The House - Downstairs


odfrey never knew that a house could feel so wonderful, he was dripping water onto the front rug and no doubt leaving very muddy footprints but for the first time in hours gave a sigh of relief. He was still shivering from the cold, his head was pounding and his feet like like ice, but he was finally out of the rain. It took him several minutes to realise that the lights were off, and with still numb hands pawed for a light switch. Finding it he tested it; nothing, clearly the storm had knocked out all the power. Under a door frame the slight corona of light that could be seen outside provided the only illumination in the hallway. With cold and numbs limbs he slowly made his way towards the light, each foot step a sodden squish due to the mud. He half expected that whoever owned the house was either out or asleep, but he wanted to make sure and apologise for the rudeness of his entrance and possibly clean up after himself. Godfrey lightly tapped on the door before, there was no answer. Slowly turning the door handle Godfrey peered into the room.

The room was a very well kept sitting room, with freshly dusted furniture and ornaments. The room was basic, two leather chairs and a sofa were positioned in a half circle within one corner, all facing an old but well kept television set with an attached digital box. Along the walls were paintings of numerous farmyard animals and above the unlit fireplace pictures of grandchildren and other relatives stood side by side with a small collection of wooden ducks. In a corner was a fine drinks cabinet, above which was a display case containing a sizeable collection of gold trophy's, which to Godfrey's trained eyes look liked sheep dog trial rewards. The light was produced by a series of candles in a ornamental silver holder that stood upon a small coffee table in the centre of the room. There was no one inside the room, the only hint of habitation was a empty whisky glass that was placed next to the candle holder.

Apart from this small detail, nothing seemed out of place in the room. However the room had given him one important piece of information, this wasn't Jack Stephen's house as Godfrey had recently visited the Stephen household when his aged wife had passed away; and the living room was considerably different, for one Jack did not take part in sheepdog trials. This meant that this house must belong to George Fillers, a man that Godfrey only knew as a parishioner. George was a relatively young farmer who had fairly recently (a mere eight years ago) inherited the farm after his father died from a heart attack. He was well known as a local family man with several children in university education around the country.

Godfrey had however, never actually visited his house before, and the entire house felt strange. The candle was about half way down its wick, and it struck Godfrey as odd that a candle would be left burning with no one in the house. It was far too early for the couple to have gone to bed, and the storm made going outside treacherous in the extreme. Godfrey decided to explore the house and see if anyone was in, he could at the least see if they were all right, and it struck Godfrey as terribly rude and unsettling if he was discovered inside their sitting room.

Taking off his shoes and overcoat and leaving them in the hall, Godfrey took the candle from the table and started to slowly explore the house. The sound of the storm outside was loud, but not as deafening as it was a few minutes ago and he finally felt the feeling return to his hands as he held the candle stick in front of him. His head still ached but it was an easily ignorable headache at this point in time. The layout of the house seemed simple, the front hallway also acted a central corridor that connected the sitting room, dining room and kitchen together. The dining room was empty, the large oaken table that dominated the room was clear and along the rules a series of family portraits looked from their frames. In the flickering candle light the pictures looked almost alive, each member of the family had its own picture including the deceased parents of George himself. George was the spitting image of his father it seemed, or the artist had cut some corners in the paintings of the two men. George was a powerfully built man with a trimmed beard, his picture showing him with his prize sheepdog.

George's wife, Stephanie had the look of a typical housewife about her, she was dressed in a long gown that almost looked like a wedding dress in design, the picture had a quiet intensity about it. Having met Stephanie at church Godfrey was taken aback at how lifelike the picture really was, the picture seemed to have caught her usual stern look brilliantly. The couples four children, three daughters and one son also had their pictures up, each painted during adolescence. The daughters seemed to have inherited their mothers stern look and the son certainly had the proud bearing of his father. Just below the individual paintings a group painting was hung, the family all together in what was the very image of the seemingly perfect English family. The paintings were accompanied by a music system as the sole furnishing of the dining room, the only other notable objects were box files stacked into a shelving unit which Godfrey assumed contained the documents for the farming business.

The Kitchen was neat and seemingly unused for a while, a system of head height cupboards seemed to contain the cooking appliances. A large multi-layered cooker with eight hobs seemed to be the primary cooking device, although there was a microwave oven in the corner. The work stations were made from wood like the majority of the house and a large chest freezer dominated the back wall opposite the sink unit. Cooking utensils like spoons and knives were still hang up on their hooks. The dogs basket lay next to the locked back door, empty and seemingly undisturbed

The End

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