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A Possessive House

by Sai Marie Johnson

By Sai Marie JohnsonPublished 2 years ago 18 min read
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Chapter One

First, It Must Begin

The wind whipped against the window where bright blue eyes filled with an unspoken wonder peered out. The sound of the pelting water was the only audible thing around — but this was a comforting sort of quietness that made one feel lulled into relaxation. Almost like the feeling eating turkey gave after Thanksgiving Day had ended.

“Thea, honey, lift your head from the window it’s starting to fog up.” A warm voice whispered. Thea turned to look at the driver and tilted her head — confusion lining her forehead, “It makes it hard for aunty to see, sweetheart. Just trying to keep us both safe.”

“Okay.” Thea murmured lowly, pulling her face from the window as she turned her head to peer back out it.

“Are you excited about moving down here? I think it will be a great new, slower pace for both of us.” Thea’s aunt, Meredith Eleanore muttered. Just from looking at her, you could gather that Merry was a no-nonsense kind of person, but she had an equally kind heart. The very thing that had landed her in this situation. She glanced at Thea and back to the road, her fingers tightening around the steering wheel as she focused on her driving. At least the weather wouldn’t be too different from what either of them were used to, and Thea not answering her had become normal. Though, she appeared entirely like your usual teen, Thea was a special needs child who rarely spoke, and when she did kept her words far and few between. It had only been a few months since Merry had been given the opportunity to raise her niece, and though it was challenging, being a freelance journalist made it a little easier. She had done fairly well for herself when it was just her, but having Thea she didn’t feel right about staying in Seattle. There were some benefits to freelancing, however, mainly that she could work remotely from anywhere. When the opportunity to purchase a beautiful old Queen Anne came up in the tiny seafarer town of Astoria, Oregon, Merry felt like she had won the lottery. It was everything she wanted for Thea and a place she was certain both of them could live without having to deal with too much scrutiny. The one thing Meredith had hated the most about Seattle was the strange and oftentimes gawking stares she and Thea would get doing the simplest of things like going to the grocery store. Seattle was filled with people who weren’t very nice, and it seemed the more time went on the less inclined to caring for their fellow citizens resonated with the populace. This wasn’t going to work for Thea, but buying Irish Rim was going to save it from ruin — which meant it was a win-win for housing in an ideal location with the possibility of earning revenue. Merry was aware that the house had belonged to one of the first millionaires to come out of Astoria, and she wanted to capitalize on that rich history. A history she felt most people had overlooked. She didn’t know too much about Irish Rim — except that which she uncovered on Wikipedia and a few other sites. There was so much that remained in obscurity about the house, which Merry knew had been built for the juvenile wife of an Irish Captain, and their children. However, this was the extent of her knowledge. Nevertheless, Meredith had done her best to research ways to get a house on the National Historic Register and realized there were a lot of renovations she needed to make, but that didn’t matter. This was a historic mansion — practically gold to Merry. Suddenly, Thea turned toward Meredith as they pulled off the highway and began making their way through the sleepy streets of Astoria, “What? What is it, Thea?”

“Hungry.” Thea remarked, lowering her hand to her belly. She glanced back up at Meredith with a sad expression and then pointed back out the window as they rolled past a McDonald’s.

“Oh, you know I hate it when you eat that.” Merry frowned, but she recognized that Thea needed to eat and hadn’t in a few hours. While Seattle was still remotely close, it was just that, remotely. With a sigh, she pulled the car into the restaurant parking lot and followed the arrows toward the drive-thru. While she was big on eating organic and non-GMO, she wasn’t perfect by any means. It had been a long drive and even she was feeling a little famished. Thea turned to look back at Merry and clapped her hands together as she crooned. She loved eating McDonald’s though Meredith had never once figured out why, “I’ll never understand why you love this stuff so much. It’s so bad for you!” Merry shook her head but didn’t push it. The last thing she wanted was to trip Thea’s emotional threshold and send her into a panicked fit. Turning toward the menu board she pursed her lips anxiously, “Okay, so how about a Big Mac? Will that work? Do you want fries and a drink too?” she asked.

“Mac-Mac and tatoes!” Thea began nodding repeatedly, “And Coke.” She muttered, still nodding continually. Merry smiled and nodded back.

“Alright, you’ve got it. Mac-Mac and tatoes.” Merry mumbled.

