Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Haunted house: memoir 6

w/ my friend at the scary old house
Another sight from childhood was an old brown house just uphill from the ocean.
     As kids, we passed it on our walks to Becker's Bakery where we loaded up on palm-sized sugar cookies, two for a nickel, then ran out to the end of the pier and back. On our way home we stopped in front of the house [PHOTO, left]. The place was scary: weeds  in the sidewalk, windows with spider-webs, boarded up. We dared each other to peek through the cracks. Once we heard a frightful moan and saw a figure creeping around inside, or at least we thought we did, so we raced away screaming.
     The idea of an old mansion where strange things happen stayed with me through the years and sparked another adventure in the Cabin Creek Mystery series, THE HAUNTING OF HILLSIDE SCHOOL. Here the cousins try to unravel mysterious music and footsteps coming from the attic:
     The old schoolhouse creaked in the autumn wind. Nine-year-old Claire Posey was upstairs in her pottery class when suddenly she turned to look out the window. A girl's face, pale and round, was staring in. But how could that be? The art room was high up on the second floor.
     I wish my friends and I had been brave enough to explore that abandoned house before it was torn down. But as least now I get to have fun creating characters who do!

From BLUE SKIES: ONE AUTHOR'S JOURNEY, to be published this Fall.

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