The floorboards creaked. I wondered why I was doing this. They said the house was haunted. They said someone had to see if it was true. I had to look for ghosts, or blood, or vampires. Then I had to go back across the street where they were waiting, and tell them everything. Because that was what you did when Christine’s parents went to bed and left you to your own devices. You broke into haunted houses, ate three hundred cinnamon jelly beans, stupid things.
The only thing I could think was that there was dirt everywhere, not just the normal dust you see in empty rooms, but actual dirt. It had come in through the open windows, with the rain, the wind, and the October moonlight.
I walked up the last step, and pushed open a door. I jumped back when it actually moved. I had thought it might be locked, maybe there was a body hidden behind it? But there wasn’t, just a piano ravaged by time. Over my nightgown my jacket felt ridiculous, silly. It was the kind of thing you could get kidnapped in, and would regret for the rest of your life.
Oh this had been so stupid. I was stuck. I had to bring something back from the house, or they would never believe me. I wondered if the dirt on my shoes counted. I bet it wouldn’t. I wondered if, across the street, they were eating popcorn, and waiting for me. I wondered if they were going to save any popcorn for me. I wanted it, like I wanted to go back and sit in front of the tv and watch that silly movie with the oh-so-hot-guy.
I walked over to the closet, and pulled it open. Dust flocked around the door, like crows, or bats or something. I stumbled back and fell. My hand hit the floor, and I pulled it up with a sharp cry. My hand was bleeding, it had fallen on a piece of broken glass. I looked on the ground, trying to find what I had hurt myself on, there was a glass, a few feet from me, I crawled carefully towards it.
There was a necklace inside it’s broken flute. A pretty little gold locket, with the edges of a picture left. The wind rushed into the room, and I scampered out, clutching the locket. I raced down the steps, not caring about the noise it made, and out the door. A camera flashed, my friends were standing there, giggling.
“Did you find it?” Christine stepped forward, “I stole it from my mother’s jewelry box, isn’t it classic?”
“You planted this?”
“Yeah” she said, “why, are you mad?” she frowned, “you can keep it if you want you know, it isn’t valuable or anything”.
“What about the broken glass?” I asked.
“What glass?” she asked and came closer to me, the others stayed back. She looked at the gold in my hands.
“I didn’t leave that”. She said, and peering, but not touching it. “Let’s leave it, and go back in”. She tugged at me, “we saved popcorn”.
“But if you didn’t leave it then-“
“It doesn’t matter” she shivered, I could feel her, “let’s go back in”. I let her drag me, but part of me wanted to turn, and go back.
I wanted to see if there was a second glass.