“The Electrician”

Talking on the phone with the Pettington family, I never would’ve thought they would be living in a decrepit old house like this. The house I stood before looked like it was from a horror movie. The wood that held the house together looked so old it was bowing with some jagged looking splinters sticking out. You could hardly tell the house had been painted, outside of the small stretches of white paint that had nearly completely been stripped away over the years. It was a two story house and the top center window behind the balcony appeared to have a large jagged crack, leading from the top corner down to the bottom center. With a house like this, it’s no wonder they decided to call an electrician. Any wiring in this house mustn’t have been touched in thirty years.
After one last glance at the house, I stepped to the back of my electric company van and grabbed some tools to assist me in checking the wiring. I shut the door and made my way down the broken concrete path that lead to the front door. although the trees looming overhead gave this place a specifically dark feeling, I was surprised to find that the grass had been kept short.
The first step of the porch let out a loud creaking, as though the wood was about to give way. I hurried my way up the steps before the belief that I’d fall through them would become a reality. I knocked on the door and waited for a reply. I looked around as I waited. It seemed unsettling that it was a bright summer day, but stepping into this persons yard made it appear a day in autumn, with the chilled breeze floating through the air. The leaves on the trees, surrounding the house and leaving it in an eerie darkness, appeared to be changing colors, some even dying and falling to the ground.
“Hi, you must be the electrician!” said a scruffy looking man that looked like a lumberjack with his red and black flannel shirt.
“I am,” I stuck my hand out, the man meeting me with a handshake. “You said some electric outlets weren’t working?”
He nodded. He led me inside. The house on the inside didn’t match what it looked like on the outside at all. The inside looked like a brand new house, clean white painted walls, a fancy looking kitchen with high tech appliances, a fake fireplace against the center wall in the living room. The blonde woman sitting on the couch, facing the TV, whom I assumed to be his wife, waved at me with a friendly smile on her face before returning her gaze to the television.
I continued to follow the man as he explained to me how he was in his office, working on a novel on his computer, when the outlet just suddenly stopped working. I asked him what he was writing. “It’s nothing really, just a short horror story to keep me practicing writing before my next book idea comes to me.”
“So you’ve written books before?” I asked.
“I have one so far, I sent it to the publishers about a month ago. I’m waiting to see what they think about it before it enters publication. It’s called ‘A Hole in Terror’.”
We continued to walk and talk about his book before we finally made it to his office. The walls were yellowed with a small window overlooking his desk that held an old, white, cube shaped monitor. “So this is your computer?” I asked. “Yup, I’ve had this baby for a good fifteen year, it hasn’t failed me yet.” he said, his arm atop the monitor with a smirk on his face. “Here’s the outlet that blew up on me.” he pointed to the outlet below the window. It was a brown outlet with engraved vertical stripes covering it. I hadn’t seen one of these in a while.
I placed my tool into the outlet socket and pressed a button. The light on top of the device flashed red, indicating that there was no power to it.
“Well, you’re right,” I turned to him, “the outlet is dead.”
He nodded. “Is there anything you need from me?” he asked.
“Yes, where is your fuse box so I can begin working on this?”
He waved his hand at me, signaling me to follow him.
“I know it’s in a weird place, but this house is kind of old, as you can tell.” He led me to a hallway between two bedrooms and pulled down a ladder that was attached to a cutout in the ceiling. I followed him up the ladder.
The attic was probably the eeriest part of the house. the only light was beaming in from the cracked window I’d seen earlier from outside. The attic was lightly crowded with things of varying sizes that were all covered in a white sheet. There were several cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. The smell of dust was so overpowering in here, it left me sneezing a good fifteen times.
“Sorry about the mess in here.” he said as he made his way through the clutter to the fuse box on the far wall.
“It’s okay, I’ve seen worse.” I assured him.
I felt something scurry over my foot, just after stepping over a box. It made me jump, however, remaining calm.
Finally, we made it to the fuse box. He opened it up and skimmed through the labels on the switches before flipping a switch. “That should be the office.”
***
After removing the outlet cover, I noticed something peculiar about the wiring. The colored rubber outside the wiring had been torn away, revealing smaller copper wiring inside. Most of it had actually been cut off the outlet completely. No wonder his computer quit working. Had it not, the house could’ve caught fire. But what could’ve done this. It had to have been recent, judging by how fresh the cut was. But the only way this could’ve been done was from within the wall, since this outlet cover hadn’t been removed, probably since it’d been placed here in the beginning. How was I going to explain this to them? They’d think me to be some sort of a nut job.
Pushing the thoughts aside, I got to work in fixing the outlet.
***
“You should be all set, Mr. Pettington.” I said, packing up my toolbox.
“What was wrong with it?” he asked.
“Not much. It kind of looked like it’d been cut or something. It could’ve been the old wiring giving way,” I explained. “But everything should be good to go.”
He thanked me after giving me the check, and I made my way out of that house.
As I made my way to the van, I felt a pair of eyes on me. I turned around to see what I assumed was a small pale child with dark hair and tattered clothes. The child continued looking at me for another second before pushing open the wall next to the front door, which revealed a small opening. The child crept inside. It turned back around to face me with glaring eyes before quickly closing the wall back up.

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D.L. Dare

D.L. Dare

A challenge has been issued to write a short horror story every day for a year