The Christmas Tour

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Oh sister, here they come again!

Oh, oh how do I look? Are they coming up the walk this time?

No one is around.  Get inside fast.

Yes, fine Marie, fine as always.  Yes, here they are, walking up the stairs, they are very quiet mind you.

Oh, get the door, oh wait, they have it.

Welcome to our home, please, shut the door, yes, it is very blustery outside.

This place is a mess!

So dark.  Wow.  How long has it been shut up?

Decades. The most haunted house in Boston.

So you keep saying.

My name is Marie and this is my brother Jacob.  Yes, welcome to our house.  We are so happy you finally decided to come in.  We saw you looking from the street the other day.  We have so few visitors given the weather, please let us show you around.

We apologize for the darkness.  Power is out.  Oh, look Marie, they brought their own torches, so well planned young people!

Let’s go this way.

Okay but stay with me. Don’t wander off and leave me in here.

Why would I do that and let him find you?

Stop it Tom. I’ll leave right now.

Sorry.  C’mon.

Oh yes, very good, very well thought out, I would have never.

Neither I sister. Please feel free to wander, oh, yes, please go ahead, please do. Yes, this is the family room or as you may call it the living room.

Look at the furniture.  It’s just piles of rotten fabric and wood.

Smells like animals have been living in here.

Animals and probably crack addicts.

No, nobody would live in this house.

So you keep saying.

Many a night we spent entertaining others with mama and papa.  She had a grand piano right there.  She would play for hours.

And the tree went right there.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see one again like we used to have?

What is that?

An old tree in a stand, all the needles and balls have fallen off.  Wow.

It’s like an Edward Gorey drawing.

Tall, oh so tall and to the ceiling and a ladder needed to put the star on.

And we tried so hard to not break one of mother’s precious glass balls.

Yes. That was the best plan.

Look over here through the arch.  It’s some kind of dining room with chairs around an old fireplace.

Look at all the rotten books.  They would have been worth money too.  Most of them are really old.

This is creeping me out Tom. I swear it’s getting darker.

Well, yeah, farther from the streetlights.

Oh and so much comes in through the wooden slats and those rotten drapes.

Oh and here is the family room, or the sitting room if you will. A desk for writing, shelves for books, cabinets for whatever your heart desires.

I bet this is where they hooked up.

Who.

You know.

And there is of course the dining room.  Oh the meals we would have. So many people.  With the leaves, that table say all of the extended family.

And then some.

Like when Margaret came with her family.

Enough Marie.

Mister Browning.

Enough Marie. He’ll hear.

Hey, watch the hole in the floor.

Woah, this place is a death trap.

You have no idea.

I will leave Tom.

Sorry, c’mon.  Hold my hand.

Oh, you’ve moved on, sorry.  Yes, the kitchen, in need of some cleaning and the pantry as well. A dumb-waiter that leads to the upper bedroom floor. Exit to the back gardens, again in need of cleaning and weeding. Wait, no, NO you need not go into the basement.

Ah the basement.  Where they found him.

Both of them. So frigging weird.

Here help me with the door.  Its stuck.

Jacob.

No, please, no, NO!  It is unsafe!  The stairs are rotting and the light is out.

I got it open a crack but what a stench.

Oh, shut it Tom.

Ow, crap!  My fingers! Must be some window open down there or something causing a cross breeze.

Are you okay? That wind, oh god it made me gag!

Yeah, just bruised knuckles. Hey, let’s leave this last, let’s go upstairs where all the action took place.

You are so morbid Tom. Okay.

Yes, it is very windy and oh the door is stuck yes.  Please. Yes, I agree.  Onward and of course upward.

Marie, follow them please, I shall re-secure the door.  Father will not be pleased.

Of course Jacob.  What time is it?

Near three-quarters past eleven in the evening.

And it is?

Yes. Almost.

I knew that did I?

Yes. Follow them

These stairs, what a mess.  Watch your step.

Hold my hand Tom. Cripes.  What is that at the top of the landing?

A family painting but, holy crap.  The mother’s face.

Ripped out.

Help me get my headlamp out of my backpack.

What else you have in there Shelly?

Oh, nothing.  Nothing you’ll see till we get out of this place.

Meow.  Here you go,

Finally.  I can see on my own now.

Oh wait up, wait up! It’s good you have your electric torches.  Wait, Jacob are you all right?

Yes.  I’ll be there soon!

Oh, be careful on the stairs, the carpet tacks have popped out.  There are three bedrooms and the servant’s quarters. This was my room, thus the frill.  No, the wardrobes have been, oh.  I see.

This was the daughter’s room.  It looks like it hasn’t aged.

Look in the wardrobe. All these clothes look like new!

Wow. This, is, wrong. So wrong.

That is odd.  I swear they were empty. Oh the dust.  Here, over here, this is Jacob’s room.

Lets, ah, check the next one out.  The brother’s room. Holy crap.  Same thing.

Only a little dust, bed looks like it was made yesterday.

Is that a glass of water?

It can’t be.  Someone else must be sleeping in here.  The roof doesn’t look like it’s leaking and what would the odds be.

A boy room of course, all pennants and rugby balls.  Neither of us have slept in those beds since the night of the party when we returned home from school for Christmas. When father found mother with the..

