For a moment, it’s almost like stepping backward a hundred years.

These old houses, they know so much, and they used to be beautiful. They’re the only reason I walk this way to get home. It takes nearly half an hour longer, but I do it anyway, just to see them.

The thing is, I usually walk past them during the day, after school. Now, walking home from Cassie’s at midnight, it’s different.

They loom out at me every time I pass, the orange light of the harvest moon throwing their worn state into sharp relief.

The one I love the most is suddenly the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen as it glares at me in the silence…

The silence grows taut, rises up until it’s unbearable, and I run. Even my sandals don’t make noise on the dirt.

Behind me, the old houses scream.

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