................................. o' what a story they would tell
The DeSalvo estate stood a relic of bygone days.
Many of the mansions that had sprung up in the late 1800's had been demolished by the hurricane of 1938. It was one of the few mansions on the south shore of Long Island that had remained mostly unscathed. Its walls oozed history.
The manor had been built by Raleigh DeSalvo in 1895.
DeSalvo had made several innovations that had revolutionized the paint industry and left him a millionaire. The estate was originally intended to be a showroom, each of the forty rooms painted in various vivid hues. Throughout the years Raleigh expanded his showroom, he was constantly working, and expanding the showroom. He eventually decided to make the showroom his permanent residence. Three years later he married, his wife had tragically died in childbirth and his daughter died from pneumonia several years later and he was left a broken man.
He never remarried, so there was a constant void in his life where his wife and daughter should have. been. He filled that void with lavish galas and dinner parties where there would be food, whiskey, cigars, and dirty deals in smoke filled back rooms. One party in particular stood out, it would be his last. On march 15 1940 he disappeared without a trace he was 70, he was never seen or heard from again and presumed dead....no body was ever found. His case remained open....
II 70 years later
DeSalvo's disappearance had never been explained, and his estate now belonged to the president of
the Property Owners Association Of DeSalvo's Point
( better known as P.O.A.O.D.P).
Timothy Straight the president of P.O.A.O.D.P was running himself ragged, the aging hare looked at himself in a mirror, his pelt seemed to be studded with more gray then usual, he shuddered.
Today was special day for two reasons.
The first reason was the manor was once again the site of a gala, today was his 70th birthday and his guests would be arriving for lunch soon.
The second reason was that it was also 70th anniversary of DeSalvo's disappearance.
He checked the clock it was 2:00 pm his guests would be arriving soon. He checked with the catering company, that was working in the kitchens, everything was running smoothly and according to plan.
He walked outside, the estate was built on the very end of one of the many points that studded southern Long Island. There were two inlets on either side of the point and each inlet had a separate marina.
Timothy sat on a bench in the garden and watched the boats go out into The Great South Bay.
It was a beautiful day; exceedingly warm for March.
Gulls chased one another through the sky and the front lawn was blanketed with hundreds of croci.
It was a beautiful day
one by one his guest began to arrive. The co-president of the P.O.A.O.D.P Bertram Skidmere and his wife Alice were the first two to arrive, The raccoon and his wife were both dressed to kill.
He was sporting a silver tailcoat and a black ruff and she was wearing a a gorgeous dress that was studded with beach glass. Their children Josh and Lilly were also dressed up nicely
"Happy birthday Timmy!" Bert said, he had a large box wrapped up in silvery paper and a bottle of champagne. He placed his gifts on one of the tables. They hugged
"glad you could come" Timothy said
Kendrick Smith, the president of "DeSalvo's Point Historical Society," was the next to arrive, was wearing a tweed suit and a blue tie that clashed with his black feathers. The crow placed several more small packages with the growing heap of gifts
"I am glad I was able to come"
I am too.
Everyone sat down at the table and opened the bottle of champagne Bertram had brought.
lunch would be ready soon
Josh sneezed loudly.
"You ok? " his father asked
"ugh what is that smell " he aked
" Maybe the Chefs burned something " Timothy shrugged
" is that........cigar smoke? " Alice coughed.
Everyone's eyes began to water from the acrid smell
" I think so..." Timothy said, he paused, "very strange, very strange indeed "
" Whats strange? " Bertram asked
"As far as I know none of us smokes "
Timothy opened a window and the smell slowly dissipated.
Several minutes later
one of the chefs handed out baskets of freshly baked bread, bruchetta and a huge bowl of roast fennel and mandarin orange salad. Dinner was bacon wrapped monkish in Fra Diavlo sauce.
" The food is spectacular Tim " Kendrick said
" Don't thank me, thank the chefs"
A cold draft swept throughout the room, it was enough to ruffle Kendrick's feathers.
