Here’s a free story for readers of my blog. I’ll post it in parts. This is part 1.
THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE ROAD
PART 1 of 7
Moving in had been traumatic but also satisfying because at last we had a home. A real house, not like the series of rented apartments we’d lived in since I lost my job. ‘We’ being my son Caleb and me.
I used to be considered a talented and upwardly mobile graphic designer. ‘Was’ being the operative word since Zoog Designs no longer existed.
It had been a difficult few months for Caleb and me since I became unemployed.
I’d switched to homeschooling him because I had no clue what we were facing and it turned out to be a good decision. Lots of changes happened all too fast. Too many different schools wasn’t good for anyone, let alone a small-for-his-age, skinny boy with hair the color of wheat and more curiosity than the famous cat who got killed because of it. Who knew what he’d do in a series of schools where I didn’t know his friends, his teachers, or anyone at all? I wasn’t going to let that cat’s fate happen to Caleb because, unlike the cat, I doubted that satisfaction would bring him back.
So, after all those apartments and a switch to homeschooling, I was now the proud owner of a small house in the country with no neighbors in sight and no mortgage thanks to a portfolio manager who told me to sell my stock before Zoog went bankrupt.
It wasn’t a fortune but it was enough to pay for a very small house so far out in the country that I was the only person willing to even look at it, let alone buy it because everyone else thought about the long bus ride to school or the drive to work and passed on it. I didn’t have that worry and couldn’t wait to sign the papers.
After losing my job I’d become a free-lance graphic designer so I now made enough working from home to keep us fed and clothed as long as we lived frugally. In the country what was there to spend money on, anyway?
So we moved in. I let Caleb know there’d be no summer vacation for him. Lessons would continue at his desk from Good Will that was located beside my desk, also from Good Will. I’d design stuff and he’d get smart and we’d live happily ever after.
Or so I thought until the real estate agent, a lovely, grandmotherly woman named Lucy stopped by to see how we were doing. She knew we had no family, no friends in the area, and was a wee bit concerned about the remote location of the small house. So, being a decent person, once we were moved in, she stopped by with chocolate cake and a quart of ice cream.
Over treats beneath a huge tree of unknown species, she said, “The only possible problem I can see with your new life is the house at the end of the road.”
As I gulped and choked on cherry ice cream and chocolate cake, I looked down the road. I couldn’t see the house, of course because the dead end road was curvy and the house was over a mile away.
Can a house cause problems?
Her expression said it could.
What she didn’t say was what kind of problems they’d be.