It was the kind of house that gets left to you when a distant relative leaves the mortal coil. It was big and old and distant. Maybe great things had happened there decades ago– could I even reckon it in terms of centuries? I would have to ask my realtor friend later. Maybe it had been home to extravagant parties, the kind where someone announces your name when you arrive in your finest clothing. Maybe it was the kind of house that, over the years, grew dark and dangerous, like in the horror movies where all but one character dies by the end.
Let’s be clear about things: there were the maybes, and there were the definitelies. I could imagine a hundred different things about the house, but it was definitely far from where I was living at the time. It was definitely in a rural location, further out than even Silver Star Mountain. It was definitely more than I could have ever afforded, and it was definitely badly needed.
I left my 700 square foot apartment, packing all of my things into my car and the small trailer that I attached to it, and headed and headed north. I got lost a few times, but the roads in southern Washington are too green to begrudge in the least. I had to head east once I got to Northwoods, and kept on driving. The Elevation wrecked havoc on my ears, but once I got used to that, the green, the fresh air, and the quiet were all I needed to be happy.
The house just the icing on the cake. Important icing, because as good as cake is without it, I needed a place to live, and the apartment I have been in for nearly two years was no longer working out. The owners were raising everyone’s rent with their next waves of leases, and I had held off on signing so that I could search for something cheaper. Well, a great big house in the mountains was clearly an improvement, and free as an inheritance was cheaper than anything else I had found!
I imagined, on my way there, picking out a room and holing up in there to do my writing. Would there be four-poster beds? Old tapestries and oil paintings that had been collected over the years? I spent a lot of the drive wondering.
By the time I finally pulled onto the private road that led to the house, my heart was pounding. The road was shaded by trees, which also surrounded the grounds and hid them from the main road. Once they gave way, and I could see the driveway, I gaped. I was a three-story house. I hadn’t ever been in a three-story house; even the one I had grown up in had been a single level, and my friends had had two levels at best. This was going to be quite a change.
I pulled my car up close to the door– I could figure out a better parking routine later– and parked. As I turned off the engine, I stared out the window at the sign above the double doors. “Silverthread Manor,” the words read. They were carved in stone. It seemed line a curious name for the home, but I wasn’t about to criticize anything just then. I got out of the car and climbed the old stone steps towards the door.
I had already traded my apartment keys for the keys to this house. All I had left to do was flip through my key ring and slide the right one into the lock. I was trembling as I searched for it, wondering what sights would await me once I opened the doors.