Miss Bexley’s Books

 

Photo By: xololounge

 

You’ve found her in the basement of long closed Bexley Books after spending an hour or so of exploring the store that used to be a funeral home.

She is sitting at a time worn wooden table, arms crossed, dusty pile of  books stacked in a neat pile in front of her. There is almost no light in the dark room but there are a lot of shadows and they are creeping around the woman and the table like a dog begging it’s  human for a treat.

You could take a seat at this table and ask this woman what she is doing here.

But look at her and ask  yourself, would that be okay? Is she safe?

Her face is pleasant, the corners of her mouth are turned up just a little, just enough to make it look like she is smiling.  Her dark hair is pulled back in a pony tail. Her nails are not polished but they are neatly trimmed. She is wearing a lavender sweatshirt decorated  all over with little silver hearts.

So why not, she looks harmless enough, except for the fact that she is sitting in the dark with a pile of dusty books about  in front of her.

Oh. I guess I forgot to mention that.

Yes, the books are anatomy books and the one on the bottom of the stack is about cake decorating. That spine on that book is pink.

So let’s take a seat and ask …

” Oh. I’m waiting for a delivery. Yeah. Just sitting here passing the time and catching up on some reading.  I know from the looks of it,  this place would probably send Martha Stewart into one of those seizures that they would have thought were demonic possession back during the Middle Ages or in parts of rural America but really, I love to drop by when I can .”

” Oh go on, pull up a chair and sit down,  so you must be familiar with the neighborhood. No? Well, this place used to be a little bookstore and the books they sold here were all about death. That’s right. Death.They had books about embalming and head hunting and mummies and local unsolved murders.”

” Scoot that chair back up and don’t look at me like that.”

” The shop shut down a few years ago, but the books were left behind. They were just sitting on the shelves. Anybody could have walked in and taken them, I mean they were just defenseless books and how could they stop from being taken.”

” But some of the books were stolen and wouldn’t you know it with a day of that all of these strange murders started to pop up around town. And you look hip, so I guess I don’t need to go into how some of those murders followed the plot lines of those weird books. Yep. You know who really got miffed about that? The funeral directors. When bodies start to turn up embalmed and prepared for burial in perfect text book fashion they were not a happy bunch.”

” No. Miss Bexley isn’t around anymore, but if you go to the next room you’ll find shelves still stocked as if she were. These books know how to take care of themselves. “

“No I’m not worried about the books or being here. I placed an order- a special order and being that I was a friend,  Miss Bexley never did mind me taking those deliveries here. How did I become friends with Miss Bexley you ask?”

” Actually. One of these books was based on my life. Oh no. Not these books. It’s upstairs at the checkout counter. It was one of her personal favorites.”

“What is my book about?”

” Cannibalism. The one you have tucked away in your jacket pocket. And don’t bother. Sit down. The door is locked. All of them are. For now.”

Lurking in the Deep, Dark Forest

Prehistoric Gardens, Copyright © 2009 Jade Leone Blackwater

Attention writers, bloggers, and artists of all media: if you’re looking for a prompt or a bit of inspiration this month, consider looking for what’s hidden (or lurking) among the trees.

This September Arboreality will host The Festival of the Trees issue 39 on the theme of Secrets, and you’re all invited to join me, Jade Blackwater, and bring your friends too!

The Festival of the Trees is a monthly blog carnival featuring trees and forests.  For the September Festival, our theme is Secrets:

“Forests, farms, gardens, urban trees, and ancient-rock-clinging-wind-whipped Bristlecone pine stands can be an escape, a place to hide, a space to rest, a home for buried treasure. This month, I invite you to reveal a small glimpse of a secret among the trees. Consider the quiet spots you go to sit, the trees which have stood in silent observation of the events of your life, the aromatic memory of the garden from a place you have visited. With word, image, sound, or otherwise inspired creation, give us a peek at what you see, or what you can imagine.”

Grab your free-wheeling creative license (and maybe a big, heavy club) and reveal what’s hidden in the dark, mutable forest.

Then post your creations online at your blog, photo album, or other web-based resource, and send me the link:

trees[at]brainripples[dot]com

Deadline for submissions is August 28, 2009.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Drop me an email.

