Der Reizen -  Chapter 1 (145 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Pegasus (VE5CAP)3/27/19 8:43 PM 
To: All  (1 of 7) 

Der Reizen

By E. Lynn Cormick


Dedicated to Alan and Adrian for finding me old ideas and to Memere and Petra, for putting up with my ideas and finding me new ones. My thanks to MonikaP of for the book cover.


Chapter 1

Home Sweet Home

April 21

Herta Tanner sagged against the door frame, shocked. She thought the outside of the place looked bad, but this? After two days and half a world of travel, this didn’t even look to be fit for rats, never mind herself.

“This” was the new home she’d inherited from a great-grandfather she never knew existed. She wasn’t specifically the heir. She was the eldest child of the only child of the eldest son of an entailed estate. It was the fortunes of birth. If nothing else, this would be an effective place to get her life back together. Here, she didn’t have any well-meaning friends or siblings coming around to tell her what a louse her husband was and how stupid she’d been to marry him. Ex-husband, actually. And he wouldn’t be coming around, either, come to think of it. For a change, there would be no interruptions to her work. Wonderful!

From the hand-drawn floor plans the lawyer had sent her a few weeks ago, she knew there were three rooms downstairs, a kitchen that stretched the width of the back of the house, a parlor with a fireplace and a smaller room she decided would do for her office. The upstairs consisted of a one room loft for a bedroom and a half-cellar was downstairs. An attached woodshed also served as the back porch.

“This” was also, she saw in the waning light of sunset, the filthiest place she’d ever seen.

And she was only looking at the hallway! “I don’t suppose anyone thought to clean out the fridge, did they?” she asked idly.

“I am sorry, Fraulein,” the man beside her apologized, “but there is no fridge. There is electricity, yes, but your grandfather…” His voice trailed off.

She stared at Gebhardt in disbelief. “No fridge,” she repeated.

“There is, ich denke, ein… An box of ice in the pantry.” His nervousness took away his already halting command of the English language. “And electricity is dear.”

She sighed. Judging from the amount in the bank records the lawyer had produced, Grandfather Theiner was also a miser. Considering the condition of the house, perhaps that was for the best. There was no point in complaining to Gebhardt. He was only a clerk at the law firm, not her grandfather. Besides, with his thinning blond hair and watery blue eyes, he looked like a kicked puppy if you even considered getting angry. She’d found that out on the trip down from Munich, among other things. But you can bet, she thought, that I’ll be having words with the lawyer. Cripes, that’s all I need—a seventy-year-old icebox and who knows what in all this junk.

She blew out her breath. “Okay. Well, let’s see what other surprises Grandfather left me, shall we?” Shrugging herself off the doorway, she entered the house. A small table by the door seemed sturdy enough to hold her laptop and her purse. Even if it did have an inch of dust and grime on it.

Herta was grateful for the dim light. She was sure that she’d sleep better this first night if she didn’t know exactly what the shadowed piles of… things… were. She poked her head into the east room. The parlor draperies looked like they’d been a cat’s playground, shredded beyond all hope of redemption. She could make out the outlines of an over-stuffed armchair by the fireplace, a great gaping hole in the dimness and a sofa next to it. Probably horsehair, too, she thought wryly. There were a couple of curio cabinets and a decaying rug to complete the furnishings. The rest is garbage, she thought.

She almost tripped over Gebhardt as she turned to see what was in the other room, the one she’d earmarked as an office. He yelped and backed up hastily. Muttering an apology, Herta moved to the second door. It only opened part way. If nothing else, the light was better in here. Not that the room was in any better condition than the parlor. From the looks of it, this had been Great-grandfather’s library. Two walls were nothing but dusty bookshelves, empty now and a huge roll-top desk dominated the wall opposite the door.

Craning her head, Herta found that the door was blocked by a heavy wooden table, gleaming in the light from the open window. The table was easily three meters long and at least one and a half wide. There was something odd about it, but her tired mind couldn’t seem to grasp the difference. It could wait until tomorrow.

What remained of the wallpaper in the hallway was water-stained and peeling. She took two steps toward the back of the house and squawked in surprise.

“Fraulein?” Gebhardt asked anxiously, taking a step towards her. He’d heard strange things about this place, even before he’d set foot in it. “Fraulein? Are you well?”

Herta ran a hand over her face and batted at the air with the other. “Sorry, Gebhardt. Didn’t mean to startle you, but I’d forgotten that there might be cobwebs.”

Gebhardt nodded in understanding. “Alten Häuser haben immer die Spinnen,” he intoned.

Herta stifled a groan. When he wasn’t apologizing, Gebhardt had the annoying habit of being patronizing. It made for a long trip, trapped in his antique Volvo. Just a few more minutes and he’s gone, she thought. He’s only the chauffeur to get me here and then I can get rid of him. Only a few more minutes until I’ve seen the rest of the mess. Half an hour at the most.

The last few words mentally matched her pace as she strode into the kitchen. It was either seem rude and ignore him or be rude and belt him. “All old houses have spiders,” she muttered in disgust. “No kidding.”

The huge kitchen lived down to her expectations. Filthy didn’t begin to describe it. Dust and dirt lay inches thick over everything, including the monstrous wood stove against one wall. Now there was something that would need carbolic and elbow grease, to quote her paternal grandmother. Closer inspection of the stove revealed that, surprisingly, it was similar to one Grandmère had and Herta was familiar enough with it not to burn the house down. Provided the chimney wasn’t blocked.

Including the door she’d just entered, four doors led off the kitchen. The first one, next to the stove, led into a good-sized pantry. The door was half-opened and stuck there. One wall of the pantry was lined with shelves that held only dust. As expected. A tarnished copper pot lolled on the floor. A small cabinet, complete with sink and ancient pump, stood next to the do
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From: Pegasus (VE5CAP)4/18/19 11:26 PM 
To: All  (2 of 7) 
 6.2 in reply to 6.1 

Is Herta really a pimp for vampires?


From: Kidmagnet DelphiPlus Member Icon4/26/19 12:34 AM 
To: Pegasus (VE5CAP)  (3 of 7) 
 6.3 in reply to 6.2 

IS SHE???!!!

lol says your book is out of stock.


From: Pegasus (VE5CAP)4/26/19 12:43 AM 
To: Kidmagnet DelphiPlus Member Icon  (4 of 7) 
 6.4 in reply to 6.3 

Oops. I'd forgotten my publisher took all the books down from Amazon. I've put them up on my own:

Stay Safe! Stay Gold!

  • Edited September 19, 2022 12:49 am  by  Pegasus (VE5CAP)

From: Kidmagnet DelphiPlus Member Icon4/29/19 10:48 PM 
To: Pegasus (VE5CAP)  (5 of 7) 
 6.5 in reply to 6.4 

Drat I don;t have paypal - if it comes back on Amazon let me know. I'd love to read it (and prefer the ecopy)


From: Delphi ForumsSponsored Message 
To: All 

From: Pegasus (VE5CAP)4/29/19 11:49 PM 
To: Kidmagnet DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 7) 
 6.6 in reply to 6.5 

I'll do that.

Stay Safe! Stay Gold!



From: Pegasus (VE5CAP) Posted by hostSep-19 12:50 AM 
To: Kidmagnet DelphiPlus Member Icon unread  (7 of 7) 
 6.7 in reply to 6.5 

Ecopy's on sale for about $20 US/$25 Canadian, for all 5 books, if you're interested.


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