The Secrets of Dunharrow House

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  • Published: 14 May 2017
  • Updated: 20 Jun 2017
  • Status: Complete
When three siblings are called back by their eldest brother to their childhood home, a major family secret is revealed, and everyone is in danger.

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1. I'm Not Dorothy. I Don't Want to Go Home

The call I got from my brother that day was out of place for many reasons. 

Firstly, I got a call from my brother. Andrew was the oldest of us at age 28, and the inheritor of our childhood home. Not that the rest of us would complain. The house is derelict and desolate, and only reminds us of bad things. Horrible things, really.

Andrew hasn't called me in six months, since the huge fight at the funeral, when the four of us siblings had a fist fight over only God knows what now. I thought the silence was going to be longer, and I wasn't going to be the one to break it.

Secondly, Andrew asked what my plans for that weekend were. Nothing, of course, unless you count watching reality TV and drinking beer. I told him that, and he told me that was "Great." My brother is usually a better conversationalist, so his passive demeanor was a red flag.

Thirdly, he asked me to come back to our old childhood home. I almost refused, until he started begging for me to come down. Andrew Dunharrow has never begged once in his entire life. 

So, I packed a suitcase and told him I'd see him in two days, at the old family home to do whatever. Maybe he's lonely.

And boy, was I wrong. My brother is a selfish, pathetic bastard. I'll only find this out later, though, of course.

 

It's the beginning of April, and the saying could not be more correct: April showers....

It's raining cats and dogs and I can hear thunder in the distance.

I park my car in the driveway, staring up at the old house, steeling my nerves.

The house, once a beautiful colonial overlooking a beach, has became one with the mold and seawater. Parts of the roof are caved in, several windows smashed, the paint has nearly completely peeled off. 

But I know the inside will be worse.

I get out of my car, approaching the door, when the thunder and lightning roll in. In a burst of lightning, I see the outline of two other cars, but no people.

He better not have..., I think, partially angry, partially guiltily. I swear if he did, I'll deck him....

With another flash of lightning, as I approach the small front porch, nestled several feet in from the exterior walls, I see two hunched over bodies, male and female.

He did. I'm gonna deck 'im.

I march up the porch, putting on a nonchalant facade.

"So, Andy called you two, too, huh?" I ask them. My older sister and brother, Michaela and James, respectively, stare at me, their gray eyes as angry as the storm we're in.

"Yes," says Michaela curtly. 

"It's good to see you, Bea," says James, ever the peacemaker. I give him a respectful nod, but stare angrily at Michaela. 

"So, sis?" I sneer. She growls. "How's the hubby and kid?"

"John and Richie are fine, thanks for asking," she snaps. "What about you, Bea? How's the love life?" I flinch at her words.

My ex-fiance left me for the local yoga instructor and they skipped town to do whatever in Des Moines. Des Moines!

"It's just fine, thanks!" I snap back. "How about John's daughter from that hooker he knocked up! What's her name? Oh, right, Misty. Misty's a fine girl. She's just about the same age as Richard, isn't she-"

"Shut it, both of you!" yells James.

We either both would have spontaneously combusted, or would have had Funeral Fight II, if Andrew hadn't opened the door at that precise moment.

"You're here! You all made it!" yells Andrew, all smiles. Underneath that, though, I can tell something major is wrong. He's a cracked porcelain doll, one flick away from shattering.

"Come in, come in," says Andrew, ushering us inside the house. I stare at him cautiously as he does.

Michaela and James file in before me. I stare at my brother, trying to make our matching blue eyes meet.

He finds every reason to look away.

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