semi-final votes:
2

 

fear
youth

Family, Houses, Secrets

by Rose Walker
Illinois, United States
genre: Mystery

November twelfth, 2013, on a breezy, brisk afternoon, the rain poured down on Wellmore street, raindrops striking the windows in the community. The neighborhood Debrah and her friends lived in were minor, with only twelve houses, five resided by Debrah and her four other friends; the additional buildings were home to elderly couples or young, barely married couples with no kids. 

 In most small neighborhoods, the community is close, but where Debrah lives is unusual, silent. Most kids at Debrah’s school call it haunted or murderous because of the Wellmore house at the end of the street. The house has been abandoned, with no one knowing when it was left to decay. Most kids would make up ghost tales to freak each other out, whereas others would go into the house and play games or tell tales, even though that's how Gregory Telpal went missing. Some say it was some creep that people see lurching about. Others say he ran away from home because his dad was abusive, although the truth was never entirely known. The house looks almost new, with bright pink rose bushes in front of the patio, a gravel trail to the mailbox and sidewalk, and the yard covered with scattered empty bottles and other pieces of trash. The shingles on the roof falling off or chipping, the siding, and painted bricks, chipping to see the old red bricks. 

All the older kids know that it's not haunted, but messing with younger students or siblings is somehow entertaining to them. Some stories involved the kids that went missing, like Finnley, one of Debrah’s first friends, her younger brother. Though Finnley came home, he was never the same. He said it was a monster, like the ones in movies Debrah would watch with her friends. When Finnley came home he couldn’t go into his room, every time he did he’d come running into Debrah’s room, sobbing. In solution, Debrah insisted Finn sleep in her room with her. 

Debrah’s room is the biggest in the house not including the master bedroom. Her room was a light gray with gold on her light switches, fan, bed frame, and air vents. If you didn’t know whose room it was, you’d think her room was her parent’s. She had a white vanity and dressers with the knobs gold as well. She had clear shelves with different beauty products, including perfumes and nail polishes. Her closet had sheer pink curtains instead of doors. She had a trundle bed with the second bed tucked away, waiting desperately to be pulled out and slept in. The bedroom floor was a dark oak with a small white fur rug in the middle of the room. Her walls have hanging white Christmas lights, with clear clothes pins attached to holding polaroid photos of Debrah and her friends. She Had a small TV on her desk next to her school bag and laptop.

Debrah pulls out the other bed for her brother while he gets blankets and pillows from the front closet. They planned on watching some kind of sitcom to help ease Finn’s nerves. They ended up turning on the antenna to find The Jetsons. Finn named the family dog Astro after the dog from The Jetsons, he loved old cartoons. He used to watch them with their dad before he died; well maybe “died” isn’t the best term. Their dad committed suicide when Finnley was 5, and Debrah was 8, but somehow their dad’s death was harder on Finn than it was for Debrah. When the cops found his body, they gave thirty hundred dollars to the family, no one knows why though. It was a suicide, not a money heist or a robbery. 

The money was split between the kids and wife, parents, and siblings of Janson Mazda. The kids, Finnley and Debrah, were too young to possess at the time. They had it in an account until they were 16. When Debrah turned 16 she got the keys to the lock box in the bank. Finn was just barley yet a teen and still had to wait. Debrah spent her split on a car and her room. 

Most kids would dream to have a room and home life like Debrah’s, especially living in such a small town in the middle of nowhere, but sadly only three families in Kimballton, a small town in Iowa that's under 500 people, have a similar lifestyle. Those three families are the Telpal’s, who got a lot of cash from the state when Greg was found dead, the Mazda’s, Debrah’s family, and the Herman’s, the last name of the meanest kid in school, and his dad, the chief of police.

 Most kids don’t dare to comment on the wealth of others, especially the Herman's wealth. Most of their town was exceptionally stunned about their wealth, considering it came out of nowhere. Some say that he was involved in crimes, considering they came into wealth after a long list of frauds happened, which was unusual for such a small town. Others say that Wentworth, the chief of police, got a promotion and came into some cash. Wentworth, being chief, wasn’t questioned for the scandals, but instead was the one to investigate them, most likely clearing any evidence that involved him. 

Debrah’s parents always said to stay away from 2 houses. The Herman's, their house was out of their way and was easy to ignore, and the Wellmore house, it was on their street. They'd get in trouble if caught by the house, even though Debrah and Finnley pass it on their way home. The house didn't scare Debrah like it did most kids, how could it? She knew people who went missing in that house, she knew people who lived there. She knew that house like it was home, but it wasn't a home how could it be? People died because of the house. She could never think a house that kids tell chilling stories about could be a home, but the thought still sat in the back of her mind, moving forward to her current thoughts slowly, like it was moving through jello. Thoughts that frighten her, causing her fear to the point of nightmares and breakdowns, but Debrah stays quiet, she has to be strong for Finnley, and she has to stay positive even if she knows who's taking the kids. When it happens, why it happens. She'd never tell though, she can't risk her brother's life, he used her brother and his life to get her to do this, she can't just stop. She would be risking everything. When her brother went missing, Debrah couldn't be seen crying, her parents, well parent, didn't want to see it. She'd always end up getting beat if she was caught. 

 

November thirtieth, 12:36 am. The phone is ringing. Loud, short annoying ringing. berrrrring berring berring berrrrring beep beep. Then it stops, gone to voicemail "hey kiddo, where's that Morris kid we talked about" him. Deborah runs to the phone and ends the voicemail. Then looks back at Finnley who's sitting up staring at Debrah wide-eyed, 

"Who was that..?" Debrah is still staring at Finnley. 

"No one. Go back to bed" Finnley's breath hitched as he slowly stood up, 

"I think I'm going to go back to my room.." 

"Yeah. Yeah, you do that." Debrah nods and stands by the phone, waiting for Finn to leave.

Shoot shoot shoot Debrah thinks. Debrah grabs the phone, and dials the Morris household’s number.

“Who in their right mind will answer this late?!” Debrah sighs and puts the phone up to her ear, berrrrring berring berr- “Hello?” A sweet voice, caring. 

“Hello? Anyone there?” Mrs.Morris, a sweet old lady. Ms.Morris, Brandon’s mom, never married. She got pregnant from some freak show in Chicago. Ms. Morris, against abortion, had Brandon and had her mother take care of him. 

“Yes, yes sorry I’m here. I was hoping to speak to Brandon?” A small yell comes from the other side of the line.

“Yes?” A deeper voice, scratchy, as if going through puberty.

“Meet by the old house? Our spot?” Brandon would be able to tell who it was by the number, but if not, Debrah is the only one that knows about the spot, their spot. 

“It’s the middle of the night!” 

“I know, but it’s important” a fake sob story and a few tears, Brandon falls for it everytime. 

“Alright, alright, 20 minute” the line goes silent. Debrah starts digging through her dresser, looking for whatever she can put on. The phone starts ringing, this time Debrah doesn’t let it ring any more than once. 

“I’m coming! Give me a minute!” Debrah, tired and ready to go back to bed, didn’t want to deal with him any longer. 

“Don't you dare yell at me. Don’t forget who’s life is on the line-” Debrah slams the phone down, grabs her shoes and runs out.

 


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