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Independent Writing Project

Emiko Clark

ELA-D Block


April 14 2016


The Secret Within the House


Emma didn’t have a lot of friends. She was extremely shy, so most of the time she stayed at home. Emma sat in the family room on the brown leather couch, in her favorite spot she was curled up in a blanket watching Netflix. In the background you could smell the chocolate chip cookies in the oven. The smell filled the house along with the scent of lemony cleaning products. For the last couple of weeks her stepmother Morgan made herself extremely busy. She was always doing extra work that didn’t need to be done. Whenever she saw this side of her stepmother she wondered if this was something she just did or was it when she was just stressed. This was just a normal summer day in New York while her dad was at work. Like her stepmother her dad has been very busy. He has been going to work early and staying late. That night she stayed up to help Morgan make dinner for her dad. When he came home Emma was about to give him a hug when she noticed how stressed and struck with grief he was. Immediately when he noticed she was still awake, he masked his grief. Finally he realized he couldn’t hide it, so they took a seat on the couch and he told her everything that’s been going on for the past few weeks.  While he spoke Morgan was cleaning, pretending not to be paying attention. She was shocked, she couldn’t believe that her aunt Anne is gone. Her dad wasn’t working when he left the house early and came home late he was trying to find out what was going on. Emma was more than devastated. From this day her whole life changed.


This event happened two years ago. Right now she just got home from her last day of school. Emma´s birthday was in 2 months. She would be turning 18 by then. For now she was happy and getting ready to enjoy her summer vacation. There was only one problem that stopped her from having the best summer ever. Because Anne was her favorite relative she was constantly thinking about that day. When her mom died Anne became her mom.She refused to give up hope that she disappeared without a trace.


As her summer went on she was constantly wondering what was going to happen to the house aunt Anne lived in. The next day she got her answer. Emma overheard her dad on the phone talking to her stepmother who was away visiting her family. It sounded like an argument, but once she heard her name she had an urge to listen.

“I just don’t think Emma is ready to inherit a house.” He explained with an exasperated voice.

“I know what you think but you should let her choose.”The stepmother said with her high pitched pleading voice.

“I don’t care what she wants to do. I’m getting rid of that house.” He said with his voice rising with anger. He pressed end call and slammed his phone on the table with a thud.  


Over next few days she started to ask her dad more about what was going to happen to the house. He answered in the simplest ways possible, without giving anything away. One day her dad lost his patience with all these questions. He told her to drop the subject and he didn’t want to hear another word. It was the sternest voice she had ever heard. With that Emma had enough too, she was tired of these simple answers. she blurted out how she had heard the conversation with Morgan the other day. There was a moment of silence where all you could here was the hum of the washer machine running. It was hard to tell what he was thinking . At first he had a look of shock, then anger on his face.

Before he could say anything she mumbled ¨Could I at least visit where she lived for the day? ¨

There was another moment of silence until he finally answered ¨No.¨


With that he took Emma by the arm and led her upstairs to her room.  He locked the door behind him as he left the room. He didn’t want to punish Emma. In fact he never has. She was always the kind of girl who never spoke up. In the back of his mind he told himself he was doing it to keep her safe from that house. Emma stood there facing the door in shock, she couldn’t believe what just happened. At this point she knew there was something missing, something he wasn’t telling her. All these questions swirled inside her head. Emma was now determined  to find out what was going on. In order to do that she had to visit her aunt house. For now she decided to get some sleep, she knew she would need it.


She woke up the next day at three o’clock in the morning. She waited to make sure she didn’t hear any noise to get out of the bed. Her door was still locked but luckily her room was on the bottom floor of her house. Her plan came together as she got dressed. Emma quickly scribbled down a note to let her dad know she will be back in two days. She also told him not to come after her. She pinned the note on and took her car keys off the bulletin board. Then Emma hastily packed her backpack with supplies as quietly as possible. She opened the window and a rush of cool air hit her. She stepped through the window took one last look at her room and realized she wouldn’t see her dad for two days, but she knew what she has to do. She couldn’t believe what she was doing, but something was telling her she had to. She took careful steps as she made her way towards her car. She opened the car door, started the car and drove off into the night.


