The Silent House

Written in response to: Set your story in a silent house by the sea.... view prompt


Mystery Speculative

The house by the sea was so silent that not even the waves could be heard from below and the creaks of the floors echoed throughout the house in an eerie concert. The only occupant of the house was a large fluffy black cat that roamed the rooms like a king surveying his territory, lurking in the shadows to observe and bathing in the sunlight to announce his presence. The house was peculiar. It was built on the edge of a cliff, lopsided and rickety with an English outer shell and a balcony that jutted off the second story. The third story was small and created an uneven distortion with the second story due to a chimney wedged between the two. A separate walkway ran along the rim of the cliff led to a basement that was built within the side of the cliff. The Silent House had a strange history. A history of strange noises heard in the woods, screams from across the sea, a woman walking on water, and the mysterious disappearances of anyone that dared enter the house. Whoever entered the house was never seen from again. Only those wise enough to keep a distance were able to pass the stories along. Stories about a house that no one remembered being built. Only those that received an invitation could find the house, and no one ever found it twice.


It was storming when she arrived. Raeca pushed the creaking door open and had to use her weight to access the first room of the silent house. Two weeks ago, she received a mysterious invitation for a stay at the strange house on the cliff. The house was deserted, quiet as a ghost when she arrived. The draft made her shudder. The door opened into a kitchen with an old oven and shriveled up lavender and herbs hanging from the ceiling. Dried lavender crinkled into rough powder when she rubbed the petals between her fingers. The kitchen opened into a living room with the furniture covered in sheets. A chimney was nestled into the back and near the staircase leading to the second floor. Raeca removed an invitation from her pocket. It gave a specific date for her arrival and had a number circled in the corner. Three. 

She crossed through the house, which didn’t take long, until she reached the attic on the third floor, taking one creaky step at a time. Each of the bedroom doors was numbered and it’s not until she reached the attic door that she found number three. She opened the door and was startled by a black cat rushing out of the room. Inside it was empty and had a sheet draped over the bed, hanging around the posts like a canopy. The only other piece of furniture in the room was a dresser with drawers that stuck when Raeca tried to open them. The window gave her a view of the trees and if she leaned to the side far enough she could see the water. 

Her phone rings. The jingle was set for her mother. When she made arrangements to come to the Silent House, she left her daughter with her parents. The conversation was short. Long enough for Raeca to show the phone around so her daughter could see. She spots a wooden trunk wedged into a sliver of an opening in the wall. She said good night to her daughter while yanking the trunk out of the wall. The trunk hits the floor with a thump. She clicks the latches up and opens the lid. Inside she found papers for the Silent House under the name of Eymen Terlesky, a stack of photos discolored from age, and a crystal ball encased in iron skeletal hands. Raeca sat the crystal ball aside on the floor and focused on flipping through the photographs that showcased a couple and their kids that went from smiling and unpacking to disgruntled expressions. 

Raeca ran her hands over the crystal ball which darkened with a thick cloud of shadows. The shadows leaked out from the glass and filled the room. Raeca dropped the crystal ball and it shattered into several pieces on the floor. She felt a hand wrap around her calf and yank her legs out from under her. Shadow hands emerged from the floor and encased her.


Nadira tossed the invitation onto the dresser of the bedroom. Two. That was the number written on it and the same number she found on a second-floor bedroom door. She walked out to the balcony, taking in the sight of the mountains on the horizon behind the sea. She could see a black cat running across the yard, disappearing into the trees. She could feel the salty air drifting off the water and smell the sweet scent of pine from the trees. 

She made herself at home. She started a fire in the fireplace, settling in front of it to warm up by the flames. The scent of fresh lavender filled the room from the kitchen where it hung from the ceiling. The floors were freshly polished, and the living room had a bouquet of lilies and baby’s breath on the coffee table. She had no idea who sent her the invitation but they had arranged her bedroom with clean sheets, a cheerful yellow comforter, and fresh flowers left on the dresser. But she hadn’t seen another soul.

Nadira walked along the beach, shoes in one hand and a bag over her shoulder. A quiet aura settled along the beach. When she was on the way back from down the beach, she spotted a pale woman out in the middle of the water. Nadira shouted out to her. The woman walked deeper into the sea, her long hair dragging behind her and liquifying into the white-blue of the water. Nadira could feel ripples from the water brushing against her bare feet. She searched the sea for any sign of the woman but before she could shout again, she felt the water rushing up her legs just before she was drawn out into the sea.


Aviva wove her way through the boxes of the bedroom. Number four. The invitation from the Silent House came as a surprise to her and her grandmother Haelyn. Ever since Aviva was a child she has searched for the house. When the invitation arrived in the mail, requesting the presence of her and Haelyn, she knew this would be her only chance to find the house. The fourth bedroom was filled with boxes that were packed with clothes, books, and knickknacks. She hoped it would be less unsettling than the large bronze wall hanging of a snake latched onto the wall above the bed. Aviva carefully pulled out a book and watched an envelope drop out onto the bed. Inside was a photograph of a family in front of the house and a deed to the property. “Why would we be invited to a house where someone appears to be moving?”

Haelyn moved to her side. She had her long gray hair woven into a braid that fell down her back. After her mother’s disappearance and her grandfather’s death, it was just Aviva and her grandmother against the world. “Maybe this was their bizarre way of asking for help.” Haelyn chuckled and began nosing through a box.

“Just when I thought this place couldn’t be eerier,” Aviva muttered as she pulled another small statue out of the box. “I’m going to see what the boxes in the living room have.” She leaves the bedroom and emerges into the kitchen. Lavender and herbs hung from the ceiling and were beginning to wilt. She goes to the first box on the counter and pulled out a crystal ball. She studied it carefully before placing it next to the box. The house felt warmer, catching her attention toward the fireplace in the living room. She didn’t remember starting a fire. She moved through the room, closer to the fire, and could feel a chill run through it. The wind stirred through the kitchen, making the crystal ball roll across the counter and off the side onto the floor where it shattered into several pieces.

November 12, 2021 03:09

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