Inheritance, p.1Levi Garcia
Copyright 2008 Levi Garcia
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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Unless, you are Cthulhu. If you are Cthulhu, then I totally believe in you and I was just joking when I said this was all fiction.
My sanity has felt the pull. That feeling that will consume my mind and lead to my eventual madness. I will make no attempt to hinder this process. Better to be branded an insane murderer than to let loose the knowledge that I have been forced to bear. With my dearest friend dead, and my refusal to speak for my innocence, they shall surely lock me away or put me to death. In the end, I do hope it is death that my accusers will bestow upon me as I am too cowardly to do so myself. Only in death could I hope to feel peace in my already pained soul. Better that the wall I have built in the basement of my dead friend's inherited estate not be disturbed than to destroy the lives of all those that walk upon the earth.
I had known Wesley Miller for most of my life. His family had always been wealthy. This good fortune afforded him the capacity to do much of nothing at his leisure. He had been the one to travel, see the world, and live the good life. However, no matter what pleasures his life had given him, he had always managed to keep in touch with me.
On the other hand, I was a simple man with a comfortable existence. Life was much less glamorous for me, but happiness was ever present. I had grown up, married, and had a child. I became a professor at Miskatonic University like my father who had been a professor of ancient studies. I found my path in the physics department. My mother had died when I was eight so my father took full responsibility to raise me. He never remarried after her death, but buried himself deeper into his work. He recently retired, and was regarded as someone of importance in his field.
The solidifying moment of my friendship with Wesley happened when we met when we were both 13. My father had to leave for Germany to attend a conference pertaining to his studies. Having to be gone for three weeks and unwilling to take me along to only leave me unsupervised while he did his work, he found a suitable guardian. Wesley’s father had once been a student of my father and the two had maintained a close friendship. Finding of my father’s predicament he offered to let me stay with Wesley at his grandparent’s house in Maine.
Although we lived in the same city, our first meeting was not till the car ride up the coast to Maine. Finding that he was the same age as I was and that we shared many of the same interests, the drive there seemed short. He said that he had only been to the house once before, but it was a large home located in a deep wooded area. By car ride, it was at least 25 minutes from the nearest town. Upon arrival, I was fed and shown to my room.
The house itself was built in the late 1800’s with additions and repairs made by the occupants as need arose. It was a two-story frame with nine full size rooms. The room I was given was upstairs on the north side of the house. It was much larger than my own room back home and was adjacent to the one that Wesley was in. On the north wall, there was a view of the back yard. About 100 yards from the house, there was a shed which looked about as large as the room I was staying in. Great pines bordered this and around much of the house, but leaving a large open area between the main house and shed. A small lake was just beyond the trees on the south side of the house.
Wesley’s grandparents were kind enough. His grandmother, Esther, always seemed to be cooking or at least asking us if we were hungry. The grandfather, Elias, always had an interesting story or some words of wisdom to impart upon us. He said we were free to roam about, but that we were not to go near his shed. Wesley said that he told him that last time he was there, but he had never bothered to examine it closely. He assumed he just didn't want him messing around with any of his tools. However, he had seen old Elias walking late at night to and from the shed. It was windowless and always kept locked so any attempt to go in there unnoticed would be pointless unless he had the key. The only key left about the house was the seldom used car key that was kept on a hook in the kitchen. No doubt that his grandfather kept the shed key hidden elsewhere.
For the first two weeks, things were fine. We spent the days swimming in the lake and running through the surrounding woods making forts and chasing squirrels. On some evenings, after dinner and a generous amount of brandy, his grandfather would call forth stories of when he fought in the war. During these stories his eyes would glaze over, perhaps remembering some terrible sight of battle or friends dying around him. Lost in thought, his voice would lower and he would mumble something about mans ignorance of the world and how we were foolish to tamper with the natural order of things.
On more than one occasion, he would close his eyes and appear to fall asleep. Then without word or warning, he would bolt out of his chair and throw his hands out with his palms down. This being a signal for us to remain quiet, he would listen for something while facing the curtained window that faced the backyard.
Wesley and I would look at each other, our young ears not hearing anything that would warrant these outbursts; would sit quietly and strain our ears with no tangible effect to hear what old Elias was listening for. Eventually, he would sit back down and tell us that we had heard enough stories for the night. When asked what it was he was listening for, he said, “I’m old. My mind was just caught up in the moment of my story. Sometimes, painful things can bring long forgotten sensations to your brain. Now just let it be. You boys should get to sleep now.”
One night, Wesley woke me from my sleep. He shushed me to stay quiet and stopped my hand as I reached to turn on the light. He ushered me over to the window and motioned for me to get down low in front of it. Peeking over the sill, we could see Elias walking from the shed towards the house. From the light on the back porch, we could see that he was staggering. He stopped and grabbed a clothesline post for balance. He held for a moment and then proceeded to stagger back to the house.
“Is he hurt?” I asked.
“No, I think he just had too much brandy. I woke up earlier and heard him and grandma arguing about something. I didn’t understand what they were talking about. It was strange, but look!” He pointed out the window to the shed. The door was open and there was a light on inside. “Do you want to check it out? From the way he was walking he may just fall asleep. He probably just forgot to lock up and won’t realize it till morning.”
We decided to wait about 15 minutes after hearing the last sounds from Elias before we crept downstairs. Only the kitchen light was on, but the rest of the house was dark and quiet. We could hear Elias' snoring coming from the living room. No doubt passed out on his favorite chair. We carefully opened the creaky screened door and quickly made our way to the shed.
Inside, there was a bookshelf on one wall and against the other was just a simple desk and chair. The bookshelf was full of aged books. The covers of which were ripped and some looked as if half the pages had been taken out. Most of them did not even have titles on the spines. We picked one up and looked through it. One page showed hastily drawn images of something crawling out of the mouth of a large hole in the ground. It was roughly human shaped, except there were no discernible human features on the face. No eyes were drawn and where a mouth should have been, there were two tentacles that hung down to the middle of its chest. Its arms were stretched out in front of it grasping something.
Looking closely, we could see that the figure was actually huge as there were tiny peo
Wesley had noticed that there was a cut away on the floorboards with a latch. Apparently, this would have led to a basement or a storage room underneath. He reached down and grabbed a hold of the latch and began to pull.
“No boy. Stop! Please Stop!” Elias shouted. Both of us jumped at the surprise of being discovered.
“I’m sorry grandpa. We just…” Wesley started.
Elias staggered in and fell to the floor over the latch. Tears were in his eyes and a look of death on his face. It seemed almost like we had been the ones to walk in on him doing something wrong.
“Please boy. Forgive me. I didn’t know. I didn’t…my father…he gave me the book and told me that if I followed the directions… I’m sorry boy. Don’t tell anyone,” Elias said.
“Tell who grandpa? I don’t know what you mean,” Wesley said.
“I didn’t think it would be like this. There’s no way of stopping it now. It’s stuck down there for eternity and it’s my fault. Someday…, “ said Elias.
“What’s stuck? I don’t…”
“Maybe, you could…,” Elias started. It then seemed like a switch had been flipped in Elias’ brain. In an instant, the sadness and self-loathing was replaced by a venomous anger. Standing upright with rage set in his face he yells, “Get out of here boy. I told you not to be playing in here. Stay out! This isn’t for you to see.”
We both ran from the shed to the house. Back inside and out of breath we peered out of the kitchen window. The shed door was now closed.
“What was that all about?” I asked.
“I’m not really sure,” Wesley replied.
Inheritance by Levi Garcia / Horror have rating 4.8 out of 5 / Based on19 votes