Thursday, March 31, 2016

No Foolin'

I know tomorrow is April Fool's day, but I promise I'm not joking when I say the next 30 days starts tomorrow. We will begin our next journey into the stream of consciousness with a new setting and new characters on April 1st.
I hope you all enjoy the journey upon which we are about to embark.
On to New Adventures!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Starting Again!

The next 30 days will start on April 1st (No Foolin').
We will be entering a new setting and a new stream of consciousness.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Here is the link to the book!

If you are wondering how this story ends here's the link to the book on Kindle.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D7T9CFY?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Friday, March 18, 2016

Leaving

The final chapter of this story can be found in the book: 30 Days Stream of Consciousness: A Haunting.
I will update this post with a link to the book as soon as it is available.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Stairs


Claire was so upset last night. She knows I’ll only be out of the house for six weeks, but she was completely heart-broken. She doesn’t believe I’ll be coming back. No matter what I say to her she keeps saying I’m going to disappear, just like everyone else in her life.

I tried telling her over and over again to leave her job and come with me. Every time I tried to plead with her she pushed me away. What is she so afraid of? I can’t figure out where she works. I have no idea where she lives. I don’t even know her last name. All I know is I love her and this is tearing me apart. I’m afraid I’m going to lose her. what if she’s not here when I get back.

Maybe I should just go rent a camper trailer and put it in the backyard? Hey, that’s a great idea. There’s still people creeping around the house. I’m sure Mark wouldn’t mind. He’s just going to rent out the duplex when I move out. This way he can start marketing it sooner. I’ve pretty much been camping out here anyway so it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to park a trailer back here. The fence will keep it hidden from the neighbors so no one will even know I’m back here. The bathroom in the basement is functioning so I’ll just use it. I know Mark is tearing apart the kitchen, but I don’t use it anyway. It wouldn’t be difficult. I can live in a camp trailer for a couple of days.

Hey kitty, what do you think about living in a trailer. You spend most of your time in the bedroom anyway, I don’t think it would make much difference to you. it would only be for six weeks at the most. I think we could do it.

This house is going to be beautiful when it’s done. I can already see the original structure coming though. It can’t hide its secrets anymore. The walls will be covered; structures will be reinforced; the stairs will be shored up and the doors and the windows will be replaced and made tight. This house will survive another 112 years.

See kitty, this will be the perfect family house. If I can only convince Claire to stay. Could you imagine? The kitchen will be the gathering place. Mom will be in the kitchen cooking to her heart’s content. She always wanted to be able to stay home and have a snack ready for me in the kitchen when I got out of school. After dinner she will go to her apartment in the basement. A bedroom, a bathroom and a recreation room, that’s all she asked for. Claire is getting a different job, if she wants to work at all. No one is going to hurt her again.

I’m going to fill this house with love and laughter. All the old clutter has been cleared away and the house is going to be perfect again. I need to introduce my mom to Claire. I can’t believe they haven’t met yet. I’ve told mom about her, but they’ve never been at the house at the same time. Obviously that’s going to change when they both move in here together. We are going to be together as a big, happy family.

Two kids. I know we can’t pick the gender. You get what you get, but I always wanted a little sister. I would love a boy and a girl. Claire wants kids. She’s said it over and over. I asked her about having a family and she said it’s what she wanted more than anything. there’s more than enough room in this house for kids. They’d each get their own bedroom and by the time they are teenagers mom will be ready to move upstairs and we can turn the basement into a rec room and put their bedrooms down there. Mom could live the rest of her life here, if Claire agrees to it. I can’t wait until Claire comes over tonight. There’s so much I want to talk to her about.

We don’t have too much to do to get ready to move out tomorrow, kitty. It’s not like I have very many things to move. I’m going to look into renting a camper. Let’s see what it’s going to take. Here kitty, there’s one listed here for sale. It’s only a thousand dollars. I can afford that easily. Where’s my phone? There it is. And it’s dead. Of course. Let me plug this thing in. I’ll send the guy an email letting him know I’m interested in the trailer. If I offer him cash he might get back to me pretty quick.

Let’s go outside and see if there’s a way we can get the trailer in the back yard. Is that rain kitty? I thought I felt some drops on my cheek, but there aren’t very many clouds in the sky. If it is raining, it’s only over the house. Man, sometimes Idaho weather drives me crazy.

Yeah, getting the trailer in here will be easy. We’ll just put it on the foundation of this shed. It’s in good enough shape it’ll hold the trailer. Mark already said he’s bringing his truck over to move my stuff out, I’ll just have him haul the trailer over instead. It’ll actually take less time. Let’s walk the path to the front to see if there would be any problems moving the trailer back here.

Well, if it doesn’t rain any more the ground should be dry enough to hold the weight of the trailer. We still need to do a lot of yard work so whatever damage is done during the move will be covered up. Of course, since Mark is selling the house to me he might just leave the yard as it is and allow me to do all the work.

Oh, there’s my phone. I better hurry. Ooof. What did I trip over? I’m a little tired of all the crap I’m finding all over the place. What is this? It looks like a leg shackle. It’s not a costume. This has been used. Who was kept locked up in this house? I think there was a girl chained up in that secret room for years. It had to been the youngest daughter of the Walters. The time-line is right. I wonder what motivated the family to lock her away?

Well, I missed the call. It was a restricted number. Hey, there’s a message this time. Oh kitty, it’s the guy with the trailer. He says I can have it if I can get him the cash today. No problem. Better call Mark.

Well kitty, it’s all set. I didn’t even need to get Mark involved. The guy lives two miles away. He’s going to bring the trailer over in the morning. It’s actually pretty decent for an old trailer. Mark actually likes the idea. He was pretty worried about vandals breaking in to the property during the heat of construction.

I better change the light on the landing before it gets too late. This step stool is pretty rickety. I should get a different one. Never mind. It’ll work.

What is it kitty? I don’t see anything down there. What are you staring at? Who… Kitty, help. Ooooof. Ouch.

