The Maybrick Estate

Trust I seek

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Willard exhaled a big sigh as he held back the tears that had started to well up in his eyes. He waved his hand as if to magically clear the cloud of emotions, "hmmm, nah-ah, story is over" he said, choking on the lump in his throat. He removed a dirty old rag from the front pocket of his overalls and began wiping down the bar. He failed to make eye contact let alone conversation from that moment, he'd completely shut himself off. Whatever ending his story must have had, it must have caused him some serious heartache and pain.
I took his silence as a cue that he would rather be left alone, so I finished my glass and left the bar - feeling a little bit more off balance than what I normally would have expected.
The afternoon sun was blinding after spending so much time inside the dimly lit bar. It took a while to adjust, and not a second too soon - as I was mere inches away from being hit by a speeding grey station wagon that fishtailed its way through the main road in a cloud of dust giving me no choice but to take a leap of faith and dive out of the way. Two men came running out of the hardware store across the road, "Fucking maniacs, you could have killed someone", one of them yelled as the car took off into the distance, while the other helped me to my feet. "Donald - Don Ketch" he introduced himself as he helped me up, "and that there's my Brother Larry".
"Nice to meet you both - Sam James" I said, returning the introduction as I dusted myself off before the three of us re-grouped and entered the hardware store.
"Fucken' hooligans can't help themselves, I tell you what - they're lucky that they just kept on going" Larry muttered as he made his way behind the counter, "If i ever get my hands on those sons'o'bitches there will be hell to pay" his face a beetroot red with fury.
"Excuse him. One of his dogs was killed by a car that was speeding through town not so long ago, he's still not quite over it" Donald told me on the quiet as he went about stocking the shelves. I noticed his accent wasn't as thick as Willard's, he still had an accent but was very well spoken.
"So Sam, obviously you're not from around here, what brings you out these ways?"
"home, I guess" I answered "Well, its more of a house than a home at the moment. It needs work, a lot of work". Donald listened intently, "so you're new in town then? well you've certainly come to the right place for all things fixer-up" he said with a chuckle that together with his spectacles, moustache and pot belly reminded me of jolly old Saint Nic.
"Well no, I'm outside of town" I replied, "and as far as I know this is the closest hardware store to where I'm staying".
Donald had a look of putting two and two together written all over his face "So you're him then, you're the new owner of the Maybrick Estate?".
"Yep, I'm him" I replied, bracing myself for a lecture from him about how cursed the house is.
"Well Son, you've definitely got a lot of work to do on that place, I would suggest getting your essentials hooked up and then I would set about gutting the place out and starting over"
"So that's It" I returned "Aren't you gonna warn me about the cursed land, the deal that Charles Maybrick made with the Devil so many years ago?" I regretted my rudeness as soon as the words left my mouth, fortunately Donald's reaction assured me that no offense had been taken. He chuckled, turning his eyes into thin slits as his Rosy cheeks raised with the amusement, "You've been over at the Lady Belle haven't you - talking to Willard Holiday" he struggled with his words as he continued to laugh, "That crazy coot is as coo-koo as coo-koo clock, he'd tell his story to anyone who'd listen - but I wouldn't believe it, his story is full of plot holes the size of tractor tyres. He spins so much bullshit that he can't separate the truth from the lies".

"What is the truth then?" I asked, "If I'm gonna live there I'm gonna need to know something at least. The place is old, it has to have some sort of a history". Donald pursed his lips and nodded with agreement, thinking. "So what exactly did Willard tell you?" Donald asked, smoothing out his moustache.
"Well, long story short - he told me that the Maybrick family were the founders of this town, but were kicked out due to their strict religious beliefs and their murderous behaviour by a mob that was lead by your father. The Maybricks leave town, sold their soul to the Devil at the crossroads - yada yada yada, and boom the Devil builds the house out of the bones of the dead buried under the earth. Many years later Willard meets a girl - girl invites him home (the Estate), girl serves him wine infused with her blood - he blacks out - he wakes up and finds out that he's been raped (I think) by the girls mutant sister/brother - he blacks out again and wakes up back at the Lady Belle where they end up serving the very wine that the girl served him at the Maybrick Estate which made him hear voices telling him to send the customers at the Lady Belle to her. And that's where he ended his story - obviously quite upset about it all."

Donald choked, hand over his mouth, trying to hold back the tears of laughter that were beginning to stream down his face, but he couldn't hold it in - and neither could Larry who's laughter could be heard in the background. "In the seventy eight years of my life, that has to be the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard", he removed his spectacles and wiped his eyes dry with the collar of his flannel shirt.

"So what is the truth?" I asked again.

"Well, for a detailed account of what really happened I would suggest that you go and see Sister Mary Sutherland in the town library, she'd probably at least have record of the Maybrick family if they ever lived in this town and no doubt she'd have a newspaper clippings relating to them and the house. But if you want my account of the truth - to my knowledge the truth is that they were a close knit family who kept to themselves and were pretty self sufficient. The mystery that they liked to surround themselves in lead to all sorts of accusations, they were accused of running a brothel, they were accused of being murderers, they were accused of being cannibals, they were accused of being incestuous, they were accused of being highway men/women - but to my knowledge they were never found guilty. They just lived and either moved along or died out without continuing their bloodline".

