(a five-minute story by L.P. Stribling)
He collected them in a dark room, but they weren’t for sale. It’s not that there wasn’t a market. And it’s not that he couldn’t make a lot of money. There was, and he could. It was just that, in this particular realm of his life, he considered himself selfish.
“There we go,” he said. “One more friend in your circle.”
He spoke to them openly. He never heard their responses, but he knew that they spoke back to him.
When the police came to his house in early August, they did more than come with a warrant. They came with a team, each with ten persons or so. He was detained immediately. That was the easy part. They had to actually go through the house, with all of the rumors and stories weighing on their shoulders.
They found the doorway down into the dark after several hours of searching. They hesitated at first. They took deep breaths and full-charged flashlights, and they went down.
Their lights didn’t help from the horrors they found. Dead things hanging, rotten smells floating. Diseases, aches, and pains. Sicknesses of the word that were probably best kept from it.
And then, at some early hour of the morning, they found the jars.