They were pretty big dinosaur tracks, good thing I had my field guide handy...and flashlight since someone turned the electricity off. I could smell food rotting on the kitchen table. Pears and bananas, fruit flies fizzing around. There were no other sounds except a leaking faucet, curtains flapping against wood.

The hallway had five closed doors, with a sixth slightly ajar, where the sounds come from, probably a bathroom. Flashlight beam shows no blood, so I'm praying I'm dealing with non-carnivores. A stuffed bear, as in the kind they put in lobbies of hotels in Alaska, for tourists to pose with in photographs, stands over ten feet tall, snarling, on its hind legs, darkly.

Nothing to worry about here, I think...just another day in suburbia. The house will be listed by the realtors as a fixer-upper. Foreclosure. I was expecting a bit more drama, but I get paid either way. Should caution them about the driveway, the fence, and the taxes, though, like a good neighbor.


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