Roses. What was it with roses and Gran? Lina stared around the kitchen. Between the paper rose in the front window, the writing over the door into the kitchen from the hall, and now this. She had accepted that there was something strange, even otherworldly about this house. Somehow, she knew it had always been like this, even when she was a little girl, living there.
Abbie said that Gran was a witch and that she, Abbie, was one too. Lina wondered once again how the hell she was expected to process that. Or this. She stared at the kitchen counter. The crystalline rose petals landed softly on the cake she’d bought at the little bakery in town to celebrate her new life in Hidden River. The petals materialized about two feet above the cake and drifted down, draping themselves across the cake and on the counter.
“Gran?” Lina’s voice was tentative. “Is that you? I mean, I know you love roses, but what are you trying to tell me? Or are you just playing with roses?” It struck her that Gran had been a whimsical sort of woman, so dropping rose petals out of thin air simply because it was a pretty effect was entirely possible.
A feeling of warmth, belonging, and something Lina could only describe as home, washed over her.
“Hi, Gran,” Lina whispered.
The moment was interrupted by a loud, insistent knocking at the front door. “That had better not be that little goblin, Owen Hopkins, again,” Lina muttered as she walked down the hall. Whoever it was paused in the knocking, only to begin again three second later.
“Hold your damn horses!” Lina yelled, yanking the door open.
It wasn’t Owen Hopkins. The man on the front porch was tall, with strawberry-blond hair and sparkling green eyes. He was wearing paint-splattered jeans and a band t-shirt that was so faded, Lina couldn’t tell what band it was without closer inspection. He looked like he was about her age.
“Um, hello? Who are you?” she asked, wondering if he was trying to sell something.
“Oh! Hi. I’m Tyler McKinney. I used to do some handyman work around the house for Nora. I saw your car in the driveway and just wanted to make sure everything was okay with the house. Nora was a wonderful woman, and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to her house,” he introduced himself with a disarming smile.
“Um, okay. I don’t think she ever told me about you,” Lina replied. “I’m Lina Hanover, her granddaughter. I’m living here now.”
“Great! She told me about you. I’m so very sorry for your loss,” Tyler told her. Lina could hear the sincerity in his voice, and she relaxed a bit. She definitely would be talking to Abbie later to verify Tyler’s claims. She felt a little guilty being so suspicious of everyone when she had just moved back but finding out that not only were Gran and Abbie witches, but that she might be one as well was disconcerting and had thrown her off her game.
Tyler nodded as if reading Lina’s mind. “Here’s my card if you need anything. I know this house pretty well. Have a great afternoon!” He smiled again and turned to go back down the front steps.
“Uh, thanks! I appreciate it,” Lina called belatedly. He gave her a wave and climbed into the pickup truck that was sitting behind her car. “Tyler McKinney, Handyman” with the “h” in handyman a stylized ladder, was painted on the side. Tyler waved from the cab as he backed out of the driveway.
Lina shut the door and leaned against the wall. “Well, okay then. I’m a witch and there’s a cute handyman in town. What’s next?” she muttered.
She wandered back into the kitchen. The rose petals had stopped falling at least. This new life promised to be interesting.
This week’s prompt challenge came from Cedar Sanderson: The crystalline rose petals landed softly on the cake. ‘nother Mike took on my prompt. All the challenges and responses are up for your reading pleasure over at More Odds Than Ends.