Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Mystery: Feral House

Photograph courtesy

Image courtesy of Sweet Juniper

Thanks to Paula for posting a picture (top) since (for reasons about which I am unsure) the originally scheduled photo didn't post.  I was away this weekend until - well, actually, until a few minutes ago, and so I just added back my prompt picture.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  But lucky you!  You get 2 prompts for the price of one.  Cheers - and keep writing!



    It was a Skooby-Doo episode, come to life. (So to speak.) I knew that I should just walk past. Heck – I knew that I shouldn’t have gone down that road to begin with! Yet something just drew me there.

    For years I had heard stories about people who had gone missing, and the theories tied to this house. Like Fred, I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Someone needed to dispel the myths and clear the air—and land—of the creepy vibes given off by this house.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t have a “gang” to back me up…I was on my own.

    I made my way slowly to the front door, stopping every so often to listen. Occasionally I would hear a faint whispery sound. Or did I? Was it my mind playing tricks?

    Stepping gingerly over the threshold of the front door, I was met immediately with a waft of air so filled with the pungent odor of death I stopped mid-stride; glued to the spot. My eyes, adjusting to the darkened interior, darted around the room looking for the source of the smell.

    I saw nothing but the remnants of a living room, long past its useful days. Everything was covered in dirt and debris—yet looking surprisingly undisturbed. (But that odor!)

    After what seemed a full ten minutes (and was probably only 30 seconds) of standing in that same spot, half-way through the house’s front door, I completed my entrance -- the full weight of which sent me immediately through the paneled floor, to my impalement, below.

    (I should have told someone where I was going.)


    At the time of posting, there was not a picture included with this prompt. I just went with the title. The Link with my name will take you to the story on my blog, which includes a few process notes. :)

    1. Hi! Sorry about the picture. I scheduled a post for today since I was away for the weekend. When I didn't see the post (in any way, shape or form) this AM (checking it remotely) I went into the dashboard and realized I had tomorrow's date on the schedule. I changed it to post for today, but I guess since the picture is on my hard drive, it posted without the photo.

      Ya learn something new every day, huh?

      Anyway, thank you, Paula. I'm now gonna add (or try to add) my photo to the one you put on the site today.

      Go figyah, eh?

  2. Sorry for over-stepping my bounds RJ, but Paula actually wrote her piece without the photo which I added. (I thought there may have been a problem with the photo you wanted to post.) But, your photo is indeed more telling and consistent with the prompt title. I hope I didn't cause too much of a problem adding the shot.

    1. Thanks, Walt. No, I'm glad you did it. I'm sorry I messed up. ☼

    2. Oh! Either picture works well...but it's funny, RJ, I had envisioned overgrown vines when I wrote my story! :)

  3. Open. Airy. Rooms with a view.

    The lack of window panes spoke volumes to its decrepit state. Fodder for the wrecking ball, pleading for a second chance at prominence. But her history preceded her. The scene of a bloody murder. A former speakeasy. Al Capone's East Coast manse.

    Her beginning was inauspicious. It was built as a residence for physician/surgeon and his family. Dr. Elmsford Cavanaugh did all he could to care for the indigent populace of the town. A philanthropist and humanitarian. One would never suspect Dr. Cavanaugh as having any enemies, let alone one who wanted him dead. When the good doctor was found, his throat had been "surgically" altered courtesy of his own scalpel.

    The building sat vacant for years after the horrific murder. The talk was that Cavanaugh's spirit remained to haunt the expanse. High vaulted walls and corner turret gave the house a medieval look. In fact, the towns folk referred to it as Cavanaugh's Castle.

    It seemed an unlikely place to to harbor a social club, but with the onset of prohibition, the unseemly element took control of the doctor's former home. A jazz club fronted the operation which covered for the hidden anteroom. Bootleg gin flowed freely with the bar actually resting over the blood-stained place where the surgeon had died.

    No one even thought to connect the gangster from Chicago with the goings on at the mansion. But "Scarface" Al Capone had his sights on this place from the moment he saw it. The doctor just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. It was unfortunate that Capone's operation out-muscled Dr.Cavanaugh's surgical acumen.

    The demolition of the battered edifice couldn't come soon enough to quell the thoughts the locals harbored against the feral house. In the end, there was a collective sigh of Good Riddance to a bad memory.

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  5. Nick, you weave a scene nicely. The P,O,V, is outstanding. A great piece. Thanks for this.