Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction
The House By Somto Agbugba
It was a cold and cloudy January afternoon. Fog so thick that it was only possible to see a few metres ahead. The uncertainty of what was ahead of you was unsettling and the feeling of isolation was ominous. In the town of Forest Wood, lived a boy who goes by the name of Henrikh. He was slim in size, small in stature and quite pale. He grew up a single child in a working-class family so never really had anyone to socialize with outside of school. He was outside kicking about a football in his garden whilst waiting for his lunch to be ready and decided to boot it into the air and attempt to bring it down. But he miscontrolled due to the opacity of the fog and it bounced into the neighbour’s garden. The fencing was too high to climb over. So, he had to go and retrieve it through the front door.
The house towered over others, so tall that the view of the top of the house was obscured by the fog. It was wooden and slow decaying bit by bit. The door handle had fallen off and left only a hole to gain entry to the house. There was just one window that was high up so all those who passed by were unsure of whether the house was ever actually occupied. The door was infested was insects which all scattered once Henrikh approached. He knocked on the door with a fair amount of force and some of the old, dry paint crumbled to the floor. The door opened, with a loud creaking noise filling the unusually quiet avenue. There was no answerer, and once Henrikh stepped in, the door slammed shut behind him. A cold tingle raced down his spine and he began to panic. As he tried to reopen the door, he spotted a note on the door which read, “Looking for your football?”.
In the interior of the building was clean and well-kept, filled with antique furniture and a large chandelier overlooking the whole house. Famous paintings placed on the florally patterned wallpaper
“Is anybody there?” asked Henrikh. But there was no answer.
The Mona Lisa painting stared him down, her eyes following him as he made his way through the house. He entered the kitchen, and spotted his ball sitting in the garden. But there was no access to it, there was no door. Then, suddenly he heard what sounded like a painting fall from the wall. He turned, examining his surroundings as he did so.
“Hello?” he said, louder this time. But again, there was no answer.
Out of the corner of his eye, a shadow sped across the corridor and the sound of multiple footsteps grew closer, and closer, and closer, disconcerting Henrikh in process. Sweat began to trickle down his forehead and he began to feel very hot.
“Help. HELP!” he shouted as the kitchen door swung open. There was nothing there.
The police were informed of these disturbances and came to escort Henrikh out of the house. He tried to explain to them that there was something following him and the note on the door. But there was never actually anything. No note. No shadow. No footsteps. Just his imagination…
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