I need to find out what’s going on down the street at #706. My husband, Paul and i have owned that rental property for ten years. We’ve always been lucky to have good, reliable renters. Right now, we have twin sisters renting the house.. Abbie and Alexis Dorey. They’ve been excellent tenants so far. Rent is always paid on time. They’ve never thrown any wild parties, and they keep the yard very neat. But Paul and i weren’t going to renew their lease. We wanted to let our daughter, soon to be a university graduate, Maye, live there rent free.. until she has a chance to save some money. Then night before last, Alexis came over with a delicious cake she baked. Paul and i ate half of it, and before we knew it, Paul marched down the street with a three year lease renewal for them to sign! What on earth happened? The next morning, when Alexis brought it back to us signed, we couldn’t remember a thing! It was like they’d cast a spell or something. Paul had to tell Maye that she can’t live there. I need to do a little investigating down there. I’ve seen some far out things happening down there, and i’m hoping i can find a reason to get out of this agreement we made. I feel a little like that Gladys Kravitz character from Bewitched, but it must be done.
The thought of investigating makes me hungry, so first some lunch. I make myself a ham and cheese on rye and pasta salad. I think about having a piece of that cake. There’s a third of it left in the fridge, but who knows what could happen if i eat more. Plus, i’m thinking about having it analyzed somewhere to see if it contains any nefarious ingredients.
I then grab our key to the house off its keyholder, go out the back and walk behind the arborvitae hedge that borders the back of all the homes on our side of the street. I know that Abbie and Alexis are at work. I don’t want to use my key, so I’ll look around outside to see what i can find first. Nothing unusual. I look in one of the back windows that looks into the living room. I see their black kitty, Apollo, curled up on the center cushion of the couch. His eyes are closed, but i feel like he knows i’m here. I slide the key in the back door, and kitty opens one eye, but doesn’t sit up. I go through the dining room straight to the kitchen. What was in that cake? I look in the cupboards and see nothing unusual. But now Apollo is following me around the house. He heads upstairs and looks at me like i should follow him so i do. Paul and i have owned this house for a long time, so of course i’m familiar with it. But the hallway looks different somehow. Can’t put my finger on it. Then i figure it out.. the walls are now lavender. They’ve always been the palest shade of green. When did they paint it? Apollo looks up at me, and i swear he winks. He walks into the second doorway on the left of the hall. I know this is Abbie’s room. Nothing off in here. I’m tempted to look into her jewelry box on the wardrobe, but i have no reason to do that. Unless i suspect them of being jewel thieves. Do i? Paul will be upset when he finds out I came over here like this. I open the box. There are some amazing treasures in here. There’s one thing i can’t help but touch. It’s a gold chain with a pear shaped.. maybe five carat .. sapphire pendant attached. Should i try it on? Why not? Then i’ll put it back and go home. I never should have done this. Apollo is still watching me. Like he’s saying .. go ahead.. I dare you! So i put it on. I blink just for a second. My eyes open, and i’m in an enormous library. There’s a handsome man sitting at a large desk. He stands and says.. ah, i have a visitor. I see you brought Apollo with you. .. I look down and see the kitty. He has a kind of cheshire cat grin. And the man says.. You’re not the visitor i was expecting. You’re not Abbie, but you brought her familiar. And i think.. her familiar? … I’m Doctor Watson, and you are… ?
By M. Raynes