Blessed Wednesday of Nothingville

happy-wednesday

Miss Nose and I want to wish you a happy Wednesday. The creepy pasta we are working on for October’s Halloween time is about 1800’s Fayette where we have the ghost town and Garden Michigan. We had some savory people then and I am just gonna make up names but use the true tale. I hope you will all enjoy it.

I am still working on my #shapingyourstory of the Stalking of Katie. I hope to have that ready for Halloween time as well. I hope you will all enjoy it. I am hoping to have all the stories ready for you for this brand new month.

I pray your blessings are many!

Nancy

 

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The Valentine’s Day Myth.

The woman staring back at me was not who I expected to see.  I was out on a dinner date when I got called back to the shop. There was a dame there needing someone to take a report. I had to leave my date and rush back to an office that could have easily taken care of business itself without me. Such luck I had, but then I guess that is why I am the leader of our major crimes unit.  My date was not very pleased at all.

“You are always called away on a call.” She said.

“You never spend any time with me.” She yelled.

“It is Valentine’s Day and you can’t even sit through an entire meal.” She screamed to the whole place with those crocodile tears coming down.

Sure make me look like a bad guy and make me feel like a heel. What can I say about dames? They never get the job. They expect roses and you home but forget that money comes from hard work.

The story she was telling me sound like an idiot put it out in some sci-fi magazine. Who would believe this? What was this all about anyway?

“Look.” She says. “I am telling you the truth. It really happened this way.”

“Sure. I believe you.” I said to her.

She looked at me with her wide eyes and then shook her head.

“You don’t believe me. The creature is there. It does exist!”

“Ma’am,” I said still wondering how true this is, “you are talking about a mythical creature that may or may not have really existed. How did you know to look there?”

“I didn’t. I was just looking at my old school and there it was!”

Well who could believe someone with this tale on Valentine’s Day when they could be out having a great meal with a wonderful dame?

Her tale was fanciful. “Now come on” you have to think to yourself without saying it out loud.

The dame left. I walked over to Johnson.

“Come on Johnson. We have to investigate.” I told him and rolled my eyes at the same time.


We walked out and grabbed the nearest squad car. We headed South on Pennsylvania Boulevard.  First witness given to us by the dame was Drake of Drake’s Taxi Cab Service. The dame was in his cab when they both discovered it. Drake has been nothing but trouble since the day he came into this world. He is considered my oldest enemy on this planet.  We have been in many scuffles since we were kids.  He spent more time in the principal’s office than anyone I ever knew. He was thrown in the cage when we were teens for knifing one of our classmates.  He spent fifteen years in the cage. When he got out he opened a taxi service.

Johnson and I pulled up to Drake’s. It looks like a shack since he never repairs the place. Made out of wood with a metal roof, it looks like something our ancestors would have huddled in during a major storm. I cocked my head a bit to get a better look at all the cars parked inside.

Then I saw Drake.  He looked more ragged than when we were young. He has one eye now that looks permanently shut with a huge scar running right down the middle of it.

“What the feather are you doing here?” he screamed as he came flying down the path from the office.

“I am the Detective in charge.” I sourly told him. “Some dame came to the office tonight with some fanciful story. None of which I believe. She even gave me your name. She says you witnessed it as well.”

Drake’s eye got very wide.

“I did.” He said softly. “But don’t say a word. Other will think I have gone kookoo.  I don’t need anyone thinking I need therapy or anything like that. I would much rather not report this. I don’t know why she feels like she has to but I think it is something better left unsaid.”

He looked ashamed of what he saw. He looked frightened as if he didn’t really see it or he was on drugs when he saw it. I didn’t know which.  I didn’t even know if I should believe him.

Johnson looked at him with scrutiny. He was cocking his head left and right like no one’s business.

“Where did you see it?” Johnson asked Drake quizzically.

“By our old high school near the bleachers, you know in the football field!”

“Why were you there?”

“The dame wanted me to take her by there. She said she used to live in this city and went to school at that very high school.  She wanted to take a walk down memory lane.”

