Lingering stale air, dripping drops of what should be water but to a close look it would be more a mix of death in liquid form. The rotting wooden structure of the building carried above had soiled the sources of water streaming below, carrying across the farm land for the many years the rotten corpse of an old farm house had been standing on its stilts.
Wooden boards were spread across holes in the floor, protecting visitors from the possible death trap that could be of falling through the floorboards. Skittering across the darkened wood were rats and cockroaches, pressing through any gap that could be used as an escape if seen.
The chandelier rocked from side to side, emitting the strength of the wind outside, rustling at the house, feeling the vibrations carry along and down its thin brass chain. The husk of a house had been standing for years upon years, to the extent that it had seemed easier to use a staple gun to attach electrical wiring instead of installing it within the crumbling walls.
The main door was almost at what it could be, wood chipping and duct tape, especially after Selene had her way with the door, tearing at it to get to shelter, and hiding. The door was strong enough to handle the knocking and kicking, but when she applied force by shoulder, it gave out. The force tore of a hinge of the frame, sending cracks through the wooden door; thanks to rot it could almost be split in two by just glaring at it.
At the first thud of her heavy boots, the rats and roaches ran for their hideouts, skittering along the boards to reach any little nook and crack they could squeeze through. The heavy leather boots was the only thing protecting her from the feeling of the damp rotting wood below her steps, but by every step, she could almost feel the boards give way to rot and cracking beneath her.
She sniffled a little, wiping her nose in her sleeve as she was digging through the big pockets of her jacket, fishing out what seemed to be a small flashlight. It was an old one that she had had for a few years, one of those old style ones with a big head and still running on the almost ancient D batteries. The source of light flashed a little unsteadily till it illuminated the house’s interior, or what it now could be called after years of no love, no TLC at all, as she would’ve said.
She pushed her feet across the wooden boards in a secure manner, not to fall through or step on anything she would rather not find out what would’ve been. The steps was slightly muffled as she stepped on to a moldy carpet, the sound was almost squishy, like stepping on a kitchen sponge or wet news paper.
She wrinkled her nose at the stench of the atmosphere, her small designer glasses bumped down the wrinkles on her nose till she stopped it with her index finger, pushing them back in place. The small was what she would imagine to be a graveyard without burying the dead bodies, or like a cheese factory where all the cheeses was out of date. Of course, she had never experienced anything like it before, maybe the closest being when she forgot her hidden midnight snack under her bed for a little too long.
The master stairs climbing up the building to the upstairs floor was definitely not an option, she was already daring enough to venture inside, no way was she to dare to set her life on falling not only one floor, but two.
The boards creaked loudly in disagreement as she stepped around the major staircase, rats seeking to change their course by running up the stairs would almost startle her as one fat one almost fell through one of the holes in the staircase. It brought her a shiver of gigantic disgust, as she would’ve classified it.
Her slender hand knocked on the wooden side of the stairs, slowly up and down to perhaps attempt to find a hidden closet or maybe even some little door for a basement? Upon her eight knock it was revealed, the hinge of the little door gave it away as she knocked again.
The little door creaked and cracked open as she forcefully pulled against her opponent, the small old lock, one of those thin ones that is just basically a little slide on the other side, and some thin cheap key. Cracks followed around the wooden door, creaks and tearing at the tapestry covering what looks in her cone of light to be a quite disgusting pastel green.
Within the dark small room of the closet was the biggest of all disappointment, rotting shoes and clothing. She covered her mouth as fast as possible; the scent of rot was more than she had been ready for. She lead her leg within the closet, pushing around the debris to see if there might be anything worth scavenging from the pile of shit that her eyes was looking at.
As her heavy booted foot was scraping across the pile of junk, it dragged on to something that was more solid than what was expected. She wiggled and pushed with her foot to find out; the little box was first thrown around by her wild search of the pile. After a few short kicks, the black little box was revealed on the uncovered floor of carpet, the water and rot had made the carpet appear rather like a swamp of goo than the dry and warm feeling it once had.
She knelt down to face the black box, the closet was built in a height above the floor to make it easier to be used, and also setting the black box more leveled at her kneeling view. The box looked like a small shrine, a jewelry box it might have been? She pondered when she reached for the small box, no bigger than her palm. As her fingers close around the small box, she is met with a little resistance of what could just be the sticky carpet, she at least hoped so.
It took her a few struggled breaths to crack open the black box, strength was needed for it was not locked but just molded shut; it was one of those old boxes with a fabric coating on it. It could’ve been velour, but the decay had ruined the surface way too much.
The sound of the box opening was a sign of victory, even if opened by a firm grip, or what she would’ve called a wrestling match for riches. Selene’s eyes was caught by the bracelet within the little jewelry box, it was still at a polished glance from the seat of the white gem to the underside of the bracelet, the bronze fading more to its green neglected state.
Selene took hold at the top of the bracelet, pulling it out from the fabric it was nested in, which had helped it stay upright through who knows how many years. This doesn’t look fake, she thought to herself as the bracelet’s lock clasped around her wrist smoothly.
The white gem took a shine to it at the instant the clasps united around her thin wrists, the shine granted her a new light by unlike her old-school flashlight, but this light didn’t illuminate anything. A cone of light was cast from the white gem and up upon the entrance door of the once rotten hallway, the door was intact and some big gold cornered mirror was hanging above a small dresser. This wasn’t what she had seen when she entered; the gem seemingly changed her vision of what was in front of her.
“No way” she uttered loudly, “This is just awesome!”.
Her voice made the vermin of her surroundings scurry to their safety from the high pitched girl. Selene felt all giddy and excited of her find; she couldn’t believe such a prize found within the decaying ruin of a house. Tripping a little at the spot, the sound of partially squelching carpet and creaking boards was under her boots as she turned to look inside the closet a last time.
A small girl sat in front of her, clinging to the black box which she was already standing with herself. Selene’s eyes widened as she observed the girl in her huddle up state, she looked like she was hiding. Bathed in the weird light from the white gem, it still didn’t look that bright. Selene reached out her hand towards the little girl.
“It’s okay… I won’t hurt you” she said softly.
The girl didn’t seem to react to her voice at all, didn’t seem to even notice her, and how was she holding the same box as the one she had in her own hand? Selene was feeling confused at the whole event. She knelt down to be face to face with the little child. She was shaking and looked scared.
When Selene reached out to the girl once more, she was met with an ear pinching scream, the face of the hiding girl had turned in to the face of a terrorized girl, hiding in fear, tears running. The reaction ran through her body like an electric shock. The girl looked traumatized as she was screaming.
At the same moment a big hand and forearm reached through her very own body, not friction of feeling, it went directly for the crying girl. The big hand reaches to grab at the collar of the child violently, forcefully pulling out the scared kid. She was still screaming out among the rotten house till the gem’s vision stopped again.
The force of this vision had sent Selene to the floor, scared and heart pounding, shivering and almost at the brink of tears as she clenched the bracelet’s gem to make sure it wouldn’t show her that image again. She scurried to her feet in a hurried matter, creeping her way along the old boards to the front door. Unlike the first image she experienced, the door was yet again a broken mess.
Tears dripping along the boards as she embraces herself to hold back the tears, the house weren’t a treasure trove as she had hoped; it was haunted by the treasure she was hoping to get, sending images through her body and to the mind of the innocent girl.