The House -11-


“I should go and see what that is,” I thought. My coming down the stairs called for more commotion from poor Pax. He growled and barked at me, even though I talked to him, trying to win his confidence. It didn’t work, and I heard Jacky calling him back in.

The street was empty. I passed the garage and moved away one of the three garbage bins to be able to see the shining object. It was an earring, the same exquisite kind I saw on the woman at the beach. She was wearing only one, and I was pretty sure the one in my hand was hers. How did it get there, behind the trash cans that were used by our three cottages and the house next door together?

The biker from the garage across the street came outside with a bag.

“Hi,” I greeted him. “Sorry for asking: Do you know who lives in this house? I found something by the trash and it might be theirs.”

The young man lifted his arm to his forehead to see me better. The sun was getting in his eyes. “I’m sorry, Ma’am. This house is empty.”

I crossed the road to speak with him privately.

“I don’t want to bother you, but it is strange.” I lowered my voice. “I heard some weird noise coming from the house a few minutes ago.”

The man placed his hand on his hip. I could see his tattoo by his armpit, one word, “mom.” “Weird noise?” “Yes, it was like somebody was grunting.” “A dog?” he asked. “I don’t know. I’m sorry to keep you. I just moved here. My name is Sophie.”

“Sophie?” The man gasped and pressed his chest. “My mom was Sophie. She just passed away. I miss her so much.”


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