What if……?

The House

If it looked odd from the outside, it was only because it was a bit nicer than most houses. Almost too pastel, too friendly, too well kept. For the Davisons, however, it was perfect. They weren’t the kind of family who had looked into the house’s history too much, although it was clearly old. If they had looked into the history a bit, they might have reconsidered the move. Probably not though. They weren’t the kind of family who worried about that kind of thing. It didn’t matter if the kitchen had housed one hundred murders as long as it had the latest up-to-date gadgets, right?

That was its most charming feature, really. The kitchen nearly dripped with chrome. Mrs. Davison swooned when she saw it for the first time. It was a Smart house, the new type of houses that responded to voice commands. So not only was it easily the most modern house on the block with the best decoration scheme (or so she thought), she rarely had to do any real work, which suited Mrs. Davison just fine.

“Darling, would you mind grabbing me that whisk?”

“Yes, mommy.”

Thai was the only one who actually didn’t like the house. For some reason, he had cried the entire day after they brought him in for the first night of sleep. He kept on saying he heard singing, like a party, but not exactly. Old music, old accents, a strange party. Nobody else heard anything though, even the family dog, Toto.

“Mommy, the house doesn’t like me.”

“Don’t be silly, Thai.”

“We live in a smart house and it’s smart enough not to like me!”

Thai slammed the door as he went to his new hang-out, the attic. Mrs. Davison sighed. “Who knew he was so unreasonable. He’s usually such a sensible child.”

They did, however notice when his speech began to change. At first, they thought he was just growing up, but the speech soon became so Victorian that it was hard to laugh off. He stopped talking about it, but although he was quiet the oddnesses remained.

“My dearest mother, forsooth wouldst thou pass thine loving glance this way and confirm unto my soul whether this shirt is apropos. Er, I mean. Like the shirt?”

That wasn’t the only thing that prompted a sense of growing unease in Mrs. Davison. Though Thai seemed calm, she heard him walking down to the kitchen every night, but there was never the sound of dishes. He would disappear for hours, and come back with strange little trinkets. She even began to feel she could hear the walls talking to her, asking for something.

Finally, something in him broke. That something, as she was to find, was a nanobot.

He came to her that night.

“Mommy…the bots. They’re in my brain! I can hear them…they’re fixing me…Making it so I…I don’t…sorry. I don’t have long. They’ll repair…lesion. But it’s the house, the house! It wants… it wants everything back.”

It took them four hours to realize when he went missing. He often disappeared lately, often for hours. It was months later before Mrs. Davison decided to look into the house’s history, try and find an explanation. The only thing she did find, however, was a photo. It was a gentleman who had lived in the house in the late eighteenth century, but he looked so much like her little boy and if there hadn’t been tears in her eyes, she might have seen a strange glint off the man’s neck, like light flashing off a tiny piece of metal.

— written collaboratively by Bryn and Ellie