Green house stood solemnly in a noiseless field of overgrown vegetation. The dim rays of daylight disappeared in the distance beyond, darkening the front while sharpening the jagged exterior outline with a looming violet glow. It rose above the ground, perhaps two floors high, but a lack of windows at the top told Andy it may not have an attic to speak of.
The house drew her closer. The windows appeared somewhat new, the lining freshly painted white. It contrasted the worn, splintered wood on the verge of collapsing from the weight of a perched bird. At the base of the sagging stoop was the frame of a crumbling, rusted bicycle, rendered useless by the rain and condensation.
Andy climbed the front steps. Two, three, four steps upward, each one creaking an undecipherable note of an ominous melody. An unraveling front door mat read “Home” in tattered, fading letters.
This isn’t so bad.
Andy winced, unable to swallow her own lie. Quickly, she found the key in the envelope before she could change her mind and turn back. The shiny silver looked brand new compared to the decrepit bronze lock on the door. Studying the door closer, she spotted the new keyhole. A stern-looking deadbolt glinting a couple of inches above what must have been the original lock.
She pushed the door open, and the weight dragged it all the way open to gently bounce off the interior wall. Andy peered inside, but her feet stayed glued to the mat outside the door. The interior contents were fuzzy in the fading light, yet she could spot the three glinting hooks on the wall for sweaters and hats. A little deeper inside was one wing of the house, and to the right was another. In the center was a semi-carpeted staircase leading upstairs, where what followed remained unseen around the corner.
There was nothing particularly extraordinary about the home. She was no expert on houses made in the ’30s and ’40s, but it looked about how she’d expect. The ceilings were low, and the wooden floor was dull. However, Andy couldn’t help but feel something was different. That there was something in plain sight she couldn’t see. She stood motionless at the door, searching for what she thought was missing. The house stood, too, waiting patiently.