The Shed ‘Round Back
Never — ever — go in an abandoned shed. It might not be abandoned
Seventeen years, 4 months, and 16 days.
That’s how long it had been since anyone had been inside Old Man Boehringer’s house.
It was the definition of dilapidation. In contrast to the perfectly manicured lawns and white picket fences surrounding the rest of the neighborhood houses, this one was as unkempt as could be. A rusty metal fence covered in poison ivy lined the perimeter. The paint on the front of the house was either stripped or chipped, the front door swung on its hinge, and grass had long abandoned a front yard that featured weeds standing a mile high.
There was also a dirty old shed out back.
Three neighborhood boys in particular took an interest in the property: 12 year old Wallace, Benjy, and Tim. Every day they’d linger outside as they rode their bikes home from school. They’d make up stories about what creepy Old Man Boehringer was up to now. Some days he was a pedo who preyed on small children; others he was a serial killer who used the shed for body storage. They’d spend late nights in their parents’ basements regaling each other with invented tales of the monstrous old man’s misdeeds.
They had no idea where the man himself was or why he’d never sold. On a particularly cold and dreary Halloween night, as they biked around the neighborhood, they discussed what might have become of him.
“Dad told me he hacked his wife to pieces,” said Benjy, chewing on a Reese’s cup. “Threw chunks of her to the raccoons.”
“Nah,” said Tim. “He’d never feed a raccoon because he eats ‘em. My mom said he stays in that shed and devours any wild animals that come around — raw.”
As they biked past the last of the Trick ‘O Treaters, they came up to Old Man Boehringer’s house. As Benjy and Tim cracked jokes about it, Wallace couldn’t help but be in awe of the place. It wasn’t the dirt or grime that stood out to him, but the sheer mystery. If he was judging by the exterior alone, Wallace would have guessed that the most unspeakable of horrors had occurred in that house, and probably in that shed.