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February 13, 2020

Fiction: Aunt Beth's House

This week's Words for Wednesday is hosted by River at Drifting through life. This week's prompts are pizza, vase, racing, chainsaw, derelict, buttery and/or hand over the ham! Visit other participants at River's blog here.

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Fiction: Aunt Beth's House

Oh, do not mind me. Sit wherever you like. We do not often have visitors. When Mrs. H., my housekeeper, informed me you are here, I was pleasantly surprised. But here you are. No journalists has visited us for some years, not since Aunt Beth's passing.

Ah, you've noticed the vases. They are lovely. I do not know how many there are. Here and there, they appear all over the house. They seem to demand flowers. If you happen to see one starting to fill with water, ignore it. Aunt Beth used to have a man bring in flowers for them on a weekly bases. But later, she realized how costly that was. She then had the man emptied the vases instead. He had since retired. But Mrs. H. performs the task now, quite admirably, but I see her sometimes whispering to the vases when she thought no one is looking.

We have our own garden but we grow only fruits and vegetables. The gardener, Mr. Z., often complained about the lack of rain. But he cannot complain today. The rain will certainly bring out the zucchinis. I must call Mrs. H. to bring us some tea and cakes.

You have never met Aunt Beth? That is unfortunate. Aunt Beth was my father's older sister. I have known her since I was three when she brought me here to live with her after my parents' passing. She was very kind to me. Yes, of course, the house is mine now but I have always thought of it as Aunt Beth's house. Yes, quite a lot of rooms here. Seventeen of them.

What have you heard? Nonsense! There are no ghosts here. None that I have seen. But I do wonder why pizza boxes with books sticking out of them often appeared on the third floor guest room. Everyone I have asked, did not have an answer. Nor do I know why the teddy bears on the window sills keeps racing across rooms and even across hallways to other window sills in the house.

Indeed, we have a library that took up the whole of the fifth floor. Somehow, a white oak tree had grew on one side of the room. Aunt Beth said it appeared the same night that she brought me here. I do not remember the tree had ever been small. I guess to a child, all things looked bigger than they really are but the tree did grew. It would take a chainsaw to get the bits and pieces that had crawled into the cracks of the wall and around the book shelves. Its lean, thin branches had since glued themselves to the walls almost covering the entire room. Every time I thought it has stopped growing, I would find a new branch covering yet another patch of the walls. The book shelves holds ancient hardbacks that might fall to pieces if you pick one up. Aunt Beth had said they would not do that, not when they have been standing up for a hundred year. But I dare not give permission to anyone to try and read any of the two thousand books. Mrs. H. often pops into the library to dust but she is the only one I can trust with the books.

Oh no! You have been misinformed. Aunt Beth's spirit does not haunt her bedroom. It is true my aunt worn perfume with the scent of honey. There is a derelict dresser in Aunt Beth's bedroom that is full of old doll dresses and in the bottom drawer, there is a tiny family of spiders who likes to collect buttery honey cake crumbs. Sometimes the scent of honey would fill the room and trail through the hallways and all around the house. You can smell a bit of it now. This morning, a group of cats enticed by the scent, appeared in the yard, yearning to come inside. Thank goodness Mr. Z. knew to give them milk and send them on their way.

The kitchen is quite large. Our cook, Mrs. Q., said she feels like a queen when she prepares meals each day. But she dislikes the voice that keeps calling out 'Hand over the ham!' every time she opens the cabinet door second from the left. The voice has never explained himself. It is a man indeed as the voice is thick and husky and once in a while, he pleads for a wife.

But I'm straying. I know the many rumors that has been going around about my aunt. Some said Aunt Beth was a witch. Others said she was a goddess who once ruled the underworld. And then there are others who thought she was a crazy cat lady but without the cats. Please understand, my aunt was not a witch nor a goddess nor crazy. She was an extraordinary lady who just happened to have a peculiar taste for odd things. She even bred tiny horses. Mrs. H. and I went through her wardrobe before the funeral and we found six ponies about an inch high in a hidden compartment. One of the ponies even had a tiny white horn on its forehead. The next day, they disappeared. We never saw them again. But I'm not suppose to tell you any of these things. But just in case, drink this tea before you go.

10 comments:

  1. An intriguing story about a very odd house. I think I would love to wander around in there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ River: I wrote about this because I actually want a house like this. Maybe someone would build a house like this and let people tour it like how some authors and famous people have their house turned into museum for people to visit.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. I wonder whether that tea will cause 'forgetfullness' in anyone who drinks it.
    And yes, like River, I would love to spend time in that house. And with the narrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Elephant's Child: Oh yes, the tea will make all the visitors forget they have ever been in this house or heard any of the quirky stuff.

      Thank you for taking a tour. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. @ Christine: I'm glad you've enjoyed enjoyed the tour.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  4. "And then there are others who thought she was a crazy cat lady but without the cats."
    LOL. You managed to use all those tricky words! I was wondering about the chainsaw 😂.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Roberta R: I really didn't want to use 'chainsaw' as I don't like that image but it makes sense.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  5. So wonderfully written! Love it so much! RO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Ro: I'm glad you love this.

      Thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

      Delete

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