Red House Part 2

I carefully wrote this story so that it would be easy to understand without it’s earlier part. If you want to read part one, it’s under short stories. Thanks for reading and do tell me if there is something I can do to improve it.

         Lisa took a big bite of her Italian vegetable sandwich and patted the white, metal body of her Bobcat E32 Excavator. She’d never done demolition before and was looking forward to it.

        The ancient, brick mansion was mostly the work of much larger machines but daddy had promised there would be some left for her.

       “Hey you!” said one of the guys handling the beehive under the eave. “Who me?” “Yeah you, stop stuffing your face and knock that door in.” She swallowed. The sandwich was delicious. Ordinarily it peeved her to be distracted at lunch but today was special. There was building on the menu and she’d just been ordered to take the first bite.

       Her fellow workers scattered to an unnecessary distance as she eased the unit into position. They yelled things like – “Clear off! There’s a woman in this one!” She swore back at them as was expected. Lisa was willing to bet she had twice the experience of all of them. Such shouting matches were the required social niceties in this crowd.

      She studied the door in question. It appeared to have been beautifully decorated at one time. Now it was covered in the scratched names of children who had knocked at midnight to prove their courage. There were other scratches too; the usual occult symbols meant to keep bad stuff in or perhaps sick it on your enemies. Old houses just did that. People thought they were magic.

      She raised the arm of her machine and dragged it across the weathered wood, leaving the largest scratch of them all. This would be nothing. She placed the tines of the shovel near the top. She would either tear the door off its hinges or peel out a hole big enough for the bee wranglers to step through. She wondered if the floor would hold, and for a brief instant was thankful she wasen’t the one going in.

She eased the arm ever so slightly forward . . .

           The crew dropped their coffees as a loud crash shook the earth under their feet. A long column of opaque, white smoke billowed sideways from the south face of the old mansion. Quickly, they rushed to the aid of their friend.

        Her excavator looked to be covered with a coat of thick, gray paint.

       A rag was rubbed across the window. The glass was cracked but not broken.

       The woman inside was sitting up straight, eyes wide.

      She stumbled out when they opened the door. “What the hell!” She cried. Lisa turned to the door she’d been told to knock down, the frame was gone also, along with a significant portion of the wall around it.

        The bees were in a panic. The humans sought the safety of their vehicles. The swarm was not of that murderous breed and calmed down after only a short while. Lisa then made for the bee keeper’s truck, intending to make one thing clear. “That wasn’t me.” “We Know.” said a guy in a dark blue business suit. They told her his name was Dale Winter, THE Dale Winter. He raised a bullhorn to his mouth. “Everyone go home! That’s enough for today!”

           As soon as Lisa left, a man in a bee suit came forward. “We’ll have to call in a bomb squad. Something exploded in there.” “Don’t remind me.” Said Dale, curling his lip at the house. It had been an eyesore on the block and a thorn in his side since taking office.

   He did not consider himself to be the superstitious sort but upon pursuing what little records existed on the place he had noticed a pattern. It seemed that the Red House attracted trouble. More so the longer it remained in it’s owners possession. As a former lawyer Dale knew a liability when he saw one, and as a current mayor he knew it was his duty to take it down.


Fictions and Depictions: The Red House


Old Slumpy – courtasy of Wikipedia.

The old house was boarded up tighter then a bank vault. Rumors abounded of water in the cellar and bodies under the floor.

A large beehive droned in the attic, driving all would be interlopers even further back.

No one, stood farther away then Dale Winter, latest executor of the town blight.

      The Red House had stood in Bismuth since before Bismuth was even a town. As there were no records of architects or owners, it had fallen under the jurisdiction of city hall. The condemned box of mildew was occasionally offered to various historical patrons, or bounced around Bismuth’s various families as way of writing “I never really liked you.” in a will.

      Two bulldozers rolled past him into the yard, crushing a jungle of ancient weeds. Two Bee-keepers pumped smoke into the attic, making the roof appear to be on fire. As soon as those bees were boxed up, Dale would use a friend’s tractor service to discreetly get this over with. That permit was taking forever, and he was tired of waiting. Volatile chemicals and asbestos be dammed – he doubted that anyone had set foot inside the friggin’ thing since the stone age.

   “Can I have a key Sir?” Dale looked up to see his bee enthusiast neighbor staring him down through a ridiculous mask. Dale laughed. “A key? In all the records we have on this place there has never even been mention of a key. If you need to get in we’ll have to remove the door, that’s all there is to it.”

* * *

    In the dim living room she sat waiting, as the demolition crews gathered outside. Today was the day her prison would be broken. Today was the day she’d be loosed upon the world.

    Leaves floated in her cracked cup, the only surviving member of a tea service smashed years ago at a party permanently interrupted. Something dripped in to it as she raised it to her lips – honey – oozing like blood through a crack in the ceiling. It tasted sweet. Sweet Like revenge.