Wrote a piece for my @wmoviegrapevine Instagram account this morning, which inspired this piece.
I put the car in park, turning the wheels to the right so that the car wouldn’t roll down the steep driveway behind me. I pulled my scarf tighter around my neck, preparing myself for the gust of wind that would greet me once I opened the door. The door opened, but the wind never came.
I had to step out of the car only thirty yards away to open the gate. The wind was strong enough to shut the car door behind me. As I looked back at the gate, I could see it swinging, pulling and pushing against the chain. All around me, leaves were being ripped off branches and were sailing overhead. Yet as I took a closer look I saw that the leaves never blew past me. All around me, they seemed to hit a certain point, and then turn back.
The leaves were forming an orb around the house, striking against an invisible wall before they continued travelling around the perimeter. For about twenty yards in every direction, this house was truly separated from the rest of the world.
The house itself was dwarfed by the land around it: Three floors of decaying wood. The old pictures showed smooth, chestnut wood. Now the planks were all chipped, seemingly hanging on by a thread in many places. The wood looked silver under the moonlight, but that was their only beauty. There were two windows facing me, both boarded shut. That was a relief, there were too many times when a trip like this began with a set of eyes watching me.
I kept the car unlocked and made my way to the front porch. I gingerly put my foot on the first step leading to the porch, feeling the wood flex under my weight. The wind still managed to drown out most of the noise. My right foot came down on the second step, while I rested my hand on the railing.
As my bare skin touched the dry, aged wood, I could feel what awaited me inside. I could feel the entity’s anger, but there was much more. This wasn’t a malevolent one. It was scared, lonely. The emotions were more pungent than anything else I’ve experienced. They seemed to rise off the wood like steam. Enveloping me, suffocating me.