(Don’t forget to drop breadcrumbs along the trail as you go!

…..wouldn’t want to get lost out there.)

Prehistoric Gardens, Copyright © 2009 Jade Leone Blackwater

[Photos taken October 2008 at the Prehistoric Gardens]

PS – We’re still seeking volunteers to host The Festival of the Trees #40 and beyond! This is a fun way to broaden your audience, and of course – have fun in the trees.
To learn more, contact Dave (bontasaurus[at]yahoo[dot]com) and Pablo (editor[at]roundrockjournal[dot]com), and visit the Volunteer to Host page for details.

PS – We’re still seeking volunteers to host The Festival of the Trees #40 and beyond! This is a great way to broaden your audience, and of course – have fun in the trees.

To learn more, contact Dave (bontasaurus[at]yahoo[dot]com) and Pablo (editor[at]roundrockjournal[dot]com), and visit the Volunteer to Host page for details.

About The Fifth Door Down

morguefile.com

Every Saturday Gavin Valentine goes to the fifth door down from his house and buys something called a Cinnamon Splash and  he walks back home, slowly with the ice cold drink in his hand.

He does that even on the days it snows.

Just before he gets home he sets his ice cold drink on a bench and watches for hours at a time to see who will move his Cinnamon Splash with the whipcream topping and the dusting of white chocolate curls from it’s place on the bench.

Sometimes he worries about his little cup of cinnamon and whipcream- will it be tossed behind the bench into the bushes, which has become a graveyard of sorts for Gavin Valentine’s plastic cups with the gold stars stamped along their rims? Will it end up in the trash can? Under the wheels of a bus or a fast moving car?

He wonders for hours and hours at a time  five doors down from the shop that sells him his Cinnamon Splash.

But when the weather is nice, Gavin sits on the steps across the street from the bench, on the steps of a Church with his hands clenched together and watches his cup and wonders what cruel fate it will meet on that particular day.

It can’t be easy, Gavin always think to himself, to be a little cup of something sweet and fluffy and defenseless-  just sitting there as the world goes by you- and when it does stop  it’s pretty much a fact that something awful is going to happen to you.

It just wasn’t fair.

So on one nice warm Saturday Gavin went five doors down and bought his drink, he walked back up the street and this time he left his cup on the steps of the church across the street and he took the seat on the bench and waited.

People walked by, they jogged by, they rode by on scooters and in cars and some even glided by on shoes with little wheels embedded in their soles.

And hours and hours later a man and a woman stopped right in front of Gavin and started to talk. Their backsides inches away from Gavin’s face-which made him a little angry because it’s not like there was not a lot of sidewalk to stand on.

Then the woman looked up and around and then she looked down and asked Gavin- without really seeing him- if the buses stopped here on Saturdays and Gavin said yes, but he wasn’t sure exactly which ones did.

” Pretty useless, aren’t you? ” the man said impatiently.

There was a little breeze as the cars started to fly- like they always did at that time of day- and as they did Gavin could hear the plastic cups in the bushes behind him rattling together like a handful of  small and nameless bones.

 Gavin Valentine stood up as the man and woman turned away from him and just as they   looked up the street and started to talk about finding a cab-Gavin reached out

and pushed them off of the curb.

 

morguefile.com

It’s A Sign

skeletal_pegasus

Sometimes it’s not a word that calls out to us and sends us down roads and paths and into dark forests.

Sometimes

it’s a sign

I was driving through a town last summer- it was somewhere in the Midwest when I went through a town that barely, hardly, almost had no pulse.

Most of the stores were closed up and had boards over their windows- as did the houses and the churches ( there was one on each corner- I swear to God that’s true ).

But hello- what is this I see just before I leave the dieing town?

A Funeral Home.

Darnell and Sons.

It was boarded up too- and the front doors were chained (!) shut.

Chained Shut.

Not nailed shut, not boarded up with giant sheets of plywood but …

Chained Shut.

I know there’s a million reasons to make sure no one busts into an empty Funeral Home.

Still.

I was curious.

Why Chained Shut.

So I called ahead and told my husband I was going to get some ‘spooky’ camera shots for my blog and that I would be a little late and then I got out of my car in front of Darnell and sons and walked around to the back where the doors had not been chained shut or boarded up but

 the doors had been completely removed and entrance way had been bricked up.

