Torrie knew in her heart venturing into the haunted Hargrove House was a stupid thing
to do. She sucked in a deep breath. She’d never been a chicken, and she wasn’t going to
be one now.
The door knob was cold in her palm. Surely the door wouldn’t be unlocked. The old
creepy house had been vacant forever.
It wasn’t locked. In fact, the knob turned easily and the door opened. The eerie thought
that the house wanted her to come in slipped through her.
The light from the street filtered into the foyer, but only a little. Everything else was
nothing more than a mixture of gray shadows. Still it was enough for Torrie to see
elegance in the wide, beautiful circular staircase. Above her head a huge chandelier hung
haphazardly. What was left of its crystal decoration reflected the small amount of light
from the street.
It was beautiful.
How anyone could leave this house, she wondered.
Outside, the wind blew the leaves and branches of the trees in the front yard, and the
Torrie took a step back. She’d stayed long enough to fulfill the dare. Besides, she’d
heard her father say often enough the place was probably rotten through. She’d break her
leg if she fell through the floor. She could see the headline in the Liberty Banner
now: Mayor’s Daughter Breaks Leg in Haunted Hargrove House.
Her friends who hid in the bushes outside were going to owe her big time, she thought.
The moonlight reflected on something on the floor a few feet away. Was it a piece of
glass from one of the several broken windows? No, it was a single crystal obviously from
the chandelier above her. Her hand itched with the need to touch it, to hold it. She took a
few steps forward, weary of the possibly rotted floor.
Then she had it in her hand, an elegantly carved crystal, beautiful and perfect, a prize
for a scary dare like a blue ribbon for winning a race. She turned to go back out the door.
It was then she heard the voice.
It was really nothing more than a moan, a painful moan.
Yet, it said her name—“Victoria…”