All I could think about was the sad face that haunted my dreams at night, and my thoughts all day. The face that was taking over my life. Why? I didn’t know her. If it was the old man’s daughter, she was long since dead. My day at work was painfully slow. Finally, eager to talk to the old man, I made and excuse to leave early.
January dusk soon fell, cold and uninviting. I was grateful for my heated car seat after being chilled to the bone walking across the parking lot. It was dark when I pulled onto the drive way of the ranch. There wasn’t a light to be seen in anywhere in the house either. Wishing I’d brought a flashlight I opened the car door. The breeze was no longer gentle.
Watching my step I walked in the direction of the huge shadow which loomed ahead of me. It’s all I could see of the house. I approached the front door and tapped on it nervously, feeling like an intruder smothered in a blanket of darkness.
The door swung open slowly, creaking as it did so. Doors always creaked in these situations.
“Hello, is anyone home?”
No answer, no movement. The air was deadly still. I took a step forward into the house. The temperature dropped several degrees when I did so. How could it be colder inside than out. My breath formed a cloud in front of my face.
“Hello.” I said softly.
A floorboard creaked. The sound came from above. I looked in the direction of the stairs, but thought the better of going up there.
What if he’s dead?
Standing just inside the doorway I wondered what to do next. I had no business walking around the house uninvited. People did that in movies and it always ended badly. Turning around I pulled the door shut and walked back to the car. Should I leave a note?
Footsteps crunched on the gravel drive way and I looked up expecting to see the old man. The steps continued, but there was no one to be seen. Instinctively I locked the car door. Footsteps crunched past me, stepping onto the porch. Looking in my rearview mirror, I watched the front door open and close on its own.
Time to get out of Dodge!
I started the car and floored the accelerator, pebble dashing the front of the house with gravel as I left.
Thank God I didn’t go upstairs!