First Line Friday: Fiction – Stenham House #amwriting #fiction #FLF


Thanks to Dylan of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s FLF.

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Credit: http://bigproof.ru

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“Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows.” 

Lost in the forest Marybeth was charmed by the crumbling facade of the ancient mansion. She wondered what the house looked like on the inside as she slipped through the rungs of a creaky black gate.

“What’r you doin’ here, Marybeth?” her older brother Winston cried, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.

“Mom’s worried. Said you’d been out so long she was ‘fraid you were lost in the woods for good. You know you’re too young to be out here alone.”

“What’s in there?” Marybeth asked Winston pointing to Stenham house. 

” You don’t want ta go there, ” Winston said matter-of-factly. “Tommy Johnson went in there and never came out the same. He’s a touched now.”

“Well he still lives in the neighborhood,” Marybeth argued. “I see him at school. He doesn’t play with the other kids much but sits in a corner and reads. There’s nothing wrong with that. What happened in that house?”

Winston shook his head, “You’ll have nightmares Marybeth, I can’t tell you. Mom’ll kill me.”

“S’okay I’m a big girl now. I’m seven. I can handle it.”

Winston sighed,”They say a family was murdered there. An axe murder came in and hacked them all to pieces. Grandma, Grandpa, the parents, and worst of all the children. There were four of them and the oldest was eleven.”

Marybeth gasped, “That’s bad. I saw the curtains moving I think someone still lives there.”

“There was a fifth child, he was a tot. The nanny hid him but was butchered herself. Even though the little guy was adopted, he always woke up with nightmares about the murder, even as an adult,” Winston whispered. 

” He lives there now, I think.” 

“He decide to live there when he ‘came  an adult. It was the only way he could face his demons. That’s what Aunt Sally told me.”

“Does Aunt Sally know him?”

“Yeah, they were in the same grade.”

Suddenly the front door to the delapitated house flew upon. Winston and Marybeth saw a gaunt middle aged man standing at the entrance. He motioned them over but then the crows began to fly and circle around the children, diving at them and pecking them when they tried to reach out to the man. 

Marybeth screamed batting at crows as she ran all the way back home to the safety of her mother’s arms. Winston followed his sister, his screams even more terrified. 

He swore to his sister, later, he saw the man at the door to Stenham mansion disappear into thin air. Marybeth believed him and decided to stay away from Stenhem house until she was older and wiser. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

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Echoes of My Neighbourhood: Dogs of Our Lives 


In the home I lived in growing up, we always had a dog. The first dog was Spunky, a Chihuahua-Terrier Cross, who lived until she was seventeen-years-old. She was mostly blind by that time but she managed and we picked her up to take her down the stairs. When Spunky was younger, she would sneak out our front gate. She was tiny enough she would try to slither through the gap between the gate doors. Then my Mom would say, “where’s Spunky?” And we would search the neighbourhood for her. She liked to wander and could easily have been picked up and taken by anyone because she was so friendly and unassuming. 

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Spunky
 
 
Spunky
 
 
Spunky

When Spunky died we didn’t have a dog for two or three years. But we did get visits from some of the neighbour’s dogs. My one brother was followed home by a dog we called ‘Hugo,’ when he was biking. Later, it turned out the dog belonged to a lady who my Mom ended up working with in Student Accounts.
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Hugo and My Brothers
 
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Sorry that photo is facing the wrong way, I don’t know how to fix that on WordPress. After a few years, we started looking for a new dog. We wanted a dog bigger then Spunky, one who was medium sized. But it is hard finding the perfect dog for your family. I think my family has a thing for runts. Spunky was a runt and so was her successor, Nikki. My Dad drove us all to the neighbourhood pet shop Grrrranimals, when I was seventeen. He showed us Nikki, a faun coloured northern dog who was getting picked on by her fluffier white brothers. Nikki was an American Eskimo – Terrier cross but she had the personality of an Eskimo dog. Unlike Spunky who wandered off, Nikki stayed in the yard, or in the area of the yard most of the time. She always knew how to find her way home, even when my family moved houses. She loved to run with my Dad and she snuggled with me. We took an embarrassing amount of pictures of Nikki. I guess she had such a personality we couldn’t help but adore her.

 

Nikki
 
 
Nikki
 
 
Nikki
 
 
Nikki
 
 
Nikki
 
Aw, I’m sorry the pictures are all sideways. If anyone knows how I can fix this on WordPress please let me know. This last picture of Nikki is my favourite. She loved that giant stick and whittled it down to a thin stick with her aggressive chewing. Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks to Jacqueline of A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for hosting Echoes of My Neighbourhood.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.