It is only a small house, there is little remarkable about it, perhaps the pretty garden to the rear. Otherwise, it is grey, and weather beaten, squat and rather ugly, only the brilliant white frames of the windows and the golden light seeping from them give it any colour. Once upon a time each room glowed with its own individual charm, The living room filled with soft lighting, comfortable furnishings, picture and mirror laden walls. It would not have been to everyone’s taste; Too rustic perhaps, old fashioned. Browns and creams dominated, the couches a rich leather oxblood, overstuffed like the floor to ceiling bookcase in the corner where hard and paperbacks shared space with bronze figurines, family photographs and Indonesian tribal masks. A television haunts another corner sited beside an ornate carved wood fireplace settled over a cream marble hearth which boasts a wood burning stove, a vase of freshly cut flowers and Moroccan style bronze candle lanterns. Wine red and cream plaid curtains frame the windows.
It is a room where you would expect to see a family laughing and talking, quietly reading, or watching television whilst discussing the cares of the day, a warm room, a homely room.
A dark wood door leads from this room into another centered by a cloth covered dining table surrounded by chairs, here, apart from the walls, curtains and floors, magnolia, and pine, all is black. Computer desk in one corner, a large bookcase in another. The sideboard, even the chairs, lamps and light shade are black. The ornamentation gothic, gargoyles, dark mahogany carved mirrors, candle sconces and stands it is a witchery.
Here you can imagine dinners and dark red wine being consumed, chatter, everything aglow, tarot cards being turned, and dark histories being told but here you can also see research on the computer, old books being read from the bookshelves, toasts, and tasty food.
The rest of the house is ordinary; a tiny bathroom, a nice kitchen, traditional, as you would expect, cluttered rather than modern, a bedroom with pine furniture, gold and rose, burgundy and scatter cushions. A home for a certain type of family.
The walls are still magnolia, the wallpaper gold and brown, the floors oak and pine but the pictures and mirrors have gone as have the ornaments, candle holders and books, the colourful rugs and the people that once made this house a home.
Now a squat, ugly grey house sits devoid of life and warmth, no golden glow issues from the empty white framed windows, no chatter, television, or laughter is heard by the neighbours. Only the flowering garden echoes the lives of those that once lived within. Flowers break the frost crusted earth, shrubs begin to bud, ivy, honeysuckle and roses start to populate the trellis around the wooden garden sheds. Rhododendrons produce tulip shaped buds; Acer Palms sprout brilliant Blood red leaves whilst tulips and daffodils trumpet spring.
Those thoughts fading as quickly as they were conjured, the policewoman shakes her head and sees again the black dried blood arcing across the walls of the living and dining rooms. The Irony is not lost on her.
Somewhere, she hopes, far away from here, the same house exists, the same family thrives and gets to live lives of happiness and joy. She takes a tissue from her jacket pocket and wipes the blood from the heel of her shoe.