“See those pictures?”
He approached the wooden cabinet where memorabilia and assorted miniature decorations were showcased. Atop it were hanged photos in frames, collectively lined up, similar to paintings in a museum.
“Relatives?” he asked without thinking. He was not prepared for guessing games.
The old man shook his head. The grin earlier was replaced by a somber pout.
“By the way, everyone calls me Pool. Not with an F, mind you.” His attempt at creating a lighter conversation fell on deaf ears: the man did not react as he was supposed to.
“They were the five.”
Huh! Pool was not sure whether to accuse the man of murder or insanity. With such admission, the old man placed himself as the main suspect for the disappearances.
“Did you kill them?” Pool readied his defense, eyeing the solid glass orb as his weapon of choice.
Again, the old man shook his head. He looked troubled on how to explain things.
“Look at the photos. See any similarities?”
At first, Pool could only see standing individuals. Their clothes ranged from the eighties to the nineties’ styles. Then, he noticed they stood on the doorway. Identical doorways. It was the house’s.
“They tried to leave this place. I could not stop them. They vanished afterward.”
“Are you implying that if I leave now, I will vanish, too?” Pool asked incredulously. He had not heard such a bunch of crap in his life.
“I have not left since I arrived twenty years ago.”
“You are lying!” Pool could not contain his anger. “I will leave this minute.”
“I was supposed to be the second but I heeded the guardian’s plea to stay.”
Pool was in a quandary. Too many questions triggered conflicting answers.
“Who really own this place?”
(to be continued)