The Man with the Cloven Feet (Short Story)

“lets go break into the old abandoned house” Laura had suggested.
“Yeah!” aggreed Amanda.
“Guys, that’s tresspassing.” It was always me left to be the mature one. Possibly because I was twenty and they were both sixteen. But hey, they were my best friends.

The house was covered by trees. Fields surrounded for miles. It was an old farmhouse from the 1800s.
I kicked the front door in. Nobody had lived here for decades.
“The original owner of this house went insane and killed his wife” Laura whispered to me.
“Yeah? Probably because of all the dirt”.
Suddenly we heard a crash and turned in an instant.
“God Amandam be careful!” Laura declared.
“Sorry, there’s no light in here and the windows are boarded up!”
“Well then keep up so you can use the light off my phone with us.”

We walked through the small hallway into the first and only room on the right. It was a living room.
The floor was covered in newspaper. There were rosary beads and a picture of Jesus Christ on the mantelpiece.
“Man hangs himself in ‘haunted house.'”
“What?”Laura asked me.
“It’s the headline in a paper. Look, it’s this house!”
“That’s weird.”

We walked through all the rooms. They were similar to the living room. Old, ran down furniture and antiques covered the rooms along with pictures or the Lord Jesus.
“Lets head out” suggested Amanda. “It’s getting boring.”
We turned to leave but as we reached the front door a breeze blew it shut. I tried to open it.
“It won’t open!” I twisted the handle and tried harder. I eventually resorted to kicking which had no success.
“Keep trying!” Urgency sounded in Amanda’s voice.
Suddenly a crash came from behind us, we turned in a hurry to see what it was. Amanda walked over to see.
“It’s a picture of Jesus. Must have fallen off the wall with the wind.”
“Guys, the door won’t budge,” I informed them.
“Go away Colm” whispered Amanda. “It’s not funny.”
“What?” I asked. “I didn’t do anything.”
“You’re poking me.”
“No I’m not!”

“Guys, shush!”
“What’s wrong Laura?”
“I’m not sure Colm, but I thought I heard someone tell us to get out. Someone must be here.”
“Oh crap, let’s get out of here!Door won’t move, lets try get out one of the boarded up windows.”

We went back into the first room on the right.
We turned in a hurry,
“Guys the door just slammed shut!”
Suddenly warmth struck me. Turning I saw there was now a fire in the fireplace.
“Uh, was that always there?” I asked.
“Oh shit, guys I don’t like this at all.” Laura was truly scared.
I tried kicking down the window but it wouldn’t budge.
Suddenly I heard laughter. Deep, manly laughter. We all turned to the door where there stood a shadowy fiqure.
“What are you doing in my home?” The dark, mysterious man asked.
“We, we’re sorry, we thought this place was abandoned” Laura apologised.
“Why no, this has been my home for almost two hundred years. It’s not abandoned.”
The three of us looked at each other and backed up against the furthest wall but the man stepped nearer.
“What do you mean?” I inquired. “You’re two hundred years old?”
The man chuckled a deep, sarcastic laugh.
I looked to his shoes and noticed he wasn’t wearing any. Instead he had cloves for feet.
I nudged Laura and showed her. She screamed but the man just laughed more.
Then, in the blink of an eye the man burst into flames and walked out the door whistling.

The three of us stayed in the room shivering, terrified.
“What just happened?” Laura asked.
The fire had now gone out, or was it ever lighting.
“Did we imagine it?” I asked. There was no proof anywhere of the events that had just occured.
“No way. How could the three of us envision the same thing?”
I couldn’t answer Amandas question, but neither could any of us.
The three of us walked out the door, and there was the front door, left open. The way we left it when we first entered. We looked at each other.
“We don’t speak of this to anyone okay?” I suggested.
“Deal” the two girls responded in unision.
We walked out the front door, back into the warm sun.


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