logo
Woman with an old kerosene lamp in the dark | Source: Pexels
Woman with an old kerosene lamp in the dark | Source: Pexels

A Stranger’s Will Made Me an Heir, but the Inheritance Came with a Twist — Story of the Day

Mariia Kobzieva
Jul 01, 2024
03:00 A.M.

I arrived for the reading of Mr. Morrison's will and discovered that I was inheriting an entire estate. My astonishment knew no bounds, as I had no idea who Mr. Morrison was. Adding to the surprise, there was one condition in the will that not only shocked me but eventually changed my life forever.

Advertisement

I sat in my small rented apartment, surrounded by boxes. Exhaustion weighed heavily on me. The landlord had just informed me that I had two days to vacate the premises.

With deadlines looming over me at work, the news hit hard. I glanced at the letter from the school about the play I was directing and the countless notifications on my phone.

"This can't be happening," I muttered, burying my face in my hands. "Where am I supposed to go?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The sound of the mail slot clattering open interrupted my thoughts. The mailman arrived, handing me a letter from a lawyer. I stared at the envelope, feeling far from butterflies in my stomach.

Advertisement

"Who could this be from? Have I gotten myself into another mess?" I wondered aloud.

I tore open the envelope and read the letter inside. It said I was being summoned for the reading of the will of a certain Mr. Edward Morrison. Shock and confusion flooded me.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Edward Morrison? Who is he?" I thought. "Why would I be in his will?"

My mind raced with questions. I had never heard of this man, yet here was a lawyer's letter summoning me to a will reading. It felt like some strange twist of fate.

"I guess I have to find out," I said, trying to shake off the anxiety. "What else can I do?"

Advertisement

***

I arrived at an old mansion, an impressive but slightly neglected building. The vines creeping up its walls gave it a gothic charm, but the chipped paint and broken windows told a story of neglect. I hesitated at the front door before knocking.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Inside, in the big living room, I saw him for the first time—the man who would later change my life. He was tall and stern, his eyes narrowing as he saw me. The atmosphere was tense, and I could feel the weight of his gaze on me.

"I'm James, Edward Morrison's son," he said, sitting on a white sofa, not even showing the simple courtesy of standing up and offering a handshake. "Who are you, and how did you know my father?"

Advertisement

"I’m Catherine Green," I replied, trying to keep my voice steady. "I never knew him."

James scoffed, his eyes narrowing further. "Then what are you doing here?"

I was taken aback. "How rude!" I thought to myself. "What right does he have to talk to me like that?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"I was invited by a lawyer," I said firmly. "I want to know what's going on as much as you do. So maybe you could show a little respect in honor of your father, who thought it was important for us to be here together."

James huffed, clearly unhappy, but said nothing more.

Before we could exchange more words, the lawyer, holding a folder, walked in and briefly apologized for being late. Then he began reading the will.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Mr. Edward Morrison has left his estate to James Morrison and Catherine Green," the lawyer announced. "With the condition that you must live here together for one year. If either of you leaves early, you will forfeit your share of the inheritance and the money."

James and I exchanged wary glances. I could see the annoyance in his eyes, and I knew he was probably seeing the same in mine.

James huffed, clearly unhappy.

"This is absurd," he muttered under his breath. "I'll figure this out."

Then he turned and walked away.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

I stood there, feeling stunned by the unexpected news.

Live with some man and such an unpleasant one at that? Maybe this was a joke.

But I had nowhere else to go. My life was falling apart. It may be worth the risk.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The lawyer, gathering his papers, looked at me and said, "I'll call you tomorrow and explain the additional details. The will comes into effect the day after its announcement, so I'll provide specific instructions then."

"Why did Mr. Morrison include me in his will?" I finally dared to ask the lawyer.

"Oh, Miss Green, that I do not know. But Mr. Morrison was a wonderful man. Don't worry, everything will be fine," he replied.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Where am I supposed to go?" I asked.

"Oh, you're already here," he replied. "All that's left is to bring your things tomorrow at 10. See you then."

I walked out into the garden and spent a long time counting the roses on the bushes, trying to calm myself before spending my last night in the rented apartment. I felt that my life had already changed forever.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

***

The next day, the lawyer turned over a set of keys to the house and gave me the contact names and numbers of all the people responsible for maintaining the house throughout the year, per Mr. Morrison's orders.

James didn’t show up; the lawyer mentioned he would meet with him separately. We said our goodbyes, and I was left alone with my thoughts and my suitcases.

I unpacked my things in one of the mansion’s rooms, still trying to grasp the situation. The room was large and dusty, with old furniture covered in white sheets. As I pulled the sheets off, the clouds of dust rose, making me cough. The furniture underneath was beautiful but aged, with intricate wood carvings and a sense of history.

