What Pegman Saw: The grieving widow

The room was unassuming, the furnishings plain but clean, old but well kept, very much like the landlady, Mrs Hollis.

‘A month’s rent in advance,’ she said. ‘No lady visitors in the rooms, please. We’ve had unpleasant moments. In the past.’

My gaze lingered over the sloped ceiling, the low window that looked over a square of clipped lawn, gaudy sentries of begonias and geraniums.

I paused, feeling her watching me, enjoying her confidence shift into uncertainty.

‘Is everything to your satisfaction?’

‘Everything, Mrs Hollis? No, not everything. But the room? Yes.’

A little sigh escaped her and I felt glad I’d made her wait for my approval.

‘May I ask, is there a Mr Hollis?’

‘He passed.’ She shook her bowed head. Not a bad imitation of a grieving widow, though I’ve seen better.

I turned my attention to the shadow behind the door.

Mr Hollis, I presume.

***

Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as its inspiration. This week we visit Delaware.

I tried to be inspired by the location itself, read about Maryland and Delaware and this house – Great Oak Manor – that has been host to John F. Kennedy and Ernest Hemmingway in its time.

I’m afraid, though, my mind is too tied up with ghosts to shake them off and Mr Hollis jumped out at me at the last moment.

26 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: The grieving widow

  1. Great stuff. The tension in the beginning reminds me of the scene in Lolita where Humbert rents the room from Mrs. Haze. I liked the ghost at the end. We seem to be haunted by a little black cat usually peripherally glanced coming into a room.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the generous comment, Josh. I’ve never had the courage to read Lolita, I confess. And I do like to slip a ghost in where I can! Thanks for reading

      Like

  2. If Mrs Hollis is the host then Mr Hollis can only be the ghost? And will our investigator also turn out to be a ghost with the most, courtesy of his landlady? Is his name on the frame?

    Like

  3. As always, your descriptive writing is lovely, and you really capture the feeling of the room. Mr Hollis slips in very quietly at the end. I wonder what happens next…

    Like

  4. I wonder if Mr Hollis is planning to hang around and haunt Mrs Hollis? Certainly seems as though she may have had something to do with his demise – or at least isn’t that upset about it. Great little chiller Lynn.

    Like

    1. I think you’re certainly right she’s not fussed he’s gone, though I suspect she has no clue he’s still hanging around, even though the new tenant sees him immediately. Perhaps that will change though. Thanks for reading Iain

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, drew me in nicely! Seems like Mr. Hollis jumped out at the narrator too – or at least, made his presence known in some way that Mrs. Hollis can’t perceive. Interesting hints about the narrator’s ability and what he’s doing there, hmm… I also liked how you described Mrs. Hollis through describing the room she keeps: we are so often reflected in our homes that way, aren’t we?

    Like

    1. Thanks very much for this comment, Joy. I’ve been looking into succinct, specific, original descriptions and hoped this one worked – it seems to have worked for you at least :). And yes, our personalities are so clearly reflected in our homes – a disturbing thought when you see how untidy my house is! Thanks so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had the same thought: thank goodness I’ve just been cleaning up my apartment in preparation for having a visitor this weekend and a party next weekend. As long as nobody goes into my office and gets an impression of me based on what a disaster *that* is!

        Like

Leave a Reply to Na'ama Yehuda Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.