harold saves the bloody things

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
of all the things to save...

Submitted: February 29, 2016

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Submitted: February 29, 2016

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Harold Saves The Bloody Things

 

October in Grist Mill Kansas brings low hanging morning fogs into town from the flatlands that race with skeletal tumbleweeds. Swirling leaves come with the winds to run and hide from crushing feet. A rare blue moon in other locals seem common in Grist Mill and comes to cast eerie shadows that crawl across lawns and the sides of houses and barns. And then there is the  lone owl, never seen, that screeches and flies over the town searching for a long dead mate.

The Victorian at #18 Elm has a full wraparound porch with white lattice work that hides the dusty underside of the of the decking. It also hides Harold who has stayed under the house for over thirty some odd years.

Now the rest of the home is well kept to the point one would never guess it’s age to be well over a century. The siding and slate roof are not original but identical wood lap siding has replaced the old and new slate has been installed at great cost to the huge roof. The interior is equally cared for. All except the dark, hidden and narrow passageways that allow Harold occasional access.

On cold nights Harold lifts his hidden hatch that leads to his narrow passages that wind behind the plaster walls. At the first turn there is enough room to lie down and sleep or listen to the inhabitants just inches away.

Comments on the bright side of the walls are usually lighthearted and often followed by laughter. At times like this Harold will scrape a boot along the lath causing a momentary stop to the laughter. “ Mice?”

“ Rats.” Answers the man laughing. “ Just an old house talking Beth.”

“ I hope.” Harold dares to scrap his boot again across the lathwork. He covers his mouth to keep from laughing. “ There it goes again. Sounds like an animal Jay. If there’s  a rodent ...I think we should call an exterminator.”

“ Fine.” Jay stopped the conversation with one word and no intention of calling an exterminator. Beth seemed satisfied and relaxed with the response.

Harold cursed himself for pushing his luck. Tomorrow he would visit the attic and the bloody things he has kept for years. He may even stay with them awhile. It had been too long since he touched them. Smelled them. Yes, tomorrow would be a good day.

At midnight Harold left the confines of the inner wall  and walked through the large home he had once shared with his wife and her five children. Nothing was the same. Everything so modern and bright. The wallpaper was gone and the walls painted a dull white. Oil paintings, large and small, hung along the walls mixed with family photos. Harold would knock some to the floor before returning to the underworld of the porch. For now he would go to the second floor and look into his old room. Study the interlopers as they slept. He would watch them for hours. He knew some primal instinct in them sensed him and disturbed their sleep. He smiled at the thought.

At the foot of the bed Shemp, Harold’s mixed breed shepherd, lifted his head from a deep sleep and started to rise. Harold put his hand , palm up, and the obedient dog went back to his sleep.

Beth, ever anxious, sat up in bed and stared at the open door. She nudged her husband. Harold stood still in the shadows. Did she see him? Before her eyes could adjust to the darkness Harold backed away and went back down the stairs and back into the wall. He remained standing and was surprised he had been carrying his rusted cleaver. This reminded him of the bloody things in the attic. Seeing Shemp and having the hope of holding the bloody things let him sleep.

Like every morning at seven the air filled with the aroma of fresh coffee. Harold took a deep breath of the smell and woke. Beth hurried for work changing twice. Uttering her wardrobe to be lacking she rushed for a quick sip of Folgers and blew a kiss toward her husband who advised her to have a good day.

Jay finished the sports section and rose from the kitchen table to turn off the coffee maker and made a quick check to see all things were in order and left for the office. No one was there to advise him to have a good day. As he walked into the living room a strong hand sunk a dirty cleaver deep into his brains. His last thoughts as he hit the carpet were jumbled flashes of lightning. There was no time for pain to register.

Harold felt no remorse or joy at the sight of the lifeless man on the floor. Instead he pulled hard against the wedged cleaver to free it. He would need it again soon.

Once again climbing the stairs Harold felt the nearness of the bloody things in the attic. Reaching the landing Harold grabbed the pull cord that would bring the steps down from the ceiling.

Taking the steps upwards Harold was pleased to hear the bloody things scurry away to dark corners fearing his approach. “ That’s right. I’m back to see you. I’m back just as I promised.”

Stepping fully into the attic Harold laughed out loud as the huddled and frightened ghosts stared at him wide eyed. Sixteen random souls had met with Harold’s rage. Blood and jagged flesh covered them from long ago murders.

In a separate corner was his weeping wife surrounded by her frightened and bloody children. “ Don’t cry sweetheart. What is done is done.”

Walking among the dead Harold would on occasion stop and touch the hair of a victim. Draw in breath to smell the death. “ Funny. I enjoy you all but you bore me so quickly. No, no, not your fault dears.” Harold turned to leave and then looked back toward the frightened spirits. “ Just to let you know there will be two more residents tonight.”

In the very darkest corner sat the loyal and bloody dog Shemp. Harold knew who the dog guarded and wondered how that could be.

 

eNd

 


© Copyright 2017 Robert Kasch. All rights reserved.

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