Chapter 0: I Smell Dead Guy or This Old House
Oh God, the smell, the absolute stink of it. What is it about an old house? I know it's falling apart and decaying, and there's the mustiness of it, but what is it that makes it smell THAT bad? It could have something to do with death. Does death leave a smell behind? Even if the person living here didn't actually die here, would the fact that a death occurred leave some kind of smell marker? I mean, I walk into this house, and I smell dead guy.
That's terrible to say, especially since this was family, but still...
It's not as if I knew the guy. My great-uncle Vernon was the last member of my family still living. He was my grandfather's oldest brother, and from what I've heard he was the most ornery cuss that ever lived on God's green earth. These were my grandfather's words. Nobody knew much about him. He was a private man. Didn't even send out Christmas cards. Of course, I've never known men to be big on sending out cards anyway, that always seemed more like a woman's interest. Maybe I take after great-uncle Vernon, they say he was a dyed in the wool sexist too.
He-Man Woman-Hater's Club, that's me!
Of course, being the last of the family living, the house came to me. Vernon apparently didn't have a will to that effect, but his lawyer felt it should go to any family remaining. No idea how he got my number. Guess they had it on file. Or maybe his lawyer called Dad's lawyer and he had my number on file from when my parents passed. Not that it really matters, but I think about things like that sometimes.
Great-uncle Vernon lived a long, long life. He was 107 when he died. A long life means one thing once it's over, a whole lot of clutter for someone else to clean up. Again, since I'm the only one left in the family, that falls to me. I don't know what ol' Vernon did for a living, but it involved a hell of a lot of paperwork. He had a lot of books on science too. Was it a hobby or a career?
Where do I even start? This house is huge. It reminds me of one of those old mad scientist houses you'd see in horror movies from the fifties, the kind of place where you would open some door and find either a Frankenstien monster or a bride of Dracula. Hell, maybe both. Wouldn't that be something? Ol' Vernon was some crackpot, mad scientist who made some creepy abomination in his basement and it's still down there, just waiting for me to open the door...
Okay, enough of that. I'll freak myself out.
Might as well start in the office. If there's any place I'm liable to find out what Vernon did for a living, it's there.
Part 2 and Chapter 1 tomorrow.
William the Bloody Far Behind Everyone Else in the Challenge Redd