Day 9 (Part two): Marta, your character’s neighbour asks your character a favour Would your character mind taking in Marta’s mail and watering her plants while Marta is away on an unexpected trip? Your character agrees and accepts Marta’s house key. But when your character lets him/herself into Marta’s house for the first time, he/she encounters something he/she certainly wasn’t expecting . . .
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“Who is it?” Kevin shouted from his spot on the sofa where he played Call of Duty Modern Warfare. He didn’t think it necessary to pause the game to get rid of some salesperson or the other.
“Its Marta” came the voice.
Marta? He wondered. Who is Marta?
“Your next door neighbour.” Marta sounded annoyed that Kevin didn’t know her or even recognize her voice. He paused the game now and nonchalantly walked toward the door.
“Oh hey Marta” He smiled at her.
“Hi Kevin, how are you? Listen,” Marta continued without pause. “I have a family emergency so I’ll be out of town for a couple of days, maybe two weeks the most. Can you do me a favour and collect my mail, water my plants and feed my cat?” Marta asked with her oh-so-sweet and innocent voice, tilting her head to the side and batting her eyelashes.
Kevin wondered though if she knew anything about him, because if she did, he would be the last person she’d ask. Kevin was still a teenager, when it benefited him, like in such instances. He was in second year at college and didn’t even have time for his own responsibilities let alone another’s. Not to mention, he had no green-thumbs. He was no psychopath or demented soul, he just had no luck with plants and animals, anything he had to care for actually.
“Ah, Marta,” Kevin ran his hand over his bald head. “I’d love to but I -”
“Great, good. Thanks Kevin!” Marta almost flung her keys at Kevin as she descended his front steps. “You can water the plants tomorrow, I already watered them for today. And you can feed Mr. Socrates tomorrow as well. His food in under the kitchen sink.” Marta waved to Kevin as she crossed his driveway.
“Marta, I didn’t . . . No Marta, stop” Kevin tried to keep up with what was happening.
“Oh, before I forget,” Marta turned back once more before she reached the car waiting by her driveway. “Whatever you do, do NOT go . . .” The rest of her statement was drowned out by the roar of the car engine. “Thanks again Kevin. I owe you one!” She shouted as she jumped into the car.
“Don’t What, Marta?” Kevin shouted frustrated and downright bewildered. What exactly happened just now? Kevin stood in his doorway dumbstruck as he watched the car disappear down the street.
Shelly, Kevin’s girlfriend, came down the stairs and found Kevin still standing in the doorway jingling the keys in his hand distractedly.
“What was that about?” She asked as she approached Kevin.
“Huh?” Kevin jumped. “Oh. Marta asked me to watch her house for a couple of days I guess.” Kevin turned and stumbled into the house closing the door behind him. He didn’t even return to his paused game. He sat on the couch soaking everything in. “Huh” is all he could manage to say.
The next day, after Kevin recovered from the forced responsibilities, he thought he’d go water Marta’s plants before he left for school. He carried his own water bottle not wanting to enter her house at this moment.
Later that day when he got home from school he and Shelly went over to Marta’s to feed her cat. He figured if anything strange were to happen on his watch, he would at least have his own witness. As they approached the front door, Kevin called out for Marta’s cat.
“Mr. Socrates! or whatever your name is.” He called.
“What are you doing?” Shelly asked stepping up behind him at the door.
“What does it look like? I’m calling the cat.”
“You know nothing about cats do you? Cats are not like dogs. They don’t come on command.” Shelly replied.
“Fine!” Kevin scowled as he fetched Marta’s keys from his pockets. He unlocked the front door and cautiously stepped inside.
Kevin had never been in Marta’s house but was impressed with how bright and welcoming Marta’s house was. Kevin and Shelly moved through the living and dining rooms into the kitchen where sure enough Mr. Socrates was perched on the window sill. He didn’t even acknowledge the strangers in the house. Kevin found the cat’s dish by the kitchen island. While Shelly took a seat on a stool, Kevin went to the cupboard below the sink for the cat food.
