The trip is uneventful, making it a nice start to our case this time. Muffin slept most of the way, which was also nice, I didn’t have to worry about her going around and picking pockets. I had put the check in the bank before we left. Everything is going so nice and smooth. So why do I have this uneasy feeling, like something terrible is going to happen? I need to shake this feeling before it affects my thinking on this case. Jessica is there to meet us at the airport and comes running over to give me a big hug, then she grabs Muffin to give her a big hug too. We pick up our luggage, put it in Jessica’s car and off we go. We stop and pick up something quick to eat first however. It’s only a short drive, she says. Then why are we getting something to eat?
However I learned before that she has trouble judging distances. At least it’s a nice road this time. It’s sure nice to see you again Steve, and you too Muffin! Yes, it’s nice to see you again as well, it’s been a long time, I said. Much too long, said Jessica, maybe you can stick around for awhile after this case. Muffin whispers to me, see, she like you. I whisper back, take it easy, we’re here on a case remember. You’ll love this estate Steve, it’s big, beautiful and wonderfully private. That’s why I bought this place, for the privacy. And I hired Anna and Dave as live in caretakers to help me fix it up a bit, it needs a little TLC. Muffin whispers to me, what is TLC? I whisper back, it means the place needs a lot of work. What are you 2 whispering about? Muffin wanted to know what TLC meant, I said.
The picture you sent certainly showed a beautiful estate, not one that needed any work, I added. Well, that picture is a bit old, the place has been neglected for a number of years. Anyway, Anna and Dave were only here for about 3 weeks when they mysteriously disappeared. All their stuff is still there, including their truck, I just can’t imagine what could have happened to them. The police checked into it and figured they either went for a walk and got lost or they just decided to leave. But it’s a long walk out of here. They did have some big debts which is one reason why the police think they just wanted to disappear to get away from all that. But I know them, they wouldn’t do that. Well, I said, many people have done things like that to get away from debts, and maybe it was even worse than they told you.
Perhaps, but then there is all the mysterious noises that happen from time to time and things that disappear, odd things sometimes. Like some spoons, or an old microwave that didn’t work, a bicycle, a kite, food. Maybe someone is hiding out there somewhere, I suggested, have you looked around the place much? Yes, when Anna and Dave came out we went and looked over the whole property, there’s nothing unusual, some old shed’s, an old house that has mostly fallen down, way back in the trees. Maybe someone is trying to scare you away, like last time, I said. Meow, meow!=It ghosts, I knew it, turn around, we go back now!
We’re not going back Muffin, and stop sighing so loud, do you want to scare Jessica? Could it actually be possible that this would happen to me twice? That would be odd, I said, but odd things do happen. Have you checked into the history of this estate? There might be something significant that would make the place desirable for someone, I add. I did think about that after the hotel mess. Well, here we are she said as we drove in off the main road. There’s smoke behind the house, I said. Jessica stopped the car and we ran around back, there wasn’t much left of Dave’s truck. Jessica just stared. The back door was wide open as well…
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin. (previous chapters and stories can be found on my home page under 20/20 Investigations, Inc)
©2020 Steve McLeod.