Posts tagged House

The House At St. Joseph’s

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It was a hot late summer’s day, and as the sun’s rays were reflected on the glass of the estate agent’s window, it was difficult to see the houses they were advertising. James, a town guide who worked for the council, and Rosie, a newly qualified schoolteacher, were linking arms and looking at the descriptions. Their eyes suddenly latched on to one of the photographs.

The Old School House
Period property in need of modernisation. This is believed to date from the 16th Century, and was a former school.
Two bedrooms
Lounge / diner with large dormer window

Rosie gave James a squeeze. “Huns, this looks lovely. It’s just perfect. Can’t we go in now and make an offer? Please?”

James gave a nervous frown. “Look at the price. Can we afford it?”

“Darling, you’ve got a good job at the council. You could be a museum curator in ten years. By that time I could be a Head of Department. We can do it! Please say yes!”

Moments later they were through the door.

April 2019

Rosie stood in the centre of her new house. A fresh maroon carpet had been laid, a sofa nestled by the bay window, and many unpacked boxes littered the floor. She looked up.

“Don’t you love the smell of an old house? You can smell history, past loves, past conquests and romances and arguments!” James stood still. The smell reminded him of his time as a guide at Hatfield House, where he would take wide-eyed tourists to the room where the lives of kings were made and broken. “This is ours now”, he mused. “The panelling over the old beams will have to go though.

Rosie turned and smiled. “You know what? I’m knackered. We’ve still got all these boxes to unpack, but I just can’t face it right now. How about we get some fish and chips and get an early night?”

James gave her hand an affectionate squeeze. “Good idea! I’ll just pop down now. Have we unpacked the kitchen stuff yet?

“Yes – that’s one box I have done. See you in fifteen. I’ll be ready for you!” She gave him a broad smile.

It was just after Midnight when Rosie woke up with a start. She was sure she had heard something. She slipped on her kimono dressing gown and tiptoed down to investigate. A wine glass was lying shattered on the stone floor of the kitchen, its stem, still intact, pointing accusingly at her. She stood for a moment. She was sure she had unpacked all of the glasses, laid them in the cupboard above the sink in neat rows, and closed the door. She wasn’t so sure now. Maybe she had left the door open. Her memory was beginning to blur. She’d ask James in the morning. Determined to make no sound, she sidled gingerly up the stairs, opened the bedroom door, and very slowly and quietly eased it shut behind her.

The Easter Sun was streaming in through the bedroom window when James rolled over in bed and gave Rosie a kiss. “So how was your first night in our new bed?”

“Beautiful, slept like a baby”, Rosie lied

Maybe it was just a dream. Maybe it didn’t happen. Rosie slipped on her dressing gown again and crept downstairs. She always liked to have breakfast before she got dressed, something that often annoyed James, who stepped out of his side of the bed, slipped on a T shirt and shorts and followed her down, as Rosie turned towards him in the kitchen.

“Did you leave the cupboard door open last night?”

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“Tik-Tok”. “Tik-Tok”. “Tik-Tok”.

The clocks on the wall ticked violently. They just wouldn’t stop. The clocks made the noise every second of every day. Every clock was in sync. Every tick was in perfect harmony. The clocks never made any other noises. There was no concept of time anymore. They only ticked and tocked. The wall they rested on was just big enough for one hundred and one clock. Glistening white wallpaper peered out from the small spaces behind the clocks.

The cat clock, which was black and white and from the early 1900’s, had eyes. With every second the eyes ticked back and forth. This is the clock she hated the most. The eyes always watched her every move. The big, goofy grin on the stupid cats face, taunted her. Everything about the clock was evil. The biggest clock was hung dead center of the wall. The old roman numerals were a dirty gold color. The same color as her locket, which she never let go of. She always rubbed her little heart locket, which laid close to her heart. She never let go of the small locket. Her long, bony fingers always had to touch the locket. The locket was her only source of company.

“Tik-ToK”, “Tik-Tok”, “Tik-Tok”.

Surrounding the big clock were little clocks. Gold, midnight black, mocha brown, even fire red. Each clock was unique. Every one had its own shape. From circles, to squares, to even different color and shaped hands.

On the wall of a hundred and one clocks there was only one that said a date. The biggest clock had a small space near the center that said 10/31/99 in bright gold numbers. “99”, “99, “99”, she whispered. She rocked back and forth. She rocked to the beat of the clock. “Tick”, she would rock backwards. “Tock”, she rocked forwards.Her lavender sweater, filled with holes and that was 3 sizes too big, rocked with her. The old boots she wore, black with pointed toes, made a slight “thump” every time the clock said “tock”. Her tangled, unbrushed, dirty grey hair swayed in the slight breeze coming from the cracks in the old house. This house was made 100 years ago. It only has 1 floor, ranch style. The wood that makes up the house was from the tallest oak trees in the forest, where the house is located. The wood is now decaying, the windows are boarded shut, the oak tree door is always locked. As for the interior, little to nothing. In the kitchen, the cabinets are falling off. The bedroom has only 3 things. A bed, which the frame is broken,a nightstand, the old birchwood nightstands drawers contain nothing but dead bugs and cobwebs, and a single picture. This picture was of her and her daughter. Both had the biggest smiles plastered on their faces. The sun was shining and she was holding her daughter. This was all before… before it happened. Throughout the house there are scattered broken chairs or random pieces of wood. Cobwebs line every part of the house and bugs and other critters make themselves at home.

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