Short Stories →


September 19, 2023

They are here, I know it. I can hear the floorboards creaking under their footsteps.

They never show themselves, but I know they are in the house, looking for me. They must have seen me as I climbed the garden wall.

I must stay quiet, maybe they will think I left and go. But they’re always back. Why are they always back? Will they never give up?

All my friends are dead, I am the only one left. If only they stopped looking for me I could leave this damned house. I just have to cross the river, it is not so far. I will be safe on the other side. But they always come back. Why do they torture me like this?

The creaking never stops, they walk around every room looking for me. This is a good hiding place, the will never find me here. But I wish I could get out of this dark cellar. I miss the sun so much. I wonder how long I have stayed in here. It feels like forever.

Maybe they are gone now? But no, the creaking again, they are still here. As long as they are here I can never leave. I hear their voices too, but they are so muffled by the creaking of the thick floorboards I can never make out what they say. Why won’t they leave?

“This is one of the very few surviving houses. Most of the town was burned to the ground during the battle.” Says the guide ushering the tourist group trough what is now the local war memorial’s museum.

“And you say there were no survivors?” Asks a small Asiatic man from behind a sophisticated camera.

“No, the whole battalion was caught in an ambush, all men were lost.”

“What about the ghost?” Interrupts a young voice wearing jeans and a Kermit t-shirt.

“Ah, yes. You mean the single soldier who escaped the massacre only to die from his wounds while hiding in here? It’s nothing but a legend, I’m afraid. I have worked in this museum for almost thirty years now. Believe me, if the ghost of a young soldier was still wandering around this house I would have certainly met him by now.” Replies the guide, in the tones of one who has had to answer the same question a tad too many times before.

“Between you and me…” He adds with a wink… “I think the local council thought more tourists would want to visit a haunted house than a war memorial. Anyway… let’s continue our visit. This way, if you would kindly follow me please.”

The group obediently walks to the next room, thick wooden floorboards creaking under their footsteps.

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