Late morning light streamed through the curtains of Vex’s
apartment’s windows. With her hair still dripping from the shower and freshly
applied makeup drying on her cheeks, she lifted her phone from the receiver and
“Painted Sky Realty. This is Blake Macintyre.”
“Hey, Blake,” she said. “This is Vex. I gave you a ride in
my cab yesterday.”
“Haunted house girl, what can I do you for?”
“Exactly that, actually. Do you know much about why that
place is considered haunted? As far as I can tell nobody died there.”
There was a short pause, a rustle of papers. “I don’t know
much about it, I’m afraid, it has to do with the condition that the house is
in. The, ah, lack of a paint-job mostly.”
“The drawings on the walls?”
“Yep,” he said. “I’m told that every time someone paints
the interior, wallpapers, or tries to renovate the drawings magically reappear.
Sometimes months later, but they always come back. Some of the artwork is
actually pretty good. But I don’t need to worry about that anymore. My boss took
the case off of my hands.”
“You’ve been officially initiated?”
“Looks to be that way. Oh, did you find the original
owners? Why are you so interested in that house anyway? You into things like
that or something?”
“You could say that,” Vex said. “Apparently a famous
family lived there back in the nineteen-thirties, the Von Appeldorns. I’ve
never heard of them.”
“I have,” Blake replied.
“There was an article in the Republic yesterday
about Katrina von Appeldorn. She’s a fairly famous artist who lives in Scottsdale.
She paints desert scenes, my wife happens to have a print of hers hanging in
our dining room. Window Rock, I think. Maybe she’s related.”
“With a name like that, I don’t doubt it.”
“Hey, I have a client coming in right now. I’ve gotta scram.
If you’re ever in the market…”
“If I ever am, you’ll be the first I call. Goodbye.”
“Ciao,” he said and hung up the phone.
Vex set the phone back on its cradle, shrugged on her
coat, and set out looking for a copy of yesterday’s Arizona Republic.