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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Not quite bats in the belfry ...

... so much as rainbows shooting out of my fireplace.  But it started out kind of spooky, was totally disgusting, and involved mysterious bones.


So kind of a perfect pre-party story for our upcoming Halloween Bingo.  The tale:


I came home from work yesterday and MT told me "I stopped by the house this morning, and I heard noises in the bedroom fireplace, but it's been quiet since."  


Err... ok.  


Later, just as we were getting ready to go to bed, I look over and the cats are riveted on the fireplace. RIVETED.


If you've never seen a cat laser in on what should be an inanimate object, staring at it with an intensity that should burn a hole through it, believe me when I tell you, it's creepy as hell.


Then I hear the scratching ...


... and then a squeaking ...  and a flapping sound.


Now, I'm not squeamish about anything except roaches, and there was no way I was going to let anything die in my walls again; omg the smell.  So I looked over at MT and said 'get the tools'.


Our fireplace is a 120 year old, cast iron and marble, coal burning fireplace, and it hasn't been used in at least 50 years, probably longer.  It's been shut up all that time, and frankly I had never really looked too closely at it because we knew it was filled with detritus, mostly disintegrated brick and mortar.  And we had to get into it and get whatever was in there out. (See :'omg, the smell', above).


Whatever was in there wasn't happy, either.  It would rustle and scratch around, and started screaming at me, and every time it moved a cascade of dirt and ... stuff would rain down on the floor.


After about an hour of poking and prodding and generally quaking at the though of shit, we'll have to pull the marble off the wall to get the fireplace out, I found the old flue lid.  We didn't know it was the old flue lid at first because there was so much dirt on top of it, it wouldn't move, and was doing a fantastic impression of being welded into place.  But I - and whatever was in there - was desperate (I think MT just wanted it to be over so he could go to bed), and without anymore thought to the rain of filth that was going to descend, I heaved, dug around with a long file to loosen lets-not-think-about-what, and generally forced the lid to open.


Once I got it open about 3 inches or so, I needed to stop, dig myself out of the filth, and at least clean my hands (they were dirty beyond reason).  I jammed a rock into the crevice (one that was, helpfully, amongst the pile of debris) and went off to 'wash up'.  When I came back, there was a head sticking out of the crevice.


The head of a Rainbow Lorikeet.


Who promptly started flying all over the bedroom, screaming what I'm assuming was along the lines of: "I'M FINALLY FREE!" (this would have been almost 12 hours after MT first heard him in the chimney).


he loved my picture railing


It took an hour to get him out of the fireplace, and another 2 hours to get him back outside; it was dark and he didn't really want to go.  But he did, and it was a happy ending for us all.


Or was it?


I woke up this morning to find my cats ... you guessed it - staring at the fireplace.  RIVETED.   


And I heard a tiny squeak.  


I called into work and told them I'd be out, but hoped I'd just heard the birds on the roof, and the dirt on the hearth was just all the crap I hadn't gotten out the night before, settling back in.  But as I continued to clean, I heard it again.  Cheep. And again; cheep.


Bowing to the inevitable, I got the tools, the vacuum and the garbage bags back out and went to battle with the flue again.


Oh god, the dirt, the cobwebs, the bones.


This time, though, I was able to get the flue open enough to be able to see into it with the flashlight, and ... 





We think they were probably in there all night (I woke up this morning before sunrise) but we were in such a hurry to stop the cascade of filth we just shut the flue as soon as the first Lorikeet came out.  Because, really, who expects there to be 3 OF THEM??


The bad news (not really) is that they didn't come barrelling out like their buddy had (we named him Roddy), so I had to leave them alone until I heard the first one start screeching.  He was easy - he wanted out the window, so I opened it, and out he flew.  The last one was a hold out though.  It took another 45 minutes or so before he/she would come out, and then was totally content hanging out on the books:



Eventually, he heard his friends calling out the window and he made his way out.  No one seemed the worse for wear after their misadventure, and my fireplace is 100% cleaner than it was and is probably 90% bone free.  And MT and I will not have to move out because something died in our walls.  


AND, I can say Rainbows flew out of my fireplace.


Happy Halloween Bingo!