The house had been left alone for so long that the spiders had completely taken over, staking their claim with massive sheets of gossamer.
Her brother turned to her.
“It’s not too late to change your mind,” he said.
She shook her head. “I’m not selling our house.”
Her brother frowned and took a step in, only to back out straightaway with his hand over his nose.
“You might want to air out the place first,” he said.
Even from the porch, she could smell the musty, stale air, but it was still bearable. She walked in, and backed out as quickly as her brother did. The air inside was even worse than she imagined. It wasn’t just the smell. It was the oppressive, moist weight that slithered over them like oil.
They both shuddered on the porch of the old house.
“Do you think anyone would break in if I leave all the doors and windows open?” she mused aloud.
“They can try. In fact, them breaking in will only help clear the cobwebs away. There’s nothing inside anyway, right?”
She looked at her brother, but he didn’t appear to have a clue of the significance of the house. Their house. The one they had lived in centuries ago before they were forced to flee.
The eyes on her brother’s face was bright, his smile easy. She returned it with her own brittle imitation.
It was better this way. He didn’t need to remember. She would do the remembering for both of them.
She faced the house and clasped her hands together.
“Well, the house isn’t going to air itself out. Let’s do it.”