The Murder House

The Murder House

“You’ve stayed after all this time?” asked the stranger.

The gardener paused. “Yep.” He was used to the questions, although he had hoped that the curiosity would have died down by now. It had been over twenty years, after-all.

“Huh,” grunted the stranger and the gardener peaked from under his wide-brimmed hat at him.

The stranger was tall, clean-cut- not the sort to be hanging around the Sybil house.

The gardener went back to his raking.

“So, tell me- who do you think killed them?”

The gardener shrugged. “They’re many theories. Heard them all in m’ time.”

“I heard that Mr. Sybil had an affair with Mrs. Post and her bastard child killed them when he was old enough to understand that he’d never be acknowledged by them. He was a bit touched in the head I heard.”

“That’s the popular version, but he didn’t do it,” said the gardener. “Eugene was a gentle soul.”

“Then who do you think did it?”

“A stranger perhaps, just passing through. Better that than someone from town.”

The stranger shifted uneasily, as if he’d been accused. “Why do you stay? No one lives here anymore.”

The gardener wiped his nose with a stubby finger. “Just because the family was all murdered, don’t mean the yard don’t need tendin’”


“You’re one of them freaks who get their jollies visitin’ murder scenes and insane asylums, ain’t ya?”

“Hey, sorry, I’m passing through and I heard about the murder house. I wanted to see it, but it doesn’t look like much.”

“The Sybils were regular folk.”

“Except they were hacked to death in the middle of dinner.”

“Yep,” said the gardener. “That was not so regular.”

“They say the house is haunted. People have seen lights at night in the dining room window where it happened.”

The gardener lay down the rake, running a finger lovingly across the handle. Next to it were a hoe and a shovel, both similarly worn and cared for. He chose the garbage bag and began pulling the gathered leaves into it. “That ain’t no ghost. I turn the lights on to keep intruders away.”

“What happened after the murders?”

“Mrs. Post killed herself and her son was carted away. It remains unsolved though. No one believes Eugene did it.”

The stranger wanted to ask for a tour but knew it wouldn’t be granted. Before he left, he stuck his hand out. “Hey, I’m Harold.”

The gardener stared at the outstretched hand then took it in a strong grip. “I’m Mr. Post.”

Ann Montague

Ann Montague is a Chicago veterinarian.  When she is not writing or saving animals, Ann practices Karate, visits the opera, and travels.  She is afraid of heights but will climb any mountain, rope ladder, or rickety staircase that is in front of her.  She lives with two opinionated cats who are her biggest critics. Ariel Chart is her first published credit.


  1. Nicely Done, very talented as always, love reading your stuff.

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