Here is a page one of a novel that someone should write. This was one of my longer ones, wrote it last year I think. I actually wrote two page ones because I couldn’t decide which way the story should start. Maybe I’ll toss the other page one up tomorrow. Beats having to post real things. 🙂
Jenny sat watching the house. She knew eventually she was going to have to get out of the jeep but for now she just sat there thinking. It wasn’t really the kind of house she wanted, maybe she had made a mistake buying it. Being honest with herself it really wasn’t a house at all. It was a trailer. Thirty years ago someone had moved this trailer here and then kind of built a house up around it. It wasn’t pretty, but it really wasn’t ugly either. Just plain. At least it had a nice screened in back porch and a serviceable front porch. One of the few things she insisted on when the Realtor asked her preferences. She probably should have waited and looked at more houses but she just wanted it over with. A house with a real driveway instead of this uneven rock, almost a driveway, would probably have been smarter for someone who couldn’t walk by herself. Stupid not to think of that until now as she sat stuck here in the jeep. Jenny knew when she got into the house it was going to be stuffed to it’s aluminum covered walls with all of her boxes. The moving company left a message hours ago saying they had dropped everything off and left the key on the kitchen counter. At least there was no hurry to unpack.
She finally decided enough was enough and opened the car door. She stepped out carefully and pulled the folded up metal from from the passenger side, over the gear shift and into the drivers seat. This had been a lot easier when she had been forced to take cabs everywhere but she didn’t plan on driving much anyway. Unfolding the walker and getting it on the ground was easier than she expected and she started the careful walk up to the house. She was worried about the walker slipping on the stones and falling and breaking her legs again. Then she would have to call 911 and have paramedics come help her. Great way to introduce yourself to the new neighbors. No one could see her house from the street but it would be hard not to notice a screaming siren in this quiet area. They would probably all walk over and watch her laying on the ground looking stupid while the paramedics took care of her. Maybe the paramedics would have to cut off her pantyhose, that would be a real treat for her new neighbors. By the time she was through running the potential scenarios in her head she found herself at the front door. She dug the key out of her skirt pocket still with it’s disk of paper surrounded by metal;
2011 Mills St,
She smiled for the first time in days. She did like the idea of living on a street with the same name as her. That was probably some of the reason she bought this house. That, and it’s solitude. A long front yard and driveway almost completely hidden by giant weeping willow trees along the front and two sides, and a steep hill on the back of the property hid the house almost completely from view.
The key stuck in the lock a little and for one moment she thought it wouldn’t open, but with the sound of wood separating from wood that it had grown used to sitting against, the door begrudgingly opened. The warm air came rushing out along with the smell of dust. You never realized dust had a smell until you walked into a room that hadn’t seen fresh air in a long while.
She was pleasantly surprised by the room. It was bright even with the curtains closed, and as the realtor had promised the furniture was completely encased in heavy plastic. Old fashioned floral furniture that probably hadn’t seen the touch of human skin since the day it was brought in new and covered in it’s protecting coating of vinyl 40 years ago. She looked around with an uneasy feeling. Something wasn’t right. Nothing unusual in the room. Sparse furniture, no knickknacks or clutter, that’s when it dawned on her. The moment she realized what was missing. Her boxes. All of her boxes! Where were her things?
She had a panicked moment thinking the movers had stolen her meager collection of items, but then she remembered the supervisor leaving her a voice mail saying the key was left on the kitchen counter.
Maybe they went to the wrong house? She started down the hallway leading to the kitchen and was met by a door with a large sliding bolt on it blocking the hallway. It looked like maybe this part of the house was the original trailer and the door led to the addition built on the back. The door was actually beautiful warm wood with only clear varnish. It somehow looked older than the house. Perhaps someone had picked it up at a garage sale and refinished it. It was a beautiful door but it was horribly out of place. She slid back the bolt and pushed with all of her 100 pounds on a door that seemed to weigh twice as much as she did. It wasn’t until the door was halfway open that she realized why. Boxes. All of her boxes piled in the little kitchen.
She squeezed her walker through the doorway and then pulled herself in afterwards. There wasn’t even room for her to step out of the little fenced corral created by her walker. Well, she might not be able to cook anytime soon but at least she found her things. She carefully negotiated a path to the counter using the metal legs to slide the boxes out of her way and there, just like the voice mail said was the key, with a copy of invoice and a handwritten note on the back of an envelope.
“Key wouldn’t work on the Front door, only the back. Put most of the boxes in the shed because we couldn’t get the hallway door open and there wasn’t enough room in here. Good luck in your new home. Jim.”
Jenny hadn’t even known there was a shed. She put what was apparently a back door key on the ring with the front key and made her way to the kitchen door. When she opened it she found herself on a screened in porch with one of those old wooden bench swings. Nothing else, just the swing. Looking out through the mesh screen she could see what looked like a miniature barn on the other side of the yard. Wasn’t that just splendid. Any boxes in there were just going to be staying in there for awhile. There was no way she could get them to the house using her walker. Maybe she would call the moving company later and have them finish their job by bringing all of her things back to the house. She went back inside and it didn’t take her long to realize the movers had carefully put the boxes that were labeled kitchen in the kitchen, and nothing else. No clothes, no papers, no makeup or shampoo. Just kitchen stuff. Perfect, she thought in absolute exhaustion. She would just live without for tonight and deal with it in the morning. It was already getting dark out and she was tired, very tired. She opened up one box, then two, then three hoping she would run into the box that held all of the dry goods. It took her until the seventh box out of the twelve. She grabbed a box of cheese crackers and a box of chamomile tea then went back to box number 2 for the dish-soap and teapot and her mug. Really, that was all she needed.