Shelly, hold up!

Tom, Tom!  In here!  Look at the master bedroom!  It’s so perfectly preserved!

Okay, hold on.  Wow.  This is wrong. I’m taking photos of this.

Wait, Tom, what is that noise?

What? The Wind?

But never mind, please yes, that is the master bedroom. Oh my.

It seems to be coming from that little door in the hallway.

That’s the old servant’s quarters.

Oh.

That’s where he found them.

We should go.

No, hear? It stopped. Just the wind, probably blowing through the crack of that door.  It’s more of a hatch than a door. Doesn’t even fit the frame.

You know what that is.

Oh, yes. You must leave now, please thank you for visiting, if you wish to come back please do at a later, time, oh no, don’t go in there, that is nothing. JACOB!

No you must not enter that room.  I am sorry it is off-limits.  Marie! Help please!

Help me Shelly.

We should go.

Come On Shel!  It’ll be cool.  Nobody else has been here in decades!

And there is a good reason, AS YOU KEEP TELLING ME!

No, please leave now!

You must not, damnation!

Damn, its stuck too. Completely stuck.  The brickwork seems to have fallen and jammed the door.

Good.

That is where…

…it happened.

That is where she died.

And we found her.

This is where she wails night and day.

You know what happened right?

The father found the mother on Christmas eve in that room with another guest, the father of Jacob’s girlfriend.  There was a fight and she died.

The guest, a local merchant, pulled a penknife out of his pocket and in the scuffle that she tried to break up, she was stabbed or slashed in the side of the neck.  She dropped to the floor and her husband slammed the other man’s head against the wall.  He dragged the unconscious man away, who was never found mind you, not knowing his wife was bleeding out on the floor.

That’s horrible.

He had a history of a temper with others but never her. She however was known around town to have many, relations when he was away.

What happened to the other man?

Nobody knows.

And that why we both.

Yes.  We had to.  We had to help father.

She was.

Is.

Was.

Was not kind to him.

They have gone Jacob.

No, they are still here. I sense them.  So does he.

Oh, Jacob.  I hear the door.

The basement!

Father!

Run.

The door is open, oh no.

The door is open!  Shh, there is a light down there. Look.

Are you down here?  You must leave, I insist!

Father? Father are you?

I am here Jacob.  I am here Marie.

It’s coming from behind that shelf. Look.

It’s a door.  Help me.  Help me move it.

Father where are they?

Here, the door, I can see inside. It’s a man.  He is hunched over, crying.

In the room, with the butcher.

Is he awake as well?

Sir, sir, are you okay?  Can we help you?

He is.

Is he mad.

Shelly, you have some food. Bring it here.

But it was for later.

Shelly, listen, church bells.  It is Christmas day.  He can have what we…

The door Tom! The door!

He is never not mad child.

Is mother?

I pay no heed to your mother, the harlot.

Is she in there as well?

She may be. I hope so.  I thought I heard her and woke.

Is she mad too?

No, she is only ever sad.

Are you?

I am happy dear.  Happy we have found them.

And they? The visitors?

Sound like they have met the butcher. He sounds very hungry.

And they?

Have helped us find him. Now to finish what we started.

Merry Christmas Father.

Merry Christmas Children.

 

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With my telephone I write this…

… because I am in bed and completely meant to post something earlier then got sidetracked.

(Why did I turn the clothes dryer on…)

Winter has sprung upon us like a feisty little snow leopard.  I could see all the perennials laying on the wood mulch like washed up jellyfish just two days ago then spleacchh (that’s the sound of a lot of snow landing all at once) all this damn snow landed all at once. Now it’s frigging Hoth outside.

I saw a rabbit. It was huge. Huuuge. It looked angry. Probably because my cats killed a lot of it’s babies this year.  For the briefest of moments I reverted into neanderthal moi and pondered killing it myself and cooking it  with a little butternut squash and some potaties. (Insert disgusting ironic sloppy wet sounds of lip smacking) then I remembered I didn’t like eating rabbits. Also my son again broke his braces so we were all eating soft old people food tonight.

Rabbits are soft I have learned.

(Jesus I can hear it. Thunk thunk thunk thunk THUMP (REPEAT AD NAUSEUM).. the dryer I mean. Not a large frost giant storming around (pun intended) outside. Though I’d not be surprised. Stupid winter.

And Alan Thicke just died. Playing hockey apparently.  Now I get to tell naive Americans that this is how we all doe in Canada.  Poor bastard went to his grave knowing he helped give that numbnuts TV son of his that became a nut job rapture weirdo a start…

(I’m seriously going to have to turn that dryer off till morning…)

And it’s winter. And cold. And I put insulating plastic on almost all the windows in the house but not the one above my head of course.

(It’s making a new noise now. Washing and drying two feather duvets at once is  a Bad Idea…)

So that’s out really. No complaining.  No promoting books. No.. 

…seriously what the hell? It just beeped to signal that it’s done drying. No chance. I’m not getting out of bed to check. . Bastard dryer.

.. no political rants. Just me being cold and everyone in the house asleep.

Need time. 

1:50 am. Clothes definitely not dry. All clumped up into a ball. Ugh. Turn them back on. Sleep
2:15 am. Stupid dryer. Thump thump thump.