Oh my God! Kitty, I need help. What am I going to do? Oh. I think I broke my leg. Oh, kitty, it hurts. Is that the phone? I can hear it. The workers aren’t scheduled to be here until Monday. I can’t be here for four days. Wait, Mark is coming over to go through the plans. No, that’s not until tomorrow. The trailer guy won’t be here until tomorrow. I have to get to my phone.

Who’s here? Claire? Is that you? I can hear you up there. Claire! I’m down here. Please help. Mom! Mom! I need you.

Kitty, help me get up the stairs. I can do it. Claire! Claire! Call 911! I can hear you up there. Please help!

Kitty, im almost there. Thank you for staying beside me. You keep me centered. Focused. I know this world is real because you’re here for me.

Claire! It is you. Help me. Please? Bring me my phone. I don’t think I can make it.

Choose? What do you mean choose? There’s nothing to choose. I want you. I want this house. I want the promise of this house. What do you want me to choose? Do you want me to choose you? I already chose you.  love you. Oh, kitty. I don’t think Claire is really here. I hit my head really hard. There’s blood everywhere. Help me get to the phone. Kitty, help me. You are always there for me. Claire. Kitty. Help. One of you help me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mirror


I was helping to take down the mirrors in the bathrooms when I saw it, kitty. I have my first grey hair. At least my hair isn’t falling out. I would rather have grey hair than a poor, sad attempted comb-over. I don’t think Claire would appreciate trying to run her fingers through my hair and finding out I only have three strands bouffanted out Trump style. She loves to run her fingers through my hair when I’m sleeping. Usually she does it just before I wake up as her way of saying goodbye in the morning. She knows I’m a heavy sleeper, which is why she is able to slip out of the house before I wake up. She’s always been awake before me. There’s only been a couple of times when I’ve been able to get up before she leaves, but she’s always gone before I can get any breakfast made.

I wonder how long it’s going to take for me to go completely grey? You know kitty, I probably had this grey hair for a long time. I don’t spend that much time looking in a mirror. My hair is cut short enough I don’t need to style it and shaving is pretty automatic. Men are fairly low maintenance so it’s not like I spend hours studying my features. I get told I’m cute often enough I believe it. I wouldn’t have stopped and looked in the mirror at all if I hadn’t seen movement behind me. There was the shadow of a figure in the mirror but none of the other workers were in the room. Whatever it was disappeared too fast to really make it out.

Oh, there’s my phone again. Unknown number. Maybe I should let it go to voicemail, but it might be Claire. Hello? Hello? Claire? Hello? Holy crap! What was that? You heard it too, didn’t you, kitty? You’re ears perked up as soon as I need to go to the phone store and hang out there until I get one of these calls. Maybe they can make sense of them. This is the first time I’ve ever heard a scream come through the phone before. It had to be feedback of some kind, but it sounded too human. Do you think I should call the police, kitty? I don’t know what I would tell them. This phone is driving me crazy.

Claire should be here soon. She said she would come over as soon as they let her go. I don’t understand her sometimes. She talks about work, but refuses to tell me what she does. I can smell smoke on her, but I’ve never seen her smoke a cigarette and the smell of smoke fades away and then comes back stronger than ever. She comes over late and leaves early and I can’t convince her to eat or drink anything. I’ve offered her water, soda, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, wine; she turns everything down. She says she has everything she needs and just wants to be with me, but she always looks like she’s in pain. Her eyes are so sad.

When I told her I was moving into the duplex for a couple of weeks she got real quiet and sat completely still. I asked her about moving in with me, but she shook her head and told me they wouldn’t let her move so far away. I wish I knew who is hurting her. I want to help her, but she’s not letting me in.

What’s that noise? Dang, the wind blew the back door open again. I thought we fixed this door. The lock is actually ripped out of the wall. I guess it’s back to propping a chair under the knob. This is one of the doors getting replaced anyway so I think I’ll be OK keeping this door blocked.

There she is, kitty. I knew Claire would make it. I hope I can get her to talk to me tonight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fog

I know we are close to the river, but I have never seen fog this thick before. Kitty, you don’t want to go out there. I don’t think I could find you if I took off. You would blend in with the white of the mist. Did you see that, Kitty? I think I see something moving out there. Do you think it might be Claire? She didn’t come by last night and I really missed her. No, it’s not her. What’s moving out there? There’s something moving out there. I can see it. Kitty, you stay here and guard the house. I’ll go see what’s out there. Where’s my flashlight?
Well, this isn’t going to work. How many flashlights do I have to test before I find one that works? There’s no way this one is dead. Ok kitty, I’m going to go see what’s going on outside.
Oh brr, I can feel the cold biting through me. I’m still not used to the cold. I lived in Texas too long. I hope it doesn’t take too long to acclimate back to Idaho weather. What am I talking about, Idaho’s weather isn’t consistent enough to become acclimated to.
Ack, spider webs. I hate walking through spider webs. I thought we got rid of all the spiders. I guess the exterminators don’t get rid of the critters outside.
Ouch, that hurt. What did I run into this time? My neck is burning. I think it actually got colder. Is there someone out here? I can hear you moving around out there. Where are you?  
Where are those sounds coming from? Stop, Control your breathing. You won’t be able to hear anything if you’re breathing louder than the critters out here. Maybe it’s a raccoon or a badger. I hope it’s not a badger. Those creatures are vicious.
I can hear snuffling and soft grunts. What else is out here? I’ve never heard an animal sound like that before. It sounds like something in pain. And fear. I hear fear in the sound.
Whoa, there are a pair of eyes shining out of the mists. Whatever the animal is it has to be huge. The eyes are high off the ground. Maybe it’s a cat up in a tree. Here kitty! Come on down. Whatever it was it’s gone now. I don’t hear him anymore.
There’s a breeze coming in off the mountains. The fog is starting to clear. I wish it would warm up a little. The weather report said it was supposed to be a clear day tomorrow. Of course it said it was supposed to be clear today, too.
Oh Claire! You made it! You must be cold. Where’s your jacket? Look, the kitty is waiting for us. She’s sitting in the kitchen window staring at us. Maybe he’s warming up to you. I missed you Claire. Why didn’t you come over last night?
I don’t understand. You’re an adult. I don’t know why you would say they wouldn’t let you go. Who wouldn’t let you go? Please, let me help you.
Let’s start by getting you inside and getting you warmed up. Take my hoody. Where did this blood come from? Kitty, I have claw marks on my neck. Where did these come from? I know you didn’t give them to me. I must have brushed up against some branches while I was outside. Well, we won’t have time to take care of the dead trees in the next three days. We’ll only be out of the house for a few weeks. Mark is having me move in to one of his other flip houses to guard it while they finish off this house. I’ll make this place safe for both of us Claire, if you’ll have me. Yes, I’ll let you take care of my neck. Your fingers are cool. I’m surprised, I thought they’d be warmer. Let’s go to bed. We’ll talk about this in the morning.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Walls

