What if she just went in one last time? She knew it could possibly be the last time before heading west to start over. She looked at the big, white three story house that she called home for the last 40 years. Looking it up and down, not missing a bit; she knew it would take the courage of a lion to step foot inside one last time, but she felt it had to be done if she was ever going to truly close this long chapter.
She went through the front gate that opened from the sidewalk. It creaked, as usual, with the long screech that always let you know someone was about to come home. That was never a good feeling. Slowly she walked up the rose lined path. Neglected after all this time, they were just barbed fencing now. She bloodied many a dress picking those blasted flowers every evening before they got home. If she missed a day, it was reason enough to lock her up in her drafty, attic room. Walking right by those decaying roses gave her a feeling of liberation.
Then she reached the steps. She recalled the mornings she was alone just to sit with her cup of tea and to watch the sunrise. These steps were her backbone for the morning. They held her, and soothed her as she would curl up into the nook of one while taking in the heat of the sun on her face. She would take those steps with her if she could. The mornings spent with them were one of the few moments of happiness she remembered.
She proceeded to the porch. As she walked past the three rockers, a chill ran up her spine. She remembered the horrible faces of each of them sitting there, rocking, slowly rocking while watching her scrub the old wood boards. They would taunt her, and beat her if they didn’t approve of a move she made. As she walked by, the strangest thing occurred. Each rocker slowly started to rock. Her eyes widened as she raced ahead to the door. “There must have been a breeze”, she thought. She knew in her heart, however, the air was still.
She approached the door; put her key in the lock while grabbing the handle. As she turned the key the door almost sprung open. Apprehension set in. Could she even go in? There were too many horrible memories. Too much pain they had caused her, both mentally and physically. They were her family after all, but that was just a technicality.
Should she even go in? Her intuition was screaming no. What else did she need? Something was not right, and her gut was doubling over with warnings. Her mind was not listening, however, and the idea of seeing where she took her revenge one last time got the better of her. She stepped inside the front door and started moving through the entrance hall. The air was foul with the stench of mildew and rot. “Must be an animal caught under the floor boards” she thought.
She proceeded to the great room. As she turned the corner the front door slammed. It jolted fear through her. Briefly, it crossed her mind to leave; however, something wouldn’t let her. She had a primal instinct to see that room one last time. The room where they would sit day after day, melted into their armchairs like the slobs they were. The room where she sent them to hell, hoping they got what they deserved.
As she moved through the great room, there was a distinct chill in the air. She checked the windows for any openings, but they were all sealed and locked with individual padlocks. Suddenly she felt her arm get ice cold. Her heart started to race. “This is not right, not right at all”, she thought as she started to panic. It wasn’t worth it. She was really starting to feel like she was not alone. She turned to race back through the great room. As she approached the door it slammed in her face and she heard the bolt lock. Tears started down her cheeks. She knew she was not alone.
She ran across the room to the other door that would lead her into the kitchen. It slammed, locked, and all of a sudden five blade points from the set of butcher knives kept on the kitchen counter pierced through the door from the kitchen side. Fear was racing through her. What was going on? Then the chill ran up her spine, and she felt ice cold on her neck. She heard a screech, and then a slow and strained, breathy voice said, “You didn’t really think we’d let you go?” She gasped, and then screamed in horror. It was them.
She ran to the windows, but before she could reach them a tall china hutch crashed in front of her. The pieces went flying and shards of china and glass were everywhere. She yelled out, “You will never have me!” “I sent you to hell, and that is where you will stay you beasts!” She jumped up and scaled the hutch, covered her face and crashed through the windows. She dropped one story to the ground and raced out through the garden and was nearing the gate. She looked back and saw a red glow throughout the house; all of a sudden it vanished.
She smiled as a sense of calm was starting to replace the burning fear. She turned, and quickly walked to the gate. She reached to open it and her arm retracted in pain upon touching it. It was scorching hot, as if it had been stuck in a fire. She looked back only to see the red glow start to rise in the windows once again. A chill turned ice cold around her neck. She heard a dreaded whisper in her ear, “You didn’t really think we’d let you go?”