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 The Haunting of Estate Estremita: Chapter 3 - Part 1
In the previous chapter, Larry Otis, who had originally worked for James Haulstead, agrees to work for the Grayson family as their handyman. To read this section, copy the following link and paste it into your browser.
Movers Arrive With Their Furniture
While the Grayson family was in town, the movers arrived and left all their furniture on the front porch. They hadn't even attempted to call Bob or Karen, so now the family had the job of moving it into the house, and storing some of it in the barn.
As Bob and Karen carried a heavy mattress upstairs, they overheard the two children, who were in the great room, talking.
"I dare you to go down there!" Tina taunted Danny. "You're a scardy cat," she added, holding the basement door open for Danny, who was standing in its doorway, staring into the darkness.
"I'm not afraid to go down there," Danny replied, in the bravest voice he could muster, "but you are! You wouldn't even go down there with me if I went!"
Remembering what he had felt that morning, while he was in the basement, Bob quickly intervened; "you kids, shut that door, and stay away from the basement," Bob heard himself saying, with urgency in his voice.
Realizing he sounded on the verge of panic, he softened his disposition, and added, "I need to check down there for snakes and spiders before you kids go down there. They like those dark kinds of places, and this is the time of the year that many are looking for dens for the winter.
"There, that sounded better," he thought, as he watched the two youngsters slam the door shut, and look at him, thankful that he had stopped their dare.
"Do you really think there are snakes down there?" Karen asked, as they carried the mattress upstairs.
"Probably not, but I just want to be on the safe side before you or the kids go down there," he assured her, reminding her of his adventure on the balcony.
Bob considered telling his wife about the strange sensation he had felt of someone watching him the day before, while he was in the basement, but didn't want to frighten her with something as outlandish as that. She seemed to be wary of the house anyway, and he didn't want to feed her anxiety with his own feelings.
The Furniture Moving is Over
After getting the kids to help bring some of the furniture into the house, Danny and his father loaded the rest onto a trailer and pulled it to the barn with an old Ford pickup that James left them. They unhooked the trailer and returned to the house, where Karen was making sandwiches.
"Not sandwiches again!" Danny complained.
"If you want something else, fix it yourself; I'm tired," Karen answered sternly.
When nothing further was said, the family sat down for another feast of bologna and cheese sandwiches. It was about 9 p.m. when Danny decided he would bath and sleep in his own room for the first time. He felt more comfortable now with some of his own belongings in the room with him.
The lightning flashes could be seen on the western horizon as a fall thunderstorm gained momentum. The thunder was about 3 seconds behind the flashes, which meant the storm was still a good distance away. Danny hoped his new dog, Duke, who slept in the barn, wasn't afraid of the storm.
The Broken Shutter
The old house was quiet now, except for the noise that Danny made, getting ready for bed.
"I'll be fine here alone tonight," He nervously reassured himself. He knew he needed a good night's sleep because he'd have a lot to do tomorrow.
Both, he and his sister looked forward to the morning. Their mother was taking them into town to enrolled them in school, and he wondered how many pretty girls would be in his class. He also wondered if he'd be able to make the high school baseball team in the spring. He was a fair pitcher but had no idea how good the other boys in the area would be. He would just have to wait and find out. Danny turned his stereo on but turned the volume down, so it wouldn't disturb his parents and sister, who was already sleeping.
Sometime during the night, the storm arrived. It had begun slowly, with the wind picking up, but it was upon them now, and the constant flashes of the lightning and the tremendous claps of thunder shook the house.
The rain that fell was a cold, October rain, and as the wind changed direction from southeast to north, it became even colder. The cold didn't affect Danny as he lay there in his warm bed, but what did disturb him was the clapping sound outside his window, which started when the wind changed direction.
"What could it be?" he pondered. Whatever it was it would keep him awake if he didn't find its source.
The wind progressively increased, and now the sound was like artillery pieces on a battlefield, and Danny decided he couldn't stand it any longer. The noise sounded as though it was on the outside of the house, so he opened his window and immediately discovered the origin of the sound; it was a loose shutter outside his bedroom window.
Danny remembered there were some nails and a hammer in his bathroom. He had used them to hang some of his posters and pictures. Danny retrieved them and thought he could temporarily fix the shutter noise by reaching out of his window. He just prayed he wouldn't slip and fall.
The Terror Arrives
Danny decided to nail the shutter to the side of the house until it could be properly fixed, but the rain and wind hindered his progress. As he knelt on the window seat and reached outside as far as he could, he began to hammer in the first nail, but the head of the nail was slippery from the rain; however, he was making progress. The nail was sinking deeper and deeper into the shutter with each blow. If he could just get it to travel through the shutter and into the wood of the house itself, he could stop the flapping and get some sleep, but just when he thought he was home free, a glancing blow on the wet nail head caused it to bend before it made contact with the house.
"Damn," he heard himself say in a muffled voice; as if he were afraid his mother or father would hear his profanity.
"He must use the other nail," he thought," as he mumbled another curse word and almost dropped the wet hammer.
Danny had started the second nail and was making headway when he heard what sounded like a woman's muffled moan, below him. The sound startled him, and he momentarily forgot about the grip he needed to keep on the window sill with his knees, and he slid outward, away from the window, with the force of gravity pulling at him from outside. He immediately remembered where he was, and dropped the hammer from his right hand, and grabbed the broken shutter, which swung him out away from the house on the single hinge, which remained attached to the shutter and house. Danny swung out with such force the shutter slapped him into the side of the house and knocked the breath out of him.
Danny's Fight For Life
"I've got to hold on!" Danny warned himself. "I've got to keep calm!"
As quickly as he had swung out, a gust of wind caught itself between Danny and the side of the house and swung him back towards the open window.
Danny grabbed the window sill with his left hand and held the shutter with his right, but his weight and the wind tore it loose from the side of the house. As it plummeted downward, he was almost dragged down with it, before he realized he must turn it loose.
As the boy hung there in disbelief as to what was happening, he glanced toward the ground again, just as a flash of lightning illuminated everything down there. There was something down there besides the shutter; it was the cloaked figure he had seen in his dream the night before they moved to Tennessee. However, this figure was not alone.
There are Two Beings
Another cloaked figure, much bigger than the first, arrived and began pulling at the smaller figure. As Danny held on for dear life, he heard the smaller figure say "help," in an eerie, pleading voice.
"Stop it," he heard himself yell, as the larger one continued to pull the other one away.
Then the second being looked up at Danny with a ghostly, dark stare, which sent waves of terror through Danny's body. Then the thing spoke in a deep, harsh voice, and said, "you are next Aycock!"
At about this time Duke showed up, and began growling at the larger being, which caused it to cover its face with its arm as if it was afraid of the dog; then they both were gone, They seemed to just disappear in a mist.
The Conclusion of Chapter 3 - Part 2
"Why did it call me Aycock?" he wondered, but was flung back into his plight as someone or something was pulling him back inside the window. He was never so glad to see his father.
Join us next time in Chapter 3 - Part 3, as a Danny tries to explain what he saw and heard. Also, the mysterious handyman, Larry Otis arrives at the plantation.
© 2018 Gerry Glenn Jones