The Dream House, chapter 8

While Lailah slept upstairs, Carol ventured into the kitchen to make her some tea. Looking around, she was taken aback by the size, and the age, of the kitchen. There was an old Wedgwood stove on the back wall, appearing to be in perfect condition. It even had a wood burning facility – Carol thought “that might be pretty useful if the electricity goes out.” She found a kettle, checked to see it was clean inside and put some water on to boil, happy to see the stove worked.

She found several teas in a cabinet on the wall facing the stove, herbal teas mostly, which she was pleased to see; it would be best for Lailah if she had something restful and without caffeine.

“Lets see, what have we here?” she mumbled to herself. “Wolfbane – hmm, don’t know what that is… Mandrake root? That either. Henbane? Cinquefoil? Mugwort? Hellebore?” Carol picked up box after box. “Isn’t there anything here I’ve heard of?” she asked herself, just before finding a box of Valerian root at the back. “Ah, there we go, that’ll make her sleep for awhile.”

Carol made the tea and while it was steeping investigated the kitchen. There was a door to the right of the stove that led to a small laundry porch, without washer or dryer, but with a tiny water closet next to the back door. Trying the handle of the back door, she found it locked, but noticed an old fashioned key hanging from a nail next to the door. It fit the lock and with some effort she managed to turn it and open the door.

Immediately, the pungent smells from the foliage outside assaulted her senses. It was completely overgrown, but there was still a garden entwined in the coils of the wild vines and brambles. She could see part of it was a herb garden; there were also tomato plants and some squash that had grown to the size of large pillows. “Hmm, we could cook one of those and have food for a week” she thought, “or carve an devil face into one fro Halloween!”

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