Allison Hollingsworth was parked in front of the small bungalow on Robin’s Egg Road. In her rearview mirror, she watched a silver Jetta pull in and park at the curb behind her. She popped an altoid in her mouth, checked her cleavage and smiled. As she got out of the car, she extended her hand to the middle aged man getting out of the Jetta.
“Good morning Mr. Bandell. Thanks for meeting me here this morning.”
“Brian please, I always tell you to call me Brian; and I should be the one to thank you Ms. Hollingsworth, I’m so excited. I hardly slept last night after I got the call from your assistant. You think this might be the house I’ve been looking for?”
A puzzled look came over Allison’s face, “Myrna told me you had found the house and called to request a viewing. I didn’t even know this place was on the market. But, I checked the MLS and it’s been available for over 18 months, keeps falling out of escrow for some reason.”
“Never mind,” Brian said with a slight accent she had never been able to place, “can you get us in?”
“I can if there’s a lock box,” she said and held up her special key.
The front door opened directly into a large rectangular room. Allison found a light switch and clicked it on. They saw that the door they had entered was positioned at one end in the middle of a narrow wall. Another door was shut just opposite them and a dark hallway led off to the right a few steps into the room. There was a faint smell in the room, a musty smell.
“Smells a bit like rotting seaweed.” he mentioned and crinkled his nose.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t be too concerned, it’s been closed up for a while,” she replied, “I’ve never been inside this house Brian, so we get to explore together.” She touched him on the arm and as they moved away from the front door it swung shut behind them. “This is a pretty good sized room. Standard magnolia coloured paint, but it looks to be in good shape. They might have painted to put it on the market. That’s good, it’s like having a blank slate to work with as you make the house your own.”
Bandell nodded his head and looked around. A rust coloured plush carpet lay on the hardwood floor and an eighteen inch band of honey coloured oak floor was exposed all the way around the room. Indentations on the carped showed him where a couch and coffee table had once sat. He could make out tracks for a couple of additional chairs and maybe a cabinet of some sort.
“I like the carpet,” he said, “the colour is nice and it looks pretty new.” He lifted a corner of the rug to look at the floor, “I hope all the wood floors are in as good’a shape at this one.” Brian was noticing the walls, “Hmm, Allison, why do you suppose there are no windows? I thought I saw windows when we came up the walk.”
Allison didn’t answer. She was walking the length of the room to the opposite doorway. She opened it and found the light switch.
“Brian, come take a look at this.”
He stuck his head in, holding the door open. The second room was identical to the one they had just left. He swiveled his head to compare the two spaces. Same coloured walls, same carpet, with the same indentations. Another hallway lead off to the right. No windows.
“Why would they do this?” he muttered to himself. He was beginning to feel uneasy and reached for Allison’s hand. “Let’s stick together and look down this first hallway,” he said and pulled her back. The light didn’t work in the hall but Allison had a penlight in her bag. They used it to find the first door. Clutching hands Brian pushed it open and Allison pointed the small flashlight inside. It was another identical room; same walls, same carpet, another door and a hallway – there were still no windows.
“I think I’ve seen enough Ms Hollingsworth. This isn’t the house for me.” Backing out of the room they retraced their steps to the front door.
“Kinda creepy, isn’t it?” Allison asked.
Brian opened the front door and stared out, “really creepy,” he said, “I don’t want to alarm you Allison, but take a look.”
She looked through the door and it was dark. Pointing her light through the door, she saw the same walls, same carpet, another door and a hallway off to the right. No windows.
“Well, well, uhm, we must have gotten turned around,” she stammered.
“Shh, listen,” Brian hushed her. “Hear that?”
“Yeah, what is it?”
They both listened for a while to the faint noises coming from down the hallway. They sounded far away. They sounded like screams for help.