A Delightful Clique
My Grandpa passed away a few weeks ago. They tasked me with cleaning his home, as I was the only one of my siblings without a full-time job.
Going into the old house, the smell of stale coffee and dust overwhelmed me. Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought back to the many times I enjoyed coffee and donuts with my Grandpa. I had some of the best conversations at that table with donut crumbs on my face.
I hurried up the wooden staircase. Praying that I would get this heartbreaking task over with quickly—they tasked me with cleaning the vast loft at the top of the stairs. I sneezed. The echo seemed to last forever. The room was almost empty except for the bed meant for guests. I remember sleeping at it as a kid and finding a dead mouse.
One time I found a dead mouse, and I put it in the pocket of my jeans. I left the mouse there for almost an entire day until everyone at our family picnic became overwhelmed by the stench of rotting mouse flesh.
By the time I took it out, we could see the patches of rotting meat through light grey fur, and one of the creature’s eyeballs was dangling from the tiny eye socket.
I smile to myself, remembering the wooden cross that my grandpa put together in the yard. His friend Dave, our hamlet’s only Minister, performed a service for the unfortunate creature.
I remembered many kind, innocent memories of my grandfather. He was a man of integrity, who worked to feed his family, had family dinners every night, and always went to church on Sunday. The things that I found in the truck shocked me. I found a wooden trunk tucked away in the corner of the attic. I wish that I never opened it.
The trunk came open with a little bit of elbow grease, to my surprise. Under my mom’s tacky prom dress, covered in purple rhinestones, was what appeared to be a box of cigarettes at first glance. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been smoking since I was 16. At this point, I could not pass up the chance for free cigarettes. I thought nothing would surely be better than free smokes. I found a stack of photos.
The photos were all yellowed and looked like they’d seen better days. I decided to go through the pictures and see if they were worth bringing home to my mother.
The first yellowed photo was of his cherry red sports car that he loved. During the summer, he would take me to the ice cream store. Hot fudge sundaes were his favorite. I was always giggling when he would get whipped cream on his nose.
The rest of the photos made me lose my lunch. I found photos that can only be described as dead girls in compromising positions. Vomit rose in my throat as I found an old pair of silk panties stained with blood and cum. There were newspaper clippings. The first clipping read “Local Highschool Girl Missing”. Moving that paper, I found another scrap of yellowing newspaper this headline read, “Second Teen Missing”. I figured that my grandfather was some sort of armchair detective or something. Morbid curiosity drove me to go through the trunk. Tucked away in the corner of the trunk, I found a pill bottle. It took a few tries, but I managed to get the bottle open, and to my horror, I found human teeth; tiny worms wiggled in and out of the rotting teeth.
Upon making my discovery, the burger and fries that I grabbed on the way up here made its way up to my throat, and I ran down the stairs, ready to vomit into a patch of grass.
After I barfed up bits of greasy fast food, I took out my lighter and lit the old cabin on fire.