Drake looked disgusted at this statement he made. I could fully understand since I know his past. I know why that place haunts him. He was shaking his head all over the place. We could see it in his face. He didn’t like this image at all and since the image is in a place where he already has horrible memories, well, you can imagine what he is feeling.


Johnson and I took off to the high school.  We needed to know if what these two saw was true.  Drake’s office is only five miles from the high school. It took us less than five minutes to get there.  Since the high school sits on what is the equivalent of two city blocks, we decided to take the spot light out for a test run and check out the whole area. Behind the high school is the football field with the bleachers Drake said he saw the creature at.

Johnson and I parked the squad in section F of the high school. This lot is between the high school and the field. We took out our flashlights and headed to the field to search the bleachers.  Johnson and I have two people telling us they have seen this creature.

“You know, “Johnson started pondering, “They could be making this up and in cahoots with one another to send us on wild goose chase.”

“It has crossed my mind. Let’s keep looking.”

After thirty minutes of looking everywhere, we looked under the Southern bleachers. That is when we found it and radioed in for back up to take the mobile cage with them. The creature looked frightened and surprised.

We couldn’t believe it. As far as we knew, they were a myth. A creature of fairy tales used to scare children. No one had ever seen one or knew it really existed until now. Johnson and I were stunned. There standing before us was a human. Something we had only heard of in fairy tales.  As it stood there shaking the creature said with aghast.

“I- I- I- I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! GIANT CHICKENS!”

Johnson and I just stood there waiting for back up, examining the human and taking photos of it with our phones. Once backup arrived we loaded the human into the mobile cage.

“No one is ever going to believe this one.” Carlson threw out there.

“I have forensic photos of it for the report.” Johnson told Carlson.

The Chicken Patrol came from Washington to gather the human for study.  They are interrogating the creature to see if others exist. They took copies of our reports and told us not to discuss this with anyone. It looks like a major cover up on Washington’s part. We still have proof with my report. Which I will conclude this way:

I guess humans exist after all.

Lt. Harold Crow

Badge number 125847

Stolen

Our story starts out like any other. We were having a great day walking along the beach in the warm summer weather. We were having such a great time laughing and running on the sand. We took breaks to swim in the slightly cold water of Lake Michigan.  We even chased down the ice cream truck for a snack. We stopped and talked to some boys in our class. We played some beach ball with them for a while. The day is such an enjoyable day. Filled with sunshine and love of life, nothing like what happens next. What happens next ruins the whole memory of that day!

As Wanda and I got out of the water we saw him. Oh how gorgeous of a man he is. What a handsome man. We were both drooling over him. Now thinking back, I should have seen it there in his eyes. I should have known how evil this man was with that smile that at the time I thought was the sweetest.  He looked like a movie star standing there on the sand looking out into the water.

We walked out of the water talking to each other.

“Joyce. Look at his blonde hair.”

“Oh I know. Look at those blue eyes.”

At that time, I shivered. I thought it was from anticipation of seeing a living god in front of me, now I wonder if it was because I really knew by looking at those eyes.

“Hello ladies.” He shot us a brilliant smile. “How are you today?”

We melted. Then he asks, “Would you like to join me for a bite to eat?”

Wanda of course jumped right in with, “Oh hell yes.”

It was like a spell was placed on us the moment we laid eyes on him. It was fate. It was something you just couldn’t change even if you wanted to. It was meant to be and meant to happen.  I couldn’t stop it. It is like a dream where you keep on falling but you never reach the bottom.  He stayed with us on the beach for about an hour or so until we all decided to leave out of hunger. The endless talking we did but then as I recall, he didn’t talk much. Wanda and I did the talking as I think back about it. We went for dinner at a local spot Wanda and I loved.  I had a split second thought when I went to the bathroom about running out of there, but I couldn’t leave Wanda. I just chalked it up to nerves. I mean, how often are you going to get a chance to eat dinner with some fabulous looking man? I kicked that nagging thought to the side and walked back out to the table.

