Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Twenty-Two

Another week, another chapter of my blog fiction...

Chapter Twenty-Two

by John L. Harmon

    “I know Old Man Stickler came from a wealthy background,” Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse muses, as he peers through the massive gate, “but I’ve always imagined him living in a crazy person’s shack.”

    “He can definitely afford to be crazy,” Dr. Christine Abernathy opinions with just the right touch of levity.

    Beyond the tall, ominous, rusted metal gate stands a somewhat rundown home that still puts all other homes in Sturgeons to shame.  Some may call it a large house.  Some may call it a mansion.  Some may even call it a fortress.  No matter what the accurate description is, the structure remains impressive.

    Made of red brick, it towers at four floors high.  On areas doused with heavy sunlight, for there are no trees in close proximity to the home, vines creep unadulterated up the bricks.  On generally shaded sides moss has struck a homestead claim.  Solid bars frame every window and a few of the multitude of windows have plywood for glass.  To top it all off, the roof has seen better days and the remnant of a massive chimney peers out of one side.

    “We’ve wasted enough time,” Sheriff Benjamin Straker announces, moving to the front and pushing on the gate.

    The heavy rusted metal parts in two, splitting the large ‘S’ down the middle.  Ben slips inside and faces the others.  Dr. Samuel Dwyer enters next, surprised how easily the gate opened.

    “It appeared rusted shut.”

    “This gate is used more often than it looks,” Ben suggests and then points at a tire track.  “See.”

    “Are we really going to just blunder into who knows what?” Clyde asks, as he hesitantly enters.

    “This is where the last energy reading occurred and we all have a need to investigate,” Christine responds, as she joins the others.

    “Dr. Abernathy is right, Clyde, and there isn’t time to strategize.”  With that, Ben adjusts the beige hat of Lawrence and heads for the Stickler Family home.  The others follow close behind.

    Between the gate and the front door are a few unkempt shrubs and sporadic areas of a forgotten gravel drive.  Nothing bizarre or unusual is seen until Ben notices the moving van parked way off to the side.  It is a peculiar sight and one that fills him with nameless dread.  Before he can think too much about it, they reach the front door, and it is slowly opening.

    An older gentleman, with a shock of pepper hair, steps out, dressed in a brown pinch-back suit.  His voice is deep and deliberate, “Lawrence said there would be others, but I am afraid you are too late.”
Click CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out,

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