chapter five

You can read chapter 4 here on Flat White Concepts

I drop my bags inside the door and look around, the first thing that catches my eye is the giant chandelier in the middle of the room. The house appears to be built with open spaces in mind, with the entrance being spacious and housing a large ornate staircase that leads to the floor above. I look around and decide that first things first the curtains need to be opened as this house is really creepy when it’s shrouded in muted light. I open all the curtains I can see and once they’re open I put my hands on my hips to assess the situation. There’s a large dining room table on the one side and on the other is a sunken lounge with, wait for it, a large stone fireplace. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. With the curtains open you really get a feel for the size and I wonder if I would be able to find a house mate in a small village like this. Probably not. I hear a thump upstairs and grab the first thing in reach which just so happens to be a fire poker, “hello?” I slowly making my way up the stairs and towards the noise. Yes I see the irony in this, I’m the one always yelling at the stupid girl to run away from the damn serial killer and not towards the noise. I mean what are they going to do, be all like “hey I’m here, do you want a sandwhich?” I roll my eyes at my stupidity and poke at one of the doors till it opens, nothing happens so I enter it slowly but it’s just an empty guest room so I go to the next closed door. Again I poke it open with the fire poker but this time I nearly die of a heart attack because as I open the door something comes running out of it. I have the poker raised above my head and my back up against the door when my senses finally catch up and I realise it’s  just a damn cat. I start laughing at the stupid thing that’s now sitting at the top of the stairs looking at me as if I’m an idiot, which I guess I am. As I bring down the poker there’s a knock at the door and I yelp. My heart can’t take much more of this.

I open the heavy door and standing on the other side of it is a petite redhead with freckles on her nose and a cake in her hands. “Hi, I’m Emily. We spoke on the phone? I was the one to get the house ready for you? Anyway, I thought I’d come and see if you’d found the key alright and if there is anything I could do. Also, happy house warming” she stops babbling and holds out the cake to me and I take it “I remember, thank you so much for everything you’ve done, I haven’t really had time to look around yet though.” I’m not sure what else to say, where I’m from strangers don’t bring you a cake when you move into a new house, they just sort of nod in your general direction and then ignore you the rest of the time. I step back a little and as I do the cat walks lazily out to greet Emily as if she knows her, I scowl and Emily laughs, “I see you’ve met Mr Bigglesworth” she scratches the ginger cat on the head, after a minute or so he seems satisfied and trundles down the stairs and off into the woods.  “Yeah I met him, he nearly got a fire poker to the head. Um, do you want to come in?” I gesture at the interior of the house with my shoulder but she shakes her head “No no, I don’t want to intrude, I just wanted to make sure you got in safely.” She gives a small wave and starts heading back down the stairs towards a little green half loaf of a car. I look down at the cake and smile “Hey Emily!” She turns back towards me “Yeah?” I hold up the cake she put in my hands “Thank you” she nods her head “It’s a pleasure” and then she flits down the rest of the stairs, she reminds me of a fairy the way she walks, like a little ballerina. I turn back into the house and close the door. Time to find the kitchen.

Yup, this is definitely heaven. I’m standing in a kitchen that’s almost the size of my old apartment. It’s beautifully laid out with an island in the middle with stools on the one side which is great as I don’t ever see myself using the dining room. The appliances though look like they’re the original prototypes. Clean and new looking but the designs are something that a great great grandmother would have in her house. It’s kinda cute actually. I put put the cake down on the table and start opening drawers and cupboards to find the cutlery and crockery, I manage to find a fork and decide that seeing as I’m the only one here why should I use a plate, I take a large chunk out of the cake and savor the taste of the dense and moist texture on my palette. So good. But I guess I can’t have cake for every meal so I should probably go and do some grocery shopping. Damnit, I should have asked Emily where the shops are, hopefully they aren’t too far out the way but then again I have to go inherit a house that’s all on it’s own down an aptly named forest lane. Guess my relatives or whoever left it to me liked their privacy, not that you can be too private in a small town. I need my backpack if I’m going to walk to the shop so put the cake in the fridge and walk back to where I dropped my bags. I head up stairs thinking that if I’m going to do this often I’ll have a really nice butt at the end of the day.

