Tately Grund: A Cautionary Tale

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Tately Grund  was always meant to do big things, great things, he was meant to make his mark on the world.

That’s what drove Tately Grund to do the things he did.

The very distasteful, odious things that would make the Devil blush. From what I understand he did exactly that on more then one occasion.

But I digress.

I’m here to tell you a story about  Tately Grund and how he came to make the acquaintance of one Livia Frost- Frosty to her friends- not that she had many of those.

Livia owned the one and only Funeral home in Burnside, Washington. She owned the cemetery too and most of Cross County was buried there.

What that adds up to numbers wise  is  a lot of dead bodies and they’ve been taking up residence at Leaning Birches Cemetery since 1904.

Livia lived just across the street from Leaning Birches and her old bone white house with the stain glass windows and and her front door with the dog’s head knocker didn’t exactly say ‘welcome’- .

But you’d be surprised how many people did visit Livia’s Bone White House with the stained glass windows- they didn’t go to the front door though. They walked around to the back door- down that little path lined with those white flowers that only bloomed at night and smelled faintly of cigarette smoke.

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It wasn’t a long walk to her back door, it just felt like it if anyone were to admit to taking that walk which nobody ever  admitted to doing.

So no, I don’t know how they figured out Livia Frost had a way of getting things done and knowing things that nobody should know- to be exact she knew the kinds of things that most people took their graves.

Tately Grund took that long walk to the back of Livia’s house and pulled open the screen door and knocked.

He heard footsteps, he heard a lock turning and the door swung open and Tately Grund looked up into the eyes of Livia Frost.

Part of Tately wanted to run, part of him knew that nothing good was going to come from stepping over that threshold into Livia Frost’s kitchen.

But he did it anyway.

He followed her through her kitchen, down a hallway lit, if Tately Grund new as much as he claimed, by  gaslight fixtures. The hardwood floor under his feet were polished to a high gloss and there were pictures of the same man and the same cat and the same two dogs in different poses in frame after frame after frame.

He stopped and looked at one of the paintings of a cat and said, ” I had a cat like that once.”

” I doubt that very much Mr Grund.”

They stopped in front of a door and Livia took a key from her pocket and put it into the lock.

She led him into a sparsely furnished room.

One table, two chairs a fireplace that needed to be cleaned. The curtains were closed. It was cold in that room.

Very cold.

She motioned for him to sit.

” So how does this work?” he asked as he sat.

” You tell me what you want. And then we figure out how to make it happen.”

” And it costs…”

” Does it matter?” she asked as the light fixtures around the room blazed on and the shadows grew long around them.

It took him less then a second to answer.” No.”

” Fine Mr Grund. Talk to me.”

” Do you know Astor Brock?”

Livia rolled her eyes up and shook her head. ” Politics. ”

” Exactly. Politics Mrs Frost. Astor Brock’s wife was a suicide, and more then a couple,pf people,believe she was driven to it with a little help.”

” She wasn’t.”

“Well. What they don’t know is why. I do. That good woman-”

“For the most part she was. Actually.”

” She k Continue reading