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                               The House by the Lake

About 6 years ago, me and my family went on a trip to a big festival. While there, I met some friends, Richard and Jimmy. The festival was held on a vast field, but me and my family camped near the end of the field, where a large forest started.

On the third night, Richard, Jimmy and I decided to go venture into the woods, like all tough 10-year-olds want to do, and we went that very night at 9:00 pm, so that my sister wouldn’t want to come.

I told my parents that I would go and play at Richards place, and they told they would be at my place. We grabbed our flashlights, and some candy bars and went to explore.

Richard and Jimmy had found an old cart, deserted in a small ditch the day before. We climbed over it, and saw a small path that was mildly overgrown, but that was perfect for us as ‘explorers’. We walked for a good chunk, on this path that seemed to be swerving randomly.

Eventually, we reached a small lake, where the moon was shining beautifully, it seemed that the crickets and frogs made a symphony just for us. It seemed so peaceful, but I thought to myself that it was weird that there was a lake here, it was never mentioned on any map. But then again, I was 10, I shook it off by telling myself that maps were lame.

Suddenly Richard spotted something across the lake. It was an old, eerie house. It seemed to have been abandoned for decades, and slowly but surely the small path led to the small house. As we came closer the frogs and crickets started to become more silent and a foul stench reached our noses. It was the smell of rotten flesh, not so strong that it made me gag, but it was definitely a stench coming from behind the old house.

Jimmy was lagging behind at this point, so we stopped to sit on a fallen tree, 100 feet in front of the house.

‘What’s with the smell, do you guys know what it is?’ Jimmy asked. ‘Probably thrash from the previous owners, I don’t know.’ I said. ‘I hope that there’s some cool stuff in there, what if there are swords?’ Richard said, as he dated the house, as expertly as a 10-year-old can get, in the Middle Ages.

When we ate the candy bars we took from back at the festival and got rested up, we got to the actual investigation. We walked through the iron gates, which looked massive, in contrast to the poorly made fence that was made attached to it. Our first impulse was to check out the outside of the house, because Jimmy spotted an axe right off the bat to the left of the house. The axe was very old, rusted, and didn’t have much use anymore, but at the left side was an interesting car, an old Jeep, with army colors.

The Jeep didn’t age very well, the lights were broken, and the tires were flat. Richard was interested in the Jeep, so he stayed a while there, while Jimmy and I went to check out the real deal: the building itself. It was creaky, and the crimson red paint the building once had was now almost completely gone.

I wasn’t really scared; I found it all very exciting, but Jimmy was clearly more on edge. When I noticed that I thought to myself: why would he be so scared? Then I thought about my parents, who probably found by now that we were gone.

At that moment the feeling of adventure came onto me, so I went on to the door. I tried to open the door; locked. ‘Damnit, it won’t open.’ I said. ‘We should go see what Richard’s up to.’ Jimmy said.

When we walked back, we saw that Richard wasn’t interested in the Jeep anymore, he was looking for the source of the still present smell. It seemed to come from an creaky cabin, behind the house. It smelt so bad, Jimmy started to gag, but Richard was too interested in everything to care about the smell. He opened the cabin, and there was a hole inside, the size of a basketball.

Richard looked inside with his flashlight, and he seemed to know what he was seeing. ‘It’s pig-insides, I think.’ He said. ‘What!?’ I said loudly. ‘My dad’s a butcher. I went with him to work several times, he had to remove the insides from the pigs, I think this is a butchery.’

Jimmy had already moved himself away from the stench, and was looking in the house through a window, to look what’s inside. ‘It’s just some empty beer cans.’ He said, kind of disappointed that he had left the house for that. When I looked through the same window, I could make out some human form in the other room. Not moving, but posing, like a mannequin

We then went to the front of the house again, because Richard was convinced he could open it with a hairpin he stole from his sister. ‘Why’d you bring that?’ Jimmy asked. ‘I saw this on tv, some guy opened a door with just a hairpin.’

Of course, this didn’t work at all.

When we were about to step off of the porch, the light above the door started flickering, as if it was an antique light bulb with a defect motion sensor. It didn’t make sense, the electricity would have been cut a long time ago if it was abandoned, and a battery wouldn’t last that long. We thought it was weird, but not that frightening. Richard wanted to look through another window, but as soon as he ran over, the loudest bang ever came from the house, as if three bookshelves collapsed at once in the house.

We were pretty shook up by this. What was that? I manned up trying to look cool in front of the others, and put my ear to the door. It seemed that three voices were whispering demonic things to me at the very other side of the door. I jumped and walked, trying to mask my fear, towards the log we sat on earlier. The other guys followed.

‘What did you hear?’ Jimmy asked. ‘Yeah, was there anyone inside?’, Richard asked. ‘I… I… I know that there’s something inside. It whispered to me when I listened at the door.’ I answered.

‘I think we should head back, our parents must be worrying by now.’ Jimmy said. We agreed to go. As we walked away, the frogs and crickets were heard once again, but this time they seemed to warn us, it was much more stern than before.

When we were about 500 feet away from the house we couldn’t find the path anymore.

Richard said that the best way to get back on track was to follow the side of the lake, as I remembered that from the trip.

We finally found the path back, but this time the smell of the house was there when you stepped on the path, when you were off, it would disappear.

After an half hour of walking, we approached the house again. This didn’t make sense, and we started to get worried.

‘Huh? Have we been walking in circles?’ Richard asked, more calm than he should’ve. ’Shut up, man what if we get lost?’ I answered annoyed. As I and Richard argued for a bit, Jimmy was silent. He saw something in the distance, he must’ve, because he was paralyzed by fear. He started walking towards the house in the distance, and we followed, as we asked him where he was going.

He didn’t answer, he acted like we didn’t exist at all. When he started running we let him run, he couldn’t go anywhere, so what was the point. It was also way past bedtime, so we were tired.

Jimmy ran harder than I had ever see him run, when he ran onto the porch and opened it swiftly. Five seconds later we heard a scream, and the door closed, the light of his flashlight could no longer be seen in the house. This petrified us both. The frogs and crickets were now nowhere to be heard and the smell of the house started to overcome us. Richard and I tried to run away, but we couldn’t, it seemed like the bushes behind us had closed. The lake also was not an option, because poison ivy was scattered around there.

At that moment we saw two lights from the house, two peering eyes, two horrifying specs of white, coming from the window.

When I saw that, I took my chances, and bolted through the poison ivy into the lake. I never looked back one time, but since I was faster than Richard, I didn’t know if he was with me on this. I dove into the water, but it was terribly muddy, I couldn’t really swim through it that quickly. When I got to the side of the lake, about hundred yards away, I started running, when I heard a terrible scream in the distance. Richard was gone.

While I was running I noticed that my shirt smelt like something else than my odor, or the odor from the house. It was the smell of blood. I made my way to the festival somehow and I told them everything. They called the police, the ambulance for my heavy poison ivy burns, and the fact that I was red from the lake. The cops said there wasn’t a lake anywhere in the neighborhood.

A search was set out anyways, to look for the boys, they were never found.

Now, every year, when the third day of the festival comes around, when I go to bed, I can see two white dots outside, whispering to me, waiting to get his last mannequin to add to his collection.


~ Frozen Frog

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