My house was spooky. And we felt its effects, too. Part 1 of 3 View in browser
Have You Ever Thought the Odds Were Against You from the Beginning?

We blamed how our lives turned out on the House. 

In this newsletter I want to:

  1. Ask a question for our dog, Sushi.
  2. Share Part 1 of a story about the 110 year old house I was born into more than 60 years ago.
  3. Share some book discovery opportunities.
  4. Final thoughts.
Will My Humans Ever Leave the House Again?

Sushi dreams of his victory over Ralph, the dinosaur.

Dog or Cat?

Our dog Sushi is overwhelmed. He dreams of his people leaving the house for a day just so he can catch up on his sleep. And perhaps also of victories!

How's your pet handling the locked-in-place fiasco?

Hit reply and let us know. 

Better yet, send a pic!

 I Grew Up in a Spooky House (Part 1 of 3 - 1214 words)

This excerpt is a first draft from the book I am working on. You all get first look.

The whole story is over 5,000 words.

If you are in a hurry, now might not be the best time to read this part 1. 

“What would you expect a person’s life to be like if they grew up there? That house is spooky.”

People in the neighborhood said it.

Friends of the family echoed it when they visited or we met them at church.

We lived there.

Eventually we began to believe there was something about the house as well.

The house I grew up in has spooked, dare I say, haunted my family throughout my life. Goblins and monsters didn’t live there; the evil that happened in that house was worse, because it was not imagined and its influence endured. 

When we lived there in the late 50s the house was already more than a hundred and ten years old. The house, as if it were alive, seemed to cast spells on its residents or cause havoc in their lives. 

My family, it seems, got the worst of it. This may also explain that while I am now an old man, I am still afraid of my own shadow as well as the dark. Or maybe that’s because the Big Darkness is closing in on me. THAT, I am not afraid of.

After we moved the house was demolished. But not before it made its indelible mark on each member of my family and me.

* * * * * * * *

My older brother by one year, Jerry, and I came home from school one day —- I had been attending elementary school for less than a month and was happy to be out of the house. 

We found our dad, a hero to all six of us kids, sitting in a chair in the hallway just inside the front doors opening into the house. We were shocked to see tears in his eyes. 

Looking back on it now it seems even Pop could not escape the dirty games this house played on our family.

Pop pulled me up on one knee; Jerry sat on the other.

“Your mom is gone,” he whispered just loud enough for us to hear but not loud enough that his voice would crack. His heart may have been broken but he didn’t dare inflict any more pain than necessary on our little hearts.

Mom had run away … from … the … house … and left him and us behind.

“Gee. Thanks, Mom. For this indelible memory!”

* * * * * * *

The house sat atop one of Cincinnati’s seven hills. 

Mark Twain once said of our fine city, “If I know when the world is going to end, I want to be in Cincinnati when it happens because everything there happens a week later.” Had he lived in our house with us, no doubt, he would have wanted the end to come sooner.

The house was huge, even more so when considered from the perspective of a six year old. The ceilings were high enough that I believed you could have put three floors inside instead of two. 

The outside of the house was the color of dark rain clouds. We lived inside those storm clouds. The windows were taller than me, outlined in white with irregular black specks where the paint cracked off —- or was it peeled off? Chewed off? 

There were five or six steps, maybe more, in a semicircular shape leading up to the front door, one of those huge doors that took two hands, both legs and all the muscle a six year old could muster if he leaned in just to open. 

The inside hallway had beige and black checkered tile floors. When they were wet we could slide on them in our bare feet or on our bellies. My brother and I could hold hands and stretch out the other arms and still not reach from one side of the hallway to the other. We could spin till we were dizzy and collapsed on the floor. Only a temporary escape. 

When we came home from school on that day, Pop was sitting on the left side of the hallway as you walked in the front door.

* * * * * * * 

The house had more rooms than I had fingers and toes. A visitor could easily get lost in it and sometimes when we played hide and seek nobody found us. 

We found a blonde haired skeleton in the attic, an apparent winner of a hide and go seek game many years ago. Just kidding, of course. 

More often than not we were scared out of our hiding place by a sound, an odor, a hiss, a hum, a voice or even a touch.

There was a big front yard with ‘the woods’ on the opposite side of the house. 

We played Tarzan on vines that hung like hair from under a witch’s hat. We fought battles against dragons and sometimes defeated Indians, rebel soldiers, the Germans and Japanese, all in a single day. We found bones in those woods, perhaps from an animal, perhaps from something else. Inside the house we battled apparitions and other unexplained phenomena.

Heading out of the house, down the porch steps, to the right and over a small mound we often walked along a small path, created by the six kids in our household and the dozen or so other kids in the immediate neighborhood. 

The weeds to one side of the path tickled my knees. Of course my knees were closer to the ground then. Up, over and down another small hill a ways was a secret cave where we hid from our parents and smoked cigarettes. 

At four years old my older brothers and sisters tried to get me to smoke so I wouldn’t tell on them. I tried. Hacked a bit and resolved then that smoking is stupid. "I am not doing this," I told them. And I never have.

The older kids told stories we little ones shouldn’t have heard and they frightened us with four letter words – kill, hate, beat, rape, dead or worse. On good days in the caves, we dreamed the kind of dreams that took us away from the house.

* * * * * * 

From this cave we could see down on the tall buildings and bright lights of Cincinnati. The lights of Crosley Field, old home to Cincinnati Reds baseball, teased us. We saw the perfectly groomed green outfield grass and the dark brown infield. If we listened carefully and cupped our ears we could hear the roar of the crowd after a home run. 

We never saw the Reds win a pennant. Doubt we ever will. 

Cincinnati’s semi-domed train terminal reminded us that there was a world far away if we dared to go there, if we could escape the clutches of our spook infested home. 

The University of Cincinnati and its sprawling campus sat atop an opposite hill; its beauty was in direct contrast to the ugliness lurking on our side of the valley, especially in our, um, home. 

To our left and north we could see Proctor & Gamble and General Electric. To the right and south we could see the Ohio River winding and flowing etching out its portion of the Mason Dixon line. 

We could see northern Kentucky, but no fried chicken. Sometimes we could see hillbillies waving back at us.

Many things on the outside of that house were truly enchanting in a charming way. 

It was not at all like what came from inside the house.

Discover Something New to Read

My daughter and co-author is a reading machine. What are you reading?

12 Books That Are First in a Series

Each of these books are part of or a whole series that can be read for FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited.

41 Books to Read Before School Starts

The dog days of summer. A book has to be better than pro baseball.

No erotica, no sex, no drugs. Fantasy. Sci Fi, Young romance, Adventure, Fairy Tale ... Take a Look

40 Full Novels You Can Read & Review

These are authors looking for review of their completed book

No strings attached. 

No obligation.

14 Free Audiobooks to Check Out

If you would rather listen than read.

Final thoughts:

I deeply appreciate having you as part of the GUW world.

Thank you for following along as I write The Story of You.

If you want to read along while I write, HIT REPLY and tell me why. 

I will get back to you if you can be included in the Advanced Reader Group.

Have a great summer!

111 W. Arques Ave, Sunnyvale
CA 94085 United States

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