Title: The House Whisperer
Source: Weekly Writing Challenge #176
The five words: LEAF, HOME, ALTER, LIGHT, FRONT
Word count: 270 words
Removing his baseball cap, Wyatt wiped his sweaty forehead on his shirtsleeve.
“What the hell are you doing?” he asked the empty room. The house creaked and a tree branch scraped the windowpane behind him.
A gentle breeze blew through the open window, the only one not painted shut. Sheets of peeled paint littered the floor. Losing their battle with gravity, they released their tenuous grip on the ceiling and floated to the floor. The welcome breeze sent a small piece scudding along the exposed and rotting subfloor like an albino fall leaf.
His rational side told him to reject the project and walk away. The house had other plans.
It was the geezer’s fault Wyatt was attempting the impossible. He wished he hadn’t gone to the lumberyard, hadn’t talked to the grizzled, toothless man, hadn’t listened to his story. He told Wyatt the house’s history, its legacy. It was a beloved family home and a social gathering place. People traveled from faraway places to attend parties and hobnob with the family.
Wyatt asked the fateful question.
“Oh? What was the family name?”
“Newberry,” the geezer said with no hesitation.
“Newberry? Are you sure?”
“Sure as I’m standing here,” was the confident reply.
“But, that’s my name.”
The geezer laughed and walked away, leaving Wyatt wondering.
They said he was crazy.
Wyatt intended to alter the floor plan and update the historic home to accommodate his family’s modern lifestyle. Enlarging the back windows would maximize the natural light and the lake view. He would repaint the front facade in period-appropriate colors, colors his great-great-grandfather selected.
The family legacy would continue.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer