We were excited to finally have a small place with a yard. There were a couple of trees and an old wooden garage/shack out back and we were happy to get out of my grandmother’s studio rental that she had graciously offered us. I was carrying the black plastic garbage bag filled with my clothes when I witnessed a couple of girls playing in the yard next door. Perhaps I would have friends nearby, that would be nice. They seemed to be a few years older and as I approached I quickly came to the realization that we were not going to be friends. “You know a lady was killed in that house,” snarled one. “Yeah, her brains were all over the walls,” spewed the other. This was my introduction to Teresa and Linda, the two weird girls who lived next door. They were both obnoxious and were always practicing tumbling and bizarre elbow stands in their yard where they would touch their feet to their foreheads. That’s what they were doing when they offered their kind introduction.
I quickly excused myself from the dynamic duo and continued with the unpacking. I asked mom if the rumor was true, and although she tried to brush me off with some reassuring wisdom, it was obvious that it was. Mom had gotten the place at a crazy discount due to the offense and because none of the locals would rent it. I’m not sure what we were expecting to find, some gory evidence I suppose, but Jerry, Jason and I began scouring the house to find some tell tale sign. We found a small nick in the freshly painted front bedroom window frame and decided that this was where the violence must have unfolded. We also concluded that although the front bedroom was the most likely the room where the ghost still lived, there was nothing really keeping her there.
The house was a small 3-bedroom, 1 bath and had all sorts of weird accessories that helped us cultivate our horror story. The closet between the front bedroom and the bathroom had an open crawl space right in the center of the closet so that one couldn’t take more than a step in without fear of falling to the dirt below. Perhaps someone was buried down there? The room that Jerry claimed for himself accommodated a dirt cellar, and although he would eventually furnish it with AgroMax grow lights and pot plants, conceivably it could have functioned as a secret burial plot. Mine and Jason’s shared bedroom had a number of windows facing the back lawn and we agreed that if her ghost roamed the property, we would be certain to see it. The new place offered so many directions in which our imaginations could take us and although the novelty eventually wore off, the wind never howled through the cracks in the windows, it was always “the lady”.
One day we were enjoying a familiar game of “Shoot Jason Across the Room” where Jerry would lay on his back with his knees drawn to his chest and I would help position Jason on Jerry’s feet. The goal was to propel Jason through the air, across the room and “hit” the target, or the bed. Now, Jason was a skinny kindergartener and Jerry weighed at over 200 and almost 6 feet as an eighth grader. On this very unfortunate occasion, Jerry shot him with the force of a hammer thrower and Jason spun in an inopportune direction in which he hit the wall like a bird on a clean window. He slid down upon his neck and crumpled to the floor. We ran to him, shook his lifeless body and called his name. Holy shit, we killed Jason. Jerry’s immediate response was, “Don’t tell mom,” and I tried to quickly comprehend what this would mean. I saw Jerry’s eyes move to the closet with the crawl space in desperation. Tears welled in my eyes and suddenly, Jason’s limp body began to stir and a whimpering cry escaped his lips.