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We were moving, yet again. The last residence nearly lasted three whole months before Dad was relocated. I can hardly find the energy to even memorize the addresses anymore. I have no friends due to the migratory nature of our family. We are never in one place long enough to even bother with such formalities. The last residence was miserable, as was the one before, and even the one before that. I could tell this was going to be another miserable three months just from the appearance of our sad little shack that was to be referred to as "my home" for the next few weeks to come.
I would like to take a moment to explain why, exactly, I thought so. The house was located on a side street. It was set back a little bit from the road, but still close enough that any car speeding past could be heard. There was a small front yard. No, small is pushing the bill. More like, nonexistent! Completely taken over with weeds and a hideous tree that cracked the driveway, making it rugged and unsightly. The residence was supposed to be white, but was more of a drab grey after years of abuse. The kitchen ceiling leaked as well as the bedroom next to it. I, luckily, had claimed a new extension that was built onto the house a few years back before the land owner abandoned the property. He was awkward and rather introverted. An older man of about fifty-seven years of age. There was a small look in his eye. One of nervousness, but it was difficult to see what might be troubling him. The landlord was married and lived in another state. He had two children in high school and wanted to sell this house for money for their college tuition. I digress. The area was bland and the neighbors did not seem too fond of the new additions to their small community.
The next day, I was waiting for the school bus. I was the last on so I made an attempt to make my presence as unnoticeable as possible. The last thing I wanted was attention. The moment I sat down a young female approached me. I wasn't really paying attention, but I did hear her comment on how my hair looked nice and something else about defined cheekbones. I immediately received glares from jealous bystanders. Oh well. The day went on as it usually does after a transfer. A morning in the main office doing paperwork, an awkward introduction to the class, and then I end the morning with a secluded lunch. Or at least that's what I wanted. I was getting all sorts of looks and it almost appeared as if people were whispering as I passed. Maybe I'm just being a paranoid adolescent.
That night after dinner was cleaned up and everyone sulked off to their rooms, I took out my favorite novel and began reading it for fifth time that month. It's hard to own many belongings when you tend to travel a lot, so I am only in possession of a few books. I liked reading. Especially on dreary nights such as this one where the wind howled and the moon was hidden from view by dark clouds. Late Spring in New York, am I right? The only thing that annoyed me was the tapping the tree made on the upper portion of the house above the second floor. It was faint, but audible enough to bug you after an hour or so. The damned thing was practically growing into the house! The majority of the front portion of the property was mostly that tree! I thought I heard a dog bark a few times and then whimper as if it was struck, followed by the rustling of what sounded like a shrub or leaves. I figured it was the dogs across the street fighting. I drifted off to sleep soon after.
The next morning I awoke feeling well rested, surprisingly. I ate breakfast, showered, dressed, and then boarded the bus like any other normal morning. I noticed something on the ground at the base of the tree which had a sickly look that made me feel uneasy. There was a dog collar at the base of the thing. The noise I heard last night must have been a dog caught on one of the roots and had to force himself free. Poor thing. Today was almost the same as the last, minus all the formalities and introductions. More whispering. Then, a young looking boy from my class approached me. I believe his name was Cody. He asked, "You live on Cadaver Corner, right? How could you carry on so carefree knowing all of the rumors about that house?!" He was pale and maybe a little sick.
"You must be mistaken," I replied with an awkward smile. I attempted to carry on, but he grabbed my sleeve.
"Has anything happened to you!? You have to tell us!" Cody exclaimed.
"Again, I haven't the foggiest clue as to what you are rambling on about. I live at 4479. Yes it is a corner, but there have been no sightings of any corpses as long as I have been there. I'll keep an eye out." And with that I turned and left the classroom.
I went to the library because I was rather curious as to why such rumors were being spread about my residence. Mother and Father hadn't mentioned anything unique about the house and the history didn't contain any information about the old residence being a morgue. I searched for local newspapers using the keywords "Cadaver, corner, tree, broad, road." Only two results appeared. A news clipping about the house's construction from fifty years back and a newspaper article from ten months ago. I clicked on the first result.
"Final house of Skyline Meadows constructed. Two casualties resulted from attempting to remove a tree with equipment that was deemed 'unsafe' by the town." They couldn't give the corner such a name just from two casualties all those years back. The next result was chilling, and here's what it read.
"Second family found dead in a span of three months. Cause of death: impalement. No breaches found in the household. Killer is still at large. Report any suspicious activity to your local police station..." It trailed off into the usual "In case of emergency dial 911."