"This place is incredible," I murmured, running my fingers along the ornate patterns on the wardrobe. "I can’t believe I’m living here."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

I opened my suitcase and began to organize my clothes, trying to make the room feel a bit more like home. As I hung my dresses and folded my sweaters, I couldn’t shake the feeling of unreality.

"Why would Mr. Morrison leave this house to me and James?" I thought. "What was his plan?"

I sat on the edge of the bed, looking around the room. The walls were covered in faded paint, and the floor creaked with every step. It was both eerie and fascinating, a relic of a bygone era.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"I guess I’ll have to get used to the creaks and groans," I said aloud, trying to lighten my mood.

After unpacking, I decided to take a walk outside. I thought about James. As I wandered through the overgrown garden, I encountered him sitting on a bench and looking at the tangled bushes.

Advertisement

"So, you decided to stick around," he said without looking at me.

"Yeah, I need to figure this out," I replied, sitting down on the opposite end of the bench.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

James turned to face me, his expression stern. "This is my house. I know everything about it. I grew up here. I don't intend to share the inheritance with you."

"Look," I said, trying to stay calm. "I wasn't planning on staying here long. But now, I'll stay just to prove a point. I deserve decent living conditions too, and I won't be bullied out of what's rightfully mine. So, you’ll have to deal with my presence."

James smirked, "We’ll see about that."

Advertisement

I turned and went back to my room, not wanting to continue the conversation with such an unpleasant person. After about half an hour, I turned off the light, hoping for a peaceful rest. But the mansion had its own plans for the night.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

***

That night, I woke up in my bed because of strange noises. I got up to investigate, feeling curiosity and a bit of fear.

The power was out, so I fumbled to the kitchen, where I remembered seeing an old kerosene lamp. Luckily, it was filled, and I managed to get some light.

I followed the noises, which seemed to come from the second floor. Suddenly, the sounds intensified, resembling groans and wails. Uneasy, I continued my search.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

In the guest bedroom, I discovered a record player emitting the eerie sounds.

"James!" I muttered, realizing it was his doing.

Angrily, I headed to his room to confront him. But in the dim corridor, I bumped into James, who was shining a red flashlight under his face, making grimaces.

“I’ll keep this up every night until you leave,” he taunted.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

“You’re an immature jerk,” I retorted. “Your stupid games don’t scare me.”

Just then, we both heard a strange noise again.

"Is this another one of your tricks?" I demanded.

“No, it’s not.” James suddenly looked puzzled.

We saw a cat darting by and decided to follow it. We argued all the way and shoved each other in the narrowing corridor.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Move over, you're in my way!" I snapped.

"You're the one blocking the path," James shot back.

We reached a closet filled with rotting tools and began searching for the source of the annoying creaking sound. James started stomping his feet on the floor, and suddenly, the old boards began to give way beneath us with a loud crack.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The floor collapsed, and we fell into a small compartment built under the floor, not a full basement. It was quite cramped, so we didn't get hurt badly, though I did bump my elbow. James looked more surprised than frightened. The space was filled with books and personal belongings, all bearing Mr. Morrison's initials.

“See what you’ve done?” James started.

“Me? You were the one stomping around like a tap dancer,” I shot back.

We continued bickering. But as we explored and found more items, our voices began to fade.

The presence of the previous owner was so palpable, that it felt like he was standing right behind us.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Finally, I pulled an old journal from the dust and dirt, marked with Morrison’s initials.

“There might be something interesting here,” I said, opening a page.

“You can’t read someone else’s diary! Give it to me,” James demanded and started reading.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

“This is absurd. Dad writes about Jane, his love… but my mom’s name was Audrey. This can’t be right.”

“My mother used to be called Jane,” I whispered thoughtfully.

We impulsively began reading together, page after page, hour after hour.

When we finished, we sat apart, struggling to accept the reality engulfing us more with each silent minute. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the same cat appeared. It trotted over and sat between us, purring loudly as if it wanted to ease the tension.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Mr. Morrison had hidden in this dusty basement the secret that had brought us together in this house.

Advertisement

***

James and I didn’t cross paths for a few days. I was buried in my deadlines and spent all my days at school. My thoughts were restless—Mr. Morrison wasn’t just a mysterious man from nowhere; he had a history that was now part of me.

The evening before the play, I sat in my room, trying to prepare myself for the big day. The script was scattered across my bed. Suddenly, somebody knocked on my door. It was James.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Do you want to go for a walk?” he asked, a hesitant look on his face.

“Sure, I need to clear my head,” I replied, grateful for the distraction.

Advertisement

We strolled through the mansion’s lush garden, the air filled with the scent of blooming flowers. The quiet evening seemed to wrap us in a bubble of calm. Finally, James broke the silence.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“So, you’re my sister?” he asked cautiously.

