Baby Girl – #fridayfiction
The first time I laid eyes on Ryan Carter was the day he and his mama moved into the Ballinger place. The house had stood empty for three, maybe four years and was considered an eyesore even for Spruce Street.
Rumor had it that Alfred Ballinger bought the house with intentions of fixing it up, but he died just three months after they moved in. The whole three days he was lying in a casket waiting to be buried, his wife, Martha, sat by his side. Then once he’d been laid to rest she went back to the house and closed the curtains, and that was the last anybody ever saw of her.
According to Mama Martha Ballinger was just waiting to die, but it took almost twenty years to happen. In all that time not a single repair was made to the house. It sat there with the paint peeling and the shutters hanging loose. When the lawn got to be knee high, one of the neighbors generally came by with a lawn mower or weed whacker and cut it back.
The Ballinger place is only two doors down from us, so we were among the first to catch hold of the stench. It was in the early spring when Mama flung open the windows to air the house out. After two sniffs, she knew something was wrong.