TF: Unexpected Red (dont read this)
Aug 30th, 2012
- Sometimes, you have very strange dreams.
- Of course, dreams are usually pretty strange in general, but you get the feeling this one was extra strange. You really wish you could remember it. The only thing you can remember about it is a lot red, and the general aura of weirdness. This strikes you as odd, but by far the most odd thing about it is how much you've been thinking about it. It was just another dream that you don't remember. So why has it been on your mind ever since you woke up? It's even gotten to the point where you can't focus on what you're doing. You try to ignore it and press on, but its definitely effecting your performance.
- You decide that you should probably get dressed instead.
- Sighing, you switch off the computer and get to your feet, hearing an audible crick from your back while you stretch. You turn round to face your untidy bedroom, finding a pair of jeans on the floor. You decide to shake them out, just in case. Don't want another surprise like the one you had yesterday. You've had to kill three scorpions in as many days at this point. They like to hide under things, so it probably doesn't help that you tend to leave clothing lying around like this. Oh well.
- You head downstairs into the kitchen; which is nearly spotless in comparison to the bedroom, and begin making yourself some breakfast. You like making your meals yourself, there's something comforting about knowing exactly what goes into your body. Not that that stops you from getting some takeout every now and then.
- After fixing yourself up an omelet and some bacon, you sit yourself down at the table and stare at your steaming plate. It looks great, but you don't really want to eat it. You're never particularly hungry in the mornings, but you have very little time to eat once you are on the road. You'll regret it if you don't eat something now. By spending a generous portion of your allotted willpower for the day, you manage to force down the omelet, but left the bacon. You have a glass of milk instead. Protein quotas met, You fill a bottle with water and are out the door.
- Your work day always starts with a short drive into the city. Normally you head onto the highway loop before starting, you can get anywhere in the valley with just a few turns from the freeway. Unlike most people, you don't think Your job is terrible. You work in the family business: everything involving houses. Buying them, selling them, remodeling them, designing them, your family does it all. It isn't exactly the best occupation to be in at the moment, but somehow you all make due. And by make due you mean you're all filthy rich. Your parents gave you your house as a 20th birthday present, which they assured you was purely out of the kindness of their hearts. You secretly suspect it might also have something to do with the noise you made while having sex. That's only a hypothesis though.
- Currently, you work for your parents, doing mostly manual labor, transporting papers, recon, and staging. You can imagine that your parents aren't particularly proud of your accomplishments. You dropped out of high school at sixteen, tried college for a while, decided you didn't like it, and proceeded to loaf around for a couple years before you got your ass in gear. And so now you do jobs usually reserved for the illegal immigrants your parents hire. Most of the time anyway. Staging houses and taking proper pictures requires a bit more subtle approach. You know your pictures have sold more than a few houses. You enjoy that kind of work. Lugging the furniture in and out of the houses all the time is a pretty good workout too. You smile and pat your camera bag affectionately. Wide-angle lenses are practically cheating.
- You decide to find out what your orders are for today.
- Dangerously, you take your eyes from the road to work your phone from your pocket and dial up your mothers number. It rings a few times before she picks up.
- "Hello?" Her voice sounds tired, and you aren't surprised. Your parents have a thing for overworking themselves to the point of ridiculousness.
- "Its Ana, what am I doing today?" You don't particularly like the name Ana. You never really liked the concept of names at all, actually. Edgy as fuck, that's what you are.
- There is a moments pause before she responds. You don't know if it's phone lag or if she is even more exhausted than usual. "Oh, right. Let me see." Another pause. "I need you to swing by here and pick up an eviction notice and deliver it to a house we just bought on auction. Standard procedure." Part of what your parents did for a living was to buy foreclosed houses, fix them up, and resell them for a profit.
- "Anyone still living there?" You ask, a bit of apprehension creeping into your voice. Dealing with the sort of people who get their houses foreclosed on isn't exactly safe sometimes. You've had to do it several times before and it isn't pretty. Then there's the part about you being the one delivering an eviction notice. That tends to make it downright dangerous.
- It sounds as if she's about to fall asleep when she responds. "We're not sure yet. Like I said, standard procedure. Watch out for squatters"
- "Right. I'll see you soon."
- "Bye." She hangs up the phone. Short, to the point. You really hope she gets some rest.
- You grin. Recon missions are always fun, if not a little depressing and dangerous. You have a pretty good track record of not running into squatters though.
- Just doing whatever needed doing, that's your job. You tend to drive around a lot, and your car isn't exactly fuel efficient either, it's a monster of an SUV. Another hand-me-down from your parents. You have to admit it's useful for moving furniture around when the job calls for it.
- You switch on an audio book and settle in for the long haul.
- Your dad answers the door, and his face lights up when he sees you.
- "Oh hey! Hows it going?" He looks you up and down, his eyes lingering over your body, then your face. "You look good" He adds.
- You smile weakly. Your dad always tries so hard, but for some reason you just don't care for his bubbly positive attitude towards you. You agree with him about looking good though. You put a lot of effort into that. "Thanks dad. Is mom here? She said she had some stuff for me."
- He crooks his head curiously. He asks what kind of stuff you're picking up, but he calls over his shoulder for your mother anyway. He's just curious then.
