Open House

Open House

A Story by Phil Kuhlman

A story about a Realtor trying to sell a house with an added feature in the basement. Is this a Cthulhu Mythos story? Maybe.


     “If you'll come down here, you'll see one of the more amazing things this house has to offer. Not only is it one of the oldest homes here in Kingsport, but it still has a functioning eighteenth century well!” I smiled as I gave my typical speech. I had sold a few homes in town and most had the same features but these people weren't average buyers.


     Out of towner's.
     I'd have to sweeten the deal, maybe leave out a few details here and there. Like the papers I'd just found on a sticky spot on the wells edge. I figured I had a few moments before they came in, just long enough for a quick read perhaps.

     This is insane. I  can't have long.  The thing is still in the house someplace. It can't be done with me. I'm still alive. There were three of us.


     We came in here during a snowstorm a few days ago. The place was abandoned and unlocked. We thought “Good luck!”. We were wrong.

     A few hours later we heard noises. Sheryl said it was snow collecting, causing creaking but it wasn't. We knew the sounds were coming from the basement. Cellar? Not sure what to call this place. We don't have these where I come from. We don't have the things that came out of the well either. Terry lead the search looking for whatever the sound was. I figured it'd be a dog or something, but it was coming from inside this well. The last thing he did was leaned over it and said “Echo!”. It wasn't sound that came back to the source, but the thing. It was pulpy, gray, and looked to me like it was full of broken bones and shards of the things it had attacked before us. The smell was horrific, like a crypt filled with sewage. It was so fast though. Big too. It didn't make sense for a thing that size to come out of a hole that small.


      Terry screamed for a few seconds, then came the crunching slurping sounds. I grabbed Sheryl and tried to get out of the place, but she was so deep in shock she just fell down when we got up the stairs. That was when I found the doors were stuck. The night's snowfall had trapped us. I didn't have much time to react after that. The thing had already found us. Sheryl went quietly though, her eyes were glossy and it looked like she was just lost in her mind when the thing covered her. It didn't have a mouth that I could see, but it shouldn't have been able to move like it did either with all that body behind it and no legs. God, the sound. Bones and flesh being ripped apart by something inside the translucent body.  There was nothing I could do for her. Have to keep telling myself that.

     I ran back into the basement though.  I won't have a chance to figure out why I came back down here. I'm hearing things now. I've been hearing Sheryl calling to me from outside the doors. Voices have been calling me for days. Why is it doing this? Why hasn't it just come through the door? It's gotta be strong enough to break them? Her voice sounds so sweet though. Terry is saying that it doesn't hurt, that it's a better place.

     No, I have to wait for the snow to unblock the windows.


     It's been three days since I last wrote.  I think three. Slept three times. Snow looks to be getting thicker. Flashlight dying and I'm starving.


     Just want out. Want to see Sheryl again. She'd know what to do. She does know. She's telling me to open the door.  I'm going to see my friends.


     The wife asked me why it wasn't taken yet as they walked in.


     “Well most of the people here are old families that have lived here forever so open homes don't go fast. So...” I grinned as I shoved the papers into my pocket. “What can I do to get you nice folks in here?”


     It goes on sale again in two weeks.

© 2008 Phil Kuhlman

My Review

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I really love how began the story. I however would have liked it more if you had made the story third person, and had the thoughts throughout.
I don't know. Maybe it's just me!
Great read though, I liked the plot.
Oh one more thing, a few of the phrases the realtor used didn't sound very business minded. In stead of "lived here forever" you might use, "lived here their whole lives."
but again! just me!

Posted 9 Years Ago

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so better than scratches on the floor...water stains and things of that nature

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Hey man, great little story. I liked this one a lot. Great pacing and tempo to it. Keeps you hooked. What you might want to consider is the person showing the house a little more and having to cover some more stuff up. Scratches on the floor or things like that. Just an idea. Good little story.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ugh, SO CREEPY! I loved the quick but thoroughly frightening pace of this. I've thought and thought, and I really don't have any critiques for this.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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4 Reviews
Added on May 4, 2008
Last Updated on May 4, 2008


Phil Kuhlman
Phil Kuhlman

Kerrville, TX

I am a published author in the Horror genre. Thus far, my publication credits include "Shadows In The Snow" in the summer issue (#3) of Shroud: The Journal of Dark Fiction and Art, "Open House" in the.. more..