Let me tell you a story about how I unearthed my family’s deep dark secret. The one they kept locked in the basement. My name is Lucy Graines and I am an only child of only children. I hated my childhood. Raised by a meek and docile woman. Tortured by my hateful and domineering father. He was a “the glass of milk is spoilt” kind of man. The day my legs were strong enough to run far away. I did, and I never looked back. Mom died ten years ago. I felt a tinge of pain when my childhood friend called to tell me. If dad would have died first I may have tried to reconnect with mom. Dad died last spring. Heart attack they said. Good riddance I say. I came back last year with every intention of selling this old place.
From the outside you would think this three-story monster of a victorian house was a mansion. Long ago it was. Of all the 6000 square feet only 2000 is habitable. Makes for a difficult sell especially when people find out someone died in your house. Think about it though, most old houses have seen death. That is a fact. People and their superstitious nonsense never cease to amaze me. I thought I could clean the place up and make it at least presentable so it would sell. That is when I discovered our dirty little secret.
Cleaning the attic I found old albums. I thumbed through the “Baby” book. Mom and dad were so young. They actually looked happy in the photos. I don’t think I ever saw them interact happily. Not like in these photos. They almost look normal. I turn the page, “Baby Girl Graines born June 25, 1976. I actually felt dumbstruck. I was born in 1980. I turn the page again. In big bold lettering “Leslie Morna Graines”. The book ends there. Everything else is left blank.
This book and name never left my mind but at this point in time there was no one left in my family for me to ask. Being an only child of only children had drawbacks. Especially when you are the last one left alive. That scratching is driving me nuts!!!!! Every since I moved back I have heard it. I remember it as a child. Mom would tell me it was raccoons in the basement. That made sense enough.
Three months ago I found dads journal. I honestly didn’t take him for a “writing my feelings” sort of man. I thumbed through it. I didn’t much care to read how he felt, it is not like he ever cared about me. I thumbed through it until I saw the name “Leslie”. I am too consumed with ambiguity to go into detail. Basically I had an older sister and she was bat shit crazy. At the age of 4 she killed their pet cat, Charlie, with scissors. Mom apparently was pregnant with me and this was not the first animal to die (and was far from the last) at Leslie’s hands. They locked her in the attic at first. There were hoping she would get better but she only got worse. From what he wrote I could tell he began to fear her. They ended up moving her to the basement.
When I read this my heart dropped and I ran to the basement. There was an old room they referred to as the “paint room” and the door was permanently stuck. Or so I thought. I could hear the scratching on the other side. Even if I had someone to confide in there was no way in hell I was letting anyone know what I thought was on the other side of that door. I half thought myself crazed. After 3 days of prying on the door I found the key. It was put away in dad’s garage. I found it taped to the bottom of his workbench drawer when I went to grab a screwdriver.
I ran to the basement grabbing my flashlight on the way. I opened that big wood door. My light illuminated this small bare room. It smelled as if there were 15 corpses in this tiny little room. In the corner I saw her. She was dirty and crazed looking. Hunched down holding something. What was it? What is that in her hand? Just then, she lunged at me, mouth gaping, teeth ready to bare down on me. I realize at that moment what she had been doing, the thing that she was holding. She was eating a rat. She had been sitting on a mound of partially eaten rat corpses. That must have been how she survived for so long. At this point I decided to take over dad’s tasks. The journal outlined everything. He would quickly open the door and feed her once a day. He would somehow restrain her and clean the room 2 times a week. Seems like an easy job until you realize the person you are feeding and caring for is constantly trying to attack and kill you. I kind of understand why he was that way now. I get it. I thought I could tame her. What a joke. She almost got the better part of me 3 days ago. Thank goodness Mr. McKney was dropping the mail in the box. I would have been a goner if he had not heard my scream and she had not gotten him first. She pounced on him and I slammed that big wood door, locking it with a quickness. I had known that poor old mailman since I was 5 years old. It is a shame.
I know what I have to do now. It is too bad my old man didn’t finish the job first. I’m too Overworked and overwhelmed to deal with this. I’m better off taking the insurance money and running at this point. I managed to shut and lock her back in her tiny little room with poor Mr. McKney’s body. That is something I will have to live with and now Im going to take this gas can and fix all of this. There won’t be a splinter of that damn house left by the time the local firemen make it here. I am the only child of only children that will always be my legacy. I will see to that.