Twenty-five year old Alexa Jones set her overnight bag down and stood on the sidewalk staring at the old house. She ignored the bright yellow cab that had brought her as it pulled away from the curb. It had been years since she had been home. She hadn’t stayed away because of the people who lived here. She had gotten along fine with her mom and dad. It was the house.
Her parents had bought that house when Alexa was sixteen years old and for her it had never been a happy place. The house seemed to be infused with evil and a dark angst. It hadn’t taken her long to realize that the house was haunted. It scared her to death. She tried to talk with her parents about her fears, but they wouldn’t listen, or take her seriously. They were not scared and were not going to move, they told her. No, she could not go live with her grandparents, or with friends. She just had to suck it up, make the best of it.
Alexa lived in the house for two months before she ran away. She avoided the obvious places where teenage runaways would go. She stayed away from LA. She stayed away from New York and other big cities. She found a small high desert town in eastern New Mexico where rents were cheap, jobs were available, and folks minded their own business.
She passed herself off as a recent college graduate and signed a lease on a one bedroom adobe that she could afford. She got a fake ID, and a job at the Dollar Store. She kept to herself and began taking on-line classes to get her GED. She got the GED when she was still sixteen and immediately signed up for on-line college courses. At the age of eighteen she was the manager at the Dollar Store and had several employees reporting to her. She had a BA from Smitherton. When she was twenty she ran for city council and found herself being appointed Mayor. She phoned her mother and spoke to her for the first time in four years. She found out her dad had passed away six months before.
Alexa rebuilt her relationship with her mom but never returned to that house. Mom came to visit her several times and was proud of what Alexa had done with her life. Although she was proud of her she was also a little upset at having been excluded. They had a few arguments about this but in the end both sides decided to let it go and concentrate on the now. Resentment, Alexa knew, could fester and abscess. Unchecked, it could destroy her rekindled relationship with her mom.
Now that her mother had also passed Alexa found herself staring at the house, the house where only spirits lived. She stood on the walk and listened to the house. It called her. She felt the fear. The funeral was tomorrow. Over and over she asked herself, what was I thinking, I can’t do this.
She picked up her bag, whispered into the breeze, saying her goodbyes to her mom. She turned her back on that hated house and began walking towards the freeway. She figured she could stay the night at the motel by the on ramp. Tomorrow she would find a way back to the airport and then home to New Mexico. It would be good to get back there and she knew her mother would understand.
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