Short Stories This Old Haunted House

Lucius Halloween Prank Episode 3

“Lukus, you best get up before a varmint gets you.”

I quickly pulled my head back, and high tailed it on into the old bedroom turned control room. I quietly shut and locked the door, but I don’t know why. After all, that confounded thing had already stuck once, and it wasn’t likely to easily open for Lukus even if he gave it a hard shove. Still, a fella can never be too sure.

I started shiverin’ like a calf born in January. I blew the fog comin’ out of my mouth into my hands. Great day in the mornin’ I could kick myself for not bringin’ warmer clothes. I should have known the old house was drafty. A clap of thunder had me prayin’ that the roof wouldn’t leak. A noise caused me to look over my shoulder.

Now, I ain’t too scared of many varmints, but whatever the thing was that went walkin’ across the floor sounded like it was the size of a full-grown man. Scannin’ around the room, I don’t see nothin’, so I’m hopin’ it was just some branches up on the roof blowin’ around.

After sittin’ around for a few minutes, I didn’t hear Lukus downstairs, and about that time, there was a knock at the door. I held my breath. I couldn’t let my friend find me this soon. I hadn’t even started with the special effects I had been workin’ on all week. A second knock came, and the doorknob jumped as the door bounced against the doorjamb.

I reckon Lukus was tryin’ to give me a scare and force me to look out the door. I held my ground. I guess the stress of the situation warmed me up because pretty soon, I didn’t notice any cold air at all. There were a couple more claps of thunder, and I could hear Lukus moseyin’ around the kitchen. A smile spread across my lips as I turned on the system.

With a flick of a switch, the small electro-magnets that I had sittin’ around for a rainy day came to life. I heard the cabinet doors slam. I turned off the magnets so the doors would loosen up, and I did it again. Then I cut them off. I could hear Lukus wanderin’ around the kitchen for a moment. To my surprise, he didn’t sound panicked.

About that time, the weather went catawampus. The wind howled so loud it sounded like Wobbly when I refused to give him a soup bone. The rain was pounding against the walls and the roof like a nine-pound-hammer. You ain’t never heard such a fussin’ outside. What made matters worse, I couldn’t tell where Lukus had gone.

I decided it was time to crank up some music. I doubt my buddy would wander upstairs with such a ferocious storm. I couldn’t tell if the speaker was workin’ under the broken piano, but the light on my control panel said it was. I thought I heard Lukus right below me in the kitchen for a moment. The distinct sound of the same critter I heard before caught my attention. He had to be huge to hear over the din of the storm.

I quickly stood up and moved my flashlight all over that room. I picked up my hammer, just in case this varmint decided to come closer. I thought a saw a shadow by the window and swung my light that direction, but there wasn’t nothin’ there except dust. Frustrated, I walked the perimeter of the room twice. I couldn’t find any holes that were big enough for an animal that size. In fact, the cracks were barely big enough for a field mouse.

I looked up towards the ceilin’ but didn’t find any gaps their either. The thought occurred to me that a varmint could be in the attic. An opossum spooked by the storm could very well be the source of all my angst.

I stopped, took a breath, and listened hard for Lukus. I couldn’t hear the piano, much less, my friend. With the storm still ragin’, I decided to leave the room and look downstairs to see if there was anythin’ goin’ on. I was sure ole Lukus wouldn’t be up around my parts until this storm blew through.

I prayed hard to the Almighty that I wouldn’t find myself with the door stuck again. Much to my relief, it slid open real easy. Holdin’ my breath, I peered into the blackness. I didn’t hear nothin’ but the rain, and I didn’t see hide or hair of my friend. Easin’ out, I made my way near the stairs and slowly peeked around the corner.

I could barely make out the sound of piano music playin’ from underneath the broken instrument. It sounded like the cabinet doors in the kitchen were makin’ a racket. I reckoned that was on account of that broken window and the storm. With no sign of Lukus, I headed back and locked myself in, waiting for things to calm down a mite.

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