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Estate Sale

Some treasures are better left undiscovered.

By Mark GagnonPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 3 min read
Estate Sale
Photo by Ember Navarro on Unsplash

I enjoy perusing the classified ads. People will post everything from attempting to reconnect with a long-lost love to selling a pair of slightly used shoes. There really is something for everyone. Since I’m new to town, checking out the classifieds gives me some insight into the people who live here.

An ad for an estate sale taking place today caught my attention. It seemed the owner had died without a will. He had no relatives, so the city took the property as payment for back taxes. I googled the address, filled up the gas tank, and headed out for the sale.

My journey took me to the rural part of town. It was a pleasant drive through pastures and wooded areas, with the occasional farmhouse dotting the landscape. Just when I thought I had missed my destination, a sign that read Estate Sale with an arrow pointing up a long, winding driveway came into view. Perched at the end, resembling a vulture waiting for something to die, was a large, poorly maintained farmhouse.

The place gave me the creeps. A feeling that was reinforced by the loud cracking sound as I stepped onto the porch and the screeching from rusty hinges as I opened the door. Summoning my courage, I strode into the ante-room and called out, “Anyone here?” No one answered at first, but after about thirty seconds, a faint voice replied, “I’ll be with you in a second.”

About a minute later, a painfully thin elderly man emerged from behind another creaking door.

“Hello, and welcome to the Teach family estate sale! My name is Jeffery. I represent the town in the liquidation process. Please feel free to wander about the place. If you find something of interest, I’ll be happy to tell you the price.”

The idea of wandering around this creepy old place gave me a ghostly shiver, but having already driven out here, I might as well look around. Just not in the attic or cellar. The former owner’s name, Teach, kept nagging at the fringes of my mind. I knew it belonged to someone famous, but I couldn’t place it.

Most of the contents in the old house barely interested me. I had turned to leave the master bedroom when I spotted something partially hidden behind a dresser. I slid the furniture a couple of inches and a sheathed sword fell to the floor. The leather sheath was cracked with age, making it difficult to make out the designs burned into it. This was the find I had been looking for!

When I brought it to Jeffery and asked the price, he looked befuddled.

“That item is nowhere on the inventory list. I’m not sure what to charge you for it.”

“How about fifty dollars?” I offered as I tried to keep a straight face. “Since I’m the only one to show up today, it will probably be your only sale.”

Jeffery hesitated, allowing my observation to sink in. “Sold for fifty dollars!”

I quickly handed him the money and left the house before he changed his mind.

On the way home, I stopped at an art supply store and bought several large sheets of tracing paper and a box of artist charcoal. Later that evening, I used my art supplies to lift the engravings from the sheath. They weren’t letters, but runes. It took some time, but using the internet I translated the symbols. They were an incantation that, when spoken aloud, gave the sword’s owner protection from his enemies. Of course, like all black magic, there was a price to pay for using it. I set the sword down and stared warily at it.

The last thing I discovered in my research was there was a famous pirate named Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, the deadliest of all pirates. I now owned his sword. Spontaneously, the incantation flowed from my mouth and the sword glowed. I paused abruptly in mid-sentence and the glow faded. I'm not ready to pay the price tonight—there is always tomorrow.


About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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