If you really want to know what I think…
Well, I did not think much of them when they showed up. A whole family come in to take an old home that I had almost forgotten about; they were gonna take the barn next to it as well and then, well, that was none of my business…
None of my business…
Y’see, I think that was the problem right there. We were a small town and did not ever have to deal with anyone wanting to move in. Sure, you got your occasionals; I mean tourist, y’understand? Nothing wrong with that when the weather is nice and you have all of the harvest ready for sale (you should really try the peaches that old man Landry has before you leave town). But these people were doing things in an odd way. They came in and everything changed.
Maybe it had something to do with the time they come in. It was in the autumn, beginning of that kind of cold you can feel in the soil after you got everything out of the ground and you just hope that the winter won’t be too long and too cold for yourself. I really thought that it was a bad joke.
No, I never spoke to them for that first week. God knows that they would have enough to do if they were going to live in that old place. And I know what people like you think when you look at these kinds of stories: there must have been some story behind the place they purchased; there must have been some sort of story about why that place was never occupado after all that time. Well, there ain’t no story behind the house; no ghost in it; no demons living in the cellar or attic. Thing is that I do not even remember gossiping about it when I was a boy and first saw that it was always dark when we went out at night. Did not even name the place when we all talked about it…strange.
The barn was a different story.
No one ever went near that thing. It was all falling apart and ragged like a real haunted house even when I was a boy. I can’t even remember what they had in there or what they grew and stored in it; just like it landed out of nowhere and we all got used to it.
Some of us got used to it…
Anyway, like I said, they come in and we did not really talk for a while. I saw that they were fixing the place up and I was happy to see that. New paint on the front and the boards for the steps and the front porch were redone (they were smart enough to prime it before painting it up) and the grass and bushes got cut and trimmed real nice. It looked like it was really gonna work out for them.
But still, that barn…
They did not know what to do with it.
Okay, I am not quoting them at all when I say this to you, but it was clear that they had no idea what to do with it. And if you want to know why I know what I know, it is because they asked around town about it.
Think that’s why they kept hesitating over what to do with it.
There was so much land around it and they could have just planted something there and made a little money, but they were clearly not farmers. They had the house and they had their own lives. Becoming farmers or owning livestock was not very high on their list, I think.
Did hear about the advice they got. Some of us knew how old the barn was and did not want to do anything to it. Most of my friends said to just let it rot out in the back and then sell of the land to someone who wanted to farm it (even got some offers not too far from here). There was even talk of getting a bulldozer and knocking it down (strange how it kept standing for all these years when it always looked like it was on its last legs).
But no…they wanted to keep it.
Really, they did.
Yes, they did.
Reason? You want a reason? Maybe they wanted to let Mother Nature take over and finish the job she had been doing for such a long time now; maybe they thought it added to the look of the place (stupid thought; don’t quote me); or maybe they just did not care. I can’t say. I saw their lights on the evening but rarely during the day. And they did not have to look at it the way the rest of us did.
So, it stayed. And then things started to happen.
Maybe I was the first one to notice the change in the barn… I saw what was happening to it and did not say a word about it until others started the gossip. Every time those did something to the house – all that painting, fixing and priming – the barn began to look a little bit better. A hole in the roof disappeared; the red paint seemed a little bit brighter; the grass trimmed and cleared. It was a strange sight to see. Just weirdness that must have been tied up to…
Oh, yes, I did. I had to call it in. We had a local sheriff and constable, but Gus and Dave had never seen anything like it. Two young people moving into our small town to buy a property and while they take care of it, someone come along and killed them both like that. Pretty gruesome and nasty if you ask me, and nothing about it making any sense. That lady was definitely pregnant and she seemed to be really happy about the chance to be a mother. He was always at work, or away, or wherever he was, but you could see and hear them some evenings and there was no sign of a break up or separation.
So, you are gonna knock it down, right? I ain’t superstitious, but I think a lot of folks around here would be just a lot happier if that barn was gone, no matter how nice it looks now. And don’t tell no one that I’m the one who said, “Knock it down.” Tell them that the property is being bought out and that the land is more valuable without it.
Not sure what to do about the house. All that work for nothing.