After we had dinner, we went riding in his car. That is when the horror began. He stopped at a store. We thought just to purchase something, but it turns out he decided to rob the place. He took several items. He gave me a brilliant ruby and diamond ring and Wanda got an emerald and diamond ring. We were ecstatic.  We were giggling like school girls thinking how lucky we were to have this guy buy us such expensive rings. I loved the way my ring looked in the street lights as we were driving down the road.  I even kissed it. It was the first item I ever got from someone who wasn’t a relative. My thought was that he must really like me or love me even.  I started to daydream even about a wedding between the two of us.

Little did we know the shop owner lost his life and the rings we are wearing is blood money.  We had no idea he even robbed the place nor that our lives were next on the line. But something kept nudging me. Something down deep inside knew. I had thought for a moment to leave the car while he was in the shop. I thought about asking Wanda if she just wanted to walk away but I could tell she didn’t. She was enjoying herself and smiling like I have never seen her smile in all our years together.

He took us out to his cabin. What an amazingly beautiful cabin it is. The moment I stepped out of the car it felt like home. It was so peaceful. I looked up at the night sky seeing all the stars blinking down at me. The fireplace was the best feature but now even that seems like a faint nightmare one is trying to make into a dream. He gave Wanda and I a drink. Little did either of us know he laced it with something. It made me sick. I couldn’t keep my head up. I was so dizzy and my head was spinning all around. I heard Wanda scream but it seems so faint and distant now. It was like I was in a dream state dancing in a circle. I should have never left with that man, ever.

I passed out without knowing what he did to Wanda.  When I finally woke up, I was in the cellar of his cabin. Not a great place to be when spiders are you worst enemy. It was filled with webs and all these eyes looking back at me. I thought I could even see them drool in their excitement for fresh food. I screamed til I was hoarse, but no one came to rescue me. I thought I was going to be spider food since they were closing in on me building their webs right around my body until a hand reached down and pulled me by my hair up to the surface. I started screaming. He took out a knife and cut out my tongue. That is when my nightmare really began. He took me to his bedroom, tied me to the bed, cut off my clothes, and then started his torture on me. He first used a belt to make open wounds. I thought he was done when he left the bedroom but he came back with something in a glass jar. It was lemon juice and salt. I screamed as much as I could but it is harder when you don’t have a tongue. The more I screamed the more he smiled. He just loves watching me in pain. I finally passed out. When I woke up again, I saw him sitting in a chair smoking a cigarette.

“Finally,” he said to me, “thought you were never going to wake back up.”

This time he had a whip. That really stung.  The blood came rolling off my thigh.  He severed my left breast right in two with that whip. I screamed as much as I could. The pain. The lashes. What was I going to do? Then I passed out.

I have no clue how I managed to get here. I am still waiting for someone to tell me where Wanda is, but no one seems to listen. Maybe it is because I don’t have a tongue? Maybe they can’t make out what I am saying. I wish I could find Wanda. I need my best friend right now. I need her to tell me everything is going to be okay.

I walked up to several of the police people but they just act like I don’t exist.  I just wish someone would look at me and hear my story. I wish they would tell me what happened to Wanda. I haven’t seen her since we were both drinking that seemingly innocent drink.  I wish I could see her and know everything is going to be alright. She is my rock. She is my best friend. She is all I have in this world.

“WHERE IS WANDA!?”

A small pause then I screamed one more time with everything I have.

“WHERE THE HELL IS WANDA!?”

No answer. No one even turns around to look at me. What the hell is going on here? Why won’t these people acknowledge me? Why won’t one of them answer the most simplest question? Where is Wanda? Why isn’t she here next to me? I just don’t understand these fools. What the hell is wrong with them that they won’t answer me?

Standing here all you see is red and blue lights creating a purple hue. People are talking to one another. They are writing down stuff. They are drawing pictures and taking pictures with cameras.  They have quite an area around the house taped off with yellow plastic tape. The place seems so chaotic where at one time it seemed so peaceful.  I just want to find Wanda. I just need to find her. I know she is here somewhere. I just don’t know why they won’t tell me where she is at when I ask them. I just stand here watching them take out body bag after body bag and they just keep ignoring me.