Kevin dropped the bag of cat food spilling the contents on the ground. Mr. Socrates jumped off the window sill at the sound, but Shelly remained seated.
“What was that?” Kevin stood up wide-eyed.
“How would I know?” Shelly shrugged at Kevin. Kevin narrowed his eyes at Shelly then resumed cleaning up the cat food.
Kevin stood straight up and stared at Shelly. “Cut it out.” He said straight-faced.
Shelly nodded her head toward the door in the kitchen that just swung open. She didn’t say a word but looked equally as startled as Kevin. Kevin saw the door and realised it must be the basement door.
“Well?” Shelly asked.
“Are you going to close the door?” Shelly gestured to the half-open door.
“Why would I do that?” Kevin asked.
“Ah . . . because Mr. Socrates could get trapped down there or something?” Shelly grasped for straws.
“Then, go close it.” Kevin replied.
“I’m not even supposed to be in here, remember? I’m just your witness.” Shelly folded her arms and raised an eyebrow at Kevin in a ‘what you gonna say now’ tone of voice.
“Huh!” Kevin nodded his head obviously at a loss for words. He put down the bag with cat food and went over to the door but instead of closing it, he went in.
“What are you doing?” Shelly jumped off the stool now.
“Having a look around.”
“Why?” Shelly asked at the top of the stairs by the door as Kevin descended into the basement. He found the light switch on the wall at the foot of the stairs and flicked it on.
“Woaw.” He said as bright fluorescent light flooded the white walls of the basement. But it was not the white walls or fluorescent light that gave Kevin pause. It was the medieval weapons collection that lined all four walls of the basement.
“Wha – What is it Kevin?” Shelly started to worry at the top of the stairs.
“Come and look” Kevin replied moving toward the nearest wall examining the display. “Hey, grab a stool and put it by the door, just in case, ok” He called back up to Shelly.
This side of the wall carried several short-handed knives: dirks, daggers, stilettos, there were a pair of sais, and a pair of katars, all neatly lined and labelled like a display at a museum. Kevin dared not touch any of them; it must have cost a fortune to collect pieces like these. On the wall opposite the stairs were swords of different sizes including a short sword, a long sword, a broadsword, and a sabre. As Kevin perused the collection a new-found respect grew for Marta. He knew he shouldn’t be down here among her prized collection, but knowing that Marta collected things this cool was mind-boggling Shelly found his side and quietly examined the pieces without touching them as well. He looked over to her and she smiled.
Following the swords were the cleaving weapons as was labelled. This included battle axes, maces of different girths, smooth ended clubs and a club called the Kanabo that Kevin found interesting. Kevin made a mental note to do some research into the different weapons he found down here, when he came across the war hammer. Kevin grinned and pointed it out for Shelly.
“Shell look, its Robert Baratheon’s war hammer ” He sounded like a kid in a candy store winning the jackpot. Shelly smiled at her cute nerd and shook her head when he wasn’t looking.
As they finished examining the last wall, Shelly grabbed Kevin by the elbow and pulled him toward the stairs.
“Hey, we didn’t come to investigate Marta’s weapons collections. We’re here to feed her cat. Come let’s go.”
Kevin mumbled and sighed to himself. It was difficult to part ways with such an awesome collection but he knew Shelly was right. Maybe when Marta gets back, he could ask her about it. He even wondered if she knew how to use any of them.
This particular story has a back-story to it . . . The story of how it came to be. Lol! Anywho, I’m at home happily typing away in Word. I tried to access Evernote earlier and was not able to log in so I thought, I’ll start the story in Word and copy it across later when Evernote was back online. So in Word I write my story, did about 4 pages worth of writing and was on the verge of completing this challenge when, yep you guess it, my laptop died 😥 Needless to say I lost the entire story and then some. The story you see above is not the original, it is what I could do with what I remembered from the story I originally wrote. The laptop dying at that precise moment did not sit well with me, so WE are not on good terms right now, but you live and you learn, right?!
Has that ever happened to you? I’m sure it has. How did you cope? What did you do?