Read Red House Blues Online

Authors: sallie tierney

Tags: #ghost, #seattle, #seattle mystery, #mystery action adventure romance, #mystery thriller, #ghost ghosts haunt haunting hauntings young reader young adult fantasy, #mystery amateur sleuth, #ghost civil war history paranormal, #seattle tacoma washington puget sound historic sites historic landmark historic travel travel guide road travel klondike, #ghost and intrigue, #mystery afterlife

Red House Blues (30 page)

BOOK: Red House Blues
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Sweetie, I really think you should talk to
Tony. No, don’t ignore me here. You two should be together. I am
telling you that you should forgive him - remember, this is coming
from the one person who probably has the most reason to hate him
for apparently ratting me out to those monsters in Seattle. But I
am absolutely sure Tony never meant to hurt me. It isn’t in his
nature to be hurtful, even to someone he believes is a cold-hearted
bitch. (And, face it, he may have been right about that bitch
part.) He loves you - you know he does. Please, give him a chance -
for me? His only real mistake was being loyal to his best friend,
who turned out to be unworthy of his loyalty. Promise me you’ll
talk to him! Love - Suze

 

E-mail to [email protected]

Suze, I think I’m going to surprise you.
Nick is a good guy so you go for it, girl! Yes, you’re right, life
is too short not to grab what happiness we can. God, I just reread
what I wrote! Before you say it, I will say it - I should take my
own frickin’ advice and go see if Tony and I can manage to patch
things up. Not that I hold out much hope. But I have to admit I
still love the miserable man. And I think you’re right - he might
still love me too. Go figure. Give Nick a big hug from me. Keep in
touch. Love - Claire

 

 

Epilogue

 

Alexis unlocked the back door and stepped
into kitchen. The acrid stench of smoke still clung to the air like
dead skin. Where to start, she thought? She stood still in the
center of the blackened linoleum floor, unable to move. The
basement door hung by one hinge just as it was left by the EMTs who
rescued Ferlin from the bottom of the stairs. So much to do. And
she almost could not bear to begin. Perhaps the old house had
served its purpose, thought Alexis. Maybe it should be demolished
and all the sorrow put to rest at last. Tear it down and salt the
earth. That’s what Sean Pike had written in his song. Set free the
trapped ones - the tall woman, the one who weeps, the others . .
.

And Ferlin. The crazy old
bastard locked in another age, alone and sad – no family now that
his psycho granddaughter was dead. Where does he go, now that he’s
sold me the house?
And should I care?
Maybe not, but silly as it is I do care
.
Still, he’ll be okay. He has the money now. He can go to a
retirement home. Someplace where he gets three meals a day and his
sheets laundered every week. He’ll be safe. Be with people his own
age. Take up a hobby.

The idea was so utterly ridiculous she
laughed out loud. No, this was Ferlin’s home. It would always be
his home, she thought. Alexis would do what she did best, put
things back together again. The insurance money would pay for clean
up and renovation. Over the years she was constantly battling
Ferlin about “wasting” money on homeowners insurance but luckily
she always prevailed.

Alexis made her way to the
dining room studio. Lots of smoke and water damage but she thought
she could probably salvage most of the canvases. The majority of
her finished work was stored at the gallery anyhow. So, not too
bad. The real mess began at the door into the foyer. Alexis took in
the scene. The staircase was a total loss. It would have to be torn
out and replaced. Also sections of floor and wall. She didn’t look
toward the foyer. That was where Marla had died . . .
where I killed her
,
thought Alexis.

The damage could certainly have been much
worse had the fire not inexplicably dampered itself down before it
got to the upper landing minutes before the fire trucks arrived.
The firefighters couldn’t explain why the flames hadn’t spread up
from the second floor. It was as if something blew out the flames
as the fire roared up the stairs. Alexis didn’t have to wonder. She
knew the Red House looked after itself as if it had a survival
instinct. So she would do her part to preserve it, she decided. For
the house, for Ferlin, for herself . . . for all the souls within
its walls.

What the hell, she thought,
I could renovate the place, make a nice suite off the remodeled
kitchen for Ferlin to live out his life. Put in a few more
bathrooms upstairs. Maybe convert the house into a bed and
breakfast.
I could advertise it in the
Seattle Weekly and Sunset Magazine as a haunted house. Tourists
just eat that shit up. Things could get pretty interesting in the
future.

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

This is a work of fiction. That being said,
real-life events and people have inspired some aspects of the story
in the same way that snippets of diverse fabric make up a crazy
quilt. The characters in the story are purely the product of my
imagination. Any similarity between them and actual persons is
coincidental but as Suzan would be quick to point out there are no
coincidences.

The Comet Tavern on East Pike Street in
Seattle is the iconic birthplace of Grunge and continues to be a
driving force in the music scene today.

The Red House still stands, though it is no
longer red (if in fact it ever was). The scouring salt wind from
Puget Sound has rendered it driftwood gray with a leprosy of failed
paint jobs. On misty mornings it is as ghostly as some of its
former occupants. I have disguised its exact location so as to
protect it from intrusive curiosity – and perhaps to protect the
incautiously curious. At this writing it is currently vacant. So
should you be in the market for a one-of-a-kind Victorian
fixer-upper with issues . . .

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