Little Gray Farmhouse
    She had only been doing it for 2 weeks but Lisa’s new nursing job at West Lake Psychiatric Hospital was already taking a toll on her physically and mentally. Working the 2p-2a shift would be hard on anybody but she had not gotten used to it yet; not to mention what working at a psych hospital does to your emotions.
    “I’m heading home, I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” she said over her shoulder to the nurse relieving her of her shift. Oh, I can’t wait until I can get a day shift…I’m tired of being exhausted everyday, she thought to herself as she got into her little white Honda  and began her long trek home.   
    She pulled onto the dark county highway, it ran mostly threw corn fields and old farm lands. The only light on the road was that of the full moon and her beaming head lights. As usual, hers was the only car on the road this time of night.
    She started up the radio. As she turned up the volume she heard the whining of some country singer come through the speakers, Well, that’ll put me to sleep. The next station was some heavy metal band screaming about something that couldn’t be made out, And that’ll give me a headache. While sifting threw the static she decided to give up. Great, she thought, remembering that she had left her cds at home. She huffed and just turned it off.
    Her eyes began to fall heavy, she blinked them open and close, opening them long enough to see ahead and closing them just long enough to make the burn go away, I wish I had some caffeine…
    She felt her muscles jolt and her eyes open brightly when she heard the loud static push through the speakers, “What the hell?” she said aloud. Did I accidentally hit the knob? she asked herself as she fiddled with it, twisting and turning it back and forth. The car slowed to a crawl while she let her nerves calm. As she looked up from the radio she could see a dark shadow on the side of the road about 50 feet ahead. She could feel her hands starting to tremble as she continued on and noticed that it was a man standing about 5 feet from the road. Without thinking, her nerves told her to get out of there. As she passed the man she couldn’t take her eyes off of him. He stared at her with dark hallow eyes, not moving anything but his face as she went by. Her eyes were stuck on his until her foot gunned the pedal and she noticed he was covered in blood. 
    She continued to speed up. It wasn’t until she glanced at the speedometer waving at 90mph that she started to slow down. What the hell is going on?? Do I just need coffee?? Did I fall asleep and start dreaming?? She could feel her heart beating in her fingertips as she wiped the sweat off of her brow. She had a million things running through her head when her nursing instincts kicked in. Maybe he’s hurt…how could I have just left him like that? He was covered in blood, he’s probably hurt. Or maybe he hurt someone. She reached for he cell to call 911 to find that it was completely dead, Of course it would be dead…oh what should I do? She contemplated for what seemed like hours (but was really only minutes).
    She reached into her glove box to pull out the 9mm her best friend Sarah had given her (they got a concealed carry permit together a few months back). She reached for the gear shift with her intensely shaking hand, put it into drive and u-turned back the other way. She got about 6 miles back down the road and jumped to the sound of the radio again as the static screamed in her ears. This is so strange. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed something she hadn’t before. About 50 ft from the road was a little gray farmhouse.
    She pulled into what appeared to once be a brick driveway but was now overgrown with weeds, and pointed her headlights right into the house. It was dark inside, no curtains, no movement. Maybe nobody lives here, she thought as she glanced around. The gutters were half hanging off, resting in the uncut grass. The gray paint was chipped to reveal the peat green color that it once was. There were weeds growing up through the porch, taking it over.
    Her eyes moved back up to the window above the porch. Wait…There he was. He gimped passed the window as if dragging his foot. He is hurt, she quickly turned the car off, reached for the door handle and got out. She kept her eyes on the house as she slyly backed up to the trunk, opened it, grabbed the flashlight and started making her way threw the tall grass to the porch, almost crouching as if she was nervous to be seen. She tip-toed up the porch stairs and reached up to knock on the door realizing it was already cracked open.
    “Hello!? Is there anyone there? I’m looking for someone…Hello?” she said louder to reach the second floor of the house. She reached around the corner to try the switch…nothing. She flicked on the flash light and found herself in the living room. A couch and a rocking chair sat along the long floral covered wall and a little black piano on the short wall. She walked over to the piano touching one key, revealing a mass of dust left on her finger. That’s him! she said to herself as she wiped the dust off one of the pictures sitting upright on top of the piano. He has a child, what a beautiful baby.
    As she was sitting the picture back down she heard the creaking of stairs. She hurried around to corner to find an empty set of stair cases.
    “Hello? Are you okay? Are you hurt? It’s okay, I’m a nurse, I can help you,” she yelled up the stairs as she slowly start to ascend. At the top of the stairs she shined the light of the flashlight down the hallway trying to steady her shaking hand so to be able to see better. As she walked down the hallway she glanced into what seemed to be the babies nursery. It was painted pink and the crib was lying on the floor, fallen from age.  She walked over to the closet to see it still full of  faded dresses and bonnets. Why would they have just left all of this stuff? She walked back out into the hallway and continued down it. She walked into a bedroom that gave her an unexplainable feeling. The bed was made neat, but that too was covered in dust. On either side of it were nightstands and across the room was an armoire. She walked around the bed and over to the nightstand, it’s open…a letter.
My Dearest,
            I am so sorry that I have been distant from you and our child lately. I know you have been depressed and I haven’t been there for you. I want to change even though it’s probably too late to win your heart back. It’ll be hard to change, to stop being such a monster to you. I’m wanting to get help. I hope I can get it before I do anything too drastic. I don’t want you or our baby to get hurt….

