The House at the End of the Backyard

I consider myself a man of reason. But sometimes there are little gaps in the facts that cannot be explained with the logic of the world as we know it. The house at the end of the backyard is one of those.

Years ago I was hired by a company located in big warehouse which had a house at the end of the backyard. The house was built by the previous owner of the property, conceived as his rest house for weekends, but it was never completed.

All the employees referred to him as the Fat man, and when asked about him, everybody said, “You’ll meet him.”

Everything went fine with my job until strange things started to happen to me. Things disappeared mysteriously one day and appeared days later in the same place were left. The door of my office locked itself often with me inside. I started seeing people passing behind me on the reflection of my computer when nobody was there. I tried to give logical explanations to that kind of phenomena, even when I was truly lost.

It was not strange being working serenely and suddenly hear the screams of despair of one of the girls. I always ran from the office to the production floor fearing the worst—an accident in the product line—but always found the girls in shock or unconscious over the floor. After calming the victims—or waking them up according to the case—I asked them about what happened and I always got the same answer. They said they were working normally and came outside—mostly for smoke—through the back door of the warehouse that was the access to the house at the end of the yard. Every single one of them related seeing a fat man coming close to window of the main bedroom at the second floor and calling for them. After telling the story, the girls usually left and never came back, not even for claim their week pay.

Decided to demonstrate a logic explanation behind of the happenings, I deduced that the girls might be influenced by the stories told about the ghost causing a suggestion. I devised a way to statistically prove my hypothesis. Most of the girls working at that company were contractors, working for a specific time frame as project demanded. This caused a high rotation of personal and many of the girls were new and were not yet aware of the story, so I started recording the descriptions of the ghost, this Fat Man, after being scared. The result was that the description of all matched a 100%. Everyone describe it as a bald, fat man, very tall and of white skin, and particularly mentioned the same wicked smile of crooked teeth that matched the description of the neighbors who knew him in life.

My experiment worked and my hypothesis was validated, there was a ghost living in that house and was frightening everybody.

I always was one of the first employees to arrive to the warehouse and many times I crossed paths with the caretaker of the night shift. One day I arrived early and entered the warehouse—I had keys of the front door. As I entered, I saw the TV set of the caretaker turned on and with laud volume so I went to my office to leave my things and came back to the production floor and headed to where the TV was to say good morning to him. While walking I saw and heard the news at the TV and when I gave the last turn passing a concrete column, the TV turned off. I want to point out this was no fancy TV with timer for turning off, it was old and you had to turn the knob completely, first lowering the volume and then shutting it down at the end.

I stood shocked in front of the TV for a long minute observing the screen, trying to identify something weird in the reflection when someone called at the front door. It was the caretaker who told me, he had been absent the whole night because one of his children turned ill.

Later I received the most unpleasant of the calls. It was the accountant of the company that worked in a different building of the company, a kilometer down the same road. He asked me to fetch a few documents form the dead files with urgency due an audit, to which I answered Yes, but later he revealed me the dead files were stored in… the house at the end of the backyard.

I was one of the few employees that had never seen the Fat Man, so with no much option I guessed maybe that was the day to finally meet him. That afternoon was raining so I took an umbrella and headed to the house with my eyes fixed on the window.

When I opened the door and sat a foot inside the house an overwhelming sensation invaded me. It was something I had never felt before, it felt like if there were a lot of people looking at me, like when you stand before a crowd and all eyes are upon you. But I knew there was only a pair of eyes. The eyes of the Fat Man.

The interior of the house was uncared and dirty, it was just concrete and plaster with no finishes. There were a lot of noises due the leaks in the roof.

I inspected the first floor quickly trying to finishing my task and leaving as soon as possible but for my bad luck I realized the files were in the second floor and a chill that came down my spine told me there were at the main bedroom. So I took a depth breath and climbed the stairs and headed to the main bedroom.

Ghost02

I pushed the creaking door and revealed a deserted room with the boxes of files running along the walls. I realized that not physical person could stand before the window as the girls described because the boxes impeded it, but I came to the window and gave a look to the warehouse to witness the view of Fat Man.

I rummaged through the boxes as quick as I could in search of the requested files, turning at my back every ten seconds. Finally I had all the papers on my hands and when I stood, I looked through a window in the opposite wall that framed the tall grass of the backyard and at the end of the property a tall tree with a single thick branch with a piece of rope hanging from it.

The neighbors tell that the owner of the property—Fat Man—was married and had a prosperous business. His wife fell in love with a taxi driver and cheated his husband with him. Both devised a plan to get rid of him that consisted in giving him daily amounts of poison on his meals until he finally went mad. The cheating of his wife came to Fat Man’s ears and during his last seizure in that house he ran to that tree and hanged himself. The next day the police cut the rope but abandoned the rope’s knot and with time the branch grew absorbing the knot and only a small section of the rope hanged out until this day.

It was that landscape I saw through that window the last Fat Man saw. Remembering his story I could feel nothing but pity for him wondering how much pain he endured. Then I abandoned the house with papers on hand and from the warehouse’s door I turned back to that window once more expecting to see him to say I’m sorry, but he didn’t show up.

I never returned to the house again and even that he continued frightening people in that place,  Fat Man never frightened me again.

After his suicide, his wife sold the property, and neighbors say she abandoned town in company of his lover the taxi driver and spent all the money.

Wherever she could be, I hope she have restless dreams like the ones produced to everybody that saw the man at the window in the house at the end of the backyard.

Dreams of entrapment and freedom in the form of a gallow.

M. Ch. Landa

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