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By Calliope NJO
I never heard of Briarsville. I received a map, key, and a renovation fund in the mail from a lawyer’s office from said place. In short, I got it because the deceased left it to me. The old lady liked me. I had no recollection of ever meeting someone other than in passing. I checked out the lawyer, and he had been practicing law for at least twelve years. So he seemed legit enough for me to believe him.
In between projects, with nothing else to do, I needed to have a look at my new place. Good thing I had my 4×4. The rocky, unpaved road did make things a little bumpy, however. The trees had to be at least ten stories high with massive trunks. My GPS gave me an error message and the map applications sent me someplace else. I wouldn’t have been able to find it if nobody gave me a map.
The old line of being nestled in the woods fit the description of the property. A two-story wooden house with a big stone chimney. The wooden front door still remained in its place. All the shattered windows needed to be replaced.
The front door opened. I called out but nobody answered, so how the H-E-Double hockey sticks did it open. All by itself. I went back to my 4×4 and scrounged for something. It gave me an activity while I figured out if I wanted to go in.
I couldn’t hesitate any longer so I entered. I thought I heard a woman tell me it’s about time you came in. I looked and like before, nobody. My mind drifted off into the unknown. I had to use logic and reasoning or risk losing my mind. If I didn’t already.
Careful steps needed to be taken or risk falling through the Swiss-cheese floor. I stopped in a green room. The green wall contrasted with the red brick fireplace, and chances were some varmints set up house in the unused chimney.
The longer I stood there, the more the chair in the front rocked. An old lady appeared, looked at me, and disappeared. Maybe I should’ve left too but I couldn’t. My feet stayed attached.
Bizarre or mad, either word would best fit me at that moment. Some food would help to fuel my brain and stop the weird experiences.
I got in my truck and started down the long road again. Trees and boulders watched me as I drove past. I got to town and it looked nice. Kids running up and down, some on their bikes. Adults walked back and forth.
The diner on the corner sounded like the spot to refuel. I wandered in and sat down at the bar. Burger and coffee would hit the spot.
A skinny man sat next to me. The unmarked white baseball cap caught my attention. I smiled and nodded.
“Hey there,” he said. “The name’s Oliver. Say, uh…I never saw you around these parts. New?”
“Yeah. Sort of.” I wasn’t sure who this guy was so I tried to keep things short.
“We don’t get much new ones. Where you at?”
“A cabin in the woods.” Not that far from the truth.
“Oh. I know that one. That’s the Kingston cabin. William Kingston was his name. Built it for his family so his younguns had space to grow up. Yeah. Nobody knows what happened, not really, but they say he got shot while out on a huntin’ trip. Yeah. ‘Cause nobody delivered the body, his wife kept on waitin’ for him. Some even say she still waitin’.” He turned around. “I gotta get. Good luck and may the Lord be with you.”
Not quite sure what to think about that bit of info, I mulled it over while I ate. I never believed in the afterlife. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. After what I experienced though, it made me wonder if I should change my views.
After I finished, I went back to the cabin. Maybe I asked for it, but I couldn’t help but remember the story that man told me. I couldn’t get past the idea that someone waited for somebody else all this time. Unbelievable.
I walked in. “Hello? Mrs. Kingston?” What was I saying?
Maybe the floorboards were loose. That wouldn’t surprise me. What surprised me was a young woman appeared in front of me.
“Oh. There you are. You had me worried. I longed for your return.” She held me. “You seem surprised.”
“Uh…” That’s the understatement of the century.
“Come now, William.” She grabbed both my hands and kissed them.
I felt it. I felt her kiss me. Did I need to tell her the name’s Shawn? “Uh…” About the most intelligent thing I could utter.
She took me to a room down the hall. I expected dilapidated furniture and holes in the wall. Instead, a perfect four-poster bed sat in the middle of the room. A clean and shiny window let the light in. OK, somebody had to have put something in my food because none of this could have been real.
She lay me down and stroked me. I had to admit I fell asleep. When I woke up though, I lay on the floor instead, and the once unbroken window didn’t exist. The night sky shone through the framed hole.
I ran out of that house as fast as I could and hightailed it out of town. I got the house for free, yeah, and with a little bit of work, I could’ve made it livable. Not as long as those strange things were in there, I couldn’t do it, renovation fund or no renovation fund.
I made it back to the city. The nice congested, polluted, no trees existed in the backyard if there was a backyard city. I put the key away for safekeeping. Maybe in the future but that would have to be under extreme circumstances.
I took the car keys out of my pocket and put them on the nightstand. Along with it, a gold ring came up. Inside it read: To my only love. Two hearts. One soul.
Please visit Calliope’s blog and follow her. https://bit.ly/2RJwNrS