(The below story is my original work. All Rights are reserved- No copying of the story or parts of the story without direct permission from the author)
The Old House
By Larry Litle
During my childhood, my parents rented a farmhouse outsideof a small town in southwest Missouri. The owner kept up the cattle ranching and welived in the house. As an eight year oldboy, out of boredom, I would often wander about the farm during my freetime. I have two younger sisters, but Ioften did not want to play with them.
Out in the middle of one of the pastures, was an old rundown farm house with a gigantic old tree outside of it. The house was completely deteriorating. The front porch had missing boards. Many of the window panes were brokenout. None of the shingles were left onthe roof. You could tell that this househad been neglected for some time.
The farm owner would always tell me and my 4 year old sisterthat the house was haunted. I assumed itwas to keep us way from injuring ourselves where he might be liable. I was completely drawn to this house. My father had forbidden me from entering the dilapidatedstructure, but I could not help myself. I was an explorer.
The first time I entered the old house, I felt an eeriechill. It felt like there was a presencein there with me. I heard a noise andturned quickly around while giving out a blood curling scream. A rat ran across my shoe in his attempt toflee from my presence.
I quickly learned that there was nothing to fear in this oldhouse other than a rotting floor and a few rodents. The house became one of my favorite hideawayswhile yet concealing my location from my family. I became fascinated with everything in thishouse, especially the old photos on the wall.
One early Autumn Saturday afternoon, I was exploring the oldcreek bed. I was very focused on theexploration. I missed the fact that astorm was blowing in. I gasped asurprised breath as I witnessed a lightning strike about a mile away. It was time to find shelter and quick. Suddenly the heavens opened up and rainstarted pouring down on me.
I started sprinting toward home but it was raining toohard. I changed my path and headed forthe old house. I could hold up in thereuntil the rain let up.
I raced to the porch of the old house. It provided a bit of shelter, but the windstarted blowing harder. The rain wascoming in sideways so I knew I had to get inside. There was always a trick to opening thedoor. I had to pull on it justright. I once again successfully openedit. I breathed a sigh of relief as Ientered into my clubhouse.
As I was contemplating what to do next, I heard a creaking onthe porch. I figured it was justanother rat. Then I heard a voice. I turned around with Goosebumps on my armsand the hair standing up on the back of my neck.
Standing on the porch was a girl about my age. Softly she asked if she could come in out ofthe rain into the shelter. I barely wasable to shake my head yes out of shock of seeing her.
She giggled at my dumb expression on my face. Sarcastically she whispered, “Have ya neverseen a soaking wet girl before?” I brokeinto a fully belly laugh. The laughterwas infectious because she was chuckling right along with me.
“My name is Olive,” she declared. “I hope you don’t mind me joining youhere. I was caught in the rain and cannotstand the lightning.” I responded byshaking her extended hand and stated “I am Larry and I live in the house downby the road.”
At that moment, lightning struck close by. You could see the fear on Olive’s face. I tried to console her but tears streakedacross her face. She quickly calmed downand thanked me for helping her deal with the lightning.
After a few minutes, Olive told me that she just moved toarea. Her family was from Oklahoma and her father moved them to southwest Missouri for a job. She had been out exploring when the stormcame on. That is when she saw the oldhouse and made a run for it.
The storm let up and we both decided we needed to gethome. I told Olive that I would see heron Monday at school. I had made a newfriend and she apparently did not live very far away.
Olive walked through the door. I turned around and made sure the door wassecure. I definitely did not want myfather to know that I had been in the house. When I turned around, Olive had disappeared out of sight.
When Monday came, I was very excited to see Oliveagain. I had told all my friends abouther. She never showed up at school onMonday. Nor did she show up during therest of the week. I was disappointed andconfused.
I stayed the night with my grandfather that Fridaynight. My grandfather continued to askwhy I was acting so sad. I finallyconfessed to him how I had been going into the old house. I told him about Olive. He seemed a bit confused.
My grandfather told me that there were no new familiesmoving in by our home. He then looked atme and asked me to describe Olive to him. I told him about her pretty play dress and her wonderful red hair. I had never seen my grandfather turn thatshade of pale white.
My grandfather told me a story about the old house in thefield. He told me a young girl had diedoutside of that house about 50 years before. He stated that the girl had attempted to find shelter in the house butthe owners were not at home. She satunder the old tree to stay out of the rain. A lightning strike hit the tree and ripped a large limb down thatcrushed the young girl. He rememberedthat her family had just moved from Oklahomaand they moved back after the tragedy. He also told me that the old couple swore that the girl would show upduring every storm since. This is whythey moved and abandoned the house.
I visited the house often after than but never during astorm. The next summer, the old farmerthat owned our house, had the old house and huge tree bulldozed. According to him, he did it to make more roomfor cattle. I think he knew that Olivewould show up during storms. I think OldEddie also had an experience with Olive and I believe it did not go as well asmy lovely experience with Olive.
I still occasionally think about Olive and wonder if myGrandfather was telling me the truth or not. But then I realize that my Grandfather had never lied to me so why wouldhe lie about this.