Why.

This just keeps getting better and better.

So there I was halfway to my car and halfway to the chained door and across the street was a boarded up Ice Cream Shop called Bevy-Anne’s.

In her better days Bevy-Anne’s must have been a pretty place to get a Soda or an Ice Cream Float. Now it was just empty and dusty and there were cracks all around her foundation.

In fact.

I looked up and down the street, there were cracks in front of and all around every single boarded up building for as far as I could see.

Except for Darnell and Sons.

There was one deep gouge in the pavement that ran from Darnell’s front door- the one that had been chained shut- and that crack in the cement turned into many more that ran up and down that street.

Instead of going to my car ( of course ) I walk up to the door with it’s chain and reached for the lock

and there inside of the lock

is the key.

It’s right there in the padlock where anyone can walk up and turn it and then unwrap the chain from around the door handles and then anyone could open those doors and either step aside or step inside

and then what I wondered?

I looked at the lock and  at the cracks in the road and the boarded up buildings and houses and decided…

I liked not knowing for sure.

I let the lock fall out of my hand and as it banged against the door I heard a little thump coming from the other side.

So I got into my car and I left that little town in the Midwest, the one that barely  had a pulse, and as I drove away I saw a giant billboard at the side of the road. Despite the fact most of  what had been painted on it  had been worn away by years of rain and ice and snow and heat you could still see the image of a cow in a bonnet and there was a balloon coming from it’s mouth and inside of that balloon there was a message.

It said.

See you soon!

The Pink Store

gin

 

“ Just get the suntan lotion and be quick about it. “ Lilly Thorn told herself “ just go into the store, back to shelf where they have probably  kept the Personal Care and Beauty aides in the same place for the last 40 years and go. You don’t even have to be nice to the clerks because they don’t know you, they can’t know you, not only are you not 6 years old anymore you are just old, all those people who used to work there are either dead or moved on to work in other Mom and Pop Grocery stores by now and if they are still the same people working there they are not going to recognize you.

 

– so just get the Suntan Lotion and go.”

 

So, what kind of person forgets to buy Suntan Lotion  when they’re packing for two weeks in Hawaii ?

 

A person like Lilly Thorn-that’s who- and for that stupid oversight she guessed she deserved to have to make a pit stop on the way to the airport to pick up Suntan Lotion at a corner Grocery Store where she had the misfortune of peeing on the floor when she was six years old.

 

If you don’t think it could have gotten worse for Lilly after doing something like that in front of her friends and neighbors your’re wrong.

 

The worst part of the Pee Incident came after an angry phone call from the store’s owner. Mrs. Lee. Not only did  she bar Lilly from the store for life in that angry phone call to Lilly’s Mom, she also demanded that Lilly come to the store and get on her hands and knees and scrub the floor herself.

 

Lilly’s mom made her do it and Mrs. Lee watched.

 

The thing of it is, nobody ever asked Lilly why she peed on the floor and she wished they had because then maybe the ghost that Lilly met at the Pink Store that day wouldn’t have worked it’s way into her head where it has lived now for over 40 years.

 

When Lilly and her family lived up the street from Lake William all of the kids in the Neighborhood used to go to the Pink Store and buy the penny candies. If you had a little more money  you could also buy candy bars and comic books or in Lilly’s little candy tarts called “Sweet Sprees “that came in packages with pictures of people sailing in boats or walking on beaches or hiking on mountain trails.

 

The candies were hard and always tasted slightly dusty but the pictures were pretty and Lilly used to collect them and used them for posters in her Doll House.

 

One day, after school Lilly and her friends went into the Pink Store, which back in Lilly’s Grandma’s day used to be a Speakeasy called 32 Pinkerman (the building number and street address, back then places like the Pinkerman didn’t have real names-sort of like the shady characters that owned and ran them.) when she looked over at her friend Domino and asked, “Hey that’s my Grandma’s favorite song.”

 

“What?” Domino asked as she started to choose her candy from the baskets on the shelf.

 

“That song- “Lilly pointed up “my Grandma sings it all of the time.”

