This is my 201st post. Wish I was writing more. But...life. I brought Willa, the psychic realtor back for this one. And it may be a little long.
The prompts for this week are:
“Then the lights went out.”
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Willa stood on the walk in front of the sixth and final house on her list. She'd been on her feet since nine am, inspecting each property, noting cupboards, opening closets, counting bedrooms and baths.
Her notebook was filled with remarks for each listing. One home needed exterior paint. Another had a roof that wanted patching. The bungalow needed a bachelor to keep it company, the modest ranch begged for a young couple just starting their new life.
Not only did Willa see the physical needs of the homes she contracted to sell, she felt the personalities of them.
The sixth home of the day was a rambling two story in an old neighborhood. The lawn was well kept and the wide front porch invited visitors. She cut her exterior inspection short as clouds began to roll in, bringing the gusting winds and first cold drops of a storm she vaguely remembered being forecast.
Willa ignored the building gale as she focused on her checklist. It wasn't until she heard tornado sirens blaring that she realized how intense the storm had become.
Her first thought was to hurry home, but when she opened the front door, the roaring wind drove her back inside. She'd never been afraid of heavy weather, but the rattle of small limbs being hurled against the windows and greenish cast to the sky warned her to take cover.
Ducking into a hall closet, she knelt on the floor waiting for the worst to pass. It was the crash of breaking glass that finally made her heart pound with dread.
She tucked herself into a corner and closed her eyes while murmuring a small prayer. Another crash induced a squeak of terror and she squeezed her eyes shut tighter.
The small space suddenly filled with the smell of gardenias. Willa felt herself enveloped in a warm embrace.
"It's alright, baby girl. I got you." The voice was calm, filling her head but not her ears.
"Ain't no puff of wind gonna get you in here. This house has solid bones."
Willa began to relax, listening to the voice reassure her.
"This house has deep roots, grown in hard work and love. The oldest in this here neighborhood."
"Our people been livin' here for generations. We was here before this city sprung up. When this was just a little scratch farm, full of family and joy."
Willa leaned into the embrace, listening to the story of lives and loves.
"Wake up, baby girl. Time to go, the storm is passed."
Willa felt a nudge urging her to her feet. She opened the closet door a crack. The last light of day streamed through the windows. She made a mental note to call her handyman to board up the one that was broken.
She gathered her belongings and stepped outside. A gasp escaped her as she surveyed the rest of the street.
An abandoned house several doors down had lost much of its roof. Another home's garage had been leveled, and three trees had been uprooted.
Willa turned to look at the sixth house of the day. The old two story stood straight, radiating strength. The only damage was the one broken pane of glass.
She smiled,"Solid bones. I know just family for you."