Victoria’s House

| November 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Victoria’s House

By: Lindsay Kutac


Victoria was perched high in her oak tree. The rain drizzled slightly, but the leaves sheltered her. She felt protected within the limbs that drooped toward the ground. Victoria couldn’t see her house at all from where she sat, back to the trunk with her legs extended out on the branch.

“Victoria!” a distant voice yelled. After she didn’t reply, it shouted, “Victoria Rille!”

The girl sighed and swung down to a lower spot, which was slightly wet. She caught sight of the familiar boy in front of her.

“What is it, Alex?” she asked, hanging upside down by her legs. Victoria’s long, sorrel-colored hair hung a good two feet above the perfectly manicured grass. Her pale cheeks were getting rather red and her clothing a bit damp, but she didn’t seem to notice.

“Mom says you need to come inside. Lunch is ready.” Alex turned toward the house, his sister watching his cropped dark hair until the front door closed. She kept her eye on the looming Victorian estate in front of her, recalling how her mother once told her that she had been named because she was born in that house. It’s purple shingles were old and worn, but still functional throughout all these years. Victoria clambered down, gazing at the high and mighty cupola that was her room. Her fairy-like face was calculating and sorrowful as she entered the home.




“There you are!” Ms. Rille, Victoria’s mother, exclaimed. “We were starting to get worried, weren’t we Alex?”

“Yes.” Alex bit into his sandwich. Victoria sat down delicately, as if sitting too fast would have her simply vanish in a cloud of glitter. The plate in front of her was arranged meticulously. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich was cut into identical triangles, the carrots to the side with supposed apathy, and the ranch dressing dropped next to the orange vegetables in a perfect dot.

“Looks good, Mom,” Victoria praised, picking up the glass of orange juice above the right corner of the plate. Alex was already halfway through his meal, but Victoria ate quickly, finishing before her younger brother. Ms. Rille smiled and watched them while they ate.

The rain rapped harder on the roof, as if the rain was trying to get inside. The wind howled, letting out cries of disappointment in the house’s sturdiness. Victoria listened to the rain and wind harmonize into a symphonic scream. It woke her up from the thoughtful daze she had drifted into and she abruptly got up to put her dish in the sink. Ms. Rille watched her the whole way.

“I think I’ll go upstairs,” Victoria said absentmindedly. Her mother nodded, her brown hair shining under the fluorescent lights beautifully. Calmly and with concentration, Victoria climbed the stairs, Ms. Rille watching her feet disappear.



“Susanne!” Victoria whispered outside the splintery attic door. She knocked lightly against it, leaning closer. “Susie.”

The door opened, a bright gray light streaming onto the hidden stairs below her. “Please do not call me that. You know I prefer Susanne.”

Victoria smiled crookedly at Susanne’s century-old lilt. It was a sound softer than silk; a tone finer than a Steinway piano. “Can I come in?

The being in front of her opened the door wider.

Susanne’s attic – which was adjacent to the cupola, only accessed through a set of hidden stairs in Victoria’s closet – smelled of freshly printed books and dust. Not a bad scent, but it took a while to get used to. Time and time again, Victoria thanked whichever being in the sky the existent that she did not have allergies.

“How was your trip?” Victoria asked, flattening the dress skirt under her before she sat down on the one chair in the entire room without a substantial coating of dust. Susanne claimed it gave her a boost, and that was why she did not brush it all off.

The slightly translucent girl lounged on her bed. “It was rather lovely. What the other spirits say about Greggot Mansion does not do justice to how lovely it is to haunt there.”

Victoria leaned forward in her seat. “Were there any passageways?”

“Oh, yes.” Susanne’s eyes, formerly blue, but now white, brightened at the mention of secrets. “There was one in the front hall, one in the Master bedroom, and – I thought this one was particularly genius – one in the shower!”

“So no one would ever know you had vanished anywhere!” Victoria exclaimed, laughing at the whims of the architects who had constructed the famously supernatural house. She wished she knew what they had been thinking then.

Susannah’s blonde hair, though still a bit see-through, glinted in the room’s faded light as she giggled. Before she could tell any more tales she surely had, a fragile mew sounded from beside Victoria.

“Oh, Rose,” Victoria sighed. The transparent kitten purred at Victoria’s touch. As the living girl lifted her up, she smiled an apologetic smile. “Sorry, Susie – “


“ – she’s been clingy, lately. I do suppose I’ve been outside too much.”

“Why would one be outside on a day such as this?” Susanne demanded, her volume finally at an audible level. Victoria shook her head, shrugging a bit as she petted the calico kitten that Susanne said had died in 1901, ten years before her.

“I just want to get away from my mom,” Victoria confessed. “It’s the way she’s been watching me lately. It gives me the chills.”

“Only you,’ Susanne chuckled, “would be chilled by your mother’s gaze, but not of a ghost to which you tell!”

Victoria scrunched her nose at the accusation. “It’s just so odd, though.’

“I shall be sure to see what your mother is up to tonight,” Susanne assured her. “See if there is anything special.”

Victoria smiled.




A voice broke through the haze of Victoria’s slumber, like the distant glow of a lighthouse in a stormy Atlantic fog. Her eyes fluttered, long lashes casting shadows on her cheekbones.


Some sort of hefty weight padded onto her stomach. Victoria’s eyes opened like a shot. Rose the cat sat comfortably on Victoria’s nightshirt.