We have torn down, rebuilt and refinished every wall in this house, even the ones in the bedroom with the secret room. Mark has kept as much of the original footprint of the house as he could. It’s nice to be able to walk through the house and see it coming together. These walls have revealed so many secrets and yet I still feel there are things I’m not finding. We did find nearly 20,000 dollars and thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry in the walls. At least Carlos did. He brought back the money and the jewelry today. The best we can figure is the original owners of the house tucked the money and jewelry in the walls after the stock market crashed. All of the bills were dated between 1927 and 1952. Hiding cash in the walls was a habit developed during the Great Depression. Mark has made it clear that it’s finders keepers when we started tearing down the walls. I’ve never had a construction boss like him. He’s obviously more interested in the finished product than the hidden secrets of the house. Of course Mark doesn’t really hurt for money. I think he’s doing this house flipping business because he needs to have something to keep him busy.
Hey kitty, how are you feeling? I’m sorry you haven’t been sleeping on the bed lately. I don’t know what you have against Claire. I guess you aren’t really mean to her, you just tend to ignore her when she’s here. Well, you need to start getting along with her. We are going to be together for a long time. I know she hasn’t agreed to move in with me, yet, but I’m going to wear her down.  This house is really coming together and I’m seriously talking to Mark about buying it from him. Mom wants to move in too. She is beyond hinting and has flat out told me she intends to move in when I buy this house. What do you think kitty? You really like my mom. Of course it doesn’t hurt that she brings you tuna fish every time she comes to visit. Maybe she can teach Claire all her tricks. We need to find a way to help you two get along.
I wonder why Carlos brought the money and jewelry back. He said it was cursed and even with the Priest’s blessing and he didn’t want anything to do with it. I would have felt guilty keeping it, even though it was found in this house. I wasn’t the one who found it. Stephanie finally said she would take it. She says there’s nothing in this house that scares her. I’m a little worried she will want to move in once the house is finished. The look she gave me when Mark said he was selling the house to me could have melted icebergs. I think the only saving grace of the situation is we are turning a room in the basement into an office. She wanted to turn the spare bedroom into the office because she said she would be more comfortable meeting there, but I want to keep that room available for mom.
We are picking paint colors tonight kitty. I’m going to wait until Claire gets here to decide on paint colors. She has an artist’s eye. I showed her the paintings and she was fascinated. Whe was able to tell the paintings were done over the lifetime of two separate artists. I never noticed the growth of the artists and the work until she pointed out how even the most delicate brush stroke can affect the mood of the piece. She wasn’t really interested in the landscapes. The faces fascinated her. I thought the eyes were just sightless voids, but Claire was able to see light shining from the deepest hollows of faces. There is a faint red glow emanating from the darkest pinpoint from each of the eyes. Now I almost wish we would have kept some of those dolls we found in the hidden room. I would love to see if the red glow was hidden in their eyes too.

 I think I hear my phone ringing. Where is it? No, it wasn’t my phone. Wait? What in the world? Why is the phone dead again? I know I charged it this morning. What is the deal with this phone? I just don’t get it. Where did my charger go? It was in the kitchen. Where is it? Why is the basement unlocked? All the workers went home already. I know they did. This landing is freezing again. I’m glad the new HVAC is going in tomorrow. Anything has to be better than what is going on here. There’s my phone charger. Why is it tied up in knots? Kitty, did you do this? No, it’s impossible. You would need opposable thumbs to create these knots. Well, only 6 more days. I know we are coming back to the house, but we need to be out while the workers do all the heavy lifting. Well kitty, we need to solve this door issue and cold spot problem if we are going to stay here.

Voices

Who’s here? I can hear you talking to me. What’s going on? Steph, is that you? I can hear you whispering. Kitty, what’s going on here? I can hear voices whispering but I can’t find anyone in the house. Stephanie is the only person coming in to work and she can’t get much done on her own. I don’t know why Mark doesn’t fire the entire crew and get some new guys in here. I know these guys are the best crew in town, but there has to be limits. You can’t stop work just because a few strange things happen around a job site. Creepy things happen all the time, it doesn’t mean there are ghosts at work.
Hello? Stephanie, is that you? I I can hear your voice. What are you saying? It’s like your voice is coming from behind a wall. What was that? Are you calling for help? That’s not Stephanie’s voice. Claire? Is that you? No, it doesn’t sound like Claire. The voice is too high pitched. I can hear you crying. OK, this has to be a practical joke. Someone left a tape recorder against a wall, I just need to find it.
Kitty, where do you think the tape recorder is hidden? Who did this? Wait, I smell smoke. Is there a fire in the house? I smell smoke, but I don’t see where it’s coming from. I can’t take any chances. I need to call the fire department.
Kitty, let’s go wait outside. Oh, Claire, you’re here. I really need to talk to you. The fire department is going to be inspecting the house for a while. They don’t smell any smoke and can’t find any hot spots. Let’s go to the coffee shop. I’ll get you some hot chocolate. Are you going to stay with me tonight? I love having you over.
Why can’t you tell me where you work? Wait, they won’t let me in there with my cat. Could you hold him while I get our hot chocolate? Kitty? What in the world is wrong with you? Claire won’t hurt you. Wow, I don’t know what is going on with you. I guess we’re not going into the coffee shop.
We can sit outside. I know it’s getting dark, but it’s still a nice night. Wait, I still smell smoke. Are we close enough to the house to smell smoke if there’s a fire? Let’s go back.
Claire, you know I’m moving in a few days. My new place is only a few blocks from here. I want you to move in there with me. I know this is really fast, but you already spend nearly every night at the house. Where do you live anyway? Claire, wait. Don’t go. Why won’t you tell me anything about yourself? Don’t cry. What do you mean by they won’t let you go? Who won’t let you go? I want to help you Claire. Why won’t you tell me your secrets.
Look, the firefighters are leaving. I’m sure they will want to talk to me before they go. The captain is coming this way.
Claire, wait. Where did she go?
Well, kitty. They didn’t find any evidence of fire. One of the firefighters did say he thought he smelled smoke at one point, but there wasn’t any evidence of fire. Where did Claire go? I wonder if she went into the coffee shop when I wasn’t watching. The captain didn’t see what direction she went. She disappeared really fast.
They searched the entire house. I asked if they found a tape recorder but all they did was give me a strange look. Well. At least we are back in the house. Who is crying? I know there is no one here. Oh, Claire. You made it back. Listen, I won’t push you anymore. I want you to stay with me. I want you to be a part of my life. Every time you dash out of here in the morning you take a piece of me with you.
Did you here that? I swear it was the sound of someone crying. I think I heard chains, too? Claire, what’s going on? You look like your hurt. Why are you crying? I wish you would talk to me. I have the feeling someone is hurting you. Where do you work? Where do you live?

