THE LAKE...by b. Malin
Robert and Sarah decided to rent the cottage on the lake the moment the caretaker showed it to them. It was just what they were looking for...Two large bedrooms, each with their own private baths, a small den, large spacious kitchen, and a good size living room with an open hearth fireplace. There was also a foyer with a small half bath off of it. It also had a lovely screened-in porch, as well as a wooden sun deck that wrapped around the house ending off the living room, giving a breathtaking view of the lake. It was perfect, simply perfectl
Robert had spotted the ad in the Sunday Times classified section and had showed it to Sarah. "Oh Robert, let's drive up this afternoon and take a look at it". Robert smiled as he took the paper back from his beautiful wife and read the ad out loud. "Beautiful New England style lake front home for sale. Completely furnished. Many features too numerous to mention, must be seen, owner leaving the country, must sell, but will consider rental for summer season. All lake privileges. Please call my Agent at the number listed. "All Lake Privileges...Oh Robert please". Robert laughed, Sarah reminded him of a little girl when she begged him like this. "Ok honey, he said smiling, you get dressed and I'll make the phone call to the agent, and get an address that I can program into the GPS. The ride to the lake took just a little over an hour, with Sunday traffic. "See Robert it's not that far from the city, you could commute every day". Robert smiled at her, but did not reply.
They stopped for gas at the Town Line Gas Station. Robert made small talk with the attendant named Mike, who was a middle aged man with warm brown eyes and a friendly smile. Robert told Mike that they had come to look at the cottage that was for sale out at the lake. For a moment, Sarah thought that she saw a look of fear cross the man's face. But then he smiled and said he'd check their oil and water, and gave them directions to a short cut to the cottage. They arrived at the lake cottage ten minutes later. "Oh Robert, it's beautiful" Sarah sighed. Robert nodded in agreement as they both got our of the car and looked around for the care-taker, whom the Realtor had told Robert would show them around.
They didn't have long to wait, for the big wooden door to the cottage opened quickly, and a tired old looking man appeared at the door and walked slowly down the stairs to greet them. It looked like each step that he took was a great effort for him. His body was very thin, like someone who might have been ill for quite a long time. Robert and Sarah quickly walked towards him, and Robert was the first to extend his hand in greetings. The old man slowly extended his hand, as Robert spoke first. "Hello, I'm Robert Blake, and this is my wife Sarah. We are the couple that called the real estate office this morning on the ad for the cottage". The old man nodded silently. He studied the young couple before him. Young, eager city folks, must have money, he thought to himself. He could tell good breeding by the way the young man spoke, and the fancy car he drove. The old man coughed and spit his throat phlem onto the ground before he spoke. "I'm old Carter, the handy man, I take care of all the homes around the lake". Sarah quickly looked around. There were about five or six other beautiful homes, spaciously spread out, so that each home had its own private dock and small sandy area. "Well come along, Carter was saying, and I'll show you folks the house and the lake grounds". As he led the way back up the few steps, a spark of life seemed to come into his walk. He was a proud man that had a bad case of crippling arthritis. He had his good days and his bad days, and although he was only a man of sixty two, he looked at least ten years older.
The cottage was completely furnished in a "chic" country style theme, it just oozed comfort, with lots of pictures on the walls... Over stuffed couches, and lots of throw pillows. It had high wood beamed ceilings, with many windows, and the walls were painted a soft neutral shade...It was perfect, just perfect.
Robert signed the rental for the summer papers sitting at the big wooden desk in the living room. If they were pleased, after the summer, they could make arrangements to buy it. He made out a check for the sum of fifteen hundred dollars to a Terrance L. Jordan, the present owner, as a deposit, the lease would begin on May l. "Is Mr. Jones still in the country"? Robert asked as he handed the check to Carter. Carter pocketed it, as he pulled out a worn looking pipe and put it between his teeth like a pacifier before replying. "Well, you folks ain't superstitious are you"? Sarah and Robert just stared at one another.
To be continued...