This old house is broken and sad/weary with years/it sits low on the land.
Kate rolled her eyes and tuned out her mother’s atrocious poetry. Bare trees reached up to the heavy February sky. It looked as dreary as she felt.
No one cared what she thought; no one ever paid attention to the teenager, the middle child, the girl.
But honestly, why should she be excited about moving half-way across the world to live in some ramshackle sea-side town so her mother could be inspired?!
Her little brother Charlie was practically peeing his pants he was so excited, but what did a six-year-old know about a dilapidated old – what did the estate agent call it? Oh, right, a fixer-upper.
A disaster was more like.
And her older brother Matthew didn’t even have to live with them full time – he was still in the States, at college. What right did he have to give the tumble-down rat motel his stamp of approval?!
A sloppy splat of snow and rain slapped the window.
Oh, that’s just great. Kate slumped lower in her seat and closed her eyes.
“Katy-Batey, we’re here!” Charlie sang out, rocking her back and forth until her forehead hit the window.
“Ow! Don’t call me that, Charlie.”
“Sorry! We’re here, Mom says to wake up! We’re here!”
Kate resisted the urge to snarl and let her little brother drag her from the car. There it was. Her nightmare. She stood in the drive and stared at it.
Something winked at her from the window.
“What’s that? Is there someone in there? Mom!”
“What, Honey? In there? It’s been boarded up for years – no one has been in there except the estate agent.”
Oh, that’s right, because Mother-Dear bought the place sight-unseen. God, so many things . . .
“But I saw someone in there.”
“Just a trick of the light, Kate. Now, come on, help me unload the car. Charlie!”
Kate trailed behind as Charlie raced her mother into the house. She stared at the window, daring whatever was inside to show itself again.
Kate knew she wasn’t imagining things. Maybe this house – this move – wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
D: Do you call this editing, A?
A: No, I call it writing, D. I couldn’t help myself. Ionia issued the writing prompt “This Old House” at the Community Storyboard and I had to get involved. I like old houses.
D: Do you have any idea where Carrick Close is?
A: No, but I suspect it may be in Northern Ireland. That wasn’t my intention, but it was a quick write-up.
D: Shoddy shoddy shoddy.
A: Thanks, D. I’ll be sure to do extensive historical research the next time I respond to a writing prompt.
D: As well you should. Meanwhile, I sense a preoccupation with ghosts . . .
A: I grew up with ghosts, D. Couple that with a fertile imagination and you have some fun stories.
D: I’ll not quibble with your use of the word ‘fun,’ but I am wondering about the ‘Kate’ in the story?
A: She’s not autobiographical, D – my mother’s not a poet and I’m the one who did the trans-Atlantic move because I was inspired. Kate is my vision of what my reaction would be if I had me as a parent.
D: That is the most convoluted sentence I’ve had the misfortune to read, A. Also, I weep for TC.
A: You and TC both!
14 thoughts on “The House of Carrick Close”
OOOH! I love a good ghost story — or even a hint at a ghost story. I loved the dialogue in this one — I confess I sometimes had a hard time reading some of your posts that had to do with the novel — I felt like there was so much I was missing in order to fully appreciate it — but I loved the writing and the banter — so this one was very fulfilling for me as something standalone.
(Oh, and I do hope you saw that i was speaking of the Hippocratic Oath of “First, do no harm” and not calling you nasty names, darling!)
Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing this one.
And you hit it, Helena – that is my biggest challenge with this blog. I’ve been trying to branch out a bit and still maintain a bit of “THE BOOK” brand (to be said with as much dread and thunder/lightening as possible). When I started, I didn’t have anything but (thunder) THE BOOK (lightening), but everyone is so creative and kind, I’ve come out of my writer-blocked shell!
First of all, great shot of the house. I think it’s the perfect house that goes with the story in the post. Secondly, how much I love this phrase “It looked as dreary as she felt.” I’ve said things like that to describe how I’ve felt before. I usually get a shrug or two in a crowd 😉 And finally, whenever I hear someone snarling, I’m bound to think of zombies–but that off topic.
It goes without say that you did a great job with this piece. Well done, Katie!
Thanks, Jack! The picture actually inspired a change in location – it was originally going to be a clapboard colonial salt-box on the east coast, but I saw the picture on Flickr Commons and had to change it! It worked beautifully.
And Kate might be a zombie – she was rather mono-focused on her mother being crazy for dragging them to the UK!
i loved reading this … it’s quirkily haunting, full of quick jump-cuts and charming imagery. tony
Thank you very much!
Liked this story very much! Now, is Katy-Batey going to be pleasantly surprised by the other “occupant” or is she in for the fright of her life?!
Aren’t little brothers such a pill (says the girl who is the youngest)? Katy-Batey and the home’s other occupant are going to have a fun time together – although there may be other forces around that are frightening!
Oh great – now I have another one… my brain is getting a little full over here!
Ha ha. I am always happy when talking to myself but you take things to a much more meaningful level.
Thank you – meaningful, wacky – I’m good with either! 🙂
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