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My wife and I are looking for an old house to rebuild and found a 120 year old Queen Anne style house that needs some extreme love. We were able to crawl into the house by way of the fallen back wall. A newer addition had fallen and dragged down the rear wall of the kitchen. The rest of the house is in amazing shape. But what really surprised me were the belongings still in the house.

When people move out, even in a hurry, they take the important stuff like the good furniture, the family pictures, records, and books. But this house still contained good antique furniture filled with dishes and knickknacks, pictures of the family still on the wall, books, records, old bills, closets with clothes still on hangers. It was eerie, to say the least. In the front room was a hospital bed along with a cot in the adjacent room. Some elderly person had been cared for here in…I look at the calendar on the wall…2005. It all seemed much older than that.

But for some reason, they had left almost everything behind. There are personal photos in every room.

The creepiest thing I discovered was in the basement. A room deep in the dank dark dusty basement had been painted pumpkin orange. The rest of the basement was full of discarded furniture, clothes, and other belongings. But this room had been cleaned out and held an old single bed, a small table and single chair. It appeared to have been abandoned at the same time as the rest of the house. It just made me wonder what the family life was like that they would not only live like this but leave it in such a hurry.

In my experience when someone dies, the remaining family sorts through their belongings and disposes of the house and anything they don’t find a home for. But in this case, it was almost as if they simply walked away.

We are seriously considering buying the house as a project, a last home for us. If we do, I want to include pieces of the previous owners as mementos. Yes, that’s kind of weird, but I think there is some mystery to the house, and playing with it could be fun.

“Who’s that in the picture in the corner?”

“We have no idea. It came with the house,” I say with a smirk.

“What’s with Orange Room in the basement?”

“What Orange Room?” I say mysteriously.

Regardless of whether we end up taking the house or not, I got some pretty cool ideas for stories out of the process.

Prologue

I’ve never killed anyone. I’ve thought about it, of course, we all have. But the thrill is not what I expected. As I worked out the details and fleshed out the plan, my excitement built. Now, standing over my victim with a baseball bat, I feel it much more than I could have imagined. I’m almost giddy.

Once I had the planning complete, Devin made the rest so easy for me. Sicily described him as a sloppy drunk, and she wasn’t kidding. He was at his usual spot on the beach and in extra special form today. Drunk off his ass and not even noon. Hell, it might be a continuation of yesterday’s drunk. Who knows? I imagine he thought of himself as a beach bum, he did live in Florida after all, but he looked more bum than beach.

After a friendly hello, all I had to do was offer him a fresh beer, and he downed it without hesitation. What a douche! There was enough drug in it to put him down for hours.

“We’re going to need more beer,” I said and lead him to the car; like luring kids with candy. I should be arrested.

In her discussions, Sicily spent a lot of time on how to find the perfect location. It is the most critical part of a plan, she said. But it turns out that Google does know everything, making it easy. Online satellite images helped me locate the perfect cabin.

Requirement #1 – Old shack built out over the swamp. Check!

Requirement #2 – On rarely used back road of another back road. Check!

She couldn’t have described it better; this place has been unused for years. Even the discarded beer cans and trash are old. Once I finish with Devin, I only have to push the body off into the water and walk away.

Honestly, the hardest part was getting him out of the damn car. He’s a big boy, and dragging his unconscious body into the shack was harder than I expected. I really should have rented the SUV and backed it right up to the door. Lesson learned.

The main room of the cabin is bare except for Devin, inert in the middle of the floor. His hands are tied behind his back, but legs free, as per the plan. A chair to prop him in would have been handy, but watching him writhe on the floor will be just as good.

I’m shaking and sweating in rivers. My heart pounding in my chest. And yet I’m smiling and fearless. The nervousness and fear I expected have vanished. The swamp air is hot and moist, but it seems fitting.

I’m about to kill someone! Holy Shit!

I pace while I wait for Devin to wake, breathing deep to calm my heart. I hope I didn’t give him too much of the drug. An overdose is not the death this ditwad deserves. The bugs circle and buzz in a growing cloud. The message must have gotten out. Fresh meat! I swat at them angrily as they start to get vicious. I’m getting impatient.

Finally, my victim groans and begins to squirm. I take another shaky breath and heft the baseball bat to poke at him. He had to be awake for this part.

It’s time to start.

[Let me know what you think in the comments.]