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The House of Flies

Carrie A. Hinkle, Nebraska, USA
June 1999

In 1988, my parents took us three kids out house-hunting with them every weekend. They were retiring from the military soon and wanted to settle into an old country farm house. Being teenagers, we were pretty bored with the idea. For weeks on end, we would all pile into the mini-van and look at houses that were a hundred years old and in the South Central part of Virginia. Big country for three teens raised in the city! Nothing impressed us until one hot August afternoon, we drove up to the most beautiful house I had ever seen. A huge stained glass window from the attic was twinkling in the hot sun. There was a long, curved drive up to the house. It was lined with a waist-high brick wall. There were birds, and butterflies, and huge, ancient trees throwing shadows in just the right places. It was love at first sight! We all wandered through the house, looking at detailed wood carvings in the bannister, the beautiful carvings in the fireplace mantle, and the ornate ceilings. Then my sister, Missy, and I went up the stairs, which were located on the right side of this wondrous old house. We could envision the lady of the house in her old-fashioned dress, and the horses running in the field out back. As we ascended the stairs, a chill ran down my spine. I ignored it. Maybe it's a draft, I thought. We looked around and found nothing obviously unusual. I thought I heard a faint buzzing sound, but the power wasn't turned on in this home yet. I just began to feel repelled by this house all of a sudden. I tried to shake the feeling--I thought I was probably just tired. But my sister admitted she felt weird up there too. So we went back down. There, our parents and brother were about to go take a look at the grounds, and the outside of the house. I'm sure the real-estate agent thought we were going to buy. My parents seemed eager. Missy and I weren't so sure, and couldn't explain it, so we didn't say a word. We looked around for a while. I began to feel silly for thinking something was "wrong" with the house. Then we all turned the corner of the house. We were facing the right side of the house again. Everyone stopped DEAD in their tracks. A bone-chilling terror ran down my spine. Now I heard that faint buzzing again, only it was very loud now. The entire right side wall of the house was blanketed in flies. Every square inch was a black, writhing mass of tiny black flies. There had to be millions. They were not on the front of the house, nor the back. Not even one fly strayed. It was extremely eerie. My parents faces paled. This frightened me (parents don't get scared!) They just looked at the agent (who shrugged her shoulders after she regained her composure), and took us kids back to the van without saying a word. We never saw that beautiful, weird house again. My mother later told me that that was the single most terrifying feeling she'd ever had, seeing those flies. I wish I knew what that meant, or if it even meant anything. But my mother explained it best, I think...."Go with your gut instinct." And ours was to LEAVE! (My folks are now happily retired in an old country house with no flies!)

Carrie A. Hinkle, Nebraska, USA
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