Their dreams were shattered as the mystery unraveled regarding the death of a young child which brought unrest to the household.
Was Meg's feelings an overreaction to the past or would they fall victim to the same fate?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
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HOUSE FOR SALE
By Cheyenne Holmes Dean Kimsu Holmes Sutton
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Cheyenne Holmes Dean and Kimsu Holmes Sutton
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIt was a nice day for traveling, as the hot August sun shone through the windows of the 1990 station wagon. Bill pulled down his sun visor blocking the afternoon sun from his eyes. His wife, Meg, laid her head on his shoulder, resting after the long trip, sun dancing off her dark auburn hair.
Their son, Danny, usually a very excited and hyper eight year old, lay in the back seat sleeping soundly finally giving in to the hum of the car and the stress of the move. Bill was surrounded by people, but still felt alone in his own thoughts. He looked out the windows only to see rolling hills as far as the eye could see, dotted with live stock and hay bales, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the city where he had spent the last ten years of his life.
Bill was an art professor at a university in Chicago. He had met Meg when she had worked as a live model for his art class. The first time he saw her he felt she was already a work of art. With pale skin and long auburn hair pulled away from her face and falling loosely down her back, the freckles on her face complimented her very unique beauty. It was love at first sight for him. They had a whirlwind romance and were married soon after. Just one year later, Meg gave birth to Danny. Due to complications after Danny's birth, she could no longer have children. With their family complete, they turned all their love and attention to him. They thought moving to the country was in his best interest.
Bill had grown up in the country and attended college in Chicago and remained in the city after meeting Meg. He was not concerned about Danny adjusting to life in the country. Danny was very outgoing and looking forward to a new four legged friend. They had promised to get him a dog as soon as they got settled into their new house. Danny had always wanted a puppy but apartment life was no place for a dog.
Meg, on the other hand, had always lived in the city and country life would be a big change for her. Bill was hoping she would love the house and property as much as he did. Bill had come a few weeks prior to the move to do the closing for the house while Meg and Danny stayed behind packing and tying up loose ends. He had checked out the house and property. The house was off the beaten path with only a few neighbors close by. One neighbor was the previous owner of the house. He had decided to sell the house but remain on the property. Bill had met the owner during the closing of the house, Mr. Cummings, who preferred to be called Roy. Roy had built the house for his wife, Sally, and son, Cory. They had lived there for many years until death took them away from him. Bill noticed the sadness in Roy's eyes as he signed the house over. It was as if he was once again losing something very dear to him.
Bill's thoughts were quickly brought back to the road when he suddenly saw a dog in front of the car. He slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision. "Damn!" he said as he honked his horn. Meg's head jerked forward jarring her awake. "Sorry about that," He said "Are you alright?" She, still startled from the rude awakening looked out the window, only to see the dog looking back as if it had done nothing wrong, before disappearing into the weeds.
Danny still lay undisturbed clutching his action figure in his hand. Meg was in awe as she looked at the scenery. "The country is really beautiful." She said. The green rolling hills against the blue sky, tall trees swaying in the breeze, even the old barns, decaying with time and barely standing, gave the hills character. She could see the beauty in everything. That was one of the things Bill loved most about her.
Suddenly a small voice from the back seat interrupted their thoughts. "Daddy, are we almost there? We've been in this car forever!" said a very irritated and half asleep Danny.
"Just a few more miles," said Bill.
Meg turned to Danny and said "Look at all the cows." trying to turn his attention to something besides the car ride. Danny fully awake by this time was back to his usual excited and hyper self.
Bill turned left off the road, into a small town. They passed only a few restaurants and hotels and a local grocery store. There were only a few people to be seen going to and from their cars. "Where are all the people?" she asked. Being used to elbow to elbow people in the city this seemed very strange to her.
"You have forgotten we're in the country now," said Bill with a smile as they drove to the outskirts of town. They passed the local college which was fairly good sized and had a large fountain in front.
"This is where your dad will be working," She said. Once they passed the college Bill turned onto a graveled road which stretched for a mile.
Meg immediately recognized the house from a distance as they drove up the long graveled driveway. Large pines stood tall along the sides shading portions of the driveway. A small pond glistened in the sunlight surrounded by a freshly mowed lawn. The two story house sat proudly on the hill just above the pond. A for sale sign was still in place. As soon as the car came to a stop Danny jumped from the car like a bird set free from its cage. "Mom can I go play in the yard, please?" he asked.
"Sure," she said "but stay away from the pond."
"Okay Mom," Danny said as he ran down the yard with his arms straight out from his sides, making airplane noises. Meg too got out of the car, stretched her legs, and stood to admire her new home.