 

Domino shrugged and went back to her baskets, she didn’t hear anything and she didn’t bother to say anything because when your Mom was feeling generous and gave you 50 cents to spend on candy- choosing fifty pieces of penny candy took all of your concentration.

 

Especially if you weren’t exactly proficient at counting to fifty yet.

 

So as Domino counted Lilly could hear the music get a little louder and then the air started to smell like Lilly’s Mom and Dad’s house around the holidays (only there wasn’t the smell of Christmas Trees or roasting turkey woven into the mix) and then someone walked by (though she would always think of it as through ) her and Lilly looked up into the face of a man with a black eye.

 

He was talking to someone standing in back of her and too afraid to turn around Lilly kept looking up and the man with the black eye was holding a black bag up and saying,

 

“I’m telling you I never opened it, I went to Greene’s like always and made the pickup. I never open these things, you know that Ben. Come on Ben put that thing down. You gotta believe me Ben I’d never cross you. I’d never cross anybody. You know that”

 

When Lilly looked around the store was gone and the candy was gone and so was Domino and there was Lilly at 32 Pinkerton, six years old and watching a man beg for his life.

 

“Ben, please …” Lilly saw an arm over the top of her head and she saw something in it’s hand and she saw the gun pressed against the man’s forehead. “ This isn’t right, it’s not-“

 

There was a bang and Lilly watched the man with the black eye snap his head back and then his head slumped to the side and then she watched him fall to the floor.

When she looked up again everyone in the store was watching her pee all over herself.

 

 

After that Lilly went through her life always feeling that someone was standing just behind her, someone faceless and monstrous, somebody who could make a grown man cry and then shoot him in the head and then haunt the only witness to the murder- a six year old girl at least 50 years after it committed it’s crime- for the rest of her life.

 

Trips to Hawaii ? Her Wedding Day? Her Divorce Day?  When she buried her only child who died when he was only 12 after being knocked off his bike by a car and could have survived if only one of the dozens of cars that day that drove by him had stopped to ask if he need help.

 

On all of those days Lilly was never really there because part of Lilly was still at The

Pink Store and the part that was here was thinking about and feeling that dark soundless thing behind her.

 

 

She guessed then it was normal that on the day she went into the Pink Store to expect she wouldn’t be going into it alone.

 

It was funny then how alone she did feel as she pushed the door open and the Pink Store-, which had been outfitted with new shelves and stainless steel coolers and even bigger windows.

 

She walked –

 no she ran by the aisles where the candy and comic books and spin racks where the paperback books used to be-

 and when she got to the back of the store she got lost.

 

Everything was different- The Pink Store wasn’t a grocery store anymore, it was more like a walk in refrigerator lined with coolers full of beer and energy drinks and frost covered boxes of pizzas.

 

The shelves in the middle of the store were shorter now, which didn’t matter because there was nothing but cases of beer and more energy drinks waiting to go into the coolers and as far as personal care products- unless you counted can openers cans of soup with faded labels and packages of cookies and bread and peanut butter that in all likelihood would be consumed or used by one person there wasn’t a personal care section.

 

Stupid, Lilly thought to herself, why didn’t I just buy the lotion at the airport or in Hawaii? Why do I always do these dumb things and then she knew, as she had always known that Lilly was never really all there.

 

As she turned over the many, many ways she could screw things up she heard her Grandmother’s favorite song and instead of looking up into the face of the Man with the black eye she found herself looking into the face of a teenager with a black eye and behind her she could feel-

 

It was going to say something to her, after all these years of making her less without actually saying a word to her it was going to speak and it said…

 

“ Let’s go.”

 

“What.” Lilly felt something she hadn’t felt in years, if ever.

 

It was rage.

 

That was it? Lilly’s brain screamed in her skull, after all of these years of saying nothing by making me afraid by just standing there it says…”

 

“Let’s go…”

 

Lilly turned around and he was a man, just a ghost of a man with a gun still clenched in his hand.

 

“I’ve spent my entire life scared of a man who shoots unarmed boys and haunts little girls? And I let you ruin my life?  Are you serious? God. You don’t even look like a killer; you look like my fourth grade teacher. What was I thinking?”

 

Lilly wasn’t finished talking.

