The Wind Blew, and the Old House Groaned, Part Three – A Murder
One week later, Mr. McCullers went on his murderous rampage. An inspector came by Harold’s house. “Well, it turns out that you were the last people to have ever spoken to them,” he said.
“That‘s not possible,” said Harold’s mother.
“Yes, and we have reason to believe that you were the last people to have ever entered their house, as well.”
“Oh, god, oh god, oh god,” she said as she sank to the couch.
“Was there anything strange about them?” He asked.
Harold’s mother paused for a moment and collected herself. “No, nothing strange, nothing out of the ordinary. They were always a little odd.”
“Oh, I don’t know. They just were. Everybody thought so.”
“Like who? Who is everybody?”
“Everybody, everybody, just everybody.”
“Okay,” he said and made a note in the notepad. “Did he say anything that made it seem like he might do something like this?”
“What did they want to talk to you about?”
“About how I’m raising my son.”
“Really? And why did they want to talk about that?”
“I don’t know, religious stuff, not having a father figure around for Harold.”
“Did you have a fight?”
“A fight, a disagreement.”
“Yes, no! Yes.”
“I have a note here…where is it, ah yes, here it is. You were screaming something about being left along and slammed the door.”
“Who told you that?”
“Never mind that, can you please just answer the question?”
“Look, I told them to mind their own business. Am I in some sort of trouble?”
“No, no, I’m just trying to get information, it’s my job. Now, look, I’m sorry, but I have to ask this. Did you have, um, relations with Mr. McCullers?”
“Oh god no!’
“Okay, okay. That’s it,” he said, made a note in his notepad, closed it and put it away in the inside pocket of his jacket. “You were lucky,” said the investigator, “You could have been in serious danger.”
That was six years ago. With no one to look after it the house stood empty and slowly deteriorated. For a year after Mr. McCullers killed his family, Harold had nightmares that he was in the bedroom with the twins when Mr. McCullers did it. Harold could see the blood dripping and splattered on the dolls and spreading on the bed sheets. He heard that you could still see the bloodstains even now. Though how anyone knew was a mystery since no one ever went in.
“Well,” said Danny, “what are you waiting for?”
The wind blew, and the old house groaned and churned, like the belly of some giant prehistoric animal. Harold gathered up his courage, turned the doorknob, opened the door, and stepped into the darkness.
more by SERGIO REMON ALVAREZ
Photograph by Mathieu Nicolet