Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Second part of the Tea Party Series. 

Teashanks had been reclining at a corner table at the pub. He waved them over for a chat when they entered.

"It must be the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life!" he  exclaimed after introducing himself, putting down his glass. "Building houses on Shelly's Lane, what's more, at the site of the Shelly hell hole itself! Raving mad you must be!"

"Are you done Mr. Teashanks?" asked Nathan, bored with the same old conversation.

"Oh, come on Nat!" said Leslie, playfully punching him on the shoulder. "What if he's right? What if that place is really haunted?"

"Listen to your girlfriend!" said old Teashanks, "She seems to have a lot more sense than you! Heed my words boy! Demons inhabit that place!"

"Yeah right." chuckled Nathan, sipping his coffee, "I suppose we'll just have to evict the demons then, since the land belongs to our corporation now." He grinned. "Or they can buy the new houses if they're so dead set on staying there."

"Don't joke about this, young man." Mr. Teashanks said sternly. "There is great evil in that place!"

Leslie smiled, "What is so evil about it? What's the story of Shelly's Lane?"

Teashanks leaned back in his chair.

"My Father told me this story when I was a child-" he began.

"A story." snorted Nathan "That's all it is!"

"Nathan! " frowned Leslie,  "Don't interrupt! "
Nathan sighed and drank his beer.

"So as I was saying," continued Teashanks, "Before it was called Shelly Lane, that place used to be called Lemon Lane. The Shellys had a large house there, the husband was a businessman of some sort.
So the Shelly woman, whom the children call Helly Shelly, see, she was crazy. People say she practiced witchcraft. Horrifying she was. Don't know what he saw in her.
Well she got rid of him soon enough . Used witchcraft to kill him soon after their daughter's birth.
And the daughter, my, what a horror! A squint-eyed abomination named Cynthia, born with horns!"

"Seriously? " asked Leslie, a bit amused.

"That's what everyone says. " replied Teashanks. "Well what happened next was, Helly Shelly killed her own daughter for some reason. Ate some parts of her as well. Then she stowed her down in the basement at a tea table, and went on as if nothing had happened.
She secretly started killing poor little innocent boys and girls as well, and seated their corpses at the table to keep her daughter company!"

"Whoa!" Leslie whispered.
Nathan shook his head in exasperation.

"And then when the townspeople finally caught her, she reverted to her true form." Teashanks lowered his voice. "Shelly turned into a demon and flew away! That very night, lightning struck her house, and half the street burned down...
The priest who arrived to cleanse the site with Holy water collapsed and died!
Even years after all this, the people living on Lemon Lane kept dying from mysterious illnesses. There was such a stench th-"

Nathan interrupted him, "That was because of the gases rising from the nearby marsh. We've already drained and filled it up, and the health inspectors have declared the area safe."

"Never knew a bit of marsh gas to drive men insane." said Teashanks, lighting a cigar, "Well.... pretty soon, the whole Lane was abandoned. No one would even dare go there. Those who did came screaming back without their wits.
And now here you are with your bulldozers and machines and your talks of building houses on that accursed land!"

Leslie turned to Nathan. "There had to be some reason why you got that land cheaper than dirt."

The old man turned to Nathan with a serious look on his face.  "Leave Shelly Lane and go back, son." he said, "I'm saying it for your own good. People will get hurt. '

"For God's sake, nothing's going to happen to anyone!" Nathan exclaimed in anger. He got up and walked away.

Leslie looked at Teashanks, then got up and followed  Nathan.

"For your sakes, I hope you are right." said Teashanks quietly.


Leslie and Nathan went outside after sometime and walked towards their car. Leslie, an art student, had met Nathan an year ago at a renovation site he had been supervising. It had been love at first sight.
Nathan's father owned a construction company, and Nathan had been supervising the building of new houses in the town of Summerhill. He hadn't expected such a high degree of superstitious fear in the townspeople though.

"Baby, do you think there could've been anything in what he said?" Leslie asked Nathan.
"Of course not!" exclaimed Nathan. "It's just a local myth! There was probably a mad woman named Shelly there at some point, but the story's been blown way out of proportion!"

"Yeah. I wonder when these superstitious rumors will stop." sighed Leslie.

Nathan turned to face her.
"I'll tell you what we'll do." he said,  "We'll move into the very house which is being built at the site of the Shelly house." He held her hands. "We'll put an end to these rumors once and for all."

Leslie nodded.
He bent down and kissed her.


"That was that new architect, wasn't he?" Mr. Morris, the owner of the pub, asked Stella.

"Yeah." said the barmaid. "Weird couple though."

"How so?" Morris asked her.

"Well-" answered Stella, polishing the glasses, "They were behaving really odd, you know having this strange, broken conversation. Really, just Disconnected sentences, staring at the empty chair. And... They were sitting at that table."
"What table?"
"You know... " she said, "Teashanks' table."

Morris suppressed a shiver.
"Yeah. " said Stella, wiping the tabletop, "No one's sat there since he went crazy on Shelly Lane and killed himself."

No comments :

Post a Comment