The click of the lock started her heart beating at 1000 bmp and Jane knew that she was home. Her first home. The foyer looked into a darkened room as she shut and locked the front door behind her, but the darkness didn’t scare her. It was as though, with the closing of that door, she was removing herself from the world and it gave her great comfort. She finally felt safe somewhere. She flipped the light switch and frowned. The empty space of the living room was now illuminated and she began to check off the numerous and expensive pieces of furniture she would need to buy in order to furnish her new home. With a sigh, she made her way to the kitchen where she saw that the Realtor, Jim, had left her a note sitting next to a bottle of water and a plate of cookies. Jane expected to see a small thank you on the card or congratulations, but she did not expect that every inch of the paper would be covered in minuscule writing or that it would have continued to a folded piece of paper tucked within the card itself. She took the plate of cookies and the water, and then settled herself onto the floor for what would surely be an interesting letter.
I would normally say congratulations on the purchase of your first home, but I can only stress once more to you that this house is special. Please remember what I told you during the closing and do not invite anyone else to live with you and whatever you do, do not second guess your own eyes. This is very important- DO NOT BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE CRAZY- you are perfectly sane, but sometimes there are impossible things in the world. You are in for an amazing experience, Ms. Smith, if you can open your mind and your heart to it. If you need to contact me, for any reason, all you need to do is place a note under the 3rd brick to the left of the front door and I shall call on you for a visit. I do prefer tea and butter cookies.
P.S. – Here is a list of important names and dates that you will need in the coming months- GOOD LUCK!”
Jane furrowed her brow in confusion. Her Realtor had seemed like such a nice and not crazy guy. As she read down the list, she became more confused. The names began as early as 1859 and ran through the current year with her name as the last on the list. It must have been a list of owners and tenants, but this made no sense either. The house was only 25 years old. Jane thought a little more to what Jim had told her when they were first touring the property, that this piece of land was first built upon when the town was founded in the 1800’s, but there has been so much development and growth since then she wondered how he could make such a list when surely thousands of people had lived on this land since the original settlers built upon it.
She looked down and saw that the cookies were gone and she now had a headache from trying to figure out why Jim would send her such a large bag of crazy on her first night in her new home. Making a mental note to lose his contact information, Jane made her way to the bedroom where her only furniture was arranged neatly and ready for her to settle into.
When the sunlight hit her eyes, Jane remembered that it was Saturday and groaned, resolving to buy curtains first thing, but when she looked at her cellular phone, she began to get upset. The phone told her that the time was 4am, but she was plainly staring at the rising sun. Had she forgotten to reset her time for Daylight savings? Logically, Jane knew that there was a satellite somewhere sending out a signal that did this automatically, but there were very few explanations that came to her mind for the disconnect that she was observing. The next oddity to hit her senses was the scent of coffee. Not the strong aromatic scent of an expensive coffee shop, but the smell that came from an old-fashioned percolator; the scent of her Grandmothers house in the mornings when she used to spend her summers out on the farm. Her confusion was pressing at her temples and then the final sensory assault began- voices.
Jane jumped out of bed, silently thankful that she’d worn a nightgown last night, and moved to the corner of the bedroom, quietly listening to try to understand why there were voices in her house. She heard laughter and talking, no yelling, no whispering, and nothing that seemed malevolent. For a moment she had convinced herself that the neighbors were simply having an out-of-doors breakfast and then came the scent of bacon and the sound of pans being moved around in the kitchen. She was now terrified and fumbling her hands toward the closet door to hide from these unknown intruders. Jane felt around on the wall behind her and finally got to the knob, opened the closet, and got inside. She took a deep breath, trying to make sense of all of this and came to the conclusion that she must have squatters and that they hadn’t realized that the house had been sold- that must be the case. As this justification ran through her mind and she began to believe that this must be what is going on, she heard a small mew from inside the closet and then felt something brushing against her bare feet. That was the last straw. Jane jumped up, nearly knocking the closet door off of its hinges and made a mad dash toward the front door, screaming her head off.
It wasn’t until she’d unlocked the front, gotten outside, and run to the end of the driveway that Jane realized- it was dark. She took in the pre-dawn night that still covered her neighborhood and also noticed that the house was entirely dark and empty. Carefully, she made her way back toward the house, listening with every footstep for the sounds of the people who had been making breakfast in her kitchen, but there was only silence and the occasional owl. A deep breath crashed its way out of her lungs with a slight laugh. How could she be such a little child! She’d simply had a nightmare and been sleep-walking. With that assurance to herself, Jane once again entered her new house to see a pitch black living room. She proceeded to close and lock the door and with the click of the dead bolt, the world around her came to life with the morning sun shining through the windows and the smell of pancakes, bacon, and coffee wafting at her from the large dining table that had appeared before her eyes.
“Jane! Darling! Pull up a chair dear, I’ve poured you some coffee,” said a smiling woman wearing a long dress and apron straight out of the 1948 Sears Catalogue. Jane screamed and proceeded to faint spectacularly.