The Old House on the Hill
The estate agent turned the key in the lock. The key was large, wrought iron and it took her two goes to turn it. The heavy lock clicked open. The woman, smart and professional, pushed open the door. It swept two months of mail to one side as it opened.
Janice Jones, the estate agent, stood to one side to let the elderly gentleman inside. He didn’t look like a typical buyer, but the form had said that he was a cash buyer and customers like that had to be offered only the best. The late afternoon sun threw coloured panels on the tile floor as they entered the house. Apart from the mail, the house looked almost as though it were still in use. Joseph felt the warmth as he stood in the hallway, getting his bearings. The estate agent was still in full professional mode.
“ The property is double-fronted,” she explained. You have the main reception room through there, and the kitchen and second dinning room through the other side. Upstairs…”
“Three bedrooms, thank you, I have read the particulars,” Joseph said.
Janice pursed her lips, then thought of the commission. “Where would you like to start?”
Joseph took a step towards the main reception room. “How about in here?’
He led the way and walked into the room. The lounge was facing the sea with high ceilings and carved plaster. The wallpaper was faded but had clearly once been an expensive pattern. The furniture was covered in dust sheets and the rugs were looking a little threadbare, but he could see that once the house had been loved.
“The furniture can come as part of the house,” said Janice, “but if you decided not to take it on, the current owners are happy to pay for two skips to remove the rubbish.”
Joseph eyed an old oak dresser and bureau. It was beautiful furniture, but he doubted that he would have a need for it. He took two steps towards the back of the room and suddenly his head swam. It felt as though he had suddenly transferred to another time, another place. He heard children’s laughter, a woman shouting then the sound of crying.
He turned and jumped.
From being near the door, Janice was suddenly right behind him.
“You gave me a fright.”
“Sorry, but you looked as though you might faint. The colour drained from your face. What is it?”
Joseph couldn’t answer her. The experience had left him shaken.
“I don’t know,” he said, “perhaps the heat…”
“Come through to the back,” said Janice, “it’s cooler.”
This is what I have done with the writing prompt that was published yesterday. It is the first part of a story. It is a first draft. The second part will be published tomorrow. If you like the beginning of the story, you are welcome to guess how it ends. Don’t forget to post links to your own stories from the writing prompts.