Life and Death

Everyone in the small town of Carlton Minnesota knew Alice Fields. The Fields moved to town when Alice was about nine years old. Right away the other children could tell how odd Alice was. She still talked to imaginary friends. Parents began to whisper about how odd she was. All the children tried to ignore Alice and avoid her when possible. Alex Emmons thought of her as the strangest person in the world and often talked to his friends about her. Matt Jackson seemed to be the only child in town who did not avoid her. Unlike everyone else in town, Matt wondered about whom she was talking to instead of deeming her as crazy.

Matt would lurk around her house when she played in the back yard with her invisible friends. While everyone in town avoided her, he always secretly tried to see her or talk to her. With no one around, he often tried to talk to her but, so use to being avoided, she shied away from him every time.

One day he saw her on the street near her house. She and her family lived in a large, old three-story house with faded white paint covered in plants which grew all the way to the roof. The hinges of the dark blue shutters were rusted and beginning to fall off. The sidewalk leading to the threshold of the house had cracks and weeds sprouting out from them and the grass always looked as if it should have been cut two weeks ago. He walked up to Alice.

“Who do you talk to all the time?” he asked.

“People from the past who got stuck here,” was all she said and then walked around the corner, but when Matt followed her, she was nowhere to be seen. He wondered what she could have possibly meant by that for many days. At school his friend, Alex, continued to make fun of Alice while Matt ignored him. Alex told everyone Alice’s house was haunted. Boys dared each other to sneak in one night. This caught Matt’s attention. So obsessed with how mysterious Alice was, he wanted more then anything to see the inside of her house. The friends agreed to sneak out the next week and see whether it was haunted or not.

The following week Alex, Matt, and his friends gathered around the old, creepy house. They looked all around it and found an open window leading to the basement. They stared at it, no one wanting to go first. Finally Alex agreed to go first. Slowly and quietly he climbed into the window feet first. Spiderwebs and dust covered him but he managed to slip through the window with a short drop to the floor. The other boys followed with Matt sliding through last.

They turned on the flash lights and looked around. Everything looked as though it had been there undisturbed as long as the house had. There were spiders and dust were everywhere. They made their way to the bottom of the rickety looking staircase which led to the first level of the house. They stood in a deafening silence for a moment. This time Matt stepped forward to go first. His curiosity overcame his fear for what would happen if they got caught. As slowly as he could, he started up the stairs. The steps slightly creaked which made all the boys freeze in fear of being heard. He reached the top and slowly turned the doorknob. The door slowly opened to a long, dark hallway. Portraits lined the wall. Old, sad looking faces stared at him as he walked down the hall. The paintings were of every person to own the house since its construction. None of the people in the paintings had smiles. All straight faces with sad eyes. He tried to ignore the feeling of the eyes in the painting following him. He knew it was all in his head. He finally found an opening that led him into the living room.

Furnished with old-fashioned lamps, rugs, and curtains, and a great chandelier, he entered the room. He turned around to make sure his friends had followed, but he realized they had left him. The fear of being alone in the house engulfed him. Suddenly his curiosity disappeared and all he felt was fear. He started back for the hallway but stopped right where he stood. Alice, standing in the doorway, stared at him. He turned white as a ghost. They stared at each other for a long moment. Then Alice finally spoke.

“What are you doing in my house?” Matt, who was so shocked, took a few seconds to comprehend her question.

“I was curious to see what this place looked like inside.” She stared at him so he kept talking. “What you said to me last week about the people stuck here what did you mean by that?”

“I can see and talk to the people who owned this house before my family did.”

Matt stared at her, trying to figure out if she was joking or not. She was not. He swallowed the lump in his throat.

“How do I know you are not just lying to me?” He asked. She apparently did not like this question.

“Leave before I wake up my parent and tell them you broke into our home.” With that he slowly backed out of the room and left through the front door. He practically ran home. About to cross the street across his house, so concerned with getting home he did not look for cars coming.

Matt Jackson died that night. Everyone describes the process of dying as seeing white lights and floating up to Heaven. Matt did not experience any of this. He wandered around asking people for help but no one would even look at him. Eventually he saw Alice. So use to no one seeing him, he walked right past her and then heard her say his name.

“Matt, it is okay. I see you. You are not alone anymore.” Matt stopped in his tracks. He finally found someone to tell him why everyone ignored him. When he asked, she sadly and slowly said, “Matt, you’re dead…”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email