Dinner was over and we all went to the living room for coffee, hot chocolate for me, and scones. My Uncle Albert, my mom, dad, Aunt Reba and me sipped on our drinks and I listened as they made small talk. It was pitch dark outside. The waxing crescent moon cast a dark mysterious shadow. A starless sky set the finishing touches for a haunting Halloween.
“AHHH, An eerie dark night…perfect for a spooky true story” Uncle Albert said in his imitation of Bela Lagosi. He stared down at me and cackled. “Hee hee hee heeeee. This tale will bring goosebumps throughout your entire body and make you sleep forever with the lights on.”
I shivered to think what kind of story he was going to tell.
“Now Albert don’t you dare bring up poor Anton”
As soon as she said that the lights in the house went out. I screamed and ran to my mother’s side.
“It’s just the storm dear” she said and started to place candles all around the room. The flames came alive and danced. Their reflections painted an eerie scene on the walls. Candles lit, mom sat down and Uncle Albert began his story. The truth he said about Anton.
“Anton was Reba’s first husband. Some thought him peculiar but I knew what he was. In the beginning he looked quite normal. A short ordinary man, round face and beady eyes. He had dark straight hair that hung down his forehead and covered his eyes. His face was devoid of hair except for a thin line on his lip he called a mustache. I became suspicious of Anton when he would disappear for days and then return home to shut himself up in the basement. If you go down those winding stairs you will see a huge heavy bolted door specially built to keep anyone else out except for him. One day I decided I would get him to let me see what was down there. “Come on Anton, show me what is so important that you have it locked in the basement?”
His monotone robotic response was, “I can show you but then I would have to kill you.”
I thought he was joking and the fact that he was being so mysterious made me even more determined to look. On one of his disappearing acts I inched my way down the dark spiral staircase and placing my hand over the door’s knob turned it. It flew open! I was taken aback, afraid he might be there and then I cautiously skulked forward. A light switch near the door illuminated a hanging lamp that shone on a flat wooden table. I needed more light so I grabbed a nearby lantern that hung on the wall and lit it. Holding up the lamp I peered around. The whole place looked like a laboratory. Pints of blood dated and labeled were stored in a refrigerator. Jars were placed on shelves in alphabetical order. Ears, Eyes, Hair, Heart, Tongue, all sorts of organs. What was going on I thought. Was Anton a grave robber or a serial killer? I went to his desk and looked at the books he had strewn around. Books on Frankenstein’s monster, mummies, ghouls, living dead and a diary.
I picked up the diary and opened up the first page. On day one, My trip was a success. I collected many specimens. Day two, It was a hard gruesome day. After cutting and separating the different test products, I had to clean and sterilize each sample and place them in containers. At that point I slammed the diary closed, blew out the lantern, turned out the light and high tailed it out of there. My hands were shaking and I was white as a ghost. Reba came home and I told her the whole story. Of course she didn’t believe me and refused to go to the basement to see. That evening Anton returned home and he looked at me as if he knew. I averted his eyes as much as possible but at every turn his eyes locked on me and he had a weird quizzical look on his face.
“Is everything alright?” He asked me
“Why yes” I stammered.
“It’s just that you look so strange, as if you came face to face with” he paused then shook his head. “Nevermind.”
I excused myself and ran home. I couldn’t shake the feeling of fear. I was worried about Reba after all she was my sister. I worried she was in danger so I decided to confront Anton. Determined to get to the bottom of it I took a deep breath, put on my coat and hat and returned to their house. I rang the doorbell and stepped inside. Anton and Reba were both surprised to see me.
“I… I… I need to know,” I began. “Wh… what is going on in your basement?”
“I told you,” Anton said, “I can show you but I would have to kill you.”
“Oh stop it Anton,” Reba said “ just tell him what you do.
“I am a body parts collector.”
Uncle Albert was about to continue his story when the doorbell rang. In walks Anton, hat in hand, looking as creepy as my Uncle had said.
“I’ve come for my body parts.”
I screamed and hid behind my mother.
It turns out that Anton was a scientist and he used the body parts to experiment with different medications and surgical equipment. As for where he got the body parts, well, at the morgue. Some people donated their bodies to science and Anton traveled to many places in search of just the right parts. Ghoulish or not, he still creeped me out.