 She stopped reading. Wow…what happened here? …I should go… She started to put the letter back into the open drawer when she noticed the picture that it had been sitting on. Her body went limp as she fell to the bed. Her mind went blank, her face pale, and her skin cold. She couldn’t believe what she saw. The man was dressed in his overalls standing in the field. He had the biggest smile on his face as he was holding the baby in the picture from before. Standing next to him, with a less than content half grin on her face, was a tall blond woman. This doesn’t make any since… She kept staring at the woman in the picture trying to find something that would prove it wasn’t her mother. Her eyes, her nose, her mouth…it’s exactly the same. She even still has the same crocked smile…so…that means…he’s…this man…is my father?
      She picked the letter back up to finish reading it:
…I sent Lisa to your moms so that we can talk. The reason I’m writing you this letter is to warn you to not get too angry at me. At this point I don’t know how well I can hold my temper. I’ll be out in the barn, come talk to me when you read this.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                           I love you,
    The barn? She glanced out the window to see a two story, classic red barn. It too was falling apart; the door laid in the yard, and the whole structure leaned a little to the left. She watched in disbelief as the man she had been looking for crossed the yard and walked straight into the barn.  “Hey!” she yelled as she pounded on the window. She left everything as it was and ran back down the stairs.
    At the back door, she stopped and leaned back against the wall. She wasn’t quite sure how to collect herself. She lied to me, she told me that he left us but he never left, she left him. But why…how…how did I come across this? How did he know? As she reached for the door handle she had to use both hands, she felt weak from trembling so much.
    She hesitantly walked to the barn, not knowing what to expect. “Hello?” she yelled as she reached the opening where the door used to hang. Above her head she could hear rustling in the hay. She grabbed the bars of the ladder, holding the flashlight in her mouth, and started going up to the loft. When she peered over the top she nearly jumped out of her skin as something crawled across her hand. Oh my god, it’s just a mouse…okay…it’s okay.
    She continued over the edge and found a mess of old rusty tools mixed in the spread piles of hay. She walked around pushing the hay out of the way to make sure she didn’t step on anything sharp. What’s that? She bent down to examine one of the tools a little more carefully. Blood, dried blood. She reached for her gun, not knowing exactly how old the blood was or what the tool had been used for. She began picking up more and more bloody tools as she made her way to the far corner. She shrieked in shock, and could only stare at was before her eyes. She reached over to touch the tattered, blood stained overalls that were piled in what used to be her father, but was now only white paler bone. Tears started pouring down her face. In that instant she knew what her mother had done. She had been lied to her entire life. She met him in the barn… and killed him…murdered him…and told everyone that he left us…that he just disappeared. All because she was unhappy, how selfish…
    She felt chilled down the right side of her body. She slowly turned her head to the right to see the man, her dad, dressed in a black suit. The glow that came off of him made her squint her eyes a little but she could see the same big grin stretched across his face as in the picture. He bent down and softly kissed her forehead. Then he was gone.
    It wasn’t until she could see the beginning of morning light that she stood up to leave the barn. The dark orange sky was blinding to her as she stepped out of the barn with soiled eyes. As she made her way to the front of the house she was alarmed by the flashing red and blue lights.
    “Is this your car?” the officer asked.
    “Yeah…” she said with a sigh.
    “You left your lights on, I was just getting ready to go knock on the door to tell you”
    “Yeah…” speaking in a dull monotone.
    “Are you okay ma’am? No offense but you look extremely distressed. Can I help you with anything?”
    “Well, actually…Yes….I need for you to arrest my mother.” her words dragged, her eyes stayed straight ahead, not even looking at the officer. He looked at her with concerned eyes.
    “What has she done to you?”
    She looked down at her feet like a little girl confessing to stealing a cookie. “She lied to me. She told me he had left us. She lied…he’s in the barn.
    The officer grew even more confused. “Are you okay?” he asked again with the lift of an eyebrow. When she didn’t speak he walked closer to her to get her attention.
    “He’s dead…” he jumped when the words came out of her mouth.
    “Is your mother still here?” her prodded as he reached for his gun.
    “No…it happened 26 years ago” she grabbed his hand. “Here, I’ll show you.” She, still in absolute shock, began walking back to the barn with the officer by her side.



bbaker   bbaker wrote
on 6/9/2009 11:16:30 PM
2/1 method: 2 things I liked, 1 suggestion. what I liked: 1) you did a good job of describing the man on the road as well as the sudden radio static...very creepy! 2) the main characters personal conflict was well done (as in, being a nurse she felt compelled to help). A suggestion I would have for improvement: well one grammatical - it's minor - use "through" instead of "threw". Also I would include some flashbacks of her father...or photographs...or her mother's descriptions of him...something...because by the end you don't really have an emotional attachment to the father/mother situation.

Short Story
writing Renae
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This is actually my first completed short story. I wrote it for my Writing Fiction class so It's still in the process of being work shopped. I'll probably edit a few things later but I thought I would go ahead and share.