I missed the FLF a fortnight ago, so thought I’d have a go this time.
Thanks to Dylan for the challenge.
The Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows.
The town had reverberated with stories of murders, mutilations, sacrifice and witchcraft.
None dared trespass for fear of attracting the wrath of the evil spirits residing there, the crows representing Guardians to Hades as they kept the inquisitive at bay.
Steve Stenham was the last of the Stenham clan, and more or less a hermit.
He lived, unbothered, in his family’s ancestral home, the surviving offspring of Charles and Beatrice Stenham, known to the townsfolk as ‘that strange childless couple on the hill’.
Steve had been hidden due to his hideous deformities, though his mind was active and creative, even bordering on genius.
When his parents died, he had buried them on the land, and as there had been little interaction between them and the town, no-one actually noticed.
He kept the house locked, encouraging the crows with scraps of meat from his traps and let people’s imaginations run riot as it suited him.
Interest in the house gradually diminished as subsequent generations of the town left for pastures new. Over the years as Steve grew old and tired, his constant companions were the crows. He was certain they understood him and would take care of him when his time came to depart this earth.
That came in December 2003 and within twenty four hours hundreds of crows flocked to the window sills, now rotted with age and neglect.
As one, they feasted on the corpse, picking the bones clean.
One by one, each took part of the skeleton, removing any evidence of Steve’s crippled existence.
The Stenham house was now just an ancient ruin where crows would gather and roost each December.