In his bed, the old man lay dead. The successors stood around the bed, shuffling their feet, not looking each other in the eye. No one of them had known the old man very well, he had not been an amiable fellow. Stories of long-forgotten wars, abuse shouted at whoever happened to come through the door still wearing their shoes, annoying complaints. They had avoided him as much as possible. Now they stood for as long as they could bear, and then they left, making healf-hearted promises to call soon. No one wanted any of the old-fashioned, outworn stuff the old man might have possessed while he was still alive.
The old man had lived a long and lonely life, but it had been far from boring.Unfortunately, none of it ahd ever been told, and there were secrets that remained in the house when the reluctant visitors left.
In dark and dusty rooms strange objects sat and listened to the things humans could not hear. For some of them, the old man's death meant freedom. For others it meant they would have to find new masters. Still others had ceased to exist when the old man's heart had stopped beating and he had drowned in his own fluids. There was a whisper of excitement and fear, plans were being made.
No one would enter these rooms for a long time.