We pulled up in front of the first house and got out. The house was a rundown ranch style structure with peeling paint on the wood trim. The double garage door was open and a small man with a big smile looked at us as we approached and shouted welcome. At this feet were two small children in diapers crawling on a thick pink fleece blanket. Look around; give me a shout if you see anything you like. Jenny walked over to a table in the corner and was picking up small items and then setting them down again. Since she looked more bored than excited I didn’t bother to see what they were. I was looking at the sleeping bag covered with books to see if there were any cookbooks I didn’t have- although in reality I have more than I need at home already.
Jenny looked at me and we both said thank you at the same time as we headed back to the car. I hope the next one has some more interesting things, she said, and I nodded my head in agreement.
A lone blue balloon was tied to the mailbox at the second address at the end of a very long very steep driveway. We parked carefull; turning the wheels to roll into the curb, if the brakes should fail while we were shopping.
It was getting hotter as the sun rose in the sk,y and I still had several layers on, from the chill of the morning when we started out. Breathing heavily we struggled up the driveway and finally saw the house, the front door ajar. No signs or sounds of life beckoned us forward so we slowed our pace, thinking perhaps we had misread the address and stumbled into someone’s yard who wasn’t expecting visitors.
Jenny was a few steps ahead of me and she called out Hello as we stepped onto the porch. A strong woman’s voice answered with Hello echoing our greeting come on in.
The house was very dark and the curtains were heavy velvet and covered with a thick film of dust. Beaded strands hung in every doorway at least 3 off the main room. An older woman wearing an odd heavily embroidered peasant dress appeared through the center archway and the beads slapped the wall on either side as she passed through them
Look around she said in a small tight voice. She gave me a funny look and glared at Jenny. We gave each other a look and silently agreed to stick together while we were inside this strange house.
The woman disappeared back through the door that she had entered and the sound of the beads on drywall began singing..
Let’s look in here, she said, and we went gently through the beads and the archway into the left room. It was really quiet in the house but we both felt like we were being watched. The room was filled with shelves of varying thicknesses and lengths and every shelf was crowded with thick white candles every other one had been lit. They were unscented so the only smell was that of burning wax.