I plan to do a new weekly twitter prompt this year, #vsshauntedhouse. I thought I’d try it out as an ongoing story, so I’ll pin it up here and we’ll see where it goes. I may write in between prompts as well, using the weekly 280 characters as a jumping-off point.
A Hyssop Falls Haunting (Placeholder Title)
“Let me be the first to #welcome you to Hyssop Falls, Mrs.–?”
“Lucy is fine. Lucy Bishop. And I lived here when I was a little girl. Do you have the paperwork?”
“Surely you’d like to see the house before you–”
“I already know everything I need to know.”
A light upstairs seemed to be #flickering. Lucy counted the windows. Great Aunt Enid’s room, the blue guest room–the light was in the nursery. She shuddered and closed her eyes. When she opened them, the window was dark. Was the lace curtain moving?
Lucy sneezed. Her flashlight illuminated the dust clogging the air and played over the cobweb-draped dollhouse that dominated the dining table. She’d loved the replica of Great Aunt Enid’s house as a child. Had there always been a tiny row of carved #headstones in the garden?
She leaned closer, but the names were illegible in the dim light. Her thoughts were interrupted by a #scratching at the back door. No, not at the back door. Something was scratching inside the walls of the house. Somewhere. Inside. With her.
She crept slowly through the living room, toward the once-majestic #staircase, squinting into the deep shadows. Great Aunt Enid never wasted electricity. She’d taken the lightbu
lb from six-year-old Lucy’s only bedroom lamp for a week after Lucy had left it on all day.
Lucy’s feet felt heavy as she went up the stairs, tiptoeing out of childhood habit. The scratching was soon joined by faint #music. “London Bridge is falling down, falling down…” Did she really hear it, or was she humming it herself?
The nursery. Of course that’s where the scratching was coming from. The #restless things in the house always found their way to the nursery. It had been off-limits when Lucy and her sisters were children, but that hadn’t stopped them from picking the lock.
Lucy remembered the monstrous #silhouettes in front of the moonlit windows, and her screams waking Great Aunt Enid. “I can’t abide nosy children,” she’d snarled, then shut Lucy in for the night, turning the key as Lucy pounded on the door in terror.
She slowly pushed open the door. #Cold air enveloped her as she walked in. She crossed the room to turn on the single lamp, watching her breath puff out in clouds. Nothing moved. No shadowy figures, no scratching, no singing. The silence almost echoed.