It’s always an adjustment moving from the big city to a little town in the woods, was known for it’s gorgeous views, scrumptious brews ň dishes. I took that straight from the brochure, off my 2hr flight from my once home in New York. At the property I bought with 30 year savings of 2.5 million containing 4 hectares of land, quaint 3 story cabin with a wrap around porch, four bay windows dotted all the way around level with on another masterfully. Inside was even more; a hand crafted old-fashioned chandelier hovers above my head, a grand straiwell on either side of the foyer together to make a perfect craftsman half circle shaped stairwell to the second story. The opening middle of the archway like stairwell leading to a kitchen with two doors: the right to the dinning hall, the left to the living room it had a second door back to the foyer. Across from the living room door to the foyer, this door lead to the downstairs office according the the blueprint. Strangely there was a hatch that the blueprint left out, only visable because the rug that covered the small room wall to wall was turn up to reveal the antique fresh polished hardwood flooring, I’ll save this for later I pondered brushing the rug back before leaving the room to head upstairs. Each step had it’s own moan as I climbed it was like an out of tune piano. There were 4 bedrooms down the wide hallway then a turn towards the left, the left was a seeming dead end a foot in but it was definitely newer drywall and paint on the blueprint was a hallway leading to one more bedroom, down the right was the stairwell leading to the finished attic with a full bathroom and the rest empty built in shelving like a library. Next the dreaded basement, the door was on the wall just after the stairs, down the rickety old rudimentary staircase was a laundry room to the right food storage, to the left was what appeared to be a workshop of sorts. The hallway beyond that lead downwards a ways to a bricked off wall with a sign saying: Do Not Enter, Abandoned Un maintained Tunnel System Below. Creepy I thought as I swiftly jolted back up the stairs slamming the door shut behind me, back outside I ventured to the old red barn to the rear of the house. Inside the barn was typical, nothing too special besides a 4-wheeler, a big tool room putting the basic tool shed to shame, with some tinkering I got the 4-wheeler running happily with the plethora of tools on hand. Now we get to 4wheel out to each edge of the remote property, to my knowledge the far east corner connects with Standing Firn the destination for good eats and seasonal farmers market ripe with delicious fruits ň veggies. I’ll make my way there first since we only have 2-3 hours of daylight max, parking the 4-wheeler in its own parking lot adjacent to the normal car lot. The town center is bustling almost over stimulating for a big city guy with no social navigation here.. well time to pull up my big boy pants and make some friends I thought as my feet began gracefully walking I let the stimuli in one at a time; first that came to me was the smells of fresh baked bread from the bakery, following the change of wind came the saloon a strong smell of ash trays… definitely not going near there, the sound of the smith smithing finnaly people walking at a steady calm stride, one stood out there was a clack with every heel he put down he was coming my way. “Doctor Zeal! welcome to Standing Firn I am mayor Yut,” he said with his right hand jutted out for a handshake. Good to meet you Yut as I returned his strong grip, “I heard Standing Firn’s doctor passed last year I am sorry to hear I am here to resume his position, if you are interested of course,” with a giddy smile plastered across my face. “You do make a good proposition, how about you meet with me and my wife over dinner tonight?” Yut put his hand on Zeals shoulder talking lower than normal while looking about making sure nobody is eavesdropping. I watched him walk off talking with someone looked important, he left a note in my formal casual duster jacket pocket containing his address “3447 Picket Street” below a lovely “Be here at 6 O’clock sharp,” When I noticed the lights were going out outside I ventured back to my 4-wheeler to make my way back to the farmhouse to get ready for the dinner, along the way he decided it would be a good fit to wear a formal casual suit.. his normal. At 3447, I stood waiting outside a beautiful craftsmen ranch style single-story, typical small town suburbia. When the short brawny Yut opened the door he immediately offered to take Zeals overcoat, upon being declined Yut stepped back to let the tall bearded doctor in. “Welcome to our home Zeal, please do follow me to the kitchen. My wife makes the best spaghetti in town we’ve got plenty to share, ” Yut pointed down a hallway briefly while maintaining the conversational tone “very gracious of you I’d be honored to meet you both in person.” He joyously chuckled. In the dining room now, taking the neatly folded cloth napkin from the table he extended it full to drape over his lap that way, no runaway food items would end up staining his lap. Upon finishing the heaping pile of garlic deliciousness called spaghetti, they remained at the table