art work by Ketaira Phillips
art work by Ketaira Phillips

Third-Story Window

He heard flapping. At first, soft. Then it grew louder and louder. He saw birds swoop through the open window and fly towards him. Chris sat up in his bed breathing heavily.

It was all a dream.

Chris looked around his room. This reoccurring dream was getting really old, really fast. He got up and closed the window. “Did I close this window last night? I thought I did… I did!”, Chris thought to himself as he shut the window, latching it tightly as he had been doing for the past several nights.

Ever since he moved in to this three-story house on Fern Street, this nightmare kept occurring. Three weeks was too much for one nightmare. He didn’t know what to do anymore. He sat upright in his bed and looked around his room. His peeling blue wallpaper annoyed him. Since he was too scared to go back to bed, he decided he would peel off the old blue wallpaper. He got up and put a chair against the wall. He stood on it and pulled off an entire sheet of the wallpaper with one swift movement.

The wall underneath was dark. He turned on the light to see the wall. He looked at it.


Bird wallpaper was underneath. He was so surprised that he took two steps back and stepped on something sharp. He picked it up.

It was a white feather.

Chris pinched himself hoping he was still asleep. He wasn’t. He ran into bed and closed his eyes tight praying that he was imagining
everything. He fell into a dreamless sleep and when he finally woke up, the blue wallpaper was back on the wall.

It was all a dream.

When he came home from work, Chris went straight to his room. The blue wallpaper was still up. Chris was determined to stay up all night, he didn’t want another bad dream again. He closed the window, locking it. He turned on the tv, and around 11:30 he began to doze off. Then suddenly the tv started to go static.

Chris sat up abruptly as the window flew open and while birds darted through, heading straight for him. In an attempt to dodge the birds, Chris hid himself under the covers. Suddenly, the flapping and squawking of birds stopped.

Chris got out of bed and walked to the window that he locked a few hours before. “It wasn’t a dream, it’s real life. How is this
happening?” Chris said this to himself as he walked to the wall with the blue wall paper.

He peeled off the wallpaper. The birds where there, same was the night before. “This house must be haunted,” Chris thought.

The next day, Chris went to the library to research his old three-story house on Fern Street. He learned that sixty-five years prior, in 1936, a man died in a fire with his 26 white doves inside the house. He was looking for another book about his house, when he stumbled upon a book titled, The Third Story Window: Fern Street. He flipped through it and saw a highlighted passage,

“Anyone who walks through the door frame of the third-story bedroom will be followed by birds, white birds, for as long as they live. The birds shall never cease to torment them, even after death.”

Chris closed the book, put it back, and walked home, knowing his life would never be the same.

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Third-Story Window