First Night 12/11/20

A Short Story by Richard Bleil

A little over a week ago, I bought this house. Built about 120 years ago, I expect it to have a few problems. This is a true and honest account of my first night in my house.

Today I moved into the house. All of the vent covers are sealed shut with duct tape. I’m not sure what that’s about. I’m guessing either the previous owners were trying to save some money on heat (which doesn’t make sense since the furnace will run until the house is at the thermostat set point anyway) or they were trying to force more heat upstairs, but again, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. After all, warm are is less dense than cold, so warm air rises. Regardless, I’ll be removing the duct tape.

Odd. All of these ducts have levers to control them. The plot thickens!

Ugh, this plumbing will be the death of me. It’s not even fully installed. Open lines, even the hot water heater isn’t hooked up. It’s kind of a mess, but I’ll get it.

Electricity is so nice.

With the hot water heater hooked up, I can turn on the gas and get hot water and the furnace running. Shouldn’t be very long now.

The kerosene heater is nice, but I hope I won’t need it much longer. I figured out why the furnace wasn’t kicking on; safety switch on the front panel so it won’t run open. Okay, I hear the furnace running.

Mist from one of the vents. Strange. Didn’t last long. Could it have been evaporating moisture in the unused line?

I have no idea what that noise was. Nothing was there.

I have the thermostat turned kind of low. It’s a big house, so I want to save a little on heating, but to add to the mystery of the duct taped vents, the upstairs is actually warmer than the main floor. Praise physics.

Toilet isn’t even hooked up. God, did they do anything in this house? It feels like they just set things in here and bolted for the hills. No big deal, I’ve hooked up new toilets before. Shouldn’t really be an issue.

Taking a break. Another mist. Strange, though; it seemed to go into the vent, rather than out. Odd. I guess it must be a return air vent. Still, though, it seemed pretty far from the vent.

How the hell did that toilet get knocked over? I cannot for the life of me figure out how that happened. I’ve never even seen anything like that. Glad the water wasn’t on; it could have been a REAL mess.

Dark now. Trying to conserve a little bit of electricity. Only have lights on where I am and where I’m working. The utilities in this house will create a monster bill.

Toilet is hooked up. Bolted it to the floor. I had to re-seat the…hang on. What’s that glow?

That was odd. What can make a mist glow like that? Anyway, had to re-seat the toilet in the wax ring. Should be good now.

I’m going to turn up the heat a few degrees. This is ridiculous.

What was that? I felt like I was choking. I couldn’t breathe for the life of me, like something had gotten into my throat and would let the air in. I turned to look. Another damned mist. I wonder if maybe it had dust in it. Dehumidifiers tomorrow.

Internet hooked up. Listening to streaming music. Starting to feel more like home every hour. Can’t wait until tomorrow. Furniture should be delivered, and a washer and dryer. I even ordered a cube freezer. I hope it’s enough to hold a half cow. I guess overflow could go into the regular freezer.

So excited. Bed is on the floor since there’s no bed frame, but I put on the new sheets, blanket, even a weighted blanket. Settling in for my first night’s sleep. I’ll write more in the morning.

Okay, I said I would write more tomorrow, but whatever the hell that is just woke me up. Can houses really groan like that? And there’s definitely someone moving stuff around. Hang on.

Called out, and said I have a gun. I wish that were the case now. No answer and whoever they are they’re still moving stuff around. Okay, I have a hunting knife that I was using to open boxes. I’m getting a little bit freaked out. There is a glow from there that is the same color as that stupid mist earlier. I’m going to go check it out. I’ll text more when I get back.

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