The house sits on the corner of a well-manicured neighborhood. But it is more than a distinctive blight on an otherwise picturesque street that I notice on my weekly jogs. The house’s Gothic style seems so out place among the trendier homes. The sun had leached all pigment out of its paint until the colorless peeling resembles haunted-housegray scaly skin. A tree hovers stood near a rotted porch. Its branches were twisted and black.

Each time I run past the house, I feel a shiver. I know something inside beckons. Even as I stand safely on the opposite side of the street, I’m aware that folks are oblivious to the true evil that has settled on the house like a kind of shroud.

How can they not feel it?  Well, I do. I’ve learned long ago to trust my instincts. I tried to change my running routes. Sadly, I’ve started to zone out during my runs and find that all my new routes lead me back to that house. Its broken second floor windows resemble eyes and look down at me while the broken shutters bang against walls, propelled by a nonexistent wind. The damn thing is laughing. I’m trapped by my fear.

Even in my dreams, I can’t escape that house. I’ve gone inside, you see. To me the interior is worse than the godawful exterior because I know evilness is hidden inside the darkness.  A trace of daylight allows me to see the abandoned furniture covered with dusty white sheets and cobwebs.

Suddenly, I hear footsteps upstairs, and a long drawn out sigh. The sound is soft, but powerful because I can almost feel it.  It is that sound, the sigh, which turns me into stone. It is full of an awareness that a hunger will be satisfied.

The thing that lives in the house knows that I’m a sensitive. I know that it will feed on my gift…and has been guiding me toward it from the very beginning. Since I’m sensitive, I now know that others like me are still in the house, not dead but not alive either.

When I finally see the creature, I try to scream, but it won’t tear from my throat. I beg my limbs to move, to run, and as if sensing my anguish and perhaps feeding off my fear, the gluttonous creature just laughs.

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