Excerpt From Curiosity: A Short Story

Here is an excerpt from Curiosity: A Short Story. And don’t worry. It is a published Katherine Givens original that is available in paperback and Kindle form through Amazon and Amazon Europe. Enjoy!

A whimsical sound snapped me out of my train of thought. I did not hear the chirping of a bird or the rustling of leaves. No. I heard a human sound. I heard the faint melody of singing. Most of the words were incoherent but the few words and phrases I caught were from Michael Jackson’s song, Man in the Mirror. The voice was very feminine and off key.

I looked around, baffled. There was someone else with me in the middle of this nowhere. By now I had learned to anticipate the occasional car but never did I see another person walking on this road. Nonetheless I never expected to hear someone in the woods singing a strange tune.

For a few moments I listened. Then, the last note drifted with the wind. The lonesome performer had finished for their invisible audience and began to whistle. Again, the tune was blurred and unintelligible. I could not identify the name of the song.

They should never quit their day job, I thought.

Leaning more towards curiosity than craving for human companionship, I zoned in on the direction of the sound. Whoever the terrible performer was, they were somewhere near the abandoned house. To be sure, I listened for a bit longer. When I was positive about my earlier assumption I took small steps towards the house. I paused for a long while.

The uninhabited house was a two story. The wooden walls on the outside must have been painted brown at one time for there were patches of a mute, muddy color. The chimney was caving in on one side. The porch was missing a few steps and parts of the railing. More then half of the windows were smashed into. Some of the shingles on the roof were missing. Vines twisted around and climbed the wreckage. The branches of a young tree poked out of one of the broken windows. Shrubs and moss grew at the base of the house and on the porch. The front yard was overflowing with tall grass. A few spare bricks, shards of glass, and planks of wood were half hidden by the unattended yard. If one were bored enough, finding those random pieces was the equivalent to finding objects in an I Spy book.

The aura of the long-forgotten house was dreary, dull and a bit haunting. Before left to rot, the house could have belonged to a family with children that played on the front lawn with Frisbees and kites. A lonely old lady waiting for the wings of death could have spent her last days there. A college graduate just beginning their life could have walked through those halls.

The possibilities were endless, yet my instincts were telling me that those walls had a story to tell. Something tragic happened there. I could sense sadness and hatred and fear. The notion of a family, an old woman, or a hopeful graduate ever living there seemed ridiculous. The place belonged to something much more tragic and sinister.

The whistling ceased. A chill went up my spine. I studied the house and thought better of exploring the ruins. The place was too creepy for my liking. Besides, even if I was in a more daring mood I would not have been able to wander inside. The blue sedan coming around the bend in the road and honking at me signaled that my mother was home.

I rushed to the side. The vehicle stopped beside me. The window pulled down. My mother’s face was red with fury.


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