The whole town of Aurora tells rumors about my grandfather's farm. Supposedly, the place is a hotspot for the deceased.
Ironic, considering that my grandfather, the esteemed Gregory Wilson, rich beyond belief from his many years in the law department, recently passed.
Everyone in town has a story about meeting a dead friend or relative that is seeking revenge on them in the afterlife. If it were up to them, they’d never have to visit the farm. Unfortunately for them, Gregory was the best lawyer in Aurora. The town has a reputation for getting into trouble, so lawyers were a valuable asset.
My parents, aunts, and uncles all refuse to get the hundreds of thousands of dollars left on the farm. They all believe the rumors, so I was sent instead. I volunteered, actually.
Everybody else might believe in ley lines and all that supernatural nonsense, but I think they’re possibly not quite right upstairs, if you know what I mean.
I want the money, and there’s no good reason to leave it on the property with no one to spend it, so I ignore all of the superstitions and drive up to the condescending metal gates of the farm entrance.
Although the richest man within many miles, my grandfather was a huge cheapskate. Instead of parking on asphalt, I get to park in the grass and trudge through the mud up to the front gate.
The gates have long been rusted shut, and Gregory never bothered to fix them. There’s a permanent hole in the middle of the gate, hacked away by some power tool 10 years back. Eventually, the whole town just got used to the holes in our clothes from catching on the stray bars as we climbed through.
The farm isn’t very well lit, so the path to the house looks like something out of a horror movie. The lanterns are very spread out, and hung from tall metal posts that look like they’re straight from the medieval era. The gravel path is basically reduced to dust, as my grandfather never bothered to replace it.
Nearly at the front door, I look around to check if the rumors are really true, just to spite people. I can go back to town and rub it in their faces that I went to Gregory’s house, at night, and didn’t see a single evil spirit.
When I look at the woods, first I see nothing. Then, in the trees near the shed, I see a little bit of movement, and for a moment chills run down my spine. Quickly, I rationalize and figure it was probably just a small animal. It’s a farm; things are bound to run around at night.
Opening the front door open with a creak, the inside of the house looks completely abandoned. My grandfather only died a month ago, but it looks like it hasn’t been lived in for years. There’s dust everywhere, and if you look hard enough you can see a few birds nests hidden in the damaged wooden furniture. I pull out my phone, and turn on its flashlight.
There is black liquid dripping from the ceiling. I hope it’s oil, and not some other unknown substance. The floor is covered with specks of blood, possibly from many different animals. I wish I knew what happened here. Maybe something died. Stupid poachers.
Exploring further into the house, it looks more of the same, minus the blood specks.
I reach my grandfather’s office, and there is crime scene tape over the door. Ignoring it, I walk in, and the blood spatters are back, but there are more of them. They fall all over the back wall, disdaining the grand picture of Gregory in his finest and only tuxedo.
I step over a pool of blood in the doorway. I note a gun on the floor, and a knife on the desk. The gun and knife both have scarlet staining all over the handles, and the knife has blood on the blade as well. Something definitely happened here.
I continue ignoring the misfortune splattered across the room, and look for the safe. Gregory loved his games. In his will, it said something about his prized possession hiding an even greater gold…
The painting. The one thing my grandfather told me never to touch. I always thought it was because the painting was expensive, and he didn’t want to pay for another one. But maybe, it was just hiding something even more valuable this entire time.
Stepping over evidence cards and more lines of crime scene tape, I make my way to the painting of my grandfather, and I search the edge for a latch or a handle. On the bottom right corner, I find a notch where you might be able to slide something thin. I grab the knife sitting on the desk behind me, and I wiggle it inside the crack. Eventually, I hear a click.
I tug at the edge of the painting, and with a bit of effort, it breaks open. Sitting inside the hidden compartment is the safe, peacefully unaware of the scene that happened directly in front of it.
I pick up the safe, knowing I’ll be able to crack it open as soon as I get to my workshop.
Taking the knife with me, knowing that my fingerprints have now placed me here, I leave the room and walk out the front door.
Making my way down the front drive, movement just like before catches my eye. I look to the left, and I see a figure. The creature has a knife driven into its heart, and a bullet hole in its forehead.
My grandfather has come to seek his revenge.
I sprint down the drive, trying to get to my car before Gregory can do to me what I did to him.
Almost at the gate, I can feel his presence behind me, chasing me down. I run as fast as I can, terrified of what might happen should he catch up to me.
Before I can make it to the gate, my grandfather appears in front of me. I stop, and pull out the same knife that I drove into his heart just 4 weeks ago. I brandish it, wondering if I can kill him twice.
He says, voice deep and cocky, “So we meet again, Emery. Of all my children and grandchildren, I knew you would be the one to strike. You never could resist a good pile of money.”
My grandfather slowly steps toward me, the ground thudding beneath his pale feet. “You could’ve taken the easy way out. You could’ve slipped a drug into my drink, or hired a hitman. There would have been no evidence of your arrival. No one could ever trace it back to you. Of course, the Wilsons never do anything halfway. You wanted to see the look on my face when you murdered your sweet old grandfather in cold blood. Well, Ems, now it’s your turn.”
Smiling wild and sadistic, he pulls the translucent knife out of his chest, and plunges it into mine. I look down, expecting it to go straight through. It is a ghost knife after all. But when I look at my shirt, red is seeping around my heart, and pain starts to bloom.
Fortunately for me, I’m dead before I even hit the ground.