this house was different from the others, but the door had been unlocked just like the rest. she stood in the large foyer and looked up. it was vaulted and plastered, like a tiny cathedral encasing her it came to a point in the center and was spotted with plaster roses. the most unique one so far, she lingered under it's canopy, transfixed.
in the living room now she took the place in. dark wood furniture next to immaculate muslin couches. the couches themselves stained a creamy coffee color. the floor was an expanse of beautiful hardwood upon which laid an olive colored cotton rug. end tables stood on spindly elegant legs, shined to a gloss. the ceiling in here was the lightest blue, and she could see a very faint ring around the corners, from a century of cigarettes. everything looked so new, even though she could smell the ghosts of living things. food, smoke, perfume, a vanilla musk that was so familiar it brought a smile to her lips. she came to a short stop at the deeply grained hutch opposite from where she had entered. two people sat and watched her from within a gilded frame. the man had his hand on her shoulder, they both smiled at something to her right. she found their crooked gaze strange and she laid the photo on it's face.
in the kitchen she sat at the metal table with her feet up and crossed as she ate heartily from a pint of ice cream found in the snow crusted freezer. this room was her favorite, she decided. and the most odd. just about every surface was covered in subway tiles... they were just everywhere. they poured down the walls and spread out onto the floor. they were white glazed and pocked with the tiny imperfections of things handmade. every 20 tiles or so, a colored tile slipped in. pastel pink, a foggy grey, sea foam. what an incredible feat, she thought. what a fucking waste of time. still, they worked like a time machine, they were untouched here, the colors lingered in her mind, it had worked. licking her fingers she brought her feet back to the floor and went to the sink. empty and clean, it was white as the walls. there was a little tremor in her hand as she whiffed bleach and pine, the hospital effect complete. rinsing her spoon in cool water she looked out the window, at the ash and birch bending in the wind, the black clouds looming.
i'm glad i missed the storm, she said, out loud, to no one.
back through the living room, to the foyer again, and she stood at the stairs. maybe she should skip the second floor this time. it was too hard to lose track of time there. a small flash went off in her brain, her hand came to her right temple. frowning she turned away from the dark steps.