I wrote the book, "Legend of the Bottoms" in 2005, but didn't attempt to have it published. I am presenting it here as a series.
Recap of Chapter 2 - Part 3 - The Tour
The Grayson family had arrived at their recently inherited homestead and were touring the large house for the first time. They had found the inside of the house to be in great shape, with exquisite furnishings. It was quite different from the dilapidated exterior of the house.
If you haven't read any of the preceding parts of this book, you can copy the following link and post it in your browser. https://letterpile.com/serializations/The-Haunting-of-Estate-Estremita-The-Arrival-Chapter-2-Section-3
James Haulstead's Bedroom
Finally, the family had reached the last bedroom of the second floor and expected it to be like the others; however, they were in for a surprise. When Bob opened the door, Tina said, with a gasp, "Yuk!" Even though this room was furnished like all the others, it was very unkempt; with newspapers opened and lying around the room. There were also several trays of uneaten food in various locations. The room smelled of rotten food and of a man who seldom bathed.
The bed stood as if it was the centerpiece for the room, with its four posts of oak, and hand carved headboard and footboard, but unlike the beds in the other rooms, it wasn't made up.
"Look at this bath," Karen said, as she stood in the middle of a room that was almost as big as the master bedroom they had visited earlier.
"I wonder if this is where he died." Danny inquired morbidly, as his eyes took in all the features of the filthy room.
"The clean up of this room will be our first order of business when we get started on the house," Bob insisted.
"Now let's finish our tour," He said.
The double doors at the end of the hallway were exactly for the purpose the family had thought them to be. As Bob swung the doors open, the hinges made the same screeching sound as the ones on the front door.
The view was very impressive, even in the darkness that had engulfed the house and farm. The moon was almost full, and it cast an opaque light onto the trees, and farm buildings, and made them seem magical.
"I've have died and gone to Heaven," Karen sighed, as Bob took a step onto the wooden balcony, only to retreat quickly to the sound of cracking timbers.
Karen and the kids laughed at Bob's expression of panic, and she intoned, "another fix-it project!"
Visit to The Third Floor
With the completion of the excursion of the second floor, there was only one place higher up which was left unvisited; the area at the top of the second set of stairs.
As Bob led the family up the narrow stairway, he was more cautious after his experience with the balcony. They would have to be careful; not knowing what condition the rest of the house was in. The room on the third floor was a very large empty space, suitable for many different uses.
"I would love to have a room built over there," Karen said as she pointed to a back section of the room. "A small office there would be perfect for my writing room."
"We'll plan on building you one," Bob replied. "We might even get the kids a pool table."
"Or we might even get dad a pool table, huh," Karen added, smiling.
"I'll second that," Bob said, as he raised his right hand.
"Now that we've seen the house, could we find something to eat?" Danny asked as he rubbed his stomach.
First Night in The House
After unloading the car with the necessities, the family sat down at the huge table and had a fest on bologna sandwiches and soda pop. As they were finishing their one-course meal, Tina slowly lowered her head and went fast asleep with her forehead cushioned by her half-eaten sandwich.
Bob yawned as Karen spoke, "I think it is bedtime; after all, it's been a long day."
"Would it be okay if Tina and I slept on a pallet in your room?" Danny pleaded; remembering his dream.
"Sure Danny," Karen said affectionately; "but only for tonight."
As Bob picked Tina up, Danny thanked his mom for her reply, and the Graysons headed upstairs.
A New Day
The tired family didn't have any problems sleeping that first night, and Danny didn't have any nightmares.
The rays of the morning sun broke into the bedroom and woke Bob, who sat up in bed and surveyed the room; not quite realizing where he was. It took his mind a short time to register the fact that they were in Uncle James' house.
"The movers should be here fairly early, " he surmised as he climbed out of bed and got into the shower, which woke him refreshingly. After shaving, Bob headed downstairs to make coffee. He looked forward to that first cup in the old house.
An Unexplored Room
As Bob made his way down the hallway to the second-floor landing, he stopped at the top of the stairs and surveyed the area below him, taking in the craftsmanship of the old house. He was still amazed at the fact that this place now belonged to him and his family. It was a dream come true!
As he stood there, staring down into the great room, he noticed it for the first time; a door leading off the great room the family had not opened. Bob wondered what other areas had they overlooked, as he made his way down the staircase.
Bob crossed the expansion of the large room on the first floor and arrived at the door. He had decided it must be a cloak closet or some type of storage area. What he found, surprised him.
Anxiously, Bob opened the door, not knowing what to expect, and was again surprised to find the house had a basement. The darkness of the underground room made it a foreboding place, and he fumbled his hand along the room's interior wall, hoping it too, had electricity hooked up to it. When Bob's hand touched the switch, he thought out loud, "good." However, the illumination of the dark cavern didn't seem sufficient to overcome the darkness, and the ambiance didn't change very much, but he could see now, he thought, as he made his way into the basement.
Bob noticed that some of the boards were loose on the stairs, as he cautiously made his way down into his new found treasure. This would be something else he would have to repair.
As the curious man reached the bottom of the dilapidated stairs, he could see in the dim light that it was a sprawling chamber, with many large square posts, holding up the upper portion of the house. The floor was paved with stone, which appeared to be the same kind of stone that covered the driveway, the walls of the basement were made of red brick that showed its age.
In its day, this place was probably used to store vegetables that were grown here on the farm, Bob concluded, as he continued to look around. He wondered if it may have been used as a wine cellar too. This thought was confirmed when he saw the wooden rack that lined the south wall. It still contained bottles of wine.
"This is definitely a treasure!" He determined as he touched the bottles on the rack. He wondered if the wine was still good, and even pondered at the possibility it might be a wine of vintage years. He would look forward to the sampling of it later.
A Strange Feeling
As Bob Grayson stood there, gently touching the bottles of wine, as if he were afraid they would break, he felt it! It was a strange, haunting feeling that crept upon him. It was almost as if he was being watched from the darkest areas of the basement.
"I've got to remain calm," he kept reassuring himself, as he backed up the steps, keeping his attention on the dark vault below, anticipating something reaching out and pulling him back into the abyss that was now flooded with his emotions.
The nausea was gone now, and as fast as it had come upon him, and so was the fear that he now felt embarrassed about. Bob turned the light off and shut the door, as he stepped into the sunlight that cascaded through the windows of the great room. He felt much better now.
Why had he become frightened? That was silly," he thought. "I am a grown man; I just let my imagination get away from me," he rationalized.
House Exploration Complete
Well, the Grayson family has finished exploring the house and are preparing to get started with their new life. Besides working on the house, which will be a formidable chore, Bob must also learn how to become a farmer and rancher.
Even though the first night in the hoose had been uneventful, the future will bring terror to the entire family, so join us next time with the "Haunting of Estate Estremita:" Chapter 3 - Part 1 - More Surprises.
© 2018 Gerry Glenn Jones
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 24, 2018:
This is an interesting chapter as this family explores the house and gets settled in, while not realizing problems to come.