I find the main bedroom at the end of the hall and I have to stand there a few minutes before what’s in front of me sinks in. The entire back wall is made up of glass and the view is spectacular, I put my bags on the bench at the end of the bed giving the rest of the room a quick once over before walking over to the large window. The forest is dense and overgrown but I can make out a small foot path and a bridge going over a little stream. I can’t wait to explore, this is going to make the best fodder for my book. I reluctantly turn away and quickly unpack my back pack, I’ll pack it away properly later when I’m back, I don’t know how far I’m going to have to walk and I want to get back before dark. I grab the now empty pack and throw it over my shoulder, glance out the window one more time and head back down the stairs of awesomebuttness.

Stoneridge is beautiful; tree lined streets with sidewalks covered in ivy and clover, white picket fences and overgrown walls with rusty little gates. You can feel this place is lived in and I wonder how welcoming they’ll be to a stranger moving in and claiming a spot in their slice of the world. The fog hasn’t lifted much so there’s a nip in the air and I pull my jacket a little tighter, I’ll have to see if they have a clothing store and purchase myself some long sleeve tshirts to wear under the hoard of tee’s I packed in, and maybe even a warmer jacket if this is only their Autumn weather. Moving to a new place during your namesake season, there’s got to be a little bit of luck in that right? I slip a stray piece of hair back behind my ear and trudge along the path a little further till get to a large circle which I’m guessing is their version of traffic control, not that there seems to be too much traffic around here though. I look up and down and realise I must finally be on the main road so I mentally flip a coin and go right in search of the grocery store. There are a lot of little shops along the way, some selling antiques, others selling home made goods, a wool shop and a barber. Eventually I reach the grocer so I grab a basket and go on a hunt for something edible. Please let them have peanutbutter m&m’s because my craving is strong and I finished off my stash on the train. I wonder up and down the isles putting random things in my basket, I try get as much fresh greens in as possible but I can’t help putting a bag of cheetos in and some coke. Need to celebrate my first night in my new house and all you know. As I walk past one of the isles I am certain I see the girl from the train but I must just be tired because that would be one hell of an unlikely coincidence. The teller smiles brightly at me and babbles on about how nice it is to see a new face in town and that we should hang out some time. Really? But I just nod and smile giving thanks as I pack my groceries into my back pack, my thoughts still on the girl from the train, I’m sure that was her but what would I do, walk up to her and be all “hey you’re the girl who stared at me on the train and then nearly knocked me off my feet.” Yeah, I’m not sure that would go down so well. The sun is setting as I leave the store and I take a moment to get my bearings again. All the shops along the way are closed now but I have this strange feeling someone is watching me again and I look around, I’m so sure I spot the guy who was at the end of my driveway this morning but he’s gone before I can call out to him so I quicken my pace to get home before it’s completely dark, the feeling of being watched not going away. As soon as I hit the gate at the bottom of my house I run up the driveway, fumbling for the keys as I do, safer inside than out here where I can’t see in the shadows of the trees.

I sink a little lower into the couch and pat some of the cheetos dust off my shirt. I found some wood out back along with an old bycicle that seems to be in working condition so at least I don’t have to walk to the shops from now on and will help getting around town a little easier even though I don’t have much reason to get around town. The fire is going and I have a glass of wine in front of me, a good book open on my quilt covered lap and I’m joined by my new friend Mr Biggelsworth. I scratch it’s head and it purrs softly, stretching out it’s paws and then tucking them back in and going back to sleep. Oh the easy life of a cat. I can feel the combination of the fire and wine warming me and I close my eyes a little trying to decide what my next move is going to be. I’m in a big house all on my own down a lane with no other houses and surrounded by trees. Apparently they aren’t too concerned about crime here as there are no bars on the windows and I didn’t see an alarm pad either but there’s something off about this house though and I’m not sure what exactly it is, I can’t quite put my finger on why it feels like it’s full of secrets.

You can read Chapter 6 on Flat White Concepts on Friday 

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