I had to admit, Donald's opinion was a lot less fantastical than Willard's, but there again there were parts of Willard's story that I couldn't help but believe, especially with the description of Cadence and how she sung Ave Maria - I couldn't deny the uncanny resemblances in his story that I could relate to the dream I'd had the night before.

"So, a sledgehammer then" Donald insisted as he handed one to me, practically forcing the sale upon me. "And some rope, electrical cable, and perhaps some hand tools - monkey wrench, hammer, pliers, hand drill, those sorts of things too please" I asked.
Donald directed me to Larry behind the counted while he fetched the requested items.

"You look just like him" Larry said, studying my face.
"I'm sorry, I'm not sure who you have me confused with" I told him, "I'm not from around here obviously".
"Your father!" Larry said matter of factly, "You look just like your father, except younger".
"You know my Father? I asked.
"No, I don't know him. He's been here before asking about the house. Looks just like you, so I did the math".
Donald interrupted the conversation with his return, carrying a basket full of essentials which Larry added their values up on his till.
"want me to load these into your car?" Donald asked. I looked at the pile of tools remembering that I was an hours walk back to the house. "Yeah, I was about to ask" I started, "Is there any chance of catching a ride back, you see I don't have a car, I sold it before I moved here for 5 grand which is as it turns out the only money I have left in my name.

"Divorce is a bitch" Larry blurted. It was an accurate assumption. Donald reached into the back pocket of his jeans and pulled out a set of keys which he threw toward me, "You see that piece of shit out front?" I figured he was referring to the rusted pick-up, "Take that, it's yours on loan for as long as you like, just don't go stinking it up in there". I was grateful to say the least but latter comment made me a little self conscious even though it appeared that he was joking.
"Thanks Don, I owe you one" I said, shaking his hand in appreciation. "Yep, you sure do" was his response.
I waved the brothers a goodbye with a promise to return and headed out the door to load the tools into the truck. The old dog that was shading itself under the truck greeted me with a whimper, It nuzzled for a while before lazily wandering into the hardware store.

Despite its looks, the truck started up like a dream. It's low rumble was music to my ears - the folk music blaring on the car radio was not. Willard was standing outside the Lady Belle, waving, "You take care now you hear" he called out, I could still sense sadness in his voice. Without drama I was off up the road heading back to the Estate, consciously on the look out for any signs of the river that Willard spoke of - but unless is was hidden further out behind the trees it was nowhere to be seen.
The pick-up hummed as I pulled up to the front gates of the Estate, to my surprise they were wide open. I was sure I'd closed them on my way out that morning. I shrugged It off and closed them behind me before jumping back into the truck and heading up the long driveway.
I was met with quite a surprise as I pulled up alongside the house that afternoon. For It seemed as though I was no longer alone. Parked up on the verge at the front of the house sat a familiar dusty, gun metal grey station wagon.




To be continued....
Next Issue: Outlawed.
6 comments:

I see you fixed the comments, thats good!

You weren't kidding when you said it was a cliff hanger. You have me wanting more! Ok Stephen King Jr. go ahead with the tale, I shall wait patiently.


Hi Haley,

Yep fixed the comments, had to fiddle around with it a bit - for some reason It would only let me have the comments box open in a new window, but I'm happy with that.

I think the title of the next chapter should give a little clue into what you can expect. But will they turn out to be friend, foe or simply meat for the slaughter - that is the question.


Hey you have an award to pick up on http://pushbuttonalpha.blogspot.com :)

I know it's kinda weird because I'm sure you weren't aiming for a Lovely blog award lol, but it might bring you a few more readers ;)


"I think the title of the next chapter should give a little clue into what you can expect. But will they turn out to be friend, foe or simply meat for the slaughter - that is the question."

Sam, thats almost like holding a piece of chocolate cake out to me, offering me a slice, and then snatching it back! "is this cake moist, will the chocolate melt in your mouth" kinda thing! Dont tease me like that! LOL Just kidding. Take your time, Im not going to rush you. I dont like a good story to come to an end. I read Stephen King's Dark Tower series all 7 at one time. However, when I was just before the half way mark of the 7th book, I decided I was not ready for it to end, so I closed it and put it back on the shelf with the others. About a year later I decided I wanted to read it again. I started on the first book, and read the series all over again, but when I reached about the same spot as last time on the 7th book, once again I closed it. haha. Till this day I still have not finished because I just dont want it to end. While I eagerly await your next chapter, I try and have patience,because good things come to those who wait! Have a great weekend!


@Alpha Buttonpusher:

Awesome! thanks for the award and the kind words. Much apprectiated :)

@Haley:
So far there is no end to the Maybrick saga - I hope to keep it going for as long as possible without making the story "tired and boring". At least I can assure you that unless something happens to me (or my computers) there are plenty more chapters to come.
I haven't read the dark towers yet - I have however read one of the dark towers graphic novels which was a side story to the "gunslinger" character. I do like the idea though, of how King has linked all of his characters together in each of his books - he's made his own universe. Much like I hope Clive Barkers latest novel "the scarlet gospels" to be similar as we know that he's put two of his most famous characters up against one another ( pinhead vs harry d'amor ). Here's hoping that I actually see that book published in this lifetime though. Been waiting nearly 10 years.


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