Write at the Merge, Week 17
pinhole 970, bridge © Darius Kuzmickas via Flickr
This week we were given two photos from Cam, I was inspired by this one.
Willa checked the address again. She drove this route daily, but couldn't place the house she was supposed to show.
Trees and thick brush lined the road. Shielding her eyes from the sun's glare, she slowed the car to a crawl as she searched for a mailbox. The brakes locked with a screech when she finally spotted the tire ruts that passed for a drive way.
Willa eased the car onto the track, navigating potholes and fallen limbs as she followed it into the urban forest. Leaf laden branches met overhead, casting shadows over the hood of the car. She'd idled down the path about a quarter of a mile when she spied the bridge ahead.
At least it pretended to be a bridge. Wooden planks thrown across tree trunks was a more apt description. No way was she driving her car across it.
As the car idled, she pulled the paperwork for the property from her briefcase. The house should be just beyond the far side of the bridge. She squinted through the windshield, trying to catch a glimpse of it.
As she scanned the space, a fog rolled up from whatever water source the bridge spanned. Frustrated, Willa turned the engine off and stepped out onto the dirt road. She'd have to walk from here.
Her first step on the structure caused it to sway belligerently. There were no rails, Willa threw her arms out for balance as she waited for it to stabilize before resuming her trek.
While she hesitated, the fog continued to build. She could barely see the other bank at all now. Her second step caused a shiver in the wood that ran up her legs and back. The accompanying creak dried her tongue to the roof of her mouth.
The planks halfway across faded into the fog, Willa reached out with her mind. Her gift was generally only active inside the homes she sold, but since the property had seemingly sent the fog as an emissary, perhaps she could sense something from it.
She slid one foot forward, still holding her arms out. The fog moved toward her steadily. All she could sense was the physical. Chill, damp air, and the sound of the wooden planks rubbing against the logs and each other.
With a deep breath, and the shallow remains of her determination, Willa slid her other foot forward. The fog rolled into her, flowed over her body, caressing her with cool moisture as it wrapped about her legs and draped across her shoulders.
Willa froze, the fog continue rolling around her. Though she couldn't make contact, she felt like she was being sniffed, evaluated. Finally, she risked a careful peek over her shoulder, the few feet she'd traveled were hidden, as was her car.
She faced forward again, and gasped in delight. The fog now lay behind her. In front of her, the sun reflected brightly off the gleaming red roof of a modest sized bungalow, just the other side of the bridge.
Willa hurried across the rest of the planking, practically running up the concrete steps to the front door. She unlocked the door and stepped into a light filled foyer. She was overwhelmed by a feeling of warmth.
Then the house spoke. "Welcome, Willa! Welcome home!"