ONLY IN DEATH... WAS HARRIET ABLE TO SHARE THE TRUTH.
WHAT I DISCOVERED IN THE BUTLER PANTRY AND THE ROSE GARDEN:
"After my daughters left for school, I visited the Butler’sPantry. Next to the kitchen, the Pantry had one window but, regardless of the time of day, the room needed artificial light. Outside, the day was bright; everything seemed bathed in sunshine.
Alone in the house, knowing what needed to be done, I felt void of all brightness and bravery. For the first time since moving in the house, I pulled
back the pantry curtain to examine the window. The window appeared clean and, at first glance, its glass panes simply reflected the brightness of a cloudless day.
But, on closer examination, the window’s panes were projecting sunlight, much like a spotlight, on each one of its parts. Reaching out to touch,
to feel the wooden window—I discovered the truth. Claw marks, gashes, and deep slashes, were visible—and, everywhere I put my hand, I felt them. My pulse pounding wildly in my temples, I wasn’t sure I would live past this moment. The
window smelled of fresh paint but paint-alone was unable to conceal the window’s serious injuries; they were too deep to overlook.
the curtain to begin searching the back of the pantry door. Like the window, deep grooves and marks had permanently scarred the door, from top to bottom. Overwhelmed with emotion, I leaned against the pantry’s counter.
A loving and faithful animal had died needlessly in this very room. My heart broke for the poor dog and for his helpless owner. Both had suffered cruel deaths at the hand of a monster.
With cautious anticipation, I walked to the backyard. It was time to find the other piece to this unimaginable puzzle. Although the vines had almost succeeded in covering
the rose garden, I was on a mission.
Slowly shuffling my feet, one in front of the other, I moved in a straight line. Reaching the end of the garden,
I took one step over, turned, and reversed my course. After several laps, my left foot hit something hard and immovable. Carefully raking and lifting the vines away from the area, I stared at the now-exposed concrete edge of an open well, almost three feet
Removing more vines from the overgrown spot, I found the well’s heavy-wooden top. After struggling for several minutes, I was able
to lift the wooden cover and seal the well, completely. The well could hide its dark secrets from the past but now, with the cover in place, it could no longer ensnare new victims.
It had been a stressful morning of discovery. Overwhelmed, I fought the urge to run away."