“It seems that way. It’s hard to wrap my head around,” I replied, sitting down on a bench beneath an old oak tree.

“He kept a diary until his death. How did it end up in that basement?” I wondered aloud, staring at the ground.

“I think he hid it in the closet, and it must have fallen through a crack in the floor, right where we fell,” James suggested, leaning back and looking up at the starry sky.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Seems likely,” I sighed, feeling the weight of the mystery.

“Catherine, Dad found you but didn’t get a chance to introduce us. He must have left that will to make it happen. Maybe we were meant to find that diary eventually.”

“Maybe,” I agreed. "He probably wanted us to discover our connection ourselves and build a relationship on our own terms."

“So, what do we do now?” James asked, his voice softening.

“I never had a sister. Our father loved two women, and he probably would love both of his children too. I have to accept that now,” James said quietly.

Advertisement
For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

“I want you to stay in the house.”

“We shouldn’t neglect family, nor should we hold grudges for our parents’ mistakes,” I added, feeling a sense of peace.

“Let’s go have dinner. I’m cooking tonight,” James said, standing up and offering me his hand. “I’m studying to be a chef.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

“Really? I was pleasantly surprised. So, you’re a creative soul too?” I said with a smile, taking his hand and standing up.

“What do you mean ‘too’?” James asked, curious.

“Well, I direct plays at the elementary school,” I explained as we walked back to the house.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

***

We continued our conversation in the kitchen and discovered many common interests—music, books, and art. The conversation flowed naturally, and I felt a connection growing between us.

“And I love to taste dishes,” I joked. “So, your cooking skills are a treasure in this house.”

Advertisement

“Then stay here,” James exclaimed, chopping vegetables with a newfound enthusiasm. “For at least a year, and we’ll see where life takes us.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“I’ll stay,” I smiled at James, snatching a piece of avocado from under his knife.

“Dinner is ready,” he announced, setting the table with care.

We sat down to dinner, planning our future. We talked about restoring parts of the mansion, organizing community events, and maybe even hosting cooking classes and theater workshops.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Advertisement

The house felt warmer, filled with a sense of family.

“This is just the beginning,” I said, feeling hopeful as I took a bite of the delicious meal James had prepared.

“Yes, it is,” James agreed. “Together, we’ll make this place a home.”

As we enjoyed our meal, the mansion no longer felt like a relic of the past but a place brimming with new possibilities. Our shared laughter and dreams filled the rooms, setting the stage for a bright and promising future. We talked about our hopes and aspirations, now as brother and sister, sharing dreams of what we could achieve together in this grand old house.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

Advertisement

If you enjoyed this story, read this one: My trucker husband Tom returned from a long trip, but he was not alone. A little boy approached me timidly. He warmly hugged me and said, "You're my mom!" For a moment, my heart stopped. Read the full story here.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

I Couldn't Reach out to My Husband for Days – Then My Mother-in-Law Called Me & Revealed the Shocking Truth

July 02, 2024

Husband Constantly Mocks Unemployed Wife for Doing Nothing, Finds a Note after Ambulance Takes Her Away — Story of the Day

June 21, 2024

Bride Runs Away from Her Own Wedding after Getting a Mysterious Wedding Gift – Story of the Day

July 12, 2024

4 Jaw-Dropping Stories of How Kids Accidentally Revealed Their Parents’ Secrets

June 27, 2024

Girl Mocks Poor Grandma for Cheap Old Ring She Gifts Her, Throws It Away and It Opens — Story of the Day

June 27, 2024

I Inherited Only an Old Watch from My Grandfather, but When I Looked Closely, I Found an Encrypted Code

June 11, 2024

Security Showed Me Footage That Pushed Me to Ruin My Husband's Life

June 17, 2024

Woman Shares a Cute Family Video on Social Media, the Next Day the Police Knock on Her Door – Story of the Day

June 20, 2024

Customer Mocked Me Because I Work as a Cashier at the Grocery Store — Moments Later Karma Took Revenge for Me

June 07, 2024

Our Entitled Landlord Refused to Return Our Deposit, So We Taught Him a Lesson

July 04, 2024

Single Dad Adopts Boy with Down Syndrome No One Wanted, Years Later Learns of Kid’s $1.2M Inheritance – Story of the Day

June 04, 2024

My Entitled Ex-landlord Refuses to Return a Washing Machine and Dishwasher I Bought — I Taught Him a Good Lesson

June 10, 2024

Man Buys Abandoned Farm for Last $1K, Dollars Fall on His Head as He Checks Attic — Story of the Day

May 23, 2024

Girl Throws Away Cheap Old Ring Her Poor Grandma Gave Her, It Suddenly Opens — Story of the Day

July 09, 2024