Grandfather's House By Lindsay Hannon

Posted: October 10, 2018

Juvia didn’t even notice when the taxi stopped in front of the house until she heard the taxi driver’s voice speaking to her.

“Are you sure you gave me the right address ma’m? This doesn’t look like a young lady’s house.”

“Probation says it’s mine…unfortunately.” Juvia sighed as she dug out her wallet, “How much do I owe you for the ride?”  

“Keep your money! You’re going to need it if this really is your disaster!” The taxi driver replied, shaking his head in the house’s direction.

“Thanks! Have a great day!” Juvia stuffed her wallet back into her backpack and hurriedly scrambled to open the door. Money was tight. Anything free was good right now.

She hopped out of the car hurriedly and onto the cracked sidewalk, dragging her black based, purple lined duffle bag and matching backpack behind her. Everything she owned was inside these two bags, along with the house and anything that may lurk inside.  

When first bought, the old building was a beautiful two-story home with whitewashed sideboards and huge dormer windows that let in beautiful streams of daylight, looking out onto the beauty of the outdoor garden. But once Juvia’s grandfather had gotten his hands on it, the beauty disappeared. In present day, the windows were all tinted black, the sideboards were rotting and old, the outdoor porch looked just about ready to collapse from the rotted pillars of wood keeping up the deteriorated black shingles. The garden was left for dead. Weeds and dead bushes crept through the once blooming flowers, along with a decaying fence bordering the cracked sidewalk. Everything on the exterior of this house looked like a rat’s nest. And it was all hers.  

Going off the pictures given to her upon the news of her inheritance, the inside looked no better. In the pictures, dust covered every surface, smoke and dirt seemed to linger in clouds, covering most of the picture’s lenses. The stairs inside were decaying and broken according to the temporary landlord and the lawyer in charge of the probation proceedings. “Very Unsafe.” They had quoted in their report. The kitchen cabinets were hanging on hinges in the pictures and the antique furnishings were shredded and scratched to bits. The whole house from the pictures looked like it had never been cleaned and nor been upheld to even the lowest of cleanliness standards. That was just how Juvia’s grandfather had wanted it to look. He only ever gave a single reason to the people who would dare ask why he was destroying such a beautiful house. “It’s not my house, it’s the creatures’ house! I have to please them!”

For this he earned himself quite a name in the small town of Glenealy, Ireland. Crazy. Old. Man.  

When Juvia was a small child, her grandfather would often send her letters about the beings that lived along with him in the house. He would write to her about the mischievous doings of his eighty-year-old golden retriever which he claimed to be a ghost dog. Her grandfather would send her little bracelets and charms that were supposedly from the creatures. Her mother would always scowl when she showed her the pretty new trinkets.

“Dollar Store Junk.” She would comment.

At seven or eight years old, it amused Juvia to feel like she had supernatural friends in far off places. But her parents, on the other hand, found it disturbing that she was being told these wild tales by her grandfather. Especially at an age where she would grow to believe them. So, slowly but surely, the letters stopped coming. Juvia wasn’t allowed to go get the mail anymore like she used to, and when it was brought home it was kept up on a shelf, far out of her tiny hand’s reach. Later, when she had gotten older, she realised that the letters were being shredded in her father’s office shredder, and were absolutely illegible afterwards. Her parents wrote her grandfather a letter when she turned fifteen, saying that she would no longer be receiving the letters, and finally admitting to the old hopeful man that she hadn’t been receiving them for years. Despite their intense and continuous efforts, the letters never stopped coming.  


To be continued...