“Welcome to McDonald’s, what can I get for you today?” the voice from the speaker voice asked.

“Yes, can I get a Big Mac Combo meal with French fries and a medium Coke, please?” Merry muttered.

“Sure thing, anything else for you today?” As much as Meredith hated eating this crap, she knew it was going to be a long day once they arrived at Irish Rim and eating something now seemed to be the most convenient.

“Yes, I’ll have a ten-piece chicken McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce, please.”

“Do you want the meal, ma’am?”

“Yes, but please make the drink a medium Sprite. Thanks.”

“Sure thing, please pull around for your total.” Merry smirked — she hated it when cashiers used that phrase. Why couldn’t they just read off the total from the electronic register that told them the answer when you completed the order? Then, you could pitch a bitch about their screwups long before you got to the window, or better yet — drive off. Meredith wasn’t the sort of woman who feared scrutiny on the aspect of saving herself money, but she was new in town and definitely didn’t want to start off becoming labeled as the crazy new writer who bought a run-down house nobody else wanted.

***

Meredith rolled the car into the long driveway of Irish Rim and her mouth dropped near instantly, “Oh my, it’s…”

“Scary.” Thea muttered clear as day. Merry blinked and turned to look at her, gripping the steering wheel tightly. She sighed and looked forward as a pile of dry leaves began blowing across the drive, skipping through the bars of the chained and locked wrought iron fence with a large, decaying PRIVATE DRIVE sign posted across it. She had to give it to Thea, it did look rather scary — almost uninviting.

“Oh, it’s not scary,” she began as she rolled the car forward until the front tires were just a few inches shy of hitting the fence. She shifted the car into park and glanced back at Thea, “Now, Thea — I’m just going to get out and open the gate. You stay right here in the car and eat your McDonald’s, okay?”

“No like.” Thea muttered, shaking her head as she lifted a fry toward her mouth.

“What do you mean, no like, Thea? Are the fries not good?”

“No — no like this.” Thea’s eyes lifted toward the house and she shook her head again, “Scary. Too scary.”

“Oh, it won’t stay scary, Thea — I promise. It just needs some love and understanding, kind of like you, right?” Merry asked, “Kind of like all of us. Just a little tender loving care and it will be bright as new.”

“Open gate.” Thea stated in a quieter voice. Merry nodded.

“Right, now you stay right here. I’ll be right back.” She left the door open, pulling the keys from the ignition and searching for the proper key. The realtor had told her the gate might be a little hard to open, so she prepared for the worst as she finally gripped the right key. Her eyes lifted to fan out across the beautiful house, which seemed to rip her breath from her chest as she walked toward it. It had been an incredible buy and now standing there with shaky hands, Merry lifted the lock and slid the key inside. Surprisingly, the rusted old latch must have been well oiled or something because it creaked open easily and Meredith grinned as she pulled the chain loose, “Wow, that was simple. Let’s hope that’s a going trend here.” Merry’s hands slid around the wrought iron gate and she began to push the gate open as she smiled wider, “And, now welcome to Irish Rim.” Meredith strode back out of the gate and crawled into the car, “See, now that wasn’t so bad — was it?” Thea didn’t look up this time, her eyes remaining focused on her food, as if the conversation she and Merry had been engaging in earlier had never transpired. Merry sighed and rolled the car forward, her eyes lifting toward the massive house as they moved past the large water fountain that sat in the center of the oval-shaped driveway. Merry finally stopped the car just before the front of the house and turned it off, “Alright, let’s get inside and then I’ll start worrying about unpacking. Though, I’m not sure how much of that I’m going to get to tonight. I also might need to fire up the generator if the power hasn’t been turned on yet. The power company said they would try to be out here sometime today, but since it was so late — I’m not counting on it. Their reviews were atrocious online…not that you care about that.” Meredith silenced herself upon the realization that she was rambling and shook her head.

Creak!

The car door flew open and Meredith stepped out — rushing to the other side of it to help Thea out.

Slurp!

Merry’s foot sunk into a mudhole she hadn’t seen — clear up to her mid-calf she now had deep brown mud that instantly began seeping through her leggings, “Oh gross!” Merry cried out as she pulled her leg free and stood up quickly. She furrowed her brows as she wiped her hand on her pants.

Sniff! Sniff!