“Rose!” Victoria complained sleepily, narrowing her eyes. Then her attention was directed to the slightly luminescent being next to her bed.
“Victoria!” Susanne yelled, not afraid to wake Alex or Victoria’s mother, since Victoria was the only one who could actually hear Susanne or Rose.

The drowsy girl yawned, leaning back. “What? What is it?”

Rose mewed as she dozed.

“Your mother,” Susanne whispered frantically, “She’s mad.”

“What did I do?”

“No, I mean she’s off her rocker.”

“How so?”

Rose purred.

“Victoria…she is planning to kill you.”



She set down the plate of eggs. Victoria stared at the woman who claimed to love her. Susanne had followed her into her office, which Victoria had been told never to enter. Her mother was a serious psychopath. Pictures of Victoria were all over the walls, like most parents would have in their offices, but Victoria’s were x’d out with a fat red Sharpie. Knives lined the walls, and one was labeled ‘Victoria’.

All in all, the conclusion that she was going to kill Victoria was pretty reasonable.

“Thanks,” Victoria said stiffly, feeling her heart hammer against her ribcage. She was only paranoid because her mother was after her, of course.

“You’re welcome, sweetheart,” Ms. Rille replied, smiling a bit too long and staring blankly. Alex glanced up from his food, noticing the odd way his mother was acting, too.

Susanne sat next to Victoria in a supposedly vacant chair.

“You must do something,” the ghost whispered.

Victoria spoke so quietly, she was almost inaudible. “Like what? I can’t do anything about it.”

“Oh,” Susanne said, giving an uncharacteristically sinister edge to her tone, “yes you can.”

Victoria, having barely touched her food, stood up from her chair and said, “Excuse me.”
“You must kill her before she can unto you!” Susanne exclaimed. “It’s foolproof.”

“Yeah. A foolproof way to get me into juvie,” Victoria snorted.

“No, really. While Alex is asleep, you proceed into your mother’s room and slice her head off..”

“Alex might just figure that out.”
Rose woke up from her steep slumber to follow the two upstairs.

“Honestly, Victoria. A soul will die soon, and it cannot be you.”




It was pitch-black, and Victoria was uncomfortable. Daughters are not supposed to murder their mothers.

“Come,” Susanne said. “She’ll be asleep by now.”

At four a.m., Victoria was exhausted. the ghost had woken her up and practically shoved a knife in her hand. The knife labeled Victoria. Of course, Victoria did agree that she did have to be stopped. She supposed that if murdering her was the only way, she would do it. Adrenaline started pumping through Victoria’s body. She could do this. All she needed was a way to run away.

Her mother was psychotic. Of course she had to stop her. Victoria was saving people. For all she knew, Ms. Rille could go off and kill a bunch of others after her. Or Alex!

You see? she thought, I’m not crazy.

The duo crept toward the master bedroom that emanated a cold and grave aura of permanent darkness. The drama and suspense seeped into Victoria’s mind, and she could barely suggest the urge to shriek.

“Ready?” Susanne asked.

Victoria was having a hard time controlling her breathing. And her shaking. Everything about this was screaming to turn around.

“Sure,” she replied. A bigger lie had never been told.

The door in front of them loomed like the house had the day before. Susanne slowly pushed the massive, dungeon-like oak door with a creak. A seeming void spread out in front of them.

Carefully, Victoria tip-toed onto the antiquarian teak flooring. The knife’s nylon grip was warm in her petite hand. Silence rang through the house like Elizabeth Tower’s Big Ben. She felt like she was momentarily stepping into a covert operation.

This didn’t make any sense at all,  on one hand. Until a little while ago, Ms. Rille had been the perfect, nurturing mother. Then she started getting quieter, and started to withdraw more into her office. What had happened? Victoria wasn’t sure.

Suddenly, a gust of sound scurried around the girls, screams of the dead circling in a whirlwind.. Victoria shuddered, and not from the cold.

“Spirits,” Susanne said, “trapped in the house’s floorboards.”

Victoria turned to her, startled by the idea of not seeing ghosts. She had been able to her entire life. Was there another brand of medium?

Her mother was sleeping peacefully. Looking oddly like Sleeping Beauty, her hair was splayed out on the pillow in all directions. Her hands, even, clasped over her chest like a dead woman.

This is what made her decide that Susanne was crazy. Victoria shoved the knife into Susanne’s hands.

“I’m not going to murder anyone,” she hissed. “I’m running away. If you want to kill her, do it.”
Susanne had always been – albeit see-through – a real image, with a soft accent of older times, and her tone always gentle. But at these words, Susanne’s lips wavered, stretching into an insidious smile for just a second. Her ghostly being flickered, her face turning into a skeleton of real times, where her bones were cracked and blackened at some fissures. Her eye-socket were blank and hollow, no longer holding the sweet innocence she once had. Victoria stumbled backwards and quickly dashed out in the hallway. She scrambled up to her room. Victoria quickly changed into real clothes, grabbed her hoodie off the back of her desk chair, and picked up Rose on the way. She wasn’t letting her precious kitten go.

Maybe I’ll make it, Victoria thought – no, hoped. She didn’t want to hear the literal bloody murder.

She almost did. Really, she had opened the front door into the yard that was lit dimly by streetlights. It was still raining, but she didn’t care.

A piercing scream rattled the windows of the home. Victoria could see her mother’s pale flesh being pierced by the sharp blade. She fell to the ground, shaking her head.

Go, she urged herself, just go.

She picked up herself and Rose, just walking away.

No one ever learned what happened in Victoria’s house.

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Category: Creative Writing, Features, Short Story

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