Red Light


The house has been abandoned for nearly three years. The windows are covered in dust from years of not being cleaned, yet the structure remains sturdy and there are no broken windows or doors. Even the cellar door is locked and latched shut. Whoever left this house wanted to make sure no one got in there apparently. If you were to look inside the house you would see sparse floors that have a Berber carpet that hides any dust that may be collected, and looks like it has been undisturbed for as long as the house has been empty. The yard gets attention from a landscaping company, who makes sure that the grass is cut every couple of weeks in the summer and that any fallen tree branches or overgrown shrubbery is taken care of.

No one has ever seen the landscapers, but they had to have been there at some point.

There are three rooms in the house that you cannot see in due to them being covered with heavy construction paper that has been painted black, either to keep the light in or out. Since the house is abandoned, one would suspect that this was just something the former owners overlooked when they decided to abandon the house.

Is the house really abandoned if the heat is still on and the yard is maintained and the electricity is still humming through the wires to power anything that requires power? Obviously someone is paying some bills to keep these things online. Someone cares enough to ensure that the yard still looks nice and that the outside appearance of the house makes it looked lived in, as best that it can be.

The house is situated on an old farm road that is now used to access newer homes of the people who want to live in the country, yet still have modern city amenities like running water, cable, garbage pickup all the comforts of the city right there in their old country home. The house sits alone and has a barn in what can be considered the backyard, that looks like it is ready to collapse on itself. The neighbors tell the kids to stay away from the barn.

The kids rarely listen.

Thankfully no one has been hurt from a collapsing barn, yet no one has ever called the county regarding the safety risk it involves while barely standing there on its own power, if barns had power. If anyone did call the county, the county determined that there was minimal risk, and since they have engineers trained to ensure the public’s safety, the public goes on believing the barn to be safe. Since no children, or adults for that matter, have been harmed by the dilapidated barn, the county has considered that case closed and will review the case again on an annual basis, promising the people that if the need does arise in the future where the barn must come down for safety’s sake, the county will step in and take care of it.

I walk my dog most nights, when I feel up to it, or maybe just want to get out and enjoy the fresh air for a while, along the road and most nights I don’t even notice the house. That is not the case this evening. This evening the house has caught my attention fully, to the point where my dog starts to tug nervously on his leash trying to get my attention. A little yelp come from his mouth almost as if he is trying to harshly whisper at me to “get a move on it big guy, let’s get home” and I stare a moment longer in amazement and finally snap out of my dazed state and turn to look at my dog in a manner that says I’m not happy.

I turn back to the house and it is back to normal. Almost like nothing has changed, yet I know what I saw.

There was a red light on in the picture window of the house and a shadow behind the light.


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