The day carried on after that. I sat in the back row thinking to myself. After that clipping of info was found I was feeling a bit uneasy about my parents choice of residence. Two whole families in three months? And there wasn't a single suspect or witness! I pondered as to how this could have happened as the teacher up front droned on, only looking up occasionally to catch anyone drifting into sleep during her lecture.
That night I lay awake. I was curious about this property I now call "home." I wondered if there would be an incident while we were staying here. I let my thoughts run on as I drifted into a shallow, disturbed sleep.
I awoke with a start. 3:02 a.m. I took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dark around after checking the time on my phone. As I sat there I heard a familiar sound. A tapping. Faint, but audible. I looked out of my window to see the same branch tapping above the second floor window. The branch appeared more thick than last time. Must be the shadows playing tricks as they dance so happily across my room. I lay down and slowly begin to drift off. Again I am awoken. This time an hour later. I don't remember much, but there was a pounding. Louder than the tapping, but not loud enough to disrupt the whole house. This continued until sunrise and my daily routine began.
I slept through first and second period. I strolled down the hallway taking little to no notice of the glances I was receiving. "Is he a zombie?" "Must have been messaging his girl late last night." "Somebody seems cranky." I did not care at this point. My day continued on and I wondered if this was all my life was going to consist of, me getting dragged through school with the same bland routine.
Now this is where things become interesting. I came home and noticed Father getting ready to cut down that sickly tree. I took notice and told him to be careful. I went to my room to complete my studies in peace. The chainsaw roared to life below, idled for about a minute and then went to work. I noticed the sound of the chainsaw stopped and continued. I looked outside after half an hour and noticed that father made no progress. I went outside to ask what he was doing and he meerly replied, "The damned thing is on the fritz again." Like he was out of some seventies sit-com. I went back to my room and fell asleep.
When I woke up it was mid evening and the sun was setting. Mother was home preparing food. "Have you seen your father around?" She asked.
"He was getting ready to cut that tree earlier."
"Hmm." She seemed puzzled.
"Have you heard from him at all?" I asked.
"No. Must be up to something he knows I would not be happy with. I would hate to think he disappeared like that poor girl and her dog." I was now at full attention.
"Oh you haven't heard? The young girl from up the street has gone missing! One evening she took her family's dog for a walk and didn't return! Strange, she seemed like she was very happy. I wonder why she left." I then realized I hadn't seen that girl that approached me from the first bus ride in a long while.
I was beginning to become troubled with this town and just wished to leave. I tried to sleep, but couldn't. Music wouldn't help me relax, melatonin was useless, and I was very anxious. Every shadow made me jump. The tapping began like any other night. Then a pounding. Horror arose from within. It's only been a few hours! I can still sleep. Then I heard a fleshy thump. Once, twice, three times outside my window! I wanted to yell! I wanted to shut my eyes and disappear! Why was I so afraid!? Have I gone mad! That must be it. I then saw a silhouette through my curtains. A slender, small built figure. I opened the curtain. My blood ran cold. I wanted to cry and scream, but no sound could escape. Staring into my eyes from the other side of the glass were two black voids and a mangled mouth. It was the girl. She was nude. Or at least the upper half that was left. On the tree branch next to the one she was impaled on was a dog's head. I grabbed a bat from my closet and swung at the window. She reached out and grabbed me by the shoulders. Oh God, the putrid smell! My eyes watered, and I wished I was dead. I could not resist vomiting immediately. She whispered in a raps-like, empty croak, "Come play!" With that mangled smile and those black voids that were suppose to be eyes I was disgusted. I hit her with my bat and was dropped fifteen feet in front of my garage as she writhed in the air connected to that branch. It moved like a tentacle.
I busted into the garage and grabbed an ax and immediately tried ending the tree's life. I swung and swung and cried as I did so. The next thing I remember was all a blur. I was grabbed again by those lifeless hands and the dog bit my ankle. I was suspended above the top of the tree. I saw Father, dismembered and dead with an utter look of horror in his lifeless eyes. "Why is this happening! What do you want!!" I felt a terrible pulling and all went black. Before I did I caught a glimpse of the sunrise. The only beauty within the chaos. "Goodbye," I thought.
I awoke in the hospital. It was three days after the incident. Two bodies were discovered next to my own which was found in critical condition on the street corner. I had one arm missing and my body was paralyzed from the waist down. I lost sight in one eye and developed a terrible stutter. I have long since forgotten the sweet relief of slumber as those eyes haunt me and torture me every night. Those black voids. I requested that I be put in a mental ward. I am on so many medications that I can no longer feel emotion, and that is fine with me. I only ask that you avoid the corner I have left, the one with the sickly tree.
Written by MerchantTheTraveller