My First Day Part 1

The name's Bri. Bri Zuckerman. I live in Hidden Springs, California, but I'm not originally from here. I'm originally from Alexander, Alabama. It's a small town in the middle of Bama, down in the south. It's actually only about four hours NorthEast of Mobile. I've been there a few times. I have family there. Currently I'm 20-years-old, but my birthday is soon, so I'll be 21 then. I'm excited for that.

I stood looking at the small trailer and the door that had been busted and was just laying against the wall. Almost every window had been boarded up and except for two. The front window being one. I couldn't get to it though because of all the weeds and flowers. The roses were the only good part about this house. Two trashy, broke down cars sat in the drive-way, or what was left of it, on blocks. The seats lay in the yard, and the grass looked as if it hadn't been mowed in years. The front light didn't work, and the only thing keeping people out was the doorway being boarded. But for $200 a month, you couldn't beat it.

I probably stood there for another 30 minutes before I saw an oversized, middle aged man wobbling down the street. He was sweaty and smelly, and looked like he hadn't showered in days. And grouchy.. shoo was he grouchy. Probably because he walked up the hill.. I didn't see a car.

No hand extended or anything, he just walked up to me. "Are you Bri.. Bri.. um, Zucker-girl?" He asked, nearly out of breath. "Briana Zuckerman. I spoke to you on the phone." He nodded and pushed the small glasses back upon his large face. "You're going to love this place." He said. "It has much character." It has much character? More like, 'It needs much money to fix up.' But I love a challenge.

"So what happened here? Why is the trailer like this?" I asked him. He hesitated a couple minutes before answering me. It kind of tipped me off that something really bad happened there. "The house was abandoned by a family that was renting from me at the time." It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually thought it was going to be worse. Like someone died, or was murdered. Ghosts are real! THEY'RE REAL! ... Uh-hum.. so, yes. But he didn't say that. "They just up and left?" I asked. He nodded. "Did a murder happen here?" I needed to know. I wasn't about to agree to a place that had ghosts.. oh no! He laughed and shook his head. "No. No murder." That was reassuring, considering I couldn't see inside.

"So why are the doors and windows boarded?" "I had a problem with people breaking them out." he said. "I had to move the trashcan inside. Someone already stole the mailbox and put it behind the house. They stole the motor to that car too." He pointed to the car parked next to the street in the driveway. "So vandalism is a part of this community?" "No." he spoke quickly, "It's been abandoned for years. It's become a right of passage among the teens." That made sense. Teens in my hometown had their own right of passage with houses.

I handed him $400, $200 for deposit, $200 for rent. We shook hands and he handed me the key after counting it all, making sure it was all there. "Welcome to Hidden Springs Ms. ..." He trailed off. "Zuckerman. Bri Zuckerman." I corrected him, again. "Yeah, whatever." He walked back out the end of the street and down the hill. 'Rude.' I thought to myself.

As the smell of sweat and McDonald's trailed off after the man, I noticed a woman coming out the beautiful house across the road. She had on an army suit, so I figured she was in the Military.. somehow. She looked like she was going to work, but I had to talk to her. I called out to her from the sidewalk and walked over to her.

I walked over to her and introduced myself. "Hey! I just rented the trailer across the road and thought I would come over and say hi." The woman looked in her early to mid 30's, and stood there for a minute. "You're renting that trailer?" she finally said. I nodded, "I know it needs some fixing up, but I just love it! I love that it'll be a challenge." "Did you see the inside? And did Applegate tell you the history?" she asked. She sounded astonished that anyone would have rented it. "I couldn't see in, but he did tell me what happened. That a family just up and left it." I told her. The woman rolled her eyes and smirked. "Figures. That damn Jarrod isn't one for the truth. Not the whole truth anyway. I can't believe he's been trying to rent it." She stopped and looked at me. I didn't know what to say, I hadn't even gotten his name. "Hun, two people and their baby were killed in that house."

"The people that lived there were so nice, but the man had a drinking problem from hell. He was a mean drunk too, but he loved his wife and daughter.. and cars. And sometimes his cars came before his family, especially when he was drunk. His wife, she was a part-time paramedic. She was good at her job too. I can't count the number of people in this town she saved. Saved her own husband too countless times. And that little girl. She was a sweetheart. Mommy's girl though." The woman's eyes developed a tear that she fought hard not to show. "Do you want to see a picture of them?" she asked me. I nodded and she ran back inside to grab a tiny picture.

"This was taken the day before they died." She said. The family looked so happy.. except for the man. "It took us forever to get Kara to set up like that. Jennifer worked with her for nearly two hours." she said, letting out a small laugh. "What happened?" I asked. I needed to know. I didn't want to go in there half-blind. She put the picture down and looked at me. "Holden was drunk, as usual and came in starting shit with Jennifer. I was setting on the porch stairs watching the sun go down when he pulled up in a cab. He slammed the door shut behind him, but I still heard everything. He was fussing about how she didn't come get him, and how she didn't love him, and just going on and on. That's all I could really make out, because I heard things smashing, clashing, screaming, so I just went back inside. You learn quick around here to mind your own business.

So anyways, I guess it was around 9 O'Clock at night, I was getting ready for bed and I saw this glowing coming from across the street. I went to the window and looked out and their was smoke coming from the roof. I ran outside and tried to open the door, but it burnt me, so I just started yelling at them." She stopped and took a hard swallow, tears coming down. "You'll never understand the screams I heard that night. No horror movie, video game, nothing compares. They were horrifying and I'll always remember them until the day I die." She wiped her face and took a deep breath. "Jennifer was my best friend. She was the greatest person that you'd ever meet."

"I'm so sorry for your loss." I finally said. I didn't know what-else to say. If I had known, I wouldn't have gotten the place. "Hey, don't worry about it." she said re-collecting herself. "That was a long time ago. I'm sure you'll have that place fixed up in no time, looking like a whole new trailer." I gave her a small smile. "It's gonna take some time, but that's the plan." I said letting out a tiny chuckle.

"Well, if you need any help, just let me know." she said, I nodded. "I need to get to work now. My boss is going to be in my ass already. It was nice meeting you. And good luck on the trailer." She said, I waved 'bye' and crossed back over to my side of the street. I wanted to call up Applegate and cuss him for everything he was worth. Call him everything but a tan-ish white person. But I didn't. At second thought, it might not be so bad. It was still a fixer-er-upper, and it had great potential.

The man had been good enough to put the mailbox back up for me. The only thing was now, 'How to get in there...'