Welcome to September's Secret Subject Swap.
Again 5 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.
Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out:
Baking In A Tornado
Wandering Web Designer
What TF Sarah
Part-Time Working Hockey Mom
My subject is
You find out that you inherited an old house from a distant relative you've never met halfway across the country. You go to see it in person, but when you get into town and start talking to folks, they tell you stories about ghosts, strange noises on the property, and how your relative died mysteriously on the property. How does your visit go?
It was submitted by: Climaxed - thank you, Jenniy!
Wow. Sounds like one of those memes:
Let's see. The house is located halfway across the country.
Which country? Cause frankly, if it's Switzerland, one of the safest countries, I'm not too scared. First of all, halfway across would be roughly within a radius of 128 miles, which - if I was headed West bound - would lead me to Geneva, in the French part of Switzerland, home to international organizations like the UN or the Red Cross. Sounds all very neutral and non-threatening to me.
I can't go very far North because I would very soon arrive at the border to Germany. If I were to drive South, I might end up in the vicinity of Zermatt in the Valais Alps. Hello, Matterhorn! Every year a few hikers lose their lives, mostly due to ignoring instructions, but no ghosts or anything going on there.
If I go East, I will end up in Grisons where the river Rhine origins.
Already when I arrive to visit this property for the first time, I can feel the curious looks of the locals. Unlike in other villages in this area, mostly ski resorts, they are not used to tourists, and especially not during the off season.
They are quite helpful though. No reception means I can't access Google maps, so I stop to ask for directions.
"Ohhh, you're looking for Villa Witch's Spell, I mean"... the lady wanted to retract, but the words were out. "Are you interested in purchasing the property?"
I tell her I'm a real estate agent who's here to evaluate the building. Anything I need to know?
"Well, how shall I put it..." she begins. "Do you know what happened last year?"
She decides to avoid answering and instead asks a counter-question. Smart.
"So you didn't know the previous owner?"
Not personally. I hear he was a decent guy though?
"That's what we thought, too. However, in hindsight, he may have had some, ahem, secrets. Especially considering the way he died. You do know that he, ahem, passed away, right?"
I was definitely informed he's deceased. What happened?
"Come with me" the lady says. "It's a bit delicate. There's people who have more accurate information."
She leads me to the outdoors terrace of what seems to be the only restaurant in town.
"Meet Frank" she introduces me to a middle aged guy. He's sitting, but I can tell, he's short. Clean shaven head, long neck, big tummy. Give the guy a carapace and boom, he's a turtle.
Frank gives me a nod.
Sorry, I don't want to impose...
"The lady is here to learn about the property back there, you know"
Her chin points to the far left.
"Allright. Have a seat. What do you want to know?"
What do I need to know? It all sounds very mysterious. Were you friends with Mr Parker?
"My wife and I were what you may call his closest neighbors", he begins. "Our house is about 300 yards away, so we didn't really know what was going on, except when he had visitors or deliveries. We share a gravel roadway, so we usually notice cars driving by. Tom - Mr Parker - himself didn't drive, so he had goods, groceries and meals delivered almost every day, especially with Covid. That's how we noticed that something might not be right. No more cars for at least a week, you know."
Sure. So did you go check up on him?
"Nah, we don't like to approach that house. The few times we did, we heard strange noises coming from the property. Sort of howling, if you will. Other times screeching. Creepy. Hard to describe. Anyway, we called Kurt."
"Kurt is the Town Sheriff" the helpful lady added eagerly. "I just saw him over at the post office, want me to get him?"
"Probably a good idea." Frank nodded.
The waitress brings my beverage. "You're here for Tom's house?"
Word of my presence seems to have spread in no time.
I guess, Did you know him?
She shrugged. "He used to come here a few times a week. You know, pre Covid. Not for a good while now. Nice fella, sort of kept to himself. Always typing on his phone. I think he had more online friends than real life people, know what I mean?"
Sure do. At least he wasn't lonely due to social distancing.
Kurt the Sheriff arrives, tips his hat, grabs a chair, looks me in the eyes and goes: "Young lady, how can I help you?"
The locals bring him up to speed, and Kurt is looking around. "Where's Bob? If we're gonna do this, Bob needs to tell her himself."
Who is Bob, I want to know.
"Bob was the one responsi..." the eager lady is being cut off.
"Shut your mouth" everybody else cries. "Let him tell her in his own words!"
The waitress had called Bob using her satellite phone, and it doesn't take long and Bob's Four Wheeler pulls up in front of the restaurant. He gets off and hesitantly makes his way towards our table. He kind of looks like I imagine Santa during summer: trimmed white beard and longish hair, pulled into a ponytail. As he gets closer I am surprised to notice that he's probably much younger.
"What's all this?" He goes. "I'm in the middle of loading them logs onto the trailer."
"She wants to know what happened to Tom." They all go simultaneously.
"Well, that's easy - I shot him. Y'all could've told her that."
My jaw drops, my eyes go wide, and everybody watches me.
The Sherrif pats my hand. "You probably wonder why Bob is walking around as a free man?"
"It was an accident" Bob explains.
Isn't that what they all say?
"How was I to know that it was him and his special friend sneaking through the forest in the middle of the night? Prior to this incident we had several reports of wolves approaching hikers as close as ten meters (33 feet), and farmers kept complaining about killed sheep and goats, therefore the government had approved the shooting request."
The helpful lady can't hold it back any longer: "You see, Bob is our Ranger / Hunter."
So Bob wanted to shoot the wolf. What does that have to do with Tom, I mean, Mr Parker?
"Cause Tom was the wolf!" the lady almost bursts from holding it back for so long.
I don't follow.
"Tom was a Furry!!"
"A person who likes to dress up as an animal. You know, some wear kangaroo costumes, or pretend to be a bear. Tom and his friend put on a wolf suit."
Oh my goodness. I can't even... My distant relative, whom I never met, got killed because the ranger mistook him for a wolf?
HOW ON EARTH? I mean, for starters, doesn't a wolf have four legs...?
"That's where his friend came in. The two guys wore one suit."
You've got to be kidding me. Wouldn't that have been the largest wolf on the planet?
"Look, it was dark, and I have never encountered a wolf before. I genuinly thought it was an animal. Who wouldn't? It was in the middle of the freakin' forest, and it looked super real, even the morning after. Ask the medical examiner, he took pictures..." Bob trails off.
Kurt the Sheriff pats my hand again. "Bob was cleared by the judge. It was an honest mistake, he feels terrible and resigned from his hunting duties. Just look at him, he's aged a decade since this happened."
That's what I though, and I had never met Bob before.
Wow. Hence the howling. So I guess the house is harmless?
What do you think? Am I good to move in?
Let me know below, and please, visit my fellow bloggers' posts. Happy Friday!
I've heard of people who dress up as animals. Guess they really need to give some thought to the where and the when. Great story, Tamara!ReplyDelete
Wow! I can't imagine staying in a house like that. No way, no how (could I send my husband instead)?ReplyDelete
Entertaining story, Tamara! And,the photos are beautiful. One question, what happened to the special friend? ☺ReplyDelete
I think I could stay in a house like that...
Wonderful story, Tamara. Didn't see that ending coming. Happy weekend to you.ReplyDelete
A bloody good taleReplyDelete
i might be okay. one howl though and I'm out the door.ReplyDelete