Tenancy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Young Jess needs a place to live, but the house she finds is not what she expected at all.

This was a short piece that I had to write for a Uni assignment - the criteria was to include a house with a mystical element to it. Enjoy!

Submitted: November 18, 2012

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Submitted: November 18, 2012

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“It’s hard to explain,” JD said, “The house is special. I haven’t even figured everything out yet. Things change in here – they don’t always happen in the right order.”

“What do you mean; don’t always happen in the right order?” Jess asked suddenly.

JD smiled and handed Jess a maroon mug of coffee, “Like I said, this house is special. It still has a few kinks in it. Right now, we’re experiencing a time distortion. We’re living out a moment that hasn’t actually happened yet.”

Jess frowned, “But it’s happening right now, isn’t it?”

JD nodded, “Yes, but you don’t remember how you got here, do you?”

Jess thought for a moment and then shook her head, “No. What’s going on? How do I even know you?”

“You don’t know me; not yet anyway. We’re probably about ten minutes ahead of where we should be. My guess is you saw the ad in the paper and came to the house but the moment you got here the distortion happened and now you’ve been thrust ten minutes into the future. Ten minutes ago, we would’ve been introduced, I showed you around and then we have a cup of coffee. Once the distortion corrects itself you’ll go back and experience the ten minutes leading up to this time.”

Jess rubbed her temples, “I have no idea what you just said.”

JD sipped his coffee and grinned, “You’ll see what I mean in a minute. You don’t remember the steps?”

“Steps? What? How long does it take to correct itself? The distortion?”

JD shrugged, “Shouldn’t be too long. Longest one was a half hour so it shouldn’t be long before everything jumps back and -,”

The taxi cab slams to a halt and the young girl awakens from her nap. Must’ve drifted off, she thinks. Seventeen year old Jess grabs her luggage; a lone suitcase containing all of her possessions and pays the taxi driver with the last of her money. She looks up at the house before her – it’s dilapidated and falling apart. It doesn’t look a thing like the other nice houses in the street. She’s surprised there isn’t a condemned sign on the lawn.

1618 Aperture Street.

“This better be worth it,” she mutters to herself.

Making her way down the uneven path Jess makes her way up the stone steps in front of the house. The front door opens before she can knock and Jess stands face to face with a dishevelled young man. His hair is untidy and he has a few days’ worth of stubble on his chin. He has a wide boyish grin on his face as though he is nine years old and reliving Christmas morning over and over again.

“Hey, how’s it going? You see the ad in the paper? I’m John Doe, but call me JD,” the man says and extends his hand.

Jess shakes it tentatively and gives a weak smile, “Yeah I saw the ad, uh, is there an application to fill out, or something?”

JD shakes his head, “Here, let me show you something cool. Walk down the steps with me and count aloud.”

“W-What?” Jess stammers but JD has already taken her hand and is leading her down the stone steps.

“One, two, three, four, five. Now, come back up while counting.”

JD races to the top of the steps and motions Jess to come forward. She hasn’t the slightest clue as to what is happening but she comes up the steps like he asked her to.

“One, two, three, four, five, six,” Jess says aloud with each step she takes. “Wait, what?”

JD’s grin is even wider now. “Cool, huh?”

Jess repeats the process three times before she can look at JD again. Five steps down, six steps up.  Before Jess could get another word out JD had pulled her into the house and was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. The foyer of the house was bare and simple – there were six different coloured doors, two on each wall.

“Each room is different, okay?” JD said, “This house is special. This room here, behind the yellow door, it’s half-full of water; goes up to about your chest. I call it the optimist room; you can’t get out until you definitively decide whether it is half-full or half-empty – isn’t that cool? That one over there, the red one, is the sideways room. Everything is on a ninety degree angle in there. Bit weird at first but you’ll get used to it. What else is there? Oh that one, the green room, bit of a wildcard room that one. It changes every time you go in there; something new each time. Any questions so far?”

Jess stared at the man, JD, is disbelief. What in the hell had he just said?

“What is this place?” Jess asked finally.

JD shrugged, “Who knows? You want a cup of coffee?”

JD took Jess to one of the doors, a yellow one and opened it. An African safari awaited them on the other side but JD quickly slammed the door shut, “A few kinks in the house, sorry.”

He opened it again and a bathroom appeared. The door closed and on the third time the kitchen appeared and JD gave a cry of triumph, “Found you!”

“Okay, so let me get this straight,” Jess said as JD busied himself with making coffee, “This house is made up of a bunch of crazy, weird, strange, mysterious rooms which change at their own will and you just accept it without a second thought?”

JD nodded, “Pretty much. Hey, have to live somewhere – can’t be too picky.”

“But how does it all work? I mean, it just doesn’t make any logical sense – that was a safari back there for crying out loud! How is this even all possible?”

“It’s hard to explain,” JD said, “The house is special. I haven’t even figured everything out yet. Things change in here – they don’t always happen in the right order.”

 

 


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