The House of Happy Mayhem - A book by Trent Zelazny(8)
Author:Trent Zelazny

    Afterhalf an hour or so the couple gets up. I climb off the swing andslowly make my way across the field, quickening my pace when it isn’tobvious I’m doing so. Behind me another car pulls into the parkinglot blasting some loud rap music.

    Iwatch the couple crest the tiny hill and see that they veered to theleft. I race up into the trees and find one of the tree-freesplotches that reveals the world on the other side, and hear themtalking but I can’t make out what they’re saying.

    Theypass by my opening. I give it a couple of seconds and then moveuntil I find another, and it’s in this second opening that I hitthe jackpot. It’s an adorable little home, eight steps up to ashort walkway, and the woman breathes in the fresh air with a smileon her face as the man unlocks the door and then they are inside.

    Casually,heading back to the fence opening, I once again step through it andgo left. Their yard is small but well kept, and potted flowers flankthe steps and the walkway. I can’t get it out of my mind what theyare doing inside there, and I become overwhelmed with an almostuncontrollable urge to find out, right then and there. Instead, Iremove my copy of The Adventures of TomSawyer, flutter its pages, turn around andmake my way home.

    Thenext afternoon, I walk up to the front door and ring the bell. Whennothing happens I ring the bell again and follow it with a series ofknocks. Still, no one answers. With the exception of a couple ofbirds—pigeons, I think—the block is empty. And once I realizethe block is empty I do something I know I shouldn’t do but I do itanyway. First I look under the doormat. Then I begin looking underthe potted flowers, cautiously, checking for on-lookers with everypot I lift. There are twelve pots in all and nothing under any ofthem.

    Iapproach the door and ring the bell again, having a stupid story inmind in case someone does this time decide to answer. A dumb storyabout losing a book in the park and if you’ve been to the parkrecently, might you have seen it? But no one answers.

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