He Came with the House, Part two
I'm afraid this might be a tease. I've been studying non-stop and I was scrambling to come up with an entry, so I opened an old file and did a cut and paste. I'm not even sure this thing is done, though I vaguely remember writing the majority of it years ago in a notebook somewhere. We'll see.
The next morning in the safety of the light pouring through the windows and eight noisy brothers and sisters fighting over cereal and milk, I confronted Mama at breakfast. One by one, voices quieted as I relayed the events of the previous night, which Nicholas confirmed. Nicholas and I weren't the only ones who felt uneasy in our new nest, and we wanted Mama to tell us why.
"I didn't want you children to worry needlessly, but since you have noticed some strange things, I guess you should know. There is a man living in the walls. He is the previous owner and I have agreed to let him stay under certain conditions. Now finish your breakfast."
Nine mouths opened at once.
"Mother! you've got to be kidding!"
"A man is living in the walls?"
"He must be crazy. You must be crazy!"
Mama kept her calm. "The Man in the Walls won't hurt you, so stop fussing. He's quite pleasant really. I couldn't turn down the house. I needed a big place to raise nine children and this one was reasonably priced. I couldn't turn it down after I found out the conditions." She looked up at us, everyone silent for the first time since she announced that father was gone and we had one month to find a new home.
She shrugged, her hands palms up in the air. "He came with the house," she said, like she was talking about a troublesome washing machine. "Finish you breakfast already. We're running late!"