Authors: Mixi J Applebottom
Mixi J Applebottom
Copyright © 2016 by Mixi J Applebottom
All rights reserved.
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2016
Beware of renting any haunted buildings.
Before we get started, I have to tell you, the parking was ridiculously atrocious.
It was downright awful.
Jenny wedged her little green Volkswagen bug between the two cars already jammed in the short driveway. She pulled the little leash out of the glovebox. Before she opened the door, she checked her lip-gloss. Pink and perfect on her pouty little lips. She was twenty-two years old, and excited for the fun. This weekend was gonna be bananas.
She opened the green door, but it was pressed so tightly against Ricky's blue Ford truck that she couldn't possibly escape that way. She tried the passenger door, but no, it was too close to Rachel's little red Subaru.
A little white nose pressed into her armpit, and she found herself wondering what exactly she should do. The nose wriggled harder and finally she relented, scratching between the little white ears. Immediately, another jealous nose pressed its way into her hands. "Guys, I have to figure out how to get out of this car and park." Finally, she came up with a plan, and I have to say, it was quite brilliant. She backed up slowly and rolled down the window. She put the car into neutral and got out, leaving both of her pets in the car. She pushed it carefully, and the little bug slid back into the spot. She could barely scoot her skinny butt between her car and Ricky's truck.
Jenny grabbed her purse and the leash through the open window. "Come on, guys!" Both little goats jumped out of the window, onto the hood of Ricky's car. If she had been thinking, she would have taken them out before this maneuver. She clipped the Y-shaped leash to both collars and then frowned. "I guess I didn't think out how to close the window." She glanced at the three cars parked tightly in the narrow driveway. I'm sure she was wondering where everyone else would park.
Mike drove up with his ancient conversion van. It was a dirty brown, either from dirt or from a hideously ancient paint job. She watched him park, firmly holding the leash of her prized possessions. They still stood on Ricky's truck, staring at that massive brown van. Mike slowly pulled it forward and backwards, parallel parking behind the three cars. They'd all be blocked in now.
He didn't have enough room. I'm not even totally sure how he got that giant conversion van to fit. It was basically a three-hundred-point turn, his van scooting back and forth between two concrete planters. It'd sure be a bitch to leave. No other way to slice it. But there was no other way to park and keep his van off the road.
Finally, when he stopped the car for good, the van popped open like a clown car and eight people climbed out. This was the bulk of the party right here. Jenny didn't know most of them but waved at Mike. He was tall with broad shoulders. "Hi! Couldn't wedge it in there any closer, could you?"
"Well, I didn't want to be sticking out on the road," he muttered back, clearly annoyed at the grumblings from the poor passengers awaiting his parking. "So this is the place, huh?"
Jenny grinned. "It's quite a sight to see, isn't it?"
They both turned and stared at the faded green painted exterior of the large house. There was a wooden sign painted with the word
. No other label was on the building.
"So this is where they died?" Mike said, suddenly standing closer to her. She whirled around startled, her tight cowgirl jeans snug against her skin.
"Well, in there somewhere. Do you think we'll make it all weekend in this place?"
"Of course we will. What else could we do? Besides, nobody can leave unless I move my van, and I ain't telling anyone where I've got the key." He grinned and winked at her playfully.
"We did get thirteen people here, right?"
"Nine of us, and you makes ten. Let's hope Ricky or Rachel brought someone."
Despite being able to see Ricky in the window, the door was oddly stuck. I don't think the house particularly wanted another set of guests. Mike tried it again, yanking harder, and the house seemed to groan with anticipation - excitement or fear, who could tell? But then the door gave way with a loud pop and a whirling dusty swirl danced out the door.
loudly, seemingly unaffected by the dust. Mike himself was holding back coughs and thumping his chest.
"You guys just gonna stand there or come inside?" Ricky hollered happily.
And they went in, even the two white goats, pulling on their leashes. The foyer held a staircase with two doors, one at each end of the room. They started the tour by taking the door to the right.
