There is a crooked house wedged into the fork of the old oak tree in our backyard. It was there when we moved in. My sister won’t go up there. She thinks it’s haunted. She’s a dumb baby.
I know there’s no such thing as haunted.
I go up there all the time. So do teenagers. After me and dumb baby Lila have gone inside to eat dinner and have our baths, I can sometimes see lights moving around up there.
The Wilson twins from a few streets over like to go up there with girlie magazines and cigarettes. I know ’cause I found the butts in a pile and one time there was a picture of a nekkid lady torn out and folded up in the center of the floor. Someone wrote “here kid–enjoy” on it.
Mom says the Wilson twins are trouble. They don’t seem so bad to me. At least they didn’t used to.
I’ve seen ’em moving around up there a lot lately. Every night this week almost, which kinda makes me mad ’cause it’s my tree-house. Dad says those Wilson boys haven’t got any respect for other people’s stuff and that seems to be just about right.
I mean, just ’cause they left me one girlie picture doesn’t mean they can take over or nothin’. But obviously, if they are hanging around up there, there’s no ghost haunting the place. I mean, when would they find the time, ya know?
Besides, there’s no such thing as haunted.
Except that last week, I heard Mom talking on the phone with Mrs. Wilson. Her voice was all raspy and wet, like when she cries at a sad movie. And a couple days ago, she and Dad got all dressed up in their Sunday best even though it wasn’t even Sunday. When they came back their eyes were all red and they hugged me and Lila real tight. When I asked what was wrong, Mom just hugged me tighter and said I should be glad that I was too young to worry about things.
I hate it when grown-ups keep secrets.
Bobby came over to shoot some hoops this morning and he said that there was a bad accident and Brady and Jared Wilson got their heads smooshed by a big truck. Bobby is dumb as a post. It couldn’t have been the Wilson twins because they’ve been leaving cigarette butts in my tree-house all week.
* 6/20 prompt “There is a crooked house …”