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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Condemned

You return to the house where you grew up only to learn it has been condemned.

I always knew that place was a dump. I said on numerous occasion that the place should be torn down. When the number of rodents out-number the inhabitants of a home, there is a problem. The house also had the night time moving floor, you know the floor at night where roaches lurked and when you turned on the lights, they made the floor move as they ran away from the light like vampires who loathe the light.  There had to have been millions of roaches in that hell-hole.
The house needed a bomb to demolish it ten years ago. There was no amount of paint, no amount of wood, sheet rock, flooring, or money spent that could bring that house back to it’s glory days. Built in 1790 that house had its number of owners and its share of tragic stories. It was rumored that an entire family died in a deadly fire on the Eve, of Christmas, 1819. But there was never any proof it ever happened. Just another rumor about Manning’s Manor.
Ignoring the yellow tape that drapes the entire house, I cross it and open the door. It’s vacant. The house sits on three acres on a secluded dirt road. The mid-century Victorian  house with white painted shutters had been abandoned for ten years, we were the last ones to inhabit the home.
It’s bitter cold in the house, colder than it is outside. I walk inside and go to the family room. Now as I stand there in the cold December air battling my face, I swear I hear a faint whisper of my name, “Sally.” I turn around quickly only to see that I am alone.
Then again I have a faint memory of the first time the walls at Manning’s Manor spoke to me. I was only nine years old at the time. Of course my parents didn’t believe me, they never do.
It’s cold inside but something colder than the air makes my body shake from head to toe. I shut my eyes and I am transported back in time. Now I see and feel myself wandering the empty hallways at Manning Manor. It was Christmas Eve 1994, the year I saw her, the full body apparition. She was just like a normal person except she was lucid. I remember the long white robe she wore, it covered her feet. Her long blonde hair was straight and her brown eyes sparkled. I could feel sadness emanating from her. She was a young girl I was nine and had he feeling she was about the same age. She did not move or speak. The girl only looked at me with those sad eyes and as I called out to my mom she disappeared.
Now as I stand there I envision this girl and wonder, was she real, or a figment of my imagination. I’m drawn to the vacant lot and although cold, I can’t find myself to walk away and get back into my warm car.  I walk to the center of the lot and sit down, Indian style. And then I hear it again, “Sally.”
I close my eyes and see her face again. Looking at me. And I open my mouth. “Who are you? Why are you here?”

“Thank you, I can let go now. For it is done” The quiet voice of a girl answers back. And sudden blast of air rushes through me and knocks my body down. I understood it all now. All those years I was trapped in that hell hole, so was she. It was her prison in death and now she was finally free. We both were. It was time for me to go home, to my new home, far, far away.

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