Based on the following #FP
‘The house had been empty for decades, yet every morning he saw the same little girl at the window.
She blew him kisses.
He lived in a quiet street. A quiet faceless white collar suburban street lined with trees and sensible middle class cars. The lawns were neat. Their edges sharp. In summer, sprinklers hummed and hissed and rosey-cheeked children played tag and hide and seek. It was an idyll to aspire to. A haven to retire to. Geoff thought it was the dullest place on earth.
He was a junior programmer for a software company. Married. No kids. Bored. They used to have a cat but she left for a neighbour three doors down. As cats do. His wife was slim and pretty. And More than a little ditzy. Her name was Valarie and she collected vintage dresses.
Geoff woke at precisely 5.30 each morning. He showered. Ate breakfast. And left for work at precisely 6.30. Geoff had a car. Of sorts. He resisted the temptation of leasing something flashy and stuck with his old Volvo estate. It started. It went. It was green and dented. He didn’t care. He preferred to walk and take the train.
At the corner of his street was a grand old house. Its garden was overgrown and fences rickety. The windows were shuttered, hiding emptiness and intrigue. He didn’t know much about the family who once lived there but he knew that there had been a fire. Everyone had got out before the fire took hold except for a little girl who hid in her room. Firefighters found her curled up in the bottom of a wardrobe. She was untouched by the flames. It was the smoke that killed her.
Geoff woke at precisely 5.30am. He carefully slid out of bed and Valarie rolled into his mattress dip, snuggling and sighing. He tiptoed to the bathroom and stood under the hot shower. Another day. Another dull, boring day. Some mornings he wished that he didn’t wake at all. After a quick breakfast of toast and tea, he slipped out of his quiet suburban house and into the warm July air.
As he reached the old house, he stopped to look, as he did most mornings, and he saw something move. He squinted in the early morning sun, cupping his eyes with his hands. It was then that he saw her. The face of a little girl was pressed against a shuttlerless window. She had long dark hair and the most wonderfully expressive face. The face of an angel. She waved and blew him kisses. Cold kisses. He shivered. Then as suddenly as she had appeared, she was gone.
Each day on his morning walk to the train, he looked up at the old house. And each day the little girl appeared at the window and blew him her cold kisses.
He decided to see if he could find out more about the house. About its secrets. He looked up the newspaper account of the fire. It happened in 1983. It was a terrible tragedy. The little girl who died was trapped in the upstairs of the old house and her parents were beaten back by the flames. Firemen held them back as the house smoked and creaked and groaned with water as the flames were quenched.
According to eyewitness accounts the mother screamed and kicked. Some said she was carted off to a sanitarium. The father sat with his head in his hands and sobbed in despair. He became a drinker and roamed the streets talking quietly to himself, occasionally shouting at passers by.
At the bottom of the article, Geoff found a picture of the family. Mum and dad and daughter.
A little girl with short blonde hair.
So who was the little girl in the shutterless window? He spent days researching the family, trawling through state records until he stumbled upon a death notice from 1978 for a little girl aged two, their first daughter, who had fallen from a top floor window in that very same house.
There was a picture of the toddler.
She had long dark hair and the most wonderfully expressive face. The face of an angel.
He sighed. Geoff knew what he had to do. The next morning, she was at the window as usual and as usual she blew him a kiss. This time he caught it, held it to his heart to warm it and then blew it back. She caught it and smiled at Geoff. Then she was gone. Forever.
His morning walks would never be the same again but each morning he still imagined he could feel her cold kisses.
And see the little girl with the long dark hair and the most wonderfully expressive face. The face of an angel.