A few weeks ago, a house had burned down in my neighborhood. A gas stove had exploded and the whole house had been pretty much demolished, with most of the roof and upper levels blown off while the once-white walls were charred an ashy black.
The family living in the house had made plans to start reconstruction immediately, and less than a week after the accident, multiple workers had already turned the burnt lot of land into a bustling construction zone. I heard that some of the family members were helping out too, even though it was pretty dangerous. Still, I heard everything was going pretty well, to the point where they were already starting to paint the outside a lovely scarlet red.
Today, I was on my way back from visiting a friend’s place and I decided to pass by the house to see for myself how everything was going. Walking on the other side of the street as not to disturb the workers in front of the house, I saw everything really was going well. It was a bit messy though, as red paint was splotched randomly all over the grass and sidewalk, but I suppose that’s only to be expected with painting a house of all things. However, aside from all the paint splotches, there wasn’t any clutter on the lawn at all, since most reconstruction materials had been moved behind the house.
Just then, a woman walked around from the side of the house, empty handed. I recognized her as the mother of the family that used to live in the house and as she waved to me cheerily, I found it only polite to return the gesture.
Curiosity satisfied, I had turned away and continued walking when suddenly I heard a crack and a thump, followed by a loud, earsplitting scream. Whipping around, I saw the woman standing stock still, a large, square bundle of cement rods lying on the ground in front of her.
Rushing over, I was glad to find that no one had been hurt. It seemed she had screamed out of shock as the bundle slipped and fell right in front of her. Seeing as there was no issue, I bid the woman farewell and continued home.
For some reason, I could not seem to shake the vivid image of the bundle of light grey rods lying on the sidewalk, surrounded by blotchy scarlet paint. I remembered that the paint had almost seemed to shine in the harsh glare of the afternoon sun, and I felt a stab of pity for a moment. A paint bucket must’ve been crushed under the bundle, all its contents spilled across the sidewalk and now utterly useless. Thirty or so dollars, straight down the drain.
Perhaps it had been how shocked the woman had seemed or perhaps it had been the vivid memory of the moment, but I found myself returning later that evening to the house. The cement bundle was still there on the sidewalk exactly as it had that afternoon, surrounded by scarlet paint that had dried to a brown color in the light of the setting sun.
I found the woman still standing there before the bundle, seeming transfixed, and once again I went over to stand beside her.
“What happened earlier must have been really shocking for you, and everyone here.” I remarked.
Eyes still glued to the sidewalk, the woman replied, “Oh yes. I was so shocked, especially when I heard the scream.”
Link to image found here. First attempt at horror, if you have any tips please let me know. This is so bad, honestly.