The House Calls

The house still stood at the end of Mary Ellen Avenue. The tall man gazed up at the branches above his head. The olives were a muted red, and he picked one from the branch to eat. He stared at the house further up the property as he chewed the flesh from the stone, and only spit out the pit as he began walking up the slight incline. The house had one approach, as a small creek wound around the other three sides. The man hoped he would have the opportunity to stand near it, and perhaps wade several feet from the shoreline, if time permitted.

The door was different than he remembered, leaded glass panes of ornate design laid into thick oak with relief carvings of leaf-covered branches, intertwining into a border around the crystalline sections. There was a single deadbolt, and the tall man tried the single key he had in his possession. It slid effortlessly into the lock, but refused to turn. He jiggled it, and backed it out a fraction of a centimeter, twisting it again, but to no avail. He stared for a moment at the glass, his hand balled into a fist before he opened his clenched fingers. He gazed around him and saw a medium-sized rock, and bent low to pick it up. It had a decent weight, and he hefted it twice before gazing as the indentation it had left in the dirt, where something brass-colored caught his eye.

He shut the door quietly behind him, less out of concern than reverence, and took off his shoes. He delicately undid his laces and loosened each one before removing it, and placed the pair next to a bench that sat just inside the entrance. The dark polish of his shoes was matched by the gun he drew from his jacket pocket. He opened the chamber. It was full, and slid noiselessly back into place.

The man paced the hallways before he stumbled upon the study. A large chair sat behind a polished desk, and for a brief moment he considered the movie-perfection that would come from sitting in that chair and slowly turning around when he was finally joined. Instead, he opted to wait to the right of the door, out of sight, in a gap created by two bookcases. He wanted to talk to his brother. To ask why, and how long, and where his son was. He fingered the scar on his throat. Talking things out was no longer an option. His brother had made sure of that on several levels.

The tall man’s wife was dead. A quick Google search had turned that one up. He knew himself to be the prime suspect, but seeing as he was also under suspicion of abducting their son, he assumed he probably hadn’t done the first bit either.

The tall man waited in his house for the owner to come home. The front door lock scraped against the doorframe.

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