Posted by: victanguera | August 26, 2009

Exercise #54

I changed two words in the last sentence to make this fit better. Sorry Emily. Or should I say Heathcliff.

The apartment appeared perfect. I sighed in satisfaction, tossing my bags beside the door and kicking off my shoes. Cardboard boxes lined the walls, stacked precariously high. I’d start to unpack later. The hardwood floors gleamed in the sunlight that streamed through two windows–as high as the ten foot wall. I could already imagine the placement for my easel.

I shot the deadbolt home, slipped off my shoes and padded across the cool floor to the pristine kitchen. I’d make myself a cup of tea before searching for my paints. The movers had arranged everything by room, and I found a box with most of my kitchen equipment, but no tea.


Three hours passed, and I sat in the dwindling light surrounded by kitchen utensils, paper and books. But no tea.

And no paints either.

I’d have to call my landlady. She’d met the movers, letting them into the apartment for me. Maybe she knew what happened to my missing boxes.

Rummaging around in the bottom of my purse, I found a card with her particulars. The card had an address, but no phone number. How strange. I remembered calling her previously to arrange for a viewing. At least she lived in the same building.

She opened the door almost instantly, but only as far as the chain would allow, peering at me suspiciously.

“Hi, I’m Mellie. Your new tenant,” I said through the crack. I waved my hand in the general direction of my new apartment when she didn’t open the door any further. She nodded her head. “I’m missing a few boxes.”

“Yes, I know.”

I waited for her to elaborate, maybe explain where she’d placed them, offer to return them. But she only continued to stare at me without blinking. Very disconcerting.

“Do you know where they are? My tea is in there.” And my paints, but I didn’t tell her that. I tried, without success, to return her unwavering scrutiny. Wrapping my arms across my chest, I rubbed at my arms. Tried to erase the goosebumps bristling under my fingertips.

“Yes. You don’t need tea. Or paints.” She closed the door in my face. I stood, mouth open and stared at the wood. She’d shut the door in my face. The bloody cheek. The door opened again. “You will return tomorrow at nine. I’ll teach you all about coffee. And knitting.”

The door shut once more, this time accompanied by the sound of a deadbolt.

She’s stolen my tea. And my paints. The bloody cheek, I thought as I returned from a visit to my landlady–the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.


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