- A Serialized Novel -

Sorting out Carson's legacy only leads to more questions.

Author’s Note: So… There was an idea behind this that involved this part of things, but I admit, I hesitated when I got to it, thinking maybe I should go in a different direction. I didn’t. I’ll see how this plays out.

Behind Door Number One

“Is it a body?”

“Carson, you still alive over there? Did it scare you to death? Come on.”

“I suppose it can’t be a body by now. It would have to be a skeleton, if there was one. Oh, if I’d have known that Grandpa was planning this, I think I might just have stashed one. Look at how he reacted when there wasn’t one. I should have been recording this.

“Shut up, Nick.” Carson pulled himself to his feet, using Larry to support him as he did. Somehow, he’d been convinced that when he opened that door, he’d have all the answers he ever wanted. He’d lay to rest all the old doubts—they’d have their father’s body and they’d know not only what happened to him but where all the ideas had come from. It wasn’t that far-fetched. He could have seen his father here sometime. If he’d come back when Carson was older, still a child but old enough to burn that memory into his mind, it would explain everything, take away the doubts and the fears from so long ago, give him a peace he’d never known.

Every time he thought that he had put this behind him, it would come back, just as strong as ever.

He didn’t know why he found it so easy to believe his grandfather was a murderer or that his father was dead, and he didn’t know why that he would have assumed the answer was behind that door. It wasn’t like they couldn’t have come out here and emptied it out years ago.

Oh, yeah, and when the nightmares were at their worst, his grandfather had persuaded the sheriff to do him a favor and they’d gotten trained cadaver dogs out here to search every acre of the farm. They hadn’t found anything, and if there’d been something shut behind that door, they would have known before now.

“Well, look at him. He’s acting like he just saw Dad’s ghost or something, but we both know he didn’t. There’s no skeleton, Larry.” Nick shook his head as he forced the door further open, letting more light into the shed. “Not a human one, at least. Damn, is that… a car?”

“You think that thing ever ran? I’ve got to say, I have my doubts,” Larry said as he walked forward, bumping Carson as he did. “Come on. You don’t have to keep staring like the bogeyman’s going to come jump out at you. It’s just more junk. Sorry.”

“Blame it on the heat, buddy. Just blame it on the heat and working all day.”

“Yeah, like you two would let me do that,” Carson said, stepping forward to put his hand on the brass, knowing it was way past tarnished already. “What kind of car is a Maxwell, anyway?”

“You’ve got me. Never heard of anything like that. The parts might be worth more, though, so hey, maybe you lucked out a little.”

“Not so loud,” Larry said. “If Uncle Tim thinks Carson got anything of value, he’ll be even more pissed off. You’d think it wouldn’t matter, giving up a few things, but he just about lost it when he heard Carson’s bequest.”

“It’s not like he was fighting over this, though. I don’t think it has all its parts, not with the hood missing, and look at those seats. I bet rats have been at them. It’s only going to be worth something to a collector, if at all.”

“Well, there’s still his small fortune in scrap metal. That’s worth more than the dishes you got.”

“Shut up,” Carson said, frustration getting the better of him. “I don’t care about the money. Maybe a part of me wanted an inheritance, but I was hoping for some kind of… legacy, something that meant something, not a fortune. I know there’s not one of them out there for any of us, and we all knew that going into the will reading. If there was anything I wanted out of here, it was answers. All I’ve got now is more questions.”

Larry put a hand on his shoulder. “Maybe the answers you need were never here.”

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