The house was exactly what she had been hoping for with its wood shingles and black shutters. It had a large wrap around porch with a set of steps on the front and a small set on the side. A porch swing swung lightly in the afternoon breeze giving life to the house. She noticed a path behind the house that lead to a small but neat home nestled in the wooded area further back on the adjoining property. That must be the Mr. Cumming's house and property she thought.
To her right was what looked to be an old abandoned house in bad need of a fresh coat of paint. The yard was overgrown with weeds that were as high as the porch in some areas. The porch was covered with boxes and belongings, some half covered with tarps. A rusty old bicycle leaning against the broken underpinning peeked over the high grass. What looked to be an eyesore seemed to be a reminder of people who had once dwelled there. But to her surprise, she saw a hand pull back the tattered curtain from the front window revealing the silhouette of a person looking out at them. She threw up her hand to greet the new neighbor but the curtain was quickly flung back and the silhouette disappeared from view. That was strange but she didn't ponder on it. She was too eager to see her new home.
Bill came around from the front of the car and picked up the for sale sign. He threw it on the ground and said "This house has been sold." He went over to her and wrapped his arms around her waist dangling the keys to the house in her face. In a taunting voice he said "Do you want to go see the house?" She snatched the keys from his hands in a playful way and headed to the side door.
As she started to put the key in the lock she noticed that the door was unlocked and pushed it open. She entered the house through the dining area and into the family room. It had a large fireplace and built-in book shelves. The house was as beautiful as Bill had described. She suddenly felt a certain sadness that she couldn't explain. A loud voice came from behind her.
"You must be Meg."
Startled she turned around. Standing there was a tall middle aged man with salt and pepper hair hanging beneath his faded cap. He was dressed in blue jeans and a flannel shirt and had extended his hand out to greet her.
"Hi, my name is Roy. I didn't mean to startle you. I wasn't expecting you for a few more hours. I was just checking to make sure everything in the house was alright before you arrival. So.... what do you think of this place?"
"It's perfect. It's everything we were looking for. I love the built in bookcases," She replied. Roy turned his back toward her and stared out the window.
"My wife, Sal, loved to read so I built the bookcases for her so she would have a place for all her books. On nights when she couldn't sleep she would sit by the fireplace and read." Roy's voice was shaky as if fighting back the tears. Meg's heart went out to him but she couldn't find the words to comfort him.
Suddenly the slamming of the screen door cut the conservation short. She heard Bill's voice echoing through the empty house. "Meg, where do you want the boxes?" he asked as he walked slowly with his arms full of boxes that blocked his view. Roy turned quickly and hurried over to help Bill set the boxes on the floor.
"Would you like a hand unloading?" He asked.
That would sure be nice if you don't mind," replied Bill.
"Mind?" said Roy, "I would love to."
The two men headed out the door talking amongst themselves as if they had known each other all their lives. Meg was relieved that Bill had come in when he did. She was eager to see the rest of the house and she didn't want anything to spoil it. She went back to the stairway.
This must be where the bedrooms are located she thought to herself. As she began to reach the top of the stairs the air began to thicken. She suddenly found it difficult to breathe. When she reached the top the first doorway it revealed a small room. She stood as sadness engulfed her whole body. There was a chill in the air that even the hot sun beaming through the windows couldn't penetrate. It was if the house was screaming at her, echoing off the walls, yet not making a sound! She stood staring at the empty room, unable to move, paralyzed with grief. The room appeared to be a child's room. The carpet was stained with small dirty footprints and remnants of ball stickers still clung to the pale blue walls.
Bill's voice calling her name from the bottom of the stairs brought her back to reality. She turned and dashed down the stairs as if she had just seen a ghost. Bill sensed that something had upset her by the expression on her face.
"Is everything alright?" he asked with concern in his voice. She wanted to confide in him but didn't want to take away from his excitement.
"Well it's just ..." she began but before she could finish her sentence Roy quickly interrupted her.
"It's the silence of the country; sometimes it's more disturbing than the noise. It will take some getting used to." he said.
"I'm sure Roy is right," said Meg.
She began removing her belongings from the boxes hoping to take her mind off the strange feeling that the house seemed to possess. The afternoon went fast and the beautiful blue sky began to fade into twilight. Bill and Roy had unloaded a lot of their belongings and were ready to sit down with a cup of hot coffee and enjoy the cool evening air.
Bill, Meg, and Roy all sat on the front porch. Bill and Meg quickly took advantage of the porch swing and Roy sat on the top step leaning his tall slim body against the railings. They all watched as Danny ran to and fro jumping at the tiny lights from the fireflies that lit up in the darkness. She laid her head on Bill's shoulder as the sway of the swing made her eyes feel heavy.
"I say we call it a night, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow." said Bill, as he yawned and stretched his tired body. She called Danny in and they said their goodnights to Roy and went in to spend their first night in their new home.
