Listen to this story narrated by master storyteller Otis Jiry
“I charge double on the weekends. Are you sure you want me to come out today?” Ollie Winters asked.
The voice on the other end rose an octave…“Yessss!”
“Well…okay then. What’s your address? Hmmmmm….you must be on the west side of town near the city limits. That’s about 45 minutes from where I’m at. Yes…I’ll hurry,” he assured the caller.
Grumbling all the way, Ollie grabbed his baseball cap and jacket and headed out. Because he was unfamiliar with that part of town he had difficulty locating the house. When he did, he quickly realized it was on the wrong side of the street to have city sewers.
The old house looked like a prototypical haunted mansion out of a horror movie. It appeared to be in poor repair from what he could see of the outside. The cobblestone walkway leading to the front porch was overgrown with weeds. Two faded wooden rocking chairs sat next to the front door, facing away from the house.
A couple of raindrops followed Ollie to the front porch. There was no light and it was getting dark. Ollie was already regretting taking the job when the front door suddenly opened and an old woman came out. Her dress was something out of a Victorian movie.
“You’ve come!” she said dramatically.
“You said something about your toilet being blocked,” he reminded her.
“Yes! It’s terrible! The bathroom is a mess!” she said, sounding a lot like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind.
“May I come in?”
“Of course. Follow me.”
He clutched his tool box tighter and followed the old lady through the parlor and to a small hallway that came to a dead-end with a door. The odor emanating from the room was foul. She sniffed in distaste and said, “I’ll leave you to it then. Let me know if you need anything.”
Hesitantly, he opened the door and saw raw sewage seeping out of the toilet. It occurred to him that not being on the city sewer line meant there was a leech line somewhere near the house with a septic tank that must be overflowing.
That settled it. He couldn’t work on it while it was raining. Besides it would require help pumping out the septic tank. Feeling relieved, he went back out into the parlor looking for the old lady…and heard voices and music coming from the living room.
Perplexed he followed the voices. When he saw a group of men and women decked out in antique clothes dancing and socializing while an old-fashioned record player sang “Bird In A Gilded Cage,” he became confused.
How could this be happening he wondered? As far as he knew, it was just him and the old lady. Where was she anyway? And what was with the period dress? Nothing made sense. No one seemed to notice him standing there with his white jacket that said “Ollie’s Plumbing” on the back.
He carefully backed out of the room and headed for the front door. Just before he got to it the old lady suddenly reappeared in front of it. She saw the look of mounting terror in his eyes and tried to soothe him, “It’s going to be quite all right good sir. Just a little case of time shifts. Happens all the time,” she said reassuringly.
Ollie tried to say something. Instead he let her lead him up the ornate stairway to the top floor. He felt like a zombie. Part of his mind said this wasn’t happening. The other part was panicking because it recognized a line in reality had been crossed.
She led him to a window and pointed down at the yard. A flash of lightning lit the yard up for a moment illuminating a giant tentacled nightmare with large baleful eyes crawling out of the sludge from where the leech line was.
“There’s the problem,” the old lady said conversationally, “That thing is mucking up my bathroom. I have a hunch it’s going to take more than one of those snake things I saw in your ad in the phone book, to get rid of it.”
Ollie dropped his tool box and backed up against the wall. The thing down there was something out of an H.P. Lovecraft tale.
“Why were you leaving when the job wasn’t done?” the old lady interrupted his thoughts.
He found himself explaining to her that he had to get a special truck to pump out the waste in the septic tank, and that it wasn’t a one-man job.
In the blink of an eye they were back in the living room…alone. No signs of the party remained. He heard the rain increasing in intensity outside.
“Damn time shifts!” the old lady groused. “Oh! Pardon my language sir! Allow me to show you out.”
Ollie dumbly followed her out to the front porch. His eyes scanned the yard fearfully as she spoke, “I do hope when this rain stops you’ll come back and help me kind sir,” she said.
He nodded, and tried to speak, but she was already back in the house. That was the moment Ollie decided he was going to retire early.
As It Stands, have you ever wondered how you’d react to a supernatural experience?