With Drawn: Part 25 — The Man of theHouse

Jacob's HouseContinued from: With Drawn: Part 24 — Break on Through

Harriet Berring was a middle-aged woman with pewter hair and an endless array of pantsuits that were all various shades of beige. Harriet Berring was a real estate agent, and at this time, she was sitting behind the wheel of her Mercedes sedan. She couldn’t really afford the Mercedes she sat in, but it looked good when she arrived in the car to show houses to potential buyers. She was able to justify the car’s expense to herself and to her husband by saying that it was in a sense an occupational prop. It made her look successful, and it gave her confidence.

Harriet did not feel confident now, however. Harriet Berring, sitting in her pantsuit behind the wheel of the Mercedes that she couldn’t afford, was trying to determine if she should get out of the car and go into the house on Savage Street. Her heart had leapt when she turned the corner onto the street and saw the light on in number 42’s living room. She had pulled into the house’s driveway, trying to remember if she maybe left the light on herself, but then, as she put her car in park, she thought for a moment that she may have seen movement inside the house—like shadow puppets against the drawn blinds.

Despite Harriet’s nervousness—actually it was closer to fear—over how neither the light should be on, nor the blinds be drawn, she conceded that she was responsible for the house, and that she should further investigate why there was a change in the house’s appearance. So she got out of the car, holding an umbrella that had been in the car’s backseat. Harriet held the umbrella even though it was not actually raining outside. She held the umbrella because she intended to use the umbrella in the manner of a club on anyone that may have been inside 42 Savage Street.

Harriet tentatively approached the abandoned house’s front steps and she climbed onto the house’s front porch. She still held the umbrella in one hand, and she held her cell phone in her other hand. She had already punched in the numbers 9-1-1 on her cell phone, but she had not yet hit the send button. This way, if she ran into any trouble, she could immediately contact Emergency Services.

Harriet’s heart was pounding because her fight or flight instinct were now in full effect. As she unlocked the lockbox on the front door’s doorknob, she comforted herself by thinking that maybe one of the Hamptons had been in the house, leaving the light on and drawing the blinds. This type of rationalization is normal in people. It’s what makes it possible for people to do things despite fears or trepidation. This is what made it possible for Harriet Berring to unlock the door at 42 Savage Street, despite the fact that she thought there could be someone, possibly a dangerous someone, inside the house.

Harriet slowly opened the front door of 42 Savage Street and she peered into the house. “Hello?” Harriet called into the house. Her voice was shaky.

Her voice was shaky because often when people become frightened or nervous, their voice will quiver due to a dramatic increase in a person’s heart rate.

Harriet called in her shaky voice, “Is anybody here?”

Harriet walked through the house’s front hall to the doorway leading into the living room. She tentatively stepped into the living room.

She gasped.

Her gasp was more like a squeak. It was a sound not unlike a frightened mouse. Harriet had gasped because there was a man standing in the living room. Harriet was going to run from the house, screaming and swinging her umbrella and pressing send on her cell phone. But then Harriet noticed that it was not a man standing in the living room. What she saw was a painting of a man standing in a mural on the living room wall.

Harriet inspected the mural—the intricate details of the grassy field, tranquil sea, and of the man in full dress uniform—and because she was both shocked and impressed, she said this: “Wow.”

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 26 — Fight Night

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