Teaser from The Salem Sisters
By Heather Anne Richards
Dad got a new job, that meant moving. I have spent my whole life in sunny Beverly Hills, California, and now to be moving to the east coast – three time zones away. He was relocated to Salem, the same place I was born, and the same place I was adopted from. Being as I was still an infant, I didn’t recognize the neighborhood when our SUV pulled into the drive way of our new home.
“Home sweet home,” Dad announced as he turned off the engine.
Leaning against the car window, I looked up to the Victorian style home. There was a huge front lawn, with large willow trees on both sides of the open front porch. There was a large front lawn, that wrapped around to the back. The house was three stories high – and staring at the top window, I knew I was going to make the attic my bedroom. I was the only child, since my parents couldn’t make their own children, so I was one spoiled princess.
With mom being a well respected real estate agent, and my father was a well respected brain surgeon. So respected, his hospital in Beverly Hills felt it necessary to transfer him to a hospital in Salem, that needed his intelligence more then they did. Mom and I opened our car doors and slid out, slamming them shut.
“There’s no beach,” I crossed my arms over my chest, feeling a chill as the cold, fall, crisp air rustled through my blond hair.
“Maxine, give it a chance.” Mom smiled, placing a delicate hand on my shoulder. “You were born here after all.”
“And left when I was an infant,” I sighed. “I am so used to sunny California, getting used to harsh winters are going to be torture.”
“Well, why don’t we go inside. The movers will be here shortly.” Dad walked up the pathway, to the front porch.
The three of us slowly walked up the front stone steps, leading to the large, double door that concealed the inside from the outside world. Dad dug into his back jeans pocket for the key and put it into the tiny keyhole. Unlocking the door, and pushing it open, I saw my new home for the next couple years. Brushing past my father, I flicked on the light switch. When the light didn’t turn on, I sighed heavily. Of course the electric wouldn’t be turned on yet.
“Oh Scott, I thought you took care of the electric!” Mom whined as she followed in behind my father, who was rubbing his forehead.
“I thought I had, Syn.” He glared at her, and tried flicking the switch a couple more times.
“Wonderful. How am I supposed to charge my Ipod, which is near dead?” I groaned, crossing my arms over my chest.
“Max, honey, please.” Mom sighed and walked into the kitchen.
Dad pulled his cellphone out of his front, polo pocket. He pressed the side button and scrolled through his long list of contacts. “I’ll get them on the phone right away, I’ll figure out what’s up. Maxine, why don’t you go and choose a room?”
He didn’t have to tell me twice. Before he had a chance to ask me anything else, I was up the long, winding steps to the second floor. The hallway was long and eerie, and reminded me of an old horror movie, which I wasn’t going to lie – creeped me out to no end. Walking down the long hall, I found a creaky wooden door, which when I opened it, I found more steps.
Taking one step at a time, I held onto the wall as there was no railing, and slowly made my way to what seemed like the attic. It was dark, but had a chandelier dangling from the ceiling. On the walls were sconces that held white, stick candles. There was even an altar – which reminded me of an attic of an old witches house.
“Well, this is pretty cool.” I whispered. “Think I found my room.”
“Maxine, the movers are here!” Mom called up to me, which made me jump and almost slip and fall back down the steps.
“Coming!” I shouted, taking one last look at the room that would be mine.
I ran all the way back down to the living room just as the movers were carrying in the sofa. Dad was in the corner, yelling at the electric company on his cell phone, and mom was in the kitchen putting away glassware from a box marked kitchen in one of the cabinets. They dropped the sofa in the middle of the living room as another set of men walked in, carrying parts of my loft bed.
“Those are mine,” I said to them as they walked through the door. “My room is up in the attic, you can just leave them and I will put them together myself.”
They nodded and walked past me and up the steps. Dad put his cell phone back into his pocket and sighed heavily, scratching his head. He turned around, looking over at me. He came closer to me, leaning on the bannister.
“What’s the verdict?” I asked.
“Well, they can’t get out until tomorrow. So, powerless until then.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fantastic.” I crossed my arms over my chest and continued down the rest of the stairs. “Since I can’t do anything here, I am gonna take a walk around the hood. I chose the attic, anything else of mine can just go there.”
Skipping past my father, I ran out the front door. Parked at the curb, next to the driveway was the large, orange UHAUL truck. I was startled by my front door reopening behind me, as the first set of movers moved past me and back down to the truck to gather some more of our belongings. Pulling my IPOD out of my back pocket, and putting the earbuds into my ears, I pressed the center play button and decided my mind in loud music.