The Curious History Of Johns County (part 1)

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A while ago I promise to post the short story that goes along with the out line I posted.

So here it is.

(part 1)

The Curious History of Johns County

“I found it, it’s perfect! Come look.” Diane screamed.

Hugo Mantz, sitting at his kitchen table didn’t flinch, he was used to his girlfriend’s outbursts. He left the chair where he’d been reading the paper and joined her in looking at the web page on her laptop.

‘Mountain Retreat for Rent

The wonderful Mountain Chalet, Johns House is located in beautiful, scenic Johns County. It boasts magnificent views in all directions, out door activates including walking trails, fire pit, hot tub and a Gazebo located in the lush gardens. The house has five bedrooms, six baths, living room, fully equipped kitchen, library (access to computer and internet included in lease agreement), and a basement game room. ‘

“Look, look, isn’t it just fabulous?” Diane danced enthusiastically in her seat. Her black hair, wild to match her personality, bounced too.

Hugo grunted his agreement and dropped a kiss on her head. He read the details on the screen. At the bottom, he spotted a problem.

“It says here, it isn’t available from December 22- January 1. Keep looking.” Satisfied the matter was closed, he returned to his seat and his paper. He could hear her nails tapping on the table. He waited, knowing more was coming.

“I haven’t been able to find anything near this nice. I really want this to be special. We have to have this place. Couldn’t we just try? I mean, all they can say is no, right?”

Exasperated, Hugo relented. “Fine, e-mail me the details and I’ll get in touch with them from work.”

Another happy scream sounded, and Hugo found his lap full of thankful woman. He was more than willing to accept her gratitude.

Days later, Hugo received an electronic chiming to inform him of an incoming e-mail. He was pleased to see a reply to his inquiry from the Chalet owner, Mr. Johnson.

‘Dear Mr. Mantz,

It is true that I do not rent my Chalet during Christmas week; however, your generous bonus for making Johns House available is hard to resist. So hard to resist that I have decided to accept it. I must warn you that the reason the Chalet is not available that week is due to dangerous snowstorms, and the property will be cut off from any help. Should there be an emergency, no one will be able to reach you. If you still wish to lease the property for the Christmas week, I have attached a standard lease agreement. Please print, sign and return it to the address on the lease.

Best Wishes,

Seymour Johnson’

Looking forward to another round of Diane’s gratitude, he printed, signed and mailed the agreement as instructed.

Driving up the lane, they got their first look at the Mountain Chalet in person.

“Wow, it’s so much better than I thought it would be!” Diane exclaimed.

“You’re right, it is. Good choice, baby. What do you guys think?” Hugo addressed his question to the back seat. They murmured agreement and stared out the windshield where the beautiful wood, stone, and glass building held court.

“Oh, look! The owner decorated. I can see the Christmas lights and a wreath. This is going to be the best Christmas ever.” Always enthusiastic, no one was surprised by Diane’s excitement.

“You’re right. This is going to be a week to remember. I can just feel it,” Sandy agreed, just as happy to be there as Diane.

Luke, Sandy’s boyfriend, put in his two cents, “I think we can all agree with that.”

Pulling around the circular drive, Hugo stopped the car in front of the stone steps leading to the blue-slate patio.

The quartet got out, started unloading the luggage, and supplies while Hugo opened the door with the keys. They quickly got everything inside and took care of the necessities of picking rooms.

After putting the groceries away in the kitchen, the women headed to look around, when Diane spotted a large basket and card on the living room table.

‘My most welcome guests, please accept my humble well wishes, and hope you enjoy your stay.

Seymour Johnson’

“Oh, how sweet, and thoughtful.” Diane took the items out of the basket.

“Let’s see, Champagne, crackers, assorted cheeses …” As Diane went through the goodies, the men came in from taking the luggage upstairs. “…a book, and last, but not least, chocolates.”

Luke picked up the book, “The Curious History of Johns County.” He flipped it over to read the blurb. “The historically accurate tale of the Widow Johns and other curiosities of Johns County. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. I guarantee you won’t sleep tonight.” Flipping it over again, he grunted and tossed it on the table. “So, what do you say we get out in the fresh air and work up an appetite?”

“Let’s do it. There are supposed to be walking paths and a fire pit on the other side of the gardens,” Hugo said.

“Sounds like a plan.” Diane grabbed his hand and dragged him out the door.

Outside, a stone path meandered through the dormant garden and down the lawn.

“Oh, look what a fantastic gazebo! I’ve always wanted one,” Sandy said.

“Maybe we’ll have one built at the new house.” Luke murmured and brought their joined hands to his mouth for a soft kiss. She smiled up at him, happy they were on the same page.

“Let’s see if we can catch up to the speed demons,” Luke said.

Eventually, they did and had a great time wandering the paths. Exploring the natural and manmade wonders around them. It wasn’t long before they decided to head in for dinner. Afterward, they agreed to spend some time by the fire pit laughing, joking and telling ghost stories.

Exhausted from a busy day, they returned to the house and said their good nights. Everyone but Luke turned in for the night.


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