I’m sorry. Something is very wrong in this house. I don’t think it’s ghosts or spirits. I have a hard time believing in something I can’t see or touch. Theoretically they can exist, but if they do it’s beyond the human capacity to be experienced. There has to be another explanation for what is going on in this house. Well, 7 more days and we will be moving on to our new place. I know you’re not ready to talk about this yet Claire, but I really want you to consider moving in with me. I will have plenty of room and I will be making enough money to take care of both of us.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Missing Objects


What do you think Claire would like for breakfast kitty? She said she had to get up early and go to work, but maybe I managed to get up early enough to at least send her off with a little bit of food. Let’s see, she hates coffee, but I have orange juice. Is that a thunderstorm coming in? I hope not. I don’t think Claire has an umbrella and I didn’t see her car. I need to drive her to work. Where’s the banana bread my mom brought over yesterday? Did the workers eat it all? I told them to leave me at least one loaf. Mom’s banana bread is the best.

Wait Claire! I’ll give you a ride. Don’t leave! Ooof. What did I just trip over? Kitty, how did these locks get here? These are all the locks form the doors on the house. They’re all locked together. Where are all the keys? Claire? Damn! How did she disappear so fast?

The temperature must have dropped at least twenty degrees in here. I know the storm is rolling in. I can feel the moisture in the air. I hope we don’t have any weird floods like we did during the last storm. Where did you go kitty? There you are, under the couch. You stay there while I go close all the doors. No! Get out cat! How did you get in here? Kitty, are you OK? Come here. little girl. I’ll protect you. Stay on my shoulder. I got that mangy old Tom out of the house, but I feel bad he’s out in the storm. Maybe I can put him in the basement. I know you’re scared of him, but I can’t leave him out in the storm. This way I’ll have him trapped. I’ll get him caged up once I have you tucked away in the bedroom.

I need to call mom. One of her friends will take care of this big Tom. Poor guy. He sure has been put through the ringer. No big guy, you don’t need to attack me. See I’m your friend. How about a can of tuna. Look, we’re not too bad. Poor guy. I wonder who let you go in this yard. You need to have a good once over at the Vet’s office.

Ok, I can’t have two cats. We are going to be moving in a few days so the work crews can come in and there is no way I can have two cats when I move to our new place. I know this house is small, but my new place is even smaller. The duplex has two bedrooms but it’s still small. I don’t know if I’m ready to move out of this place yet, though. Once the doors and the HVAC system gets fixed this will be an awesome house. The basement’s pretty much finished. I can’t believe they actually put a bathroom back in there. Why anyone would want a toilet and shower in the basement, I don’t know. Unless someone put a man-cave down there. I don’t know if it would ever stay warm enough to spend a lot of time down there. The entire basement isn’t cold, just little pockets of it. I don’t know if a new HVAC system is going to fix the problem. The system has to go into the standing footprint.

OK, cat let’s go to the Vet. Wait, where are my car keys? They were right here on the counter. How did they get all the way across the room? Where are my car keys? All that’s here are the keys to the house. First the locks and then the keys. Where are the workers? They are supposed to be here by now. I need to call Mark. Where’s my phone? Wait. I hear it. There it is.

Hey Mark. What do you mean the workers aren’t coming in today? A Priest, Really? What do they think a priest is going to do? A cleansing? I’m not Catholic so I don’t know if there are any priests in the area who do Spiritual cleansings. Good luck finding one. No, I need to bring this cat to the vet and get him checked out but I’ll be back in a few hours. No, I finally trapped that big Tom that’s been skulking about in the yard. No, my mom is going to find a place for him. Ok, I’ll see ya in a few hours.

Can you believe that cat? The workers are claiming this house id haunted and they won’t come back until it’s been spiritually cleansed. If you were human, you would find this hilarious. I wonder what Claire thinks about the idea of ghosts? Well, this might push the rehab out a few days so hopefully I’ll be able to ask her. She promised to call today. We had a good laugh about the phone calls I thought were from her. Somehow she had written my number down wrong. She hasn’t been calling me at all. I made sure she got it right this time. She doesn’t have a cell phone so she has to call me from work. I still haven’t figured out why she won’t tell me where she works.

Kitty, how did you get out of the bedroom? I didn’t leave the door open. Have you magically figured out how to open doors? No, don’t his at this poor guy. I think he’s more scared than you are. I can’t take you to the vet sitting on my shoulder. If you want to go with me, you’ll need to get into your carrier. You’re getting better at getting in there.
There's my keys. Well, 7 more days then we move into our new place. It’ll just be temporary until we can find a new house. We need to make sure Claire can move with us. I’ve never been so intrigued by a woman before. I love her and I hardly know anything about her. There’s that strange number again. Hello? No one’s there. Ok, kitties, let’s go.

