Carol McFadden awoke screaming. She sat up in bed, her heart pounding, her body shaking, droplets of sweat covering her face. She stared into the darkness, looking for the mad man lurking after her. Slowly she realized she had been dreaming. It was the same dream she'd had nearly every night for months now. In the dream she was in a haunted house, alone. Doors opening and closing on their own, footsteps sounding where there shouldn't be footsteps. She glanced at the clock. 3:15am. She staggered to the toilet and relieved herself. Once back on the bed, she sat, her arms clasped across her chest. What was going on? Why was she having these nightmares?
She lay back down, pulled the covers to her neck, and stared at the ceiling. Suddenly, the radio alarm sounded, it's beeping startling her. What the...? Then looking at the clock she saw that it was 6:am. She swung her legs off the bed, and sat on the edge, running her hands through her short dark hair. The nightmare had taken a toll on her, she was exhausted. Get yourself together, Carol, she thought, You have to drive to Newport today to get a listing on a house. She would have liked to do this by phone, but she had been contacted by Ruby Harris. Ruth was an upstate New Yorker, and heir to this mansion in Newport, RI. She had requested that Carol inspect the property, personally.
Carol exited the bathroom in her robe, drying her hair. The phone was on it's forth ring when she picked it up. She listened as Doctor Maye's nurse told her they had an opening at 1:20pm, if she would like to come in, otherwise it would be another week before the doctor could see her. Carol audibly sighed, then agreed to come in. Carol's allergies had reached critical stage, where her lungs felt like they were flopping around in her chest. She need to see the doctor asap.
With time to kill, Carol went to her office to do catchup on some paperwork, ate an early lunch, then had her nails done. It was 2:25pm when she left the doctor's office, and got on the road to Newport.
With New York's skyline behind her, she was able to enjoy the seasons changing colors. Vivid reds, and yellow and orange dotted the landscape. Traffic was light and the sky was clear. She stopped once to take advantage of a vast lower gasoline price, and filled her car.
The shadows were long when she located the mansion of heir, Ruth Harris. This was a lovely area of Newport. Trees in their finery intermingled, creating a tunnel of leaves. All of the homes sat back from the streets, some as far back as 1/2 mile. The Harris mansion was one of those, Carol discovered as she turned into the cobblestone drive.