No Longer Missing

The new paint smell and fresh cut grass. The sounds of children playing in the street and their parents chatting in the driveway. The sun is shining, the whole house is bright, and you look around and soak in the symbolism of this perfect moment. Homeownership is one of the biggest moments in a person’s life, and is something celebrated worldwide. Today marks the beginning of a turning point, and you’re ready to conquer the world, and whatever it may throw at you. What could possibly go wrong?

The last five years have been excruciating. The man you loved dumped you for a skinnier woman with shinier hair, your mother passed away, the world experienced a new pandemic, and you slaved away at a job you hated, but needed in order to make something of yourself. As life goes on, loss becomes inevitable, such as jobs, friends, family, money and motivation. However, you took these hardships and made the best of them, while you worked as much as possible to save every penny you could - and now… here you are, in your first home!

It’s a modest house located in the outskirts of Savannah. As you walk through the door, you’re greeted with a bright foyer, a study to your left and a family dining room to the right. The open windows send a smile across your face as you admire the simplistic beauty of your surroundings. The memories of being a kid and being excited to pick which room is yours comes flooding back and a few tears escape.

While touring the other 3 rooms, you begin to daydream about how you’ll decorate and make the place yours, you’re suddenly overwhelmed by an intense feeling of sadness and guilt, and you shudder from an unexplained draft. Was this buyers remorse kicking in or was this just your uncontrollable anxiety stirring up trouble again?

You chalk it up to buyers remorse - you’ve suffered from it since you can remember, so surely that’s it. The last box has been brought in, the movers have departed and you savor the full body taste of your celebratory merlot. You grab your box cutter and get to work. The night is winding down, and you’re ready to get some sleep, but as you make the bed, something strange happens. You look around for the noise, checking doors, windows, but come up short. Where was that noise coming from? Another knock. But this time, you know it’s coming from your bedroom. After thorough investigation, nothing explains it, and it stops. Of course, this is odd, but it’s an older house and noises are to be expected, so you put it out of your mind and go to sleep.

Knocking begins again. You check the clock - it’s 3:33am. Aside from being annoyed by being woken up this early, you’re also worried. What is this noise? As you open your computer and begin looking up history of the town, the neighborhood, the neighbors… You see it. The headline reads, “Horrific Family Slaughter: Still Searching for the Mother’s Body.” Dread. Goosebumps. Sorrow. The history of this house had not been disclosed, but you didn’t have time to deal with that right now. You close the computer and try to go back to sleep, only to be woken from a dream by screaming and knocking.

You call the police, you explain what you saw in your dream coupled with the inexplicable noises. It seems they have dismissed you as another crazy, but they’ll send someone out anyways. As you think about the day, you realize that draft from earlier, had no origin. There was no vent where you were standing, so where did it come from? The banging on the door jolts you from your dazed state, and you let the officers in. The dogs signal them to a spot in your yard… the only brown spot in your yard. You offer them a shovel and they investigate.

After a few minutes, a horrid smell covers the backyard. One of the officers gags, while curiosity overwhelms the dogs and they take over the digging, all too happy to do so. The smell gets worse and the hole in your yard is approaching 6ft deep. The dogs stop. There it is. The reason behind the smell and knocking. It wasn’t buyers remorse. This was your worst nightmare, and now you’ll have to relocate while they finalize the investigation of the no longer missing “mother’s body.”

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