The Stranger

Giselle Marks

A  five hundred word maximum story for Ailsa Abraham’s competition with the first sentence compulsory.

The stranger standing at her gate asked how much her house was worth.mansion-2

“Dunno, Ma’am,” Abigail declared, thinking what a nosy old woman.

“I’m to draw some interior designs for the owner.”

The van parked outside was inscribed “Abigail’s Interior Designs,” but the house had been left to her by her great-aunt Phoebe.  Abigail knew the valuation of “the Rookery” she planned to update the décor and sell it.

The woman clung to the gate-post, looking ashen grey. Abigail feared she would collapse as she gripped her chest, grimacing with pain.

“Are you all right Ma’am?” she asked.

The woman, dressed all in black, could have been any age between sixty and a hundred. Nature had been unkind and aging had not improved the job. A hooked nose and several large moles festooned with…

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