Chapter Two

Since we moved here from a pretty large ranch, hard work was something my family and I were used to. So by the time the movers came, the house was presentable enough to actually move in.

The dust was gone, as were the cobwebs. Dad had rid the house of the rodents that used our house as their sanctuary. Mom and I had scrubbed the walls and had peeled off all the cracked paint and outdated wallpaper in all the public rooms (we figured we'd live the bedrooms and private baths till later, after all, only we'd be seeing them). Dad replaced the light fixtures and all the doors, including the two front ones. Now you could actually tell which one was meant to be the front door. Or at least the one we wanted to be the front door.

It was a deep red, making it pop against the whitewashed brick and limestone the house was made of. We painted the other door white so that it blended in with the house, almost unnoticeable.

The change worked well cause when the moves came, they walked right up to the red door and rang the doorbell Dad had installed.

Funny thing was, Mom didn't want them to bring any of the furniture through that door; she wanted them to take it through the white one. We still had some painting to do and she didn't want to us accidentally ruin any of our new stuff.

"You folks sure did clean this place up," the furniture man commented as he directed his boys to place everything in the den or garage. "I mean, I haven't been in here before, or nothing, but seeing as it's been sitting here unoccupied for quite a while …. Where'd ya'll say you was from?"

"We didn't," I replied, gaining a look from Mom. I shrugged unapologetically. It wasn't none of his business where we came from, I thought we'd tell him if we wanted him to know.

"We own a ranch up north," Dad responded. "That's why we're getting all new furniture. We need to keep all our old stuff up there."

The man nodded. He was obviously pleased we bought it all from him. I wasn't. I didn't like the way it look. Too sleek, too new. I was already missing the furniture Dad and the ranch hands built us from scratch. Especially my bed. This one was …

Mom had placed the order with this local guy about a week before we moved. She said he said he'd never gotten such a large order before and it'd take him two weeks to get it all.

I guess that was all well and good. But seeing as it was obviously all mass manufactured, I was beginning to wonder why it'd take him so long. Dad could have built has entirely new furniture in the same amount of time, maybe less.

Oh well, I guess it had given us more time to fix up the place. Plus, I didn't mind sleeping and eating on the floor for a week. Sort of reminded me of certain nights on the ranch.

"You don't want help setting any of this up?" the man asked.

Mom shook her head. "We're still painting the other side." She had a mural planned. For where I wasn't sure, but she had that "artistic look" in her eyes.

"It's a peculiar house, isn't it?" I was beginning to wish he'd leave. All the furniture was in and yet here he was asking questions. "What made ya'll decide to buy it?"

I was about to say something else smart but before I could Mom said, "I guess we're peculiar people."

The man laughed. It was a loud and throaty laugh. "Well then you'll definitely be shaking things up here on Phoenix Circle. It was nice meeting you folks." He kept on laughing as he waved goodbye and drove off.

We'd shake things up, eh? Wasn't sure I liked the sound of that.