Great, empty house with old, wood floors, and open rooms. Unclaustrophobic. The realtor would not shut up about the damn kitchen – how it’d been upgraded not so long ago, or how beautifully painted the cabinets were. She’d grimaced and immediately decided to strip them to the wood. The powder blue had to go. It was too… bright. Brushed steel would be less garish.
If the realtor’d been male, she’d have offed the awful woman already. She’d insulted the old windows. Truth was, the old farmhouse windows were a draw. She’d keep them, but refurbish and weather seal them herself. Couldn’t have the neighbors hearing screams.
But it was the yard that sold her. A wide swath of lawn and room for a shed. Room for a Garden. A place to plant her flowers.
She’d been searching for that for ages.
That’s *exactly* what she’d been searching for.
“I know, the rest is a bit rough, but…”
The realtor’s face went blank with shock – then lit with glee. “Yes. I’m afraid the bank won’t go any lower than that.”
“I’ll write you a check whenever we get the paperwork handled.”
“Oh! Wonderful! Let me just make some calls!”
She gestured the other woman out the door as she pulled out her phone and started dialing. *Yes, dear god, woman! *Get Out!** She closed the door and was alone.
Yes… Living room, spacious and dark, neat bathroom, modern kitchen, two bedrooms upstairs… and down, space for the Guest Room. Planning would be key. Soundproofing and insulating. Resealing the floors. Carefully furnishing. And the Garden.
She smiled at the thought: A sprawling herb garden… chamomile and bee balm blooming… feverfew in one corner… monkshood in another. Foxglove and anise. She would enjoy plotting the layout, constructing the beds, cultivating the plants. She looked forward to those long afternoons in the dirt.
But first, those fucking blue cabinets had to go.
And first the Guest Room had to be ready.
* * *
The neighbors were impressed with the new resident’s work. She’d cleaned the exterior, sorted and trimmed the yard. And she was making steady progress at refurbishing the old windows – one at a time, by hand, and by herself.
Mr. Tammond said she was an example of female ingenuity and resourcefulness. He said she’d be a good role model for young girls.
Alone, she laughed about that – as she considered welding the bed frame together. She didn’t *like* any man, but she thought it was okay for him to keep breathing.
The neighbors were impressed with her work. With the clean front walk and fresh windows. With the newly green trim and sealed wood door.
To them, she was just a quiet do-it-yourselfer, who worked odd hours and loved to garden. They were shocked when the FBI started digging up bodies.
Aren’t they always?
In hindsight, they realized why she never had any of them over for dinner.
About the Author: Æverett
Æverett lives in the northern hemisphere and enjoys Rammstein and Star Trek. He writes both poetry and fiction and dabbles in gardening and soap making. She has two wonderfully old cats, and a dearly beloved dog. He also plays in linguistics, studying German, Norwegian, Russian, Arabic, a bit of Elvish, and developing Cardassian. Language is fascinating, enlightening, and inspirational. She’s happily married to her work with which she shares delusions of demon hunters, detectives, starships, androids, and a home on the outskirts of a small northern town. He’s enjoyed writing since childhood and the process can be downright therapeutic when it’s not making him pull his hair out. It’s really about the work and words and seeing without preconceptions.