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.