Writing prompt 145: What happens when two friends visit and old house that one of them inherited from an old relative? Inside the house is a 100 year old mirror that has never been broken.
It was a long drive down the dirt road, but they had finally made it to their destination. The house was nothing like Katie expected. Instead of a run-down lame excuse for a dwelling, she was greeted by a brightly colored, well kept up old homestead with a wrap around veranda - not unlike the type of housing she often dreamt about.
Joanie laughed audibly, "This has got to be the biggest surprise in the history of ever! Who knew when you found out this place was yours that you might actually want to live here." Katie parked the car and turned the engine off. Looking over at Joanie, she jingled the keys to the front door and smiled.
Both girls made their way up the steps to the solid wooden French style front door. Katie slid the key into the lock and cautiously found herself in a very large foyer. The furniture had all been draped with sheets long ago and a layer of dust covered everything. Joanie sneezed and then waved her hand in front of her face. Even though everything looked to be in good condition, it had definitely remained untouched for years.
Katie wandered through the house, taking stock of the items in this room and that one. There were several large rooms on the ground floor, including a modernized kitchen and a sizable guest bedroom. She and Joanie couldn't believe they were actually here, surrounded by all this stuff in this great big place. When the letter had arrived in the mail to relay the information of her recent inheritance, Katie had been a little hesitant to come out and see the state of her new belongings, but now she was glad she did.
Joanie left the bedroom in search of other treasures, but Katie stood still at the foot of the enormous wooden bed frame. Her hand was placed precariously on the ornately carved post as she let out a heavy sigh. What was she going to do with all this stuff? It seemed a monumental task to catalog and sell everything, but it was an even scarier thought for her to move in. She couldn't just uproot her life to live out here! In the middle of nowhere! But then again, what did she have to lose?
"Hey, Katie, get up here!" Joanie called from the top of the staircase. She was leaning over the railing, peering downwards with a mischievous gleam in her bright green eyes. Katie, jolted out of her thoughts, dashed up the stairs.
"Look what I found," Joanie smiled and led Katie into one of the many rooms. She nonchalantly flipped on the light and lifted an old bed sheet off of a large standing mirror. It had a beautiful dark stained wooden frame and was adorned with artistic hand carved designs.
"This is gorgeous," Katie whispered so quietly that Joanie almost didn't hear her.
"It's got to be over a hundred years old," Joanie said, nodding in agreement. She reached out and touched the mirror's edge. Just then there was a cold burst of air in the room and the girls were sent flying backward from the ancient looking glass. The floor shook and rumbled like thunder, throwing both Katie and Joanie around like rag dolls.
Joanie's head came in contact with a large armoire that was taking up residence in a back corner of the room and was instantly knocked out. Katie flew into the wall, her body smashing hard against the pale yellow painted plaster wall. The lights went out and the room was dark.
Once the house quit trembling, Katie remained motionless on the floor. She was too frightened to stand just yet. Momentarily forgetting that Joanie was even with her, Katie closed her eyes. What just happened? With a shaky hand she reached for her temples. Her entire body ached from slamming into the hard wall. But before she could have any farther thoughts, she heard footsteps and looking up, a man appeared in the doorway.
He stood for a moment just outside the room before entering and covering the mirror back up with the sheet. Looking over at Katie, he glared with fiery blue eyes deeply set into an attractive face with a square jaw line. He looked just like every cowboy on the covers of Western novels.
Joanie stirred from the corner of the room and moaned. The man shifted his gaze from one girl to the other. The tension between Katie and this stranger was so thick that she almost couldn't breathe. She watched him move from in front of the mirror to the back corner, where Joanie was still semi unconscious on the floor. Gingerly, he bent over and scooped up Joanie's body effortlessly. Katie gasped and tried to move, but winced with pain. Probably a cracked rib. Or two.
Not knowing what to think or really what was happening, Katie watched the man place Joanie on the bed in the center of the far wall. He smoothed her hair, but the expression on his face was far from pleasant. Then he stepped over by Katie and picked her up, much the same way he had just handled Joanie. However, he walked back down the stairs with Katie in his arms, her own blue eyes staring back at his.
"What about-" Katie started to ask weakly, but his low growl ended her thought. Peculiarly, Katie wasn't frightened to be in this man's arms. She felt oddly comforted by his touch, and for some reason that didn't bug her. Once they had reached the bottom of the stairs, the man carried her into the living room and set her down on the floral upholstered sofa. She could see out the window there was a large expanse of grass, her little red car, and beside it what she assumed to be was the truck belonging to this unusual man.
He sauntered into the kitchen and returned with a glass of water, thrusting it towards Katie so hard it almost spilled. She smiled meekly and took the glass, bringing it to her lips and sipping slowly.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded, somewhat gruffly. His voice matched his outward appearance in a way that Katie didn't know how to explain.
"I inherited this house from my - " she stopped, suddenly angry with what was going on. How dare this man come into her house and make her feel accused and unwanted? What was she doing here? Well, what was he doing here?! The look on her face must have given away her thoughts, because she saw the man's expression change from hard and unforgiving to somewhat calm and relaxed.
"There's just not been that much activity here since Myrtle left it some years ago. I come by to check on it every now and then, make sure it hasn't burned to the ground or the like. Shocked me to see your little car out front and then I felt the earth quake," he explained, trying to give her a little comfort.
"Well," Katie said, starting to feel more at ease, "I got a letter in the mail a few weeks ago stating that this residence now belonged to me. Myrtle was my great grandmother. Joanie and I came to check out the house and everything in it. We figured maybe we'd stay for a few days just to see what it was like."
The man nodded. "I should have known you were related to Myrtle. You look just like the old pictures of her she always had hanging about." He finally took a seat across from her in an over sized chair he had pulled the drapery off of. "I'm Wyatt."
"Katie," she answered.
"You feeling any better, Miss Katie?" he asked with a slight grin. He looked almost good-natured, but Katie was still too shook up about the whole ordeal to think of him as anything other than an intruder - even if he was being kind. She nodded in answer to his question though, and took another sip from the glass of water he'd handed her earlier.
Joanie made her way down the stairs to where she had heard Katie's voice in conversation with one she didn't recognize. Vaguely she recalled the whole house shaking and then she remembered nothing but blackness - just that she had awoken on a bed alone. As she entered the living room, Katie glanced her direction, followed by the strange man.
"Wyatt," he volunteered with a wave of his hand.
"Joanie," she replied, shooting a questioning look at Katie who shrugged. "Tell me about that mirror," she said pointedly at Wyatt. His eyes went wide as dinner plates.
"Tell me you didn't touch the mirror," he pleaded. Both girls looked at each other, horrified.