Everything Must Go
Back in the early nineties there was money to be made in action figures. Things from the late seventies and eighties fetched a handsome sum in comic book stores and toy shops in the pre-Ebay era. And being a geek man-child, it floated my boat to be able to make bank by something that was near to my hear, â€œStar Warsâ€!
One fine autumn day my dad walks by and excitedly hands me a mint Millennium Falcon. â€œWhere the hell did you get this??!!”Â I exclaimed, and he proceeded to tell me about this estate sale a few blocks away. A treasure trove of toys that had me wringing my handsÂ in anticipation of scoring the mother-lode .
As we drove to this estate sale, he told me this place was sealed up since the early eighties. Apparently the owner of the house went missing, and had no heirs. Therefore it was tied up for a decade or so before the state could pawn it off and keep the proceeds. Everything in this place was being flushed so they could sell the house off.
We entered the sale via the garage and walked into the house through the kitchen door.
Even the cold war era canned goods were marked for sale! We proceeded into the front room where card tables had been set up to display wares. On them were religious idols from every conceivable faith. Obviously this guy wasn’t taking any chances and was hedging his bets.
The feel of the place was oppressive, the sunlight stopped at the window panes like it was afraid to enter. It left a murky unwholesome feeling inside me. But I shook it off and looked instead at a voyeur’s paradise. I got to go through some poor guy’s life and poke around and judge him! How awesome is that?
I started with the front room closet. I opened it and promptly jump back, startled. Hanging there all ghostly white was a wedding dress on a coat hanger, floating in the blackness. It was turned on the metal hanger so it stood in the frame like some floating apparition.
After chastising my self for getting jumpy, I took the sight of the dress in. Expensive looking silk, but marred over the breast by a large brown stain…. and a slash through the fabric. You know, over the heart? I felt a cool breeze coming out of the closet tickling the hairs on my arm. I shut the door…nope, no â€œStar Warsâ€ figures here.
I thumped my way upstairs looking for the room that held my prize. I walk into a bedroom that was vintage 1979. This was it! Freddy Mercury beamed down at me from posters. â€œStar Warsâ€ sheets on the bed, this had to be the place! I looked in the closet where my father had told me he saw the stash, empty! Some bastard had jumped my claim!
Disheartened, I started pawing through this stack of high school art projects and paintings. Byy and large they were of skinned women floating over arcane symbols and inverted pyramids. Freddy looked on disapprovingly as I pondered a time where a teacher would comment â€œvery creative!” instead of sending you down to have a talk with the counselor. My Queen loving benefactor had some issues.
Shaking offÂ a headache and vague nausea, I went in search of my dad. This was a bust. Beyond that the place just felt tight and oppressive. Not finding him anywhere, I wandered around finally going to the basement. Off to the right was the laundry room and dead in front of me the boiler and heater. To my left was a bar room done up in the finest of â€œMiami Wiceâ€ fashions. A hot pink and teal color scheme fought with cow print patterns in a battle where everyone lost. There was a huge bookcase as well, so having nothing better to do I decided to see what was to be had.
On a board above the bookcase were three skulls cut from the forehead down behind the frontal bone. They were screwed into a board and painted in yellow, red, green and black patterns. I was reaching to take it down when I noticed something you don’t see in most Halloween dÃ©cor, fillings in the teeth. This dude really was a freak!
On the first shelf was a wrought iron blade with a jagged edge and bamboo handle. I got goosebumps when I picked it up. Why? Because next to it was a photo of a vaguely Freddy Mercury-looking man holding this same blade. To his left was an elderly Voodoo priest with his face painted like a skull. He wore a top hat and had a piercing glare. Okay, who was this guy?
The rest of the shelves held leather bound books..spell books. Penned in brown ink. That was it, I’d had enough of this. I just wanted to leave this place, frustrated at psychosis and lack of sell-able action figures. I headed back to the stairs and was near trampled by a herd of blue haired bargain hunters. Throwing my back to the insulation and sucking in my gut so they could troop past me, I hear a click and felt a spring latch pop open into my back. I turn around to see a narrow hidden door behind the insulation. I just had to see this.. Feeling around in the dark like the claymation dude from Tool’s “Sober” video, I felt a switch and turned it on. I squeezed on into the room and wished I had left well enough alone.
The 20 foot by 20 foot room was covered in sound proof white padding. In the center of the room’s floor was a drain and over it hung a chain. A hose was coiled up by a water spigot in the corner like a sleeping snake. Brown stains were angled towards the drain. Finally, ringing the walls near the ceiling were pictures of women. All very similar in age and shape, all blond, most probably dead.
I managed to make my way outside where I dry heaved. There was no investigation. The state’s only concern was selling the property and keeping the money from it. I found out that the owner of the house was the sole inheritor of roughly a million dollars, all of which was going into state coffers.
The final hing about Was the house was it’s location. It backed up to the Maumee river. A disused boat sat half submerged in the water, the perfect set-up for a serial killer. Where’s he at? Who knows. Personally, I hope Dexter took care of him. But he vanished, maybe some avenging angel gave him the same treatment he handed out, or maybe he’s still out there. All I do know is that I threw away a mint condition Millenium Falcon that day.