there’s something wrong with my new tiny house BY KB HURST

The recent trend in tiny house builds intrigued me. Everything from turning a shed into a home, a shipping container, or even a van fascinated me. How many of these people moved out of city living and into isolation living off the land by growing their own food in gardens made from recycled materials really had me wondering if I could do something like that.

I recently broke it off with my girlfriend and wanted to move out of the city. One too many break-ins, nasty bouts with slumlords, and the general consensus that the world seemed broken made me long for a simpler life.  

I decided to take a risk and try it for myself. I first inquired about suitable land that allowed for city water and electric hook up.  

My friend, Micah, referred me to reach out to a friend of his father’s, Dave. Knew that it had loads of property in a wooded area not far from Columbus. The gentleman in question often allowed campers to rent his land for the scenic nature experience. He made a lot of money in the summer months, but is he interested in letting me rent and build a house on his property?

I got his number from my friend and called him to discuss it.

“Yello,” 

“Hi, my name is Kurt. I was referred to you by Micah Ashleigh regarding some rental property that may be available.”

“Micah, you say?”

“Yes, he’s a friend. Good guy,” I said 

“I got a spot; what did you want to do? Are we talkin’ camping for a weekend or a week?”

I’m looking for an area I can rent to build on. I’m trying to downsize, and I was told you might be someone to reach out to.”

There was a long silence, and I had to look at the phone to ensure he hadn’t hung up.

“Yup, I got a place. You can come to meet me tomorrow, and I’ll give you a tour of the property, and we can discuss payment.”

The next day I met Dave at the large property. We discussed what I wanted to do- make a home on the land and pay monthly rent. He seemed eager to rent the property to me, but there was a stipulation.

“I need the full year’s rent upfront, and you can do anything you like out here. I only ask that you are quiet as the horses get spooked easily.”

I thought about it and then finally agreed. Dave said he would even help me by getting me in contact with one of his contractor friends.

The cost was more than I had anticipated, but it was worth it. I was going to own my home on nearly ten acres of land with only one neighbor. I was also given free rein on how I wanted it constructed.

So, as promised, my journey began. I found one of those shipping containers on eBay from a guy in Pennsylvania who was selling it for 650.00. I just had to pay to haul it back. I, once again, was assisted by Dave, who just happened to have a truck to haul it. It was nice to be living so close to a guy that was so kind.

I could set up the unit and begin work on the interior immediately. I didn’t make it have a ton of extra features. I was mainly going for a couple of windows, a bed, and a space to store my things. The contractor that Dave sent me was good and helped me with the design, but I put everything together. I’m proud of what I came up with. The few things I didn’t expect was that I could get running water, but the toilet didn’t flush as well as I liked. I had almost decided on a compost toilet. Still, Dave said that of all the things, he did not allow the dumping of any kind on his property, nor did he want me creating a large garden bed, which seemed odd to me because he had been so cool about everything else. So that meant the composting garden was out unless I grew things in boxes on my makeshift patio. 

So after a few months, I was settled in. It was a nice and quiet place to rest my head. When they said that nature was healing, they didn’t lie. I spent most of my time working and sitting on my new deck. It was peaceful and calming.  

It wasn’t long after the first month that I noticed something about my new tiny house. While it was exactly like one of those tiny house storage container homes you would see on those home and garden-type television shows, there was just something that began to make me feel uneasy. 

I woke one morning to the sound of my shower running. When I got out of bed, I could have sworn I saw someone running out my sliding doors that led to my new patio. I never jumped out of bed so fast. I ran to the door, and I saw nothing where I should have seen someone running away. 

I called Dave that very morning after the sun came up.

I asked him if he had seen anyone on the property. He said he’d check his security cameras, which he did while I was talking to him. Dave said he couldn’t see anything unusual, and I was more than welcome to check them myself. He even offered to install one for me. Again, here was the guy that was so nice and polite. Yet, I opted not to take him up on the offer. Instead, I decided to install my own. I got one that required a phone app and had infrared availability. I still need to get it delivered to my new residence. Instead, I had the new camera delivered to my post office box that I set up when I moved in.  

Once I installed it, I could do nothing but wait. 

