Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For Sale; Reduced

Write at the Merge, Week 15
Happy Birthday to Cam!  "I am one of those people who celebrates their birthday in month long chunks. So, for this week’s Write at the Merge prompt, I’m giving you two photos that hit me like a sucker punch from an photoset." 

Willa heard about the house at a lunch she had attended with other local realtors.  More than one had tried to sell the property, all had failed.  Most wouldn't even show the place after their first walk through.

She had to see it.  She had a way with houses, a gift to find its heart, and then the perfect buyer.

Willa eased her car up the leaf drifted driveway.  Dirty windows glared at her as she approached.  It wasn't often she was unnerved by a house, but this one was doing it's best to intimidate her.

She stopped the car in a wide parking area and surveyed the house. It sat precariously against a hillside above the city.  It was huge, three stories and a walk-out basement that opened to stone stairs leading down the hill to the street below.  On the city side, a long stone veranda promised a spectacular view.  

The small bit of lawn, left to its own devices, had gone wild, sending shoots of ivy crawling up the stone exterior.  The untended gutters were spouting a forest of saplings and the sidewalks and steps were carpeted in moss. 

Willa picked up her briefcase as she left the cozy comfort of her car and stood on the uneven pavers.  The house sent a psychic wave of haughty disapproval that almost sent her diving for the safety of her front seat.  Instead, she drew a deep, calming breath, pushed the warnings of the previous realtors to the back of her mind, and keys in hand, walked boldly to the front door.

She stepped into the entry hall, dust covered every surface.  Papers and trash littered the marble floors.  She let out a gasp of dismay.  Who had let things go so long?  No wonder the house was angry, she thought.  

She opened her senses to the home, searching for memories of happier times.  The presence of the house retreated from her probing, not hostile now, but distrustful.  

She slowly explored the main floor.  Each room showed the sign of abandonment, disregard.  When she entered the kitchen, she was delighted.  Though the space was just as disheveled as the rest of the home, the floor to ceiling cabinets and vast counter space excited her.  As she explored the nooks, in a cobwebbed corner, she found a broom.  Leaving her briefcase on a counter, she grabbed the broom and went to work.  

Willa spent the next several hours sweeping piles of dust and debris.  Once the floor was clear, she started on the counters and cabinets.  As she toiled, she felt as if someone was watching.  Not with animosity, but with curiosity.  

She stopped finally, and regarded her handiwork.  Sunset was close, the light in the kitchen was dimming.  She wasn't ready to spend the night just yet.  She grabbed the briefcase and headed for the door.

She could sense the house, sigh.  Her mind showed her the image of a child dropping their shoulders in disappointment.

"No," she said, "I'll be back, I promise."


  1. You made it her baby. You also made me want to make it my baby. Where is my broom?

  2. I love how you gave such personality to the house - great work!

  3. That house came alive - I loved this piece! Thank you.

  4. I love Willa! I remember another story that you wrote with her. I loved that such a huge house was a child, at least emotionally. Would it were that everyone connected to homes the way that Willa can.

  5. My house isn't old and angry, merely old and tired. Houses have real personality, you captured it.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  6. I love this. Houses truly have imprints of the past. If you listen, you can hear them. :)

  7. Lovely! Good for Willa for working through her trepidation and finding that the house was really just in need of a little care. She'll find the perfect fit for the house, and the buyers will be lucky to be there. Your personification is really strong in this piece.

  8. I love this. Have you ever read Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House? Felix loves it, and this strikes me the same way, just a house neglected and needing love. And don't our walls have a soul from soaking up our experiences?

  9. This story made me say, "Ahhhhh..." when I got to the end. I loved how you created a character with daring to go into the scary house, but with a few tricks up her sleeve. Well done and a very nice story to read:~)