's 2014 Horror Write-off:

" Amos 5:11 "

Submitted by Anonymous

Several years ago

My father drove us southwest for twelve hours

To visit my grandparents

On Thanksgiving.

They live in a gated community

With enormous houses

And immaculate sidewalks

With few disturbances

We stayed there for a week

We had our meal

And saw our family

But eventually my father got bored

As he often did

And took us on a walk around the neighborhood

As he often did

It is always under construction.

Some wealthy person is always building a new house

To fit their car collection, or whatever else they own

And there are usually workers milling about

But not that day

It was a holiday

And they were absent.

And so we trespassed in a house

Which was not yet finished

As we often did

And once inside the house

My father, who knows a few things about architecture

Said that it was built a bit oddly.

There were rooms with no obvious purpose

And hallways that went nowhere

And a little doorway which opened into the crawl space along one side.

And in a few rooms

Written on a door frame

One could read

Scrawled in black marker

Or possibly blue, in one instance

The writer’s reproduction

Of a biblical passage

All of which

Related, usually directly

To houses

Or homes

Or the relation between them.

In any house’s skeleton

One can usually still find the basement

And on many occasions

Have I myself descended

Into what my father jokingly refers to as

“The deep, dark hole

Where they put the bad kids”

But in this house, unusually,

It was not possible

As, in the midst of the ground floor,

Where we presumed the basement door would be

Was a doorframe

Flanked by two quotes

The only place in the house with two

And an aperture

Obscured by brown paper

Almost completely

Except for a small tear in the middle

Through which one could see

Only utter,