I was standing outside my mother’s house when the most peculiar feeling took hold of me. Through the large glass windows of the master bedroom I could see a strange shadow moving about. I was watching the figure dance and spin in the dim lighting of mother’s scented candles, struck by awe, when it occurred to me that I hadn’t any recollection of how or why I was here- it had been years since I’d visited the tired old town where I grew up, and even longer than that since I had spoken with or seen the family that I left behind. Yet here I was, standing on the crisply cut front lawn, my surroundings wrought with the sterile characteristics of suburban landscaping that so affected my distaste. I marveled at the scene, as if unfamiliar with my family’s need to pursue this warped sense of what they called perfection. In truth, I knew it all too well.
I was compelled to enter, despite feeling nervous the moment I became aware that I did not know why I was here. Curiosity pulled the very strings of my soul, lifting each heavy foot as I made my slow march toward the old house.
Upon reaching the steps of the front porch, I was overwhelmed by a stabbing sensation in my ears, the result of an overpowering scream. It was a woman’s voice, coming from somewhere inside. My breathing quickened, heart started pounding. As I felt the warmth of adrenaline coursing through my veins, I did not worry whether my legs, shaking tremulously, would remain strong enough to support the weight of my body as I grabbed the doorknob and threw myself inside.
I was greeted by pitch black darkness, but it didn’t matter; I still knew the layout of the house by heart. It was only seconds before I found myself climbing the thickly carpeted steps to the upper floor, moving as quickly as I could to reach the master bedroom, where I was sure I would discover the source of distress, the cause of the scream that had shaken me to the core.
I ran down the hallway, still blind in the darkness. I felt my way along the walls, knocking picture frames to the ground as I passed on my way to the room at the end of the hall. I placed my hand on the doorknob, and felt incredible heat on my skin. With one quick and fluid motion, I swung the door open.
“Welcome home,” moaned a low, dead voice.
In that very moment, I knew that I would never leave again.