Writing Prompt: We took no pleasure in the chore.

Yesterday someone accidentally took out two bundles of fiber optics for our area out with a back hoe. A few minutes ago, internet was restored. So now I am am playing catch up the posts.. This was the writing prompt I wrote this morning. I hope you had a happy Friday.

Friday, July 30th: We took no pleasure in the chore.

We took no pleasure in the chore.  It was a difficult task at the best of times, but now it seemed especially harsh. 

‘Was there a time when it was pleasant to clean out the home of a deceased family member?’ I thought as I looked at Uncle Sheldon’s house.  Somehow I didn’t think so. Uncle Sheldon lived in the old family home.  It was far away from the rest of town, separated more by the dense trees surrounding it than actual distance. 

In reality you could take your bicycle and ride from the town square to his front door in less than fifteen minutes.  Because of the trees, and Uncle Sheldon’s dislike for people, his place felt like it was a world away.  Certainly few were inclined to visit.

I looked around at those now mingling in the yard.  They were visiting now.

The house had been in the family for more than two hundred years.  It had grown and altered over time to accommodate the growing family’s needs and the changing times.  Rooms were tacked onto the first floor as children were born and at some point someone added a second story.  Later wings were added, presumably one at a time, turning the single gabled structure into a four-sided box with an interior courtyard. 

I was fairly certain the interior courtyard served as the kitchen herb garden before the house turned it into a courtyard.  On one of my few visits as a child I vaguely recalled some sort of statue placed in the center of it.  It seemed less like a garden ornament and more like the statue was surrounded by the house and taken prisoner when he wasn’t looking.

Now the Uncle Sheldon was gone, everyone in the family, that is anyone who could once trace a relative back to the house, wanted a peek inside.  As I was the executor of the estate, it would be me keeping everyone from taking more than a peek.  Uncle Sheldon left instructions and specific bequests. 

He and I got on all right, but I was surprised when his lawyer, Mr. Thomas called to let me know I was in charge of dealing with the estate. There may not have been any animosity between us but I didn’t think Uncle Sheldon and I were close enough for him to trust me with something like this.  In the letter he left with the lawyer, Uncle Shelton explained that he trusted me not to pilfer from the others and to not let the others pilfer from the estate.  He also apologized for the fact that I would soon have to deal with the others.

I was trying to take it as a complement.

Dealing with the family wouldn’t be easy.

‘Of course it is worse now.’

When I went to see Mr. Thomas, I found that he wasn’t alone.  The Sherriff was with him.  Apparently there was something hinky with Uncle Sheldon’s death.  Even though local gossip had him keeping over with a heart attack, even I knew the sheriff didn’t investigate death by natural causes.  I thought over the sheriff’s request.  I could see the point of it, but it wasn’t going to be easy to enforce.

He wanted a look around the house before it was stripped by the family. Given the way old Miss Mary was eyeing the front window and the brick lined front path, keeping the house secure for the sheriff to look over, might prove to be the most difficult thing I had ever been asked to do.

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