08
Jan
18

Layers

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The house doesn’t look like much. A kitschy little cabin, plastered on the outside with log paneling to hide the all-too-modern aluminum underneath. Surrounded by pine trees that have been cut to make it look as though they built the house in a random natural clearing but that had actually been perfectly arranged to be the minimum fire-safe distance and yet provide appropriate shade and privacy. The road is frequently coated over with pine needles and dirt, giving the image of some rural track not to be found on a map, but if one was to sweep it away they would find nothing but good old American two-lane blacktop beneath.

In short, it lies. Claims to be some relic of a bygone era bravely reclaimed by modern man when it’s actually a poor replica made by developers cashing in on the wannabe frontiersman look.

Or is it? Because everything has layers. Peel the first away and shed that 1800s log cabin vibe, you find a mobile home with a coat of paint. But what about when you peel that away? What lies underneath that?

I wish I hadn’t found out.

That fake rural track is called King’s Road. Nobody knows why. Local myths claim it was named after the original owner of the land. But like everything else around here if you dig deep enough that fades away into nothingness. No one named King has done anything of worth in the area, and the name doesn’t show up on any of the assayer’s documents going back almost 300 years. What does is that the road was built in 1952, the plot of land snapped up by some big-shot developer with a Saudi name in 1955, and the house itself was plopped down by a contractor supposedly in bed with Bugsy who went missing not long after.

The deeper legends say he’s probably buried in the foundation. I wouldn’t be surprised. Others claim he’s down in the lake behind the land, wearing himself a set of concrete overshoes. Maybe. Most folks think he just skipped town, headed on down to Vegas with some showgirl. I think that’s being too optimistic.

I’ve known about the house for almost a decade. I’d been seeing it even longer than that. It called me, you know. It had been whispering in my ear since I was barely a toddler, and maybe even before that. I was a teenager before I believed it was a real place. It was ten years after that when I found it. Ten more years before I decided I could stomach going.

Now, standing in front of it, I wished to Christ I hadn’t.

(Want more? Part 2 is here!)

KA Spiral no signature

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