Short story entry: The Rose Sign

PUBLISHED: 11:29 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

By BETHAN JONES aged 15 There was a sign on the door. The house was empty. It had been empty for a long time. Lois had never seen such a lonely house. You d know if you d have seen it. Lois had seen it. The windows were boarded up and the door was locked.

By BETHAN JONES aged 15

There was a sign on the door.

The house was empty. It had been empty for a long time. Lois had never seen such a lonely house. You'd know if you'd have seen it. Lois had seen it. The windows were boarded up and the door was locked. Lois had checked. Just in case. There was a board missing from one of the windows. One of the back ones. Lois had looked through it. There was nothing there.

It was a very, very old sign.

Every day for the last six months Lois had walked past the house. It had never looked scary, just lonely. A lonely house.

Once Lois had shone a torch through the window. She wanted to make the house feel lived in but the light only showed up the bare rooms and grimy walls.

The sign was grimy too and faded.

Lois had always lived in Stevenage but her mum had come from Scotland.

Her mum had told her stories of haunted mansions and wicked curses. But Lois didn't think the house was cursed. It wasn't haunted either. Just lonely, she said. A sad lonely house with no-one to look after it and nowhere to go.

No one had looked after the sign either, the words had faded away.

Alice said that was a silly thing to say. She said houses couldn't be sad, and they couldn't be lonely. Lois tried to tell Alice that she was wrong; she tried to show Alice the house.

But Alice wasn't interested. So Lois went alone. All on her own. Like the house. Rose house. That's what the sign said. Rose house.

That's what Lois thought the sign said.

Lois never came home that evening. Her parents looked everywhere but no one had seen her.

They looked for the house too but they couldn't find it. There were no derelict houses in Chells the police told them. Lois knew where it was, but she wasn't telling, she wasn't telling anyone anymore.

Rose knew what the sign said. So did Lois now.

This was Rose's house. She was born here in 1666 and she died here in 1676 and she will rest here for all of eternity.

There's another sign now, just beneath it. A different sign.

Here lies Lois Rose Taylor. Born 1996. Died 2006.

Rose and Lois wrote that sign.

So Rose wouldn't be lonely anymore.

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