A strange scent hit Merry’s nostrils and she groaned, “Oh, son of a bitch! Nasty!” the rotten smell of sewage hit her nose and Merry felt a sudden wave of nausea rip through her belly — the urge unbearable as she relinquished the contents of her stomach. There was something the realtor hadn’t thought to warn her of — the potential for pipe leaks, and the wondrous costs associated with fixing them! As Meredith continued to vomit all over the ground, she reached for the front of the car to stabilize herself. Finally, she wiped her lips and stood up straight — glancing back into the car to see if Thea was still where she was told to stay. With a heavy, burdensome sigh, Merry moved around the car and opened Thea’s door, “Alright, let’s go inside. And watch your step.” She warned. Thea slid out of the car and placed her hand in Merry’s unsoiled one, and Meredith began leading her up the steps slowly, “Now, if you’re hungry a bit later I’ll call in for some pizza or something. First thing’s first, let’s get you in and settled watching a movie or something. Aunt Merry desperately needs a shower.”

“Smells bad.” Thea muttered, as they walked past the mudhole.

“Yeah, I know — terrible, really.” Meredith admitted, a frown of displeasure taking residence up on her face as she scowled at the raw sewage leak — her mind filled with the task of calling around to get it fixed — ASAP!

Chapter Two

Strangely, You’re

Exactly What’s Needed

Dr. Rufus MacDowell shifted a few loose sheets of paper across his desk and sighed loudly. He had a three o’clock meeting with one of his most promising patients in just fifteen minutes, but so far, he wasn’t at all prepared for seeing him. Not in the very least. He bit into his lip as his eyes scanned out across the classifieds in the Astoria Daily News and he perked a curious brow as he scanned over it, “Someone actually bought Irish Rim?” he asked, to nobody but himself. He lifted the paper and began reading over the purchase announcement and bit into his lip, “Meredith Eleanore? Why does that sound so familiar?” he murmured, scratching his head as he placed the paper back down on his desk. He could’ve sworn he had seen the name somewhere and it was catchy enough that it almost sounded like a journalist’s name, “Wait, that’s it!” he announced, lifting his smartphone as he brought it toward his mouth, “Okay, Google — tell me everything you can about a writer from Seattle called Meredith Eleanore.” He wasn’t sure if she actually was from Seattle, but it was the closest city aside from Vancouver or Portland, that made any sense — and so, going off his instinct alone, he smiled from ear to ear when the search engine pulled up a ton of articles and links to the many places Meredith Eleanore had contributed her talents. From the amount of work that Meredith had done through the past few years, Dr. MacDowell found himself rather impressed but when he happened across the news article detailing tragedy — he knew there was far more at play than just random coincidence.

Knock! Knock!

Dr. MacDowell looked up from his phone — his eyes darting toward his office door as he perked up in his seat, “Yes?” The door creaked open and the ruddy face of his assistant appeared in the doorway.

“Hello, Dr. MacDowell.” The young man began, “May I come in for a moment? I have some interesting news I’d like to share.”

“Yes, please come in, Nico, but you know that I don’t have much time before Malakei shows up.”

“Right, Malakei called and said he would be running a bit late — so, I think we’re okay there. Anyway, I heard a rumor that Irish Rim Manor recently sold. Do you hear that?”

“It’s not a rumor. It’s right here in the house purchases section of the classifieds. I didn’t know you were fascinated by Irish Rim though, Nico — since when have you taken up an interest?”

“Well, it makes sense that we should try to complete the project there. Which reminds me, have you gotten all the patients to sign their release forms?”

“No, but that is supposed to be yours and Jasmine’s jobs. Which reminds me, where is Ms. Devereaux today? I haven’t seen or heard from her all morning.”

“Jasmine will be in later this afternoon. She has some pressing doctor’s appointments to attend.”

“Hm, I see. Well, let me explain something to you — Nico, Irish Rim is completely off limits if we do not have all the forms signed. It’s just too complicated and now that someone else owns it, I’m not even sure we can get on with the original idea.”

“That’s what I worried you would say. But, I’ve got some good news. I’ve done a little digging on the new owner. She’s a pretty well-known…”

“Writer, I know — Meredith Eleanore.” Dr. MacDowell muttered, “I was just reading about her sister’s tragic death before you knocked.”

“Oh, then you know about Thea Ivey already?” Nico asked curiously.

“Who is Thea Ivey? I was just reading about Bianca Eleanore.”