The Tin Box and Lois

I set out on my morning journey looking for antiques at various estate sales. Once a person dies you find the greatest of treasures when the family finally decides to sell off what they no longer want. While looking at one estate sale, I found a little tin box with a bird on it. I have never seen one like it before. Nothing was stamped on it like other tin boxes that say container made in Holland or made in China. It was made out of a metal I don’t recognize and looks handmade. It has what appears to be a silver lining all around the box and the detail of the artful top with the bird and tree branch made it seem so inviting. I couldn’t believe it. I was drawn to it. It was almost as if it was calling me. Like it was saying my name over and over. I put it down several times, but I kept going back to it. They only wanted fifty cents for the box so I took it. I brought it back to my shop. My shop is in the country off of Church Street here in beautiful Perkins Michigan. I bought it at an estate sale as well. 300 hundred acres of land with an old farmhouse that the people here say belonged to the local witch. I paid fifty thousand dollars for it because it was considered haunted. I live here with my cockatoo, Charlie. Not sure if it is a he or a she so I named the bird Charlie which is interchangeable. It came with a couple of cats. One is pure black and the other is a snowshoe siamese. They live in the barn. I gave them names but sometimes they just ignore me when I call.

But I digress, back to the box. I brought it home to my Witches Estate. I named it that and got one of the neighbors to make one of those old fence type names to go above the wrought iron gates I bought at another estate sale. Might as well go along with the urban legend we have here. Makes an excellent business name as well for antiquity sales. As I came down the winding road, I stopped at the mail box by my iron gates. Yes, it is a fish box. I thought it was interesting and bought it at yet another estate sale. I pulled out my package with my letters. The letters are mainly bills but the package was my business cards. I had to order more. When you are in the business of antiques, you need to have cards to give to anyone who may be thinking about selling something or buying something. I opened them before opening my gates to double check the spelling. Lois Sprague it says. Witches Estate. Church Street. Perkins, Michigan. Antiques Dealer. All seems kosher including my phone number of 906-786-7423. I set them on the passenger seat and get out of the car. I open my iron gates, get back into the car and drive the acre down driveway to the old witch’s farmhouse. A beautiful Victorian house with two pillars. The rounded pillars go all the way to the attic and there they have beautiful stain glass windows. I made the attic my office because the stain glass makes such beautiful color patterns on the floor during the day. Even when the moon shines it makes those same patterns. When I turned off the car, I got out and went to the trunk. I needed to get the bigger items out of there and into the barn. The barn was the shop. The two cats live in the barn, but no one who visits the shop seems to mind the cats being there. The barn makes an excellent store and I can sit up in the loft area watching everything from above. I made the loft my office for the store. I bring people up there for appraisals and consignments as well as to pay for their purchases. The loft actually wraps around the whole barn and when I come out to it, it is usually where I find the cats.

“Hey.” Said Veronica she is my assistant who takes care of Witches Estate while I am busy. “A man came in today and left an old roller desk. Said it was his great granddad’s and asked if you could appraise it for insurance.”

“Of course I can. Did he leave his information?”

“Yes, I got it all. His name is Leonard Baum. He lives in Rock. I got his address and phone number. He is single and in his forties.”

“Ronnie!” I screamed.

“What?! He is gorgeous!”

“UGH!” I grunted and ran out as Ronnie said, “You need someone since you divorced Michael!” I walked briskly to my car to grab the old tin container.

I took the old tin container up to my attic office. It was the only piece coming into the house with me today. I felt so compelled to take it into the house. I took off my coat and placed it on the old coat rack I bought from an estate sale of an old physician. I walked over to Charlie’s cage and grabbed him out.

“How you doing, Charlie?” I asked him.

“Charlie fine. How are you?” he repeated several times to which I had to answer, “I am fine, Charlie. How are you?”

I took him up to the attic and placed him on his perch. He stays there for a little while til he wants attention which is usually when I am working.

“How about chili tonight, Charlie?” I asked him.

“Charlie yum chili.” he said over and over again.

