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Martha Abercrombie has lived in Bangor Maine her whole life.

She recently lost her husband of forty years and is at a loose end.

She is lonely and she desperately needs something to occupy her

mind.

 

For over thirty years on her way to work she has driven past the house

of author Stephen King.

But it is another house that has caught her attention.

 

The house is a two storey monstrocity  that has clearly seen better days.

A faded old For Sale sign sits in the front yard.

It has been there for as long as Martha can remember.

 

One day Martha stops at the rusty old sign and saves the Real Estate

phone number into her mobile phone.

It is a pity that Martha doesn’t drive another route to work.

Than she would never have seen the house.

Because there is a very good reason why the house has stood vacant

for over twenty years.

 

The house is situated at 16 Balcomb Lane is shrouded by overgrown

shrubs weeds and a nasty reputation.

Originally built in 1900 by a doctor and his young family.

Who travelled all the way from Scotland to start a new life.

 

Doctor McIntosh his wife Stella and their children six year old

Prudence and little Colin a chubby four year old.

The family were excited when they finally moved into their new house

on 1st March 1900.

 

But one thing bothered Stella right from the start.

An ugly stain on the living room wall

Despite all of her scrubbing that stain just wouldn’t go away.

So finally Stella gave up and hung a family portrait over the stain and

forgot all about it.

 

Stella should have left the stain alone.

It has laid dormant for over one hundred years.

Now it has been awoken.

And it isn’t happy.

 

A month after the family moved into the house little Prudence was

spotted arriving home from school.

And since that day not one member of the McIntosh has ever been seen

again.

It is like they just disappeared into thin air.

 

The house stood empty until 1919 when another family moved in.

And than promptly vanished.

A radio was playing songs of the day.

The table was set with plates piled high with food.

Food that was never eaten.

Another family has disappeared without trace.

 

From 1932 to 1970 a total of eight families have lived in that

house.

38 people have vanished into the dust.

 

The neighbours cross the street when they come to the house.

Their is talk of a local Native American tribe laying a curse.

Their are whispers of witchcraft and of sausquatch  coming down

from the mountains.

 

In 1971 the house was demolished and every single piece of that house

was taken away and burnt.

The land stood vacant until 1986 when a new house was built.

The house was blessed by the local priest.

And a lovely young couple moved in.

 

But all of the activity has once again awoken the stain.

 

The same day as the family moved in the brand new house started to

fall apart.

The brickwork and shingles crumbled and fell to the ground

The wiring exploded in a shower of sparks.

While the plumbing leaked dirty water and sewage through out the

house.

 

The new house is transforming back into the old house.

And for the first time there is talk amongst the neighbours about

a strange stain.

 

The lady of the house a Mrs Penelope Lomax told them of a stain on the

living room wall.

It was the size and shape of a human face and the colour of blood.

And despite constant scrubbing and cleaning the stain just wouldn’t go away.

 

A month later Mrs Lomax was seen at her kitchen window.

But after that Penelope and her husband were never seen again.

 

Once more Martha Abercrombie is driving past the house at 16 Balcomb

Lane.

When she comes to a fateful decision.

After work she stops at the real estate office and makes an enquiry about the

house.

The agent is shocked by the question.

No one has asked about that house in over twenty years.

 

But she puts a smile on her face and offers to show Martha the house anytime

that suits.

They arrange to meet at the house at four o’clock the following afternoon.

 

So they meet the next day and Cathy Simpkins the agent walks with Martha

towards the front door.

But it is obvious that she is scared out of her mind.

Martha asks what is wrong and Cathy comes clean and tells Martha all about

the disappearances  that has occurred since 1900.

 

In the back of her mind Martha remembers reading about the missing people.

But this all happened years ago and this house is a renovators dream.

She decides that she has to have this house.

 

The estate agent refuses to go inside.

She opens the front door and tells Martha to take her time.

Martha walks in and feels a chill down her spine.

She goes from room to room and she like what she sees.

All of the rooms are spacious with high ceilings.

But it is obvious that the house needs a lot of work.

But she has to have it and signs the contract on the spot.

 

As Martha is signing the contract back at the cars a stain appears on

the living room wall.

It is barely visible but it is there.

 

For the next six months contractors come and go renovating the house

from top to bottom.

The wiring and plumbing is completely replaced

The house is gutted from roof to the basement fully renovated from top

to bottom.

 

Behind the living room wall the stain is shimmering in a rage.

Once again it has been disturbed.

 

Martha has finally moved into her new house and is enjoying a glass

of wine.

She cant believe how happy she is and how cheap the house was.

Life is perfect.

 

A week after moving in Martha is sitting on her couch reading the latest

Stephen King novel.

When her eyes are drawn to the living room wall.

A blood red stain is seeping through the paint.

 

Martha gets out of her chair for a closer look.

The stain looks like a human face.

Martha shakes her head ‘God my imagination sure is working overtime’.

She goes to the liquor cabinet and pours herself a large whiskey.

Than she walks back towards the stain.

 

It is definently a face.

The eyes of the stain seem to be looking back at her.

Martha’s spine tingles and her bladder starts to leak.

Despite herself she has another look at the stain.

The face is developing you can now make out all of the features.

It appears to be the face of a middle aged woman.

 

Martha pours herself another whiskey as she decides what to do.

But there really is only one decision to make.

So Martha grabs her car keys and runs toward the front door.

 

But a voice stops her in her tracks ‘Come and join me Martha and we can

be together forever’

Martha is shell shocked and her bladder empties completely.

She tries to run but her legs wont move.

Instead they turn back towards the stain.

 

Foot by foot her legs walk towards the stain until she is only five feet away.

Her legs move even closer.

Until she is standing face to face with the stain.

She waits for it to speak again.

 

But this time it doesn’t speak.

It attacks.

Two arms are thrust through the wall and enclose Martha in a bear hug.

She tries to resist but it is of no use.

Martha feels herself being pulled into the stain.

 

She struggles with all of her might.

But she cant fight off the stain.

She is dragged down to the basement and beyond.

Down to an old cemetery full of old tombstones.

Next to one of the graves is a freshly dug hole with a new tombstone.

Martha Abercrombie

Born 18 October 1944

Died 13 January 2017

RIP

The stain has fully engulfed Martha and is walking Martha backwards

until she is teetering on the edge.

Martha can smell and taste her own fear.

 

The stain whispers ‘Goodbye Martha welcome to death’

Martha fulls six feet down and lands on her back.

She is quickly covered in dirt until Martha is no more.

The sound of silence is deafening.

 

The house at 16 Balcomb Lane is up for sale again.

If you have the deposit the house can be yours.

It has been freshly painted inside and out.

The perfect place for a loving family

Or first home buyer.

 

All ready to move in.

Without a blemish or stain in sight.

 

But looks can be deceiving

 

THE END.