Matthew's Demise

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1 year ago

"A fine?" Matthew asked.


"Yes," the woman said. She was backed by several other women and a couple of police officers.


He held in his hand several pieces of papers, clipped together by a rose gold staple. He picked out the staple and pocketed it, leafing through the many papers listing the many ordinances Matthew's home was breaking within the community.


"Fine, I'll pay." Matthew said.


The Everton mansion was an eyesore, the HOA committee had its eye on the house since its inception. Matthew countered by buying up every house in a ten mile radius and those houses too succumbed to Matthew Everton's unceasing wrath.


The lawns were overgrown with wildflowers and fauna of all kind found homes within Matthew's domain. He painted the homes by himself and on his daily walk, he reorganized the items that were out of place. A slanted lamp with a missing shade? He knew just the spot. A rusted gun fished out of the river? There was a drawer for that in one of the many homes that he owned. Matthew continued life this way, walking daily through the growth. There were many houses to go through and there were travelers, travelers who contributed to the treasures, to the mound.


Real estate agents came to solicit him into selling land, police officers came by to interrogate him about the weird smells coming from some of the homes, and lastly, his family members came in swathes.


"You guys are worse than the officers that were here." Matthew said to them. His mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. They were all here.


"Mattie, we love you." His mother said. "That's why we're all here, but even you have to admit that you have a serious hoarding problem."


"It's more like an addiction," one of his aunts chimed.


Everyone else stared, waiting for Matthew's response. They did love him and some of them hoped to be included in Matthew's inheritance. His father had left everything to him. The others weren't forgotten, they'd each received notes of love and of not entirely insignificant amounts of money, but it paled in comparison to what Matthew was left with.


"Mom," Matthew said. "I'm doing what Dad wanted me to."


Silence.


His mom turned red, not figuratively, but she literally turned red. His family members too turned red in support of Matthew's mother. They grew bigger, threatening to collapse the mansion's walls. They were turning, shifting and molding their bodies into a mythical form. They were turning into copies of his father. A cheap trick, Matthew thought.


He collected himself as his family grew double, triple, quadruple in size. He felt the heat of their breath, but he took one himself. He held his breath and inside he nourished a fire.


"Stop." he said. He didn't yell it, he spoke the words with a power only his father had. The word spread and his family froze, the single word compelling them to return to their human forms.


"I am what's left of Dad's legacy," Matthew said. "I am half dragon and these are his treasures."


His family watched as he drew another breath, more fire in his stomach.


"Stay." he said and they did.


Through the mounds of trinkets and trash and treasure, Matthew walked with precision. He moved within the mounds and he grabbed an old shoebox.


He dropped the shoebox in front of his family, it made a satisfying thunk on the wood floors. Gold coins spilled out.


"Share these amongst yourself and leave. Never come back." Matthew said, there was no fire needed behind the words, but they had power yet.


Matthew watched as his family fought for the coins, eventually leaving a mess behind of cloth and blood. He cleaned it, returning the tatters to the trash where they belonged. There was no room for trash in the mound.


His mother was the last to leave and her eyes were cold, but she smiled wide.


"You really are like your father," she said.

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