Built by his ancestors centuries ago, Anglewood had been passed down to the eldest son each generation. Today it became his. He loathed the thought of it. Anglewood, his ancestor’s house, sucked the life from all who tended to it.

Levi walked up to the front door and stared. It needed a complete makeover. But no one wanted to do it. They wanted to keep Anglewood just as it was. And now it was falling apart. Time had taken its toll. The roof needed repairing and the boards needed painting. The glass from the windows was long gone and the porch rotted. And if you believed the stories, it was haunted.

Today, Anglewood became his burden, and he didn’t want it. He also didn’t believe in ghosts, so he had no qualms about going inside. He shrugged and unlocked the door, entering the past. The musty smell assaulted his nose and his allergies went into overdrive before he even entered the foyer.

Levi covered his mouth and nose with his bandana and moved forward. Boards creaked as he walked. It was worse than he imagined. Soot, moss, mold, puddles, and filth covered everything. Furniture had rotted and was in piles where it once rested majestically.

He coughed.

After he assessed the damage on the first floor, he waffled about going upstairs. But he had to know. Carefully he climbed the back staircase, testing each step before moving on. He made it to the second floor and saw more of the same. No need to go any further, he’d seen enough. Nothing could be saved. Ruined, everything was ruined.

The floor creaked. Levi turned, but saw nothing. The floor underneath him cracked. He could feel his heart pounding faster, the creaking and cracking noises toying with his head. Damn. The house isn’t haunted, it’s just old and falling apart. He’d had enough. He was leaving.

Before he left, he locked up the house and laughed. Who in their right mind would want to break into this place? It’s a hot mess. Levi jumped in his jeep and drove home. No way he could sell the place. Not in the condition it was in. He’d have to fix it first. A money suck for sure. Definitely would eat up a good bit of his inheritance. But once the place was fixed it would double his money.

Levi made plans with his buddies to fix up Anglewood. They would start on Saturday. It would take most of his free time, but at least he had help.

They met at Anglewood early Saturday morning. “Thanks for helping, guys.”

“This place sucks,” Ernie said. “It’s going to take a miracle to fix.”

“Heard this place was haunted,” Fred said.

Levi replied, “Look, it’s not haunted, and that’s why we’re here. To get this place fixed. Just imagine the parties we’ll have one we get it fixed. They’ll be epic. Let’s go inside. We need to get started.”

They grabbed their tools and went in. If possible, it smelled worse than the other day. Levi covered his nose and mouth with his bandana and so did Ernie and Fred. They stared clearing the first floor when they heard it. Creaking coming from the upper floors.

“Let’s get out of here,” Fred yelled.

“I’m right behind you, Ernie said.

“It’s just the wind. There’s nothing here to be afraid of,” Levi said.

Ernie and Fred weren’t listening. They ran toward the door. Before they could get out, it came. The floor boards split, and they fell through.

The last thing Levi heard was their screams.

This story is prompted by Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo Thursday photo prompt:  #writephoto.

Stop over and give it a try. You might be surprised at what you can compose.

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