 

 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Phone Calls


Hey Kitty, there you are. I have been so miserably sick I have no idea what’s been going on in the house. Workers have come and gone. Framing has been put in place and most of the structural work will be done within the next two weeks. This house has great bones, but the secrets it contains are remarkable. When the wall came down under the stairs we found a dozen more paintings. There were tons of old papers and books shoved in there along with an old steamer trunk. The trunk held the birth certificate of a child born to the Walters’ daughter and unknown father in a hospital on the east coast. According to the documents in the trunk the daughter never made a trip to Europe. Obviously this family was packed full of secrets. Other than the birth of the child there wasn’t any more information on the child. I wonder if the baby was put up for adoption. It would be interesting to see if the family line did continue after all.

Here’s your dinner, kitty. I’m glad you’re pretty low maintenance. It was nice having you curl up at my feet when I didn’t feel good. I could have done without you rubbing against my neck in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep. I wanted to see Claire, but I was too sick to even leave the house. I wouldn’t want her to catch whatever it was I had. I wish she would have called. I mean, I don’t know if she called or not. My phone seems to be working fine, but I keep getting these weird calls at all times of the day and night. It’s always an unknown number and all I hear is static or strange sounds. It’s like someone is crying. None of my other phone calls sound like these. I get calls from Mark, mom, Stephanie and other workers every day. I don’t have any problems with any of those phone calls. I let the call go to voicemail a couple of times, but whoever it was didn’t leave a message. I tried recording the last one, but the recorder couldn’t pick up the sound. I need to be able to record the phone call so I can bring it into the cell phone store and show them what I am talking about. They can’t believe there is anything wrong with my phone.

Look kitty, it’s the unknown number again. Claire, is that you? I hope you can hear me. I can’t hear you. Claire? The connection is still good. Claire? I want to help you. Claire, I think I love you. What’s that? I think I heard you say something. I can only hear one word. What do you mean by breathe? Claire? Claire?

Dang, Kitty. I need to figure out what’s going on with this phone. I wish the calls would come in when other people are around. No matter what time it is when the calls come in there is no one around.

I wish Mark would have taken these paintings with him. They kinda creep me out. After seeing so many faces without eyes even the landscapes are starting to look sinister. I did email photos of them to the director of the art museum and she wanted to come over and take a look. She thinks they are from two completely unknown artists. She wanted to come over and inspect them right away, but I got knocked down with this bug. Hopefully she can come over tomorrow.

I hope we can get back to work early tomorrow. I had my doubts when we pulled those occult items out from behind the steamer trunk. It didn’t help that a huge draft knocked over all those tools just outside the basement window as we pulled out the Ouija board. it would have been funny if Carlos hadn’t fallen when he was running up the stairs and split his head open. I hadn’t seen so much blood in my life. Of course the only person who would stay and help him was Stephanie. She said the house doesn’t scare her. She loves the secrets it holds. I don’t know about her. Sometimes I find her in the other rooms talking to herself. The worst part is she actually pauses as if she’s listening to someone else answer.

Kitty, it’s Claire! I wonder how long she’s been standing there. Let’s go let her in. I’m glad she showed up but I wish I could find a way to get a hold of her outside of her just showing up randomly. It would be nice to see her every day. It would be nice to have company for the next 8 days. We missed a few days in there, kitty.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Paintngs

Claire is the most amazing woman I have ever been with, kitty. I’m sorry I had to lock you out of the bedroom last night. It was bad enough you sat up camp and yowled until I let you in, but did you have to ignore Claire when I let you in? She did everything she could to get your attention. Of course, I did a pretty good job of distracting her while she was at it. I can still smell her perfume on my skin. Of course it’s mixed with the smell of smoke. I hope I can convince her to give up smoking. I can’t imagine living without her. It was hard enough letting her go to work today. I couldn’t even convince her to eat breakfast or take a cup of coffee with her. Oh yeah, she hates coffee. Well, I think we need to take a trip to the grocery store. And we need to set the alarm for earlier tomorrow. I don’t want her to be late. I wish I knew what time she got off work so I could have dinner ready. We have so much to talk about. I want to learn everything I can about her. All I could think about last night was how beautiful and lost she looked last night. I never thought I would fall in love with someone so quickly.
We are tearing into walls today. There aren’t a lot left to take down. The wiring job did most of the teardown. We just need to take down the half wall between the kitchen and dining room and the wall under the stairs in the basement. I don’t even know why the wall is there. It’s hollow under there. I pulled out a bunch of old canvases yesterday and I could see a lot more junk piled in there. Maybe Rivers stored some of his valuables there. The paintings on the canvases were pretty good. It looked like they were painted by two different people. I wish there were more paintings. Mark gave me finder’s rights to anything else we find in the house, even though the doll was worth nearly $5,000. Selling it took time Mark didn’t care to invest and so he turned it over to me. I’ll show the paintings to Mark, but I doubt he has much interest in them. Claire loved them. At least she loved the landscapes. The portraits were a little freaky. The faces were all distorted and none of them had any eyes. There were big, black voids in the centers of the faces. Each of the faces had an almost childlike quality about them. If you could look past the voids the faces would almost be beautiful.
There aren’t a lot of places to bring the paintings to be appraised here in Boise. They might not be worth the trouble. Well kitty, Mark has found us a house to move into once we are done here. 13 more days and we will have a new place. I wonder if it’s going to be big enough for Claire to move in with us. It won’t be a flip house so if we decide to live there we can make it our home. We will be able to afford a house payment with the project management job. Time to get to work, kitty. We need to get this house market ready.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Family

There's nothing wrong with my phone, according to the barely pubescent kid at the cell phone store. I did manage to convince him I needed a new one so at least I don't have to worry about my phone dying half way through my conversations with Claire. A three hour coffee date and I still don't have her number. She said she doesn't have her own phone but she promised she would call me tonight. Hey kitty, there you are. Did you have a good day today? I thought you were hiding from me because I was gone so long. I did manage to get some more information on this house. Rivers bought the house in 1962 and died in 1996. Before that it belonged to the family who originally built it in 1903.
The Walters family. Father worked in banking. Mother was a housewife. There really didn't seem to be anything remarkable about them. They had three children. The first two, a boy and a girl, were born before they moved into the house. The third, a daughter, was born in 1915. That’s when things became strange. According to the family the girl died when she was 13, but there wasn't a death certificate issued in her name. Supposedly she was born premature and had severe developmental delays. I’m surprised the family kept her at all. Back then children as severely delayed as she was were put in asylums and forgotten about.
I did find some information on the rest of the family. The parents both died in 1946. The wife died of cancer in February and the father died of heart failure in July. Both of them died in the house. The boy went on to become a lawyer and moved to Washington D.C. And tried to make it in politics. He never made it very far, but did well enough to make a living. The girl stayed in the house until she was 70. Supposedly, she never married and sold the house to Rivers and moved into a nursing home, dying only a few years later.
The family line never made it past the two kids. The Walters’ son never married. From what I gathered from the innuendos and reports the boy was more than just a “special aid” to the Senator he spent all his time with in Washington. Too bad he was born before the turn of the century. The last century, not this century. He would have had more options for his lifestyle choice. Maybe his parents wouldn't have cut him off like the reports said they did. I wonder why the daughter never married? She had plenty of options. There was actually an engagement announcement with a newspaper clipping to one of her father’s business partner’s son, but he ran off with a servant before the wedding.  I could only find one picture of her and it was one of those faded, turn of the century sepia types. Her face was so serious, but that's the way pictures were back then. The photographer would set up the pose and make the subject hold completely still while the film was exposed. There’s something familiar about her face, but I can't put my finger on it. At least she was able to have a little bit of fun when she was a teenager. Her parents sent her to Europe when she was 18, just after her broken engagement, and she was gone for a year. Her eyes looked sad, like there was something missing from her life. Maybe it was because she was left at the alter.
Oh, someone's calling. The number is restricted, maybe it’s Claire. That’s strange. Kitty, there’s no one there. All I hear is static.  What’s going on with this phone? Claire? Is that you?
Hey, Kitty, wanna go for a walk? We can go to the gas station and get some soda. Let’s go. Wait, is that Claire? What is she doing here. I did tell her where we lived, but I thought she just called. Why would she call if she was standing just outside the gate? It’s late, why would she be here? I don't know if I should invite her in or offer to give her a ride home. Where does she live anyway? What do I really know about her anyway? Look at her, kitty. I don't think it matters where she lives. I think we are going to have company. She might not be here for the next 14 days, but she’s going to be here tonight.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Dog

Man, I don't know what happened to me. I haven't felt this sick in years. There has to be something going around. I'm glad you were there to keep me company kitty. It was nice to wrap up in the covers and have you keeping my feet warm. I don't know if my body wanted to be hot or cold. I was trembling from head to foot.
I wish we could do something about the cold drafts in the house. Mark’s HVAC team isn't going to do anything about the system until we start construction on the house. I don't want to bring Claire here when it still gets so cold. I saw her again yesterday. I decided I needed to go to the store and get some groceries and she was standing outside by the cart return. I asked her if she was going shopping but she said she had everything she needed. I didn't stumble over my words this time and managed to invite her to coffee. We are going to meet tomorrow. I hope I feel up to going out. I don't care what it takes though, I’m going to see her tomorrow. Seeing her was the highlight of my day. I did forget to get her number. Tomorrow. I will be seeing her tomorrow and I will leave my phone out so I can remember to get her number. Crap, I was supposed to go to the mall and get my phone looked at. I can't believe it still can't hold a charge. It must have been hit with a power surge at some point. At least my computer is holding its charge now. I’ll be able to research the history of this house, once we drop wifi in here. Right now I need to get rid of this flu.
Kitty, what happened to Mark’s dog yesterday? I’ve never seen her act like that before. It freaked Mark out too. First she was growling at nothing and then she yelped and hid in the basement. You did a good job with her kitty. She was so scared. Every inch of her skin was quivering. If her eyes didn’t look so sad I would say you two were sweet. She was almost crying when you curled up next to her and started purring. I’m glad we were able to convince her to come out of the basement, but I don't think we are going to convince her to come back into the house again. Mark just about came unglued when he found the welts on her hind legs. He’s convinced one of the men beat her with some wiring, but all the men swear they were no where near the poor girl. All of them were able to account for their whereabouts when she freaked out and none of them were anywhere near her when she took off for the basement.
You're getting much mere gentle with your paws. I thought you were reaching out to scratch the dog but all you did was nudge her nose with your paw. I'm glad you were there for her. I don't think she would have calmed down if you hadn't comforted her.
I think I lost a day or two in there kitty. I think we only have 15 or 16 more days here. We’ve made it this far. We’ve almost collected the $10,000. Let’s make sure the house is locked up and get ready for bed. I really need to get some rest.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Laughter

Hello? Who's here? I can hear you. What’s going on? There shouldn't be any workers inside the house. I can hear your laughter. It’s coming through the the HVAC system. Hey guys, are you in the basement? The door is locked, for once. Where did the keys go? I can hear someone in the house. I knew I shouldn't have left while the workers were still here. Someone left a door open somewhere.
Where’s the kitty? Hey girl, where are you? Oh, there you are. Do you see where the keys to the basement went? I hear someone down there. Come on kitty, we need to find those keys. There aren't a lot of places they could be. It’s not like I have a lot of furniture in this house. I don't even know why I bothered moving in a couch and coffee table. We are going to have to remove them when we start construction anyway. Nope, the keys aren’t in the couch cushions. Maybe they’re in the kitchen. I think I put my cell phone in the fridge yesterday. It wouldn't surprise me if I found the keys in there too.
Nothing.
Dang it kitty. Where did the keys of? I’m going to have to call Mark and have one of his workers run over the spare keys. He won't be happy to find out his workers are using company time and property to play games.
Where’s my phone? How in the hell do I keep losing things? Ok Kitty, let’s retrace our steps. Do you think I could have dropped them outside. The back door is open again. I need to find out who keeps leaving the door open all the time. This is getting ridiculous. I don't lose things. Is it this house or did I hit my head harder than I thought when I feel off the roof.
What’s wrong kitty? At least you jumped off my shoulder before you started freaking out again. Oh, it’s the old, scraggly Tom again. We aren't having any luck catching  that one. I’m surprised there are any cats left in this neighborhood with that old beast around.
We’re not going to find the keys or my phone this way. Wait, the door to the basement is unlocked. How did this happen? Oh, it’s cold. How do the keys get there? And my phone. I would never put them on the landing. Someone has to be in the house. Someone is messing with me. I don't understand. Are the men angry because I offered Stephanie a job? Just because she was the only one of them not afraid to enter the basement on her own? I need to talk to Mark about the attitude of these men.
I’m glad the electric work is done.The HVAC crew comes in tomorrow and then we get to start working on the walls. There are one or two coming down, but overall most of the work after the HVAC is cosmetic. Mark is going to start taking me to his other job sites and introduce me to his other crews. I might have to hire a few extra people, but by the time I’m ready to take on other projects I’ll have a good team in place.  I hope I don't have any practical jokers on my crew. This is getting out of hand. I can't spend all day hunting down keys and phones. And once we get started on the construction I'm sure whoever is hiding my keys will start hiding tools and supplies. I might have to install cameras inside the house. Investing in cameras is actually a good idea. I can use them on all my job sites. I’ll talk to Mark about this when I see him tomorrow. Obviously I can't call him tonight. Damn, I thought I had the phone charged completely. At least I can plug it in here now. It’s nice to have electricity again. I’m going to get come groceries. Only 17 more days to go kitty, but I think I need to double check the calendar. I think my count might be off.

Men

What’s happening? Where are all the workers? They should be finishing the basement. I am so ready to flip the switch on this project. Kitty, let’s go find the men. Well, they're not in the basement. I thought maybe they were taking a smoke break back in the corner under the stairs. I caught them smoking in the house the other day. I can't stand the smell of smoke. Too bad Claire smokes. Oh well, everyone needs to have some tragic flaw. It's a conversation we need to have in the future, if there is a future. I forgot to ask for her phone number when I saw her at the gas station.
This is strange. Oh, there’s one of the men. Wait, no it's Stephanie. Why is she the only one in the house? She shouldn't be working by herself. Oh wait, she’s just eating lunch. “Hi, Stephanie. No thanks, I’ll go to the gas station and grab something. Where are the other guys?”
I should have known, smoke break. At least they took it outside. I hope they don't leave their butts all over the place. Wow, watch those claws. I like it when you ride on my shoulders but you need to put those claws away when you’re up there. Did you see that old Tom again? Where is he? He’s not out in the garden. Maybe I’ll ask the guys if they've seen him.
The draft is coming up from the basement again. I thought I closed this door. How did the lock get clear over there. I’ve asked the men to leave the lock in the catch, even if they don't lock it. I don’t want the locks to get mixed up on the doors. It would be a nightmare trying to keep the keys straight.
I’m starving kitty. Do you want to go to the gas station or the coffee house. I don’t know if Claire would be at either place. I saw her at the coffee shop earlier in the day but it was late at night when I saw her at the gas station. She has to live in the neighborhood if she was at both of those places at those times. I could go door to door and see if she lives in one of the houses on the street, but I might run into a few more lonely single mothers. Not that I wouldn't mind a few more store-bought cakes disguised to look homemade. What do you think, kitty? Do you think I might be able to finagle out a few good meals out of the lonely neighbor ladies? A few days ago I wouldn't have hesitated, but now, I don't know, kitty. There’s something different about Claire. I can't stop thinking about her. Every time I pass the burned out shell of a house down the street I catch a whiff of wood smoke and I can clearly imagine the springy curl of her hair. Where is this woman hiding? Kitty, we are going to find her today,
Let’s go see what the men are doing.
Kitty, I don't know why the men were so skittish. You would think I came  at them wearing a hockey mask and carrying a machete with the way they jumped and nearly took off. And they did leave their butts all over the ground. I’m trying to get this yard cleaned out. I’m glad this crew will be gone by the end of the day today. They're always complaining about how drafty the house is and they refuse to go into any of the rooms alone. The only one of them who doesn't complain is Stephanie. She’s the only one who will work in the spare bedroom. She seems to like it in there. I'm going to talk to her about joining my team. Mark is going to let me put together my own crew to take on the houses he wants me to flip.
It’s funny, but earlier today I thought I heard two voices coming from the spare bedroom. I thought Stephanie was talking to another crew member, but when I went in there she was alone. She said she was trying to work out a wiring problem and was talking to herself, but when I left the room I thought I heard someone laugh. It wasn't Stephanie’s voice. I’ve heard her laugh. She is loud and brays like a donkey. The voice I heard sang like crystal. It was a child’s laughter.
I must have imagined it. I think I just had a child on my mind since the neighbor came over with her kid. And I found another doll. It was tucked away in the back of a closet. The box was yellowed and crumbly, but the doll was in pristine condition.I can’t believe none of the previous occupants found the thing. I need to find someone who can appraise the thing. My mom might know a few people.
I wonder if Mark is going to want to keep the money from the doll. I can't keep this from him. It’s his house. He won't trust me with future projects if I don't tell him. 18 more days kitty. We can hold out for a few more days, especially since we will have electricity

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Visitors

Yes kitty, I’ll get you your dinner. I don’t know if you deserve a treat tonight, though. You sure didn’t like the neighbor kid. His mom was just bringing us some cake to welcome us to the neighborhood. I don’t even think he pulled your tail that hard. He was just trying to pet you. At least you only batted at his head and didn’t tag him too bad. His mother was understanding, but the expression on her face as she left said she wasn’t coming back any time soon. I’m sure I’ll see her often if I decide to stay here. She mentioned she was divorced at least three times in the ten minutes she was here. What little bit of attractiveness she had was completely hidden by the thin veil of desperation hovering around her. Kitty, you could sense it couldn’t you. Did the smell of her desperation send you skittering under the couch or did her two-year-old tottering around the living room put the fear of God in you?
 Well, I’m not ready to take on that project. Not that I’m not interested in settling down and having kids, it’s just not the right time for me to start the process. Of course she might have been offended when I didn’t offer her a tour of the house. She sure was curious about it. I didn’t realize most of the neighborhood haven’t seen the inside of the house. I’m glad I had the excuse of the construction to keep her isolated to the living room. We’re not technically living in a hardhat area, but there are enough holes in the walls I was able to persuade her she would appreciate the house more when it’s totally fixed up. I think I’ll like it better when it’s fixed up, too. I’m tired of all the cold spots.
Mom brought me a home cooked meal today. I think she’s worried about me living in this house without any electricity. I tried to convince her the generator gave me everything I needed to survive, but it didn’t help that the damn thing kicked off in the middle of her reheating her lasagna. It was worth putting up with her coddling to have a substantial meal. She wanted to leave me with the leftovers, but I don’t trust the generator to keep the refrigerator running long enough to keep bacteria from growing in the food.
I actually showed mom around the house. Kitty, did you know she has never been inside this house. Old man Rivers lived here long before mom and dad moved into the neighborhood. Mom said when they first moved into the house her and dad tried to make friends with Rivers, but then I was born and they both got so busy with their careers they didn’t have time to think about an eccentric hoarder.
Did you see mom’s eyes light up when she saw the spare bedroom? I know she hates living in that apartment. She wants a house again. I don’t know if she could manage the yard on her own. She could easily afford this place.
I can’t believe she didn’t feel how cold the basement is. I don’t think it even bothered her at all. She laughed when I told her about the toilet. I think Mark is going to add a bedroom and a bathroom down there. The basement doesn’t seem to bother mom. I might try to convince her to split the cost of the house with me. It might cut into my game though. “Hey, Claire, do you want to come over tonight? Don’t make too much noise, though. My mom is in the basement sleeping. No, I’m not a serial killer, I swear.
I saw Claire again today. I just about ran into her when I left the gas station with my breakfast burrito this morning. She asked me for a cigarette. You know, for a moment I was almost disappointed I don’t smoke. I felt like a twelve-year-old boy seeing his first boob when I stuttered out cigarettes would kill her. She laughed it off so I don’t think I made too much of a fool of myself.
Do you think we can convince her to come over for dinner once the house is wired? I might have to have mom come over and make her lasagna. That wouldn’t be weird would it? Claire seems like the type of girl you could take home to your mother.
The wiring will be done tomorrow. At least we won’t have to spend the next 19 days in the dark. Let’s get to sleep kitty.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Water

The storm rolled in quickly, didn’t it kitty? Are you OK? I’ve never seen you run so fast when the thunder rolled across the sky. I’m glad I was able to coax you out from under the bed. Of course, I’m not sure of it was my dulcet tones or the can of tuna that enticed you out of hiding. Are you warm enough? It’s cold in here. I’m always amazed by how quickly the temperature drops during a thunderstorm. Did you here that? Damn it! The generator went out again. Well, I’m not going out into the storm to fix it this time. We have our blankets and it’s warm enough in the room to push through the night. Ouch, kitty it’s just thunder. Put your claws away.
At least the wiring will be done by tomorrow. At least that’s what I heard before the accident. I’m not sure how far the accident will put us behind. You would thing an electrician would know to check to see if he was standing in water before flipping a switch. I bet he remembers to check in the future. I’ve heard of people’s hair standing on end when zapped by electricity, but I thought it was a cartoon effect. I think I actually saw smoke coming out of his scalp as the paramedics wheeled him out.
Where do you think the water came from, kitty? I think there’s a broken pipe somewhere in the basement. I couldn’t find any leaks coming through the ceiling so it can’t be coming from the first floor. We might have some drainage issues coming from the outside, but I didn’t see any cracks in the walls so I doubt the water is coming from the outside. It didn’t start raining until after the worker was electrocuted.
I made sure the basement door was locked after the workers left this time. I reminded them to make sure all of the padlocks were in place before they left, but I’m sure with all the chaos today they must have forgotten.
Do you hear that kitty? I think there’s water running somewhere. We need to go shut it down before there’s more flooding. Where’s my flashlight? There, let’s go kitty. I don’t want another roll of thunder to send you skittering under the bed again. What’s the deal with this flashlight? I just replaced the batteries. Sorry kitty. I didn’t mean to scare you. I think this flashlight only works if I beat it against the wall. Let’s go see what’s going on.
Bathroom number one: check. Nothing going on here. I’ll double check the shower one more time. No drips coming from there. It sure is muggy in here, though. Maybe with the ne HVAC system we’ll be able to clear out the condensation in this house. I noticed some moisture gathered at the corners of the windows this morning. I should have known a storm was brewing.
I went to the coffee shop this morning, but I didn’t see Claire there. I was hoping she would at least show up, but maybe she had to work today.
Bathroom number two. Whoa, what happened here? Well kitty, you won’t want to go in here. There’s at least two inches of water seeping out from under the tub. I better call Mark and tell him to get his plumber down here right away.
What’s the deal with my phone? It was fully charged this morning. The gas station attendant is going to get sick of me asking to use his phone. Let’s go to the bedroom. I think the worst of the thunder is over. You’ll be safe in the bedroom.
Towels, towels, towels. Ugh. What? Where did the water go? The floor is completely dry. Did I just imagine the water or did it all go into the floorboards? I better go down to the basement and try to figure out what’s going on. Hey, I know I locked this door. Somebody had to have come back in while I was at the store and unlocked it. Man, the draft in here is really bad. I should have put on a shirt before heading down here. I think I can cut glass, dang. Ah, spider webs! Man if I run into one more of these things I’m going to go crazy. I’m going to have to find someone to take care of the kitty while I have this place bug-bombed. Oh, I thought we got rid of that smell. The rain must have stirred up something in the yard.
Hey kitty, I’m glad you stayed in the bed. I couldn’t find any water anywhere in the house. Even the puddle in the basement was dry. Mark is talking to me about buying this house, but I’m not sure if that’s the best idea for us kitty. He did offer me the project manager job and the salary’s going to be amazing. Right now we are down to 20 more days. We missed a day in there. Let’s make sure to stay on top of our countdown.

Great Lines Think Alike

Every once in a while a line will pop into my head and I find myself needing to write it into a story. My most recent line: I will die a ...