 

  “ Hey, here’s a thought.  No. We aren’t going anywhere. I’m going though…and so is he.” She pointed to the boy. “ You. You stay here. “ She put her face close to his and said “ Coward.”

 

And as he became less Lilly became more and on her way out the door she fought off the malicious urge to pee on the floor.

 

Instead she grabbed a gritty bottle of suntan lotion jammed between some cans of cat food that went off of the market  six years ago, put it into her purse without paying…

 

And then she went to Hawaii.

 

bikini

Mark Of The Penny Snatchers

“Mark Of The Penny Snatchers”

is

dedicated to my husband

Luis

December 25, 2008

and to his friends

from

the

Class of 68

Dubuque, Iowa

who inspired this tale.

dfmead
Photo By:dfmead

” So you finally get to go on vacation, ” Chesa Appleway’s friend said to her at lunch. ” I can’t believe it. You on vacation. So. Where are you guys going?”

” To Seattle. ” Chesa said into her plate of Chilli-Fries.

” Well. That sounds nice ” Vicky said wondering why Chesa looked like she was going to Seattle for a funeral as opposed to Seattle which was at least six  States  away from work. ” Is it for a special occasion or …” Vicky snuck another look at the expression on Chesa’s face and thought- God, it has to be bad. but maybe it wasn’t so she asked, “I know you’re going to see that volcano- Mount Helen, right?”

” Mount Helen…geeze Vic is that all  you ever think about? It’s called Mount Saint Helens and we won’t be doing anything fun like walking up and down the side of a live volcano on this trip.”

” Oh no. ” Vicky could have pinched herself for being so dumb, of course it was for a Funeral or something like that- Chesa and Norbert never took vacations – Chesa and Norbert owned the biggest, the most well known Coffin making company in the United States. Those two were always working and if they weren’t working they were thinking about working.

” So why the trip? ” Vicky asked quietly, gently.

” It’s Norbert’s 40 year High-school Reunion.”

Both women looked at each other for a minute and then burst into tears.

” Oh God. I’m sorry Chesa. ” Vicky gave her friend’s sagging shoulders a hug. ” I am so sorry.”

 

Later, Chesa had to admit that the four days in Seattle weren’t her worst days, maybe not the best but they were far from being the worst.

Most of Norbert’s classmates enjoyed telling her stories about the Norbert they used to know and in turn they seemed happy to hear Chesa’s stories which more or less confirmed that Norbert  was indeed still Norbert.

Norbert still liked to read History books for fun, he still sang in a rock band on the weekends and he still drove to slow on the freeways- which meant he still got pulled over a lot because nothing looks more suspicious to a Cop then a sports car going to slow on a practically empty road.

And the one thing you could count on was that the roads Norbert drove on were going to empty because Norbert hated to drive in heavy traffic.

” Good old Norbert ” they said separately and together ” he’s still the same good old Norbert. “

So it was the night of dinner / dance down at waterfront when Chesa, Norbert and some of his friends stopped into a tourist shop that featured a Mummy, a collection of shrunken heads and a machine that flattened pennies that Chesa really did learn something new about Norbert- something that she never thought he would do.

Norbert was a member of a secret club.

 Chesa learned about the Club just after she and Norbert and some of his friends were all looking at the Shrunken Heads collection together. Chesa moved down to take a look at a two headed calf  and when she turned around a few minutes later she saw Norbert, Mark, Sean, Tony and Darren standing there in front of the Penny Flattening  Machine looking slightly embarrassed and a little guilty.

Norbert said, ” well if we had used this thing it would have saved us a lot of trouble.”

” What do you mean? ” Chesa asked.

” I mean, ” Norbert held his right hand up ” I could have been a Piano player AND a singer.

” What do pennies have to do with you not having the tops of two of your fingers?”

Darren looked around and said almost in a whisper, ” we were part of a secret Society called  ‘The Penny Snatchers’ “

” You lost your fingers stealing pennies Norbert ? Good. That was stupid. If you were going to steal money you should have at least gone for nickles. Maybe even…dimes.”

” No- ” Sean took her by her elbow and leaned down and whispered into her ear, ” we used to go down to the tracks on King Street and put pennies under the trains wheels while the trains were parked and right after they flattened them we’d snatch them off the tracks before the next set of wheels came along.”

