Prompt #2018 First Line of the Week – Christopher Barzak

 “Of course the house is haunted. Just look at it, need any further proof? Classic look, scraggly trees, and the piece de resistance, the light in the very top window in an otherwise dark house. What more do you want? Ghosts floating out the windows? Eerie noises emanating in the middle of the night?”

Joe just thought everyone knew the story. And everyone believed it. Your typical sad old lady living alone because her family abandoned her, and now she sits in the very peak-roofed attic by the window. The room only illumined by a single candle in the window. Every night at sunset, the candle was lit and everyone knew it was she who lit it.

The story goes that when her family left, they were only supposed to be gone for a house hunting trip in San Francisco, about a week to ten days. It wasn’t that far from where she lived, but being elderly, she stayed home. The family disappeared, presumed drowned in a sightseeing boat in San Francisco Bay. Of course it is well known there are sharks in the bay, but the family and the boat captain disappeared completely. The old lady took the news badly, disbelieving the police reports, and every night she lit a candle in the window to show her family she was still waiting for their return.

That was twenty years ago, and even though the old lady died ten years ago, the light still appears in the attic window every night.


3 thoughts on “Prompt #2018 First Line of the Week – Christopher Barzak

  1. I love stories like this – they leave you with so many questions in your head that you can visualize the whole thing! And, by the way, what DID happen to the family? 😉


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