"ugh it's chilly in here," Alice said "someone close the door."
Timothy got up from his seat and returned with a confused look on his face
"The door was closed... "
Timothy was interrupted by desert.
There was teramisu a fruit platter and coffee.
After desert Lilly and and Josh went outside to play in the gardens while the adults played cards.
" So Kendrick, " Timothy asked, sipping on his coffee
"they never found out what happened to Raleigh, even after all these years?"
A grim smile spread across Kendrick's face,
"No, they never had a suspect, they never found a body, no blood, no fingerprints, no
evidence of any kind. I talked to my brother apparently his case is still open."
Either way we was legally declared dead in 1970 he would have been 100. It is also possible that he wanted to disappear. "
" I guess all things are possible."
Several seconds of awkward silence passed
" So Euchre? " Alice asked changing the subject.
" You better believe it" Timothy laughed
Bert grinned smugly,
"Timothy, Kendrick, you do know that Alice and I are going to kick your butts to kingdom come? "
" Not if we have something to say about it"
" I'll go get the cards the cards "
He walked into the parlor and rummaged around and returned with an antique deck of cards that had stained with age.
"Why don't you deal first it's your birthday after all, " Alice said.
Timothy dealt and the trump suit was declared. Bert was about to lead when a loud explosion outside rocked the manor to its foundation
Ashly dropped her coffee mug, it shattered of the floor
"THE CHILDREN! " she gasped and ran for the door, Bertram followed close behind.
The door ominously swung open on it's own accord.
The acrid smell of gunpowder hung thick in the air.
The children were nowhere to be seen.
"LILLY, JOSH? " Ashley called.
Timothy could hear fear in her voice, she was genuinely terrified.
Josh stood up from where he was sitting behind one of the planter boxes.
"What's wrong mom? " he asked.
"Are you and your sister ok?"
"Good " she panted," whoo boy I think I have had too much champagne, " she giggled and wiped the tears from her eyes.
" I think we all have have " Timothy added,
" guess we should get back to our game "
Josh sat on one of the planter boxes in the terraced garden,
" I am worried about mom, " he said, " Is it just me or was she acting strange,"
Lilly joined her brother " She was, it was almost like.." she shrugged.
" Like she saw a ghost? " josh suggested
Timothy shifted his weight, then stood up and started digging in the planter box were he was sitting
" What are you doing, Josh?"
" There is something burred here "
" Mom is gonna be pissed if you get those clothes dirty, and Timothy is going to be mad. He worked hard to....." she stopped mid sentence and gasped
Josh backed away from the flower box and ran to the house his sister followed close behind.
They continued their game Timothy and Kendrick quickly took the lead and won every trick on the first round.
" You have improved " Ashly beamed.
"Either that or we are just plain old lucky, as it stands the score is 2-0 our lead"
"not for long" Bert grinned smugly.
The door slammed open, Josh and Lilly stood in the doorway.
Josh's paws were covered in dirt from the flower-box and Lilly was crying, a look of sheer terror spread across their faces.
"What's wrong guys? " their mother asked, "why are you covered in dirt Josh? "
"C...call the police " he stammered
"What happened? " His father asked
"...i...i found something in the flowerbed" he gasped "..it is going to be easier if you see for yourself."
Everyone set down their cards and followed the terrified cubs to the garden.
Everyone stopped dead in their tracks inside the planter box was a skull.
Ashley dropped her glass of champagne and screamed.
Kendrick took a closer look at the relic.
The skull was that of a Lapine, its vacant black hole eye-sockets seemingly peered into the aether.
" Raleigh DeSalvo, what horrors did you endure, who did this to you? " He looked at josh,
" Young man, it would appear that you solved Mr. Desalvo's disappearance. You are absolutely right we should call the authorities, this is now a crime scene."
