For February – Jim Hilton

purification pandemonium allergy

She remembered the stories about the old house: how the entire family had disappeared, how they couldn’t probate the will so no one could ever buy the old thing if they had even wanted it.  She also remembered the article in the paper: the city needed that spot for a museum, so in went the bulldozers, followed by the pandemonium of construction.  Some folks thought the old house might be haunted, and maybe they should hold some kind of purification rite to exorcise whatever spirits might hold sway there.  But, the museum went up and all seemed to be well.

In the natural order of things, the museum itself became old.  Years do pass, unused corners do get dusty, stairs creak, old paint darkens.  They had to start charging a fee for admission, trying to come up with enough funds to keep the place maintained.  The fee itself did the place in; nobody much wanted to visit, much less pay for the privilege.  The exhibits were shipped away, the doors were closed, the sign went up out front.  Soon, the place was to be condemned.  Small loss.

Janet had ideas.  She wanted to open a “boarding house-cum-artist colony”.  With the right property, the right deal, she could make it happen.  Her realtor had suggested this place: it could be had for a song, as they say, and Janet had a little song in her head.  She would bring together musicians and artists and have a mini-commune.  Her parents had been hippies, now she wanted a turn.  She had a little money from her late aunt, and with modest rents it could work.

She prowled the dark hallways, trying to picture it as it might be.  This wall could come down, a door could be installed there, perhaps some larger windows on the ground floor.  There were some sections of old carpet that triggered her allergy to house dust; a-choo!  Those would have to go.

There was one door that just wouldn’t open.  There was a keyhole, but none of the keys seemed to work.  On impulse, she reached up and ran her fingers along the top of the door frame and found her treasure; this old key just had to be it!  The key worked easily and the door swung open, revealing a long dark hallway with doors on either side.  There seemed to be no light switch for the hall but she had her handy flashlight with her.

She crept along the hallway, not sure why she felt the need for stealth; she was the only person in the building, but something, a feeling, made her go quietly and softly.

She approached the first door on the left, gave the knob a try but found it locked.  She tried leaning against the door to see how solid it might be. As her face neared the wood of the door she had a sensation of … magnetism, perhaps?  A strange sensation, and her head filled with vague images, streets of old Paris, Eiffel’s tower, looking new.  She stepped back in alarm.

She backed away from the door and bumped lightly into the door immediately opposite.  Again, the magnetism, the strange images, but this time different.  She had thoughts of Tower Bridge, the Thames, old ships plying the river.

Janet knew that she only had 500 words, and her time was up.



About Jim Hilton

Just having a good time writing about our little adventures.
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