It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean,who wouldn’t jump at the chance to move from a small house in the suburbs to a country estate? We were as happy as any couple living the American dream. It wasn’t even that we were looking for a change, but change was looking for us.
On a Monday, I received a registered letter from an attorney’s office back east. I do freelance work from home, so I was there when it arrived. I opened and read it before sitting down, but I had to sit down, and read it again.
I lost my Mother several years ago. I knew she had a sister, whom I had never met. Mother told me they were estranged, but I was never curious enough to ask why. The contents of the letter told me of another relative I knew nothing about.
Dear Mrs. Allen,
I am writing on behalf of your Mother’s sister, Miss Beatrice Sanders. It has become necessary that she meet with you regarding your Uncle, Mr. Charles Sanders. Your Aunt has been his caretaker for many years, but unfortunately, she herself has become too ill to continue this arrangement. You, Mrs. Allen are the only other living relative.
Mrs. Sanders is very aware of the inconvenience this will most likely impose on you, however; time is of the essence. She has requested that I make arrangements for you and your family to meet with her at your Uncle’s home.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Mrs. Sanders has requested you arrive on Friday the 12th.
I have enclosed a card with my direct number. I will await your call.
Michael J.Simpson Attorney at law
My husband Aaron, was on a business trip, and was to be home the following evening. Our 10 year old daughter, Mandy was home with a cold that day. She was feeling better by the afternoon, and was happily playing with her Barbie dolls in her room.
It never occurred to us not to go. We took a flight on Friday as requested. The attorney arranged to have a car drive us to my Uncle’s home. It was dark, so we weren’t able to see much during the two hour drive, but it appeared Uncle Charles lived in a fairly remote area.
When we arrived at the country estate and stepped out of the car, we didn’t know we were getting our first glimpse of what would become our home.
It wasn’t an extremely old house, and it wasn’t a farmhouse. It was unlike any house I had ever seen before.
We were shown to our rooms by an older woman who appeared to be a housekeeper. She offered to bring us dinner, and told us my Aunt would meet with us in the morning. Mandy took one look at her room and smiled, then fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. Aaron and I were exhausted as well, so we didn’t look around at all before falling into bed.
I woke up before dawn, and went across the hall to check on Mandy. She was still sound asleep. She looked like a little angel. It was then I noticed, cradled in her arms, was a pretty little doll that I knew didn’t belong to my daughter.