In part 2 we have seen and read how Mel cleaned and fixed up the interior of their inherited house, and now she was painting the garden furniture and cleaning up the bramble that had spread in the garden and had overgrown one of the benches. It was perhaps because she had worked a lot lately that she had fainted again. We left part 2 when John found her on the floor.
After she finished painting the benches, she went inside and prepared an autumn salad for lunch and put it into the fridge. When John would come home from work, she wouldn’t have to cook anything. Why postpone till later what she could do now…?
She heard the paperboy and went outside to give him one of her cookies. The boy was very nice but he looked a bit inquiring. Then he said shyly: “Thank you, you’re very kind. You know…” he looked around before he continued: “I’ve never seen anyone living in this house but my mom always told us not to go here. She didn’t want to tell me why, but only that we were not allowed to go anywhere near it.” “Ah… well… tell your mom that nothing’s wrong with this house. I haven’t noticed anything strange about it”.
“I’ll tell her. Thank you for the cookie.” He ran away. He had a lot of papers to deliver still.
Mel just stood there thinking. This was the second person who said there was something about this house. ‘I have to make some inquiries myself in town’, she thought. She took a bath and went to see if the paint on the benches had dried already.
Yes, it wasn’t sticky anymore. She was tired and still had another hour before John would come home. She sat there on the bench and fell asleep. That’s how John found her when he came home. A tender feeling filled his heart when he looked at her. He didn’t want to wake her up and he made himself comfortable on the other bench and looked at his wife until she finally woke up. Later that day, Mel told her husband what the car pool driver and now the paperboy had told her. She said that she would like to know more about it. The best way would be to go to town and get acquainted with people. They probably could tell her more.
John thought that it would be nonsense to ask people. “Nothing has happened here to us. Did you see something strange?”
Mel hesitated before she answered: “If you don’t count the moving fridge and at what speed the plants and weeds grow here in the garden…, no… then I haven’t seen anything strange, but…”
“Well…, I don’t know… I have that creepy feeling now and again, especially during the night…. You know that I’m a light sleeper… and I often wake up and think I hear something ‘breath’… I don’t know how to call it otherwise…. But… you are right I don’t see anything. Anyway, I would like to know more about this house’s history.”
“Honey, you could go into town tomorrow. You do your investigations and meanwhile I will buy the materials to take away the wooden sidings. With the wind, it does make creepy noises during the night. I’m sure it must be that!
In town, Mel went to different places and everybody seemed nice but the moment she started talking about the house…; her house…, people became silent. In the Public Library there was only one man who wanted to talk, and he said that he didn’t know much. He only knew that a couple of elderly people used to live there, and that they had disappeared. Nobody ever knew what happened, but bloodstains were found in the garden and since then, people believed that this house was cursed. In his opinion it would be a very laborious job to start investigating on newspapers without even knowing the year in which those events took place. He himself couldn’t help her better because it was before he settled in Hidden Springs and he surely didn’t have anything to do with it…; at least not with this case. She went home again without being much wiser. That weekend John took the wooden sidings away. Mel tried to save some of the ivy to replant it afterwards. They plastered the house and painted it.
John was sure that it would make a big difference; not only the aspect of the house had changed, but the old wood had gone as well, so they wouldn’t hear that sound during the night anymore.
In the afternoon John noticed flashlights. He saw someone taking pictures of the house and of his wife trying to replant the ivy she had saved for that purpose. “Hey, will you stop taking pictures! We are just painting our house and there’s nothing special about that to be publicized in any newspapers!” Before the man ran off he grinned and said: ‘…but this is not a common house…!’ “Come on, honey…; we have finished for today. You must be tired as well. Let’s eat something and go to bed.” To their big surprise, the sounds became worse, and when, next day they looked around in the garden, the bramble that had been removed, had grown again. Mel approached the pond and she started feeling hot and cold at the same moment. The nearer she came to the dead tree, the more she felt that. She turned around and ran back to the house. John really got angry now. He said: “I‘ll have that dead tree removed right now! On the other side of the house there’s one as well”.
“You cannot do that alone, John. Ask a professional to help you with that.”
So he hired a crane to remove the dead trees and he felt relieved after that. Now his wife would take care, and give those spots a decent look. Next day, Mel prepared to re-arrange the garden. She had bought some seeds to plant as well. That was what she wanted to do first. She went to the place where the dead tree had been and then she saw something that almost made her blood freeze in her veins….
To be continued…
Many thanks to: Wolfspryte for her house ‘The Tumbledowns’; CycloneSue for her cement set; Spladoum for her pose-set and Fredbrenny for helping me with the language…
The Inheritance - 3
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