A Haunted House
“Finally. Home sweet home”, I said to myself, “Now, I just need to find Michael.”
Michael is my best friend since I could remember. Our parents were in school together and, they were comrades. Me and Michael have been in the same school since our childhood. The best part is that we stay right next to each other.
I make my way to the exit of the airport. “Where is he?!”. He said he would be here to pick me up at 2:45. I take a seat at the bench and start texting him. Right then I see a shadow appear in front of me. It was Michael.
“Finally!!! Where have you been?” I ask while hugging him. “I have been looking for you.”
“What do you mean, I have been looking for you!” he said. “Eh… it’s okay, let’s get you home, everyone is waiting for you” he said.
“Yup, and, Michael thanks for coming to get me”, I said.
“No worries. Anything for you.”
When we reached home, everyone came running at me to give me a group hug. Michaels parents and mine.
“How is my detective daughter?” my mom asked me.
“I am fine mom, how have you been? How’s work dad? What about you aunty and uncle?”
“We are fine darling; how has New York and work been treating you?” Lydia and Nelson asked me, Michaels parents.
“Work has been amazing, I get to solve crimes, what can be better than that. New York has been fun and mysterious. I have also made many friends. Some are detectives and some of them are my roommates.”
“Really, that must be fun. Living with your friend and solving crimes. How many cases have you solved till now?” Michael asked.
“Oh yeah! It has been exciting. I have solved about thirty to thirty-five”, I told Michael.
“Okay, let us get her all settled and the we will resume the question-and-answer session. Honey I have cleaned up your old room. Michael will help you help Jessica with her bags?” my mother said.
“Yeah, no problem aunty”, Michael replied.
“Thanks guys. I promise to answer all your questions after I freshen up”, I say and then go up to my old room with Michael already near the flight of stairs.
Michael drops off my luggage in my room and leaves after I tell him I can’t wait for the surprise he has planned for me. He leaves the room while laughing and telling me that it was a surprise. After Michael leaves, I shower and change into a fresh pair of clean and comfy apparels, and then take a quick power nap.
After I get up, the aroma of my mother cooking pulls me towards it. It has been so long since I ate something my mother cooked.
“Hi honey. Did you have a good sleep?” my mom asked.
“Hey mom, yeah I had a good nap. I never remembered until now how soft my bed is.”
“Yeah, well I picked it so it has to be comfortable right.” She joked
“So, are you hungry? I made your favorite snack.”
“I am starving. Have you made chili cheese pops?”
“You know it. I know you love it so much, I thought, why not make a load of them so you can eat them whenever you like.”
“Well, you are right, I love them. Can I have one now?”
“Mom, where is dad?”
“He said he will be in the garage looking for something. He told me not to come or send you there. I reckon it’s a surprise for you.”
“He knows that I love surprises but he also knows that I hate it when you guys don’t tell me what you’re going to give me or what you’re planning”, I chuckled.
“Well, you will only have to wait for some more time. He left for the garage as soon as you went to freshen up. He said it was important.”
“Oh, ok mom, I am going to hang out with Michael now, I will be back in an hour or so. Bye.”
“Alright. Bye Jess.”
I left my house and went to the park. It is the place where me and Michael hang out all the time. I see Michael sitting on the bench and I walk toward him.
“Jessica O’Malley! How long has it been since we last hung out together?” Michael asked.
“I don’t know, probably a month or two.” I tell him.
Once we start talking, time flies by and we don’t even know. It is a habit. Everyone knows it now. Me and Michael start talking and we never stop. We get each other in a way that none of our other friends do. When we are done catching up, I glance at my watch and get up.
“I have to head back home now. Mom has made her famous chili cheese pops. Do you want to come with me?”
“Sure, why not. You know I can’t resist your moms cooking.”
We head home together. Once we reach our house, Michael takes a quick pit stop to tell his parents that he is going to have a snack at my house. They tell him that they are invited as well, so we head there together.
“The chili cheese pops are amazing as always aunty.” Michael says and his parents, my dad and I nod in agreement. Mom looks happy and satisfied.
After we are done, dad takes out a book and hands it to me.
“This is for you Jess. From me, your mother and Michael and his family.” He says. “I found an old diary which gave it a cool, like something vintage. We all came up with an idea to take the snippets of all the crimes you solved and paste it in the book. There were plenty more pages left so I also added photos of all of us that I found in the garage. Nelson and Lydia also gave us some of the photos that they found. I hope you like it.”