“Thea Ivey is the niece of Meredith Eleanore and the daughter of Bianca Justine Eleanore — but there’s more to it than that, Doc. She’s special needs and high functioning.”

“What? Does she have Asperger’s?”

“I don’t know for sure, but I do know that Meredith Eleanore has moved into Irish Rim with Thea Ivey and considering what we know about the more sensitive — this may be the perfect opportunity.”

“I knew there was a reason I chose you for my assistant. It’s about damn time you came up with something viable for me.”

“I do my best, Dr. M. It’s not so easy all the time.”

“Our work field isn’t exactly glamorous or respected, Nico.”

“I know, Doc, but this may change all of that.”

“Perhaps, I guess only time can tell.”

“Great, so what do you think we should do next? Should I try to get in contact with Meredith Eleanore?” Dr. M silenced and glanced past Nico for a moment — his eyes focusing on a picture of Irish Rim that had sat in the corner of his office for years. Now, covered with a film of dust — you could barely make out what it was, but Rufus knew. He could never forget.

“Actually,” Dr. M’s focus came back to rest upon Nico as he shook his head, “No, I think I would prefer paying Ms. Eleanore a visit, in person.”

“Oh, okay. Do you need any of my notes?” Nico asked.

“No, but I do need you to get lost before Malakei shows up. I think we’re going to have an interesting session today. Especially, if he already knows that Irish Rim was sold.”

“Indeed, I guess I’ll go catch up with Jasmine and find out. If she’s gotten all the forms together, and signed.”

“Sounds like a great plan. Have a good day, Nico. I’ll reach out to you and Jasmine later on tonight.” There was a deep silence, like a crevasse at the bottom of the Atlantic, before Nico finally spoke up.

“Alright, have a great evening, Dr. M.”

***

Malakei Mareiota adjusted the strap of his heavy backpack, his grey hoody covering his curly unkempt afro as he strode through the streets of Astoria. Unfortunately, today was a day that turned out really shitty for Malakei, whose BMX had been lifted right off the chain earlier that day. Now, as he made way to see his therapist, he wondered how long he would be forced to walk as a means of transportation before he’d be able to get a new one. He gritted his teeth in aggravation, if he saw the motherfucker who stole his bike he’d knock their teeth down their throat, and then some. What the hell was wrong with people stealing a man’s only means for getting from point A to point B? The way Malakei saw it, it was just like stealing a man’s horse in the Old West, and he wasn’t about to have it. Fortunately, for the thief, Malakei hadn’t seen hide nor tail of them and honestly didn’t know them from any other Tom, Dick or Harry prancing down the street. The only way he’d know them was if he saw his bike. The sprocket was unlike anything anyone else around had, and he knew it. The shapes of each card set lined it with punched out hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs. He had had it since he was a boy, and now it was totally gone. Jacked right from under his fucking nose, “God damn it.” He muttered, punching the air as he walked down the sidewalk, “This fucking blows.” His face contorted and he began skipping up the steps, “Sure hope Dr. M has something to offer that keeps me from ripping someone’s head off this week. I can already tell it’s going to be a great one.” It was a usual day in every other aspect, and as Malakei’s hands gripped at Dr. M’s door handle he pulled it opened and approached the receptionist.

“Hello, Malakei — here for your usual time slot with Dr. MacDowell?”

“Yeah,” he muttered.

“Okay, have a seat.” Malakei turned to slide down into the highbacked wooden chair that sat closest to Dr. M’s actual office and folded his hands in his lap, leaning forward as he sighed heavily.

“Malakei?” Dr. M’s voice echoed above and just behind him, and Malakei lifted his head as he stood up.

“Hey, Doc. How’s it going?” he asked as Dr. M held his office door open. Malakei brushed past him quickly and took a seat on the long couch, dropping his backpack at his feet. 
 “Well, it’s been a productive day, let’s just put it that way. How about yours, Malakei?”

“Uh, I wouldn’t call it productive. It’s been hell — someone stole my fucking BMX when I was at the Dari Mart earlier.”

“Oh, no — did you have it logged with the police department?”

“Yeah, but bike theft isn’t at the top of their list. It really sucks, it had both actual value and sentimental value. Now, I’m stuck walking all around this hellhole and it’s about to be the god damned rainy season.”

“I understand, Malakei…”

“Somehow, I hate to be rude, but I doubt it, Doc. I seriously doubt it.”

“Well, what if I had news that might make things a little better?”

