The darkness loomed overhead, and the beginning of a thunderstorm dripped down the back of my neck. Absentmindedly pawing at goosebumps, I looked up at the rundown shack of a house and wondered what it once had been. At its prime, the house might have been warm and inviting, hosting grand dinner parties and many a family gathering, but through years of neglect and longer years of abandonment, the majestic house had reduced to a mold-ridden, asbestos-filled hut with boarded windows.
It had been six months since the move, and I strolled by the house without issue until Mom pointed it out to me. While it was intensely risky to go near it, I was drawn to the exotic beast of a house by energies I still can't explain. After Mom mentioned the house to me, I was obsessed.
Nearly every day, I wheeled my rusting bike from behind our rotted shed and ride to the house. I rode past the flickering streetlight, over the molding manhole, past the sign at the end of my cul-de-sac, down the side streets of my suburb, reading the signs as I dart past.
Audobon, Blakewood, Kirkwood... I pulled the brakes on the corner of the fourth street. The house sat on the corner of Wilcrest Court and I watched it every day for a year. After the first two months, I began to notice its imperfections. I noticed that the three top floor bedrooms had boarded windows. I noticed the four stray tabby kittens that came and went for hours. I noticed that the front door had lowered on one side and hung ajar in the doorframe. The house pulled me in closer each visit and by the end of the year, I'd sit at the bottom step of the front porch and let the kittens weave between my legs. The longer I stayed at the house, the more I came back. It took another six months until the house reciprocated any interest.