It was a two hour drive to her aunt’s house. As she drove she wondered what she would find at her house. As she thought she started to wonder why she never got to visit aunt Anne’s house. She was never invited to her aunt’s house. Anne was always over at her house not the other way around. She was driven out of her thoughts when she saw the exit sign that looked like it glowed because it pitch black outside. She knew what town Anne lived in but not the exact address, but from what her aunt told her was that this is a small town where everybody knew everyone. The first thing she saw was an old rundown gas station where an open sign glowed faintly in the dark. Under it said that this was the only gas station in town. She decided this was the first place she would look. She needed gas for her car anyway. Once she stepped out of her car, she understood what her aunt was talking about. It had a nice warm feeling to it. The place looked old like a town that has been around for many years. In the gas station there was a man sleeping behind the counter. She shook his shoulder and he woke with a jump.

¨Sorry to scare you like that I just…¨

¨No need to be sorry but, I’ve never seen you before.¨He said with an old raspy voice.

¨I´m Emma my aunt lived here. I saw this gas station and I was wondering if you might know where she lived in this town.¨

¨Of course I would know where she would live, I know everyone who lives here. What is her name?¨He said like it was a ridiculous question to ask.

¨Her name is Anne…¨

¨No, I’ve never heard of her. If she doesn’t have a car I probably don’t know her.¨

¨But you said you knew everyone in this town.¨ Her tone was now frustrated.

¨I guess not, sorry, It´s time to close the shop anyway.¨

¨Wait! She told me she knew everyone, and I know she had a car.¨ She said now getting annoyed with this man.

¨ Fine, she lives at 101 Meadow road.¨ He said exasperated now.

¨I have know idea where that street is though.¨

¨ Find the clock tower, turn right and keep going straight, until you reach the last driveway on the road.¨

¨Thank you so much.¨

¨Don’t thank me. I would suggest you don’t go there when it is dark outside if you must go. Don’t say I didnt warn you.¨ He said with his scratchy voice getting louder.

¨Goodbye.¨ She said now with a smile on her face.


When she left the man turned off the open sign. As Emma drove she wondered why he was so hesitant to tell her where her own aunt live. He acted scared when he talked about aunt Anne. None of that mattered thouh she was finally getting somewhere.  She may have thought he was weird but Emma did not take his comment lightly about going there in the dark. She was glad she left at the time she did. The sun was just about to rise so by the time she got to Anne’s house it would not be dark anymore. She used the directions and made her way to Aunt Anne’s house. She was surprised by how tall the clock tower was as she drove by it.  Even though it was getting brighter outside it seemed to get darker on the road she was on. The woods all around here were very dense. Finally she reached her destination.


Even though it has been only two years, at the entrance of the driveway was a mailbox with cracked paint and faded numbers you could barely make out. As she drove up the driveway the dirt and rocks made a grinding noise beneath the tires. She drove up to wear she expected a small little cottage to be, but instead was a mansion. Her car stopped short as she stared up at the mansion. After all these years she never knew aunt Anne lived in a mansion. Then again maybe it looked better when she first moved in but right now it looked old and abandoned. The way the sun was shining on the house should have made it look beautiful but all it did was make point out the fact that the paint was faded. The plants in the planters were dead. She left her car where it was since clearly no one was going to be coming here anytime soon. She got out of the car and walked towards the house. The dirt and gravel crunched under her feet as she approached the house. She reached for the door handle but it was locked. She went around to see if she could find another door. She found one in the back but that was locked too. She tried the windows she could reach but no luck. Just about when she was going to try to think of another way, something caught the corner of her eye. Something was shining up in the only apple tree in the driveway. She slowly approached  the tree and beneath all those bright green leaves was a small bronze key that glinted in the sunlight. She had to climb up a few branches to get the key within her grasp. She walked back to the house and tried the key on the lock. The lock turned with a click. She turned the doorknob and walked inside of the house.
The next and only thing she planned to do was find some answers to what was going on.   

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