“What’s that?”

“My associate, Nico, informed me today that the mansion we wished to utilize…it’s been sold.”

“What? How’s that good news? Doesn’t that mean we’re going to get all kinds of red tape and denied access now?”

“No, it’s a private owner. What if I could get you a payment that would ensure you could have a better bike, or maybe even a car?”

“I don’t like driving, Doc. I’m fine with just having a bike. It’s safer. For everyone.”

“I see, well in either case. I may be able to commit to that for you. I could probably have checks slated by the end of next week.”

“Why do I feel like there’s something of a catch here?”

“Well, there are a few loopholes I need to see tied off. Which reminds me, have you received one of the permission forms? We need releases of liability so the college isn’t responsible in the event something should happen.”

“Why would something happen?” Malakei asked, his eyes narrowing slightly.

“Oh, you never know. Accidents can happen at any time in any place.” Malakei gulped slightly.

“Do you ever read the Bible, Dr. M?”

“Oh, not in years now, but I have.”

“Do you know about the Elect?”

“The Elect?” Dr. M’s eyebrows furrowed slightly and he shook his head.

“I didn’t think so. Most people overlook it, or they read too much into the idea of the Rapture, which doesn’t fucking exist.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just that, have you ever read the full Book of Revelation?”

“Uh…”

“Everyone always forgets to pay attention to all the words of the book, which is funny, because you’re warned of that from the start of reading it. The Elect are the chosen few who are meant to fight in the End of Days, at Armageddon.”

“I thought all of God’s people were supposed to be taken up?”

“Right, because that’s a common Rapture teaching, but it’s not actually what the Book says at all. This is where the wicked hand of the scholar has fooled and lead us all astray. Again, just like the Book says.”

“What does this have to do with anything were discussing, Malakei?”

“I’m not normal, Dr. M. I’ve been telling you that from the start.” Malakei, wrung his hands suddenly — a nervousness washing over him as he glanced down at the floor, “I’m…different, but I think I may finally know how.”

“Is that so? Well, maybe you can tell me a little more about that through our session, but do you want in on the opportunity I asked you about?”

“I guess, go ahead and get me a form. I’ll go down and get it notarized or whatever you need.”

“Oh, that’s not at all necessary. If you want you’re welcome to sign it now and I’ll get it in the file. Leaves us with no room for mistakes, right?”

“Sure, I guess.” Malakei watched as Dr. M walked across his office and pulled a loose form from a file in a cabinet.

“Here ya go,” he stated, as he walked over and held it out to him, “Let me get you a pen.” Malakei quirked his brow with uncertainty. It was almost as if Dr. M was acting more persistent than usual, but Malakei had no idea why.

“Is everything okay, Dr. M? I get the feeling you’re a little…I don’t know, anxious today?”

“Wow, you really are good at this empathy thing, Malakei. Yes, my mind is a little preoccupied today, but I am doing my best to get through it.”

“Can I ask why?”

“Oh, that’s not your job now, is it, Malakei? I’m the doctor here.”

“Right, I know, but you’re reading really nervously and it’s kind of hard for me not to notice.” Dr. M came to stand right beside him, and held out the pen.

“Nonsense, you need to worry about you. My job is to worry about myself. So, sign that paper and I’ll get your check slated for as soon as possible. How does, I don’t know, five grand sound?”

“Five grand?” Malakei blinked in disbelief, “That’s enough to buy two of my bikes!”

“Then it’s acceptable, right?”

“Uh, fuck yeah, it is!” Malakei muttered, placing the pen to paper and signing away as quick as he could. He lifted the pen and paper and held them up for Dr. M and nodded, “There you go — not slate me that check!” Dr. M smiled and took the paper back to his filing cabinet, opening it and pulling a yellow manila case file out, he slid the paper inside and turned to smile back at Malakei.

“Well, then it looks like soon enough, your wishes will be granted.” Dr. M winked at him, but Malakei could swear there was a strangeness still hiding behind his outwardly calm and it made him curious as to why.

ExcerptFantasyHorrorMysteryYoung AdultAdventure
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About the Creator

Sai Marie Johnson

A multi-genre author, poet, creative&creator. Resident of Oregon; where the flora, fauna, action & adventure that bred the Pioneer Spirit inspire, "Tantalizing, titillating and temptingly twisted" tales.

Pronouns: she/her

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  • La hole2 years ago

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