Wendy and Ink had enough time to race around the neighborhood twice before having to go home for dinner. The race almost provided enough of a cool breeze to make the temperature bearable. As Wendy kicked and pushed the skateboard faster and faster the wind cut along her square jaw, blowing her mahogany colored hair back in a way that made it look as if it was dancing strangely. The sweat on her skin, bronzed from long days in the summer sun (her last before going off to college), shone brilliantly in the setting red and orange of the sun. She leaned perfectly into every turn; as if she had done this a thousand times before, and she would tell you that she had. Ink was picking up speed and he passed her at the last turn of their last race and turned his head back long enough to laugh and flip her off.

Maybe grand romantic gestures are dead after all, she thought.

She knew the race had been lost but she finished anyway, and as she kicked up her board into her left hand, she slapped Ink five with her write. She fought to keep her breath from seeming too out of control, she didn’t want Ink to know how hard she had tried to win the race, but as she looked at him she realized he was too preoccupied with something to notice her breathing.

“What?” she asked.

“I just hate this house, it always gives me the creeps,” he replied, his voice like ice.

“You’ve been afraid of this house since you were seven, if it hasn’t hurt you in the past eleven years, what makes you think it’s going to hurt you now?”

“I’m not an idiot, Wendy, houses don’t hurt you,” he shot at her, “but that doesn’t make the place any less creepy.”

The house in question was at the end of their neighborhood. It was a pale, rundown yellow, the kind of yellow that happens to school buses that have paint jobs long past their prime. The shutters hung haphazardly from their hinges and the roof looked uneven. The last family that lived in the house, the Happynaps, packed up and left in the middle of the night five years ago. Nobody has lived there since. The family name once presented itself in full above the front door, but all that was left now was Happy. Wendy thought that the word “Happy” did in fact add a kind of chill to the house that made her uncomfortable.


“Come on,” Wendy said as she hit Ink on the shoulder, “one more race home. Let me get another shot at beating you”

The trance of the yellow, Happy house released its hold on Ink and he plopped his skateboard back down on the ground. “No way are you going to beat me.”

But Wendy had already begun to push her board with her left foot, heading towards home like a demon chasing after a nun’s asshole. If they had looked back, they would have seen a shadow at one of the windows on the second floor, a shadow that was staring straight at them.


~ by ripgrimey on August 2, 2011.

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