The car crept down the dark bumpy road, its headlights trying to penetrate the blackness that surrounded it. “You sure this is the way?” The man at the wheel asked the woman beside him.
“We’re following the directions I was given.” The woman stated nervously. She did not like the dark, and she was starting to get an apprehensive feeling. “I just don’t get why the owner insisted on a night viewing. We won’t even be able to see what the outside looks like.”
“For the amount he quoted for the house, who cares what the outside looks like.” The man said, trying to lighten the mood. “The inside is supposed to be fabulous!”
“Here!” The woman exclaimed, startling him so bad that he jerked the steering wheel. “This must be the driveway!”
An old sign reflected in the headlights. For Sale by Owner, it said with an arrow pointing down an overgrown driveway. The old dirt road looked ancient and rough. The man grimaced, imagining the dust that the car would encounter as it bumped its way down a drive that had been neglected beyond belief.
As they ventured on down a drive that seemed like it would never end, the woman turned to him. “This is kind of creepy, don’t you think?”
“Oh good grief!” He told her. “You watch too many scary movies. He is probably just some old eccentric guy who likes his privacy. Whoa!”
The headlights came to rest on a huge old house. It was hard to tell what kind of shape it was in because it was surrounded in darkness. There were no welcoming lights of any kind. “We’ll definitely need to install a yard light.” She said to herself as a cold shiver ran through her body.
“Well, come on,” the man stated as he shut the car off and opened the door. “I didn’t drive an hour into the darkness just to sit here wondering.”
She huddled close to him as they made their way up a dark path towards what appeared to be the front door. They could see a faint glimmer of light through the window as they approached. Every nerve in her body was screaming “run” but she shook it off and laughed at her silliness.
They had been dreaming of living in a huge old house in the country for years. Unfortunately, those dreams came at a high price and they had not been able to afford any of the ones they had looked at.
They may not have even known about this one, if they hadn’t been taking a walk one night and several flyers came tumbling by in the wind. One of the flyers hit her in the face. Together, they stood under a street light and read the words, “For Sale by Owner.”
The flyer described their dream house! They could not believe their luck as they raced back to their tiny apartment to call the number listed on the flyer. The man that had answered had seemed eager to have them come out to look at the house.
He was in a hurry to sell, he had explained, and that very evening was the last time he would be available for a long time. He quoted a price that was no where near what they had been seeing and urged them to come take a look.
Afraid to let such an opportunity pass them by, they jumped right into their car and drove into the night, following his directions. And now here they were, yet they wondered what they were getting into as they approached the huge front porch.
“”Why aren’t there any lights on.” She whispered, holding tightly to his arm.
“Maybe he forgot to pay the bill!” her companion joked, even though he was feeling a little uneasy about the whole thing too.
“No, just a generator failure!” Boomed a huge voice out of the darkness, causing both of them to jump. “Welcome! Sorry to have startled you.”
The couple had failed to see that the large front door was standing open and that a tall thin man stood just inside the house, framed by a faint glimmering light. On past the man they could see that candles burned inside, casting eerie shadows everywhere.
“Oh,” the man standing on the porch laughed nervously, “That explains the darkness.”
The woman relaxed her grip on his arm and sighed with relief. “Does the house just run on a generator then?”
“No, no, it has full power to it. I just see no reason to have it.” The tall man told them. “Please, enter and let me have a look at the two of you.”
“What an odd statement.” The woman thought to herself as she and her companion crossed the threshold into the house. As she looked around, she shuddered. “Everything is so old.”
As if reading her mind the tall man stated, “The house has been in my family for many many generations. We saw no need to change anything. Barth is the name…what’s yours?”
“John and Kristie Banks” The couple stated together, as they realized the man was extending his hand to them. Kristie quickly pulled her hand back in displeasure. She did not want to touch him. She wiped her hand on her jeans and gulped.
“So, John and Kristie Banks, you stated on the phone that you have no family in the area and that you are both in your mid twenties?”
‘Yes, yes that’s right.” John said, giving Kristie a look that said, “This guy is strange.”
“You’ll do nicely.” Barth laughed. “For Sale by Owner” works every time.”
“What the…” John began in confusion.
“What the…indeed. You see, I am very tired and very hungry.” He grinned at them and the candlelight flickered off of the two huge fangs protruding from his mouth.
“For Sale by Owner” Barth chuckled, as he approached his latest prey.