“My Brush with Morbidity” by DL Phillips
My tale actually consists of 3 brushes with morbidity, only one in which I was directly involved. But all 3 involved people I knew – and all occurred in the same building.
Brush 1: My parents bought a pre-civil war era building to house a gift shop downstairs and our living quarters on the second floor. During renovation, we had our contractor install a central heating and air-conditioning unit. This required knocking out a section of an old interior wall. When they did, some bones were found within the wall. I can honestly tell you that they were the bones of a person, not an animal. The guy in charge asked my mom what she wanted him to do, and I guess she was thinking about the delay a police investigation would cause in getting the store open, so she said, “Get rid of it.” Once we started living upstairs, all kind of weird things happened – you could say the place was haunted. But since I’m not writing ghost stories here, onto the next Brush with Morbidity…
Brush 2: Well, the store was, at most, a moderate success and my parents eventually gave it up and sold the building. Almost a year later, on the morning of Thanksgiving Day, some friends who lived near the place called to tell us the building was on fire. My parents rushed over there. (They were concerned that the fire was caused by the heating/AC system we’d installed. It wasn’t – it was caused by a gas explosion in the resident’s stove.) They arrived to find a woman holding a baby and leaning out one of the front upstairs windows. Smoke was pouring out behind her. Folks were trying to get her to drop the infant to them. Someone had gotten a tarp from their truck and they were holding it out to catch the baby. But the woman screamed something about needing to find her son, and left the window with the child still in her arms. No one survived. The building’s second floor was pretty much a fire trap, with only one exit – an interior staircase. They found the boy’s body (a toddler) at the head of that staircase.
Brush 3: The fire mostly damaged the interior of the second floor and the building was repaired. Another exit was added to the upstairs, leading to an external steel staircase. At this time, Leila (the youngest sister of my best friend) was dating this guy (let’s call him Dave) who was trying to find out how his kid brother died. (I’m not going into that story!) Anyway, one day Leila was with Dave and he was asking around, trying to locate this particular man for some mundane reason. (It was so mundane, I can’t remember what it was.) Well, it turns out this guy Dave’s looking for happened to be involved in his brother’s death. So he got a call warning him that Dave was coming to his place, which was – you guessed it – on the second floor of the building my parents once owned. Leila later told us that she and Dave went up the outside stairs and Dave knocked on the door. It opened, Dave’s head exploded and the next thing Leila knew, she was covered in blood and cowering in a side entryway of a church across the street. She didn’t come out until the police arrived. The man had used a shotgun on Dave’s head at point blank range… and he got away with murder. Seems he was related to someone high up in the county sheriff’s dept. “Defending his home” was the excuse used.
Is it just me, or does it seem kind of… wrong… to just get rid of human bones you find?
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