” That.Is.The. Dumbest. Thing. That. Anyone.Has. Ever. Done.”

” Yeah. Well, we were kids. We were eight years old when we started  The Club. We cared more about that then being in the Boy Scouts even” Darren said as he started to go through the change in his pocket.

” Why on Earth did you do that?”

”  For the dare” Norbert said defensively “and we collected flattened pennies. Those things were valuable.”

 Invaluable ” The Penny Snatchers said all at once.

And then they heartily agreed at the tops of their  lungs with each other and just in time remembered to lower their voices. Fifty years may have gone by since the first official meeting of the Penny Snatchers, but from the looks on their faces it could have been two hours ago.

Chesa rolled her eyes upwards at the comments that followed about bravery it took to be a Penny Snatcher and the cool comics and candy you could trade your flattened pennies for. And as Chesa looked down and considered what to say to that she noticed that Norbert wasn’t the only one of the Penny Snatchers with missing fingers.

She looked up almost in shock.

” Whose stupid idea was this penny snatching thing? “

Mark raised his hand and smiled. “Guilty.”

Norbert and the other guys – who had indeed bought some flattened pennies from the Machine started to walk towards the front of the store.

Chesa and Mark were left standing alone by the Penny Flattening Machine and a shelf full of soaps set with scorpions and leeches- plastic ones Chesa guessed.

” For real, this was all about collecting flattened pennies?” Chesa demanded.

 Mark held his hands up in mock self defense and Chesa saw he still had all of  his fingers still attached to his hand ” I wasn’t there to collect pennies.”

 

matildaben

Photo By:matildaben

Kelsev and George

Kevin Rosseel
Photo By: Kevin Rosseel

Years and years ago something very bad happened in a little house on a corner of a street called Litman Avenue South.

The house was just a house- built mostly of wood because back in the day Seattle was a logging town- and the glass windows weren’t the sort of windows that opened which meant the little white house with the wide doors and very big basement always smelled like flowers, even after everyone was gone and the house was full of dust because the little house on Litman Street was a Funeral Home.

It had never been used for anything else, two men  Conry Kelsev and Semple George built the house themselves and when they were finished they opened for business almost a week later and two weeks after that Semple George and his new wife the former Herma Dawn Bishop moved in.

Conry met Herma Dawn for the first time in the kitchen of the Home where she was making a pie. She had a streak of flour across her forehead and she was whistling which was something Conry couldn’t say he ever heard a lot of women doing- mostly they sang he thought.

” So it doesn’t bother her, ” Conry asked Semple as they left the kitchen for the basement ” having those bodies downstairs and such. “

” Not a bit ” Semple said with a smile ” she says she really feels at home here.”

And it was right then, at that very second Conry knew something bad was starting to happen in that house.

Conry and Semple had been friends all of their lives, and the only time they were apart was for the six years Semple had moved to the Midwest to take over the family business, which was a funeral home home in Iowa.

By the time Semple came back, Conry- who was a carpenter by trade had decided to spend the summers out in Iowa making caskets was already doing more work in the Funeral Parlors around town- decided it wasn’t such a bad line of work and readily agreed to open a Home right there in Seattle.

However, work was work and Conry knew for a fact that he would never be able to live in the place he worked, especially if dead bodies were involved.

So when Conry was done for the day, he went home two miles away and if for any reason he had to go down into the basement of the house on Litman Street after dark he was quick about it because he was sure that after dark the dead and the living had no business being around each other.

Conry turned out to be right.

The true story about the infamous Kelsev And George Funeral Home, and the story that led to a group of people who wanted to turn an old buidling into a dance club with a gothic theme ( what could be more perfect then a Goth Club in a real Morgue? ) strays from the Reality Street to Fiction Ave- starts right here.

One night Conry got called out to the O’Hara’s place on the bluffs, Mrs O’Hara had lost her second child as she did the her two others to burns from a fire that her children had been in over the weekend.

The last child to die was the youngest and Conry carried the little girl, who’s hair had been burned away ( she had always kept it braided he remembered and someone had tied a silk bow around her skinless forehead ) wrapped in a blanket carefully against his chest down to the basement and he nearly dropped her when he pushed the door open and heard voices coming from below.