“Ok. Then I guess we are going downstairs to make some.”

I grabbed Charlie and took him downstairs to the kitchen and started to make my grandmom’s famous chili. It has noodles in it. It is really good on the crispy fall days like today where it has been raining on and off. I took some up to the attic when it was done with a bowl for Charlie including his crackers. I love to watch him eat it. He throws the crackers into the bowl and then sticks his beak in it.

I started in with an online search concerning the roll top desk. I went and retrieved some of my books on antiques to help get an accurate appraisal for Mr. Baum. I wanted to be prepared before I called him on it. I had Ronnie take photos of the desk as well so I could see every characteristic the desk had. I opened the my messenger on my computer as well as my social sites. The lights dimmed. I was used to this. The old house has its quirks. Then I heard the ding of my messenger go off. I had a message. I opened the chat box to read it. It was from someone calling himself or herself “Trapped in the Box”. Very unusual handle but, ok.

“Help.” It read. “An old witch trapped me in a box.”

“Right!” I replied with sinisism.

The message never got returned so I just forgot about it as I did my research.

“Come on Charlie.” I said, “Time for us to hit the hay.”

I picked Charlie up and carried him down to my bedroom. I liked the company since Michael left me. It is very hard learning to sleep alone again after being with someone for sixteen years. I had to admit when bedtime comes that is when I miss him the most. The rest of the day I am busy and can keep the feelings at bay, but alone in bed, that is the hardest.

I turned on the telly and found an old episode of “Murder She Wrote”. Jessica Fletcher can keep me company ’til I fall asleep with Charlie.

The alarm went off as usual. I need to call Mr. Baum today. I had the weirdest dream last night. Sometimes they were hard to shake. I went into the bathroom to take my morning shower. Every once in a while it seems like a shadow moves across the mirror and I feel like someone is watching me. I turned on the water and the old pipes began their singing. I have replaced many of them but there are way too many to fully replumb the house correctly and then there is the expence that would break me financially.

I go make the morning coffee when I am done. Charlie likes to have his cup of Joe as well with a slice of peanut butter toast. Most parrot people call me abusive because he eats like I do. I have never given him bird food. I got him at an estate sale as well. That was nineteen years ago when I first started my business. I worked for a while at a major auction house to build my reputation. He was in a litter of babies that an old lady had. She was a breeder her whole life and when she died, her children sold off all her birds. I never had Charlie DNA tested, but I figure the birds a boy. That is my thought anyway. He has some volcabulary. Enough that I can pretend to have a conversation with him.

“Is your toast good, Charlie?”

“Lovely toast. Lovely toast.” he repeats.

“Want more coffee?”

“Want more coffee.” he repeats.

“Looks like you have plenty.” I tell him.

“Want more coffee.” he says again. “Lovely toast”

I went and got my phone to call Mr. Baum..”

“Good morning.” I heard a very sweet voice on the other end.

“Good morning, Mr. Baum. This is Lois Sprague from Witches estate. You left your roll top desk with me to appraise”

“Why, yes I did.” Came the same sing songy voice.

“I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss my findings and appraisal. I have available time on Saturday at Noon. Does that work for you?”

“Weeelllll Noooooo” The sing songy voice started to sound more pouty. “I was hoping for sooner.”

“I am sorry. I am booked up until then with other appraisals and appointments.”

“Weeellll.” Again with the sing song gloomy voice. “How about dinner?” He snapped hurriedly into the receiver like someone ripping off a band aid. “It will be my treat. As you know, the Mountain Cabin has reopened with new owners. I hear the steak is delis.” He said with the nauseating sing song voice that sounds like a villain in a Disney cartoon.

I sighed contemplating quickly what to do. I resided to the fact he may not give up. Reluctantly, I said, “Ok. When where you thinking?”

“How about tonight?”

I almost threw my phone. Instead I got ahold of myself and said as sweetly as I could. “Alright. Would seven do?” With everything I have to do today that was the only time left.

“Sure it would!” said the sing song voice. “Do you want to meet or shall I pick you up?”

