Behind Mrs. Hanhoven's Door.

a writing by Linda Bates Terrell

Behind the door.

Joey was out of school on Christmas break. His parents had chosen to go to Spain for their second honeymoon. Joey didn't like to fly so they allowed him to stay with their creepy neighbor Mrs. Hanhoven. She was a tall lanky, woman that wore to much perfume and to little lipstick. Her pale face was alarming to a teen-ager with it's many wrinkles. Joey sit on the couch watching reality TV. He heard an awful blood curtling scream from the up stairs. Who was it, who screamed, what had happpened, he thought to himself. Slowly he approached the stairs and tiptoed up them. Then he krept down the hall, his eyes fixed on the door, at the end of that hallway. As he, ever so slowly, and quietly lifted one foot in front of the other, he edges his way down the long dark hallway. The soft dark redish brown carpet felt rough beneath his bare feet. The smell of tobacoo and pine filled the air. It was nearly Christmas and the smell of the newly cut Christmas tree filed the house, Joey had earlier helped Mrs. Hanhoven put it up and decorate it. The strong smell drifed up the stairs. His thougths only on what might be lurking behind that door. He listened steadily for the scream that minutes ago had gotten his attention. Joey had heard it clearly from his bedroom that ajoined the library. Now, all he could hear were the sounds of cars, of nearby traffic, it filled his ears. He listened for a sound, some kind of movement from behind the distant door. He could hear a wrustling sound occasionally. He looked slowly creeping...closer and closer till he was a breath away from the door. He lay his had on the door close to the doorknob, hearing wrustling sound in the room, it was as if a heart beat were in the door. His imagination surged, his mind swiftly grasping each, and ever chilling fearful thought that drifted into his head.
A tiny thump, thump, thump, he felt he could feel the pulsating beats in the warm varnished door. It was as if the house were alive. His heart pounds loudly in fear.
He leans, in fear, to open the door. What was behind the door his mind blasts of fear told him it was awful. Was it a ghost, a vampire bat coming from the 14th century. Why had Mrs. Hanhoven chosen tonight to leave him at home alone. He pushes the door and it slowly drifted open, with a small squeeking of its hinges.
He looked in to the room. The car lights from the hill side nearby occasionally searched the quiet gray room.
Again he hard the loud scream, it was to dark to see what it was. He searched for the light switch. It was not next to the door. It hung from the middle of the ceiling of the room. Slowly he crept into the room. Now his bare feet on the warm wet in places...yet a bit cool wood floor. He looked around and reached for the string to pull the light on......the headlights swished the room again, then suddenly he heard a scream. He pulled the string with his eyes shut tightly. When he opens his eyss he sees... Mrs. Hanhoven's pet bird, screaching, its wings expanded, screaming loudly with each glimps of light from the nearby headlights that searched the room.

Linda Terrell
September 24, 2010

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