The Empty Houses


Dougie’s best friend Curly dies in an accident. Yet, Dougie keeps hearing Curly’s voice coming from the strangest places. When Dougie’s mom sees him talking to… nothing, she gets very worried. When Curly’s voice tells Dougie it wasn’t an accident that sent him off the second floor porch, Dougie promises to do what he can to bring the two men responsible to justice—if only Curly’s twin, pain-in-the-neck sister didn’t have to be involved.

They went up the cement steps to the front door, which stood a right angle to the street and faced the front door of the house opposite it. Dougie pulled on the screen door, and it swung toward him. He tried the front doorknob, but it was locked.

"Nuts," he mumbled.

"You didn't expect to just walk in, did you?"

"Go see if anyone's coming," Dougie ordered, ignoring the presumption in Gwen's question that he was a dope.

Gwen paused, resentful at being ordered around by Dougie, but she finally stepped out in the open and checked both ways.

"Here comes a car," she said. They waited for the car to pass by. "Okay, nothing coming."

Dougie bent down and took off one of his sneakers.

"What are you doing?"

"A Creeper trick," said Dougie, giving Gwen some sarcasm back. The door had two windows, large squares, one above the doorknob and one below it. Dougie grasped the toe of his sneaker tightly and slammed the heel of his sneaker into the bottom window. The crash sounded like an explosion.

"Dougie!" Gwen searched the street to see whether they’d attracted attention.

Dougie put his arm inside the now empty space and unlocked the door.

"Let’s go in before anybody comes by." Seconds later, both he and Gwen were inside the dark house. Dougie bent to retie his sneaker.  The living room had no furniture other than one old, rotten, cushioned chair which had no cushion. A flight of stairs against the living room wall ascended to the second floor. The house smelled old and damp, and dust covered everything.

Gwen whispered, "This is what you and my brother did when you  went creeping?"


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