Heirlooms

“Where do I begin.”

“From the beginning sir.”

“If you could call it that. Okay. This all started when I was 10. My grandmother had just passed away, and the family was in turmoil. Who would get this, who would get that. I didn’t say anything until my grandmother told me to yell at everyone for bickering over nothing. You could say they were beyond surprised when I said this, in Polish mind you, at which I had not learned yet, and called my mother and her four brothers my the nicknames my grandmother had always called them. Needless to say, they stopped immediately.”

“Is this all really necessary?”

“Of course officer. Who do you think tried to kill me? Anyway, as I relayed what my grandmother had told me to tell them about her estate and who received what, I could see my family change. They knew, and feared their mother, and now those looks were pointed at me at ten years old. Who could blame them? If your kid started babbling in Polish fluently and scolding you for your foolishness, you would be afraid, or annoyed too. As I continued talking about who got what, uncle Mark left. He said he wasn’t taking anymore of this freaky voodoo.”

“Your uncle Mark? The one who went missing a few nights ago.”

“The very same, sir. I looked him dead in the eyes as he left. Last time I saw him until a few nights ago when he showed up at my doorstep.”

“Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.”

“Officer please. You need to understand where my uncle was coming from before I told you the rest. As I was saying he left. No one heard from him again until a few nights ago when he just showed up on my doorstep.”

“How did you guys know he was okay?”

“Grandma kept an eye on everyone through the years. I told everyone what she told me. We knew he was safe, but resistant to come back. That is, until his wife and child died of cholera.”

“Jesus.”

“Yes sir, he came home that very night, right to our doorstep and grabbed me. Shook me, asking if I could see his little Moira. I said no, and shook off his grip. I asked him what happened, but he just wept and sobbed. A complete mess really, but then again, I’ve been around the dead my entire life, so it doesn’t bother me anymore.”

“Really?”

“When the dead don’t really stay dead, then yes. You get used to them and death itself.”

“Can you see anyone here? Now?”

“Just a man, in his 50’s. Presumably your father because he looks at you like you’re the world to him.”

“Papi…”

“Now, where was I? Oh, so with him just sobbing there, he finally gets up, thanks me, and leaves. Next I get a call from you saying you found his body. Didn’t even have the decency to come to me first.”

“I can’t imagine how embarrassed he is.”

“Embarrassed? You should’ve seen him in life. Couldn’t make an honest days work, nor be a gentleman. You could always find him down to an opium den though from what grandma said. Poor bastard.”

“Still. Wife and child gone, you can’t help, and that was his last resort in talking to them one last time. Tore him to pieces I bet.”

“From the look of the body, that wasn’t the only thing.”

“The current of the Cheyenne river under the bridge is mighty strong. We’re lucky we found him where we did.”

“Doesn’t matter honestly what kind of condition he is in. I just need the body for burial.”

“Whatever you need. I hear you’re the last in your family now?”

“Yes. Ironically the one thing grandma failed to tell me is that her belongings were cursed before my family took them. All died soon after my uncle left. He was my last relative.”

“How will you survive?”

“Have you heard of ‘The Space Between?’”

“The funeral home? Yeah, we send most of our victims there.”
“I know, I work there. I prepare the dead and help the living move on. It’s a tiring job, but I like it. Keeps me together.”

“So much emotion. I wish you luck.”

“Thank you, it seems to work for me really well. And the people leave feeling more at peace with what happened. It’s good work.”

“So. Did you have anything to do with your uncle’s murder?”

“No sir, I did not. He also won’t come to me either, so I can’t help you.”

“Where were you that night?”

“Working at the funeral home. You can check the cameras.”

“And I will. Thank you for your time Tim.

“If you need any help, or if he actually talks to me. I’ll let you know.”

“Thank you. You can go now, but, just don’t leave town until this is over.”

“I can assure you I won’t.”

“Good. Take care now.”

“I will. Good bye sheriff. Oh, and take care of that pen. It was my grandmother’s favorite.”

“I promise. Good afternoon.”

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