The House on Gunther Road

I was curious, among other things– things that were made perfectly clear as soon as I went into that house that day. It was pretty obvious that I didn’t value my life very much. I had been a know-nothing panhandler my entire life, so what did it matter? I had been served a raw deal when it came down to it so any deal offered in exchange would be an improvement. I accepted early in life that nothing was ever to become of me, so when someone offered me a big ol’ barrel of money just to turn the doorknob of this rickety old hell hole called a house, I was honored. I’d heard the rumors. I knew the stories. And from the moment I walked up to that doorstep and read the “welcome” sign, I instantly realized exactly what I was getting myself into.
But ten thousand dollars could make me somebody.

 

They said the house gave off the putrid smell of death from deep within its walls. Maybe it drummed up the smell on its own in resistance to its owner, who had always attempted to mask the horrors of its past. But there was no covering up a secret like this: this house killed people. It was known everywhere, far and wide, that you were to never go near 338 N. Gunther Road, not if you could help it. Murder was in its nature. It always had been… and it, seemingly, always would.

The sour waste of its victims lingered in the air and on the steps of its ground floor so that whomever dared cross the threshold of its front door would be sure to ingest the protective incantations of its insides. And if there was a soul brave enough to enter still, they could not deny that they had been warned.

Still, I went.

I figured if I died, there’d be a story to tell– the old Willoughby name would go down in history as belonging to a brave bunch— maybe even honorable. I would have been known for standing up to the inconceivable…the dark unknown. And oh, if I lived… I believed, surely my life would change so that I wouldn’t have to avoid my reflection in the shop windows every time I passed. Either way, I thought, this would be for the better.

GuntherRoad

But as soon as I placed my foot onto the creaky wooden floorboards inside, something happened. Something terrible but all together, miraculous. I remember the lights flickering on and off like lightning across the sky and I felt my consciousness leave my body…like life being zapped out of the very beat of my heart…

And for 200 years, I’ve kept this story inside these walls… the walls that now belong to me in the worst way imaginable.

Along with the smell of death, the sour taste of old flesh and the bones of those I’ve struck– of those that have come too close to what is clearly not their calling– these walls are now mine. The body I never wanted. A haunted ghost of who I once was and who I long to be once more.

But now, I may have a chance to at least tell the story that I feel needs to be told…lest someone else’s life be taken… and transformed to his core. And maybe in so doing, I’ll set myself free. Somehow, someway, maybe this curse will finally let me be at peace.

Stay tuned for the release of this haunted novel this Fall! 

More excerpts to come! 

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