Prompt: You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?
The air is cool. The boys, all 8 of them, have finished the work for today. Fireflies dance as the sun bows solemnly behind the firs & pines. It is mid-summer and I’ve hired these 8 as a part of a team to restore this lovely gem of a house which is actually a mystery in itself. The house, I mean. You see, one day as I was living in my house in town, I received a knock on the door. When I came to the door all that was left of the knocker was a note, still floating to the ground, suspended as if in time and in mid-air. I swiped the note and put it under my spectacled gaze.
There’s a house for you, out beyond the blue, in the yonder. 100 years old. Crumbling with mold, yet full of grandeur. This house is full of ‘maze & merriment & glee. There’s a house for you, out beyond the blue, if only you believe.
What a cryptic and fandangled message! What the hell is that supposed to mean? I thought as I read and re-read the strange note left at my stoop. Yet, being a terminally curious and adventurous person, I went out “beyond the blue” – whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. I figured it meant out past the edge of town, and I was right – it did. I took the note with me and brought along my favorite side kick, 7 year old Jenny who spends the days with me as both of her parent’s work in the factories a few towns away during the summer months. Of course Jenny was the perfect person to bring along for this task. She was the best believer in the town – not needing much prompting to get excited or invested in this wild goose chase we were in.
And the strangest thing happened. As the two of us started to make our way past the last Quaker Go-To (the local food joint on the edge of town), the note started to glisten and weep, as if it was raining tears of joy. Tears started to pour into young Jenny’s hands. But she wasn’t fearful at all. She got so excited as they did so. It was as if the note had so wanted to be used that when it was finally in its purpose, it was oozing with glee. We saw this as a good sign. As suddenly as it started to cry, the note stopped and mysterious blue lines started surfacing on the paper, whose original text had actually left at this point. It was a map! The note from the mysterious visitor actually yielded a map! This was getting stranger and stranger, but Jenny and I, the perpetual dreamers, were definitely in.
We followed the map in the most unexpected directions, using roads I hadn’t noticed before, until it led us to the house I stand at now on this cool summer’s eve. The sun has set now as I wipe my brow. You’re interested in knowing more about the house, you say, and our story? Well, that will have to wait until next time. This house is pretty magic, you know; can’t let it all out at once ;).
Signed: Fredericka Billmoore