End Of Days Series
“Can we see the basement?” Frank asked their realtor.
“No, I would not recommend that,” Jeannette replied.
“Because that is where people get murdered.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yes. Everyone gets murdered in the basement. Let’s move onto the bedrooms upstairs.”
“But if you are showing us this house, we’re going to want to see what we’re buying,” Frank said holding his arms out in question.
“I’m not going to show you the basement.”
“Gina… I’ll be right back. Go with Jeannette.”
“Frank, I wouldn’t do that,” Jeannette cautioned now crossing her arms and placing her shapely leg one in front of the other.
“Jeannette… I’m a big boy,” which drew a muffled laugh from his wife. “I can handle this,” he said addressing Jeannette’s concern as he winked at his wife.
Jeannette looked upset. “There’s nothing to see down there… Nothing! It’s a basement. The hot water heater and furnace are in the garage. There aren’t even windows down there… for a reason! The basement is where people get murdered.” Her agitation was making Gina’s and Frank’s choice in a realtor, questionable.
“Jeannette. it’s okay. I’ll be right back. Please show Gina the bedrooms and I will join you shortly.”
“Fine… you want to get murdered? That’s fine with me, but you might want to ask your wife if that is okay with her,” Jeannette said calmly, uncrossing her arms and gracefully throwing them toward Gina.
Frank could see Gina’s brows were raised and her lips were pinched as if she were holding back a laugh. Not sure what to make of this, he said nothing and headed back through the kitchen.
Jeannette stormed out of the dining room, “Gina, follow me,” she ordered, the signature red sole of her Louboutin’s stabbing at the travertine tile in cadence with her annoyance at Frank.
Gina kept up but had to admit, Jeannette’s talk of people getting murdered in the basement left her with just a bit of unease. It was silly, she knew, but Jeannette’s conviction seemed so believable. It was weird. Weird in the fact that if Frank did indeed get murdered in the basement she would be horrified. She tried to clear the silliness from her head and followed Jeannette up the staircase, her hand sweeping along the curved cherry banister that sat atop the finely tapered rungs.
Jeannette paraded Gina through the two guest bedrooms and adjoining bath adorned in quartzite counters and glass vessel sinks. She led Gina down the hallway and surprised her with a sliding door that opened into a laundry room fit for a queen. Before entering the master suite, she stepped aside giving Gina the unobstructed view through the floor to ceiling window and the marshland beyond. It was breathtaking.
“Frank is going to die when he sees this view,” Gina said.
Jeannette responded with a quiet ‘hmm’. “Yes. Isn’t the view delicious,” she muttered. A response that seemed compulsory as she dusted off a fleck of lint from her lapel.
“Speaking of which, where is my husband?” Gina said peeking behind her to the staircase in hopes of seeing him. When she turned around, Jeannette was looking at her watch, leaning against the frame of the door with her Arms folded.
“Well. We might as well be going, I’m afraid this home, as lovely as it is, will not be for you.”
Gina was confused. She had not even stepped into the master suite. She loved everything about this home. “But I love this place…. Oh, I know I should never tell a realtor that, but I just love it. Don’t tell Frank I told you.”
“You will not need to worry about what Frank will think,” Jeannette commented as she straightened her Channel jacket and started down the staircase, leaving Gina shocked.
“Wait!” Gina called after her from the top of the staircase, watching Jeannette take each step in disappointment. “Shouldn’t we wait for Frank to see the Master? That Spectacular view?” Gina had found Jeannette’s peculiar, almost charming personality now an annoyance. I mean who’s the client here she thought, finding herself following Jeannette down the staircase like an abandoned puppy.
Jeannette looped her finger through the lockbox that sat upon the Biedermeier console in the entry and opened the front door, ushering Gina to step out first so she could lock up.
“Stop Jeannette… Just stop! ” Gina screamed out at the top of her lungs with her arms straight down by her sides. She spun around and stomped past Jeannette back into the house.
Jeannette knew it was pointless to call her back and went about her business of shutting the front door and securing the lockbox in its place before returning to her Tesla in the driveway.
Gina heard the door shut behind her–the last straw–It was time to get a different realtor. She stomped through the dining room and thought the kitchen sweeping her hand along the deeply veined turquoise granite island countertop to the open door to the basement and stood at the top of the staircase, the dim Edison bulb illuminating the stairwell only to the basement floor.
“Frank.” she called out?
There was no answer.
“Frank!” and she started down the staircase, the stupid thoughts from Jeannette getting the best of her.
“Frank… Come on.. I want to show you the master.” She was expecting Frank to jump out from the shadows at any moment. Nervously, she brushed back the hair behind her ears. “It’s not funny, Frank!” Come on. Jeannette has left us… that idiot. We need to get a new realtor.”
She felt a cold sweep of air brush by her and a smell of dank wetness like so many other basements she had been in. She couldn’t understand why people built basements in the first place. She would never use one let alone go down into one. But here she was.
The light switched off and she heard the door at the top of the staircase shut.
“You Fucker, Frank. That’s not funny. Turn the light back on!”
No answer and she was getting scared. The stupid thoughts Jeannette put into her had taken over and Frank was taking advantage of it.
She jumped and screamed out when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She reached up to feel her husband’s hand, a hand she knew was his, the smooth top and callused sides from his craft as a carpenter. She held it and brought it to her side but it seemed too light, no resistance, then she realized there was nothing attached to it. The scream never left her mouth…..
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