Chapter TwoMeg was awakened abruptly by a loud knocking at the front door. She shook Bill's lifeless body. "Bill, Bill," she yelled, "there's someone at the door!" Bill quickly jumped up from the mattress lying on the floor. He grabbed his tee-shirt and pulled it over his head as he ran down the steps. Meg heard the door open.
"I thought we'd get an early start," boomed Roy's voice. The early morning sun began to peek through the uncovered windows directing its rays in Meg's face. She sighed and turned over, curious to see what time of morning it was. Six o'clock flashed on the old radio clock that sat on the floor beside the mattress. She pulled the pillow over her face and hoped to lie awhile longer. She found it difficult to go back to sleep with all the thoughts of the day racing through her head. She could hear the low voices of Bill and Roy in the kitchen, conversing back and forth. The room began to fill with the smell of fresh coffee brewing, bringing her back to life to face the day. Even in the early morning hours the humidity in the air foretold that it was going to be a hot day. She forced herself up and got dressed. She opened the window to let fresh cool air flow through the stuffy bedroom. The trees were alive with the sound of birds singing their early morning symphony. As a dog barked in the far distance, she took a deep breath filling her lungs with the fresh country air. She turned and headed downstairs to join the guys for a cup of coffee.
As she passed Danny's room, she peeked in to check on him. He lay on his mattress, one leg flung over the side resting on the floor. Above his head lay his favorite blanket all crumpled up exposing his half dressed little body. She was relieved that he was a heavy sleeper and hadn't been awakened by the noise downstairs. As she looked at him sleeping innocently, once again the sadness began to creep into her thoughts. But she wasn't going to let anything ruin this day for her, so she quickly turned and headed downstairs to begin her busy day.
Bill and Roy had already finished their breakfast and had gone straight to work unloading the rest of their belongings. She poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down to indulge in one of the fresh biscuits that Roy had brought for breakfast. She smiled to herself as she thought of what a godsend Roy had turned out to be.
Danny came running down the steps already dressed in his favorite red striped shirt and blue jeans. "Hi, Mom," he said as he started out the front door.
"Danny!" yelled Meg, "come back here and eat your breakfast before you go outside." Danny reluctantly turned with his shoulders drooped and head hanging low, and came to the table. "But Mom, I'm not hungry," he said in a sad almost pouting voice.
"Roy was nice enough to bring us breakfast this morning so I think we should be nice enough to eat it, don't you?" she said to him as she poured him some orange juice. He threw himself into a chair to let her know he wasn't happy. He began woofing down the biscuits as fast as he could. "Slow down, Danny," she said "you have all day to play." Danny jumped up from the table and drained the last of his orange juice.
"I'm done!" he yelled and headed out the door before he could be interrupted again.
She sometimes wished she had some of Danny's energy as she started cleaning off the table. Then she began rummaging through her belongings. Finding a mop bucket she filled it with warm soapy water and grabbed a sponge. She headed up the stairs to Danny's room. When she entered the room she placed the bucket on the floor. She knew she had to remove all the memories that still lingered within those four walls.
The old feelings of dread surrounded her as she began scrubbing down the walls. She felt as if she was trying to wash away the past. As she scrubbed at the remains of the old ball stickers, they began peeling off, falling like rain, landing in the bucket that sat below. As she watched them disappear her heart went out to the little boy who had so meticulously placed them there.
She ignored her feelings as she continued to erase any reminders of the prior family. She felt like an intruder who was being watched by unseen eyes. She could almost sense the presence of the little boy whose life abruptly ended long before it should have.
She fought back tears as she thought of her own little Danny and how devastating it would be should anything happen to him. She was so caught up in her own thoughts that even the loud pitch coming from the drill as the men worked next door didn't disturb her.
She had sat down on the floor and laid her head on her knees to take a break when she discovered a small handprint behind the door frame. She reached for the sponge and closed her eyes as she scrubbed forcefully up and down removing the sticky substance that had held the print there for so long.
Excerpted from HOUSE FOR SALE by Cheyenne Holmes Dean Kimsu Holmes Sutton Copyright © 2012 by Cheyenne Holmes Dean and Kimsu Holmes Sutton. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book. This is the best horror, paranormal,thriller I have read in years. I loved the characters including Roy. I cried when they cried. I read underneath the covers at night on my Nook after my husband was asleep because I was so hooked. I couldn't quit reading it. I met the authors years ago, and I feel honored to be from the same area that they are from. Keep up the awesome work ladies.
I LOVED this book!!! It left me unable to quit reading, and wanting more!
Best book of the year. cant wait for volume two.
this book is awesome. leaves you wanting more. the authors did a great job! please don't miss this opportunity to read a good book!!