- You shrug, then decide you can humor him, no reason not to. "She said it was an eviction notice."
- He nods, and you two share an awkward period of silence. Eventually, he breaks it. "You really do look good, though. You still going to the gym?"
- Your smile becomes a pained one. He's trying too hard again. "Yes, dad."
- Finally your mother arrives holding the goods, and thankfully breaks the tension. She promptly hands the papers over, telling you to be safe. You assure her that you will, and wrap up the pleasantries and goodbyes. You start turning to leave.
- Just as your dad begins closing the door, you hear him say "The hair highlights are a nice touch."
- "What?" You turn to look back at him.
- The door slams closed. Guess he didn't hear you. You spin on your heel and start heading down the driveway back towards your car.
- "What highlights?" You ask yourself, running your fingers through your hair.
- You reach your destination, an overgrown shady looking place in an otherwise nice neighborhood. You double check your GPS and make sure this is the place, nodding as the little device confirms it. With some wriggling and a jump, you get down from your car and turn your attention to the house. You cast a last glance in one of the side mirrors. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. As far as you can remember you've always had red stripes in your black hair. You wonder how dad could have forgotten about that. You shrug and head up to the sad looking and hopefully abandoned home, peering in the front doors windows. You push the button to ring the bell, but nothing happens. That's a good sign. Means the powers probably out, which means there's probably nobody living here. You proceed to knock on the front door for a few minutes, trying to be sure nobodies home.
- Guess not.
- You staple the eviction notice to the front door, just in case.
- Since nobody seems to be home, it's time to commence phase two of the recon mission: breaking and entering. Or as you like to call it: the fun part. Technically the house belongs to your family, so you can legally break in if nobody is living there. You try the front door. Locked. You can't help but smile to yourself. You try that every time you go to a new house, but you cant remember the last time that actually worked. Or if it has ever worked at all. It's probably a good thing the front door is locked, that means people haven't been able to walk in and out as they please.
- You check all the windows in the front of the house next, all locked. The gate to the side yard is locked too. That's a bit annoying, but you're not ready to give up just yet. With the air of somebody who's done this a few times, you leap up onto the fence and straddle it. Just before dropping down, you notice a kid on the other side of the street staring at you. You wonder what he thinks you're doing, probably thinks you're breaking in, and he'd be right. You smile stupidly and wave, causing the little guy to run off somewhere. You chuckle and shake your head, dropping down to the other side of the fence. Back to work.
- All the back windows and sliding back door are locked as well.
- Well, you came prepared for this eventuality. If all else fails you can always get your power tools from the truck and drill through the front door lock. You'll have to replace all the locks before you leave anyway. Something catches your eye, the glint of shiny plastic next to one of the side doors.
- "Oh hell, why not?"
- You're stuck.
- Your upper body slipped through easily enough, but the doggy door has caught on your hips. You're stupid sexy hips. You writhe in the infernal doors grip for a moment, letting out a small grunt of displeasure. You think the metal frame might be clinging to something on your pants.
- Finally you manage to slip through by twisting sideways. You crawl through and get the rest of your body free. As you brush some ancient dog hairs off you, you realize you're still on all fours. You should probably stand up. You start to go through the familiar motions, and realize that you don't really want to. Why don't you want to stand up? You feel your mind blank out for a second, and you shake yourself, trying to reorient things. A small shiver runs down your spine, but the feeling passes. Shakily you straighten up, wobbling a little before regaining balance.
- "Well, that was weird."
- With a quick sweep of your head, you take in the place. What follows is swift judgement.
- This place is horrifying. It smells absolutely awful, like cat piss and cigarette smoke. Your parents are going to have their work cut out for them on this one. The previous owners took all the appliances, and the ceiling fans, like they weren't supposed to. Mom is going to be really pissed about that. When people get their houses foreclosed, they usually get pretty angry. Completely understandable, but some of them try to take it out on the next owners by taking everything. Mom hunted down more than a few people that have tried to pull shit like that. Anything that is actually fixed to the house, like some stoves, toilets, air conditioners, and ceiling fans, are actually part of the house; and it's illegal to take them if you no longer own the place.
- There's still trash everywhere, and more than a few bottles of half empty beer and whiskey. Looks like somebody tried to drown their sorrows. A bag of an unknown powdery white substance is sitting on the counter, probably some kind of soap. You sigh and get to work, opening all the doors and windows to help air the place out. You start taking notes on what work needs to be done on the place. Nicks and notches in the paint, holes in the wall, missing things, stuff like that. The survey takes you a good hour or so, and by that time you're numb to the smell.
- Your pocket gives a little chirp, and you pull out your phone. You've got a text, and it's from Lizz. Apparently she wants to meet up for dinner. You grin, and suggest a movie afterwards. A cliche as hell evening, but you like the idea.
- She agrees, and you make plans for tomorrow night. You put your phone away, still smiling like an idiot. You feel really good about this whole thing, and you're not sure why. Granted it had been nearly a week since you'd spent any serious time with Lizz, but you felt downright warm and fuzzy. You decide to not put too much thought into what is probably a good thing, and spend the next hour or so replacing the house's door locks in a thoroughly good mood.
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