I remember the day I saw the house in the window of the Real Estate building. It was a cute old miner’s cottage needing some loving care. I asked the bank could I borrow sixty-thousand dollars to buy it and scraped all our money together to put a deposit down.
My husband George and I moved in along with our dog Red, a King Charles spaniel. The kitchen was falling apart. Shocked I studied what was left of it - broken old cupboards, and curtains for doors. It was looking very sad. I felt like I could renovate it with attention to detail to bring it back to the period style.
George asked me to put some tools away for him in the shed. The shed looked very run down. I wondered how it had managed to stay up all these years. There was an uneasy atmosphere as I walked into the shed. It was made out of tin, with a wood frame barely holding it up. The sun shone through holes in the roof and the shed shook in the wind. Feeling anxious to get back out, I quickly put the tools down and rushed out. I entered the house from the back door. That area had been added on at a later date and also badly needed a makeover. The floor was uneven and the toilet must have originally been outside before being built in the house.
We managed to fit our furniture in and it didn’t look to bad. Amazing that it all fitted in okay as the house wasn’t large. Looking around the living room, there was an older model gas fire built into the chimney, and the walls had very old wallpaper on them. Our much-loved dog Red settled in on his dog cushion which I had placed near the couch.
‘All moved in now,’ I told him. ‘Don’t worry, we should be happily settled in this place.’ Perhaps I was trying to reassure myself at the same time.
Glancing around, my impression was that nothing seemed too spooky inside, although I did understand how old the house was. I started getting dinner ready. There wasn’t much bench space, and the stove was set in the old brick fireplace. I rather liked the rustic brick work on the surround - looked rather regal I thought.
George came through the back door. He was a handsome fellow, tall with dark hair and green eyes. I felt proud to be his wife. However, I wasn’t too bad looking either - of average height, slim curvy build, with long blond hair, and hazel eyes.
‘I got all those tools back in place now. What’s for dinner?’ he asked, a hopeful tone in his voice.
‘Cooking spaghetti bolognese tonight. I was thinking we could get a video out to watch later.’
The spaghetti bolognese tasted great and I gulped it down, hungry from our shifting and unpacking. George went to get the movie from the local video shop. While he was gone I called Red over. He looked up at me with his big brown eyes, his fur shiny and such a lovely colour with deep red and white patches. I especially love his long adorable ears. I patted him gently, stroking his fur slowly the way he loved it. ‘I think we should be happy here,’ I said to him. He then snuggled into his dog bed on the floor while I rested on the nearby couch.
George came back. I heard the noise of the iron gates squeak open and the sound of scrunching metal as he pulled up and parked next to the house. As he swung the front door open, he yelled out, ‘Found one. I got the movie ‘The Others’.’
‘That sounds good,’ I said. ‘It features Nicole Kidman and has a good story line.’
Thinking nothing of it, George inserted ‘The Others’ into the video player. We were sitting there enjoying the film. Nothing seemed untoward. In fact, it was very peaceful and we were both caught up in the moment when, all of a sudden, the movie turned off and then back on again. Shocked, I glanced around and saw the sensor lights in the bedroom had turned on.
Turning to George I said, ‘Must be a power surge,’ although my heart was beating fast from the shock. He agreed, not looking too worried which was usual for him. He never got scared, even in movies that had me gripping the seat.
We should not have been so naïve. Looking back, that was the first warning that we were not alone in the house. However, nothing else happened that night and we had a good night’s sleep.
George left for work in the morning. He worked as a courier owner driver, all different hours depending on the number of jobs and how busy he was. There was just so much work to be done on the house and I planned on doing a lot myself as I was skilled in painting and decorating having done up a few houses before...