The house windows held enough grime to make peering through them quite a chore. Before I could rub myself a clean spot, True was turning the front door knob. I pretty much stuck to his heels from then on. The house smelled bad, rotten and decaying like punky old wood you’d find in the forest. Inside it also reeked, but a different stench, more like urine and old wine.
The interior of the house was not what I’d expected. Instead of emptiness and desolation, it was completely furnished with old-fashioned flowery furniture. It looked as though the folks who’d lived there had gone out to tend the farm one day and never came back. Dirty dishes still littered the kitchen table. Old food on them would have long ago been devoured by rats, mice, and insects. Mouse droppings littered the floors and open surfaces. Our shoes crunched over the debris as we walked about. Cobwebs shrouded the rooms with an eerie filtered light.
“Bernie, look, it’s like I said before – what happened to the people who lived here?”
I could only shrug. Who knew?
“Something must have happened, they’ve been gone for a very long time. Should we check the other rooms in case they just up and died here?”
I nodded and we carefully creaked our way through the old farmhouse looking for clues to its abandonment. I breathed a calmer sigh when no bodies or skeletons turned up. All of the bedrooms were empty with neatly made beds – moth-eaten and grimy now – but in their day they had probably been neat. Old homemade quilts and braided rag rugs gave me an inkling of the way homes may have looked about twenty to thirty years ago. The room reminded me of old photos that my mother had, photos of my grandmother’s house when she had been a girl.
Continued in the next post
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