Swoosh. The front door blew open. As I sat at the coffee table unwrapping house warming presents, I could not believe it was happening again. The third time today. It wasn’t a good omen for the first day in my new home. The dog barked furiously. The humid autumn air was quick to spread around the house as I checked the door handle and lock for faults. A ramble outside would put my mind at ease I hoped. Would the fading evening sun light illuminate the garden to provide the security I desperately yearned? A gusty evening perhaps, I thought to myself wiping my sweaty palms off my tee shirt? I didn’t need this inconvenience today above any other days, not on Sam’s anniversary of being five years missing. Sam crossed my mind today which was unusual as I had always tried to block out any memory that attempted to remind me of her.
My wellies were still a bit damp from an earlier walk, so I had to make-do with my boots. Jessie was growling incessantly, in a way that distinguished he wasn’t wasting his breath on the neighbours’ cats or the screechy wind chime that was hanging on the apple tree planted years ago by the previous owners.
Hmmm. A glance outside at the trees proved the weather was still as they were not swaying, it was so still and quiet that I was certain my pounding heart was audible around the village. The front gate was a mere five metres away, but it felt like it was on the other side of the village. A clock on the shop front across the road confirmed for me that the villagers would be at evening service at the church, hence why the main street seemed to quiet. My Saturday was becoming more action packed than I had intended. I grabbed my back pack as it had my hoodie, the dog leash, my camera and phone, “I may as well take Jesse for another walk” I mumbled to the laurel hedge that cared to listen. Again, I rubbed my palms off my tee shirt, taking a deep breath in as I finished. After I took a few steps, a strange feeling came over me. “Am I walking toward something I should be running away from?”.
Jesse bolted out the gate and down the road, stopping suddenly at the dilapidated corner house. His tail arched, and that unnerving growling started again before he sprinted around the back of the house. Stupidly, I took chase after him. “Jesse” I roared. A sharp bark came from a rather odd looking shed at the rear of the abandoned property. The wood creaked as I put my foot on the first of the three steps. Another sharp yelp from Jesse was audible as I stood on the second step. I heard a growl as I put both feet together at the top of the steps. I tip-toed anxiously over to the door, eager to check if Jesse was okay but fearful of what I was to see. I crouched down on my knees and opened the door. “Wow” I shrieked.