Synopsis: Roger Kiser is new to the far cast town of Buffalo Rind, North Dakota. Evening is approaching and the temperature is dropping quickly. The town’s largest church is closed for cleaning and the only other possible help is from an old man named Minot and his three conniving dogs, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Mephistopheles. The old man has an option for Roger although the young man may not like it.
This is a continuation of the Buffalo Rind story. To read the beginning of the story, please look in the Buffalo Rind category. If your looking for the regular DodoEggs.com posts, skip this.
A knowing grin spread slowly across Minot’s countenance. He rose slowly and his cumbersome boots started making strides for the front door. “Perfect! Stay here for a second. I need to grab my flashlight and keys. Then I’ll show you your new home!”
Less than a minute later, Kiser was being led behind the brick home to a heavy wooden door mounted at a slant against an extension of the foundation. It took Minot a while to release the stubborn lock. Finally with a heave, both men managed to release the door from the ice that bound it. Snow slid off the door with muted thumps. A three-foot post stood an arm’s length from the cellar. It had a slanted top, which readily accepted the door’s weight.
Roger straightened and investigated the opening that remained. The bare concrete stairwell before him melted into a darkness and shadow. Many of the stairs were chipped and there were several cracks that meandered like bolts of lightning from the cellar walls to the stairs. Beyond the steps, Roger could see nothing.
However, it wasn’t what he saw that most disturbed him. It was what he heard. Roger stopped moving to better hear the moans, screams, and other wrenching sounds.
Minot spoke in a surprisingly indifferent tone. “The cellar has everything you need. The bathroom is on the north side someplace.” The old man took off a glove and rubbed his temples. “There is an old fridge down there and a hooked up rotary phone. Anything you find in the fridge is old so throw it away. You’ll be asked to pay for any long distance calls. At one time, I was going to rent this place and not give it away.”
Roger turned back to the stairwell. He wasn’t sure at first but now he was quite sure. There were sounds of torment echoing from the home’s darkened cellar. Was the old man unaware of this?
“Sir, uh, do you hear…” From behind him, the sound of twelve rapidly advancing paws interrupted Kiser.
“Stand your ground this time son.” Minot placed his hand on Roger’s arm. “They are just trying to frighten you. Don’t let them.”
Despite this admonition, Roger deftly took one step back from the dog’s direct path. The Dobermans slowed as they came upon the cellar entrance. They then took easy flights, each one bounding from just a single step, down the steps into the darkness below.
Still nonchalant as ever, the older man continued, “Well, I haven’t any idea what that was about.”
Both Roger and Minot bent over to try and catch a glimpse of the three dogs. The light near the street and the old man’s flashlight didn’t help much. The dogs couldn’t be seen and all that could be heard were the sound of maniacal laughter and gut-wrenching screams.
Minot straightened and continued, “Yea, I’m sorry about the noise and clutter down there. I don’t hear it in the house most of the time. The local Charity Cause had its usual haunted house fundraiser here.
Anyway, this year they asked if they could store all the props and scenes down here instead of their self-storage unit. I said no, but Oswego thought it would be a great way to involve himself with more women. That’s a whole other story.” Minot scowled a bit. “I guess they thought it would be cool to play their stupid soundtrack while filling the cellar full with this junk. They somehow buried the stereo and loud speakers before turning them off. I guess it’s set on some sort of repeat because, well, it just never shuts up. I’ve been so busy this past month and a half that I haven’t been able to fix it myself”
Roger was in a state of shock. “And what am I supposed to do about it! It’s freezing, I’m frozen and you’re asking me to stay in a dark basement full of Halloween props! This isn’t normal! This makes no sense!”
Minot just shrugged his shoulders. “That’s fine with me. All you need to do is go down there, sort through the junk, and unplug the stereo. I’m sure my old space heater is down there. It’s still early enough this evening for you to get something done. Just tell me you’re not scared.”
Seemingly on cue, the dogs burst from the darkness. Lucifer almost knocked Roger over. Once above ground they ran in circles yelping as if terrified with their tails between their legs.
“Ihr ist verruckt! (You guys are stupid!) Dumb Hunds!” The old man didn’t consider their little prank amusing.
“Geh weg oder essen Sie nicht! (Go away or you won’t eat!)”
With that last shout, the Dobermans stopped their show and scampered off into a snow-covered hedge.
Minot turned back to Roger. “Hey, don’t let those stupid dogs get to you.”
The breach in Kiser’s confidence was now miles wide. “Minot sir, I don’t think I can do this. I appreciate your offer but there has to be some other place for me. All I’m really looking for is a sweet old lady who has a small upstairs room for rent. Maybe she bakes me cookies, knits doilies, and has too many cats. I wasn’t planning on dealing with anything like this.”
“Suit yourself.” Minot shrugged his shoulders and leaned over to pull up the door. “But it seems to me you have as many options as North Dakota has coastline. After all, with that stupid Alien Days is in town there aren’t too many rooms left. I’m sure you can just pop a fifty-dollar bill in some clerk’s pocket and he will locate a room. Am I right?”
Roger closed his eyes and clenched his teeth. “I have no friends, no family, no money. I’m lost in a frozen no-man’s-land with nothing but a tattered backpack full of garbage. My only option is the storage shed of the undead guarded by a three-headed canine terror. So I suppose I’ll take it.”
Minot had the door halfway shut before Kiser agreed. “Great. Good decision. You will grow from this experience. Just push all that junk down there as much to one side as you can. It won’t hurt anything.”
Once he had set the door back down, he began making his way toward the front of the home. “Alright look, I was in the middle of something really important. If you need something, just come to the front door.” The old man turned the corner and the last thing Roger heard was, “Otherwise I’ll see you in the morning, if you live that long! Ha!”