The house on Crenshaw Street, Pt. 2
Our first visit to the old house was primarily to get an overview of the place. I knew immediately that there was one room that I would need to spend some time in. The library. The shelves were filled mostly with novels, going back decades. Many appeared to be first additions. There were also stacks of newer paperbacks. It was obvious the old woman was into mysteries. A hospital bed covered by a colorful handmade quilt sat before a large window that overlooked a private patio and backyard. I imagined how beautiful the flower gardens must have been at one time. She must have spent her last days or years in this room and perhaps died in this bed.
In a room that was mostly old, except for the modern paperback novels was a contemporary Bose Wave music system. The contrast between the old and the new made me chuckle. It also made me want to know more about this woman. Old people often don't adapt to new ways, but here was someone who brought contemporary into the antique. It appeared that time had not stood still for her. I wondered if she had ever married. Was it possible that someone could really only have one surviving relative, a cousin?
I determined to speak to the cousin even if she didn't want to speak to me.
Beside a large fireplace, in the corner of this room was a built-in bar. The shelves were lined with Waterford crystal. There were only a few bottles of liquor and they look old and long since touched. Sitting on the bar sat a newer television set and VCR. In the opposite corner of the room were built-in book cases. I noticed something was off about them. They were not flush with each other. Upon closer examination, I realized they opened from the center. I heard "Oh, cool, Dad, a secret room!" from my son. He walked right in. Inside was a safe built into the wall, several locked boxes (some metal, some wooden) and a file cabinet. There was also a large stack of vintage phonograph records.
Since the safe was locked, we had no idea what was in it. The locked boxes were heavy and by the sound when shaken, something was in them. Surely, someone besides the old woman knew of this room?
Curiouser and curiouser I became.
Before we left that day, my son and I peered into the basement. We couldn't find a lightswitch and it looked pretty dark down there. My son asked what I thought was down there. I told him "dead bodies probably". He grinned a nervous grin, the kind of grin you have watching a horror movie. You know it's not real, but you feel scared all the same.
He asked if I was going down there. I said I was. He said he would, too, but I had to go first. I called him a chicken. He clucked at me. He informed me that if there were any zombies down there, that the only way to kill them was to cut off their heads. I remarked something about the extent of his knowledge about the walking dead.
The basement was not too interesting. The walls and floors were stone and the foundation was amazingly solid and dry. The walls were lined with canning jars, storm windows and screens, pails and the such. No zombies. This disappointed us both, but it was just as well, since we had nothing with which to decapitate them.
We decided to spend more time on our next visit.