And I’ve already broken my own rule by not posting yesterday, but in my defense, I was not home literally all day. But here is the second post of my Halloween Blog Fest. It is a continuation of the story I posted on Saturday. Enjoy!
The inside of the house wasn’t much better than the outside. Dessa and Trudy had to watch their steps because there were several holes in the floor leading to the stairs. Dessa wanted to sleep upstairs in the bedroom where the Roseberry family had been murdered. Trudy had turned into a child the moment they entered the house, whining and begging Dessa to change her mind and have them stay in her grandmother’s house.
“Stop being such a baby.” Dessa ordered. “We will be fine. You can see the house from the upstairs bedroom window. If we need help we can call the house. I brought my cell phone.”
“What happens if the ghosts interfere with the signal and we can’t get a hold of anyone?” Trudy was no more than two steps behind Dessa at all times. When Dessa stopped to avoid a hole in the floor, Trudy ran into her from behind causing the other girl to shriek.
“Trudy!” Dessa yelled. “Get it together! Are you fifteen or five? Jeez, we will be fine, but I swear if you cause me to get hurt in this rickety old house, I will clobber you. Got it?”
“Now, we’re going to inch our way up these stairs, I don’t know how reliable they are.”
“Dess, what’s that?” Trudy’s voice quivered.
What now? Dessa thought. “What is what?”
Trudy pointed a shaky finger at the faded yellow police tape which was hanging from the door handle of an upstairs bedroom.
No one had been in the house to clean the crime scene tape. What else hadn’t they cleaned?
“You don’t think there’s…blood in there do you?” Trudy asked.
“I doubt it. If they didn’t clean it, I doubt it lasted that long. The murders happened in like the 1970s.”
Dessa lightly stepped on the stairs and the girls slowly made their way up with the duffle bags on their backs. About halfway up, they got the idea to toss their bags the rest of the way so the upper stairs would support their weight. When they got to the top of the stairs, their blood froze. Trudy’s fear had come true. There was a bloody, smudged fingerprint on the doorknob to the bed room.
The girls stood motionless as they stared at it. Dessa could feel Trudy tremble beside her.
“This is exactly what we want, Trudy.” Dess proclaimed.
“How do you figure that?” Trudy was beside herself with emotion and her face had gone pale. “No one ever cleaned up from a 1970s murder and you still want to stay here tonight?”
“Of course! We’re bound to catch something on my voice recorder tonight. Now, let’s get settled in and explore the house.”
Trudy may have been reluctant but eventually she accepted that she was stuck in the house for the night and followed Dessa’s lead to unpack their bags and begin searching through the house for clues about the people who died in the house. They decided to start downstairs in the living room and kitchen.
“Whose clothes are these?” Trudy asked as she picked a pair of denim overalls out of an open box.
“Those were PopPop’s. Grandma brought most of his clothes over here so she would have more space to go through and decide what to give away and what to give to family. I think she plans on giving all the clothes to Goodwill or something.”
“This is the only open box, you think someone has been snooping around?” Trudy placed the box on the kitchen counter to go through it.
“Nah, Grandma had to come over here to pick out the clothes he’d be buried in. She probably just didn’t tape the box back up. Those overalls you’re holding, and the red flannel shirt under it, are what he died in.”
Trudy jerked away from the box as if it had bit her. “That’s creepy.”
As Trudy was putting the box back on the floor in the pile, the girls heard the sound of footsteps upstairs. Dessa froze and looked in the direction the steps were heading…toward the top of the steps. She leaned over the pile of boxes and craned her neck to look up the stairs. There was no one there.
“Did you hear that?” Trudy asked, looking out the window she was standing next to.
“Yes I heard it.” Dessa replied irritably. “That’s why I looked up the stairs.”
“No, there’s someone on the front porch.”
“There is no one on the front porch.”
“Yes, there is.” Trudy insisted. “I heard the boards creak out there and I think I see someone standing at the door.”
Dessa moved toward the door and unlatched the lock.
“Don’t open it!” Trudy pleaded, but it was too late.
Dessa opened the door. There was no one there.
Dessa and Trudy ran outside to find whoever they thought had been on the porch but no one was there. From outside on the porch they heard a crash come from inside the kitchen, where they had just been standing.
Where the perfect counter had been, untouched for decades and where Trudy had just placed the box of clothes moments before, there was a gaping hole in the countertop. It had been smashed with a heavy cinder block with such force that the block had fallen straight through to the floor. One of the shelves inside the cabinet had fallen with the force and there was a solitary photograph that had slid down to meet the block.
Dessa looked around the kitchen but of course, no one was there.
“Whatever is in this house doesn’t want us here.” Trudy whispered.
Dessa ignored her friend and reached inside for the picture. Whatever, or whoever, had smashed the cinder block through the counter obviously wanted their attention and the only thing they could see inside was the photograph.
The back of the photo bared a handwritten inscription that said, “Bud’s birthday, 1956”.
The photo was of a young woman holding a baby, a child who looked to be no older than six or seven, and the man who was Bud Roseberry.
Dessa felt her blood stand still.
“Is that Bud Roseberry?” Trudy’s voice was barely audible. “He looks like-”
Dessa did not want to say it out loud because then it would be true. But even she could not deny her own eyes. “That’s my grandfather.”
[To be continued…]