“Dad, I don’t know what to say. I just love it. It means a lot to me that you took time out to make this for me. Thank you, all of you.” I say. Then I start to flip through the pages. There are many photos and the crimes which I solved. I tell them how I solved them and which ones were my favorite.
After an hour or so, Michaels parents go home. Michael and I go for walk around the neighborhood. When we pass by one of the houses, it looks deserted. There are broken windows and the grass and trees have withered. I get curious so I start asking Mike (Michaels nick-name) some questions.
“Hey Mike, what happened to this house. Didn’t that creepy man live here?”
“Yeah, he did. The man died just a few days ago.”
“Oh! I wonder why the glass is broken.”
“Hey, come on, you are only here for about 2 weeks and it is your time off. Pleas relax because once you go back to New York, you will have to solve crimes again. I have planned so many things for us to do.”
“I know Michael, and I am very grateful that you have planned fun stuff for us but I am a detective, I love solving crimes. You could see what I do in New York, then maybe I can persuade you to come with me. It would be fun. I promise.”
“Okay, I give in. Maybe this could be fun. How about we start investigating tomorrow?”
“Sure, I am glad you agreed.”
I go back to my house and he goes back to his. I tell my parents what we decided to do and they liked the idea.
I am so excited. I can begin investigation and the best part is that I get to do it with Michael.
Once we are done with our breakfast, we meet at the abandoned house. I see Michael already waiting for me.
“You ready?”, I ask him walking up to his side. He gives me a firm nod and we enter.
Each step we take, there is a groaning noise from the house, but we keep going on. I open the door and three bats fly out. I hear Michael yelp in surprise.
“Rule 1 – always be prepared.” I say. He looks at me and nods.
When our eyes adjust to the dark, we see all the furniture laying around in a haywire way. It is so messy.
“What do you think happened here Jess?”
“I don’t know just yet but I have some clues.”
“He lived alone, I think, he was depressed or maybe he was missing his family.”
I was impressed, “Nice one Michael, even I think so.”
As we walk around, we find newspaper articles. That gives us some clues about what we are dealing with.
“It says here that ‘The Greatest Circus Master Falls In Love’. He fell in love with one of the spectators.” Michael says.
We keep walking until we reach one of the rooms on the first floor.
“Let’s go and check out everything in this floor today and tomorrow we will go into the basement. Is that fine with you? If we finish investigating, you might be able to spend some time with your parents and we can go about my schedule” he said.
“Yeah, that’s the perfect plan”, I reply.
When we walk into the room, we see a big bed and a few cupboards.
“This might be the place they slept”, I say.
We look through the closets but find nothing useful.
After that we look through the kitchen but find only rotting food and dirty plates. We also didn’t find anything in the lavatories.
“Look at the time Mike, it’s so late let’s head home for the day”, I say.
“Yeah. I think we should.”
As we make our way toward the door, we see toys that kids might have lost. A ball, frisbee and bats.
“Jess, there is blood and broken glass here.”
I pick up the glass and say, “He might have hurt himself while cleaning it up or might have used it to kill himself.”
“Maybe. It came on the news that there was a suicide here. It is possible”, Michael utters.
“Well, we know the man is dead so, do you still want to check what sorts of things are down in the basement?”
“Sure, we started this lets just end it tomorrow”, Mike says.
We head home and decide to go to the house tomorrow together.
“Hey Jess, you ready to go?” Michael asks me.
“Yup, let’s go. Bye mom, bye dad.”
We reach the house and go straight into the cellar.
We walk around a bit.
“Looks like he went to many places with his circus troupe”, I say.
“Yeah. Look here, there some of his equipment. A unicycle, ropes and all that stuff.”
I keep walking and see a cage, in it, there is a tombstone.
“In memory of Zelda, a loving wife mother”, I say.
“Look beside it, there is another one. In memory of Andy, a beloved child and a great friend.”
Just then, I hear weird muffled noises. “Michael, can you hear that?”
When he nods, I know it is time to leave. I grab Michael’s hand and we leave.
When we reach outside, I tell Michael, “You would make a great detective and we would make a great team together. Do you want to come to New York with me and start your detective career?”
“That is a perfect idea Jess.”