Fiction Thriller

April 6, 1998

Dear Darcy,

I am so sorry that I haven’t written in so long. My days have been long and unnerving lately. It’s getting harder and harder to write with the crippling pain in my hand, and this big empty house is starting to get the best of me.

When Charles passed on and left it behind, I had no idea what kind of upkeep it would require. I have resigned myself to the first floor only these days, as it does help not using the staircase anymore.

It’s getting hard to even keep the lower floor up too though, if I am being honest. The cobwebs are spreading across the ceiling like a dark menacing cloud growing in size, and with the large cathedral ceilings, they are impossible to reach.

I make my way though, Darcy, as you know I always do.

The upper two floors have become outlets for strange hums and bangs throughout the day and all through the night. Of course, I don’t pay any mind most of the time.

The memories and lives that live or have lived up there are far in the past and don't concern my present or my future.

Sitting here at my writing desk now, I have thoughts of what could have been had Charles still been here with me. As my aching bones cry out in pain, so does my spirit. He loved this house and all of the endless possibilities it held.

Looking out the window, I see the sprawling front yard with all the big oak and pecan trees that have been here before me and will still stand tall in all their glory when I am long gone. It is the only kind of yard that could do our big, beautiful home justice.

But, just as the home has seen better days, the yard is no longer the green lush landscape that I remember from long ago. Yards and yards of death surround the house now on all sides.

All except the ivy, of course. It has almost consumed the once pristine brick on the north and east sides, and a large part of the porch.

A maze of hallways and corridors around every corner. It would have been grand to have children to run these halls playing hide and seek. As you know, children were never in the cards for us though.

In my days of despair, I swear to you, I see and hear little children running up and down those stairs. It’s a shame really. I think I would have made an excellent mother.

October 12, 1998

Dear Darcy,

I haven’t had any visitors going on six months or more. Some days I am okay with that and other days, not so much. Granted, I do have plenty to keep me busy if I need to be. The garden gave me a beautiful abundance this year and I have been busy whipping up my potions, as Charles used to call them.

My conservatory is still in full bloom, thankfully. Adding some much-needed life into the home, especially with the cooler days that are now taking over.

The October briskness is by far my favorite, but it is also the time of the year that the three fireplaces on the first floor need to be lit and tended to constantly.

Even though the upper floors aren’t used, they sure steal their fair share of the warmth. I have considered just having it walled off and being done with them altogether. It would sure save me some trouble.

Thankfully, there is a young man that has already delivered two loads of wood and is scheduled to bring me more in the next month.

The shutters outside are banging on the side of the house again. I will have to reinforce the latches when I get a chance. Maybe that young man that brings the wood could do that for me. I will have to ask.

November 5, 1988

Dear Darcy,

I have to tell you Darcy, I feel as though my frame of mind is not as sharp as it once was. I have noticed things that I have set down in one spot suddenly appear in the most random of places.

For example, I am sure to always put my hairbrush on my vanity table as soon as I am done brushing my hair at night. Do you know that I ended up in the basement last week with no memory of going down there, and there was my hairbrush lying on a table in the wine cellar?

I haven’t had a drop to drink in going on twenty years. Isn’t that peculiar? No matter how hard I tried I could not recollect going down there. I have trouble walking from room to room, let alone those horrible basement stairs. It’s almost as if I lost time or something. It truly terrified me to the core.

I have since, locked the basement door and hid the key away. I would be in an awful state if I fell down those stairs with no one around. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since it happened, and I know I never will.

June 30, 1978

Dear Darcy,

I can’t seem to find my daughter. I have been calling and calling to her for the last four hours. I have looked all over the house for her, and she is just gone. She’s only four. I was so frantic about it that I called the police.

They came and searched the property inside and out and found no sign of her. They even asked me if I was for sure I had a daughter. I was absolutely appalled that they would ask me such an ignorant question. I told them thank you and asked them to leave.

I have convinced myself that she is just with Charles, and they will be back from town anytime. I do recall him telling me he had to run some errands today. I am going to go ahead and get some soup started. The Autumn chill is in the air, Darcy.

May 25, 1983

Dear Darcy,

Something is just not right with me today. I was sure it was time for me to get to planting my garden, and when I got up this morning, it was frighteningly cold in the house.

To say I was spooked is an understatement. I grabbed my robe and slippers and shuffled to the window and there was snow falling. We never get snow in May. How bizarre.

I feel as if I am losing my bearings Darcy. I had to know for sure, so I went to check the mail slot at the front door. It was strange, as I check the mail every day, but there was a large pile of mail just lying there scattered about. The dates on the received mail startled me. It showed 1998. November 1998.

I looked through every single piece of mail and it all said November 1998. I have to let Charles know. I called to out to him this morning, but can’t seem to find him anywhere. I am just lost, it seems. I haven’t seen my little girl in days, and it is so cold outside now.

Defeated, I have sat down in the main parlor and cannot stop crying. I am so confused, Darcy. I also keep dropping things, as if my withered hands have a mind of their own.

November 1998

Dear Darcy,

I am losing time again and now it is getting worse. I keep seeing and hearing children on my main staircase. My daughter is gone, and I don’t even know if I truly have a daughter. Maybe that policeman was right, if I did actually call the police. I am so mixed up. What is wrong with me Darcy?

My Charles has never come back from running his errands either. Have they just left me here alone? I dated this just November 1998……….as I am only guessing that is the month and date because of the mail strewn across the dining room table. I am so scared, Darcy.

I don’t believe I will attempt to write you again, as my eyesight is getting more and more blurry. My hands are shaky, and I am having more and more trouble getting around.

I am going to attempt to make a fire and sit down and rest. Please don’t worry on me, Darcy. Charles will be home soon and I’ll be alright. We are supposed to go dancing tonight, and you know that makes everything better. I think I also just heard my little girl in the kitchen.

I will write you again soon, I need to get dinner started for them both and make sure I have enough for the children on the staircase.

October 24, 2023 20:56

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Kevin Logue
13:33 Oct 25, 2023

This is really well done Shannon, I'm confused but in the best possible way because there is so many options open ended. Is she a ghost? Has she dementia? Is she being haunted or doing the haunting? Maybe even a time travelling mail box, ha. The last ones a joke but honestly loved the ethereal nature of this. The epistle style works so well for allowing descriptions of the house that made me feel sorry for this woman, she seemed so lonely I couldnt help but be empathetic. So many nods towards the horror genre too without having them overbe...


Shannon C.
14:18 Oct 25, 2023

Thanks, Kevin, for reading my story! I am glad that it came across as confusing and that it was okay being that way, as that was exactly my purpose in it. The decline in the mind is a horrifying thing in itself, I imagine........whether alive or on the other side. Thanks again so much.


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