Sheila didn’t know she had an Aunt Dorothy. When she asked her mother about her, even she had trouble placing her. Perhaps the solicitor who wrote to her had made a mistake. Maybe Dorothy gave him the wrong address. But there can’t be that many Sheila Spooners. And why was she left a painting of all things? The whole thing was a mystery.
When Sheila and husband John arrived at Aunt Dorothy’s house, the solicitor was waiting at the gate. He didn’t speak. He just touched the rim of his hat then beckoned them toward the door. He escorted them inside. It was dark and smelt damp. It was like going back fifty years. Under their feet, threadbare carpet. The walls clad with faded flower pattern paper. The solicitor took them into the room at the rear of the house tugged back the faded striped curtains. Sunlight filled the room and there, above the old tiled fireplace hung a painting, a dull and gloomy picture of a Victorian lady sternly staring back at the onlooker.
It was fixed to the wall with a screw in each corner. The solicitor produced a screwdriver and without saying a word offered it to John. Sheila and John looked at each other. Why had they been left this dismal picture? What would they do with it? It might have some value, who knows?
John shrugged then set about removing the screws one by one. He lowered the painting down to floor and then he noticed a small cavity in the wall where the painting had hung. He could just make out what appeared to be an envelope deep inside. He called Sheila over and she peered into the hole. Perhaps the painting was not the only thing Aunt Dorothy had left in her will.
Sheila plunged her hand inside. An icy cold draught chilled her fingers. Suddenly an unseen hand grabbed her wrist..............
may be continued!