There were plenty of warning signs when Stephen and Hannah put an offer in on their dream house in The Fan.Why was their first offer accepted so fast? How could the inspection report on a house built in 1885 come back clean? (Hannah would later find out the inspector spent 2 minutes in the house and refused to return) Why did the previous owners put a warning in the contract about not walking on the front staircase? No cracks, the boards seemed sturdy, so they chalked it up as the previous owners being overly cautious. After all, they could take the house's back staircase for the time being. They signed the contract.
They closed on the house in the afternoon. Stephen took a few car loads of boxes over that night to get a head start on moving. After a few trips he'd meet Hannah for dinner at Garnett's, but from the the number of missed calls found on his phone, he never showed up.
He arrived at the house around 7pm. A pre-storm wind was starting and any leaves left on the trees were rapidly falling to ground. It was dark. Clouds covering the soft glow of the moon dark. When he opened the door he hurriedly looked for the light switch. Fumbling with boxes and rubbing the walls with his other hand he found it. A single dim light lit an empty house. It looked different without all the furniture in it. It looked cold, empty. He had a history of thinking himself into being scared. The bumps and the creaks of the old house were all unfamiliar, but each one was starting to put him on edge. The light was just bright enough to view each board on the stairs he wasn't supposed to take. A shine danced across each one like it recently polished. He thought about going up them, but took the back stairs, until his last load of boxes. Tired, his arms hurting, he didn't have it in him to walk to the back of the house again. With his right foot he touched the first step, a decision he would live, or die to regret...
It was like every noise in the house went silent. The wind stopped, the hum of the old radiator silenced, and the footstep echoed through the house like someone yelling in a canyon. As he was halfway up them he thought, "Well, that was stupid. I should've been taking these the whole time." Then he felt the banister next to him shake like someone was holding it behind him. He quickly turned and no one was there. His heart rate tripled and he sprinted up the stairs to the top of the landing. Still, no one there. Hunched over catching his breath, the hair on the back of his neck began to tingle. With a jolt he felt a cold hand crab the back of his collar and pull him upright. He could feel the warmth of moist breathe in his ear.
Angrily it whispered, "You weren't supposed to take my stairs"
Never turning around, Stephen pulled himself free and sprinted down the back stairs and out the front door, or so we thought. His wife, Hannah, found his car still outside with the trunk open, the front door swinging back and forth in the wind, and an empty moving box scattered down the front porch. She never heard from him again.
So when your walking by a house in The Fan and your dog barks at nothing , or you see a stray cat outside hissing with its back curled up, just remember, if the owners of that house invite you in,
Click the button below to download your FREE print ready PDF coloring book page sized to print at home! You'll either find coloring bricks relaxing or the most tedious thing you've ever done.
I've wanted to do something like this for the LONGEST time. Here is a free coloring book page that you can print at home and color. It features row house in the fan from my Richmond in the Afternoon print. Click below to download.
The grease from the wrapper is warm as it coats your hand like a glove of regret. You can feel that the top of the breakfast sandwich is hard from sitting under the gas station heat lamp. After your first bite you examine what’s inside. “This can’t be a real egg.”, you think as you reach for another pile of napkins. Finished, you toss the wrapper. You’re quickly reminded of your breakfast as your hands slide a little more than usual on the steering wheel. “I know I shouldn’t be eating this. I didn’t even like it, so why did I eat the whole thing?”, you think. In that moment you feel like you have no control.
This was me.
It’s been about 6 months since I started to eat healthier and the number one question I get is, “What’s the secret!?”. There is no magic berry that’s going to whisk away 10lbs, you’re not going to order pre-made diet meals from a company for your whole life, and you’re not going to eat bacon 3 meals a day forever. You have to want to change more than you want bad foods. How you get to that point is different for all of us. Here is how I mentally got there along with some of the foods I’ve been eating.
How I got there mentally.
What have I been eating?
I do 3 healthy meals a day and cut out all snacking. I keep my breakfast and lunch basically the same.
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ egg or peanut butter, and a ton of fruit
Lunch: Usually a non cream based soup, fruit on the side, and maybe a lean protein like some chicken from the night before, or tuna.
Dinner: I’ll have a healthier variation of whatever we’re making. If we’re having pasta and meatballs I’ll put the meatballs over cauliflower, that kind of stuff.
Snacks: If I need a boost to get me to the next meal I’ll do a LÄRABAR, some air popped popcorn, fruit, carrots hummus etc.
What did I cut out?
You need to change the way you think about food. You need to change up your daily routine. You need to know that you’re in total control. I know you want it, that’s why you’re reading this, so you’'ve already checked that box off on one of the hardest parts about getting started.
I've been practicing people and group shots to do some longer form comics in the near future. I've never been to a house show, but the only way you could get me to one would be to promise that it would be like this.