Chapter 5- The House
The original structure rose four stories high, towering above its neighbors. Dilapidated and neglected even when it was owned, the house on Ambrose Street didn’t go unnoticed. The three stone arches looking out from the deck on the ground floor gave the impression of a covered bridge. It wasn’t inviting, like one of those haunted bridges that just begged for the flash of a camera. It was one of those bridges that had its own warning label, its own aura of strange that lingered in the mist hovering over the ground.
The inhabited houses didn’t have castle-looking stonework. On either side of the street, they were identical. They had rough red bricks, black shingles on steeply-angled roofs, flower boxes filled with bright summer blossoms, and all seemed friendly.
The wood panels on the house’s three upper levels were peeling and creaked with the wind. Especially if there was a big storm. That’s when they’d emit a scream that sent people running to shut their curtains. And the windows protecting the curtains and families of the friendly houses were solid, like stoic bodyguards, shielding the innocent families from the corruptive evil of that house.
The four windows on the three levels above the stone arches, however, had bars overtop the panes, or jagged holes in them. It was like those windows were always watching. Like they had something hidden behind their shattered glass or rusting bars, trying to escape yet demanding—pleading—to stay hidden.
There was decking encircling the top floor, but it wasn’t finished. Only two-by-fours stuck out like twisted, splintered teeth.
This house was an oddity ever since it was built. No one in Liverpool today remembers who the first owners were, or even if there were any. Of course they know the house didn’t just drop to the ground totally finished. But some who’ve been living in the same plot their entire lives are starting to question that very statement.
There have been rumors about the house. They’ve only grown more frightening and impractical since the additions. The house today resembles a failing architect’s miserable attempt at redemption: two separate houses have disjointedly been bonded together to the original. Everything’s jumbled and smashed together as if it were a child’s demented, abandoned toy set instead of lumber and stone.
Four sharply angled and crumbling chimneys now grace the lopsided roofing. Twenty six more windows with about as many cracks and breaks now let dusty light into the empty rooms. There’s a small hall that leads from the arched covered bridge to the new deck, this one with two columns acting as a doorway in front of a mound of dirt that wishes it were stairs.
But I didn’t know any of this.