Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chip Sansom's In Cold Blood

The lonely house stood atop the hill.  It had been abandoned since the 1970s when the owners, an elderly farm couple, just disappeared.  Their house still looked, aside from the normal wear and tear and some incidents of vandalism, like the farmers will be home any minute.  The house was miles from the nearest town and was the only house within a square mile.  You could scream bloody murder and no one would hear--or find you.

Brutus and Gladys Thornapple had been driving since eight this morning and they were about to pass out as Brutus glided the car around a curve on the old country highway.  It was almost midnight and they weren't sure when the next town was--and if it'd have a hotel.  Finally, Brutus just pulled over and into a long winding driveway surrounded on both sides by trees.

"Where're you going?" Gladys, his wife, asked looking out all of the windows, seeing only glimpses of the scenery.

"I saw that there was a house up on this hill.  Maybe we can stay here if someone's up.  I can't drive anymore and I have no idea when we will reach the next town," Brutus yawned as he pulled around the old house.

"This house looks abandoned, Brutus," Gladys said as Brutus put the car in park an shut off the engine.  "I don't like this.  Let's go.  I can drive for awhile."

"No, Gladys.  It's probably just a couple of kindly farmer's house.  Born on this land, will die on this land.  Let's go," Brutus smiled and took Gladys' hand and led her up the stairs.  As they approached the front door, they noticed it was slightly ajar.  "Oh, it's open.  I guess no one really does live here."

"I told you.  Come on, let's go.  I can drive for awhile."

"Wait.  Let's take a look.  It doesn't look that bad, maybe it has a bed we can stay in at least until morning," Brutus said, pushing the front door further open.

"I am not sleeping in an abandoned house," Gladys shreiked.

"Oh, Gladys, it'll be fine.  I'll protect you from the big, bad ghosts," Brutus mocked.

Coming down the same highway were Albert Finch and Rupert Huff.  They were driving a lot faster than Brutus was but they were more familiar with the road.  Huff was antsy.  He wanted to get to where they were going.

"How much longer?" Huff asked.

"Shouldn't be too long now," Finch replied.

"Do we know where the money is hidden?" Huff asked.  According to a local rumor, there was $15,000 stashed away in the walls of the old house.  Most people just wrote off the rumor as just that but Finch knew it was true.  It had to be.  "It's a pretty big house from what I heard."

"We'll just keep smashing until we find it.  It can't be too hard."

"What if someone catches us?" asked Huff.

Finch turned his head to Huff and sneered.  "That's why we brought the gun.  And those sledgehammers would kind of hurt, too," he chuckled evilly.  He quickly braked and turned onto the house's driveway and slowly proceeded to the house.  They drove around the other side of the house, not even seeing the Thornapple's car.

Inside the house, Brutus and Gladys slept soundly, not hearing the car engine or the door slamming shut...

The creepy house in the first panel led to this.  I have nothing to say about the eating of celery in bed except that Gladys should be happy her husband is eating healthier food which is more than I can say about her.