Hurriedly I replied, “We will meet there.” Since I know I already couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

After a day of estate sales, auctions, appraisals, meetings, and weird messages from trapped in a box asking me to help him because a witch trapped him, I went to Mountain Cabin to meet Mr. Baum. I walked into the door, stood by the host desk, and that is when I heard, “Heelllloooo.” There’s that nauseating sing song voice. I turned around and there was all five foot something of him with flaming red hair and blue eyes. How Ronnie thought this was gorgeous I will never know.

“How can I serve you?” he asked.

“I am Lois Sprague.” I said through my teeth.

“Oh.” His eyes lit up. “Lois. May I call you that?”

“I prefer not.”

“Oh.” he said taken aback. “well let me show you to your seat.”

“Alright.” I said very puzzled.

As I went into the dinning area following him, I happened to notice a very attractive man sitting at the bar alone.

“Here is your seat! Mr. Baum will be with you shortly.” said Mr. Sing Song.

I looked at him surprised. I must have blinked. “What did that mean?” I was thinking. I thought his voice was Mr. Baum. Then I looked toward the bar and saw walking up to me the most gorgeous man I have ever seen.

“Thank you, Timothy.” he said.

“Your welcome, Mr. Baum.” said Mr. Sing Song Voice.

“Oh my god! This can’t be.” I was thinking.

“May I call you Lois?” he asked.

I looked at him and stammered, “Ah. Sure.” Then I realized he has a Texas accent. “Are you from Texas?” I asked him.

“Yes Ma’am, I am! But I came here as a child. My Mother is a Yooper.”

“Really?” I couldn’t believe it. What luck! No wonder why Ronnie wanted me to meet him.

“Yes Ma’am. You would know her family as the Andarsson’s. Not to be mistaken with the Anderson family.”

“Oh my.” I thought. They owned the land I bought. “Why, yes I do know them all very well.”

“Timothy is my second cousin.”

“Really?” gasp.

“He and I purchased the Mountain Cabin together. His Dad is Irish. Married my Mother’s cousin, Viola. Although, my Mom says they are sisters since the unfortunate accident meant Viola had to be put with Mom’s family. So really he is my third cousin.” Leonard winked at me and smiled.

I got home late and took Charlie to be with me. I told him about my wonderful night.

I didn’t go to my computer last night,but when I woke up I had a text message from Trapped in a Box that read, “Help! An old witch trapped me in a box.” I had more weird dreams. Ever since I moved to this house, I have had them. They never make any sense. They are like I lived another lifetime, but once I am awake, I can only remember pieces like a fire or a house. Something crazy and sometimes nagging about them.

I spent the day with online auctions. I know something special will pop up in one of them. I am sitting in my beautiful attic bidding and watching the auctions from various spots around the world. I didn’t even realize I had the box in my hands and was trying to pry it open with my fingers until I cut one. The box is so fascinating to me. I feel so drawn to it. Trapped in the Box has messaged me three times already. I keep ignoring him. I am so tired of the crazy message. “Help. An old witch has trapped me in a box.” Come on. Get a life.

I was at the Mountain Cabin with Leonard. We were sitting at the bar having coffee, laughing, and talking. I so enjoy being with him when a little old lady came up to me.

“Hello. Are you Lois Sprague?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I was told by Bertha to talk to you. I am Marie Johnson from Lathop. I was in my barn when I found a loose floor board. I found this under it. Do you think you could appraise it for me?”

“I sure can try.” She handed me the knife. “Wow. This is a very beautiful knife. It looks hand carved. The handle looks like ivory.”

“My home used to belong to a local witch. I think it may be an atheme. I sure hope you can help me.”

“I think I can. Here. Can you write down your address and phone number for me? I will call you as soon as I know something.”

“Ok. I can do that. I sure hope it worth something.”

Today my excitement looms for the mail. I have a purchase coming in from Japan. I am sure I can find a buyer for this piece. I went on my first online auction to Japan for this estate sale. I sure can’t wait to finally see the piece up close.

