This week’s prompt:
A dream come true turned nightmare
It was even more beautiful in person than it looked in the agent’s photos. Alex knew he looked like a child at an amusement park as he wandered to empty, but beautiful rooms. His footsteps creaked and groaned as he walked across immaculately polished floors.
The front hall ran from the entry doors, (Doors plural) all the way back to the kitchen. Any open doorway to the right was a sitting room or office of some kind. The large windows and natural light made him ache to set up his paints again. It had been years. Maybe this was meant to be.
The room to his left was a sunny salon with bookshelves built into the walls and a pristine fireplace. On the left side of the hall was a steep set of stairs in the same wood as the floors. The dark stain drew out all the swirls and texture, making Alex want to sketch it.
The agent was still talking, but Alex was not really listening. He ran his hand across the glossy wood of the banister before walking toward the kitchen. This room also had a fireplace. He looked around and noticed that there were no registers for central heat or air. He may need to note that.
“The house has not been lived in for quite a while,” he heard her say. “I assume you are not from around here,” she added.
“No,” Alex agreed. “I am moving here from the Midwest.” He did not feel like giving her the entire story just yet.
“Well, just be aware,” she said with a stiff smile. “People around here say it’s haunted.”
“Sure it is,” Alex said dryly. “Is that why it is so cheap?” He had wondered about the price. He had been looking for the reason for it to be on the market so long for so little. Surely ghosts were not a reason to drop the price so low.
“I’m afraid so,” the agent said. “No one local will buy it.” Alex looked around again. He had not seen the upstairs yet, but he already knew he wanted it. It had always been a dream he and Seth shared. They wanted to buy a large house near a lighthouse and make it a bed-and-breakfast. Seth was no longer with him, but the life insurance money he left Alex, the dream could still happen.
He looked out the nearest window. The ocean was a steely gray with white-tipped waves. He could almost hear them crashing and hissing against the rock below. It was like they were speaking to him. Promising him home and healing.
“I’ll buy it,” Alex said.
“I understand you may-” The agent stopped. She had just figured out what Alex said. “You want it?” She asked tentatively.
“As long as the inspection comes back good,” Alex said. “Now let’s see the upstairs. How many bathrooms?”
The agent followed him up to the second floor, almost confused.
It did not take as long as Alex feared to set up the bed-and-breakfast. It was everything they dreamed of. It was perfect.
Until he met the Siren.
(See Siren for the rest of the story)