An excerpt from my WIP.
It's rough people, so be kind. LOLThe Whispering House
-- tentative title
The enticing aroma of fresh coffee filled the small kitchen. Eleanor breathed deeply and poured herself a cup before crossing to the table in the breakfast nook that served as her dining room. Contentment stole over her, pushing back the ever-present sadness that lingered like a smothering blanket from her mother’s death. Idly, she doodled on the newspaper in front of her, only half interested in the Sudoku puzzle she’d started as the coffee had finished percolating. Setting down her pencil, she gave up trying to figure out how to fix it so the last square worked with the rest. Instead, she looked up into the mist outside her window.
A movement in the fog caught her attention. Standing, she moved closer to the window, her mug cradled in her hands. Was that a figure standing on a path just across the creek? What path? She’d taken numerous walks over the past week and never seen a path there before nor another person since her arrival. Unease slithered down her spine, but she shook it off. She’d been enjoying her solitude, not surveying the countryside.
For several minutes, she stared at the figure, trying to discern whether it was male or female. It was so still; perhaps it didn’t really exist or was just a bush she hadn’t noticed until now. If only she hadn’t left her glasses on the nightstand, she might be able to see a little better. She squinted, but it didn’t help.
A patch of fog drifted between her and the figure. When it had passed on, the figure was gone, but the path remained. Something didn’t seem right. Her hand closed over the doorknob next to her, the desire to find out what was out there nearly overwhelming her.
She glanced at the clock over the sink. It was only three o’clock, but, after only a week, she knew the fog could roll in early and quickly. She shook her head, deciding to wait until the morning. The night before, the fog had hugged her small house so tightly that it reflected back the light from her porch light, blinding her, reminiscent of the white outs from her childhood vacations up in Lake Tahoe during snowstorms.
With one last look out the window, she banished any more thoughts of the figure and returned to the table, sitting down and sighing with pleasure. How lovely to relax! Months of dealing with lawyers, tying up the loose ends, selling her family home… Her mind stalled on the last thought. Her aunt’s voice filled her head, “Eleanor, you really shouldn’t be making such a big decision after only eight months. Everyone knows it’s best to wait a year before…”
“I know, Aunt Sherry, but you heard the lawyers. How do you propose I pay the estate taxes? I do well as a financial advisor, but not that well. There really isn’t any choice. With this sale, I can invest what’s left over and retire.”
“Are you sure you want to retire and move to…” Distaste flitted across her aunt’s face. “Fresno?”
“Yes. It’s affordable, quiet and nothing like San Jose.” She stopped short of adding “beautiful”. Her Aunt Sherry would never admit to anything about Fresno being beautiful.
Tears welled up in Eleanor’s eyes as she returned to the present. Next to losing both of her parents within two years of each other, having to sell her family home was one of the hardest things she’d done in her life. The hardest was cleaning out the house, giving away what she couldn’t take with her, storing the rest, and reliving all the memories of her parents before she was ready. She hadn’t had any time to grieve.
“You are not alone. You are never alone.” A man’s voice whispered.
She spun around, her heart skittering. Who said that? Her gaze scanned the interior of her kitchen. Nothing. Standing, she walked into the living room. It was empty too. She moved into the bedroom and shivered as cold air swirled around her. Strange. There’d never been a draft before. Something wavered in her peripheral vision. Her head jerked toward the movement; her breath caught in her throat. The window was wide open, and the curtains fluttered in the encroaching fog.
That's it. (grin) You'll have to wait until later to see if I post more, but I feel like being a tease right now and I'll be on vacation in a week or so for a month so... LOLOL