Gerry Glenn Jones is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. He has written more than 400 Internet articles, as well, as magazine articles.
Chapter One: The Adventure Begins
As most of the Grayson family slept on a warm fall night in their home in Sioux City, Iowa, the house was quiet. There was lightning in the southwestern sky, but it was so far away, the thunder that accompanied it, couldn't be heard.
The entire family was excited over the new adventure they would embark on in the morning; an adventure that would take them south to Tennessee; Summersend, Tennessee, to be exact. Their new home even had a name, "Estate Estremita."
The Inheritance of Estate Estremita
Bob and his wife, Karen had been packing for about a week and were concerned about the effects the move would have on their kids. Tina, who was seven and Danny, who had just turned 16. It seemed; however, the kids were adjusting to the fact they were moving better than their parents. No matter what, they were all anxious to see their new home; a home left to them by Bob's step-uncle, James Halstead, who had recently died.
Bob didn't understand why this step-uncle left the house and 800 acres of property to him, when in fact, he didn't remember ever seeing James Halstead, and his parents hardly mentioned him to Bob. When he was contacted by James' attorney and told of the inheritance, he was immediately suspicious.
Checking The Attorney's Credentials
Bob, thinking the attorney might be a con-man, asked for all of the attorney's pertinent information, along with email address, certification information and his physical address. The attorney willingly gave Bob this information and told him he was welcome to inquire about his legitimacy. He also said he understood Bob's weariness and went on to say that his step-uncle was somewhat of an eccentric hermit and hardly ever visited the town of Summersend, which was only a few miles away from his home. He said people in the area didn't know much about him.
With this information, Bob began to investigate the attorney's credibility and found it to be impeccable; he had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. After Bob was sure everything was on the level, the attorney took a flight to Sioux City and they signed all pertinent papers and received some keys to the house. They were also told that even though the house was a large antebellum home, it was in pretty bad disrepair, and Bob knew he had a lot of hard work ahead of him. Their new adventure would start with the morning's sunrise when they would leave for the Town of Summersend.
A Visitor Arrives
As Bob began to doze off, the lightning had crept closer, and the sound of the thunder could be heard now, and as the rain arrived, so did something else; something ominous. A figure in a long black hooded cloak approached the front door of the Grayson house.
What was at first odd to Danny, was the fact he was behind this thing and was being pulled along with It. When Danny looked up, he could see the house where the thing was headed, but it wasn't Danny's house. This was an old three-story house that looked ominous itself. The creature didn't stop to knock on the front door, but transcended it, causing Danny to pass through it also.
As a lightning flash lit the foyer of the house and the black cloak the thing wore, Danny thought if this is a dream, it sure is a weird one. When they reached the stairway, it was as if the creature floated up the stairs to the second floor, where it followed the second-floor landing, passing several doors, before stopping in front of the third.
As the being began fading through the doorway, Danny was no longer behind it but was now in bed. Yes, he knew now he had been dreaming and rubbed his eyes before opening them. When he did, he was plunged into terror, when there, near his face, was the cloaked being's black skeleton of a hand reaching for his face.
The Creature Reaches for Danny
As an extremely bright flash of lightning lit up the grotesque figure, and a crash of thunder sent what felt like needles through Danny's soul, he screamed as he tried to get out of bed, but felt himself falling. It seemed like an eternity, but he finally hit the floor. He lay there frozen with fear and was afraid to open his eyes.
He then felt a hand grabbing hold of his arm, causing him to scream louder, but then came a familiar voice, that of his father. "Are you okay, Danny?" his father asked, as he helped the boy to his feet. "The most awful thing I've ever seen was in here, reaching for me," Danny said in a quivering voice. "It was just a nightmare, son," Bob said reassuringly.
"But dad, it was real! I even smelled it; an odor I've only smelled when animals have died; it was the smell of death!" "But, Danny, I don't smell anything," Bob reassured the quivering teenager. In reality, Bob had smelled it the moment he entered the room; it was in fact, the smell of death, which had he had become so familiar with in the first war with Iraq, where he served as a marine; however, he didn't tell his son he smelled it, because he didn't want to fan the flames of the boy's fear. Danny's bedroom window was slightly ajar, and the smell may have come from a decaying animal outside the house.
Was it Just a Bad Dream
By this time Karen and Tina were also in the room looking at the frightened boy. Tina asked in a questioning voice, "Why are you all wet, Danny?" Danny then remembered the rain in his dream, but Tina gave a laughing explanation to it when she said, "Oh, you've wet your pants, haven't you?" "Hush Tina, you would have probably done it too if you'd had a bad dream like Danny's," Karen said, reassuringly.
Acting as though he hadn't heard what Tina said, Danny pleaded, "Dad, can I sleep on a pallet in yours and mom's bedroom for the rest of the night?" "Sure, if you would feel better, but you need to take a shower first," Bob said.
As everyone exited the room, Tina said, "I think I'll sleep on the pallet too, just to reassure Danny." "Okay," Karen said as she softly chuckled; "come on, we all need to get some more sleep before we start our long day tomorrow."
© 2018 Gerry Glenn Jones