by John Yeo
At last we own our own property, we are so proud it belongs to us, lock, stock and barrel. There is a lot of work to be done it is very rundown and we have boxes and stacked everywhere on the bare wooden floorboards.
Our pet mongrel dog Rags, has settled in, always barking at the slightest noise or a strange passing dog.
Cindy and I are energised and we are decorating the house from top to bottom.
Cindy has an organising mind and this morning she said.
"We will sleep in the downstairs front room until we finish the bedrooms off"
"That's OK by me!" I reply. "Hey! Look at that dog, what is he doing with that old stick someone has wedged across the stairs? He is trying to get that out from there!"
"Oh, Rags, come here you silly boy!" Cindy shouts.
"Oh leave him, at least it is the outside stairs."
Mrs Potts our nearest neighbour pops in for a chat and a cup of tea, bringing a hamper of groceries,
"Just to tide you over dears, until you can get to the local store."
"Thanks so much!" I respond, "Can I pay you for them?"
"No don't be do silly! I would like you to take them as a good neighbourly gift."
Mrs Potts sits on a packing-case drinking a cup of Cindy's special brew tea.
"Did you hear the story of old Mr Brown, who last lived here, he was a very eccentric tyrant of a man. He would always be chasing the local kids away if they wandered off the path out front, on to his drive. He would charge out of the house waving a big stick to scare them away, every time anyone passed by."
"No!" We chorused.
Mrs Potts took another sip of tea. "Well he was a bit of a hermit, living alone and not mixing with anyone socially. Rumour has it that he would drink vast quantities of home-brewed cider and get very drunk. One day he tripped over a stick on your back stairs, very drunk and not looking where he was going. He lay at the bottom of those stairs for a whole week before he was discovered, sadly he died on the way to the hospital."
Cindy refilled Mrs Potts teacup, as we sat listening to this tragic tale.
"Well!" She continued. "Rumour has it that someone deliberately lodged that stick there to trip him up, but there was never any proof and nobody is owning up to anything."
At this point there was a loud barking from around the back as Rags, tired of trying to dislodge that pesky stick, just sat there barking at nothing, there was no one to be seen.
When Mrs Potts saw this and noticed the stick lodged across the back stairs she nearly fainted with the shock. Cindy gave her a glass of water and produced some smelling salts. When Mrs Potts came around she was alarmed.
"Surely that is not the same stick that was responsible for the death of Mr Brown! How did that get there?" She cried.
"Oh! That stick has been there since we moved in!" I said, "Rags has been going potty trying to get it out, we thought he was just having a game, but after hearing your story now! I wonder?"
We both finish the day working non-stop, flat out to get as much done as possible before it gets too dark.
As we settle down to sleep Cindy whispers. "Good Night darling, I hope our little house is not haunted by the ghost of Mr Potts!"
"Good night Cindy! Don't worry, Rags will see him off!"
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.