catching up with each other over anything but a silly zoom meeting or that of the like one on one’s are always the best kind. The room was giddy, up until Zeal mentioned the Doc from days yore that’s when the mood went top side down in moments to gloomy, “I was curious still how this came to be there are no newspaper clippings.. no news.. nothing,” he looked at the two across the table as a doctor in not just medicine but phycology he smelled deep dark emotions lurking. “Well extravagant night, thank you for joining us Zeal you may see yourself out we need to rest up for the annual farmers festival tommorow, good night Doc.” The pair rose from their chairs to head up the stairs assumably to their bedrooms, something is fishy Zeal thought as he discarded his napkin at the table then left himself turning back looking at the house.. something was off. Finnaly back at the farmhouse I sat on the porch overlooking the non light pulluted sky for the first time in many years he could actually see the stars. When he rose from the rocking chair to return to the house he caught a glimpse of a tall top hatted well suited man—just like the Doc wore— he decided to follow the figure into the nearby woods too an unmarked location then it vanished into the ground, Zeal added a marker to where the man stood then made haste back to the farmhouse for tools. Digging up the oddly loose dirt he found what appeared to be the remains of the doctor, there was a note that read: “Dear Doc Boston, I am sorry things had to end this way you see things are very different around here now we must keep the creatures satiated or we will surely all be slaughtered. Rest assured Doctor Zeal will take your place for a couple years then we’ll add him next to you here in the quiant woods we used to sit and have picnics as kids in. Signed Mayor Yut. Zeal gasped at what he just read, that’s what they are hiding in that house he huffed at the decite remounting his 4-wheeler to race down to the mayor’s abode with a makeshift molotov cocktail with one of his cloth handkerchiefs and a fresh bottle of vodka. Tossing it through the bay window, the house caught like tinder he made haste so nobody will see the perpetrator that is bad for politics he thought. Again at the farmhouse dirty and disgusted at what his once friend Yut had done, looking back at the small town the flames were roaring still smoke plumbed up into the atmosphere, happy with how the night ended he went inside to catch some Z’s before the sun rose in a couple hours. The sun pierced through the small crack in his bedroom window bringing him out of his slumber to be met with the same man as before.. this time he nodded “Thank You,” as he walked into the light. The room went dark once more, confused he collapsed back into his pillow until the next morning when the birds began chirping. He made a cup of coffee with his French press then sat on his rocking chair to watch the wonderful yolk peeking over the sawtooth mountains a perfect picturesque moment, until a black suv headed down his drive trialing an emmense dust cloud, “Doctor we need you and swiftly,” The colored man in the suv pleaded, “I’m with you,” as he took the last few swigs of his coffee. The man drove to the remains of the Yut residence to find the crispy remains of the mistress while Yut was unscaved entirely, “You sneaky sneaky Doctors can’t keep your noses out of anything can you,” Yut glared Zeal down like he was prey, “pardon?” he responded out of reflex, “Don’t piddle paddle around with me I am not a mear idiot, I followed you home then into the woods fearing you’d interfere, I was right, then you have the audacity to burn down my house after I welcome you into my town with open arms, why?” Yut went off like a fourth of July party,”You deceived me, I am.. was your friend Yut, if you had told me your situation perhaps I would have been more receptive but you didn’t thus I had to learn myself, when I read the confessional letter you left in his unmarked grave site I was dumbfounded that you wouldn’t tell me these things” Zeal clamy expressed as if it was a casual conversation, “Look Zeal I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you, it is not something I’m proud of but as the mayor I must keep these people safe from the wicked darkness that curses this land,” Yut defensively scorned, “Well we’ll see what the authorities say about that..”wait Zeal don’t let’s go for a walk,” Yut interupded what he was about to say, Zeal slipped the note to one of the officers discretely. “you know what this is going to cost me and everyone else you just put in jeopardy,” Yut flustered, “yes I know mhm,” as Zeal watched the officer cuff Yut dragging him to the back seat of the cruiser. Once the officers left with Yut the town began to grow dark the lush life of the village began to degrade, Yut watched out the back window as he began to fade the further away from the town he went. Infact everyone just faded away, Standing Firn was a legend that finnaly died off, days yore there was a grave wildfire that engulfed the town overnight, everyone and thing was a shadow that seemed all to real. What looks to good to be true, it probably is.
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