It was a small town that had seen little change in decades. Many retired people called Forked Creek their home. Stories had been written and rumors passed for over twenty years which tend to put a curse of sorts on the little town. Older people like me were more inclined to dismiss unsubstantiated talk and just move on with life. Things happen, people die but life continues.
For some strange reason the large two story colonial home that stood surrounded by tall oak trees caught my eye. It was the type of house I had always adored and hoped one day to live in. As I looked about town I noticed most of the houses had rooms for rent signs posted in the windows. I supposed that the older people might need help keeping the huge houses or simply need extra income.
Since my children had married and moved away I felt it was a good time for me to do some thing I had always wanted to do but never found the time. Perhaps I could find a quaint little place and begin the novel I had always wanted to write. It just might be that I could find a big colonial house with the big tall columns and a surrounding porch with a room for rent. This way I could get to live in a beautiful old home and not have to pay so much to do so. It was a good thought anyway.
I kept seeing the two story colonial home by the tall oaks in my mind. I just couldn’t shake it from my mind even though I really tried. So I decided to call the lady who was taking care of it and just see how many banks I would have to rob in order to buy it. I dialed the number and waited. At last someone answered the telephone. She was about as pleasant as a wart on a toads lip but she gave me the telephone number of the owner and his address. I dropped a letter into the mail the next day. Well all he could do was laugh at my offer and tell me NO!
I rented a room from a lady across the street from the two story home for a month. I figured I could stay longer if need be but that would give the owner of the two story home time to call me about my offer. There was something driving me to get this house. I couldn’t explain it but it was like I really needed to have this home to make my life complete.
I had walked down the street to a small coffee shop just browsing around the area enjoying the nice day. I sat down and ordered a drink. An old man kept looking at me as if I had a chicken sitting on my head. So I ask him if he would mind if I came and sat down beside of him. I wanted to ask some questions about the town. His face was as wrinkled as a prune but he was happy to answer my questions.
I immediately told him I was interested in the old two story house and asked him what he thought about it.
He was slow to answer; quite hesitant really. He tapped on the table with his fingernails then looked me straight in the eyes.
“Well it is a beautiful old house. It would be a wonderful place for someone who had plenty of money to polish it up and make it shine.” He winked. “There was some talk some years back about old man Rutlege the previous owner. It seems he was a scientist of sorts. Apparently he was into cross breeding, genetics or some strange work. Women folk around here found that quite despicable and before long old man Rutlege was pretty much an outsider. You see how powerful the woman’s tongue is?” He said jokingly.
“Well the house is just what I have always wanted. I have sent an offer to the owners. I just hope they give me an inch of hope. I consider myself a reasonable person and the house will need a great deal of fixing up. I’m not rich by any means so I guess if you see me still renting a room across the street you will know they were not interested in my offer.” I said as I finished up my coffee.
Two weeks passed and I finally got a call from the owner. The gentleman was very kind and accepted my offer quickly. I was so excited I really did not question his reasons. The papers were signed within the month and the old house was now MINE!!
I ordered furniture for the rooms I would be using, leaving the ones I didn’t need right away for later. Draperies were made, carpet ordered and new locks on every door. I felt like a princess in a new castle even if I only had five rooms furnished. The rest I could do one at a time. I checked out every room imagining in my mind just what I wanted it to look like.
The basement was a whole other story. It was dark, damp and had an unusual odor. The lights looked like those one might see in a hospital or laboratory somewhere. It was a bit eerie but I quickly dismissed it. My feet rushed up the wooden stairs back into the light and into my dream castle.
Night after night I kept hearing a strange noise coming from the basement. I would get up and go to the top of the stairs but it would be silent. This went on for weeks. Finally one night I picked up my pistol and marched down the stairs. The not knowing was more frightening than seeing something. As my feet landed on the concrete floor I turned on the light on the wall beside me. My eyes moved slowly all around the room. Room by room I inspected. Further and further into the basement I ventured. Then it happened!
Near the back wall in a dark corner were these huge eyes looking at me. A strange grunting sound almost muffled came forth. My legs went weak. What was this thing living in my basement? The stench burned my nose. I slowly walked over to the light cord hanging in the center of the room. It was the only room that did not have a switch on the wall. My fingers were sweating as I gripped the pistol tightly. I pulled the cord.
My eyes could not believe what they were seeing. My mind could not grasp this. Huddled in the corner was a goat with one eye in the middle of his head. He was so starved you could count his ribs. Next to him sat a boy with a huge head. His hair was long and stringy. He had no clothes at all. His arms were wrapped around the neck of the goat as if he were frightened of me. His teeth were deformed as were his limbs. I stood in silence trying to fathom the site my eyes were seeing. Who could have caused this and what was I to do? Who would ever believe me? Would they think I had something to do with this? My mind was whirling like a top.
“Please don’t hurt us. We will be good!” The boy finally whimpered.
Tears flooded my eyes spilling onto my shirt. My hands were trembling.
“My God in heaven have mercy on these huddled in my presence.” I whispered with stammering lips.
These two beings who had endured so much pain and abuse would never have to endure anymore. This was not life! This was evil created by the hand of man.
“God help us!” I cried.
Question: What do you think happened to the goat and the boy?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved