House For Sale

Income Property for rent, sale, or rent to own. 10 bedroom, 4 bath, double car garage, zoned residential or commercial.

I don’t know what made me go to look at the property. I didn’t need a property. I already had a property, a lovely little organic farm with the sweetest little country cottage anyone could want. I’d long dreamed of just such a place and when my husband and I found it online, we both knew this was our final home. It certainly was his, since he died planting heirloom seeds in the garden plot that he’d cultivated for far too few years.

He was too young to die. I was too young to be widowed. We were barely over fifty and finally had earned and saved enough to buy the little property of our dreams. And now he was gone and I was alone on The Perfect Place. That’s what we called it.

After six months of widowhood, I’d talked my nephew Tyler into coming out to live and running the place. I’d leave it to him in my will. He jumped at the chance. He and Mick had always had a special relationship. Ty was like the son we never had. Well, maybe not quite, but he was different from other youngsters of his day, and my husband liked him. They had a nice rapport.I had no clue Tyler had picked up so much from Mick on his few trips out to visit us. But, watching him run the little farm and the organic farm-stand, I knew he’d soaked it up like a sponge. He didn’t need me around once he’d gotten the hang of the accounting and marketing which I'd handled. I was excess baggage. I needed to get a new life.

I suppose when I saw the ad in the classifieds for the big rambling bed-and-breakfast-wannabe, I had some vague idea that I might live upstairs and put some sort of business downstairs. I hadn't really nailed down just what that business might be. I wanted something to keep me occupied, but where I could also retreat when I needed to crawl under the covers and give up for a while.

That didn’t happen as much anymore, but there were still days when some little thing would set off a memory and the loss and ache would run so deep, I thought I would collapse from the pain of it. The only thing to do then was to crawl away, to wallow in the tears and drown in the ache until I was washed clean of hurt for a little while. Numb, I could go on until the next wave of heartbreak crashed into me.

As I drove down the gravel road on the outskirts of Hugo, I searched for the county road marker. The realtor had said the big rambling Victorian was almost at the edge of the town, within walking distance of all the Main Street businesses. I wanted to be close enough to everything so that I could walk to my errands. I was enough of a nazi environmentalist not to jump into the car for every little chore. Mick and I had both been adamant about minimizing gasoline useage and planned our car trips so that we did at least three errands whenever we went anywhere.

And we walked a lot, too. For exercise if for no other reason. I wasn’t about to change that good habit just because he was dead.

Dead. It was so short and final. How could it have happened? One second I was whole, the next, half of me had gone to the great beyond with my better half. Only the bitter half remained. I blinked away tears.

The house suddenly appeared before my eyes. It wasn’t just a big rambling painted lady. It was a flippin' castle surrounded by a stone wall! I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had a moat. No way did I need a place like that! What the hell would I do with it?

I should never have gotten out of the car.

By Penny Dreadful


Patricia Harrington said...

This is fun stuff. And I can write Penny Dreadfuls without trying . . . sad to say. Or perhaps cheerful to say if there is a reader or two out there who enjoys them. And I make an audience of one, so I only need another soul who likes to chuckle, too.

Will have get my creative muse up and out of bed and put her to work. Whoa, but she's not a pretty site this early, and grumpy, too. Makes even the cats slink out of the room.

Cheers in writing,

Pat Harrington, Author
Bridget O'Hern, amateur sleuth series

Ollie said...

Quiet applause for the stories Penny.

There were some lovely phrases, and all packed into such a short package.

I enjoyed them a lot.