Saturday – The Mourning Parlor
I was now definitely chilled, and figured that the sooner I had the heat on the better!
I made my way downstairs but stopped for a look inside the Mourning Parlor.
For some reason, the room had always held a fascination for me.
It was a corner room, with an outside entrance exiting onto the long wrap-around porch. It even had it’s on stairs leading from the porch, next to the wider main porch stairs.
Therewith four quite long windows to let in the light of day.
The room had only ever been used to lay out the bodies of the deceased for viewing before traveling to the Church for a service of the dead than laid out in the family crypt.
So far had the room been used for that purpose 6 times. Though two of the caskets set up for viewing at the same time, had been empty, those of the Jacob JR and Stephen, whose bodies were buried in a mass grave, mixed in with other poor young dead souls, far away from home, across the channel.
The room was still laid out as it had been for Frances’s viewing.
The room was small, with high ceilings and close walls. Off to one side was a small piano… I had remembered that both Mary and Frances had played that piano, and tried to offer me lessons once, I turned them down flat.
The other side was a couch, a few easy chairs, and some chairs from the kitchen… laid out in front of where the coffin had been.
On either side of that space were two odd-looking objects…
Twin black wrought iron contraptions’, a large grilled fan stood at the top of each of the wrought iron stands, and on top of each of the fans were candelabras, with 3 tapers each, that had been burnt down about halfway. I stood for a minute, realizing that the purpose of the candle was to gain light to the coffin and the corpse, while the fans were meant to keep things cool. At the base of each were large flower pots, still containing faded flowers, wilting from lack of water.
Flowers around a casket may look pretty, but back in the day, the sweet smell had served a very functional purpose!
I started to again shiver, feeling cold I convinced myself was the reason.
I closed the parlor’s doors and went to the kitchen.
Off to one side was the cellar door.
Opening the door, I turned on the lights below.
Narrow wooden stairs were leading down, above which was the underside of the stairway leading to the bedrooms.
I went halfway down the stairs. To a landing that had an exit door leading out to the side yard.
I glanced out the window, I could see the bench by the old unused victory garden outside.
I continued on my way down.
The cellar was large, partitioned off by several walls.
Probably for the root cellar, laundry, and Jacob’s workroom.
The room was full of old crates and mouldy cardboard cartons, all full with odds and ends of all types collected over the many years gone by.
Like in the attic, but this collection was starkly different a much more functional collection.
In a far, shadowy corner was an ancient washer, drier, and an and even more ancient clothes wringer.
Next to them, in a corner, was the old furnace, with its many vents rising like a many-armed monster about to pounce from the shadows.
Kill the imagination girl, I chided myself, this place is eerie enough on its own…
So, of course, it was at that moment that the tapping on the wall started!
Saturday – Shadows In the Cellar