"Here is the library, this is where..." Before Ricky could continue, Rachel burst in. Tiffany was behind her, but all eyes were on Rachel.
She was wearing her usual get-up, only it seemed more fierce today, a long white crocheted hippie shawl and a silver headband in her long brown locks. Their normal curly mess had been straightened and it made her look even more intense than normal.
"This," she whispered dramatically as if she was on stage, "is where the lady of the house died. Can't you feel her watching us?" I certainly could.
The room was quiet, all thirteen college students listening and looking. The furniture was still intact, though draped with white sheets. It was hard to tell what each piece was. Could be a piano or a couch or perhaps a set of chairs...
Mike wondered if everyone else thought Rachel was a bit crazy. It wasn't even dark yet. He guessed this was how the whole tour would go. They stepped through the library and into the kitchen. Everyone was whispering in hushed tones as Ricky continued.
"The kitchen!" he bellowed like an angry cow. He pointed over the little bar seating area to the dining room. "The dining room is where the twins were hung."
"How old were they?" The voice was almost a whisper and Mike turned to see a very nervous Beth glancing at the ancient iron chandelier.
"They were thirteen," Rachel cooed with a soft tone to her voice, spinning suddenly, her white shawl twirling open. She was a dramatic one. "Come along; we have to see the rest!" She stepped out of the dining room into the next room. It was a crowded push through the doors, the twelve of them anxiously touring the guesthouse. The hallway was crowded. There was a small pantry with a set of stairs next to it, and Mike nearly stumbled down them, with so many people pushing through the little hallway. Finally, they stepped into the grand room. It was an oversized living room with a large brick fireplace. "We don't think anyone died here," Rachel said with a hint of dismay. "We'll call it the safe room. And–" She paused to dramatically yank the white sheet from a large thing. She probably intended to finish her sentence, but the wild jerking of the sheet caused so much dust to fly into the air that all thirteen of them started coughing. A huge stuffed bear was revealed, his fur ragged as if he had been stabbed repeatedly before he was stuffed.
Ricky shouted, "Rachel, come on. Seriously." He stomped out the remaining door and they were back full circle to the stairway at the front of the house. Everyone trudged up the many steps without much fuss.
Rachel pointed with an annoyed tone to the four rooms. "Master bedroom has a bath, twins' bedrooms, and then that one is the bedroom for the other two children. And a bathroom. There you have it." She frowned but before anyone else spoke, she pointed again. "Master bedroom; that's where he died. Twin's room; that's where the boy died. They never found the little girl."
Beth mumbled and stared at the room that used to hold a small boy and girl. "Does that make this room a safe room too?"
Rachel stopped pouting and sprang back to a bright smile. "Absolutely not. There was blood everywhere, and I think it might be one of the more haunted rooms of the house."
"What makes you say that?" Mike said. The others were already opening doors and wandering in and out of the bedrooms.
Rachel, never one to like a question, snorted, "Because I can feel them, you idiot."
And that was the tour of the guesthouse. Not one of them mentioned that they didn't go in the basement.
Together, they had carefully opened windows and taken sheets of dust outside. The room was almost breathable. An hour later, the whole house was swept and aired out. All of the sheets were carefully folded and placed in a large empty chest they found at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom. It didn't feel haunted.
Jenny tried to remind herself that it wouldn't be any fun to stay the weekend in a haunted house if they didn't enjoy at least one spook. Nobody went in the basement. But finally, it was starting to grow dark. They gathered in the safe room. The room had plenty of seats for them, especially when they borrowed three chairs from the dining room. Jenny sat in the rocking chair, her two goats still leashed to her. They were resting by her feet like they often did at her own house. Mike, Beth, Ben, and Tiffany sat on the ornate red couch. Rafael and Lucy had taken over the love seat. Zane and Mikaela, twins, sat next to each other in dining room chairs.