Monday, January 25, 2010

The House on Kiphen Road

It was a small, clapboard farm house. It had been pulled to its current location by a mule, over rollers, about ninety years before. There were a couple of lean-to outbuildings, a septic tank and a well with a windmill.

The rent was $90 a month. It sat in the middle of twenty-six acres of Johnson grass, complete with snakes, rats, possums, feral dogs and other creatures, three miles out of town.

Chandra was about a year old when we moved out there. It was our third move since she was born. I was glad to be settled somewhere, even with SSS's fantasies about living the simple, old-fashioned life.

It had three main rooms, with an add-on containing a second bedroom and a bathroom, and a sun porch that doubled as a third bedroom.

Quite a few adventures happened when we lived at that house, some of which you've heard...but Aidan asked me to write about this one.

It wasn't really an adventure. More of an anecdote about the ghost.

For a start, there was the radio. Now, there wasn't much in the way of radio reception out there, and the station that came in best was a country station out of Georgetown. The funny thing was that, even when the radio was off, I was still hearing it. I would go outside to see where the sound was coming from, but couldn't hear it out there. No passing car, no loud music borne on the wind from some house miles to the south...nothing. When I went back in, there it would be. After a while, I began to notice that the music was different from that played when the radio was actually on...more swing music and less George Jones. There would be crop prices and a lot of weather reports, and it all sounded more "twangy" than I was used to. I checked the reports with local weather on TV, and found that, while similar, they didn't really coincide.

SSS heard the radio, but, as with the incident with the birds, he could ignore almost anything with the application of enough beer.

One day, I had a changing pad spread out on the floor of Chandra's room, and was taking care of business when I had a feeling of somebody watching me from the doorway behind me. Thinking it was my imagination (trust me...if anyone was approaching the house, we had plenty of warning), I didn't turn around, until I saw Chandra's eyes focus on something fairly high up behind me--about the height of a tall man.

I looked around just in time to glimpse a tall, slender man leaning up against the door jamb, watching me. He was wearing a straw hat.

He stepped away from the door and vanished.

The owners of the house were not very forthcoming with its history, so we never really had an explanation of either the radio of the man in the doorway.

When we moved back to town, I was sorry to leave the little clapboard house, but not sorry to say goodbye to the isolation of living out there with a toddler.

No comments:

Post a Comment