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The black tree (standard:horror, 2472 words)
Author: Lev821Added: Jun 13 2015Views/Reads: 838/643Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
What will he discover the more he investigates his family tree?

Eccentric, was a word that could easily be leveled at Leopold. Perhaps
if you looked it up in the dictionary, there would be his picture. He 
was 57 years old, and most of the time when he was out in public wore a 
white suit and carried a cane he clearly didn't need. He had long hair 
he was always flicking out of his eyes and sported a designer stubble. 
Leopold wasn't actually his original name. That was Michael Burns, and 
he had changed it by deed poll in his teens. 

The path of life most people take had passed him by without his even
noticing. He never married and never had any children, and never seemed 
to have any inclination to do so. He was his own man, and anyone 
getting to know him certainly in an intimate way would have had to 
accept his mannerisms and foibles, such as having half a spoonful of 
sugar in his weak tea, two dunkable biscuits, and honey in his morning 
porridge at exactly 8.15am. 

Although his parents had left everything to him in their wills, the
3-bedroomed mid-terrace and all their assets, he still liked to keep 
himself busy and worked for a small solicitors firm. He was liked by 
his colleagues for the most part but they never really knew him well 
and hardly ever invited him anywhere, despite having worked with some 
of them for many years. He didn't pay any attention to it because to 
him it didn't matter. One or two work colleagues were still strangers. 
Yet, he was happy enough, and liked things in their place, in order, 
and when things weren't he would despair and fret until it was. 

As things were now though, everything was fine. He was off for the week,
and knew exactly what he was going to do. The current trend at the 
moment was family history. Tracing your family tree. There were 
television programmes about it. Books had appeared, and magazines 
featured articles, all of which piqued the interest of Leopold, and he 
thought he would like to try and see how far he could get. 

He was sat in green striped pyjamas at his mother's old dressing table
mirror in the bedroom that belonged to his parents which he now used 
himself, pondering. He knew something of his grandfather, but beyond, 
he wasn't sure, and would decide in the morning. He always slept with 
the light on, and never with any sheets covering him, having adapted 
through choice. 

He climbed into the bed and curled up into a foetus position, as he had
always done. 

With the house being pretty much as his parents had left it 34 years
ago, all their belongings practically in the same place, dusted weekly 
by him, he knew that what was in the loft had been untouched for a few 
years. It was more paraphenalia of his grandparents that was kept for 
sentimentality rather than anything else. 

Whilst his parents were not necessarily horders, they could be mistaken
for that as they were fairly reluctant to throw anything away, 
especially if it could have some kind of use, and sometimes not. Most 
information on his grandfather he knew would be in the loft, so he 
changed into some old clothes and used his father's old step-ladders to 
help him up into the musty attic, motes of asbestos drifting lazily. 
The bulb was still working and it lit the place up rather starkly. 

It was pretty much as he'd remembered, a chaotic jumble of half-full
suitcases, plastic bags of papers, bills, books strewn around, 
ornaments, all thick with dust. One particular old suitcase he was 
looking for he found fairly easily and opened it to find it contained 
his grandfather's possessions. There were quite few photographs which 
he picked up to rifle through, and they were mostly standard fare, but 
he noticed that the photographs that featured his grandfather were 
rather similar. He was always wearing the same clothes and the 
backgrounds were of the same place. His mother and father were featured 
in some of the photographs and he came to realise that he must be in 
some sort of institution, or hospital. He rifled through the rest of 
the suitcase and came across a booklet and sheets of information which 
must have been for his father after his grand-father Henry Burns was 
instituionalised. The booklet was headed 'Bockford mount institution 
for the criminally insane'. He had never heard of the place, but the 
address was fairly local, so he thought perhaps a trip there may be in 

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