this is a very, very old beginning to a story, i never got around to finish – it needs some work, but i still quite like it – especially at this time of year…

The house seemed quite empty. But he could not be sure until he had checked out every room. ‘It will be best, to start downstairs’, he said to himself. So he screwed up his courage and opened the front door. It was dark and smelled like old and dusty books. He listened intently, but couldn’t hear a thing. After some moments, he took a flashlight out of his bag and turned it on. The beam hit a long and narrow corridor, which opened up into a comfortable sized living room. As he went along the corridor towards the dust-covered fireplace, which could be discerned where the corridor opened into the living room, he noticed some dark and cobwebbed pictures along the wall. He jumped at a movement to his right, crashed into a tall grandfather’s clock and fell to the ground. The clock crashed to the floor next to him, making the unbelievable noise of a whole pack of wolves, howling to the moon. He was frozen for fear. Whatever was in the house would now be aware of his presence. Of course he had been fooled by a mirror. If he hadn’t been so frightened, he would have laughed at himself. Ever since he could read, he had read adventures, mysteries and horrors that happened to people in books. He had been fascinated by fantastic and unrealistic things and that fascination had never left him, even though he now was a middle aged attorney, whose hair started to get grey and fall out in the most inconvenient places. That was probably the reason why he had bought this old country house, after having seen it during his annual summer vacation, which led him and his wife to a different part of the country each year. According to the broker, it had been empty for ages. The village people, he had talked to, could not remember that somebody had ever actually lived there. But strange things seemed to happen around it.

The house looked always well kept and so did the large gardens around. He had not had a look at the vegetable patches. It had been too dark indeed, but he had heard from the innkeeper down in the village, that at this time of the year it was usually full of the largest pumpkins for miles around. They would grow there as well as anything else and then mysteriously vanish, just as well as all the other vegetables, herbs, fungi and fruit that grew in the vast gardens. At first he had not paid attention to the stories, but than his old infatuation with mysteries had crept upon him and he had stayed far longer with the innkeeper than he had planned. Now it was already dark, but he had to inspect the house today because he would have to leave early the next morning. After all these stories of lighted fires on dark winter nights, strange noises coming from the basement and of course the vanishing harvest, he had been a little uneasy. But he quieted himself with the calm reasoning of someone who had practiced law every single day for the last 25 years. It must have been vagabonds, who had camped out in the house during the winter and who were glad to find the food. As to the size of the pumpkins, well, he knew that village people had to make up their nice oversized stories in order to keep up the image of amusing themselves and the occasional traveller, who found his way into this distant valley.

Advertisements