Mr. Keith’s House
Every morning, Ramon stood in front of Mr. Keith’s House on 16 Baker Street. It looked like all the other houses on Baker street, built in the 1950s with dark green trim. Nothing unusual about it at all, except he never liked it.
Ramon felt it watching him from those eye-shaped windows. Sometimes Mr. Keith stood outside staring at him during his sentinel. Did he know what was inside his house, or did he even care?
Today marked the thirteenth anniversary of the event, as his parents called it. Thirteen years ago, his parents forced him to take his ten-year-old brother trick-or-treating. Kyle wasn’t a bad kid, but Ramon had been a teen, and, like most teens, he didn’t want to be bothered by a little brother.
So, after much arguing, Ramon agreed to take the brat out. He was angry and short with Kyle, begrudging the time spent with him. After a while, it was hard to stay mad as it was a gorgeous fall day. The leaves burst with colors of scarlet, orange, and yellow. It was a crisp evening, and a pregnant harvest moon hung low in the skies.
Ramon slowly unwound and relaxed, enjoying the evening and his brother’s company. Kyle was having a blast kicking up leaves and dancing down the sidewalk. The street was filled with ghosts, goblins, and wee beasties laughing, enjoying Halloween.
Then Ramon and Kyle came to Mr. Keith’s house ablaze with lit pumpkins lining the walkway. Ramon never liked this house; there was something about it. But he kept those feelings to himself as he watched Kyle approach the porch. The front door stood open, and a pumpkin filled with candy was on a pedestal.
No sign of Mr. Keith, though; Kyle hesitantly climbed the stairs towards the prize teasing him inside the house.
“Mr. Keith?” Kyle called out. “Mr. Keith?” No answer; as Kyle approached the door, he peered around the doorway, “Mr. Keith?”
Ramon was nervous now. “Kyle, maybe we should skip this house. Mr. Keith doesn’t seem to be home, and I’m not sure we should go inside when he’s not here.”
“Then why did he leave the door open if we weren’t supposed to go inside?”
“We don’t know that he did. The wind could have blown the door open,” Ramon answered.
“Then who lit the pumpkins?”
That was a good question. Who did light the pumpkins? But that uneasy feeling worsened, and the need to leave became urgent.
“Kyle, let’s go; Mr. Keith isn’t here.”
It was too late. Kyle was already inside and reaching into the pumpkin when the door slammed shut behind him. Inside, Kyle screamed his name repeatedly, tugging at the doorknob.
Ramon ran to the door, grabbing the handle, but it wouldn’t open. He pounded on the door, yelling, “Kyle, open the door,” but all he heard was Kyle’s continuous screaming.
He didn’t know what to do; he ran home sobbing to his parents. “Kyle went inside Mr. Keith’s house, and the house ate him.”
“Ramon. Ramon, calm down and tell us what happened,” his father asked.
“We went to Mr. Keith’s house, and the door was open, but Mr. Keith wasn’t there. Kyle went inside anyway, and the door slammed behind him. I pounded and pounded, but the door wouldn’t open. I heard him inside yelling, but I couldn’t get to him. The house ate him.”
His mother called the police, and they all went to Mr. Keith’s house. No pumpkins were lining the walkway, and no sign there ever was. The uneasiness grew stronger as the detective strode to the door and knocked.
They questioned him, but Keith told them he’d been gone for the week. He hadn’t been home for Halloween, and he didn’t leave any candy. The police searched the house, but they didn’t find Kyle. That was when everyone looked at him, no matter how many times he told them it was the house.
No one believed him, but after weeks of seeing a psychiatrist, taking numerous tests, and passing a lie detector, they finally believed Ramon didn’t hurt Kyle. In the end, the final consensus was that Kyle slipped away from Ramon or ran away, and Ramon was too scared to say anything. The police filed an Adam alert. His parents posted photos of Kyle and ignored Ramon about it being Mr. Keith’s house.
So, while his parents searched for Kyle for the last thirteen years, Ramon stood in front of the house, staring at the top left window. Kyle stared back at him, and he hadn’t aged a day.