After Poole's retreat into the basement, Teddy blinked back tears and grimaced at her slime-covered hand. She stood to wash up at the kitchen sink, half expecting nothing but dust to emerge from the old faucet. But just as Mr. Poole had explained, it seemed that the little house — and everything in it — was captured in time. Cold, clear water poured from the tap, soothing Teddy's lingering anger. She let the water run over her hands, marveling at the feel of it on her skin. She wondered if it would ever run out — if the magic would ever run out — but the persistence of the cool water on her hands told her it was infinite.
Hands clean of the spider and the tense encounter with the butler, Teddy exited the kitchen and followed the orange carpet path through the maze of junk. It was already early evening, and she'd failed to complete a single task she had planned out for the day. While she didn't have to worry about food, electricity, or water, there was still the issue of internet access — she made a mental note to worry about that in the morning.
She was tired, but there wasn't much to do about that — she was too overwhelmed and overstimulated to rest. She resolved to get some work done after all, to at least get a head start on the following day's cleaning, sorting, and organizing. She followed the thin path down a dim hallway and into the master bedroom, Grandma Rose's room. It was just as she remembered, sans the parrot, with neatly stacked cardboard boxes, suitcases, trunks and loose books surrounding a queen size bed. Organized chaos.
Teddy sighed, overwhelmed, not sure where to begin. She scanned the belongings until an ornate trunk caught her eye in the back corner of the room. She climbed on the bed to reach it, then pulled it onto the neat floral bedspread to inspect.
Neatly packed within the trunk was a pile of delicate, varied fabrics. Teddy swept her fingertips over the contents — cool silk, delicate lace, intricate beading, bold velvet. She pulled a single piece from the pile — thin, black silk with fine lace detail — and laid it out on the bedspread. It was a dress, ankle-length, sleeveless, with a flowing skirt and lace along a scoop neckline. It was unlike any piece of clothing Teddy had ever seen in real life, and had she not felt the delicate silk ripple beneath her fingertips, she would've guessed it was a costume. Vintage... 20s? 30s? Teddy guessed in wonder, feeling the silk between her fingers.
She peered back inside the trunk, wanting to see, to touch, every single immaculate piece. Patiently, she retrieved the matching garments from the trunk: A sheer black shawl, a pair of black lace gloves and a small, strangely angled beret. She laid each piece carefully on the bedspread with the dress, then let out a breath she hadn't known she'd been holding. She sat beside the garments in quiet appreciation a moment longer before succumbing to the irresistible urge to play dress up.
She hopped off the bed, then tiptoed to the bedroom door, suddenly feeling like a little girl getting into her mother's wardrobe. She smiled, this was even better. She peered out into the hallway, checking for any sign of her peculiar roommate or the cat (if the cat could speak telepathically, it could also judge her, she reasoned). Once she felt sufficiently sure she was alone, she returned to her new treasures.
In the corner near the door, Teddy spied the top of a gold-framed mirror just visible from behind a wall of stacked boxes. She grunted as she shoved things out of the way, just enough to reveal her reflection in the body-height mirror. She stared at herself for a moment, marveled at just how normal she looked in contrast with her day, with her life—Her hair tied up in a bun, some strays falling loose and sticking up in the back like a peacock, her wrinkled shorts and t-shirt. None of it fit the scene. Against the backdrop of Grandma Rose's room, Teddy was like a cartoon character in a live-action film. She made a face at herself in the mirror before turning her attention back to the dress.
YOU ARE READING
The Face in the HouseHorror
A twisted tale of death, love, and magic. Enter the mouth of the face in the house.... WATTPAD PICK: Stranger Summer Reads ☀️😈 Rose White's little old house is filled floor-to-ceiling with books, newspapers, and other fragments of a life spent shut...