By Maria Okumura
Across the road there stood this house. It's roof sagged in and wore moss like it was in fashion. Its walls were uneven and fading from a once marvelous blue color.
I often wonder about that house.
What's inside? The curtains are always drawn.
Who lives there? I've never seen anyone go into or leave the house.
I want to know more about that house, I always have.
I'm going to find out more about that house, right now.
The old road watches as I cross it and stand in front of a rotted wood door.
How can anyone live here?
Slowly my hand raises, shaking. why is it shaking? No one will answer.
My knuckles click against the wood three times, loud enough that someone should be able to hear.
Wind brushes past my chestnut hair and brushes it toward the next house in line. A white house with blue shingles and potted plants under each window. perfectly up kept.
I wonder if they've always hated the ratty old house next door.
The knob jiggles and I quickly return my gaze to the faded door in front of me. It creeks open, releasing a dusty and rotten sent into the fresh air.
I cough and use my hand to shoo it away from my nose.
A man steps into view from behind the door. His hollow grey eyes stare right through me as he whispers an annoyed;
"Oh," I start, wishing no one had answered. "I-I'm Ann, I live across the street."
"Yes?" he repeats, watching my every move like I'm a foreign object.
"Well, I, uh, have lived here for a while and, um," My mind was spinning, what the heck should I tell him; 'hey I thought your house was creepy and wanted to break in while you weren't home'...
I don't think he'd take that well. "I just thought it'd, uh, be nice to finally meet the neighbors, you know?"
"..." He stared at me for a long moment, then sighed. "Nice to meet you."
"Yeah, nice to meet you too. I'm Ann." I hold out a hand.
"Yes, you said that."
"uh," I awkwardly retract the hand when he doesn't take it. "Whats your name?"
"Hmmm," He ponders the question for a moment. "John."
'John' watches me as I shift my weight between feet, I really want to see whats inside but he's really creepy...
"N-no... Well, can I come in?" He sighs and steps aside, leaving the doorway vacant.
"Thanks." Even as my foot first hit the broken flooring that littered the house I knew it was a bad idea. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I shivered to my core.
'John' just watched me, a slight smile perking up in the corner of his mouth.
"Home sweet home." He muttered. "Nice, isn't it?"
The room was hardly lit, but in the corner I could still make out stacks of newspapers, various pieces of clothing and other random objects.
The whole place was littered with a dusty, musty scent.
Another chill went down my spine and I turned back to the door.
"Thanks, I have to get home now." The door shut with a resounding bang and the room was engulfed in darkness.
The only light came from holes in the roof and they did little to light the room.
"Mmmm." The floor creaked as, I assume, John walked closer to me. "Don't leave so soon, Ann."
"Uh, my mom's waiting for me."
"But you wanted to see the house didn't you?" Cold fingers crawled onto my shoulder, I swatted them off.
"Let me out." I stepped away from him.
"But you haven't seen the house."
I swear, even in the dark, I could see a devil like smirk creep across his face.
"I don't want to, let me out."
He doesn't say anything. Silence pours into the room and I listen for anything.
Where is he? I can't even hear him breathing. The only noises are the low rumbles of the occasional truck on the road outside and the wind hitting the side of the house.
A tickling at my neck alerts me to the fingers crawling around my throat. My hands reach up and try to pry them off my neck, to no avail.
The pressure grows tighter and tighter by the second.
White spots dance across the dark room and I can feel a headache coming on.
I try to kick at him or hit him or really do anything to make him lose his grip, but he stands behind me like stone, fingers ever tightening.
The pounding grows worse, its like someone let their three-year-old grab some drumsticks and go to town.
I gasp, trying to grab even a little air, but his fingers prevent that.
My throat is growing sore and my flailing arms and legs are doing nothing to help.
My vision starts to get blurry and everything fades away, his fingers still around my neck.
He whispers the last words I'll ever hear.
"Curiosity killed the cat."