As I was doing some research on another clients rifle, I got another message from Trapped in a Box. “Man.” I thought. “This is getting so old.” It had the same stupid message on it. “Help. An old witch trapped me in a box.” “This guy has got to be crazy.” I thought to myself. I am starting to feel harassed by Trapped in a Box.

Finally at Noon, my piece came via U.P.S. Ronnie and I unwrapped it like it was Christmas. Both of us were excited to see it. There it stood. Three feet tall and made of one hundred percent pure Jade. I have a beautiful Jade Dragon! There’s a piece you don’t find often.

I had a meeting with a man in California today about the Jade Dragon. He really wants it for his chain of Chinese restaurants. As I was talking to him. Trapped in a Box messaged me again. I ignored it until I was finished talking to Mr. Ching. I knew what it said anyway. That box keeps nagging at me. I found a key today in a desk draw and decided to see if it fit. It is too small for the box to open it. Damn. I was so hoping. I just want a peek inside to see what it is made of.

Leonard called me this morning wanting to go to the movies later tonight. I so can’t wait. I really love being with him. He is like a god send from up above. I asked him if he would like to come over for eggs and coffee this morning. I like that he enjoys playing with Charlie. They so seem to enjoy each other.

I called a local moving company for some guys. I knew the owner. I sold several items for him and I needed help to move the Jade Dragon to the attic. The guys were so sweet as they brought it up. I took Charlie up to see it and he loves it. He sat on it. It appears to be his favorite perch now.

I love my attic. I love the stone fireplace the most. I have wood in it but the propane keeps the house warm enough that I don’t need a fire. I have been thinking about taking Leonard up here. The fireplace runs all the way down. I have one in my bedroom and the living room. All three are connected to the one chimney. It goes right down the wall. Such unique charm in this house. I keep wanting to open the box. I wish I could see inside of it to know what the inside is made of. Today, I picked it up and shook it violently to see if anything rattled inside. Nothing. Drat!

I have another dinner date with Leonard tonight. We have been seeing each other for two months now and I love every minute of it. Charlie likes him as well. Ronnie is bugging me to have him spend the night, but I like our slow dates.

I have an appraisal for an antique knife. The little old lady found it in her barn under a floor board. She thinks it is an atheme used by the town witches. The box keeps nagging at me. I have tried to open it, but it appears to be locked. Tonight as I was looking at the atheme, I decided to try it in the box. To my surprise it opened it. A puff of blue light and a smell came out of the box. The fireplace came alive with flames and a shadow moved out of the fire. The blue light turned into a man. Charlie started screaming.

“Thank you for releasing me. I thought you never would. That Leonard kept you so busy. I could’ve been out sooner if it wasn’t for him.”

He pointed a finger at me and then I saw her! He then saw her too.

“Claudia.” he said. “Why are you here?”

“I have kept myself here on purpose so I can always stop you!” she said. “I also sent my grandson to distract Lois so you couldn’t get out, but then you just had to get your niece to find that atheme we hid. How convenient!”

“She did an awesome job. I couldn’t believe it! She actually bought that old farm. I guess you all should have made a better pact with the future generations to never sell the property.”

There was a burst of light and I saw him struggle. She was really struggling with him.

“I will never go back in that box!” he screamed.

“Yes you will.”

“You don’t have enough witches to place me back in.”

“I don’t need to. I have the Jade Dragon to help me!”

“What?”

“That is right. The Dragon will help me.”

Just then the Dragon came to life! The man screamed and blue light went all over the room. It bounced around with the Dragon chasing it. I saw the box shut and the Dragon went back to a statue. Claudia turned to me.

“I am always here. I will keep you safe. Don’t open that box again. I want you to bury it by the creek in the back. Put the knife with it. Cement it if you have to, but we can not let him out.”

“What did he do that you put him in a box?” I asked her.

“He murdered several women after raping them.” she told me. “He is evil to the core.”

She went back into the fire.

I woke up screaming! Just then I heard the clicky clack of Charlie’s feet coming into the bedroom. I couldn’t believe it. He was splattered with blood from his beak all the way down his chest.

“Good morning Lois! How was your sleep?”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!