He called himself a fool when he realized he recognized the voice as Herma Lee’s and he guessed as he made his way down the steps she was talking to Semple.

Only the voice that answered Herma Lee’s wasn’t Semple’s voice it- was a child’s voice and by the time Conry got into the basement he realized that there were two children down there with Herma Lee.

The children down there with Herma Dawn were Darlene and Violet- Darlene and Violet were Herma Dawn’s and Semple’s children.

” Will it take long?” Violet was asking her Mother as Conry stared into the blackness that was fighting for space in the well lit room.

” No. It’s almost done .”

And then Conry let himself look and there was Herma Dawn with a streak of flour across her forhead and a knife in her hand and on the embalming table, head to foot were two small bodies.

And on a small table next to her was a pie.

Herma Dawn was making a pie

And  her daughters were helping her.

 

Conry guessed he had to do something.

The first thing he did was to walk up the stairs and out to the hearse where carefully laid the little girl across the front seat. After, he closed and locked the door and then he went out to the shed and found an axe and then he went down into the basement.

When he was finished he waited for Semple, he never did find out where it was Semple had been all night because he didn’t show up until after sunrise.

But there was dirt under Semple’s finger nails- which Conry saw as he swung his axe down and Semple threw his hands up…and Conry also saw it was in Semple’s hair and teeth too.

 

When he was done Conry couldn’t bring himself to bury the George Family in a graveyard, he wasn’t sure he would burn in hell for what he did to them but he was sure there would be a price to pay for putting them anywhere near a dead body.

So Conry took all four of them- piece by piece to the new building that was going up across the street- some people said it was going to be a hotel one day-and he buried them in the basement.

And he wondered if that would hold them.

He doubted it.

In all of the years he knew Herma Dawn he was sure of one thing-he had never seen her outside of the house- her or the girls.

He figured no matter how long it took, they would find their way back to it.

And they would keep finding a way to make pies.

That’s probably why he went home, to his house and hung himself in his attic.

 

So Conry Kelsev left behind a mystery, nobody ever figured out what he did to the bodies, the legend that the Club Owners built their Halloween House and future business on says Conry burned the George Family alive in the Funeral Home’s Crematorium but anyone with common sense realized the home didn’t have a crematorium, still it was a morbid story and that was the one that gets repeated the most.

However, the locals who fancied themselves as Detectives of sorts guessed that he  buried the family in a cemeteries that Semple and Conry had access too, or more then likely somewhere on the grounds of the Funeral Home itself.

And then because Kelsev and George was not the sort of story you want floating around while you are trying to get funds for Urban Renewal Projects all the theories went away until the Morgan Group decided to open the club up in the Kelsev and George Funeral Home.

The problem the Morgan Group had was this: they had a good story to build on, but when Jeff and his brother Val went out to look at the Kelsev and George Funeral Home ( it was still there and still empty ) they were disappointed.

” Damn, it looks like a house a regular old house- are those flower boxes under the windows? Damn it to hell…”

Jeff was pointing to something across the street.

There were tears of joy in his eyes.

He  was pointing to a sign, it was partially covered by Ivy and the paint was blistered and peeling

but none the less the sign said this building, with the fancy lentil work above the windows, the crumbling gargoyles peering down from the roof and the rusted iron bars running up and down over all of the windows and doors was for sale.

And the name of the building was still visible above the doorway.

It was the Dennison Hotel.

The Dennison did well for awhile and then it closed down and during the 1960’s it’s lobby was turned into a series of offices, it’s upper floors went the same way and eventually it was turned into a meat packing plant.

I kid you not.

 

So the Morgans opened their club by hosting a haunted house there, which they called the Kelsev and George Morgue.

Soon after they bought the house across the street to use as offices and while he was out on the road Val called and said he had moved into the old house, that he was going to start refinishing it and that he aslo had a surprise.

The surprise answered the door and it had a streak of flour across her forhead and she said as reached out for him, ” Jeff, it’s so good to meet you at last.”

” And you are? ” He asked.

” Well, when I worked for your club they used to call me Chef but now days they just call me Val’s wife.”

” My name is Herma Dawn.”

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