Then I waited some more. Actually, I waited about a week or so, and nothing. Perhaps, I was losing my mind. Maybe what I had seen that morning was just me dreaming. That could have explained what I had seen.  

I was asleep when the second instance occurred. I was sleeping when something woke me. It was my phone. My cell had several notifications from the camera app. I sat up in my bed and clicked on the first notification. All I could see was what looked like two eyes that appeared off the deck of my tiny house. I skipped past it assuming it was a dear. The second notification was that of a shadow, but I couldn’t make out what it was. The third notification, I clicked on it, and there was nothing there. I clicked on the last one, and it was completely black. I was annoyed but went back to sleep.  

The next day I had to go into the city for work. We had some big meetings that required me to show up in person. I sat in a large auditorium, taking notes from the CEO about security changes we had to make on our work computers. I was trying to pay attention when my phone dinged. I looked down, and there was another notification from that camera app.

This time I saw what looked like a woman with shaggy hair and hardly any clothes on. She was standing staring at my patio doors. She wasn’t moving. She just stood there. Within a few moments, she had moved closer, but I didn’t see her walk. She just appeared. Then in the background, it looked like something or someone was standing behind her. At that point, the camera went black. 

I can’t tell you the feeling I got from watching her. I didn’t know if she was flesh and being, a ghost, or something else.

I drove home after my meeting in a state of panic. I was concerned with my safety but also wondered if I was overreacting. It may be a curious camper from one of Dave’s other rentals.  

I pulled onto the property. I saw Dave, and he waived as I drove past him towards the drive next to my newly created tiny house. 

That is when I saw something strange. One of the planter boxes I had set up on the patio railing for some herbs was now knocked over. I picked it up and cleaned it the best I could. I noticed someone standing behind me and turned to see Dave shaking his head.

Looks like we got raccoons. You gotta be careful when you plant things. That is why I said no gardens. I can’t tell you the number of times we tried, but the misses and I never could get anything going. We tried putting fences up around it. But whatever lives out here always got to it.

I thanked Dave and watched him return to his house and go inside. 

I placed the planter box back on the deck railing, hoping it would stay put this time. That is when I noticed something. There was what looked like a hole under my new tiny house. Could it be an animal? I’d have to set a few traps and relocate whatever it was. I certainly didn’t need an infestation of groundhogs or rabbits. 

I put my briefcase inside the house, locked my door, and went to shower.

I was standing in the shower for a while when the water suddenly shut off on me. 

What the hell?

I grabbed a towel and went to investigate. 

When I went to look outside to see what could have stopped the water, I saw a man standing on my deck. Only, it wasn’t just any man. It was Dave, only he didn’t look like himself. He looked disheveled and broken, with a furious expression on his face.

“Hey, Dave, is everything okay? The water shut off,” I stood standing there half-naked. 

Dave said nothing and then walked around the other side of the house. I followed him, but this was the crazy part.

He disappeared. He completely disappeared. 

I don’t know what to make of it. The water came back on the second I walked back into the house. I felt awful for pissing Dave off. Only something didn’t feel right. I asked him about it the next day when I went into town.

I was driving in my car and stopped him while he was carrying animal feed to his cows.  

“I just want to apologize for anything I could have done to make you angry,” I said, looking at him. 

Dave just stared at me, puzzled. “Sorry? I don’t think you have ever done anything disrespectful. You pay your utilities, take care of things around here, and pay your rent for the next ten months. You must have mistaken,” he chuckled.

“No, when the water shut off, you were standing on my patio and looked so pissed off.”

“Kurt, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Now, it was my turn to be puzzled. I have no idea what I am supposed to think. Could Dave have multiple personalities? Does he blackout on a regular? I don’t believe that is the case. I don’t really know where to go from here. 

I’m not terrified, but after my conversation with Dave later that night, I was awoken again by the app on my phone. At that very moment, it gave me a live feed of that woman standing outside. Still, only when I looked out onto my patio was nobody there.

The next day I noticed that the hole near my patio looked bigger than it was. That was about three weeks ago, and so far, no new weird occurrences have happened. 

I’m not sure what to think. If anything new happens, I’ll be sure to write more. 

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