The New House

 

Some people swore that the house was haunted. At least that’s what mama said, but not until after they’d moved in. Lizzie wondered if the ghosts were nice to you, did that count as haunting? Because ‘haunted’ sounded scary and Lizzie wasn’t scared at all. 

As a matter of fact, she’d been happier lately than she could remember being in her short life. It was hard being an only child, especially when the adults were always too busy to play with you. 

When her mother told her they were moving, Lizzie hadn’t liked it at all. She thought it would hurt their house’s feelings. She apologized profusely to it for weeks until they finally moved. 

But when she’d seen the new house and best of all, her new room, she’d fallen in love. It was at the very tip top of the house on the third floor. Three stories seemed very grand to Lizzie. It was the only room up there besides the bathroom. Her mother called it ‘the nursery’ which Lizzie didn’t like because it sounded so babyish. Lizzie called it ‘my room’. 

There was an enormous garden too. That’s when she noticed for the first time that there were other children in the house. Secret children.

Lizzie had been playing house with Pitchacott, her very favorite stuffed bear when her mother called her in for supper. She’d been sure there would be time to go back out and finish the game, but then there had been bath time and story time and she’d left Pitchacott and her sweater outside all night.

The next morning discovering Pitchacott missing she’d run downstairs terrified because it had rained last night and she had already lost a loved one to mildew- a horrible fate. 

Lizzie ran out to the spot under the oak tree where they had set up housekeeping the day before and found nothing there. Well not nothing, as a matter of fact there was someone there. Just not Pitchacott. It was a large gray squirrel, standing there holding a big green nut. A baby acorn. He didn’t scamper away like most squirrels would either. He just stood there holding his prize and looking her dead in the eye. He seemed to be making his mind up about something.

After standing there very still for a very long time, he stuffed the nut into his cheek and ran ahead a few paces stopping to look back. He means for me to follow Lizzie thought. She walked slowly behind him towards the gardeners shed. When they got there, he stood in front of the door to the little shack, gazed at her for a full minute and took off. 

Inside the shed, she’d found Pitchacott safe and dry, wrapped in her sweater, 3 tiny cups from her tea set in front of him. Two were empty. One was full. and it was still warm. Nothing was ever the same again after that.

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Comments
One Response to “The New House”
  1. Stephanie Golisch says:

    Oh, no, I wanted to hear more! Seems it’s always “time,” at the cliffhanger moment. I liked the narrator’s good grip on the thoughts and language of a young girl, especially Lizzie’s refusal of the room’s name, “nursery.” I also like the creepy squirrel as an entry in Lizzie’s next adventure. Please post more soon!

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