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As a cool autumn breeze sweeps the dried, crispy leaves across my path, that day becomes so vivid again.

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Introduction

As a cool autumn breeze sweeps the dried, crispy leaves across my path, that day becomes so vivid again. It was long ago. We were about twelve then. Bumpy and I were inseparable. Friends to the end, we'd always say. Bumpy's real name was Kevin, a big, ruddy faced Irish kid, who'd earned the nickname with his nervous habit of repeatedly bumping into you as he stood and talked. Nevertheless, he was a good and loyal friend. Little did we know, that friendship would soon be tried and tested under the most unexpected of circumstances. The Wellington house was quite a fixture in our neighborhood. Located at the end of our quiet cul-de-sac, it stood in all its menacing, Gothic glory. It was huge and frightening, and the stories about it had haunted and entertained neighbors for many years. Folklore had it that the house's current sole occupant, Althea Wellington, had murdered six members of her family there, many years ago, long before any of our current neighbors had settled into this area. She had made the preposterous claim that a demon had manifested itself to her in the house and commanded her to carry out the gruesome crimes. Anyway, they say that she was found insane and spent some fifty years in an institution and was released, only to return to the house to live the life of a recluse, a morbid curiosity, an outcast of sorts. ...read more.

Middle

After three hard wraps and no answer, I must admit that I was relieved. We had gone further than any other kid in the neighborhood, but miraculously we were spared some horrible fate. Bumpy and I looked at each other and let out a simultaneous sigh. We turned towards the street, anticipating our coveted hero's welcome from the other kids when we stopped dead in our tracks at the creaky sound of the massive door opening. We turned around, my eyes almost closed in anticipation of what terrifying sight I was about to behold. To our utter shock and surprise, we were greeted by the sweetest looking, most pleasant little old lady one could imagine. Slight and petite, she wore her graying hair in a neat bun and in a lovely, soft voice, she apologized for the delay in answering the door, as she slipped packets of candy, so eloquently into our shopping bags. She had introduced herself as Althea Wellington and assured us that there were no strange goings on in her home, contrary to the stories that had gone around for years. We likewise introduced ourselves, and pleasantly surprised, enjoyed a brief, friendly conversation with her. We thanked her, and respectfully excused ourselves as she retreated back into her home. ...read more.

Conclusion

By nightfall, we had come to terms with the incident, or at least we thought so. We had decided not to tell anyone of what we had witnessed. After all, we were forbidden to set foot anywhere near that house and the story would surely get back to our folks. It was better left unsaid, a terrifying tale untold. It surely would change us, and I know I'd never look back on my childhood without it looming there, bigger than life. True to our word, Bumpy and I cruised through our teen years and into adulthood without telling a soul. So many years have passed since that day. I still see Bumpy when we get the free time between juggling our careers and families. He prefers to be called Kevin now. And when this time of year comes around and we're sitting alone in some pub sipping a quiet beer, we find ourselves back on that porch on that Halloween night. The Wellington house is gone now. Torn down a few years back. A small shopping mall sits there now. I guess progress doesn't care about legends and folklore, or old haunted houses. I walk by there sometimes when I'm around the old neighborhood. As a cool autumn breeze sweeps the dried, crispy leaves across my path, I want to tell a tale that is better left untold. The End ...read more.

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