by anita marie moscoso
Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt
Back along on Deception Road is a little farmhouse that no one lives in.
After the house was built and then put up for sale the orchard out back died, the little vegetable garden died and all of the pumpkins and squashes and tomatoes rotted right on their vines.
Even the flowers in the window boxes shriveled up and turned to dust within a day or so after they were set out and all the little farmhouse could do was slam its doors open and shut and make the clock in its kitchen strike twelve over and over again.
The man who built the farmhouse, Travis Janosik, use to stand out at the road and wonder what the hell was going on in there, why was it that nothing could live near that place without giving up the ghost.
There was nothing about Travis that would make you say, ‘you know that killer house? The one on Deception Road? It was built by Travis Janosik” and the person you would be talking to wouldn’t reply, “ Well of course it was a strange house. Look who built it.”
No, the house turned bad all by itself and this bothered no one more then Travis. What bothered him most of all happened when the house was two years old.
That’s when someone actually bought it and moved in.
The ‘someones’ who bought the farmhouse were the Korbar Family.
Travis use to drive out to Deception Road and park across the way from the Farmhouse and watch it. He’d see Darius Korbar working the vegetable garden or see him sitting on the porch with one of the many children he and Mrs. Korbar had and they acted like any other family living in those hills.
Unless of course you really watched them the way Travis did.
At first he had no interest in the Korbar family. His interest was in that house and what it was up to now. It didn’t have to settle for killing plants and the odd field animal that got to close to its walls. Now it had the Korbar children who scuttled around the property in their ill-fitting clothes.
At least that’s how it looked but then Travis realized it wasn’t the clothes that didn’t fit right, it was the bodies inside the clothes that weren’t right.
The children’s heads were to large for their small bodies and their hands and feet didn’t seem to be the same size and when they talked Travis felt the hair rising up on his arms and the back of his neck and that’s when he’d cut his daily vigil off.
Once Travis saw Mrs. Korbar come down the front steps with a tall glass in her hand and make her way to the garden to where Mr Korbar was working. She handed him the glass and he kissed her cheek and then she made her way back up the steps and Travis watched her but didn’t notice that as she climbed the steps her head was tilted slightly backwards and her back was straight as a pole and she never bent her knees.
It was like she was gliding up the steps and not walking up them at all.
Towards the end of the summer the gardens were dead and rotten and Mr Korbar was out there working it like it as if it were alive and thriving. The ground was water logged and moldy with green slime. The vegtables were rotting and decayed and you could actually smell it when the wind shifted.
On top of the fact that Travis was watching a man harvest from a garden full of rotten vegetables he was also sure that some of that smell was coming from Mr Korbar too.
Travis promised himself after that visit he wouldn’t go near the Farmhouse on Deception Road. Something was wrong with it, something was wrong with the people living inside of it and Travis was certain if he didn’t stop going over there something would be wrong with him too.
Of course, it was too late because that something had already happened to Travis and he found himself standing at the end of the drive leading right up to the Farmhouse the next day.
He was in plain view and Mrs. Korbar must have seen him from one of her windows because he wasn’t there for long before she came down the steps and met him with a basket of rotting carrots and maggot filled tomatoes on her arm.
“ We never got the chance to thank you for building this wonderful house Mr Janosik. Its perfect and we love it so.”
Travis was looking into the basket of dead and decaying vegetables and he said, “ How could you love it so? Nothing can live inside of that thing…”
And Mrs. Korbar said, “ Well, Mr Janosik nothing does…”