Minion did not think she had done the house justice, so she spent some time working out the floor plans, and then she just had to redo the house descriptions, so here’s the first part of this one again, but better.

Just inside the front door, Maddy found a short but wide hall, lined on both sides with dull, metal coat hooks, a little over her head. The sound of approaching footsteps sent Maddy skittering out of the foyer. Directly ahead lay a narrower stretch of hallway, filled almost to overflowing with shadows that bounced Maddy to her left into a huge, dusty room, striped here and there with thin bars of bright gold that leaked past closed shutters, plus a broad swath of light from the one bow window of three in the long stretch of wall to her left that the shutters did not cover. 

A second uncovered window was set almost directly ahead. At the far end of the dim room, it seemed more like a bright painting of a forest scene hung to one side of the wide fireplace. Part way down the right wall, nearer Maddy, a generously spaced staircase led up to the second floor.

I wonder what we are going to do with all this space, Maddy wondered as she listened to her footsteps echo down the approximate acre and a half of dusty wooden flooring. We could probably have fit half of our old apartment in this room alone.

Like the hallway across from the foyer, the staircase had no windows to light the way, so Maddy bounced past the risers, and on through the tall arch set in the wall beyond into another echoingly empty room. 

Only about half the size of the first room, it still seemed to take an age to cross. Another picture window opened in the side wall. The trees danced gently in the late afternoon sunshine, though Maddy gave them only a glance. 

A door without a knob in the right hand wall drew Maddy’s wandering path. A worn brass plate drew her curious hand. With only a slight pressure, the door swung open. Just inside, Maddy stopped for the first time in her explorations to examine the big old kitchen.

There were several immediate differences. While the first two, empty rooms felt cold and remote, an air of warmth and welcome and warmth filled the kitchen, and not entirely because it had all the windows uncovered, and for some reason the previous owners left it mostly still furnished. That late in the day, little sunshine hit the windows or the wide stretch of lawn beyond.

The room was not exactly a rectangle, with one corner bitten out just to her right, where in the first room Maddy found the staircase. Two closed doors led into this mysterious section. Probably a basement and pantry, or a small bathroom, Maddy thought, though she had no inclination at that moment to explore either.

In the corner opposite these, to Maddy’s left, a discolored patch of floor and wall showed where a double width refrigerator and freezer had stood. Beyond this, a white painted door with a smallish, square window led outside. Pale yellow curtains framed that window, when all the others, so far, stood bare on the inside, though shuttered without. 

Another fireplace stood next to the door, narrower than the first, and with an odd array of hooks and bars inside, and a heavy, black, metal door set in the stones to one side. Beyond this array of old methods for cooking stood a surprisingly modern, gas stove and oven that seemed far more out of place, though not unwelcome in that shadowy, old house. Pale wooden cabinets and counters lined the remaining walls, except for another door leading out the far side of the kitchen, and two windows, left of the door, and right of the stove.

What dominated the room, however, was a vast expanse of high table in the middle of the room. The heavy wooden top matched the counters and cabinets. It had obviously seen a lot of use, but equally, it had seen a lot of care, too. The top rose almost as high as Maddy’s shoulder, a good height for an adult to work at standing up, but it also had six tall, comfortable looking chairs with backs, seats, and arms lined in the same pale yellow as the curtains arranged along the two long sides.

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