How far would you go to save your family from bankruptcy and dying? Would you enter the house of horrors?
Cindy von Hentschel brings us a horror mystery:
Murder at Maple Grove
You know that little voice inside you that tells you not to do something? Yeah, well when you’re a twenty-year-old young woman you think you know everything, but you don’t, and you should listen to that voice. I didn’t and what I encountered was hell.
I was sitting under the shade of the big weeping willow in momma’s front yard, trying to figure out a way to pay momma’s bills and save her from going into bankruptcy and foreclosure, when a FedEx truck pulled up. I received a packet of papers, and an old key from my grandfather’s attorney stating that I, his least-favorite granddaughter, was the new owner of Maple Grove, an old antebellum mansion that had been in our family for several generations. I heard it was unsellable because it was supposedly haunted by the family mysteriously murdered there at the turn of the century.
Feeling confused, excited and a bit unsettled, and as I didn’t have to work that day, I decided to go check the old place out. This may be what saves momma. We needed the money to pay for momma’s medical bills. She was sick with cancer and couldn’t work. I’d been working long hard hours but it was never enough money. Maybe we could live there after the bank took momma’s house.
It was about a 30-minute drive from home. I called momma to tell her where I was going, so if she needed me, to call me on my cell. Momma warned me to be careful. She and my grandfather had never gotten along, though I never knew why. Sadly, he never wanted anything to do with me.
As I pulled into the driveway there was a long line of maples on either side; thus the name Maple Grove. There at the end of the drive stood a big, beautiful mansion. It was white, had four columns in the front with six wide steps leading up to a huge wraparound porch.
For an old place, it wasn’t run down. I mean, the yard needed tending to, grass needed mowing, weeds pulled, hedges trimmed; all in all, it wasn’t that bad. I took the old key out of the packet, walked up the steps to the front door when a burst of cold air blew by me. I was startled to say the least, already feeling uneasy, but the clouds had started forming on my way there and I knew a storm was brewing. I opened the door and stepped in. It was beautiful. A large open foyer, a magnificent winding stair case right in the middle leading up to the second floor, and large doors on either side of the entrance. As I stood there, sweeping the room with a glance, I wondered who walked these floors before me.
I walked in, closing the door behind me just as it started to rain. Thunder cracked loud and close and I jumped. I flipped the light switch; glad the caretaker made sure the electricity was on for me. It flickered a bit before coming to life. I opened the large double doors to the right of the stair case to find what could only have been a ballroom. It was a bit musty, and dust flew around, and it was empty so I closed those doors, and went across the hall to the others and opened them into a large living area with a fireplace and windows looking out over the lawn. Behind this was a beautiful dining room, empty like the others. Beyond that was a large turn-of-the-century kitchen and a wash room/mud room that brought me back to the front, where I found a smaller library filled with books, some in good condition.
As I was getting ready to step foot on the stair to make my way up, I heard whispering, then running; softly, but loud enough that I froze. It had sounded like a child running, but I knew that couldn’t be true. I had the only key to the place and it had been locked up tight. After standing there for a couple minutes, I didn’t hear anything else. It must have been a raccoon or something lurking around. I slowly walked upstairs, when I thought I heard it again, the whispering.
I stopped, listened; nothing, just the wind brushing the branches of a tree on a window. Coming to the top of the stairs, I decided to turn right and go down the hallway. The first door opened into a large musty room with a fireplace, another room and connected to the last one was a bathroom with a claw foot tub.
I found a door leading to the attic: well, what I thought would be the attic. It led up to what looked like a very old nursery. Two old twin sized beds were in one corner, and an old wooden rocking horse. This was the only room with furniture in it, and the only room that couldn’t have been used in at least a hundred years.
The rain outside had settled down, so I opened the two large windows in the room to let in some air. As I stood there looking out, the hairs on my neck and arms stood up, because a cold breeze chilled me from behind, and I knew I wasn’t alone. I slowly turned, to see a young girl of about ten years with long dark hair and dark eyes, standing there looking at me with a cute puppy in her arms. I smiled. “Where did you come from?” I asked.
But then I noticed she was wearing a white dress that went to her knees, a pink pinafore, stockings, black boots and a large pink bow in one side of her hair. Then her eyes got darker and she was dripping wet. The wet turned dark red and pooled at her feet. She pointed to the rocking horse, then she was gone.
To purchase T-Rex Moon, Halloween 2015 issue, and read more of Murder at Maple Grove click here: