On some of my other social media platforms, I share a piece of what I've written each week on #saturdayscenes which is a hashtag some other writer friends use, too. And #samanthascenes because I want my own hashtag :-)
This week was a low fiction week as I had a lot of writing business to handle to prepare for Illogicon, a local sci-fi and fantasy convention. But I did add a couple of hundred words to my current short story.
This one is called "Bad Luck House" and fits in to a series of stories I've been writing, which I call "The ShadowHill Stories." They are all weird/supernatural tales that take place in a suburban neighborhood much like the one I live in. This one is about a house that can't seem to keep a tenant. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote on it this week:
Over the next few days, Janet found herself driving by the little house even when it wasn’t on her way anywhere. No one had called yet asking for a showing, and the house was viewing ready, so there wasn’t any reason to go by, but still, once a day or so, she could be found driving slowly around the cul-de-sac, pausing in front of the house, then driving wistfully away.
She was sitting in her car in front of the house, eating her sandwich and looking up at the small decorative windows near the eaves when someone rapped on her car window. Startled, she set her sandwich back in its wrapper and wiped her hands and face before rolling down the window.
A short, dark-haired woman wearing a hand-knitted hat even though it wasn’t cold outside smiled at her. “Hey-ya.”
“You looking at the house? I’ve seen you here a few times in the past few days.”
Janet smiled. “I’m Janet, the realtor.”
The woman’s face fell. “Oh. So, you’re not interested? I thought you were maybe a new buyer. It would be really nice to get a good neighbor settled in there. Someone who can stay for a few years.”
“It does have quite a history, doesn’t it?”
The woman looked at the house. A gentle breeze shook the crepe myrtle in the yard, sending a shower of purple petals glistening through the air. Both women sighed.
Janet grabbed her keys. “You want to go inside? I’ve got a couple of things to check on and I’d be happy to show you around.”
The woman grinned broadly, as she stepped back to let Janet exit the car. “I’d like that! I haven’t been inside in years. I’m Emily, by the way.”
“Janet. Come on.”
The two women walked up the bricked pathway that led off the driveway to the small porch and Janet let them both in. A beam of late morning sunlight glowed on the wall, leaving a flower like pattern of shadow. Janet breathed deeply. Something about this house just made her feel relaxed. She turned to her companion, whose head was on a swivel as she turned around in the room seeming to try to take in all of it at once. “So, you’re one of the neighbors?”
Emily nodded, biting her lip. “I’m across the street. The blue siding with the big porch.”
“That’s a nice house, too.”
“It suits us.”
Janet let a silence fall between them. She was feeling rebuffed by Emily’s short answers, after she’d seemed so friendly out on the road. Janet wondered if she’d somehow offended her. Then Emily grabbed her arm. “Can you feel it?”
“It’s like a humming, an electricity. I felt it as soon as we walked in.” Emily spoke quickly, in a tense whisper. “It makes my teeth hurt.”
Janet didn’t feel anything at all. She shrugged. “Do you want to look around the upstairs?”
Emily wrapped her arms around herself, shivering even though the house was perfectly comfortable and warm, but she nodded her agreement.