Everyone calmly returned to the parlor and sat down, Ashley and Bertram consoled their children while Kendrick called the police substation and explained the situation. Timothy stood on the front porch a look of terror had slowly spread across his face. Bert left Ashley with the children and joined his side,
"you ok Tim? " he asked.
"Today is the the 70 anniversary "he said, "this is no coincidence. "
A police cruiser pulled down the estate's lengthy driveway, several seconds later two officers appeared, one was a collie the other was a stag. Everyone joined the officers outside, Kendrick did most of the talking. The officers were silent until they arrived at the flower box.
"What body? " the collie suddenly said. Everyone looked at the flower-box in silence. The skull was gone, all that remained was the hole Josh had dug.
A cool breeze swept in from the bay carring a blanket of fog. The wind ruffled everyone's fur or feather, everyone shuddered from a mix of horror and confusion.
"This some kind of joke? " Officer Stag asked, "Because I am not laughing."
"come on, we have better things to do. Next time any of you pulls a fast one on us we won't be so nice, they quickly returned to their car and drove away. Timothy looked at the others,
we all can't be crazy, I saw it; we all did!
"what do we do now?" Ashley asked.
"I'm not quite sure myself, " Timothy said.
"I suppose we should get back home, " Bert said, the kids have school tomorrow.
"Sounds like I good idea to me," Lilly said, " I think I have had enough partying for today "
" Couldn't agree with you more, " Josh said " I think I still have homework to finish. "
Bert tried hard not to grin, he knew his son's homework was done. Was Josh actually using homework as an excuse to leave?
"never saw that one coming " he thought.
"Yeah kids, time to go home "
Alice an Bertram only lived a half mile away from the estate, they had walked knowing that they were going be drinking.
They left hand in hand leaving Kendrick and Timothy y to their own devices
Kendrick stared at the empty planter box,
"The hell happened here? I know those bones were there.
This some kind of joke Tim? If so then it isn't funny, I'm not laughing. "
" guess we will never know, " timothy sighed
"yes we will " Bertram growled he swayed on his feet and pulled a revolver from a holster that had been concealed by his suit, and cocked the trigger.
Timothy froze and stared down the barrel of the gun.
He had known Bert for years, they had gone to school together, dated the same girls.
Something was wrong, his friend wasn't just drunk he was in a murderous rage.
"Bert, your drunk, come on man you don't want to do this! "
Bert smiled silently and pulled the trigger, the bay echoed the blast from the revolver.
Timothy lay dead in a pool of his own blood. Bert collapsed in a drunken heap.
IX 70 years before
It had all started with a simple game of poker, how had it come to this? A few minutes ago they had been smoking cigars and laughing about the good old days. Raleigh sprinted through the garden. He could hear Leroy Faust panting behind him. The gun he was carrying roared, the shot missed Raleigh by a few inches. Leave it up to Leroy to get himself into a drunken rage over a game of cards! He had waited until all of the other guests had left to start his rampage. Raleigh growled, no one was going to help him, he had one chance. He stared across the inlet at Senix point, it was a 200 foot swim against a strong current. If Leroy wanted to follow him he wouldn't be able to swim with his gun. It was his only chance. Raleigh was about to dive into the inlet when Leroy shot again, this time Leroy didn't miss. The shot hit Raleigh in the back of the head. He collapsed in a bloody heap. Leroy collected his body and buried it in one of the flower boxes. Where it would remain hidden for another 70 years.
Kendrick dug a shallow grave in the flower box and buried Timothy where they had found DeSalvo's remains. One way or another the police would find the bones. Or maybe they would dissapear devoured by the sands of time. Those who do not know their pasts are doomed to repeat them
And so the circle is complete
and a new cycle begins
If these walls could talk....................................................................
This particular yarn is based on a REALLY vivid nightmare i had about a real life place. The DeSalvo estate is based on the Masury estate ballroom. I live walking distance from there. It was partially destroyed in the hurricane of 38, it is really pretty but it gives off a very creepy vibe