaching out.
A light would come on in one of the windows and you’d see Nate Turner, glaring out at you, drawing his decayed finger across his throat, marking you for death.
The sound of a shotgun and terrible, inhuman screams would freeze the blood in your veins and make your heart stop.
Every kid had a horror story about the Turner house.
Some of them were even true.
Jacob was the new boy in town. He was a freak. He quoted from the bible and wore clothes that didn’t quite fit him. Everybody hated him but Seamus hated him the most.
Seamus knew just how to teach the Jesus-Freak a lesson.
‘Why are you being so nice to me?’ Jacob said, eyeing Seamus and his gang suspiciously. ‘I know you don’t like me. Nobody does’.
Seamus grinned at him. ‘I feel bad about the way everyone’s been treating you since you transferred here. I thought it was time you had some friends, settled in a bit’.
‘Uh, okay. I guess. What do I need to do?’
‘Meet us at the entrance to the woods at 7pm’.
‘You’re going to take part in a little initiation’.
Seamus put his arm around Jacob’s shoulder. ‘So, you can be part of the gang’.
‘Oh, cool’. Jacob grinned.
‘So, you’ll be there?’
Jacob nodded. Seamus started to walk away. He turned back and waved at Jacob. ‘Tonight at 7pm’.
‘I’ll be there’.
Seamus and his friends walked away. Seamus walked in the middle because he was the leader. Dave and James stood on either side, his loyal dogs.
‘What are we going to do to the Jesus-Freak?’ Dave said.
‘Scare the shit of him so he knows he’s not wanted here’.
‘Where are we taking him?’ James said.
‘To the Turner house’.
Dave and James made identical sounds of horror. They both started to ramble on about the house being evil and how no kid who stepped inside ever came back out, not alive anyway.
‘Will you two sissies’ shut up? It’s just a house. Bad stuff happened there but there are no ghosts. A house can’t hurt anyone’.
They both looked uncertain but stopped talking. The three of them continued to walk down the corridor, towards their first class, English.
‘Dave, I want you to be at the house about 6pm. There’s some stuff I need you to set up before we bring Jesus-Freak’ Seamus said.
It was 7pm. Seamus and James were waiting at the entrance to the woods. Jacob arrived almost five minutes late. He was on his bike and red-faced and exhausted by the time he pulled up in front of them.
‘Sorry I’m late. Mum made me do my homework’ Jacob said.
‘That’s okay, we’re in no hurry’ Seamus said.
Dave and James had leaned their own bikes against the perimeter fence of the woods. Jacob got off his own and leaned it next to them.
‘So where are we going?’ Jacob said.
‘We’re going to take a tour of a haunted house’ Seamus said.
Jacob looked at him, eyes wide. ‘Are you serious?’
Seamus was carrying a torch in one hand. He switched it one and shone it into Jacob’s face. ‘Absolutely. We’re going to the old Turner house’.
‘What’s that?’ Jacob said.
Seamus told him all about as they made their way through the woods. Nate Turner had been crazy, a mad old loon who lived on the outskirts of the woods. He had a wife, once beautiful but now old and bitter with age. They had two daughters. One day, Nate lost what little was left of his mind. He got hit shotgun out of the shed and shot and killed his wife and daughters. He was raving and weeping like a madman as he filled them with bullets. Them he hung himself from the beam in the attic, covered in the blood of his family.
‘You’re lying’ Jacob said, his eyes wide with fear.
‘It’s a true story. You can ask anyone’.
They kept walking and soon something loomed out of the darkness ahead of them. The Turner House. The boys stopped and stared at it. It was even creepier up close than they expected. It looked like a nightmare of what a house should be, a skeleton, covered in cobwebs and dead skin trying to drag itself towards the light.
All of the windows were broken. The roof was full of holes. The walls were covered in overgrown branches from a big tree next to the house. The chimney was crumbling and had big holes everywhere. The walls were covered in graffiti half hidden beneath ivy.
‘This place looks cool’ Jacob said.
Seamus looked up at the house. All of the windows were dark. He’d told Dave to stick his torch, switched on of course in the attic window so they’d know everything was in place. He walked all the way around the house in case Dave put the torch in the wrong place but there was no sign of it.
‘Are we going inside?’ Jacob said.
Seamus and James looked at each other and shrugged.
‘Why not?’ James said.
‘I’ll lead the way’ Seamus said.
The boys moved forwards towards the house, Seamus in front. He kept glancing up at the windows but there was still no sign of Dave’s torch. They climbed the rotted old wooden steps that led up to the gaping hole where a door had once hung.
‘This is going to be so cool’ Jacob said.
They stepped into the house. A creaking noise from above forced them to look up.
Dave was hanging from a wooden beam high above them, maybe even the very beam Nate Turner had swung from.
He clutched a torch in one hand, switched on and the faint yellow beam bounced back and forth as his body swung.
The rope twisted around his broken neck was old and frayed.
His head, swelled to grotesque proportions was twisted to the left and hung limp like a puppet. His tongue, swollen, black and enormous lolled from his mouth. Both eyes were open, staring down at them and bloodshot.
‘Cool beans’ Jacob said.
Copyright © 2018 by Pamela Scott
This is part of my challenge this month to write at least 500 words a day.
This is the 1st draft.