I am a worn out wall of mould, black and brown; an abandoned structure of fine teak. I am a house filled with memories and infested rodents. I come alive in its scurring sound yet the darkness visible in me muffles them to silence.
Before I was submitted to such state of wholesome abandonment, I was a turquoise bliss in this town. My walls were bright blue invading green; a coral delight amongst concrete structures.
I was a tall structure, a magnificent alive, breathing in a gloomy field of pine population. My windows were ivory screen, rectangular, small like flossed teeth baring at the world. I was a proud victor of aesthetic serenity among dull rock solid mediocrity.
The mountain village with their concrete walls and chemical paints that never matches the brochure they are in, you would not compare me with them.
I had some life in me. My floor was made up of marble, a splash glory of white stone, not a battleground of moles as it is now. There are no smooth stones, my floor is earth, escaped through the cracks of the oppressing floor; the extravagant stone all covered with green moss.
I was a home before I became a house. I was a shelter erected for the services of human souls. Yes, I was a home before I became haunted by their memories here.
They were three souls. If you count Buddy, the brown teddy bear, there were four.
Papa was always buried in his newspaper and if the printed papers bored him he’d check the idiot box. Papa was a man of few words. His bald head was a symbol of the age he bore in letters on the printed official papers. His face had involuntary disgust. He had his words reserved for special occasions and the over used word in his vocabulary was “Don’t”.
Mama had work which required her physical presence most of the time. Perhaps that was the reason she looked half Papa’s age though she was just few years his junior. Mama had her hair short because she had no patience for the keratin brushing her face and earlobes.
She’d find ways to escape her routine misery and come home for dinner. She loved the glorification that her occupation entitled her with, she was a nurse.
Rosie was nine years old when they came here. She was eleven when she left. She had fragile pale skin and dark hair to compliment the beauty that she possessed at such age. She had her arms wrapped around her father’s little finger.
She, like her father spoke less. Her eyes were deep ether pool and there was something morose in structure of her face.
Her dainty fingers on my wooden skin ran to create a symphony. Yet, the child so innocent and tender in appearance had darkness boiling within.
She said she hated it here.
Those were the first words she spoke.
My thin walls had warmth once, now they are moist and damp.
Rosie hated noise. Mama and Papa were aware but not vigilant of her affinity towards silence.
She hated the rain rattling on the roof. She hated the boiling kettle on stove, the pressure cooker and the washing machine, not to forget the fridge.
She hated the morning thrush, the cicadas, school boys and screaming teachers.
Out of all the noises, she hated the creaking of the Oak bed, where her parents made love every night.
If she hated the world around, she loved Buddy, he understood the importance of silence. He understood her and he listened to her when she talked. He didn’t interrupt her like the others did.
Oh Buddy, the grotesque thing called a soft toy. Button eyes, black like Rosie’s and arms dangling, seeking attention and a hug.
Rosie was intelligent. She could smell other women on her Papa, when she hugged him every night before bed. The lady he’d been with had all strange musk perfumes and she knew it wasn’t just one. There were many that wanted his arms and kisses.
For few months, Rosie got addicted to the perfumes of strange women on her Papa’s body and often she would hold him tight to get the perfume off him to her. Like transferring superpowers.
She had witnessed a kiss at the backyard, her Mama had planted a passionate one on someone’s lips. She was in the arms of a young boy. All Rosie knew was that it wasn’t her Papa. The young man had head full of hair unlike Papa.
If Rosie wasn’t comfortable for silence too long, I would have been a home for them. I’d still be a house with warm breath inside me. However dysfunctional their lives were. But we do not live in such make believe world of possibilities.
She grew too accustomed with the silence over the years that she began to get bullied at school.
She’d sit quietly in the class and sometimes she’d shut her ears with her hands as if the class was too high a decibel. Her parents were called once when they found Rosie’s knees bruised.
She lied to them saying she was with her friends playing a game of tag.
She didn’t mind the abuse. To be honest, she hated their voices. Lunch break was worse. What kind of savages eat with their mouth open?
The rattling rain on the roof was a occasional phenomenon, but her parents’ sex life was something she abhorred the most.
It wasn’t just the creaking of bed, the moans, it was the night itself which was made by the creator for silence was deprived of it.
Evil lurks inside the heart of human beings repressed to surprise the world at any moment. But one cannot call a human evil or good because they are indeed a product of both.
On the contrary, if one cannot weed out evil from its roots then it swells like a tumour and ruins a generation, and becomes a cancer for the whole civilization.
Rosie is the reason why my walls are empty and haunted. She is the reason why I exist as the haunted house. Her affinity towards silence and peace, that drives humankind to unsolicited madness.
Any human calamity that occur on earth is due to some miscalculated outcomes or the negligence of someone involved.
One cannot blame the victim, I do not know till date who were the victims; Rosie or her parents.
It happened one night when the couple had an heated argument in front of Rosie. She had her ears shut between her palms. She had enough of this sound.
She knew exactly what to do.
The love making started midnight, the noise was unbearable tonight as it was indeed a desperate battle in bed.
The rain, the cicadas and the creaking noise equals to madness. The horror took shape inside her. She moved with Buddy for support and entered the dark room with trembling legs and strong motivation.
Rosie hacked the naked bodies of her parents with a sharp chopper that night before they could know what hit them.
She was sturdy for an eleven and half year old girl. There was something demonic in her when she attacked. It was her mother first who fell on the floor dead, instantly.
Her father who was tied on the bed couldn’t even scream when the knife slicked his skull open.
The world was silent now, everything was at its place. A calmness shrouded the crime.
The blood spurted out on the floor and to her pale face giving colours that were essentially absent.
Then she went out to her bed as if it was another normal night and had a good night’s sleep after a long miserable time.
That afternoon, something was very strange for the world outside. Papa didn’t pick up the newspaper at the porch and Mama wasn’t in the kitchen cooking hot porridge.
Rosie sat on the porch with a bloodied hand and Buddy. The neighbors found her that late afternoon and the horror was profound.
She was taken to custody, she’d never speak who did it. The finger print on the knife was hers yet there was no stronger evidence to point out the obvious culprit.
Rosie was taken away who knows where. I heard from a little bird that the girl chose her silence and never spoke again.
They tried to wash the blood off my walls but I can still taste the iron in me.
They put me in the market but nobody wanted me again. My windows and doors are half eaten now by colonies of termites.
The pipes leak water which is the only sound I enjoy apart form the cicadas fond of my wood.
The turquoise hue is now a dirty grey paint peeling off me, like it wants to leave me too.
There’s a rumour in the neighborhood, that they believe they can hear the couple fighting in here. Some say they can hear them making love.
I have my secrets to keep, if you want to know the truth, I welcome you to stay here with me, I prefer human warmth.
My four walls are just walls, my past is not who I am. I am not a subject of their actions. This, however doesn’t work because I am a haunted house now, not a being that change with due course of time.
Please do me a favour, pack your bags and visit me here, I am still here where I was left among the dead, a house that is very much alive.
I’ll let you be the judge of my haunted walls. Come, it’s not everyday you get an invite from a haunted house.
I ache for a human soul.